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Old 08-28-2011, 11:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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One for the History Books, The fall of the Sidekick Semi

Okay, This news may be close to 7-9 years old by now, but it's still news.

The Demise of The Sidekick, and an Interview with it's Mastermind.

Friday night, I finally received a lead on my quest to the creator of the Sidekick Semi, Chris "Goob" Nall, thanks to Tony, over at Smokin' Products. I was hesitant to use the phone number I was given, so I waited till the next day. Saturday, around noon, I finally gave the number a call, 4 rings later, a female answers. I kindly ask for Christopher Nall. I think at first she was startled to hear me, but then called for her husband. He picked up, and then the next 45 minutes of my life were exhilarating.

Glory Days

The conversation started with a question about the old Sidekick semi. He actually seemed a little bewildered by the topic. He couldn't remember much for the first 5 minutes. This hadn't been a subject he'd talked about for a long time. Soon, it brought back memories of the glory days. The Mayberry Marauders, and how they were in fact one of the first, if not the first, scenario team in the US. More than once, he remarked "It's because we always had good communication." Even when his team was down, they were never out. The opposing force would rush them, as commander, he'd run off into the forest with his trusty DSDS and walk the rope line. Sometimes hiding or acting like enemy, always taking them by surprise. They'd never know he'd even left. He'd go and wreak havoc at the now empty enemy base.

Strategy was another wonderful thing he spoke of. Playing in events like "Fools Gold" was another way to demonstrate how one could trick their enemy. The game featured a central bank. Every team put they money in the bank. He'd withdrew all of his teams funds prior to tricking the other team into robbing the bank and splitting the spoils 50/50. Little did they know, the only money being split was theirs.

Why did paintballstuff.com disappear? Where did the Sidekick Semi go?

Goob started by telling me the humble beginnings of this marker. It wasn't really intended for paintball, at least not at the start. The Sidekick evolved from a marker called the DSDS or Dave's Scent Delivery System. These markers were made from the basic Nelson valve design, in a light weight body. They were for shooting trees or other targets in the forest with small scent powder balls to disguise hunters. They were also used as lighter markers for the Lumbar industry.

The Sidekick was a version to make operation possible with only one hand. The valve stemmed from the popular Automag design used at the time. There was quite a bit of designing and machining done to make the Sidekick work in such a way that it could prove useful to scenario players.

The reason the Sidekick's sudden disappearance, was an issue of quality. As Goob reported, "I'd get 500 units at a time, but out of that, 100 wouldn't work." Then he went into issues about consistency in production, and how he couldn't schedule constant shipments of parts or markers themselves. This became too much of a hassle to continue providing the Sidekick, and thus, ending paintballstuff.com. After the last shipment, Goob cut all ties.

The shell used for the Sidekick semi came from the molds for the original DSDS, which the machinist Goob worked with, owned. The machinist who produced the DSDS is still around, and to my knowledge, still makes the DSDS but more for direct sale to Forestry from what I'm aware of.

The Future?

The Sidekicks haven't been produced for 6 to 7 years. It's not to say the Sidekick couldn't make an astounding recovery if the right person were to take up the gauntlet and try and run the whole thing, but there are issues in design that must be solved. This was another topic Goob and I talked about.

There is a seal, that is retained in a small cap like piece on the power tube. The issue with this was that the Co2 from a 12 gram would wreak havoc on the seal. It would freeze up. The only way to replace this was to offer an alternative frictionless seal.

I intend on finding a good fix for the power tube issue, and have some custom power tube assemblies made. If anyone wants to get in on this, PM me. I'd love to try and make a small combined order, as well as receive some input. Will more than likely just have a couple special Sidekicks made if it can be done.

Thank-you for reading all this. I hope this is a great little chronicle to paintball history, and it should help demystify the sudden death of the Sidekick semi.

Interview with Chris 'Goob' Nall, with notes by Asa Berdahl - Written August 28th, 2011
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Last edited by AsaBerdahl; 08-30-2011 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 08-29-2011, 03:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well done! Good read
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Old 08-29-2011, 03:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Well done! Good read
Thanks, Probably my first real news article. At least, it's in the style of the news article. I'll be reposting it sometime today in the Paintball news forum. I figure it needed to show up here first.
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Great article!, I still have my sidekick, although I don't use it much for fear it would start leaking. If some support could be had for these mine would come more for sure!
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I would like to see more posts like this.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Very interesting. When they were still around, I had actually considered ordering a sidekick semi.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I would like to see more posts like this.
Good, I'm writing another article on Tiberius's First strike round and some of the safety concern's they had with the round. As well as what they think field owners can do to help regulate the round's use and what players need to look out for when using the round.
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Old 09-11-2011, 02:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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This should be kept somewhere in a sticky or something.
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Old 05-06-2018, 01:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I know I'm opening a can of worms but... anything happened from this? The sidekick i just bought from here is leaking. Thanks
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