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Thread: why doesn't every new Automag look like this?

  1. #1
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    why doesn't every new Automag look like this?

    I finished my latest custom build recently (with a Dye NT frame and a nice rail), and for the first time ever, I was struck by this weird, profound sense of guilt. I really, really like the way everything came together. It's light. It's comfortable. It looks slick. But I felt regret. Why? Because I'm one of the very few who will ever have a chance to own something like this. The NT frame was hard to find. I haven't seen another splinter rail for sale in forever. Basically, even if I wanted to build another for someone else, I probably couldn't. And it got me wondering a very profound question:

    Why don't all new Automags look like this?

    I get why the Automag was designed the way it was. It's functional and simple. And when I'm buying used parts that were made 10-20 years ago, I don't really mind. But when I go to AGD's website, the markers still look/feel mostly the same. Functional. Utilitarian. And that's fine for something cheap like a Tippmann, but this is an Automag. We've proven time and time again on the MOTM threads that Automags can look like art. I think it's time that AGD picked up on that.

    And yes, I do appreciate what AGD has been doing recently. The custom FX bodies were very cool. The x-frame is nice. But it's still a little...old looking. Some people obviously love that. But others don't. And there are no new products for that group. Just a long, exhausting hunt for parts that might never be found.

    This ties back into another topic of conversation that pops up from time to time. Is AGD dead? Why doesn't AGD sell more? And I've been holding back for a long time with my opinion, because I wasn't sure, but I don't think the answer is that people don't want mechanical guns. Or that people can't afford $600 for a new marker. I think it's because people don't want to pay $600 for a mechanical marker that still looks like something from 1995. If I'm paying $600 for a new mechanical marker, I want it to be beautiful. Sexy. I want it to look something like the Resurrection, or an M2. Not an Automag.

    I'm not saying to abandon the old, classic line. There are obviously still people out there that want that. But I wish AGD would design a new, sexy custom marker. Charge more for it, but all means. But make it available.

    My vision is basically very similar to something I just built. An x-valve; a ULE body (with the front slant trimmed off, of course, like the Pariah body), a long, simple ULE rail (like the RPG shadow or recon rail), and a really comfortable frame. I wonder. Would AGD get into legal trouble if they designed a frame to mimic the Dye NT frame? It wouldn't be a perfect copy, of course. They would have to move the screw holes and change the trigger. But it could very close....maybe even use the same grips.

    If AGD could do that, make a new, sexy marker, and maybe do some advertising on PBN and MCB, I don't think it would have trouble selling. Of course, it would make all our custom markers that much less rare and special, but that's a hit I'm willing to take.

  2. #2
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    They won't make a frame like that because of the length and compatability. Period. It's been talked about before. Do you know how many people have purchased logic frames that were mad because they couldn't use short rails. AGD isn't dead but it is run as a side business not a main source of income. Because of this there is little to no marketing, funding for design etc. people aren't going to dedicate hundreds of hours to designing something to hand over to a company that can't afford it for them to scrape together funds to pay a machinist, material, anodizing, etc.. AGD wouldn't even want to make something similar to a dye frame because of the potential for a lawsuit. Not to mention you can buy a year old dm for the price of a new mag, ramps, tournament legal and is easily maintained with virtually everyone being able to tech. The same can't be said for mags.

    The rails AGD are producing now are lighter than those in the past. They could make them lighter and longer etc. which I believe luke was involved with but when they produce a part they want everything compatible.


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  3. #3
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    That DYE frame is hideous, and that trigger! lol (Sorry)

    I dont really see what's so special about the rail either(?)
    Last edited by luke; 06-11-2017 at 11:04 AM.

  4. #4
    I'm with Luke on that. I guess it's all about personal preference though.


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  5. #5
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    UL frames are too thin and uncomfortable.

    Splinter rail, eh. I have seen better looking ones.

    Never minded the slant or longer nose of a ULE body.
    But
    The quick of it. Cockers are sexy, everything else is sexy, new and a fad. Mags are none of this. You have to hit the mark of a new product, in order to garner interest. Hell, the X frame has been out for months, yet how many MotM have even featured it? We oursleves, by not even buying direct from the factory are causing this. You want money for newer, updated designs? Money talks, bulls**t talks.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by captian pinky View Post
    AGD wouldn't even want to make something similar to a Dye frame because of the potential for a lawsuit.
    You really think that's part of the issue? I don't think it's possible to patent a shape. I mean, if AGD made something exactly the same, then yeah, that's a problem. But If it was only inspired by the shape and had different mounting holes and a different trigger and some different internal brackets...

    Besides, the current AGD x-frame uses Dye sticky grips. If it's not a problem now, I don't see why it would be a problem for a redesign.
    Last edited by rawbutter; 06-12-2017 at 11:27 AM.

  7. #7
    everyone has their own unique and magical mag taste... personally i kind of like the dye nt frame and trigger.. but i can understand mag purists dislike for things of the nature
    Matthew 10:34

  8. #8
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    Personally I've never cared for mags with Dye or Planet Eclipse frames, but that's just me.

    If you like it, that's all that matters.

    "When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty." Thomas Jefferson

  9. #9
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    i like that automags are basic-looking and utilitarian. i also like that they are easily customizable, so you can set them up how you like. nicer parts are a lot more expensive, thus the more basic options from agd.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyco-Dude View Post
    i like that automags are basic-looking and utilitarian. i also like that they are easily customizable, so you can set them up how you like. nicer parts are a lot more expensive, thus the more basic options from agd.
    the new x-frame looks really good i think.. $140 bucks but it comes with sweet trigger choices, so i guess thats basic enough

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by smallerfreeze View Post
    the new x-frame looks really good i think.. $140 bucks but it comes with sweet trigger choices, so i guess thats basic enough
    Unfortunately it's not a customizable platform, plus it's not ULE milled, all things that the Automag community expects these days.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    Unfortunately it's not a customizable platform, plus it's not ULE milled, all things that the Automag community expects these days.
    yea that does suck... for my classic im about to pull the trigger on one though, literally and figuratively pun also intended

  13. #13
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    Ughhh... That Dye frame looks terrible....


    Walker
    O.F.P.P.A. - OLD FARTS PAINTBALL PLAYERS ASSOCIATION
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  14. #14
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    Yeah AGD make a marker that looks like everything else
    Find the board and you can ban me for life

  15. #15
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    Biggest problem I see isn't designing, or making the frames. Its making the rubber grips that are specific to a frame. The investment is huge and if that frame doesn't sell the lose would be.

    And buying grips from dye in this case wouldn't be a viable option for a large run of frames. If they discontinue or sell out of the grips before you buy all you need your screwed. Its always a bad idea to rely on another supplier for what is such a essential part.

    Something like this would be a project better suited for Luke, Xmt or myself where low quantity isn't a issue and buying a few grips from dye isn't a issue.


    My personal opinion is the frame is to long and eliminates to large a portion of automag owners. Some like myself are stuck with being able to only use minimag length rails for things like pumpmags.
    Quote Originally Posted by dano_____ View Post
    I keep forgetting to not feed my mags after midnight so they seem to multiply regularly.

  16. #16
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    rawbutter, I'll design and manufacture the frame, trigger and aluminum grips, I'll even set it up for pneumatics, T-Rex and MSV2/MPA builds. But I have no interest selling them so you would have to buy the whole batch, probably 75 minimum. That would cover my end and leave a little on the bone for you.

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    rawbutter, I'll design and manufacture the frame, trigger and aluminum grips, I'll even set it up for pneumatics, T-Rex and MSV2/MPA builds. But I have no interest selling them so you would have to buy the whole batch, probably 75 minimum. That would cover my end and leave a little on the bone for you.

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    and it won't be done with a dremel......

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rawbutter View Post
    You really think that's part of the issue? I don't think it's possible to patent a shape. I mean, if AGD made something exactly the same, then yeah, that's a problem. But If it was only inspired by the shape and had different mounting holes and a different trigger and some different internal brackets...
    In 2006 PMI got a patent for a paintball shell design (Marballizer), so ..... in this day of the death star suing other manufacturers over what their paintball shells look like, its not entirely ridiculous to think patenting a grip frame shape could happen.....

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by going_home View Post
    In 2006 PMI got a patent for a paintball shell design (Marballizer), so ..... in this day of the death star suing other manufacturers over what their paintball shells look like, its not entirely ridiculous to think patenting a grip frame shape could happen.....
    Or SP electropneumatic patents of yesteryear.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by going_home View Post
    its not entirely ridiculous to think patenting a grip frame shape could happen.....
    I doubt that is the case here, but even if it was, it wouldn't matter anyway.

  21. #21
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    Great looking marker. Well done.

  22. #22
    Opinion warning: The following is just my opinion.

    People don't get what they want, they want what they get. The old school after market custom stuff is the exception. People once though Timmy's, shoebox Shockers, and Vikings looked cool. Now people think the Luxe looks cool. I think it looks like it was made by Mattel. :shrug:

    That being said, the RT ULE does have a few features that really date it. It resembles, and is, a collection of disparate parts rather than a coherent design. Most of them could be designed away cleanly (the Lukes rail on the the RT length is a good example). The only legacy design (visually) problem is the external air line. Numech seems to have come up with a novel solution. The more that design element can be buried the better. I also think the direction Luke and Numech have taken with making Pneumag function a feature is brilliant.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    rawbutter, I'll design and manufacture the frame, trigger and aluminum grips, I'll even set it up for pneumatics, T-Rex and MSV2/MPA builds. But I have no interest selling them so you would have to buy the whole batch, probably 75 minimum. That would cover my end and leave a little on the bone for you.
    Trust me. If I had the money, we'd already be talking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patron God of Pirates View Post
    ...the RT ULE does have a few features that really date it. It resembles, and is, a collection of disparate parts rather than a coherent design. Most of them could be designed away cleanly (the Lukes rail on the the RT length is a good example). The only legacy design (visually) problem is the external air line.
    Luke's rail fixes half of the problem, but that foregrip is still too long, IMHO. I suppose that's good if you want to run air through there, but like you said, it doesn't look like part of a coherent design. It would look way better with that classic RT molded foregrip on there (which is sadly no longer available new).

    Love that "no" on the feedneck in the image, by the way.

    Quote Originally Posted by RogueFactor View Post
    Great looking marker. Well done.

    Thanks, Rogue. I really loved your stuff when you had it around. I nearly bought a Paradigm when you were selling them. Still kinda mad I never did. And I honestly surprised AGD hasn't borrowed more from your designs.

    Which brings me back to my original point, which I think got missed. I know AGD (and obviously lots of its customer base) like the design as is, and I'm not saying to abandon it altogether. I'm just saying to add another option for those who might prefer.

    And no, this is not a fad that's going away any time soon. I think it's the natural evolution of paintball markers. This all started with the Luxe, which was released almost ten years ago. Part of the design was toyish, I'll admit. I made fun of it myself. But the Luxe also did something that was pretty drastic at the time. It moved the foregrip far foreward so you could fit your whole hand around it without bumping into air lines or gauges. It made everything sleeker. It followed form over function and permanently changed that so many associate with paintball markers.

    Since then, many other companies have followed suit. The newer Dye markers, the Gtek, the Insight, the Drone, new shockers, Dangerous Power...even the stupid new Tippmann FT-12 flip-top...all of them have followed this same design. Longer bodies, shorter foregrips, sleeker frames. They're not doing it because it's a fad. They're doing it because people like the way it feels. They're doing it because it sells.

    And if AGD started doing it too, maybe it wouldn't be a business in a basement anymore. Maybe some of the younger kids will start buying them again. And maybe they won't go completely under in ten years when all us older folks finally stop playing.
    Last edited by rawbutter; 06-12-2017 at 11:12 AM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by captian pinky View Post
    Do you know how many people have purchased logic frames that were mad because they couldn't use short rails.
    There's an easy solution to this, by the way. Stop selling short rails. Really. There's no advantage to them. The weight difference between the long and short rails is negligible, and you can always mount the foregrip closer on a long rail. But you can't mount the foregrip farther forward on a short rail.

    And for the record, I bought a UMF myself. I was one of the people that was mad because I couldn't use my classic rail. (Oh no. I can't use a 20-year-old part with a brand-spanking-new awesome frame!) But I got over it. I bought a newer rail that was longer, and I never regretted that decision.

    Looking back, in fact, the only thing I'm still mad about it that it took me so long to find a nicer, new rail. They really shouldn't be as rare and expensive as they are now.

  25. #25
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    There's an easy solution to this, by the way. Stop selling short rails. Really. There's no advantage to them. The weight difference between the long and short rails is negligible, and you can always mount the foregrip closer on a long rail. But you can't mount the foregrip farther forward on a short rail.
    You cant make a move like this, you have to sell both to keep everyone happy. The long rails do sell 2-1 to the short one, but there's still a market for both depending on what the build is.

    And for the record, I bought a UMF myself. I was one of the people that was mad because I couldn't use my classic rail. (Oh no. I can't use a 20-year-old part with a brand-spanking-new awesome frame!)
    It was no secret when they were first released. Logic has big hands and found it difficult to use a standard frame with the small trigger guard. He was filling a niche, it's silly to be upset all these years later.

    They really shouldn't be as rare and expensive as they are now.
    Rails? Too expensive? Rare? I have slug rails comming out of my ears and sitting on materials to make more, lol. Do you know the cost of manufacturing rails on an EXTREMELY small scale with all the options and variations available? The days of large scale production of Automags are long over, days of running 10K parts to reduce prices will likely never happen again with AGD. There are a few of us that gamble our money and time to help keep the Automag alive, griping about costs is comical. I dont think you understand the cost of building and maintaining a machine shop or the time and effort involved to make this stuff. If I were only motivated by money and profit I wouldn't be making Automag parts, that's a fact.

  26. #26
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    Why don't all new Automags look like this?
    Just because one person builds a Mag their way, doesn't mean that anyone else would like it.

    I wouldn't buy one that looked like that...... My personal opinion means absolutely zero, to anyone but me....

    I have a couple of guns that were put together by me, my way, for my comfort, and I like them. That said, I would never get anywhere near the money out of them that I put in. IF I could sell them at all....


    Walker

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by rawbutter View Post
    Trust me. If I had the money, we'd already be talking.
    Well that's exactly the point, the offer was made in jest, but had you accepted we could make that deal. The real point I was trying to make is everyone seems to know what AGD should do to be successful. What irritates me about these conversations is you're asking someone else to gamble large sums of money on a product, but given the opportunity to put your money where your mouth is, you decline. It's always easier to spend someone else's money



    Quote Originally Posted by rawbutter View Post
    And if AGD started doing it too, maybe it wouldn't be a business in a basement anymore. Maybe some of the younger kids will start buying them again. And maybe they won't go completely under in ten years when all us older folks finally stop playing.
    I really don't think you fully grasp the reality of a comment like this. When you're ready to develop a full line of upgraded Automag products designed and manufactured to your specifications contact me and I'll help put you in business.


    >> Note the 's <<

  28. #28
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    This is not the first time I have seen an NT frame on a Mag and although you and I both like the way it looks and feels we may be the exception to the rule. I like things that are unique and look different from everything else but its hard to convince everyone else that different is cool.

  29. #29
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    I like your build a lot. Looks nice and comfy. Foregrip is really cool.

    I do also agree with pgop's comments in general. You legit can't go out and buy a full-premium mag right now. You have to build one. But that's kind of ok.
    Last edited by ScottyBeans; 06-12-2017 at 04:48 PM.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    The real point I was trying to make is everyone seems to know what AGD should do to be successful. What irritates me about these conversations is you're asking someone else to gamble large sums of money on a product, but given the opportunity to put your money where your mouth is, you decline. It's always easier to spend someone else's money.
    You will notice that the title of this thread isn't, "Why doesn't Luke make new fancy Automags?" I asked about AGD. In my mind, I'm not asking someone else to gamble large sums of money. AGD is a business. It's already gambling huge sums of money. I'm simply asking why not introduce a new design. They released the Sand FX markers last year. They made the x-frame. It looks to me like they're already ready to make something new. I'm simply asking why not try something different instead of rehashing older stuff.

    Granted, maybe this would be better in an email to Sandman instead of posting on this forum, but I can always do that later too.

    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    I really don't think you fully grasp the reality of a comment like this. When you're ready to develop a full line of upgraded Automag products designed and manufactured to your specifications contact me and I'll help put you in business.
    I do actually grasp the reality of this. I've done the numbers. And if I had $100,000 to invest, I would do this in a heartbeat. I think I could double my money in a few years.

    But like I said above, this isn't an idea for a pre-order one-off piece. I'm not talking about a limited run. I'm talking about redesigning the Automag to appeal to a larger market.

    Although....you know, while we're on the subject, I think some of you who are dissing this idea are letting your own experience with pre-orders and custom pieces affect your expectations. And that's not a fair comparison.

    Let's be honest. Most custom pieces "fail" in one sense or another. Most often, they don't seem to sell enough for the seller to justify doing it again. But just because one custom piece doesn't sell well doesn't mean that every new custom piece will do as badly.

    Take Luke's Deflator, for instance. It's a great marker. I've shot one. But it was offered in very small numbers, so of course the price per unit was very high. That limits the market. Plus, Deflators were sold raw, which further limits the market. Most buyers don't want to go through the hassle of researching an anodizer, sending off pieces, and waiting for returns.

    I don't know how many Deflators were sold, but let's say it was 100. I know we can't go back to do it again, but I'm honestly curious what would have happened if Luke had built 1000 instead, and had them all anodized (at a discounted price, probably). The cost point would have come down considerably. And he might have easily sold 1000 instead of struggling to sell 100.

    And just so you know I'm not picking on Luke (honestly, I only picked the Deflator because it's the most recent custom build I can think of), I'll give you another example. Five years ago, I quit my teaching job to self-publish a fantasy novel. Now, it didn't go so well. I invested about $6,000 into editing, business expenses, marketing, etc...not to mention all the lost wages from not working a real job for five years. And the novel basically failed. I've still got a few hundred novels in my basement that I can't sell. But that doesn't mean that every other future book I write will fail. And it certainly doesn't mean that every other self-published novel will fail. It simply means that my novel wasn't very good, or maybe I just didn't market it enough and get enough exposure.

    I think the same logic applies here. Just because other ideas have failed doesn't mean that this idea will.

    And as proof, I offer this.

    On Saturday, I finished this pneumag and immediately posted a poorly-taken photo on Facebook. So far, it has received about 120 Likes and a few dozen comments. Now, that doesn't seem like much, but compare that to AGD's post from last year when they released the SandFX markers. Their debut post received about 200 Likes and, which, yeah...that's more than mine, but still....mine's in the same ballpark.

    I'm not saying this to pat myself on the head. I'm just saying I think there's a market for something like this. And that market is growing.
    Last edited by rawbutter; 06-12-2017 at 05:39 PM.

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