Smart Parts situation clarified by Richmond Italia

On Monday’s VFTD post Baca Loco pointed his readers to a very, very interesting interview of Richmond Italia and Tom Cole (GI Milsim and Kingman, respectively) by Blast Radius Woodsball Podcast. The 1hr 15minute podcast is an extremely educational bit on a lot of the controversy surrounding the .50 cal and the rest of the most debated issues of recent months. One of the major statements that can be extracted from the interview is Richmond Italia’s clarification of the state of Smart Parts.

The host of the show asked directly from Richmond the following question:

“I heard Smart Parts was closing its doors next year and GI Milsim is looking at buying the rights to the Impulse and SP1.” […]”Richmond, how can you respond to that?”

Richmond responded:

“Auumm… OK. First answer: Smart Parts will be closing their doors as far as MANUFACTURING IN THE U.S goes. They have gone over and beyond to attempt to keep their manufacturing in the U.S, to the point that it was financially detrimental to both Gardner brothers.” […] “So where they sit right now, I DO believe they’re re-evaluating their whole business. They have definitely shut down manufacturing in the U.S AS WE SPEAK and I do believe they’re exploring manufacturing in the Orient, right now.” (Emphasis from the interview)

Richmond also further emphasized the Gardners’ effort for domestic production, and stated that the GI Milsim line would have one marker based on the Luxe platform that would be domestically manufactured, even though the rest of the GI line would be manufactured in Asia. Richmond did not directly address the Impulse & SP1 part of the question, but the Luxe-platform referral implies significant cooperation. He was also carefully avoiding the word “bankruptcy”.  Additionally, it can be inferred (though with a bit of a stretch) that as the Gardners are looking to find production possibilities from Asia – where GI Milsim already operates – the cooperation and ownership arrangements can be deeper intertwined than was directly admitted at this point. But, the group of people that is actually relevant is a mere handful, I think.

We will comment on the other issues covered in the interview in a later post.

Comments 2

  1. Would say Richmonds comments in parts are somewhat arrogant. For example parts where he comments Tippmann and refers to people/forums critisizing claims that .50 caliber industry has made.

    Here is Spitlebugs view on interview at pbnation.

    Here is an email I sent to Wayne after this:


    I am shocked and somewhat dismayed at the comments made by Mr. Italia on your most recent PodCast. His comments regarding other industry members and forum goers were really uncalled for. Moreover, I find it insulting that Mr. Italia would comment on ASTM International matters when it is painfully obvious he is not fully aware of how ASTM International operates, nor is he a member. What Mr. Italia failed to mention is that ASTM International is comprised of both Producers and Consumers (such as myself). In fact, ASTM International can only be comprised of a maximum of 50% producers.

    I find Mr. Italia’s comments on the physics behind the interaction between the density and surface area of a paintball to be wholly flawed. The simple fact of the matter is that anyone with high school equivalent physics can prove beyond a shadow of doubt, that 50 caliber is in many ways inferior to a 68 caliber paintball. The comparison that Mr. Italia makes regarding people driving Honda cars and Camaros is a logical fallacy because the price point comparison does not equate.

    To this date Mr. Italia cannot claim any end user cost savings. One can clearly see with some a few web searches that G.I. Milsim 50 caliber markers are more expensive than their 68 caliber Smart Parts (or DLX) counterparts. Moreover, comparing European pricing on paint across the board we can see that the savings on the case for the lowest grade G.I. Milsim 50 caliber paint is marginal at best, and when comparing prices to premium paints it can clearly be demonstrated that G.I. Milsim paint is much more expensive than the competing 68 caliber brands. Mr. Italia might make the argument that 68 caliber at this time has savings based on volume of sales, but again that is a logical fallacy. In reality the price for paint and markers unless subsidized, will be determined by the vendor, not the manufacturer.

    Let me give you some facts about 68 caliber and 50 caliber paintballs:

    1.) At the current weights and velocity limits as proposed by ASTM International, a 50 caliber paintball will not fly as far as a 68 caliber paintball.
    2.) 50 caliber paintballs will take more time to fly the same distance as 68 caliber paintballs.
    i.) This is exasperated at distance where it can take greater than an additional second to fly corner to corner on a standard format Speedball field (or any other field for that matter)
    3.) 50 caliber markers have to be inclined at a greater angle than 68 caliber markers to achieve equal distance.
    4.) 50 caliber paintball markers are more efficient than 68 caliber markers.
    i.) This only applies in the manner of the number of shots per tank fill.
    5.) 50 caliber paintballs will not break as readily as 68 caliber paintballs because of the minimum shell thickness required to encapsulate PEG based paint.
    i.) This applies regardless of the process in which manner the ribbon thickness is monitored.
    ii.) This is a physical limitation, there is no exception to the laws of physics and chemistry that are involved in the process by which atoms bond with each other.
    6.) 50 caliber paint imparts less energy than 68 caliber paint.
    i.) This underscores the frangibility issue of 50 caliber paint vs. 68 caliber paint.
    7.) 50 caliber paint takes less volume of space. When compared a 140 round pod (designed for 68 caliber) one can fit nearly 350 – 50 caliber paintballs.
    i.) The weight difference is negligible however, the difference between 140 – 68 caliber paintballs and 350 – 50 caliber paintballs is less than 10 grams.

    The beauty of science and math is that it does not discriminate.

    If I were Mr. Cole, I would be embarrassed to be associated with someone who speaks so poorly of other industry members considering the diminutive scale of the paintball industry. That being said, Mr. Cole presented himself professionally and I must commend him.

  2. Pingback: From PBN: SP closes, Temporarily. - Page 47 -

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