AMP Illusion: Rare collectible or just another pump?
Depending on the weather there should be another game this weekend, but my schedule is jam-packed right now. I can probably spare an hour, maybe two, but I certainly won't be able to load down the truck with an army's worth of gear and make a full day of it.
So I was making plans to just take one gun- probably that same 'Cocker, though I have HPA this time- a couple bags of paint, and basically just enough for one guy for a couple of games. No tools (!) no extra tanks, no boxful of pods and spare barrels, no nothin'.
And that made me think that it's been far too long- like a decade- since I've hit the field with a pump. Last one I can recall was a one-on-one with stock-class Phantoms with a buddy of mine in the woods out back. Even that has to have been '04 or at the absolute most recent '05 (and, by the way, I lost every time. )
That's probably the last time my Phantom has seen air, too.
I used to be pretty decent with a pump, since, you know, that all we had back when I started playing... So I've never really been a "spray and pray" type- though I'll admit I got a little carried away a couple of times a few weeks ago with an eTek.
So I did a little quick inventory. I have lots of pumps, but did I have any ready to go? There's the Eclipse Sterling that I traded for back in '99 or so, and which I've never had on the field (that I can recall- my memory dims) and which probably hasn't even been aired up since '03 or so. Sweet gun, but I have just the one barrel for it, and it's something like .695" or so. (And local paint seems to be .683" or even smaller.)
There's the aforementioned Phantom, which is tuned and tweaked and ready to go, but I'm rusty enough with a good semiauto. A pump alone will be suicidal enough without dropping all the way down to a 12-gram VSC with a 12-round feed tube.
Looking around some more, I have at least three Piranhas- the old brass ones- and at least one PMI-2-DF, but none are assembled, and a couple are icky enough they'd at least need a quick pass with the hone.
I do have a new-in-the-box new style Trracer I've never used, but if I may be allowed a bit of primadonnism, it's too cheap-tactical-plastic for my tastes. It's an option, but it feels like an overgrown Splatmaster. I'm a machinist- give me aluminum and brass and stainless steel.
It does, however, remind me that I have a nice Bushmaster, with both leverchanger and backbottle valve bodies. It's disassembled at the moment for fitting some SC bodies, but it'd take a few minutes at best to toss it back together. Only problem there is, again, the three barrels I have for it are all original styles- meaning more huge .695+" bores.
Besides, I wanted to finish the "California air" stock setup first- I like a lower shoulder than a backbottle.
What else? An unassembled PGP- again, 12 grams and 10 round feed. My Sydarm? That'd be fun, but again, kinda suicidal. I could assemble a Sniper- I have buckets of 'Cocker parts- but after looking around, I can't find any of my pump bits. The only pumps I can find are unfinished, and I have no pump rods- and both lathes are occupied with paying jobs so I can't thread one up real quick. I also seem to have a shortage of back blocks. All I have left are weird ones or P-block-body ones...
I have my old King Cobra- my first marker- but the last time I gassed it up was better than 15 years ago, and I don't think I ever got it above about 240 fps. The stock barrel is also about .698", though I do have a .690" J&J brass around here somewhere. That was a "tight bore" at the time.
There's my monster P-68-DS (Doc Special) with is a P-68-SC converted to direct feed, given a shotgun barrel rib and nickeled by Palmers. There's another one that hasn't seen air yet this century, and I've never had it on the playing field. Last I recall it was ready to go, just needs air...
But, as I stretch out a simple question into a ten-page ramble that'd make Steven King go "Get to the point already!" I remembered I have a brand-new, never-even-been-aired-up AMP Illusion that P3 gave me years ago. It's perfect- basically a fancy Sniper, I can use a good 'Cocker barrel... should be ready to go.
But, AMP is dead and gone, like many other companies over the years. I'm not worried about breaking the gun, I doubt I'll put more than 100 rounds through it during the day. (And that's if we even play- it's raining steadily as we speak.)
But I figured I'd ask; Should I keep it pristine and new as an example of a quality marker, and therefore perhaps retain whatever resale value it might have now or in the future, or should I go ahead and play with it? Are the AMP markers still desirable? Do they hold their value?
Maybe I should just drag the Mega-Z out and call it good.