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Budd Orr, they fifty-eight year young Worr Games Product boss isn’t about to retire, and that’s good news for all of us.

A father sits in his running car, looking past the dash, the steering wheel, he’s boozed, hammered, The engine hums. Light catches the faint emission as it billows in pale blueness.
A son walks up to the to the window. The mother had called to elicit his help. A marriage and a life was crumbling, domestic pieces needed to be picked up and made whole. He carries his father, out to the lawn, stands him up.
“Hey Dad.”
The son looks at the father, knowing he’s old, knowing help is needed, knowing that as much as he can put forth in this department, it might not be enough.
“You got to lay off the booze Dad.
You’ve got to get some help.”
“you know why I drink.”
“yeah… in the morning I think you should go to a place where you can get help.”
And the Father didn’t want to go, of course-but he went. He went because Bud Orr didn’t want to see the elder part of his father’s life fade away into the drink.

Bud Orr looks the part, 200 plus, odin-like in muscular stature. He looks old school, like there’s a history, a story waiting to be told. He’s big in the way your father was big, larger than life, an authority figure sitting and presiding over his territory without using words to reign, just the sullen and long expression of experience.
But even though his largeness comes across blatantly, he does not wield this as weapon. In fact, as I stand in the Worr Games office a little south of Los Angeles, watch his co-workers bustle about with the day’s activities, watch the shape of an old company transform and morph before me, I smile. This is no longer your average everyday paintball company. Change is here and now. Worr Games is not towing the traditional line, not staying with the stock, simply not content to be average.
The machine shop where the bulk of all Worr Games products are made is not what the 15 year olds in Florida thinks it is. It’s not a huge expanse of building solely made for the company. The shop is housed in a aging industrial complex. Each one of the bays in Bud’s stretch of building was taken over as the company grew, until there were none left, forcing him to get another, larger building, which is just about ready for them to move into, where they will finally have enough room to breathe, spread their wings a bit.

The shop holds remnants of the company’s history, of Bud’s history, and his office is the central hub of busy network of employees. There are pieces of cars and engines through the entire place, machine shop trinkets on casual display in the office. The whole time I was there, the work space appeared communal, filled with people coming to the from meetings, displaying new products for approval, discussing numbers, proposals and dates, all while Bud sat like the sun, his solar system of cohorts gravitating around him in a fixed and complicated clock work. It took awhile for the cluttered chaos of midday business to clear and for Bud to have time to talk. But when we did finally sit down and I asked about his life, about his story, everybody faded away, he took no calls, handled no business other than that of talking about a paintball birth and Autococker legacy.
“I call them redneck,” Bud says about his parents, which comes off a comedic, but he says this with genuine affection. In fact, Bud seems to say everything with genuine affection, like it’s the last time he will ever talk about the matter, like it’s the “According to Hoyle” version of life explanation, which at first you chalk up to the interview and its decisiveness, only, when you hear the reverence in the voices of the people who work for him you understand that this affection is real, genuine. When they speak of Bud and his business, they lean close, open eyes wide, and slow their speech, talking descriptions and wonder and happiness.
“Yeah, my parents were definitely from the old ways, which was fine; it taught you discipline,” he says. He was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but spent 16 years in Miami, leaving for California in ’59, where he was stationed at Travis Air Force base in Northern California, near San Francisco. He had twin boys, Robert and Jeff a little bit after that, when he was only 19. “I grew up with my kids,” he says. It was a mutual growth experience for them, with the boys coming while he was so young, they grew and matured together. The whole time I was at the factory, I never saw Jeff Orr, who run the machine shop. But they way that Bud spoke of him, spoke of the operation, I felt he was always lurking about, Autococker in hand, making things work.
Everybody knows this man for the creation of the Autococker, but what he really was excited about, what nobody knows, it his magic with all things mechanical. The look of the Autococker is a mirror image of Bud’s profession like, a bunch of random pieces put together in seamless working order, making function exist were there was none before. Bud is a mechanical genuine, not by his own reckoning, but by his results. He has spent his entire life making things work, and work well. Cars, motorcycles, airplanes, ships; if it has moving parts, he finds it fascinating enough to tinker with and make sing. He once put an entire car together, by himself, in four days; it was featured in a national magazine profile. A few of his cars have won races.”I’m always trying to make the circle rounded, to make things work better than they already do.” And that is how he got into paintball. His daughter went out to play, came back saying she had a great time

And got her dad out to the field the next week. They Bud bought a gun, modified it, still wasn’t happy and decided to make his own. He called it the DC-9, because it looked like the tail of a DC-9 airplane. It could run on CO2 or compressed air, making it one of the first guns ever to be hooked up with compressed air.
While we were talking, the first sniper ever make, which is the pump predecessor to the Autococker, was leaning Excalibur like, up against Bud’s desk. In a hundred years, if this spot is still around, that gun will probably be worth more than the whole building. But Bud picks it up and shows it to me like it has no significance, like he just built it yesterday, like it’s 1986, and he wants to know what I think. As he goes into the gun’s history, talking about how he assembled the most accurate gun in the history of our sport in eight hours, made it work; He stares long and hard, works the pump action, and you understand why he’s successful, why his workaholic, 20 hour a day ethic has shaped the game I play for living. Advertising rhetoric aside, this piece of metal is function becoming from and I am staggered. Then he tells me he’s dyslexic. And I hold the sniper, take a breath, grasp in awe. A man who took years to learn how to read a sentence, built and designed the base from which the gun was built that has won more world titles and NPPL championships than any other, and he did it in eight hours. Holy Shift.
Of course, it took years to get the gun to where it was ultra-reliable, and that was a immense process in itself, one filled with trial and error, with many people and teams involved. The first gun sponsor of the Ironmen was Worr Games, who Bud said nobody would even touch because they were the “cheatingist sons of bitches you’d ever seen”. But he knew in order to get big they’d have to clean up their act, which they did, and Bobby Long started a great team/sponsor relationship with Bud’s company; the Ironmen were the first Worr Game factory team, in 1990. They Bushwhackers are also sponsored heavily in part because Ron Killborne and Bud have been close friends since 1985.
Tom kayne, who owns and operates Airguns Designs, is a close friends of Bud’s, which is peculiar because the companies have always been fierce competitors in the paintball market, or at least, that’s the public conception of the relationship between the two companies. But the reality is much more interesting. The companies have been closely linked since their inception. When Tom say that Bud was still doing all his design by hand, he gave him his CAD program and showed him how to use it. Bud continues to design his products on it. Tom also helped Bud do his books for a while in the beginning, and they traded ideas constantly, always bouncing to the phone to talk about the next big thing. Bud only gets tense when he talk about the after effects on the Autococker revolution and how in business, imitation is not the most sincere from of flattery, it is the most insulting. The Autococker has been copied by many people, and Bud is quick to point out he’s not rich, just making a good living and building his business. In his mind, all the people who are making their won autococker bodies are stealing from him, and when you look at it from his point of view, he’s right. He’s a man who has been forthcoming in his work, tried to make the best product he could, and other people are copying his ideas, and making money from it. The people who are doing this day it’s the American way, and if you mean legal, then yes, it is legal, so far, but to Bud, a man who has spent his entire career trying to make his inventions better, to make “the circle rounder”, It’s flat out theft. He points out that his company gives back to the players over $400,000 dollars a year to the players, not the promoters. A tour around the factory is a walk through Autococker wonderland. I ask Bud what he thinks about all the electronic markers on the market, if he has any plans to make one or deal with the change in the industry. Sonny Lopez, who is the executive director of the company answers for him with smile, and says, “ Expect big things.” “I can’t make enough of my guns now to meet the demand, so as far as those electronic markers cutting into my sales…well, it can’t be that bad”, and he’s right. They way the industry is now there’s room for both types of markers; both companies are successful, Bud’s brought in a bunch of young, new people into his company, and things new, cutting into the old image of the company with CNC like creativity. Color and shape is no longer constrained by tradition, and with the move into new facilities, the company is shedding its skin, growing up and out. Bud is embracing the new look, the new personnel and talks about his employees like he talks about his own children. They way he runs his business, they are his children, and he keeps them close, but opens up the reigns to new routes. I ask Bud if he plans on retiring any time soon. He looks at me like I don’t know his life, like this choice should be apparent and starts talking about how he could take time off if he wanted to. Bud this man will never stop the race, never lay down, never stand still and say everything’s all right the way it is, it’s just not his nature. He is and always will be a man who tinkers, trying to make things better for the world around him.




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