Carl Bonta Prototype E-mag EM00035:
The beginning: E-mag EM00035 was one of the prototype e-mags created by AGD when the E-mags first came out. It was featured on the AGDE Website as well as the front page of airgundesignusa.com
It was also taken on tour and featured at IAO 2000 to show off to the general public.
The Chop: After the initial release of the E-mags, the prototype was given to AGD Tech Carl Bonta by AGD as a gift. Carl decided to move the battery pack, rewire the marker so it would work with the intellifeed, create a custom superbolt and install a bike grip.
Controversy: The marker was originally bought and sold in 2001, but in 2003, BarretC posted on AO asked about the modifications that Carl did to the marker, Tom Kaye posted in the thread stating…
Gone for good: The same year BarretC posted the question, Cyberious bought the E-mag to go a long with his other Carl Bonta prototype. While he had the marker he had to constantly work on the battery. He also rebuilt the valve and installed a level 10 bolt and attached the battery to the side of his Ricochet 2k instead.“That marker was made by Carl Bonta who used to work for us. It was given to him as a prototype and was not to be sold. It is not up to ANY kind of spec and is far from what we are currently producing.
WE WILL NOT WORK ON THIS MARKER!! BUY AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Its posts like this that cause us to destroy prototypes now.
My research found that Cyberious lost interest in the project after he purchased an X-mag and throughout the years he donated the parts from the E-mag to other AO members like RobAGD, KayleAGD, and the Frymarker. It seemed like the prototype e-mag was gone for good.
Owner List: AGD >Carl Bonta >i-luv-my-rt>BarretC>Cyberious>Bunny
My story: My story begins when I find a post from Cyberious in 2009 selling two very strange e-mag valves. Never seeing them before on the market I decided to make an offer for both Stainless Steel Emag valves. In the deal I bought both valves and did a little bit of research about them. It was really exciting to know that I bought two of the first E-mags ever designed by AGD. Unfortunately, I had a handful of projects in line so I was not able to do anything with the valves for a few years. So they sat collecting dust underneath my bed.
I went on a paintball hiatus and didn’t really tinker around with any of my markers for a few years until the paintball bug bit me. I decided to look on Craigslist for a good deal on a e-mag to start the restoration project.
I found an E-mag for $350 locally with a ULE Body, Extra Battery and Battery Pack, Warp, etc and decided to take the plunge. I have never done a Craigslist deal before, but thought it might be worth it. I drove from VA to Frederick, Maryland to make the deal in a Wegman’s parking lot. It seemed ultra shady, but luckily we both were close to the same age and dragged both of our girlfriends along as body guards, so it was a quick and easy deal.
I quickly got home and decided to sell off the parts to recoup some of the money left over, I sold the CP ASA, ULE Body, etc and kept the rest.
Now that I have the bulk of the emag, I still needed to track down the rest of the parts to completely restore this marker.
- Vert Feed Body
- Vert Feed Barrel
- Custom Selector Switch
The first part I needed as the rare vertical body with the original vert barrel. I never really looked for them before, but quickly realized that they aren’t floating on AO as much as I thought they were. I decided to message Tunaman and he had the Vert Body for $90.00. I made the deal and got the body, but it looked like someone did a Vert feed mod on it and removed an inch from the feedneck which was fine. It actually looked exactly like the body I needed. The body looked welded so I was crossing my fingers that we could polished it up to get rid of the blow torch effect.
The second part was to track down a Vertical RT Barrel for the body. I stumbled on a ebay page with a picture of a Vertical Teflon Body and RT Barrel. I decided to gamble on it and bid $80.00 and won the listing, without knowing if it was a original RT barrel, or if it was a barrel that someone dremeled. Lucky for me, it was original barrel without any modifications.
Now that I had most of the parts that needed to be anodized, I contacted Tonsixer from PBN and sent him my project design. He said he was able to recreate the finish and I decided to go for it. In the past I did not have much success with anodizers, but felt like Tonsixer was cranking out some amazing work and took a leap of faith with him.
While figuring out the anodizing, I contacted Renie from AO and he graciously recreated an aluminum selector switch to match the original picture that I had. Since he worked on my custom battery pack for my John Sosta X-mag, he also created two selector switches for my prototype e-mags.
I guess I will get this out of the way now, shipping to/from Canada takes a long time. It takes about a month to go through customs both ways. Oh ya, make sure you DON’T declare the marker when you ship it for anodizing. I was almost had a $45 duty charge included on my invoice. I realized that this build would take a lot longer than my normal anodizing jobs so the extra wait time was not an issue.
It took about a month for Tonsixer to start work, but he had an issue with the Turquoise color which delayed the project a few more weeks. After waiting a while, Tonsixer sent me a PM which nearly caused a heart-attack. Apparently the battery casing and lid would not take the turquoise color that I requested. He wanted to replace the turquoise with silver instead.
I quickly replied to his PM and by the time I had sent my response, he sent me the picture of the finished product. He was able to get the color to “stick” to the battery pack and I was very happy to see the end results. If I had to change the color to silver, it would have nullified the entire build. I was really glad he kept working at it to finally get it to take correctly.
Tonsixer’s communication was great, he kept things simple, but when he needed to explain things it was nice that he attached pictures for me to look at. He also gave me a discount on my anodizing job because of how long it took to finish.
I quickly paid to get the marker sent back home. It took about 16 days to get through customs and finally reach my home. It was packaged professionally, nothing shifted or moved at all while I shook the box with excitement. I opened it up and found each piece wrapped and protected.
I would consider this as a restoration to it’s original form. I really wish I could have purchased the marker back in the day with all of its chop shop parts on it. It was a really fun build that came out great. It’s amazing that a paintball marker from over 12+ years ago could still look awesome. It is a true testament for what Tom Kaye and his crew designed way back when.