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Thread: The Rarest of ALL Mags ( I don't even have one)

  1. #1
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    The Rarest of ALL Mags ( I don't even have one)

    AO Collectors,

    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

    TITANIUM.

    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.

    AGD
    Last edited by AGD; 03-06-2007 at 11:02 AM.

  2. #2
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    Besides the nearly unrecognizable weight dfference, would there have been any distinctive markings that you can remember? For example: no writing, different serial number, perhaps a "Ti" somewhere?

  3. #3
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    Maybe you can provide us with serial numbers of valve's produced around the same date that the Titanium valve's were made. Might save some time on this special search.

  4. #4
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    No distinctive markings, most likely they went out as standard valves. We didn't keep track of the serial numbers for each year. Each gun model had different numbers so it was difficult. Probably in the 40-50k range for the 68Automag family.

    AGD

  5. #5
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    I hate to think of the things TK tried that should have worked (this, perfect circle paintballs for paintball, etc.) that in the end he said "that was a waist of time and money" and never marketed.

    I'd hate to think where we would be if it had been Adam and Billy instead.
    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. Its not" - Dr Suess

  6. #6
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    Were the titanium valves really impossible to distinguish from the normal ones? Is there anything different about them other than the weight?

  7. #7
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    Question Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Cow hunter
    Were the titanium valves really impossible to distinguish from the normal ones? Is there anything different about them other than the weight?
    How can you tell with the naked eye the difference between a stainless steel
    68 Automag / Classic valve and a titanium one ?
    Even any suttle differences you can think of may find one for you.

  8. #8
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    Isn't Ti a little warmer in color than SS?

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    Benjamin Franklin

  9. #9
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    Thats what I thought too, could they be minimag valves too?

  10. #10
    if i had one i'd hold out for 1500


    hope you find one

  11. #11
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    Most titanium you see is a darker gray, but it's rarely polished to the point of an AGD valve, the coloring is quite close.

    I just took a bunch of pics of my 68 valve next to a Ti Spork, uploading now

  12. #12
    I'm not sure what grade you use, but rubbing titanium on glass is supposed to leave a mark like a crayon.

  13. #13
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    Im going home to rub my valve on glass somewhere...

  14. #14
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    Pictures comparing a 68automag Field Rental Valve to a Titanium Spork, with polished and rough areas:
    http://www.threehundredfps.com/images/magspork

  15. #15
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    It don't work.

  16. #16
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    Wow, a few questions, then. About what year might this have been? Are the velocity nuts SS or were those Ti too? Would a Ti valve be more or less resistant to scratching?

    If you scratch a SS Classic valve, such as what you see a lot around the air inlet where it's been gouged with a wrench, the scratches are yellow/gold in color. Would a Ti valve not show the same thing?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tech-chan
    It don't work.
    i posted it before it finished uploading, you were just too quick

  18. #18
    i need a mag that field rental one looks nice...


    i wish i had a Ti valve. lol

  19. #19
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    Sorry.

  20. #20
    Is that valve only or valve + regulator? If the former, there may be some telltale differences in coloration. Unless some heathen used an ANS regulator or similar.

    custar

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by aqua_scummm
    Pictures comparing a 68automag Field Rental Valve to a Titanium Spork, with polished and rough areas:
    http://www.threehundredfps.com/images/magspork
    A titanium spork!? That's awsome......what, was it designed for the moon or something?

  22. #22
    Tom have you contacted Oh Pawluk, I remember going in his store in 97-98 and him having just got back form some tourney and was showing of his Ti valve. This one was one of the "getting through Austrailian customs {pump} mags"

    White Wolf Airsmithing
    Doing business for 20 years, Online since 1997

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow hunter
    Were the titanium valves really impossible to distinguish from the normal ones? Is there anything different about them other than the weight?
    Yeah, there are ways but these will damage the parts:

    - Grind it - Stainless gives dark orange sparks, Ti gives white sparks
    - Heat it - Ti gives a very colorfull oxidation into the blue and purple when heated, Stainless goes only to orange at best.

    Other than that it would be very hard to distinguish (sp) them because colors look very alike.

    Tom, you really started a quest:

    Tom Kaye and the Quest for the titanium valves (great movie title, Lupin III anyone?)

    Just kidding, it will be really hard to find those out of 90.000 mags produced, not all those owners are checking AO on a regular basis. It will be a real find and make a regular mag a real collectors item.

  24. #24
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    May just be the light but I think I have a contender, the 2 serials are CF04433.

    I don't know whether it is a titanium one or what, probably isn't, if I get some good quality shots up could someone tell?

  25. #25
    rub them against a glass cup...if it marks the glass like a crayon its titanium...if it doesnt mark it at all...it isnt.


    supposedly...from a few posts up

  26. #26
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    No mark ah well, best of luck with your search Tom.

  27. #27
    If regular valves are stainless then they should have some magnetic properties. Titanium won't.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by aqua_scummm
    Pictures comparing a 68automag Field Rental Valve to a Titanium Spork, with polished and rough areas:
    http://www.threehundredfps.com/images/magspork
    ah yes, the REI Ti spork. i love mine, I think lighter than the Snowpeak by a couple of grams.. go light, go well.
    Uncle Bill Loves Paint Ball

  29. #29
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    I can't get any magnets to stick to the valve or the powertube, they only stick to the spirng, bolt or rear velocity adjuster screws. Shame the serials are way out of range...

    I can see half of AO go to stick magnets on their valves now.

  30. #30
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    If you mail me your valves I'll weigh them for you.

    If you get the valve back it's stainless steel, if you don't get it back it was titanium.

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