These two early external line SMG-60s have serials HT-6 and HT-7. I’ve been researching Tippmann History including the SMG 60 serial number prefixes as well as the exact release date, but haven’t been able to find any solid serial information.
Other prefixes I’ve seen are DT (Dennis Tippmann), DC (Direct Connect), and possibly HR.
In the first issue of Action Pursuit Games there are photos of a prototype SMG-60 (sight on front of body and possibly SMG #1 belonging to David Freeman, President of Tippmann Pneumatics Incorporated at the time).
The first issue of APG was published in Fall (August) of 1987 and likely put together about three months earlier (May/June?).
In the second issue of Action Pursuit Games, published October 1987 (and likely printed July-August), Russell Maynard reviews the SMG and remarks that by the time the issue goes into print the Tippmann SMG-60 should be widely available.
In my last email with Freeman, trying to establish a timeline for the SMG-60s release David wrote me,
“I know the [SMG-60] project was underway in January of 1986. First run guns could have released in March of 87.”
I’ve found several articles that mention March of 87 as the release date for the SMG-60 but have been trying to clear up the serial number and tank date discrepancies. I think it’s safe to say that the first small prototype/test batch of SMG-60s were released in March of 1987. This included David Freeman’s Serial #1 Tippmann SMG-60.
After several months had gone by and problems were resolved the next batch was released.
It’s possible that each early batch had different serial number prefixes as changes were ironed out. I think the HT models, as posted in the video above, are the official release model. HT also seems to be the most common early serial number prefix.
The tanks included with HT 6 (in the box) are stamped 8-87 and likely mean the production date for HT 6 is around August/September of 87. And although the box has cut outs for the early sand cast butt plates, no sand cast butt plates were included when I purchased HT6 second hand last year.
Luckily, in June or July of this year, 2014, I happened to find one of these sand cast butt plates attached to a tank on ebay. I ended up paying probably the most I’ve ever spent on a co2 tank for it (although there was an Azodin pump attached).
The butt plate is the correct style (which makes me think this sand cast butt plate I posted before actually goes to a Pursuit Supplies International pump) and the tank is dated March of 1987 (3-87).
According to Sergey Levkov, of Lapco, Dennis Tippmann came across the early standard Schrader pin valve asas on co2 bottles used for Soda machines. He thought they were a more universal style and TPI (Tippmann Pneumatics Incorporated) ended up using these tanks on the first run of SMGs. This tank valves disappeared from Soda retailers shortly afterwards and TPI had to make the valves themselves.
There could be inaccuracies in this article since it’s based mainly on speculation and gathering small bits of information from a variety of sources. Although I do my best to put together the information on the release dates, serial number prefixs and ASA tank valve, I would guess some of it isn’t correct and if you know additional details, as usually please post corrections! I appreciate any help that readers/viewers can provide, both on youtube, the blog or facebook!
Thanks to David Freeman and Dale “Sugarstump” Price for information.
Find Dale’s write up on his Tippmann SMG-60 with serial DC04 on facebook here: