Last year I purchased this gold and black anodized Micromag off ebay. Engraved for the mid 90s Florida “Team Sasquatch on one side and “Law Man” on the reverse. I am assuming Law Man was the nickname for co-captain, John Law.
The former owner, Clyde Delisle, also a Sasquatch player, owned this mag and another early automag, serial 395, which he held onto.
Sasquatch, based out of Orlando, Florida, competed in various tournaments in the south east US during the mid 90s including the Splat 1Adventures Indoor Championships in Tennessee as well as the NPPL and other regional tournaments.
During this time Sasquatch was sponsored by Gun F/X and Pro Team Products, with Gun F/X vice president and founder of Benchmarks Products, Doug Zander playing on the team and participating as a co captain.
Another player of Sasquatch, Jack Beauchamp, describes the Micromags made for Team Sasquatch in a post on automags.org. Jack’s AO name is “Jack from Sasquatch” and he’s commenting regarding a Micromag listed on ebay:
“I think [my Micromag] might be a little more rare, as it’s one of the first 5 made, for the Indoor Championships in Tennessee.
Pro-Team was our main sponsor, and these were the proto-type frames, anodized gold, with our team name, and names on them. Gun F/X was a collaboration between Pro-Team, and Doug Zander, who manufactured most of their gear for them, except the Armson barrels.
We wore matching gold and black Micro-Mag shirts, took 5th place, and won best dressed team.”
Find that post at:
In the post quoted and linked to above, Beauchamp writes that Sasquatch’s Micromags were “the first 5 made.” Beauchamp has posted photos of his Micromag in that Automags.org post, which looks to be a Micromag 2 with a removable barrels.
I’ve been trying to research this over the past several months and I think Beauchamp must mean that Sasquatch received the first 5 “Micromag IIs” made.
Trying to figure out if the Sasquatch used the Micromags in the 1994 Splat 1 Adventures Indoor Championship, I looked for articles with solid dates and came across the above write up by Ravi Chopra. Chopra writes:
“The Micromag is the result of an idea shared by Forest Hatcher (President of Pro-Team Products/Gun F/X) and Doug Zander (vice-President of Gun F/X). Back in the fall of 1993, they imagined a super-light, super-short version of the Airgun Designs 68AUTOMAG, for speedball. The first ones they made (the “stag 1″ Micromags) were actually cut-down 68AUTOMAGs, so short they required remachined barrels to keep the barrels in the radically shortened bodies. The custom conversion enjoyed some popularity, but the two felt they could improve on the idea.”
“With this in mind and a little help from Airguns Designs, they went to work. The result arrived in the spring of 1994 as the 68AUTOMAG conversion kit. It had an aluminum body, a fixed 6-inch gun-drilled barrel, powerfeed, anti-doubler, and 45-style grip frame. All it needed was an Automag A.I.R. valve, bolt and sear to become a complete, functioning, speedball dominating machine.”
On the following page, Chopra goes on to explain Team Sasquatch’s premiere of the Micromag II at the 1995 Splat 1 Adventure Indoor Championships:
“…So Forest and Doug went back to work. The latest product of their labors first appeared at the 1995 Knoxville Indoor Championship. Team Sasquatch finished fifth and was the highest placed amateur team. They used Micromag II’s exclusively.”
Find the last page of Ravi Chopra’s article above.
Randy Baxter ran Splat 1 and his annual “Indoor Championships Tournament” was held in Tennessee each year, typically taking place in February. The first Splat 1 Indoor event was held in Knoxville in 1992 and the subsequent events for the next few years took place in Harriman, Tennessee.
I emailed back and forth with Forest Hatcher of Pro-Teams Products (http://www.proteamproducts.com), trying to figure out if the unibody Sasquatch Micromags were used at the Splat 1 Adventures Indoor Championships in 1994.
Forest explained some background information about he and, his wife, Tracy Hatcher’s history and some information about how Zander factored in. He writes:
“I was president of PTP (founded 1989/1990) and Gun F/X (founded 1994). Doug was VP of Gun F/X for a couple of years. He formed Benchmark a bit later and we purchased it in 2001.”
This post on Warpig, http://www.warpig.com/paintball/technical/IAO_new_01/index3.shtml, covering the 2001 International Amateur Open, give a little more detail on that Pro-Team Benchmark purchase, stating:
“Benchmark Manufacturer owner Doug Zander and Pro Team Products owner Forest Hatcher announced the purchase of Benchmark by Proteam. Zander will continue Benchmarks development and manufacturing and the sales will migrate to be handled through Pro Team. The two dispelled the false rumor that Benchmark was going out of business or that Zander was leaving the company. “
From the 5 man Splat 1 Indoor Championship programs it looked like Sasquatch played as two squads each year and instead of participating as Team I and Team II they designated the squads with colors.
“Sasquatch played with both Pro-Team and Gun F/X colors at the [Splat 1 Indoor Championships] over a period of several years.”
And he goes on to explain what Zander played with in at the Splat 1 1994 event:
“I have a picture of Doug with a cut down Mag/Micro with all PTP/Team Armson colors – probably ’94.”
Forest’s photos weren’t great so I would guess that Zander was using one of the cut down Automags they prototyped and not a Micromags. Since the event took place in February it’s likely Zander and the rest of Sasquatch didn’t have the engraved Micromags yet, since Chopra writes the unibodies were released in “spring of 1994.” Although spring would have been right around that time.
After the Micromags were released in the spring of 1994, Sasquatch players likely used them until the Splat 1 Indoor 1995 event, where some of the players switched to Micromag 2s, which served as that paintguns introduction.
Thanks to Forest and Tracy Hatcher of Pro-Team Products and Gun F/X for information, Bill and Dawn Mills for letting me post their photos and Chuck Link for providing the Splat 1 Adventure Indoor programs.