Sunday, December 18, 2011

Nerf Strikefire review

Throw back a while to the days of the old Dart Tag line by Nerf, and you may remember a Dart Tag set named the "Strikefire" set. It included vests, glasses, and a pair of Nerf Strikefire blasters, one orange, one green. Though a surprising number of people have never heard of the Strikefire, I assure you that this blaster that came with the set, if you can find one, is one of the more useful Nerf pistols available. But let's talk about the blaster itself first.

The Nerf Strikefire is a top-slide cocking pistol type blaster, loaded manually. It can take any kind of dart but was intended for the velcro tipped Dart Tag darts. It's claimed range is 30 feet, but I was surprised to find that it'll do a little better than that, even in stock form. It's also quite accurate, Dart Tag darts fly very straight and would easily tag a player from 30 feet away. Streamlines still get the same range, but as always with stock streamlines they are far less accurate. I haven't modified this unit yet but I expect that I can get some great ranges with it.

Cosmetically, it's also a winner. It has quite nice styling, I especially like the curved trigger guard. The trigger is a cool double groove shape and under the barrel is storage for 5 darts, which is actually very convenient for quick reloads. What I really love about this blaster though, is the ability to attach it to any tactical rail on N-Strike blasters. That's right, you can use this blaster as an under barrel for your main blaster! I have seen one used on a recon before, and that's exactly what I've done with  my "Gear Up" Recon and Strikefire. The clip on the top has a much stronger grip than that of other attachment clips, to the point where you can prime the blaster without it sliding off the rail, just don't do it too fast. There is a trade-off though, in order for this blaster to be used as an under barrel attachment, it obviously had to be made quite small, so big hands will definitely not find this to be a comfortable pistol.

Modification wise, I have not yet opened up the blaster, but being a reverse plunger blaster I would say that modifications would grant an extra 10 or 20 feet, which I'd be pretty happy with. I will do a mod guide for the Strikefire if I decide to go ahead with modding it.

Finalizing, this is a cool little blaster. It will probably become a vintage item in a few years, so pick one up when you see one. It's size and lack of store availability as a single blaster are probably the only things that can let it down as a stock blaster. The ability to store 5 extra darts, attach it to Nerf tactical rails and good out of the box performance would make it a wise choice. 8/10.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Public vs. Private

Nerf and foam dart blasters are always something that people will find ways of customizing beyond all belief, and why not, right? It's half the fun of screwing around with these things, you can make them look awesome. The problem is, however, not everyone is in to Nerf, and while most avid Nerf fans can spot a Nerf gun no matter what's done to it, the rest of the general public can't always. Take the TV show Terra Nova as an example for this, the gun props for that show are all Nerf guns, some modified, some just painted black. Now, Nerfers spotted it pretty quickly, but anyone else watching the show wouldn't have had a clue.

Prime example of what can be taken the wrong way in public.
...It's just a painted Nerf Recon.
Unfortunately, it's for this reason that sometimes we need to be a little careful about what we do, and think about how it looks in the eyes of the public. Someone running around with a bright yellow and orange toy gun is rather amusing to most people, however, recolour that blaster all black and suit that someone up in a set of cams and a Nerf tactical vest and they're going to create serious terrorism concerns and probably have a police officer or 5 pointing something much less harmless than a Nerf gun at them in less than a few minutes.  Most public Nerf wars in Australia (actually, all that I know of) ban any blaster painted in military or realistic colours, even tan and desert camo paints. Basically if it's not blatantly obvious that you're not a terror threat, you'll need to re-think your setup. I do agree with this completely, I'd sure hate it if I was a war organizer and it got shut down thanks to an old lady freaking out over someone rocking up with a blaster that looked like some kind of anti-material sniper rifle.

This, however is unlikely to get you in trouble.
...Unless you're firing Max Force pellets at non-players.
But don't get upset yet! There's nothing wrong with having you're own wars on private property, so long as you inform your neighbors that you're not a crazy firearm wielding nutter and are actually just using painted toy guns, they probably won't call in the federal police to deal with you and your friends. It might also be a good idea to set no-go zones, in the case that someone passing by and unaware of the foam warfare event spots half a dozen pseudo-terrorists in someone's yard. The private wars I attend are held on a fairly large lot of land which does have a main road nearby, so as a general rule, anywhere within sight of the road is a no-go zone, back behind the treeline is our border of action. There hasn't been any issues to date, and we get to suit up and paint our blasters however we like. So I guess there are advantages and disadvantages to attending private wars or public wars. Private could be more difficult to secure a venue and attendees but pick the right place and you can do it how you want, while  public is usually well organised but you're limited in the type and colour of gear you can bring. If you do both, perhaps have blasters set up for both. I have 2 Nitefinders, both modded exactly the same internally, but externally one looks like a rifle (The NiteSniper), the other is a standard whiteout series exterior. Likewise I intend to paint another one of my blasters in dark colours, but not until I have another to stay stock-coloured. I guess Bazookafied's words on the last post on this blog are good ones to keep in mind: "Don't get tazed, bro!".

Monday, December 5, 2011

Striking fear in to your opponent...

You could probably get arrested for being a terrorist in that outfit...
Yep, that's a Nerf gun. And yes, that's a real holographic sight. and a real radio. Yes, we do sometimes take things way too far, but it's all in good fun. This was the setup for Carlisle at Saturday's 3 vs.3 mini battles. He has about 6 mags available in the front of his vest, 5 mini vortex "grenades" at the back and can communicate freely from anywhere in the area of the game with his brother, thanks to the radio. Couple that with the modified Nerf Longshot and his ridiculously good flanking skills, and coming up against him becomes frightening. Out of all of the games on Saturday, I don't think there was a single moment where I wasn't thinking "Now where the hell have those twins gone now?". This was because I could hear their radios going off from behind cover, as they plotted their way to victory way more often than not. Then suddenly out of nowhere, you've been successfully flanked and tagged by Carlisle, landing multiple darts on you from more than 50 or 60 feet away before you even have a chance to realize what's just happened.

I guess the point of this post is to point out that in games of Nerf, it's not always about the blaster. If you can plan better than your opponent and kit yourself out (even if you have to go overboard) you can outclass anyone, even if they're on a mounted Vulcan and are spraying darts at you like a rain of foam death. Unfortunately for me, this time around I was the one on the Vulcan being trigger happy. It was a fun day, and the 3vs.3 battles were fast and exciting, giving me a chance to try out a fer more of my mods. My volted Stampede went well, and likewise the Alpha Trooper (that I still haven't finished off... part 3 will be posted one day...) but next time I'm going to have to think of something to have up my sleeve...