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AO Day SE - 2003

Joshua D. Silverman
Assistant Editor of Proud Warpig Media Partners
Paintball 2Xtremes Magazine and Crossfire Magazine


The Automag, created by Tom Kaye and his company Airgun Designs in the early nineteen nineties, was once the most popular tournament and high-level paintball gun on the face of the planet.  Once used by such great paintball teams as Bad Company, the All Amercans, Rage, the Palm Beach Predators and the Jax Warriors, the Automag has won such prestigious events as the NPPL Pittsburgh Open, more than one Skyball, the NPPL Nashville Open and plenty of other events around the world.  While no longer the undisputed king of high-tech paintslinging, the Automag has been updated and upgraded since that time with advents like reactive triggers, colorful ULE aluminum main bodies, the groundbreaking Level Ten mechanical anti-chop system and the all-aluminum, reactive X-Valve to become an extremely versatile and competitive paintball gun in the hands of players like Clare "Capo" Benavides, Manny Francia, Jay Dever and the Airgun Designs Factory Teams, Pride and the Kidz.  The Automag line of paintball guns, that now includes the Classic, the Minimag, the RT Pro, the E-Mag and the rare, coveted X-Mag, now possesses a cult-like following online at the most popular paintball gun owners' group in the world,

Supporting, colloquially known as "AO" by its members, with "AO Meets" across the country, Airgun Designs owner and brilliant engineering mind Tom Kaye, along with Jon Comprado, spokesmodel Clare Benavides and Paintball 2Xtremes Magazine Assistant Editor Joshua D. Silverman, converged on Clemson, South Carolina on Saturday, November Twenty-Second for a day (and a night or two) of paintball fun.  Hosted by AO's own "CPhilip" and the staff of Gold Dragon Paintball, the field at which the event was held, the Southeast Regional AO meet was well-publicized on  Over one hundred players made the trip from across the United States and Canada to compete in a pick-up three-man tournament in the morning and a mini scenario in the afternoon, sponsored by National Paintball Supply and The Aggressive Generation.  Represented at the event by Greg and Waverly Muller, National Paintball Supply provided the event with affordable Draxxus Blaze paintballs and other promotional items.  "Manike," of fame, was also in attendance at the event, where he proudly wore new VForce Profiler goggles and matching Empire jersey and pants.  The amazing Empire Intimidator he shot throughout the day was a source of great attention at the event.  The Aggressive Generation, headed up by Bob Sandifer and family, erected a large, multiple-tent display at the event and provided music, Angel technical support and some of the most popular stickers and buttons in the game of paintball.

After a night of merryment and intoxication Friday night, the players made their way to the field Saturday morning to shoot paintballs at one-another.  The morning's mini-tournament featured pick-up three-man teams playing on a three-man speedball field, a five-man speedball field and a wooded field, then squaring off one at a time against the members of other teams on a one-on-one speedball field, shooting Airgun Designs' rare Sydarm pistols.  Many players decided to conduct their one-on-one games as duels, challenging one-another then standing back-to-back, marching ten paces, turning and shooting it out.  Many players that morning were stymied by the safeties included on the Sydarm pistols, which caused many players' eliminations as they struggled to figure out why their paintball guns refused to fire.  More than one duel ended with players chasing one-another around bunkers and blasting each other from only inches away, to the crowd's enjoyment.  The three-man event was won by a pick-up team of Automag players and Angel shooters sponsored by The Aggressive Generation, playing under the clever assumed name "Norfolk & Chance."

Once Tom Kaye arrived at the game the event livened up a great deal, with numerous pick-up games of five-on-five and seven-man speedball being played by Tom Kaye himself, alongside AO members like the resident Iraq War hero Doobie and the lovely Trina, "the human highlight reel," who managed to shoot Tom Kaye on the break!  As he was relatively closeby at the time, this task was made a great deal easier. Airgun Designs' Jon Comprado played as many games as he could, when he was not too busy checking various players' junk, a task at which he proved himself quite proficient.  In fact, by the end of the day, any player who required their junk examined knew to immediately report to Jon.  AO's Datapimp, whose new drop forward proved extremely popular, played throughout the day dressed as the pimp he is, down to the hat and gold chains.  Tunaman and Kaiser Bob and played competitive but fair paintball all day, as did Hi-Tech, all the way from San Francisco.  Spraying Mango played well throughout the day as did Load, Wyn and Dayspring, whose lungs alone propelled his team to many wins.  Even the dreaded Captain Canuck made an appearance at the event, heralded by his earth-shattering war cry, "Eh?"

The Tag Olympics were held mid-day, and featured such events as the paintball eating contest, in which one lucky participant attenpted to ingest several paintballs in order to win a t-shirt.  Once this was finished, CPhilip brought the players together and announced an "attack and defend" game, in which Tom Kaye and a handful of defenders would attempt to hold a hilltop of pillboxes and small bunkers against a horde of attackers who would start at the bottom.  Joined at the top by EZRunner, Manike, Larry Motes of the Carolina Field Owners Association, Josh2Xtremes, AGDJon and a few more defenders, Tom Kaye and company proceeded to drop a veritable hailstorm of paintballs on the attackers as they attempted to force their way up the hill.  After a slugfest in which numerous players were literally slathered in paint, the remaining defenders rushed down the hill and finished off the attackers.  The game then turned around, and in a game of attrition, the attackers clawed and inched their way to the top of the hill.

Later that evening, a catered dinner was hosted at a local restaurant for all the attendees.  A band provided music and the Clemson football game on television provided entertainment, until Bob Sandifer of The Aggressive Generation, Tunaman, CPhilip and eventually Tom Kaye himself stood up to raffle off prizes including pins, tshirts, shoes, jerseys, barrels and much more.  Clare Benavides signed promotional posters, and Doobie, AO's warrior, was given a grateful and moving send off as it was announced he will be returning to Iraq to again serve his country.  The party continued until late Saturday night when the AO crowd began to break up and head back to their various corners of the world, better for the experience.  Attracting over one hundred Automag loyalists from across the world to a great South Carolina field and promoting an excellent, fun day of friendly fun and fellowship, the 2003 Southeast day was a great success.  Learn more about Automags and become a part of the family online at, stay tuned to and read about it in the pages of Paintball 2Xtremes Magazine,  


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