Just look at this guy. Paintball was his life, and his sport. Now we don't know who made the air tank or force fed loader we just know who has the best and the fastest. A guy at my local shop tries to convince me that Bob Long is a bad company and that they have such bad customer service and that if you fry your board you have to wait months to get it fixed. But he sells Minis, and Smart Parts crap yet they have better service and quality.
SP never struck him down, the fact that no one bought his gun did. It was expensive to manufacture and he stopped making most of the stuff people wanted to buy. He flooded the market with stuff and at the end was only selling the older stuff. He could have made an E-trigger. He hadn't made a really new product in several years, yeah he invented all the stuff and was very bad at employing it. You can tell he hasn't cared for AGD for some time. However, SP had nothing to do with it.
If you want to talk about a company that drove another company into the ground look at Odyssey.
Hello, I first would like to thank the very first post of this thread for recognizing the innovations that Tom Kaye brought to paintball and conscientiously decided to not patent so that these steps forward would benefit all players and manufacturers. Mr Kaye is responsible for many huge leaps forward for this sport and has the brain power to keep this sport on the cutting edge if he were still a part of it. Sadly he is a part of a dying breed of selfless inventors whom see no reward from their previous good deeds. I shot Automags and supported them for years beyond their peak of demand. My reasons were not only because I believed in them but because they delivered upon their stated claims better then other competing markers of the day. If I sold another marker of far less reliability, I would have to face the dissatisfied purchaser the next week at the store I used to run. This was because we were a field and store in the same location!. If I sold an Automag I would have a satisfied customer with very few complaints or needs of service. Though we did sell all kinds of markers, if we would first pitch an Automag and the customer would ignore our advice, they couldn't complain when they had an Autococker that needed its timing redone or leaked out the ram ect , ect.
About Airgun Designs demise. As the previous post stated that Airgun Designs ignored its product line for several years. I have to admit this IS true. This has to do with Tom Kaye obligating himself to Police and Military aspects of his paintball related inventions. As the years passed the rest of the industry went electric and came up with more attractive looking markers. And because the electric markers were far easier to shoot, they did shoot faster as well. When Tom Kaye finished up with his police/military obligations he returned to Airgun Designs paintball product line with a vengeance and came out with the E-Mag and all of the innovations related to it. Unfortunately this marker suffered from some serious drawbacks that kept it from regaining the top spot Automags once enjoyed. The marker was heavy and had a somewhat ugly design with the huge front battery grip. Further the bolt speed paradox wasn't yet discovered by Tom and thus the marker did tend to chop paint more than others. So though the E-Mag did highlight many inventions that markers of this day use, it wasn't put together in a format that was attractive or practical for all but the die hard Automag Fans. This included me as I preferred a retro valve with an upgraded hyper frame at 20bps semi.
When Tom Kaye finally decoded the paint chopping mystery of Automags it was all but too late. When the Level 10 Bolt came out the whispers of Smart Parts patent lawsuits were flowing through the paintball grapevine. This unfortunately was a huge blow to AGD as a newer designed E-Mag with the level 10 bolt would have probably positioned AGD back into the top 4-5 marker manufacturers. This never came to pass as Tom Kaye decided it wasn't to his company's interest to continue making the E-Mag as long as the Smart Parts patent suites were looming. This wasn't the immediate end of AGD but the path was already set less Smart Parts decided to stop pursuing other makers of Electro Paintball Markers.
So both assumptions are essentially correct here. Both the neglect but more importantly the lawsuits both contributed to AGD's downfall. Its really sad because Smart Parts used to sell their own version of the Automag called the SmartMag and their early 90's tournament teams used to shoot Automags. But lets not forget Indian Creek Designs and AKA paintball whom were wholly brought down by the patent lawsuits as well.
But here is some food for thought. Rumor has it that Adam Gardner (Part Owner of Smart Parts) previous occupation was as a patent lawyer! If this is true, then some of these manufacturers should have known that this type of litigation would come to pass someday. But I am not sure if there was anything anybody could have done about it as Smart Parts purchased the rights to the Shocker Electric technology in the late 90's from Pneuventures , years before any other electric marker was produced (as far as I know and if I am wrong please post a correction).
My conclusion is that thankfully many smaller companies have taken up the task of keeping the current technology alive and are furthering its evolution. Now, I am not at all informed as to what caused Smart Parts demise but it may be the result of players voting with their dollars as the first post stated but maybe not, who knows, but it sure seems suspect. Finally whatever your feelings are about the patent wars of 2003-2004 the end reality we face today is that there is an increasing presence of Chinese manufactures in our sport whom are putting good American companies out of business. Whatever your feelings about Smart Parts they were an American company employing Americans for the most part,with manufacturing here in the United States. So on that level by itself I was bothered by them going under. I would have liked to keep Smart Parts around minus the patent lawsuits as before that time they were a company and a logo proudly worn by all! And I have to state I tried most if not all of the competing barrels of that time and couldn't find any barrel more accurate than the All American 14 inch. I won more tourneys with that barrel than any other by a huge margin!
Lets just hope the sport of Paintball learns from its self destructive behavior. Maybe the manufacturers can understand they all benefit from furthering the technology without trying to put each other out of business. Maybe players will stop acting like sheep with blind loyalty to their sponsors and speak the truth about a markers/manufactures strengths and weaknesses. And maybe , just maybe, we can get our heroes back... the ones who laid the path that most paintball innovations travel upon. And maybe we will be able to celebrate this great sport we love without the petty bickering of political allegiance and be once again true to our experience and pass this good feeling and ideals to our next great paintball generation. TechPb with its honesty in reviews is a start and you , the player, the ultimate judge of your experience and opinion, are the solution!
Got mine on Friday. They're awesome. The yellow and flo green colors look amazing! Oh, and the stickers you sent are friggin' awesome to!
Thanks! Will be telling the guys at the field about you guys!
Thanks and were happy your satisfied with your order. Yeah Flo Green and Yellow are some of our most visible colors. We never thought Flo green would be a color of much interest. Boy were we wrong. Besides Black, its our most popular color!
Ill be picking some of these up just cuz of their customer service! (and who in their right mind wouldnt like havin extra swabs around? haha, specially ones that have such great reviews!)
Thanks for all of the kind comments. We look forward to getting you your swabs and exceeding your expectations. We also wanted to inform you guys that the wait for white connectors is officially OVER!! We now have white color connectors. We will be updating our site soon to include this new color.