The Trracer was released in the early nineties by Pursuit Marketing Inc. (PMI) as a low cost entry level pump marker. It was manufactured for PMI by Air Concept Industries (ACI) which was run by Jerry and Brian Sullivan. To keep costs down the pump handle, trigger grip frame and even the sear release that sits in the grip frame were plastic parts.
Like many other pump action markers of the era the Trracer used a Nelson style valve system. But unlike more upmarket Nelson clones velocity adjustment was done by changing springs rather than by adjusting spring tension. Other features of the Trracer included a removable barrel and an auto-trigger that allowed the marker to be slam fired.
Semi auto conversions were popular a couple of years later with all the pumps in circulation and the Trracer was no exception. The AutoTrracer was released as both a conversion kit and as a complete marker. This rather clunky conversion used a pneumatic cocking system similar to that used on the Autococker and like most conversions it wasn’t particularly successful.
An updated version of the Trracer called the Tagmaster was subsequently released. This featured twin under cocking rods in place of the side mounted cocking arms used on the original Trracer.
The Trracer and the Tagmaster were also sold by ACI as the Maverick and the Hornet and parts are interchangable between the two. Interestingly the Trracer was re-released in 2010 as the Empire Trracer with updated milsim cosmetics and Autococker barrel threads. This later version of the Trracer was capable of single loading first strike paintballs.
These early low cost pumps don’t get much love today. But they were an introduction to paintball for many players in the nineties and as such are an important part of paintball history.