The MaximMag (SFL Prototype) Story
AO: Here is a story I have been working about for a while on the infamous MaximMag. Enjoy!!
The Beginning The SFL emag was released in August 2001 along with the intelliframe, 4500 flatline, and the "extreme" emag at the International Amateur Open. The "extreme" emag had quite a bit of aluminum on the body and made a great platform for customizing. The first in line for the customizers was Bad Boyz Toyz. A prototype Shocktech SFL (Super F$*%&@% Light) E-Mag designed by Danny Love was shown in the BBT/Shocktech booth.
Around the same time (2001) a new paintball team formed called "Team Maxim." The team was sponsored by Maxim Magazine and BBT. They were comprised of photographers and people who worked for Maxim magazine. Working with BBT they were able to showcase the SFL Emag in a photoshoot to drum up publicity for the BBT creation. In November 2001, Team Maxim went to the Aruba to play in a tournament and to also photograph a few female paintball players for their issue of Maxim Magazine.
*Team-Maxim playing in Aruba in 2001.
11/10/01: Amy "AIM" Schreier - yep, she's a badass. She's on the novice team Femmes Fatales, and as good as they look, they play even better! Jan shot this picture of Amy on Manchebo beach in Aruba - that lucky dog. Amy is holding the new Airgun Designs/Shocktech "MaximMag" SFL, aka the E-Mag Xtreme. Amy and the "MaximMag" will be in the February 2002 issue of Maxim Magazine due to hit news stands and mailboxes in the middle of January.
The infamous picture of Amy standing with the MaximMag left many AGD fanatics drooling. Over on AO it was big hit for advertising. It was so big Tom was able to get Amy to come by AO to hangout and host one of the largest chat parties AO ever had. Tom was even handing out signed pictures of Amy with the MaximMag as prizes.
Team-Maxim played a handful of tournaments from 2001 to 2003, but they dissolved at the end of 2003. From 01-03 AGDE were hard at work trying a few different body designs such as the Aztec and CnC design which also lead people to wait for the "extreme/X-mag" aluminum bodied e-mags. That may have been one of the reasons why the SFL emag never took off. It is estimated that BBT sold around ~35 SFL emags in total.
*Danny Love?? and Renick Miller standing with the MaximMag.
The journey of the MaximMag goes dark after 2003 and the search for it begins a few years later.
Bunny's Hunt for SFL Emags: 2005-2014
My SFL emag obsession started in 2005 when I bought my first SFL for $800. At the time paintball was slowing down quite a bit and the used market was ripe for the picking. I saved my hard earned money and bought a polished Silver SFL. I went on AO and put my name down on "the list" that KayleAGD was trying to compile in 2002. It was a pretty fun time trying to track down all of the SFL emags in existence and I made it a personal goal to find as many as I can. From 2005 to 2014 I devoted my free time trying to find any piece of information I could about SFL emags. It was a fun challenge and at the time the market was red hot so it was very difficult to make sense of all of the back door deals that were happening. Years later I actually created a site called SFLEmag.com and had a great time piecing together the information for everyone to see. It was a labor of love, but I realized that it would cost to much money to run the way I design it.
While researching SFL emags, there was 1 that really bothered me. The one gun that I would always go back to was the "MaximMag" that Amy stood with in Aruba. I actually remember when the picture was posted on AO and remember thinking to myself how awesome that SFL emag looked. (And how beautiful Amy is as well :-)) Over the years I could not really find any information at all about the gun and I decided to focus my attention to just one gun.
The Facts: I started my search with a handful of pictures to try and lead me to the right direction. I was actually able to track down the actual pictures that Tom posted on AO when the MaximMag was first released. I figured they would put me in the right direction.
I tried all sorts of crazy ideas to try and find information. I even tried to figure out the serial number to see if I could track it a different way. Apparently there are programs that can un-pixelate (is that a word?) to make sense of a picture zoomed in. It didn't work at all. I also tried a way using broken links and importing them into the wayback machine. It actually worked and I found a picture that was hosted on a random science website that Tom used back in the day.
I was really surprise to actually find that picture, but it also showed off some of the milling that Danny Love did to make this SFL as light as possible, which I thought was really cool.
While researching I would keep coming across people mentioning they saw an SFL Emag in a Maxim Magazine so I decided to try and find the particular issue. To my amazement people actually buy/sell Maxim Magazines in the open market and I was able to track one down pretty easy. I got it a few days later and I was pretty shocked with what I found.
I was surprised that the "MaximMag" that Amy was posing with on the beach was actually NOT in the magazine. What was printed on the page was a Gloss Blue "Maxim" SFL that I never even knew about. It may not have been the one I was looking for, but I did enjoy finding new SFL emags in the wild.
I couldn't really find anything else about the MaximMag and decided to focus on the person who may know where the thing is hiding. I went to www.team-maxim.com on the wayback machine and found a squad roster with a very important piece of info.
I now have a few names to use to try and track down the infamous "MaximMag." By the way, I understand that I sound crazy... :-) I decided to try and see if "Puck" had an online presence since he was labeled on the site of having the MaximMag in his possession. I tried for many months (which actually turned into years) of trying to track down any more information. I would send a bunch of e-mails and would mostly get them bounced back to me. I never did get into contact with Puck, but I did speak with the team captain "KickDaCatt."
I was able to track down KickDaCatt's e-mail address online and within a few months he actually responded back. I was really glad he took the time out to reply since he is now the president of a major media company in New York. He actually told me that Puck never owned the marker and that his teammate "Magpie"(BTAutomag would enjoy that) may have it. He did send me another picture of the OTHER Maxim SFL that existed.
After that lead, I tried to get in contact with Magpie on Facebook, but I could never get him to read the message. I'm not actually familiar with facebook so I don't even know if people can even see messages from strangers. I also tried to message KickDaCatt again, but he stopped replying to my e-mails. I would message him once each year for a few years. Nothing really happened with it again.
I still haven't gotten very far with finding it so I tried a different approach. My idea was that since Amy was a paintball player, maybe she had the gun in her possession and stashed it in a closet never to see the light of day again. This time I found a few leads while she played on the Femme Fatales and I decided to message her friend Bea Young to see if she could track her down for me. Bea was so polite and willing to help, it was pretty fun chatting back and forth with her. She is a real ambassador of the sport. She gave me a few leads and really helped me tracking Amy down. I never really thought that her name might not be Amy Schreier any longer.... I tried the whole facebook message thing again and nothing really came of it. I was pretty bummed and I was certain she at least had information of where the gun went to.
*Team-Maxim had the right idea about paintball....
Since all of my leads dried up I decided to give it up for a while. It was pretty frustrating not being able to find any info on it. I've been searching for it off & on since 2005 and never really got anywhere with it. I decided to use one last technique so I could move on to other projects. A lot of people wonder how I find information and search for things so I will give you my secret. Google ALERTS. You can set-up a search term and have google search for it daily. Once it hits the front page of the search, it will notify my phone and I can quickly glance if it is good information or not. This saved me from manually searching the same search terms over and over again. Now you know how I can find Xmags so fast.:D
Fast forward to a March 4, 2014, I'm sitting in my bosses office, shooting the breeze, and I get an e-mail alert on my phone.
I'm pretty shocked and I quickly excused myself to run over to my computer and see exactly what was posted on pbnation.com
I was excited to see if this was actually the same gun that I've been looking for since I first saw it posted on AO in 2001. I went to the link and saw the original posting.
I clicked the link and to my amazement, it was the gun I had been looking for. The color was correct, the parts were identical, and the Vert breach had the prototype SFL font. I was stunned. I couldn't believe after all this time someone finally came onto a paintball website and posted something about it. I was caught up in the moment and realized that someone may have actually purchased it already so I went back to the posting and luckily the seller did NOT post pictures of it the day he put it up. He added pictures of it only a few hours before I got an alert about it. I quickly posted up and offered the full amount. I was not about to let this slip out of my hands.
Absolutely one of a kind, total factory SFL Emag for sale. I am the original owner of this amazing gun. It was one of the very first that Airgun Designs/Shocktech produced out of a run of about 40. Its been in storage for 10 years and was used in half a dozen tournaments. Renick from Bad Boys toyz described shooting the gun as if it had just come out of the box, itís in that good of condition. It runs the original 1.37 firmware. The guys over at BBY and Airgun designs were blown away by it.
I spent 250 to replace o rings and get a new charger as well as battery, although BBT told me that even the original battery was in great working condition. This marker was used in a photo shoot for Maxim magazine with Amy from Femme Fatales.
All the receipts are included in the photos as well as the BBT chrono read out, so you can see exactly what was needed to be replaced, and its next to nothing. photos are on the link below.
After I posted my offer I decided to figure out who this mystery person was. It didn't take me very long to figure out his name since Shutterfly shows the persons first name on the site. I never thought about it, but after seeing the name it all made sense. I at least had the roster correct, but the player on team-maxim was not who I was looking for. His nickname was "Wino" and he was the actual photographer from the infamous picture of Amy posing with the SFL. I never thought that he may have been the actual owner of the gun at all. It wasn't until I looked at some of my pictures and realized he was also the player that played with the gun in Aruba may years ago. Now it makes sense why all of the pictures I had of the SFL were really nice and clean. It seemed like he took great pride in what he had.
I get a message a few hours later and Jan wanted to chat with me about the SFL. I called him up and we discussed the deal and spoke about how he just had the marker shipped to BBT for tuning and a new battery. He wanted to make sure I understood what I was getting. :D We agreed on a price and within a day the SFL was in the mail.
At this time I am still waiting for it to be sent to me. I'm super excited to open it up and add it to the collection. It is kind of weird being this excited for a paintball gun, but it was something I invested a lot of time and energy to find. I think the simple fact that I get closure also makes me feel good. I won't have to endlessly look through old forum posts and broken links to find this damn thing anymore. Hopefully you guys enjoyed the post! I will be putting up my own pictures when I receive the package in the mail. Jan is also sending me a bonus gift that goes with the gun as well. :)