Home Classic Paintball Scans The Aerostar Econolite, c.1989

The Aerostar Econolite, c.1989

Frank Wang's Aerostar Econolite Nelson pump.
Frank Wang’s Aerostar Econolite Nelson pump. Left side. Photos courtesy Frank Wang.

Frank Wang posted photos on mcarterbrown of an mystery Nelson based pump he picked up this week, wondering if anyone could identify it.
Find that thread on mcb at:
http://www.mcarterbrown.com/forums/ask-experts/275046-what-craigslist-find.html

Close up scan of the Aerostar Econolite, scanned from the October 1990 issue of Paintcheck.
Close up scan of the Aerostar Econolite, scanned from the October 1990 issue of Paintcheck.

Frank’s mystery Nelson is an uncommon mid range, breech drop Nelson, that was marketed briefly by Aerostar in the very late 1980s, named the Econolite. I purchased one last year from Clegg Robinson, of Paintball Hill, and the Lizards of AHHS.

Close up price list of the Econoline from the Fall 1989 Aerostar price list.
Close up price list of the Econoline from the Fall 1989 Aerostar price list. Scan courtesy (I think) Christian Van Horn.

Clegg purchased his Econolite out of the Aerostar catalog around 1989.

Fall 1989 Aerostar price list.
Fall 1989 Aerostar price list. Scan courtesy (I think) Christian Van Horn.

I don’t know too much about Aerostar other than their main offices were in Chicago and run by Sam McBride. Their west coast office was in Brea (and later Chino), California and run by Gale Gough. And although they had a retail location in Brea, I believe they mostly handled wholesale.

Aerostar had some involvement in the California Cobra but may have abandoned their third partner, Rich Breen on that project to go with a direct feed Nelson instead. This direct feed Nelson was the Assassinator 1 which came out around 1987.

Paintcheck October 1990 write up on the Aerostar Econolite.
Paintcheck October 1990 write up on the Aerostar Econolite.

Aerostar’s Assassinator 1 was a breech drop Nelson with a steel body, and threaded barrels.  Their next paintgun was the Assassinator 2, which was a Bore Drop Nelson and used a slightly longer than standard (Bushmaster/Spirit length) bolt. Around late 1989 they released the Aerostar Econolite 2000.

Bushwackers patch, sponsored by Assault Line.
Early Bushwackers’ patch, sponsored by Assault Line.

Aerostar was also somehow associated with Assault Line.  Assault Line could have been products that Gough had made?  Above is an Assault Line Bushwackers patch. The ‘Wacker’s played at Field Games (which was a field located next to Sat Cong Village) during the mid to late 80s and Gale Gough is also pictured in some early magazines running tournaments at Field Games.

Jack Wada, of the Kamikaze Shooters, explained some of what he remembers about Aerostar West in the video above.

Aerostar West  advertisement, scanned form the May 1990 issue of Paintcheck.
Aerostar West advertisement, scanned form the May 1990 issue of Paintcheck.

Ted Mikrut, formerly of Air America, has also given me some background on Sam McBride, who operated Aerostar out of Chicago.

Ted explains that Sam McBride became his wholesaler as he “started doing retail” in the 1980s out of Chicago. He goes on to write that around 1991 Sam got out of Paintball and into selling Soda Stream Machines.

“…Sam tried to talk me into getting out of paintball and into doing in home soda fountains. You see these Soda Stream things they are selling now, well [Sam] had them 20 years ago. He kept telling me that “it’s way more profitable than paintball” and all the hype “paintball is a dying sport because of the laws.”

Frank Wang's Aerostar Econolite Nelson pump. Right side.
Frank Wang’s Aerostar Econolite Nelson pump. Right side. Photos courtesy Frank Wang.

Ted continues:
“Once I went to the [Aerostar] office to pick out some product and everything paintball related was GONE. The office was full of these soda machines, no Sam just tons of soda machines. My account was transferred to the new business and that was around 91 ish.”

If anyone has more history on Sam McBride, Gale Gough or Aerostar in general please post!

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