The Gun Gallery
Write up on 2-20-09
stolen from VintageRX.com)
This gun goes back a long way with me. My first encounter
with the F-1 was back in the winter of 1990 (or maybe '89)
when playing a Blast Camp paintball in northern Indiana. We
had all sorts of pump guns on the field and the Tippmann 68
special was just starting to appear. Even a large number of
players were still using the 62 Cal version of the Tippmann
at the time. Out pops this guy carrying what we considers
a tiny gun. It was a prototype of the Illustrator. He had
all the latest gear and really was a one man army. Blast Camp
is a former Nike Missile base and close quarters combat was
dominant. A small, fast firing gun just dominated this environment.
After that first encounter we were impressed.
Next comes the spring of '91. A group of friends with their
own resale licenses were in communication with Direct Connect
out of Chicago. They got their hands on the first batches
of F-1's being produced. The Rouge ball scene was never the
same. The first time I borrowed one of these guns, I was in
love. I was able to run and shoot with accuracy. Running with
a pump was just crazy, but this gun was small and accurate
enough to do the job.
Summer of '92 I worked at Dark Armies Paintball in Indianapolis.
I had a beautiful green anodized Bushmaster that I was trying
to sell. Working out a swap, I acquired my friend's F-1. He
and all his buddies were switching over to the new monster
on the market, the Automag.
My First F-1 was very straight forward. I had the back-red
adjustable valve and the cocking area cover in place. It also
came with the stock barrel with foam grip and also a special
longer JDM barrel. JDM was manufactured very similar to the
Armson barrel. Armson at the time were damn hard to get a
hold of. They all had to be imported from South Africa, which
was under some sort of trade embargo by the US. Pro-Team Products
did not take control of distribution until a few years later,
so other, smaller companies, were making similar products.
The F-1 ran off a standard 7oz CO2 tank. I no longer needed
the 20oz siphon tanks from the 68 specials. From 7oz, you
could normally get about 400 shots, enough for one day of
In the Fall of '92 I remember sitting on my porch and shooting
squirrels out of the neighbors tree. I mounted a red dot scope
that was incredible. It was a crazy time, but soon the neighbors
learned that colored squirrels were all around.
In the Fall of '93 I was going through gun after gun. It
was basically a new gun every 2-3 weeks. I sold the F-1 to
a friend to gather funds for an F-2. The F-2 was nice, but
never as solid as the F-1. The F-2 can be another story for
I still miss that original F-1. When I last saw it, my friend
had broken the back ASA and used nail polish to seal the air
leaks from the body. It still shot, but it looked well used.
It was his loaner gun for friends to come play on his backyard
In late 2006 I decided I would start the process of trying
to re-buy the old guns I used to enjoy. The first on the acquisition
list was the F-1. I shopped around on ebay for nearly a month
before finding the one I wanted.
The F-1 design was later sold off to Brass Eagle who used
the design for their Raptor line of guns. They later incorporated
2-finger triggers and direct feeds into the design, but the
components inside were basically the same.