In another thread we were looking at a Pro Mag that was made by John Sosta in the early nineties and I got to thinking about the rarest mags out there. This is a great story.....
In the mid-nineties we were trying to come up with a way to lighten the Mag without compromising the strength. Aluminum didn't seem like a good choice and since we were all about quality, we figured the best and COOLEST thing to do would be to make the valves out of
After much research we found out that there were new Ti alloys that were much more machinable, so at great expense we bought a rod of the stuff and had it made into about 20 valves. With great excitement they brought the tray of new super valves to me right from the machine shop. Picking one up, I was completely shocked to find I could tell no difference in the weight! I told my guys "these must be the wrong ones" but we checked and sure enough they were Ti. The reality was that in order to gain weight savings from Ti, you have to use LESS of it because its stronger than aluminum. Its only like 20 some % lighter than steel and since we couldn't make things smaller they were a waste of time.
The Back Story
Disappointed, the tray of valves was banished to the back room and I forgot about them for some time. In later discussions with people about the fiasco, they said "hey I want one of those!". When I went back to find them they were no where to be found. No one even remembered seeing them. Our best guess is that they got mixed in with the regular stainless valves and went out the door in normal production guns.
So somewhere floating around in Paintball Land are less than 2 dozen titanium Automags that someone has probably tossed into a closet. My field techs knew this story and for years they looked for them when fixing guns at tourneys but to no avail. I don't have one, we have never found one, but if you do, I AM WILLING TO PAY 1000 DOLLARS for one of those valves. You would probably have to identify them by weight on a scale. Someone can calculate what they should weigh.
Another piece of AGD history for the archives.