Stuart had the guns removed and contacted Jez Smith, 26-year-old local engineer and serial inventor, to make the biggest paintball gun ever seen. Their chosen ammunition, fired by compressed air, would be paint-filled ping-pong balls.
The first attempt blasted a ball into orbit. Jez lost sight of it after a mile-and-a-half when it passed the church spire. It also sent a small potato through the sound barrier. Over time, he calmed it to a legal and relatively modest 200mph. Jez then designed a 40mm, 8ft steel barrel to slot into the turret and the company now has five. "Obviously, these aren't proper guns with rifled barrels or they'd be illegal," says Stuart, 38. "But a ping-pong ball full of liquid doing 300ft per second is lethal. That's why we operate with sealed hatches."