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A long while back, I had the opportunity to befriend a man by the name of John Huxham. John is what I would consider one of the nicest guys I have ever crossed paths with, here in the paintball industry. John is the owner and head honcho over at a small custom paintball product shop known as ACiD Custom Paintball. A place where paintball is not only thought to be exciting, but introduces a great look to the sport as well.
ACiD Custom Paintball is located in the “land down under” and having been in talks with John for some time now I have come to the realization that Australia is a bit different when it comes to paintball than we might think over here in the US.
Customizing paintball guns has been around since the days when men slapped oil cans onto livestock markers. Developing a new upgrade for a gun was far and few in between 15 years ago, but in today’s market, the shops that boast about their custom products must be well ahead of the game in exclusive upgrades.
I recently sent John some questions as an interview and here is what transpired:
PBT - How long have you been in the paintball industry?
John Huxham – I have been making bits and pieces for markers for about 9 years now. Started just for myself. Then I got involved with Paintball Australia through playing with their sponsored team Black Reign in the mid 90's and ended up making some aftermarket parts for Cocker's mainly then for the teams I have played for and then word of mouth, etc. until today.
PBT - How did you come to the idea of creating your own business?
John Huxham – the idea for starting the business came from just doing more and more work and thought it was time to take a step towards being my own boss, but I am still along way from that yet as I still have to have a real job to pay the bills, but what spare time I do get, is taken up with the paintball side of things. But we have come to a stand still for the moment, as I have to wait for my armourer's license to come through for the local market but from what I have been informed I don't need one for export, so we are concentrating on finding the right part of the market to start with .
PBT - What is the goal for your company?
John Huxham – The goal of the company is to try and make paintball more affordable for players to start with cheaper gear and markers in the Australian arena.
PBT - How long have you been involved in paintball?
John Huxham - I have been involved with paintball for 12 years. First, in New Zealand for 2 years then for the last 10 years in Australia, mainly in Queensland.
PBT - Do you compete at all?
John Huxham - I compete at this moment with a team called Nexed. We sponsor them by providing them with clothing and gear packs at wholesale price. We are dealers for National Paintball Supply and also I provide any support needed with servicing or upgrades to the markers for free excepts for parts. We are playing in the amateur division at the moment I am the one allowed Pro -player, at our last 2 tourney's we have picked up a 1st and a 3rd place finish. We have been playing together for 1 year now, so we are starting to get things together at last
PBT - What are some of the other items you specialize in making for other guns and what other guns do you customize?
John Huxham - We specialize in anything and everything for all markers; triggers, drop forwards, on/off dumpies, exhaust valves, bolts, and hammers. You name it, we will do it. If we something to start with we can usual make it better. Markers we have worked on include; Impulses, Cockers, Spyders, Bushys, Automags, Angels, and all other models. The Matrix is the new addition to our family of markers.
PBT - How difficult is it to make paintball parts over in Australia?
John Huxham - Making parts for markers, let me explain the laws, when my armourer's license comes through, I can do work on the markers that is assemble, modify, and certify that the markers are in a safe condition. But, I can have an engineering company make parts I need. But, in order to fit them, you have to be an armourer. It is in the fitting of parts, that the laws come into play.
PBT - Who are your favorite paintball teams today?
John Huxham - Miami Effect, Bob long is the man, so any of the teams he is involved in, that's it and Russian Legion.
Talking with John through email was like talking to a long time friend. He was always ready to help out with any questions and always a great guy to deal with. He was even gracious enough to send me a trigger frame specifically custom made for me.
He made the 90 degree cocker trigger frame exactly the way I specified and it was beautiful. The product was very well built, with a standard not only for quality of product, but for care towards the customer.
Seeing that John has a good base for building a career out of custom paintball products, I hope to see his business grow in the upcoming years. We need companies in the industry that not only flourish with cool products but with customer satisfaction.
With the friendly attitude John has, he is sure to make people smile. I can only hope that he will find it in him to build an entire cocker to let me test one day. If you would like to see some of the other products John has available, join our forum and see them first hand.
Special thanks go to John for being a friend and having the willingness to let us see his products first hand. Also to his family who are not only John's loved ones but those that help keep ACiD Custom Products running.
Please feel free to visit John over at his website and see what other goodies he has coming up at www.acpaustralia.tk.