The Autococker: The Evolution of a Paintball Legend

By: David Wilson

Yes, the venerable Autococker. In the world of paintball, few other guns have the same level of legacy that the Autococker has. As a marker, it has spanned all eras of paintball history. Starting out as a pump gun in the form of the Sniper, and evolving all the way up to a a high end, tournament grade gun with todays high precision electronic versions. In this article, I will outline the basic steps on how this transformation occurred, and how it has changed the game of paintball.

In the beginning, there were pump guns. One of the most well respect of these pump guns was Bud Orr's Sniper. With it solid, robust design, the Sniper proved to be a force to be reckoned with. Even in the pump gun days, the Sniper developed a reputation for accuracy and reliability.

Of course, the era of pump guns didn't last forever. With the advent of semi automatic paintball guns such as the VM-68 and the Automag, it was clear that the days of pump guns in the mainstream of paintball were numbered. Bud Orr, ever inventive, set to tinkering. Since he already had a solid design with his Sniper, he set out to convert the design to a semi automatic.

To accomplish this, Orr devised an ingenious pneumatic system that would automatically actuate the pump on the Sniper when the trigger was pulled. It was this system that gives the Autococker its name, as it is simply an automatically pumped pump gun. Orr refined his design, and put it into production.

When the Autococker was first released, it quickly developed a reputation for being unreliable. This was due mainly to the complexity of the pneumatic system, which required a skill mechanic to set up properly. Also, many of the stock parts weren't of extremely high quality, leading them to be replaced by aftermarket pieces. However, all this made the Autococker amazingly popular with tinkers, who took the gun as a platform for their own custom creations.
It was the aftermarket that really helped the Autococker take off. After a few modifications were made, the Autococker became a fast, accurate, and decently reliable paintball gun.

This helped it pick up momentum among paintball enthusiasts. Worr Games noted this popularity, and quickly began to improve the quality of the stock Autococker, which helped boost the guns popularity among recreational players. The Autococker had secured its niche in the paintball world.

However, things were changing in the paintball world. With guns such as the Angel, it became clear that electronic markers offered a serious speed advantage to serious players. The Autococker was slow in comparison, and began to loose ground among professional players. Of course, the tinkers weren't unauware of this problem, and began to create electronic triggering systems for the Autococker. At first, these systems were plagued by ball chopping problems, but with the advent of electronic anti chop eyes and high speed loader systems, these problems were quickly solved. Electronic Autocockers became a common site in the professional circuit.

As time went on, simpler electronic markers began to dominate in many areas. However, the Autococker is still used by many who enjoy its unique feel, sound, and limitless configurability. It should be interesting to see what the future holds for this venerable marker.

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