The Guardian from Neely Pnuematics
I work at the infamous Wayne's World of Paintball and was in the shop one day cutting screws for our rental guns and leaned back to take a break. A flash of purple caught my eye and under an old drawer I found this gem:
Sorry for the blurry images (old camera) but the 1st pic is the serial #0001, the 2nd pic says Neely Pneumatics pat pend.
So I picked up the phone, called Wayne and he say's "it's one of 2 ever produced by a guy named Marcus Neely". He said Mr.Neely gave both of them to him and one he gave to a former employee who is no longer with the Wayne's World. I am assuming this was the early 90's sometime. Thought it might be interesting to add to the museum.
This is very cool! Looks like almost an exact clone of the Falcon with a few updated pieces (double trigger, detent, vert feed.
I would probably place this around 1998-2001? The Falcon would be from I believe 1994.
Chappy or HP can correct me, but if my memory is correct Marcus was involved with Montneel (possibly where the "neel" comes from) and the Z1. This looks like his attempt at a clone type gun.
Ah, cool, I hadn';t seen this thread, just the other one in the dead zone.
Just pm'd you Dan, I see you already found it, though!!!
Tarakian would be the man to clarify this part, but iirc corectly, Montneel was designing a blow foward at the time Neely left. And as part of the split he took the design. That design became the falcon, and apparently the guardian as well.
Very cool peice.
Just got off the phone with Busty, since he can't remember his damn password to access this site, I'll add his knowledge to mine.
Yes, Marcus Neely was the Neel part of MontNeel, Moe Dumont being the other part.
Yes, there was a blow forward being worked on at one point. Originally, it was basically an Automag bolt in a Phantom body, the second version was known as the Legend, but never made it to production. Marcus always had something in the middle of being designed, lot's of ideas, but didn't like to collaborate, so most were never finished. I can remember him showing me a boltless prototype at one point.
Clearly, the Guardian is based on the Falcon, though strangely Marcus always hated the wire detents.
This may have been something he came up with after the whole Falcon deal went belly up. To the best of Busty's recollection, Marcus has a deal with a field in NH called Paintball Heaven. They would finance the development/production of both the Checkmate and the Falcon. In return, they would get half ownership of the Falcon. They were sued for patent infringement over the regulator in the Falcon, can't remember by who, but likely Southern Pneumatics since it was similar to the Phoenix, which Marcus may have also been involved in. The whole thing blew up and Paintball Heaven was quite displeased with Marcus and sent him packing.
This may have been his final project, as last we heard, he had married a rich woman and is living in Florida as a kept man.
Pretty darn cool.
I love hearing the stories behind all this weird or rare stuff.
Maybe he made the prototype, applied, and it was rejected due to the existing 1991 Pheonix patent (Eric Scott), and moved on. The design characteristics make it look like it was made around 2000. and that was the start of the whole patent (SP, etc) absurdity.
The regulator/on-off design was pretty clearly ripped off from the Pheonix..... which just happen to be one of the first, well enforced paintball patents. The Falcon was based on the "Legend" which had issues with pneumatics. Marcus had did early work on the Pheonix... then probobly used its components to make his Falcon work.
I'll be damned, the old boy is still around. If you look at the corporate listing, it has the owner as Ms. Marcus Neely. So it's either owned by his wife, or he was keeping a pretty big secret from us back in the day. Marcus may have never applied for a patent and only put the Pat. Pending notice on there to scare the copiers away. I seem to remember him saying something like that at MontNeel.
I talked with Marcus on the phone today.
He said the the Guardian was made around 2000 as he and his sons were getting back into paintball and playing on High Anxiety out of Florida. He estimates around 50 were made.
I'm sure we will find another eventually and when we see the serial number on the next one that pops up is we can get an idea of the production size.
Marcus said the Guardian was a great paintgun and had a few changes from the Falcon but it couldn't keep up with the electronic competitors so he made a few for the players and wanted them but that was it.
Thanks again Rick for finding the Guardian in the first place.
And Chris, Marcus did seem interested in semi kits for nelsons, he asked me if I knew anything about the kit Line SI showed in their ads (c.1988 predating the double action) and told me about the Scorpion Autoloader and Chameleon kits he had seen. I didn't ask him if he ever made a kit though since I guess I hadn't read your reply to this thread.
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