Friday, June 10, 2016

So, you want to buy a primary?

At my school, I'm the vice president of the HvZ club, and I'm also the one known for having a stupid amount of blasters, between 77-85 depending on what you count as a blaster. When new people join my club, they often ask me what blaster they should get. It used to be a relatively simple question, but now that there are so many good blasters by so many different companies, I figured it would be useful to write up a my thoughts on what primaries are good for what types of things, and what blaster I would ultimately recommend as a primary.

So what is a primary? For the sake of this post, I define a primary as anything that either uses clips or magazines, or holds at least 10 darts.

Blaster Companies

To start, I want to briefly cover each of the different companies that make blasters, with some pros and cons of each.

Nerf:

Obviously, this is the first company that comes to mind, and the company most people will probably buy a blaster from. The Nerf name has grown to encompass any toy blaster, and people outside the hobby often don't even realize there are other options. So is Nerf the best? Well, kinda.

Pros: 


  • LOTS of options
  • Well made, good plastic
  • Widely available
  • Very common ammo
  • High capacity and easy to reload with "clip system" magazines

Cons:

  • Expensive compared to other brands
  • wildly inaccurate stock darts

My thoughts:

I think Nerf is a good place to start for the average person looking to get into the hobby. They have a huge selection of blasters, allowing new players to find something they truly love. The ammo is, of course, extremely common, so there will never be a shortage on compatible darts at games. While stock elites are extremely inaccurate, this can be avoided by using koosh or other off-brand darts that are much better AND cheaper. 


Buzz Bee:

Long time cheaper and worse option when compared to Nerf, Buzz Bee has really, really stepped up their quality recently, making a line of high powered and extremely cheap blasters that perform as well as Nerf for roughly half the price. But are they actually better than Nerf for new players?

Pros:

  • Same performance as the best Nerf blasters
  • Literally half the price when compared to Nerf
  • Compatible with Nerf darts and magazines
  • Same widely available ammo as Nerf
  • Same high capacity as Nerf

Cons:

  • Plastic feels cheap and has been known to break easily
  • Blasters are frequently un-ergonomic or uncomfortable to use
  • Worse aesthetics (in my opinion)
  • No attachment points for accessories

My thoughts:

Honestly, I love Buzz Bee. I think that their blasters these days are a better option than Nerf for someone who doesn't need all the bells and whistles of a Nerf blaster. If you're not planning on attaching a stock, barrel, sight, flashlight, or anything else, Buzz Bee blasters allow you to get the same performance as Nerf and the same widely available ammo as Nerf, while paying significantly less. The cheap plastic can be an issue, but I'd feel much more comfortable dropping and possibly breaking a Buzz Bee blaster in HvZ than a Nerf blaster, since I could cheaply replace it if it did break.

BOOMco:

Ah, my real love. After learning that Mattel had announced their own blaster line before BOOMco came out, I was instantly excited. Competition is great for the market, and it seemed like Nerf might finally have a real competitor. As soon as I tried a BOOMco blaster, I was hooked. Since then I've definitely bought Nerf and Buzz Bee stuff, and I've enjoyed it, but if I want to do well in a game, I always always always run BOOMco. But is it better for a new player?

Pros:

  • Same high quality plastic as Nerf
  • Extremely high capacity 40 and 20 dart clips
  • Much more accurate and durable stock ammo
  • Very frequently on sale on Amazon
  • Blasters can't jam

Cons:

  • Hard to find in stores compared to Nerf
  • Somewhat expensive
  • Proprietary ammo
  • Frequently lacking stock performance 
  • Occasional ergonomic issues
  • Many models lack triggers
  • No attachment points for stocks or barrel extensions

My thoughts:

If you are at a school or play with a group that uses a lot of BOOMco, I would instantly tell you to go with BOOMco. If you want to modify blasters, I'd tell you to go with BOOMco. If you want to be able to hit your target, I'd tell you to go with BOOMco. If you don't want to be buying new darts every few days, I'd tell you to go with BOOMco. However, if you're going to be playing with a group that has none or very few other people using BOOMco, the pros are outweighed by not being able to scavenge darts off the group or borrow ammo from other people. Stock BOOMco blasters will also get outranged by stock Nerf blasters, so if you're playing a game where range matters, BOOMco might not be the best option. 

Dart Zone:

Dart Zone made a strong showing last year when they released the Scorpion, a flywheel belt fed blaster that got amazing stock performance. They struggled quite a bit though with not having cross compatibility with Nerf. Their 2016 line, however, promises to include Nerf compatibility, and seems to have many very high capacity models. 

Pros:

  • Decent plastic quality, not as good as Nerf, but not as bad as Buzz Bee
  • Very cheap blasters
  • High capacity, with several blasters holding 40 darts
  • Great performance
  • Compatible with Nerf darts

Cons:

  • Relatively hard to find 
  • No magazine compatibility (yet, see below)
  • Sometimes bad ergonomics
  • No attachment points

My thoughts:

I'll be honest: I've never actually held or fired a Dart Zone blaster, and I don't own any, so its a bit harder to give my thoughts about them. I would never have recommended their products until this year, it seems they have a lot of cool new blasters coming up, including something that seems to use magazines, but I can't say if I'd recommend them until we get more information about these new blasters. 

Other Brands:

There are a few other brands, including Zuru, Zing and Air Zone. I'll cover a few of their products, but overall I don't think the companies have enough to warrant an entire pros/cons section on each of them. I would almost certainly not recommend a new player start with a product from any of these companies as a primary. 

Blasters:

In this section I'll be going over the blasters that I would consider "primaries" from many different companies. I will group them by company, and then by method of launching darts, using keywords to make it easy to find key features. 

A note about formatting:

For each blaster, I'll start out by giving the name of the blaster, followed by an image. I'll then give some keywords that one might use to describe the blaster to make searching for a certain type of blaster easier. Then I'll give a brief description of the blaster, without my opinion, followed by the suggested retail price, a link to where you can buy one, some pros and cons of each blaster, and then finally my opinion on each blaster and then my arbitrary score out of 10 for each blaster. 

Keyword Glossary:

Air Powered - blaster that uses air compressed by a pump to launch darts
Alien Menace - Nerf's line of alien themed blasters
Allegiant - Nerf's Allegiant licensed blasters
Battery Powered - blaster that requires batteries to function
Belt Fed - blaster that takes belts which hold darts and feed in one side and out the other side of the blaster
Bullpup - blaster that has magazine behind trigger
Bolt Action - blaster that is primed by pulling back and sliding forward a bolt on the side of the blaster
Bow - blaster that is shaped like a bow
Camera - blaster has a camera included with it
Clip Fed - blaster that takes clips which hold darts still while the clip itself is advanced
Covert Ops - Dart Zone's current line of blasters
Crank Prime - blaster that is primed by turning a crank
Crossbow -blaster that is shaped like a crossbow
Customizable - blaster that has the option to attach other parts onto it
Doomlands 2169 - Nerf's post-apocalyptic desert wasteland themed blaster line
Doomlands Impact Zone - Nerf's post-apocalyptic ice wasteland themed blaster line
Double Barrel - two barrels side by side that each fire a dart
Elite - Nerf's main line of blasters
Extreme Air Max - Buzz Bee's line of high performance air blasters
Firefly Tech - blaster has glow in the dart darts that it illuminates before firing
Flip Prime - blaster that is primed by holding the handle and flipping the blaster up or down
Flywheel - blaster utilizing spinning wheels to launch darts
Fully-Automatic - blaster that fires a continuous stream of darts while the trigger is held down
Halo - BOOMco's Halo licensed blasters
HAMP - high airflow manual plunger - blaster uses the manual moving of a plunger to launch darts
Lever Action - blaster that is primed by actuating a lever on the handle
Magazine Fed - blaster that takes magazines which push darts up into the firing mechanism
Mega - blaster that fires mega darts
Missile - blaster that fires missiles
Modulus - Nerf's line of blasters with lots of accessories
Pull and Release - blaster that is primed by pulling back and then releasing, without a trigger to store the energy
Pump Action - blaster that is primed by a slide located on the bottom of the blaster
Rebelle - Nerf's line of blasters designed for girls
Revolver - blaster that uses a revolving cylinder to hold darts
Select Fire - blaster that can switch between semi and fully automatic
Semi-Automatic - blaster that fires a dart every time the trigger is pulled
Shotgun - blaster that fires multiple shots at once
Sniper - blaster that is modeled after a sniper rifle
Springer - blaster utilizing compressed spring to launch darts
Star Wars - Nerf's Star Wars licensed blasters
Stringer - blaster utilizing stretched elastic to launch darts
Top Prime - blaster that is primed by a slide located on the top of the blaster
Ultra Tek - Buzz Bee's new line of high performance blasters
Walking Dead - Buzz Bee's line of Walking Dead licensed blasters
Zombie Strike - Nerf's zombie themed blaster line


Nerf:


Elite Retaliator


Keywords:

springer, top prime, magazine fed, customizable, Elite

Description: 

The Elite Retaliator is a remake of the classic N-Strike Recon. It features a top priming slide, and comes with a barrel, a stock, a vertical foregrip and a 12-dart magazine. 

MSRP:

 $25

Buy Link:

Pros:

  • Fairly cheap compared to other Nerf models
  • Comes with accessories which allow you to customize without having to buy anything extra
  • Good performance 
  • Very easy to modify
  • Magazine fed
  • Very common
  • Accepts stocks, barrels and tactical rail accessories

Cons:

  • Top prime is awkward and relatively slow way of priming
  • Accessories add to the cost without helping performance
  • Only comes with a 12 dart magazine

Opinion:

This is often the blaster I recommend for new players who want to stick with Nerf. The performance out of the box is pretty good, the blaster comes with a stock and barrel, allowing the user to convert it from more of a pistol to a full on rifle form factor. It is compatible with standard Nerf magazines, which allows capacity of up to 35 darts. My issue with this blaster is that top priming slide blasters are slower and more awkward to prime than pump action blasters, giving the user a slight disadvantage. The accessories are nice, but the stock is too short for me and the barrel only serves to lower the range. Only coming with a 12 dart magazine means the buyer will have to buy another magazine if they want to be able to have any sort of high capacity. Overall, its a decent blaster that is very easy to find, very beginner friendly, and definitely a good buy for the price, but not my first choice. 

Overall score: 8.5/10


Elite Rampage

Keywords: 

springer, pump action, magazine fed, customizable, Elite

Description: 

The Elite Rampage is a pump action, magazine fed Nerf blaster that feeds from the side. It features an attachment point for a stock, but doesn't come with one. Includes a very high capacity 25 round drum magazine.

MSRP: 

$33

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Pump action
  • High capacity drum
  • Decent performance
  • Magazine fed
  • Fairly easy to modify
  • Accepts stocks and tactical rail accessories

Cons:

  • Side loading is a bit awkward
  • Doesn't come with any accessories 
  • Slightly weaker than other blasters stock
  • 25 round drums sometimes jam
  • Expensive 
  • Hard to find in stores

Opinion:

This was the first Nerf primary that I bought when I started playing HvZ, and it served me well... until I found something better. The pump action is very nice, allowing extremely fast priming and firing if necessary. The side loading is a problem for some people, it makes the entire blaster feel very off-balance, and the drum might get in your way. While the 25 drum allows for great high capacity out of the box, some drums don't feed fast enough, and can cause the blaster to jam when firing quickly. There's a reason some people call it the "jampage".  Reloading the drum is also a very slow and tedious process, meaning that buying a second magazine to swap out if you run out of ammo is a very good idea. Adding a stock to this blaster really makes it shine as far as ergonomics and comfort, but since a stock isn't included, you'll have to find one elsewhere. I very much like the Rampage, and if I was to go back to using a Nerf blaster in HvZ, I'd almost certainly return to this. For a new player though... its a bit expensive and requires the addition of a stock and more magazines to be really good, adding even more to the cost. 

Overall Score: 8/10


Elite Alpha Trooper

Keywords:

springer, pump action, magazine fed, customizable, Elite
Description: The Elite Alpha Trooper is a pump action blaster that feeds from the bottom. It doesn't have a barrel attachment point, but can accept Nerf stocks and rail attachments. It comes with a 12 dart magazine usually, or in the "Mission Kit" with a 6 dart magazine and a stock.

MSRP: 

$20 originally, almost impossible to find now

Buy Link:

good luck

Pros:

  • Pump action
  • Magazine fed
  • Easy to modify
  • Accepts stocks and tactical rail accessories

Cons:

  • Extremely hard to find, not really made anymore
  • In very high demand
  • Uncomfortable (in my opinion) priming pump
  • Bad performance in stock form
  • Only comes with 12 or 6 round magazine
  • Either comes with no accessories or an awful flimsy stock
  • Jams frequently

Opinion: 

I thought the EAT would be the perfect blaster. It is pump action, feeds Nerf magazines from the bottom, accepts stocks, can be easily modified, and it just looks cool. Then I got one. I found that the pump grip is very uncomfortable and awkward to hold, the performance without modification is significantly worse than other Nerf Elite blasters, and it would jam very frequently, and once jammed it was extremely hard to unjam. These aren't really made anymore, so they're incredibly hard to find. Kohls briefly had it as a "mission kit" in orange with a 6 dart magazine and a folding stock, but it was even more expensive and the folding stock is awful. If you can find one of these for cheap, and you like the way it sounds, go for it. With the proper mods and a good stock, it can definitely be an amazing primary, but I really can't recommend it in stock form,  since it only has a 12 or 6 dart magazine, the capacity is low. It either comes with no stock, or a really flimsy awful stock, so you'll need to purchase a stock if you want a good one. Maybe you'd get one and like it. I thought I would, and then I ended up selling mine after never using it in an actual game. 

Overall Score: 6/10 for just the blaster, 4/10 for the mission kit


Recon Mk. II

Keywords: 

springer, top prime, magazine fed, customizable, Modulus

Description: 

Very similar to the Elite Retaliator, the Recon Mk. II features a top priming slide, and comes with a very short stock and a short barrel, as well as a 6 dart magazine. 

MSRP: 

$25

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Fairly cheap
  • Comes with accessories
  • Decent performance
  • Magazine fed
  • Accepts stocks, barrels and tactical rail accessories 

Cons:

  • Tiny, awkward stock
  • Get less for your money than with the Elite Retaliator
  • Only comes with 6 dart magazine
  • Some models have compatibility issues with certain magazines
  • Top prime is a bit awkward

Opinion:

This is pretty much the same blaster as the Elite Retaliator, but worse. It is essentially just a reshell, with the same top priming slide, the same stock and barrel attachments, and the same bottom feeding. The only real differences are the addition of the hand guard, which I'll admit does look super cool, and the addition of one extra tactical rail on the side of the blaster. The stock on this blaster is even shorter and less useful than the one on the Elite Retaliator, and the barrel, while cool looking, is also tiny. Only coming with a 6 round magazine means you'll need to find something with higher capacity almost instantly. When compared to the Retaliator, you're paying the same price for a blaster with lower capacity out of the box, a worse stock, and no vertical foregrip. If you really like the way the Recon Mk. II looks, theres not really any reason to NOT get it over the Retaliator, but if you just want something that works and is a good deal, the Retaliator is much better. 

Overall Score: 7/10


Modulus Tri-Strike

Keywords: 

springer, bolt action, HAMP, mega, missile, magazine fed, customizable, Modulus

Description: 

The Tri-Strike is a brand new blaster in the Modulus line. It features a bolt-action main blaster, with a barrel attachment that also serves as a smart-AR HAMP to fire Mega darts, and a stock and rail attachment that work together to function as a HAMP to fire Nerf Missiles. It comes with a 10 dart magazine, as well as 4 Mega darts and one missile.

MSRP: 

$50

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Fires Nerf Elite darts, Mega darts, and Nerf Missiles
  • Comes with accessories
  • Decent performance
  • Magazine fed
  • Accepts stocks, barrels and tactical rail accessories
  • Stock and barrel can be removed and used as separate blasters

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Only comes with 10 round magazine
  • Firing mega darts and missiles is a bit... unnecessary
  • Bolt action prime is a bit awkward

Opinion: 

I haven't had a chance to see one of these things yet, since they're brand new, but its definitely an... interesting blaster. The ability to fire elite darts, mega darts AND missiles is quite a cool gimmick, but it is quite gimmicky, and a bit unnecessary. In some games, mega darts and missiles may provide an added bonus, such as taking down special zombies, but in most cases, these accessories just add extra weight and bulk to this blaster. A bolt action prime on this blaster means you have to fire fairly slowly when compared to a pump action blaster, and the capacity of 10 darts out of the box mean you'll definitely need to get a larger magazine very soon. If you like the look of it, theres no real glaring downsides to this blaster, but I'm not sure I'd buy one for $50 when there are many cheaper options that get the same if not better performance.

Overall Score: 7/10


Zombie Strike Slingfire


Keywords: 

springer, lever action, magazine fed, Zombie Strike

Description: 

The Zombie Strike Slingfire is a lever action blaster, featuring a built in stock. It does not have a barrel attachment point, although there is a tactical rail on top. It comes with a 6 dart magazine.

MSRP: 

$25

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Fun and unique priming method
  • Faster to prime than bolt action or top slide
  • Built in pretty good stock
  • Usually decent performance

Cons:

  • Lever action can take some getting used to
  • Only comes with 6 dart magazine
  • Very little customization potential
  • A pain to modify
  • Sometimes bad performance

Opinion: 

Its hard to find a blaster as fun to use as the Slingfire. The lever action allows you to do all sorts of weird trick primes, including the ability to prime one handed. The built in stock is actually pretty nice, and it means you won't need to buy any accessories, although it'll be harder to transport since it is not removable. The biggest issue with the Slingfire is that the first production run didn't shoot very well at all. When buying a new blaster, this shouldn't be an issue, but buying a used one could get you a pretty poorly performing blaster. Modifying this blaster is also not the easiest, since there are gears inside that you have to be mindful of when adding a heavier spring. Obviously the 6 dart magazine isn't ideal, and will have to be replaced. For $25, you're getting a blaster with a stock and built in barrel, but only a 6 dart capacity. The retaliator is still probably a better deal, but if you're looking for something more unique and fun, the Slingfire definitely isn't a bad option. 

Overall Score: 7/10


Doomlands Double Dealer

Keywords: 

springer, double barrel, pump action, magazine fed, Doomlands 2169

Description: 

The Doomlands Double Dealer is a double barreled blaster that feeds from two magazines, one on either side of the blaster. It features a built-in stock that has storage for two extra magazines, 2 top tactical rails, and comes with 2 12 dart magazines. 

MSRP: 

$40

Buy Link: 

Not out yet

Pros:

  • Pump action
  • High capacity with two 12 dart magazines
  • Built in storage for extra magazines
  • Double barreled

Cons:

  • Extremely bad performance
  • Short stock
  • Jams frequently
  • Very few customization options
  • Magazine storage stock has to have two magazines in it
  • Very wide with magazines

Opinion:

Man, this thing could have been awesome. I'm a huge fan of double barreled blasters, and this one looked super cool at first glance. Now that some reviews have started to come in though, its clear that this is definitely not a blaster I would recommend. It fires two darts at once, so you waste ammo much faster. The performance is not good at all, although if you remove one of the magazines, it will fire darts from the other one further. The magazine storage in the stock needs to have two magazines in it, or the magazines fall out. Having two barrels means twice it is twice as likely to jam. For $40 the blaster you get has miserable performance, jams a lot, doesn't have a useable stock, is very wide and hard to maneuver, and is just overall disappointing. I don't recommend this one unless you have plans to either mod it or just use it with one magazine at a time. 

Overall Score: 3/10


Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper Deluxe Blaster

Keywords: 

springer, pump action, magazine fed, customizable, Star Wars

Description: 

This blaster is essentially a shortened, Star Wars themed Rampage. It features pump action priming, a stock attachment point, one tactical rail, and a side feeding magazine. This blaster comes with a very short stock, a tiny scope and a 12 dart magazine.

MSRP: 

$40

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Comparatively small
  • Pump action
  • Magazine fed
  • Comes with accessories

Cons:

  • Frequently jams
  • Stock is very short
  • Expensive
  • Only comes with 12 dart magazine

Opinion:

I really want to like this blaster. I love Star Wars, and I love the Rampage, so this blaster seems perfect. It is essentially a miniaturized Rampage, significantly shorter than a Rampage but with the same performance. The biggest problems with it are the extremely high price when compared to a Rampage, and the jamming issue. Maybe it was just mine, but every single shot I tried firing from a 25 dart drum magazine jammed in this blaster. The stock is also very short, but the stock attachment point on this blaster is further back from the handle than on most blasters, so it is still useable. The scope looks nice, but its tiny and useless. For $7 more than a Rampage, you get a very short stock and a 12 dart magazine instead of a 25 dart drum. If you really like the looks of this blaster, its not awful, but a Rampage is a much better value. 

Overall Score: 7/10


Rebelle Rapid Glow/Allegiant Blaster

Keywords: 

springer, top prime, magazine fed, Rebelle, Allegiant, firefly tech

Description: 

The Rebelle Rapid Glow is a Rebelle Retaliator reshell. It is also available as the Allegiant blaster. It features a built in stock and a top priming handle as well as one tactical rail on top, and comes with either a 10 dart "firefly tech" magazine, or a 12 dart magazine with the Allegiant Blaster repaint. 

MSRP: 

$30

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Magazine fed
  • Built-in stock
  • Easy to modify

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Awkward top prime
  • Low either 10 or 12 capacity
  • Very short stock
  • No attachment point for barrels

Opinion:

Honestly, its just a worse Retaliator. This blaster features nearly the same internals as the Retaliator, but instead of having attachments and customization options, these blasters features a too short built in stock and no option for barrels. Sure, the glow in the dark Firefly tech in the Rapid Glow is fairly neat, but as a trade off it only comes with a 10 dart magazine. At $5 more than the Retaliator and with significantly less value, I would definitely not recommend this blaster. 

Overall Score: 4/10


Modulus Battlescout

Keywords: 

springer, pump action, clip fed, camera, customizable, Modulus

Description: 

The Modulus Battlescout is a spring powered blaster in the Modulus line. Its main feature is the tactical rail mounted HD action camera, designed to capture photos and videos while you play. The blaster itself uses a strange, proprietary 10 dart clip that is not compatible with any other Nerf products. The blaster features an angled foregrip priming grip, as well as barrel and stock attachment points and a tactical rail on top. 

MSRP: 

$70

Buy Link: 

Not out yet

Pros:

  • Pump action
  • Very customizable
  • Tactical rail camera
  • Easy to reload

Cons:

  • Extremely expensive
  • Low capacity
  • Not compatible with Nerf magazines
  • Doesn't come with any accessories other than camera

Opinion:

This blaster is pretty funny. After Nerf's hilarious failure with the CAM ECS-12, they decided to make another blaster with a camera. This one, however, shoots in HD, and is removable. There are still a lot of problems with this blaster. The camera drives up the price, and I would never recommend that someone spend $70 on a Nerf blaster. It was a strange choice for Nerf to decide to go with this new clip mechanism, since the user is limited to 10 darts, with no option to change out the clip for a bigger one. 10 darts is simply not enough for HvZ, or any real dart war. The one upside of this clip is that while firing it is possible to load more darts into the end, making reloading by scavenging darts a bit easier. The other Modulus blasters often make their way to Amazon in their separate pieces, and if this did, the core blaster might be an okay primary if you really wanted to scavenge darts to reload, but 10 shots is just not enough. I can't recommend this blaster. 

Overall Score: 2/10


Elite Stratobow

Keywords: 

springer, bow, pull and release, clip fed, Elite

Description: 

The Elite Stratobow is a clip fed bow in the Elite line. While it looks like a bow, power comes not from the bow arms or the string, but from a spring and plunger in the handle. The clip is not removable, and holds 15 darts. There is no trigger on this blaster, you operate it like a bow by pulling back on the string and releasing it to fire. 

MSRP: 

$30

Buy Link: 

Not out yet

Pros:

  • Fairly high capacity
  • Easy to reload
  • Fun bow action
  • Decent performance

Cons:

  • A bit expensive
  • Awkward bow action
  • Doesn't accept Nerf magazines
  • Pull and release 
  • No customization
  • String hits arm upon firing

Opinion:

Surprisingly, I actually think this isn't a bad option for a primary. It gets standard Elite performance, the clip has a decent capacity of 15 darts, plus the added ability to load darts into one end while you fire from the other for easier reloading from scavenging darts. While there is no option for barrel attachments, stock attachments or tactical rail attachments, its a bow, so it doesn't need any of those accessories. The pull and release action is definitely not idea, but with some practice, it can be used effectively. The biggest problems with this blaster are the fact that you can't just swap out the clip for a full one if needed, and the price. $30 is $5 more than the Retaliator, and you get only the bow and 15 dart clip for that price, while the Retaliator gives you a barrel, stock and foregrip for a cheaper price. If you want to be unique and use a bow instead of a typical blaster, the Stratobow is definitely the best option.

Overall Score: 7/10


Zombie Strike Flipfury

Keywords: 

springer, top prime, revolver, Zombie Strike

Description: 

The Zombie Strike Flipfury is a fairly small blaster, featuring 2 6 dart cylinders. Upon emptying one cylinder, a secondary trigger flips to the next cylinder so you can keep firing. The blaster features a top priming slide and one tactical rail. 

MSRP: 

$20

Buy Link: 

 Pros:

  • Very small
  • Easy to reload
  • Decent performance
  • Very satisfying to use

Cons:

  • No barrel or stock attachment points
  • Doesn't accept Nerf magazines
  • Fairly small capacity of 12 darts
  • Flipping between cylinders takes some getting used to

Opinion: 

While this isn't really a primary, it could definitely be used as one. 12 dart capacity, while not great, is enough for some people, and the ability to reload the bottom cylinder while you fire out of the top one ensures that you shouldn't run out of ammo as long as you have a bag of extra darts or you scavenge off the ground. The biggest problem with this blaster is that you can't fire off all 12 shots in a row, you have to fire 6, flip to the next cylinder, and then fire the other 6. That means you have to count your shots so you know when to flip, as flipping too early results in missing some darts, and flipping too late means not firing for a few shots, which is potentially deadly in HvZ. If you don't want to carry a big blaster, and you're prepared to get used to counting your shots, the Flipfury is a decently performing and cheap blaster, and the sound and feeling of flipping cylinders is extremely satisfying. 

Overall Score: 6/10


Rebelle Flipside Bow

Keywords: 

springer, bow, pull and release, revolver, Rebelle

Description: 

The Flipside Bow is the Rebelle version of the Flipfury. While appearing as a bow, the Flipside Bow does not get its power from the bow arms or the string, instead being powered by a spring and plunger inside the upper bow arm. This blaster features 2 5 dart cylinders, and a trigger to switch between them. There is no attachment point for any accessories. 

MSRP: 

$25

Buy Link: 

Not out yet

Pros:

  • Easy to reload
  • Fun bow action
  • Satisfying to use

Cons:

  • Only 10 dart capacity
  • Pull and release
  • Doesn't accept Nerf magazines
  • No customization options 
  • Fairly large for capacity and performance

Opinion: 

Its just a worse Flipfury. With one dart less in each cylinder, the Flipside Bow simply doesn't have enough ammo for HvZ or any big dart war. For the price of $25, the blaster is large, doesn't accept magazines, and doesn't accept accessories. If you really like the idea of being able to reload on the fly, the Flipfury or Doominator are much better options. I can't recommend this blaster. 

Overall Score: 3/10


Zombie Strike Doominator

Keywords: 

springer, pump action, revolver, Zombie Strike

Description: 

The Doominator is a revolver featuring 4 cylinders of 6 darts each. A secondary trigger rotates the cylinder to the next 6 dart cylinder. The blaster is primed with a pump action slide, with a handle that can be put on the left, right, or bottom of the slide. There is no barrel or stock attachment points, but there is one tactical rail on top. 

MSRP: 

$40

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Fairly high capacity
  • Easy to reload on the fly
  • Pump action

Cons:

  • Not the best performance
  • No attachment points for barrels or stocks
  • Sometimes jams
  • Takes some getting used to
  • Priming can pinch your hand

Opinion:

I was super excited for this blaster when I heard about it. It seemed like it would be great for HvZ, with a capacity of 24 darts, plus the ability to reload while firing. The performance, however, isn't that great out of the box, some people have reported issues with it jamming and not firing darts all the way, and if you put the priming handle on the bottom, you may hit your hand against the cylinder frame with every priming motion. If you don't care that much about performance and you want a blaster that will hold a lot of darts and allow you to scavenge off the ground, the Doominator isn't a terrible option. The back part of the blaster is not a stock, despite looking like one, and there is no option to attach a stock. 

Overall Score: 5/10


Elite Crossbolt

Keywords: 

stringer, top prime, magazine fed, bullpup, crossbow, Elite

Description: 

The Crossbolt is a bullpup style crossbow, meaning the magazine is behind the trigger. Rather than being powered by a spring, the Crossbolt uses an elastic string for its power, simulating the action of a real bow. The blaster features a top priming slide a built in stock, one tactical rail on the bottom and no barrel attachment point, and comes with a 12 dart magazine.

MSRP: 

$25

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Quiet
  • Accepts Nerf magazines
  • Compact, bullpup design
  • Extremely easy to modify
  • Good performance
  • Magazine fed

Cons:

  • Awkward top prime
  • Jams often
  • Bad placement of magazine release
  • Overly complex internals
  • Only comes with a 12 dart magazine
  • Very few customization options

Opinion: 

This is definitely one the blasters I'd most recommend for new people. It is the same price as the Retaliator, at $25, and comes with the same 12 dart magazine. The built in stock is a bit short, but useable. The top priming handle isn't ideal, but it makes sense for a crossbow design. Being an elastic powered blaster, firing is very quiet, and ideal for stealth missions when you don't want to be heard. The magazine release button is on the bottom back of the stock, and it is possible to push it with your shoulder when shouldering the blaster, but as long as you're careful, its not a huge problem. Since this blaster is powered by the elastic, it is extremely easy to modify by simply tightening the elastic. A simple mod like this takes only a few minutes and can increase the already pretty good performance by quite a bit. If you don't care about having a barrel, or you want a stealthy and compact blaster, the Crossbolt is a pretty good option. 

Overall Score: 8/10


Elite Stryfe

Keywords: 

flywheel, battery powered, magazine fed, customizable, semi-automatic, Elite

Description: 

The Stryfe is a very small flywheel powered blaster, featuring both barrel and stock attachment points as well as two tactical rails, one on top and one the bottom. It comes with a 6 dart magazine. 

MSRP: 

$20

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Very small
  • Very customizable
  • Semi-automatic
  • Lots of modification potential
  • Cheap
  • Magazine fed

Cons:

  • Loud
  • Doesn't come with any attachments
  • Only comes with 6 dart magazine
  • Requires electrical knowledge to modify
  • Requires batteries

Opinion: 

I know I'm in the minority, but I hate this blaster and would never recommend it to someone just starting out in the Nerf hobby. I don't like flywheel blasters in general, since in stock form they take a few seconds to rev up before you can actually start firing, and they make a lot of noise. The Stryfe and other flywheel blasters can be modified to spin up almost instantly, but that requires soldering and buying better wire and batteries. While the Stryfe does have the ability to mount stocks and barrels, as well as tactical rail accessories, it doesn't come with any. Only coming with a 6 dart magazine, the Stryfe requires the purchase of at least a larger magazine, if not a stock, to make it a useable blaster. While highly modified Stryfes can be amazing, for someone looking to get into Nerf, I would definitely not recommend the Stryfe. 

Overall Score: 6/10


Elite Demolisher 

Keywords: 

flywheel, battery powered, magazine fed, customizable, Elite, missile, HAMP, semi-automatic

Description: 

The Demolisher is an enlarged Stryfe with a manual missile launcher under the barrel. The blaster is a battery powered flywheel blaster, and features both stock and barrel attachment points, as well as several tactical rails. It comes with a stock that can hold an extra missile, a 10 dart banana magazine, and 2 missiles. 

MSRP: 

$40

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Very customizable
  • Semi-automatic
  • Lots of modification potential
  • Fires two types of ammo
  • Magazine fed

Cons:

  • Fairly expensive
  • Loud
  • Only comes with a 10 dart magazine
  • Requires batteries
  • Modification requires electrical knowledge

Opinion: 

As much as I don't like flywheel blasters, the Demolisher is a decent choice if you do want one. The underslung missile launcher is a ton of fun, and can be useful in HvZ if there are special rules regarding missiles. If not, however, it just adds a lot of weight and bulk to the blaster. The stock is decent, actually being a reasonable length. You'll have to get an additional magazine instantly, since the Demolisher only comes with a 10 dart magazine. The same modification issues with the Stryfe are present here too, a proper modification requires knowledge of how to solder, as well as buying new wires, new switches, and a new battery. If you want to spend a bit more on a blaster, and you really want a flywheel blaster for some reason, the Demolisher is not a bad choice. 

Overall Score: 7/10


Modulus ECS-10

Keywords: 

flywheel, battery powered, magazine fed, semi-automatic, customizable, Modulus

Description: 

The first in the Modulus line, the ECS-10 is essentially an enlarged Stryfe that comes with many attachments. It features flywheel powered blasting, requiring batteries to operate. The blaster has a stock attachment point, a barrel attachment point, and lots of tactical rails, and comes with a stock that can hold an extra magazine, a short barrel, a vertical foregrip, a scope, and a 10 dart banana magazine. 

MSRP: 

$50

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Very customizable
  • Semi-automatic
  • Lots of modification potential
  • Comes with lots of attachments
  • Magazine fed

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Requires batteries
  • Loud
  • Only comes with 10 dart magazine
  • Stock is very flimsy
  • Scope is useless
  • Modification requires electrical knowledge

Opinion:

Yet another enlarged Stryfe, the Modulus ECS-10 is not a BAD blaster, per se, but I wouldn't recommend it. For the price, you're essentially getting a Stryfe, which is $20, and a bunch of accessories. The scope looks cool, but serves no function. The foregrip is quite nice, and I like the barrel extension, but the stock is very flimsy and doesn't feel good to shoulder. The ability to hold an extra magazine is quite nice, however. The Modulus ECS-10 has all the same issues I have with all flywheel blasters, and will require an extra magazine for more than 10 capacity. 

Overall Score: 7/10


Elite Rayven

Keywords: 

flywheel, battery powered, magazine fed, semi-automatic, firefly tech, customizable, bullpup, Elite

Description: 

The Rayven is a bullpup semi-automatic flywheel blaster. It features a built in stock, a barrel extension attachment point and several tactical rails, and it comes with a firefly tech 18 dart magazine and glow in the dark darts. 

MSRP: 

$35

Buy Link: 

Discontinued

Pros:

  • Very compact
  • Customizable
  • Built in stock
  • Lots of modification potential
  • Comes with 18 dart magazine
  • Magazine fed

Cons:

  • Discontinued, hard to find
  • Heavy awkward trigger pull
  • Requires batteries
  • Loud
  • Modification requires electrical knowledge 

Opinion:

This a decent alternative to a Stryfe, if you can find one. The bullpup design makes the Rayven very small, since it doesn't need a stock the entire blaster can easily fit in a backpack. The fact that it comes with an 18 round magazine makes it much more useful out of the box than a Stryfe, but the magazine is a glow in the dark dart firefly tech magazine, making it heavier for the glow in the dark gimmick. Because the trigger is in front of the magazine, the trigger pull is very heavy and awkward, and pulling the trigger only partway can easily cause jams. If you really like bullpup blasters and are able to find one of these somewhere, its not a BAD blaster, but I wouldn't really recommend it. 

Overall Score: 6/10


Elite Cam ECS-12

Keywords: 

flywheel, battery powered, semi-automatic, magazine fed, camera, Elite

Description: 

The Cam is a semi-automatic flywheel blaster with a built in stock and barrel. It features a camera integrated above the magazine well that allows the user to take photos and videos while using the blaster. It does not have a stock or barrel attachment point, thought it does have two tactical rails. It comes with a 12 dart magazine. 

MSRP: 

$85

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Semi-automatic
  • Built in stock
  • Camera
  • Magazine fed
  • Lots of modification potential

Cons:

  • Extremely expensive
  • Large
  • Camera is really bad
  • Very little modification potential
  • Requires batteries
  • Loud
  • Modification requires electrical knowledge

Opinion: 

The Cam is almost certainly in the top 5 worst blasters that Nerf has ever made. It is very overpriced for what you get, being a crappy camera mounted to the top of a reshelled Stryfe. The built in stock is quite nice, but the camera is very bad, shooting horrible quality video at a very low frame rate. The camera is also mounted very near to the flywheels, causing the sound recorded to be just the sound of motors revving. As far as the blaster's actual function, it is simply a reshelled Stryfe, like any other semi-automatic flywheel blaster. The shell is pretty, the stock is nice and the function is good, but the camera is awful and drives the price up to an unacceptable level. 

Overall Score: 1/10


Elite Hailfire

Keywords: 

flywheel, battery powered, magazine fed, semi-automatic, Elite, revolver

Description: 

The Hailfire is a high capacity battery powered flywheel blaster, with a rotating carousel holding up to 8 magazines, for a maximum capacity of 144 darts. The blaster features no barrel or stock attachment points, one tactical rail, and a handle to rotate the carousel between magazines. It comes with 4 6 dart magazines. 

MSRP: 

$40

Buy Link: 

Discontinued

Pros:

  • Very high capacity possible
  • Semi-automatic
  • Lots of modification potential
  • Magazine fed

Cons:

  • Only comes with 4 6 dart magazines
  • No customization options
  • Large and heavy
  • Rotation mechanism struggles with full load
  • Modification requires electrical knowledge
  • Expensive
  • Loud
  • Requires batteries

Opinion:

The grandest of all larger Stryfes, the Hailfire's rotating carousel allows it to hold 8 magazines at once, for a maximum capacity of 144 darts. The trade off is a very large and heavy blaster. Since the blaster only comes with 4 6 dart magazines, to get the full capacity you are required to buy 8 18 magazines, which adds quite a bit to the already high price.  The rotation mechanism on the carousel also sometimes struggles to move the weight of 8 18 magazines, making the blaster ineffective at the one selling point it has. I can't recommend this blaster. 

Overall Score: 4/10


Doomlands Impact Zone Desolator

Keywords: 

battery powered, flywheel, semi-automatic, magazine fed, Impact Zone

Description: 

One of the first blasters in the new Impact Zone sub-line, the Desolator is a battery powered flywheel blaster with a built in stock. It does not feature a barrel attachment point, but it does have two tactical rails on the top. It comes with a 10 dart impact zone magazine. 

MSRP: 

$30

Buy Link: 

Not yet released

Pros:

  • Small
  • Built in stock
  • Semi-automatic
  • Lots of modification potential
  • Magazine fed

Cons:

  • Loud
  • Requires batteries
  • Very few customization options
  • Stock is very short
  • Modification requires electrical knowledge
  • Only comes with a 10 dart magazine

Opinion: 

It is a bit difficult to give my opinion on this blaster, since it has not yet been released, but it seems to be yet another Stryfe reshell, this time with a built in stock. From the images, the stock seems to be very short. The lack of a barrel attachment point is a bit disappointing, but it works with the "smg" style of design. If you want a Stryfe with a stock, this is a good option. 

Overall Score: 7/10


Rebelle Rapid Red

Keywords: 

flywheel, battery powered, semi-automatic, magazine fed, Rebelle

Description: 

The Rapid Red is the Rebelle version of the Stryfe, featuring battery powered flywheel blasting. This blaster doesn't have a barrel attachment or a stock attachment point, and features only one tactical rail on top. It comes with a decoder to read the "secret message" darts, and a 12 dart magazine.

MSRP: 

$30

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Very small
  • Semi-automatic
  • Lots of modification potential
  • Magazine fed

Cons:

  • No customization
  • Expensive for what you're getting
  • Loud
  • Requires batteries
  • Only comes with 12 dart magazine
  • Modification requires electrical knowledge

Opinion:

The Rapid Red is essentially just a Stryfe reshell, but shipping with a 12 dart magazine instead of the 6 dart magazine, and with no barrel or stock attachment points. For that, you have to spend $10 more than on a Stryfe, which is definitely not worth it. However, I personally like the look of the Rapid Red a lot more than the Stryfe, and if you're not going to put a stock or barrel on it anyways, the Rapid Red is not a bad choice at all. 

Overall Score: 7/10


Elite Stockade

Keywords: 

flywheel, battery powered, revolver, customizable, semi-automatic Elite

Description: 

The Elite Stockade is a remake of the old N-Strike Barricade. It features a revolving cylinder that holds 10 darts, as well as a stock attachment point and one tactical rail. It comes with a stock that can hold 10 darts. 

MSRP: 

$20

Buy Link: 

Out of production

Pros:

  • Easy to reload
  • Semi-automatic
  • Comes with great stock

Cons:

  • Power switch instead of rev trigger
  • Only holds 10 darts
  • Does not accept Nerf magazines
  • Loud
  • Requires batteries
  • Doesn't accept barrel attachments
  • Not as much modification potential as other flywheel blasters
  • Modification requires electrical knowledge

Opinion: 

This blaster is out of production now, and not really worth trying to find anywhere. It only has a 10 dart cylinder, which is very low when compared to the similar Incisor with 16, and Fearless Fire with 20. Rather than utilizing a secondary trigger to rev up the flywheel, this blaster has a switch on the side, which means you have to leave it running for longer, making it a very frustrating blaster to use. The motors used are not the typical flywheel motors, and they are much worse, making modifying this blaster not worth the time and effort. On the plus side, the stock is very nice, its fairly sturdy and holds 10 extra darts, and if you can find one of the stocks alone, I'd recommend grabbing one. The blaster itself though is not a great choice. 

Overall Score: 4/10


Alien Menace Incisor

Keywords: 

flywheel, battery powered, revolver, Alien Menace

Description: 

This is one of the first in the new Alien Menace line of blasters, and it features a revolving drum that holds 16 darts. While there is no stock or barrel attachment points, or any tactical rails, the Incisor does have a built in stock, a built in barrel, and a built in foregrip. 

MSRP: 

$30

Buy Link: 

Not yet released

Pros:

  • Easy to reload
  • Built in stock
  • Built in angled foregrip
  • Lots of modification potential

Cons:

  • Loud
  • Requires batteries
  • Stock is very short
  • Doesn't accept Nerf magazines
  • No customization options at all
  • Modification requires electrical knowledge

Opinion: 

Its hard to give an opinion on this blaster until it actually comes out, but it seems like it might be a decent choice for HvZ if you really want a blaster that will let you scavenge ammo off of the ground. With a 16 dart cylinder, you have a decent number of shots, and the fact that you can top off the drum while ready to fire means that you shouldn't run out of ammo often. The stock seems very short from the images, unfortunately, and you can't put your own stock on it. I am not sure if this blaster is semi automatic or fully automatic. For the price though, this blaster is a full package. You have a blaster with a stock, a foregrip and a decent capacity, all for $30. If you want a small flywheel blaster for HvZ, this is definitely not a bad choice. 

Overall Score: 7.5/10


Rebelle Fearless Fire

Keywords: 

flywheel, battery powered, revolver, semi-automatic, Rebelle

Description: 

The Rebelle Fearless Fire is a 20 round flywheel revolver. This blaster doesn't have a barrel attachment point or a stock attachment point, but it does feature a built in stock and a built in foregrip, as well as one tactical rail on top.

MSRP: 

$35

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Relatively high capacity
  • Easy to reload on the fly
  • Built in stock and foregrip
  • Lots of modification potential
  • Semi-automatic
  • Sometimes jams

Cons:

  • Loud
  • Requires batteries
  • Stock is too short
  • Doesn't accept Nerf magazines
  • Modification requires electrical knowledge

Opinion:

If you want a flywheel blaster that you can reload on the fly, this is the blaster for you. The 20 dart cylinder ensures that you won't run out of ammo very fast, and the ability to load in darts as you go makes it even better. Unfortunately, the stock is pretty short on this blaster, and you need to pull the trigger all the way back on every shot or it might jam. If you can tolerate the short stock and get used to the long trigger pull, this blaster can be a very capable HvZ primary. 

Overall Score: 7.5/10


Elite Rapidstrike

Keywords: 

flywheel, battery powered, fully-automatic, customizable, magazine fed, Elite

Description: 

The Elite Rapidstrike is a fully-automatic flywheel blaster in the Elite line. This blaster features a built in extendable stock, a barrel attachment point, and 5 tactical rails. It comes with an 18 round magazine. 

MSRP: 

$40

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Fully automatic
  • Magazine fed
  • Comes with 18 round magazine
  • Built in extendable stock
  • Accepts barrel attachments
  • TONS of tactical rails
  • Lots of modification potential

Cons:

  • Low rate of fire
  • Loud
  • Requires C batteries
  • Large, even with stock collapsed
  • Modification requires electrical knowledge
  • Internals are very complex

Opinion:

The Rapidstrike can be a great blaster. I think its an awful blaster for HvZ. Being fully automatic, you go through ammo very quickly. That being said, the rate of fire is quite low in its stock form, and you can fire a pump action blaster or a semi-automatic flywheel blaster much faster. The stock is super nice, very sturdy and adjustable to whatever length you need. The fact that it comes with an 18 round magazine makes the Rapidstrike one of the few Nerf blasters that might not instantly require the purchasing of another magazine to make it practical. I personally think that fully automatic blasters aren't good for HvZ, as you waste too much ammo, but a fully modified Rapidstrike used by someone who knows to conserve their ammo can be deadly. 

Overall Score: 6/10


Elite Hyperfire

Keywords: 

flywheel, battery powered, fully-automatic, magazine fed, Elite

Description: 

The Elite Hyperfire is the newest fully-automatic blaster in the Elite line. It features a built in stock, no barrel attachment point, and one short tactical rail. It comes with a 25 dart drum magazine. 

MSRP: 

$50

Buy Link: 

Not yet released

Pros:

  • Very high rate of fire
  • Fully-automatic
  • Magazine fed
  • Built in stock
  • Comes with 25 dart drum magazine
  • Lots of modification potential

Cons:

  • Loud
  • Heavy
  • Expensive
  • Hard to conserve ammo
  • Requires D batteries 
  • Modification requires electrical knowledge

Opinion:

This blaster has an even higher rate of fire than the Rapidstrike, making it even worse at conserving ammo in a game. The built in stock is decent, but fairly large and not removable, since it houses the batteries. The blaster itself is already $10 more than the Rapidstrike, and since it requires D batteries, it will even up being even more expensive. The inclusion of a 25 dart drum magazine is amazing, meaning that you won't have to buy another magazine with the blaster if you don't need more than that, but I still wouldn't recommend this to someone. 

Overall Score: 7/10


Elite Rhino Fire

Keywords: 

flywheel, battery powered, fully-automatic, magazine fed, double barreled, Elite

Description: 

The Rhino Fire is an extremely large, fully-automatic double barreled machine gun. It obviously doesn't have a stock or barrel attachment point, but it does have a few tactical rails. The comes with a tripod and two 25 dart drum magazines. 

MSRP: 

$100

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • High rate of fire
  • Comes with 2 25 dart drums
  • Fully automatic
  • Magazine fed

Cons:

  • Needs two magazine to function
  • Extremely large and heavy
  • Requires D batteries
  • Loud
  • Extremely expensive

Opinion: 

The Rhino Fire is not a good blaster. I would never recommend that anyone spend $100 on a Nerf blaster, and especially not on the Rhino Fire. The fact that it comes with 2 25 dart drum magazines is very nice, but in order for the blaster to even function, it has to have both magazines inserted, which means it is impossible to reload one side while firing from the other side. Obviously for HvZ this blaster is not very practical. It is very large and heavy, and not something you would want to carry around with you for long periods of time. The tripod is nice, but HvZ requires so much moving that it wouldn't be of very much use. 

Overall Score: 2/10


Buzz Bee:


Ultra Tek 8/Champion

Keywords: 

springer, magazine fed, top prime, Ultra Tek

Description: 

The Ultra Tek Champion is a Buzz Bee blaster very similar to the Nerf Retaliator. It features a top priming slide, and no attachment points of any kind. It comes with an 8 dart magazine that is compatible with Nerf products. 

MSRP: 

$15

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Extremely cheap
  • Very small
  • Good performance
  • Magazine fed
  • Compatible with Nerf magazines

Cons:

  • Awkward top priming slide
  • No customization options
  • Only comes with 8 dart magazine

Opinion:

This blaster is amazing. For only around $15 you get a very small primary that you could easily fit in a backpack or even a large pocket. It functions much like the Nerf Retaliator, you prime it with a slide on top of the blaster. Top priming slides aren't that good when compared to pump action priming mechanisms, but they don't ruin the blaster. This blaster is compatible with Nerf magazines as well, meaning you can buy this blaster and still share darts and magazines that your Nerf-using friends have. If you want a good, cheap blaster that you can use as a primary, and don't care about a stock, barrel extension, sight, or high quality plastic, this is perhaps the best blaster you can get. 

Overall Score: 9/10


Ultra Tek Reaper

Keywords: 

springer, top prime, magazine fed, Ultra Tek

Description: 

The Utra Tek Reaper is a new magazine fed blaster from Buzz Bee. It features a priming slide on top, and does not include a barrel or stock attachment point, or any tactical rails. It comes with an 8 dart magazine. 

MSRP: 

$10

Buy Link: 

Not yet released

Pros:

  • Small
  • Magazine fed
  • Compatible with Nerf magazines
  • Very cheap

Cons:

  • No customization options
  • Only comes with 8 dart magazine
  • Awkward top priming slide

Opinion:

Oh man this thing looks cool. We just found out about this blaster a few days ago, and it has already jumped pretty high up on my list of blasters to get. The shell is extremely cool looking, and if it has the same great performance of all recent Buzz Bee blasters, it'll be awesome. Unfortunately it doesn't have any customization options and only comes with an 8 dart magazine, but because of the cross compatibility with Nerf, getting more magazines and ammo shouldn't be too dificult. With its extremely cool looking shell and very, very low price, this blaster may be an extremely good choice for new players looking for a small primary. 

Overall Score: 9/10


Ultra Tek Sentinel

Keywords: 

springer, lever action, magazine fed, Ultra Tek

Description: 

The Ultra Tek Sentinel is Buzz Bee's answer to the Nerf Slingfire. It features a similar lever action priming mechanism and has a built in stock. It comes with an 8 dart magazine. 

MSRP: 

$20

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Extremely good performance
  • Magazine fed
  • Compatible with Nerf magazines
  • Fun priming mechanism
  • Very cheap

Cons:

  • No customization options
  • Stock is too short
  • Metal priming bar is uncomfortable
  • Only comes with 8 dart magazine
  • Priming takes some getting used to

Opinion: 

If you can find one of these, get it. It has the best stock performance of any blaster that is compatible with Nerf magazines. Although the lever is metal and has no padding, making it uncomfortable, this blaster is among the best possible options. The stock is way too short to use, and there are no customization options, but if you're looking for a blaster that is all about performance and will consistently perform very well, this is the blaster for you. Of course, with an 8 dart magazine, you'll need to buy a larger one, but the compatibility with Nerf magazines means you have a lot more options. 

Overall Score: 9/10


Ultra Tek Snipe/Ultra Master Tek

Keywords: 

springer, bolt action, sniper, magazine fed, Ultra Tek

Description: 

The Ultra Tek Snipe is a bolt action sniper rifle. It features a barrel attachment, a built in stock, and a detachable scope, and it comes with an 8 dart magazine.

MSRP: 

$17

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Good performance
  • Comes with built in stock
  • Comes with barrel and scope
  • Very cheap
  • Magazine fed
  • Compatible with Nerf magazines

Cons:

  • Bolt action prime is awkward
  • Large
  • Stock is too short
  • Only comes with 8 dart magazine

Opinion: 

This is another great option from Buzz Bee. If you want to feel like a sniper, while still having a magazine fed blaster that shoots pretty well, this is a good option. With the screw on barrel and slide on scope, you have several different customization options. Although the stock is too short, the blaster looks good when fully assembled, and shoots pretty well. Its hard to find anything that can compare with it from Nerf for only $17. While it only comes with an 8 dart magazine, the cross compatibility with Nerf makes it easy to find more magazines. One of my friends did have an issue with this blaster though, where he managed to break the bolt off. Even if it does break, for $17 its not nearly as much of an issue as it would be if a Nerf blaster breaks. 

Overall Score: 7/10


Walking Dead Rifle


Keywords: 

springer, bolt action, magazine fed, sniper, Walking Dead

Description: 

Another sniper type offering from Buzz Bee, this Walking Dead Rifle is a bolt action magazine fed blaster based more on a hunting rifle than a tactical sniper rifle. It features a built in stock and a detachable scope, and comes with an 8 dart magazine.

MSRP: 

Unknown, probably around $15

Buy Link: 

Not yet released

Pros:

  • Built in stock
  • Comes with scope
  • Very cheap
  • Magazine fed
  • Compatible with Nerf magazines

Cons:

  • Stock is too short
  • Only comes with 8 dart magazine
  • Bolt action prime is awkward

Opinion:

We don't really know much about this blaster yet, so it is hard to give my opinion on it. If it shoots as well as the other recent Buzz Bee blasters, it'll be a decent blaster at least. The stock will certainly be too short, and unlike on the Snipe, the barrel is not removable, making the blaster permanently rather long. Only coming with an 8 dart magazine, it will be necessary to buy a larger magazine very quickly. The bolt action prime will make it difficult to fire quickly, but if you want to feel like a sniper and use a cheap and probably well performing blaster, this might not be a bad option. 

Overall Score: 7/10


Walking Dead M16


Keywords: 

springer, top prime, magazine fed, Walking Dead

Description: 

The Walking Dead M16 is an upcoming blaster from Buzz Bee. It is modeled after the M16 rifle, and features a built in stock and barrel. It comes with a 12 dart magazine. 

MSRP: 

Unknown, probably around $20

Buy Link: 

Not yet released

Pros:

  • Magazine fed
  • Compatible with Nerf magazines
  • Cheap
  • Built in stock

Cons:

  • Awkward top prime
  • Only comes with 12 dart magazine
  • Stock will likely be too short
  • Large

Opinion: 

Oh man am I excited for this one. The aesthetics of this thing are awesome, looking enough like an M16 to satisfy kids but fake enough to be safe to use. The priming handle is very cleverly hidden as the carrying handle on top, and it is compatible with Nerf magazines. If the performance is as good as other recent Buzz Bee blasters, this one will be just as great. As with any blaster that comes with a 12 dart magazine, it will be a good idea to quickly buy another magazine if you want to be ready for HvZ or any dart war, but the likely low price of this blaster should make it easy to afford another magazine as well.

Overall Score: 8/10


Ultra Tek Sidewinder

Keywords: 

HAMP, revolver, pump action, Ultra Tek

Description: 

The Ultra Tek Sidewinder doesn't use a spring, instead relying on the speed and force with which you move the priming handle to force the darts to fire. It features no attachment points for any accessories, and comes with a 30 dart drum.

MSRP: 

$20

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • High capacity
  • Pump action
  • Cheap

Cons:

  • HAMP power
  • Not compatible with magazines
  • Large
  • No customization options

Opinion:

I have never held one of these, so I don't really know firsthand if they are any good. They definitely hold a lot of darts, and they can fire them off very quickly. The biggest problem with them is that the trigger is fake, and the blaster is fired by simply pulling and pushing the pump grip to manually move the air to fire the darts. This means that if you don't pump it hard enough, it won't fire very far, resulting in the performance being very inconsistent. For a closer range game, however, like HvZ, this blaster might do fine. As long as you got used to the way it functioned, you could probably use it to great effectiveness, but due to the lack of customization and the lack of a way to store power, I can't really recommend this blaster. 

Overall Score: 5/10


Extreme Air Max 10

Keywords: 

air powered, revolver, Extreme Air Max

Description: 

The Air Max 10 is an air powered revolver. The pump on the bottom fills the air tank with several strokes, and pulling the trigger fires one dart and rotates the cylinder. This blaster has a 10 dart cylinder, and no attachment points for any accessories. 

MSRP: 

I can't find any definitive information. I believe it was no more than $20

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Decent performance
  • Cheap
  • Easy to reload
  • Quite small

Cons:

  • Slow to fire due to pumping
  • Only holds 10 shots
  • Hard to find
  • No customization options

Opinion: 

I wish I had one of these. I was never able to find one in a store. I have the smaller version, the Extreme Air Max 6, and it is truly one of my favorite blasters ever. This blaster is super fun, but the low capacity of only 10 darts makes it difficult to use in HvZ or a war. That being said, the open revolving cylinder makes it very quick and easy to reload by scavenging darts from the ground. If you really want an air powered blaster for some reason, and you manage to find one of these things somewhere, it would probably be an okay secondary, but I wouldn't recommend it as a primary. 

Overall Score: 6/10


Ultra Tek Destiny


Keywords: 

air powered, clip fed, fully-automatic, Ultra Tek

Description: 

The Ultra Tek Destiny is an air powered fully-automatic blaster, meaning you have to pump it up a lot before firing all the darts. It features no attachment points for accessories, and comes with a 20 dart proprietary clip. 

MSRP: 

Unknown, probably around $20

Buy Link: 

Not yet released

Pros:

  • Extremely high rate of fire
  • Comes with 20 dart clip
  • Fully-automatic
  • Clip fed
  • Cheap

Cons:

  • Proprietary clip
  • Not compatible with magazines
  • Rate of fire is too high
  • Requires a lot of pumping before firing

Opinion:

I think that this blaster is going to be amazingly fun, but equally amazingly impractical. It can get through the entire 20 dart clip in only 2 seconds, making the rate of fire great for having fun, but awful for conserving ammo in a game. That combined with the proprietary clip design that is currently used by no other blasters means that getting clips for this blaster might be rather difficult, and the time spent pumping it up between bursts would make it difficult to use in a game. I would definitely recommend this blaster for fun, and MAYBE as a hilarious last resort secondary in a game, but not as a primary. 

Overall Score: 5/10


Ultra Tek Brute

Keywords: 

flywheel, battery powered, fully-automatic, magazine fed, Ultra Tek

Description: 

The Ultra Tek Brute is a fully automatic flywheel blaster from Buzz Bee. The blaster features a built in stock and no way to attach any other accessories. It comes with a 20 dart magazine. 

MSRP: 

$25

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Magazine fed
  • Compatible with Nerf magazines
  • Cheap
  • Fully-automatic
  • Built in stock
  • Comes with 20 dart magazine

Cons:

  • Rate of fire isn't great
  • No customization options
  • Stock is a bit short
  • Loud
  • Requires batteries
  • Modification requires electrical knowledge

Opinion: 

If you like the idea of a Rapidstrike but don't want to spend the money, this is likely the best option. It is significantly cheaper, but functions very similarly, giving a similar rate of fire and similar performance. The fact that it comes with a 20 dart magazine is great, but I have heard from some people that the 20 dart magazines can jam occasionally. Even though the stock is a bit short and there are no ways to mount accessories, for the price it is hard to find a better blaster. However, I don't think that fully automatic blasters are very good for HvZ, since you are likely to waste ammo, so I wouldn't personally recommend this blaster. That being said, it is not at all a bad choice. 

Overall Score: 7/10


Ultra Tek Cyclonic

Keywords: 

flywheel, battery powered, magazine fed, fully-automatic, Ultra Tek

Description: 

The Ultra Tek Cyclonic is a new fully automatic blaster from Buzz Bee. It features a revolving aesthetic barrel, and no attachment points for any accessories. It comes with a 20 dart magazine. 

MSRP: 

Unknown, probably around $25

Buy Link: 

Not yet released

Pros:

  • Fully-automatic
  • Cheap
  • Magazine fed
  • Compatible with Nerf magazines
  • Comes with 20 dart magazine

Cons:

  • Probably not great rate of fire
  • No way to attach any accessories
  • Loud
  • Requires batteries
  • Modification requires electrical knowledge

Opinion:

This will probably be a very similar blaster to the Ultra Tek Brute, being a fully automatic blaster that takes magazines. The front barrel will be drawing off power to rotate just for show, so to be effective that will have to be removed. The fact that it comes with a 20 dart clip is very nice, although as I said before, I've heard that these 20 dart clips sometimes jam due to not being able to feed fast enough. I think this blaster might be pretty good, but I don't know why you would choose this one over the Brute, it doesn't have a stock and the barrel on the front will just be distracting. 

Overall Score: 6/10


BOOMco:


Rapid Madness

Keywords: 

air powered, fully automatic, clip fed

Description: 

This is a fully automatic air powered blaster. After pumping the blaster up about 20 times, you pull the trigger to fire off all 20 darts in a row. This blaster features a built in stock, no barrel attachment point, and 3 tactical rails. It comes with a tactical rail shield mount, a target, and a 20 dart clip.

MSRP: 

$50

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • High rate of fire
  • Fully-automatic
  • Clip fed
  • Uses BOOMco darts
  • Built in stock
  • Comes with 20 dart clip

Cons:

  • Rate of fire is too high
  • Performance isn't very good
  • Not compatible with Nerf or Buzz Bee products
  • Very large
  • Requires lots of pumping

Opinion: 

Much like the Utra Tek Destiny, this blaster fires its darts way too fast for HvZ. Firing about 10 darts a second, you go through all of your ammo and all of your air very, very quickly, forcing you to stop and pump it up 20 more times. The ranges achieved by this blaster are also very lacking when compared to the Nerf or Buzz Bee options. However, there is nothing quite as satisfying as pulling the trigger and watching 20 darts hit your target. I would definitely recommend this blaster for fun, but as it is a bit expensive, quite large, and the rate of fire is too high, I wouldn't really recommend it for HvZ. 

Overall Score: 6/10


Stealth Ambush

Keywords: 

springer, pump action, shotgun, clip fed

Description: 

The Stealth Ambush is a spring powered blaster from BOOMco. It features pump action blasting with no trigger, as well as a pop up three-dart shotgun on top. It doesn't have a barrel or stock attachment point, but does have a tactical rail. This blaster comes with a tactical rail shield, a target and an 8 dart clip. 

MSRP: 

$40

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Pump action
  • Clip fed
  • Pop-up backup shotgun
  • Dart storage for 2 extra shotgun shots
  • Always on sale
  • Uses BOOMco darts

Cons:

  • Lacking performance
  • Expensive MSRP
  • Only comes with an 8 dart clip
  • Not compatible with Nerf or Buzz Bee products
  • No trigger
  • Very complex internals

Opinion: 

This blaster is definitely not worth $40. However, it is always on sale, and I've seen it go as low as $13. For that price, this blaster is fantastic. While it doesn't have a trigger, it kinda does. When you pull back the rear handle, the blaster is primed. It returns automatically to a resting position, and then from there pushing the handle forward another centimeter or so will release the catch and fire the blaster. With this mechanism, you can use it as though it had a trigger, even though it doesn't. Coming with only an 8 dart clip, you'll need to get a bigger one too, but that isn't a problem since BOOMco clips are always on sale, and you can pick up a 40 dart clip for usually around $10-15. The range of this blaster isn't great, but the accuracy is superb, since it uses the vastly superior BOOMco darts. For HvZ, the accuracy matters a lot more than the range, since hitting zombies as they run is an important part of the game. For that, I would definitely recommend this blaster if you can find it cheap, its a ton of fun, the accuracy is amazing, and the firs time the zombies realize you also have a pop up shotgun, their reactions will be priceless. 

Overall Score: 8.5/10


Mad Slammer

Keywords: 

springer, pump action, clip fed

Description: 

This blaster is a pump action clip fed blaster from BOOMco. It is very simple, featuring no barrel or stock attachment points, and only one tactical rail. It doesn't have a trigger, and it comes with two targets and a 20 dart clip.

MSRP: 

$25

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Pump action
  • Clip fed
  • Uses BOOMco darts
  • Very small
  • Easy to modify
  • Has storage for 4 extra darts
  • Comes with 20 dart clip

Cons:

  • Not compatible with Nerf or Buzz Bee products
  • No trigger
  • No customization options
  • Lacking performance

Opinion:

This blaster is my current HvZ primary. I bought one because I thought they looked cool, and then I never used it for about a year until I decided to modify it. In stock form, the performance isn't that great compared to Nerf or Buzz Bee, but with a simple mod I was able to fit 3 springs inside, and now it fires incredibly hard. The lack of a trigger can be frustrating, but like with the Stealth Ambush, you can still use it as though it had a trigger. Another reason I love this blaster is how tiny it is. It has a very narrow frame without the clip in it, and I often carry it in the laptop pocket of my backpack. If you can find one of these on sale, and you intend to modify it, it is a great blaster and I'd highly recommend it. 

Overall Score: 8/10


Breakflip

 Keywords: 

springer, lever action, flip prime, clip fed

Description: 

The BOOMco Breakflip is quite a unique blaster in that to prime it, you whip the whole blaster down and then back up, rotating it around the handle. It doesn't have a barrel or stock attachment point, but does feature one tactical rail. It comes with a target and either an 8 dart or 20 dart clip.

MSRP: 

$30

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Fun priming mechanism
  • Can be primed one-handed
  • Can come with a 20 dart clip
  • Uses BOOMco darts
  • Quite small
  • Clip fed

Cons:

  • Sometimes skips darts
  • Not compatible with Nerf or Buzz Bee products
  • Not the best performance
  • No customization options
  • Can come with only an 8 dart clip
  • A bit of a pain to modify

Opinion:

This blaster comes either in white and blue from target with a 20 dart clip, or in lime green with an 8 dart clip. I used one of these as my HvZ primary for a few games, and it performed admirably. Even with the stock performance, I was able to hit a lot more zombies than I would with a nerf blaster, due to the increased accuracy of the BOOMco darts. The one major issue with this blaster is that there is nothing really holding it up. Once primed, the blaster is able to flop back down, advancing the clip another notch and skipping a dart. This can easily be remedied by simply holding it with two hands, but then you lose the enjoyment of priming it one handed. It really is a very fun blaster with a very unique priming mechanism, and I love mine. 

Overall Score: 8.5/10


Flipbow

Keywords: 

springer, flip prime, crossbow, clip fed

Description: 

Modeled after a crossbow, the BOOMco Flipbow is a clip fed blaster that uses their unique flip to prime mechanism. The blaster is primed by rotating the entire blaster upwards around the handle, then returning it back down. The blaster doesn't have a barrel extension or stock mounting point, but it does features two very short tactical rails. It comes with a target and a 20 dart clip. 

MSRP: 

$30

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Fun priming mechanism
  • Can be primed one-handed
  • Clip fed
  • Uses BOOMco darts
  • Comes with a 20 dart clip
  • Removable bow arms
  • Quite small

Cons:

  • Not compatible with Nerf or Buzz Bee products
  • Sometimes uncomfortable handle
  • Slightly awkward to use two handed
  • Quite wide with bow arms
  • Slightly lacking performance
  • No customization options
  • A bit of a pain to modify

Opinion: 

This blaster is very similar to the Breakflip, but instead of flipping down, it flips up to prime. It also feeds its magazine vertically rather than horizontally. This blaster doesn't suffer from the same flopping issue that plagues the Breakflip, allowing flawless one-handed operation. By not installing the bow arms, you get a very small blaster that can be primed one handed easily and can hold up to 40 darts if you buy the BOOMco 40 dart clips. This makes it great for dual wielding, but equally useful for two handed use. My only complaint about this blaster is that the hand guard on the handle is slightly too small for my hand, resulting in discomfort if I hold it for a long period of time. I honestly like the Breakflip and Flipbow about equally, but I do think that for most people the Flipbow is a slightly better option. 

Overall Score: 9/10


Crankforce

Keywords: 

springer, crank prime, clip fed

Description: 

The Crankforce is a blaster that uses a crank mounted on the side of the blaster to prime it. It features a built in stock with storage for 8 darts and one tactical rail, but no barrel attachment mounting point. It comes with a target and an 8 dart clip.

MSRP: 

$20

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Clip fed
  • Uses BOOMco darts
  • Fun priming mechanism
  • Built in stock
  • Ambidextrous crank
  • Extra dart storage in the stock

Cons:

  • Awkward crank prime
  • Not great performance
  • Not compatible with Nerf or Buzz Bee products
  • Only comes with 8 dart clip
  • No customization options
  • Stock is a bit short

Opinion: 

This is certainly a weird blaster. Cranking to prime is a very awkward motion, and it is nearly impossible to hold the blaster steady while cranking it. That being said, holding down the trigger and just cranking away to slamfire out all your darts is very satisfying, if extremely inaccurate. The stock is slightly too small, but offers a way to hold an extra 8 darts. With only an 8 dart clip included, it is important to get a bigger clip instantly to get the most out of this blaster and its silly priming mechanism. While this blaster is really fun, its also really not practical at all, and I don't think I'd ever use in an HvZ game

Overall Score: 6/10


Halo UNSC SMG/Covenant Carbine

Keywords: 

springer, top prime, clip fed, Halo

Description: 

I've grouped these two together since they are the same internals in different shells. These blasters are licensed Halo blasters, featuring a top priming slide. Neither blaster has mounting points for any accessories, although the SMG does have a built in foregrip. Both blasters come with a 6 dart clip. 

MSRP: 

$20

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Very small
  • Clip fed
  • Uses BOOMco darts

Cons:

  • Tiny and awkward handles
  • Not great performance
  • Awkward top prime
  • Only comes with 6 dart clip
  • No customization options
  • Not compatible with Nerf or Buzz Bee products

Opinion:

Pretty much two of the worst BOOMco blasters, these two are both too small with handles that are too alienating to large hands. The use of a top slide to prime the blasters is okay, but not the best priming mechanism. The inclusion of only a 6 dart clip with the blasters makes them not at all useful out of the box, requiring buying a larger clip to make them practical. Overall, these aren't awful blasters, but there are much, much better options when picking a BOOMco blaster. 

Overall Score: 5/10


Dynamag

Keywords: 

springer, top prime, clip fed

Description: 

This blaster is a very small pistol that takes BOOMco clips. It is primed with a slide at the back of the top, and features no barrel or stock attachment points, but one tactical rail. It comes with a target and a 6 dart clip. 

MSRP: 

$15

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Very small
  • Clip fed
  • Uses BOOMco darts
  • Easy to modify

Cons:

  • Too small to be a good primary
  • Only comes with a 6 dart clip
  • Not compatible with Nerf or Buzz Bee products
  • Awkward top prime
  • Somewhat lacking performance
  • Doesn't really like working with 20 or 40 dart clips

Opinion: 

In its stock form, this blaster isn't that good. It only has a 6 dart clip, doesn't shoot that far, and if you try to use it with a larger 20 or 40 dart clip, gravity will pull the clip too far, causing it to miss some of the darts. However, if you intend to mod your blaster, the Dynamag becomes a surprisingly great blaster. It is extremely easy to add in a second spring, and when you do that and upgrade the springs that hold the clip to allow it to be used with 20 and 40 dart clips, you get a tiny little pistol that shoots harder than many other stock blasters. If you have no intention of modding this blaster, I would never recommend it as a primary, but if you want something very small that can hold a lot of ammo and shoot well, nothing really beats a modified Dynamag. 

Overall Score: 8/10


Spinsanity 3x

Keywords: 

flywheel, battery powered, revolver, semi-automatic

Description: 

The Spinsanity 3x is a flywheel blaster from BOOMco. It features a revolving cylinder made up of three other cylinders, each holding 10 darts for a total of 30. The pump grip on the front rotates from one cylinder to the next. It doesn't have attachment points for barrels or stocks, but it does have one tactical rail. It comes with a target. 

MSRP: 

$35

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • High capacity
  • Uses BOOMco darts
  • Easy to reload
  • Semi-automatic

Cons:

  • Not compatible with Nerf or Buzz Bee products
  • Not clip fed
  • Loud
  • Requires batteries
  • Large
  • No customization options
  • Not great performance
  • Modification requires electrical knowledge

Opinion:

I don't like flywheel blasters, and this one is no exception. While it does hold a pretty decent 30 darts, they are in 3 10 dart cylinders. That means that reloading on the fly is easier, but reloading the entire thing takes a lot longer than swapping out a clip for another clip. This makes it good for scavenging darts off the ground, but not great for fast full reloads. The performance isn't very good in stock form, with ranges falling shorter than an average Nerf blaster. This blaster is also very large and takes a lot of batteries, making it somewhat heavy as well. If you really want a flywheel blaster and you really want a BOOMco blaster, this one isn't awful, but I wouldn't really recommend it. 

Overall Score: 5/10


Colossal Blitz

Keywords: 

flywheel, battery powered, fully-automatic, revolver, select fire, double barreled

Description: 

The BOOMco Colossal Blitz is a massive blaster featuring two revolving drums, each holding 36 darts for a total of 72 shots. It can be operated in both semi-automatic and fully-automatic modes, toggled with a switch on the side. It doesn't have attachment points for barrels or stocks, but it does have 4 tactical rails. 

MSRP: 

$90

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Huge ammo capacity
  • Uses BOOMco darts
  • Select fire
  • High rate of fire
  • Easy to reload
  • Built in foregrip

Cons:

  • Extremely large and heavy
  • Loud
  • Requires C batteries
  • No customization options
  • Takes forever to reload fully
  • Not clip fed
  • Not compatible with Nerf or Buzz Bee products
  • Not great performance
  • Very expensive
  • Modification requires electrical knowledge

Opinion:

I think that this is perhaps the most absurd and amazing blaster that I own. I would never use it in HvZ. I love that this thing gets a good, high rate of fire on fully-auto mode, but the select fire switch lets you use it semi-automatic instead if you don't want to waste all your ammo. 72 shots is a hugely high amount, and the exposed drums let you stick darts that you find in the reload while firing. Unfortunately, if you manage to fire through all 72 darts, reloading the entire blaster takes an extremely long time. If you have to run during a game, running with this thing is not pleasant, since its so gigantic and heavy. For the price of $90 you get a huge, impressive and hilarious blaster, but not something I'd recommend for HvZ.

Overall Score: 5/10


Dart Zone:


Covert Ops Scorpion/Scorpion Commander

Keywords: 

flywheel, battery powered, belt fed, fully-automatic, Covert Ops

Description: 

The Covert Ops Scorpion is a belt fed minigun-styled flywheel blaster from Dart Zone. It features a rotating barrel at the front for show, and does not have any accessory mounting points. It comes with either an 18 or 20 dart belt depending on the model. 

MSRP: 

$20

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Decent rate of fire
  • Fully-automatic
  • Comes with 18 or 20 dart belt
  • Small
  • Cheap
  • Easy to reload
  • Very good performance

Cons:

  • Not compatible with Nerf darts
  • Not magazine fed
  • Loud
  • Requires batteries
  • Awkwardly small
  • Tiny handle
  • No customization options
  • Takes a long time to fully reload
  • Modification requires electrical knowledge

Opinion: 

When this first came out, everyone was talking about it. It was very cheap, and had insanely good performance without needing any modification. It had one major problem, however- it wasn't compatible with Nerf or Buzz Bee darts, instead using its own, shorter, proprietary darts. However, Dart Zone has said recently that their future blasters will all be compatible with Nerf darts, including a remake of the Scorpion. Once it becomes completely compatible, this blaster will have great stock performance and relatively high capacity, but as with all other non-magazine fed blasters, you'll have to be sure to scavenge ammo to reload often, since reloading the entire thing will take a long time. With this blaster, however, you do have the option to reload by simply switching out the belt for another belt, but that also takes significantly more time than just changing a magazine. This blaster looks like it would be quite large, but in reality it is very small, almost disappointingly so. However, if you want a unique blaster with great performance and a decently high capacity, the next model of this that is compatible with Nerf darts might be a good option. 

Overall Score: 7.5/10


Covert Ops Enforcer

Keywords: 

flywheel, battery powered, belt fed, fully-automatic, Covert Ops

Description: 

The Enforcer is a brand new blaster from Dart Zone, featuring a 40 dart belt fired using flywheels. The blaster doesn't have any accessory mounting points, and comes with a 40 dart belt. 

MSRP: 

$30

Buy Link: 

Not yet released

Pros:

  • Massive capacity
  • Easy to reload
  • Cheap
  • Fully-automatic
  • Good rate of fire

Cons:

  • Loud
  • Requires batteries
  • Isn't magazine fed
  • Very wide
  • No customization options
  • Full reload takes a very long time

Opinion:

This thing is... interesting. If you want a cheap fully-automatic blaster with high capacity, this might be the best option. It seems like it will be a very wide blaster, however, which will make maneuvering it around slightly difficult. While you can definitely switch out the belt for another one, reloading a belt entirely will be very time consuming when compared to loading a magazine or even loading a clip. It is supposed to be compatible with Nerf darts, and if it has Dart Zone's usual good performance it might be a good blaster to pick up if you want a more unique blaster and like fully-automatic flywheel blasters. 

Overall Score: 7/10


Covert Ops Powerbolt

Keywords: 

springer, pump action, belt fed, Covert Ops

Description: 

The Powerbolt is a pump action blaster from Dart Zone. It is a slamfire only blaster, meaning there is no trigger. To fire you simply pull the handle backwards, and when it reaches the back, it fires a dart. The Powerbolt has no accessory mounting points, and comes with 2 18 dart belts.

MSRP: 

$20

Buy Link: 

Pros:

  • Pump action
  • Comes with 2 18 dart belts
  • Cheap
  • Quick to reload

Cons:

  • Not compatible with Nerf darts
  • Not magazine fed
  • Takes a long time to fully reload
  • No trigger
  • No customization options

Opinion:

Like with the Dart Zone Scorpion, I would not recommend this blaster currently, as it is not compatible with Nerf darts. If Dart Zone does rerelease it to make it cross compatible with Nerf products, it could be a decent primary. The lack of a trigger makes it harder to aim, but with some practice that isn't a huge issue. Reloading the belt is easy while keeping the blaster ready to fire, but swapping out the belt for a new one is a bit of a long process, meaning you either have to keep the belt topped up as your shoot by scavenging darts and reloading on the fly, or you have to have your friends cover you for a while so you can swap out the belts. I think if this became compatible with Nerf darts it would at least be an okay choice for an HvZ primary, if you want something more unique. 

Overall Score: 7/10


Covert Ops Magnum 

Keywords: 

springer, top prime, revolver, Covert Ops

Description: 

The Magnum is a brand new blaster from Dart Zone. It features a top priming handle, and a 40 dart cylinder, as well as an arm brace at the back. It doesn't have any accessory mounting points. 

MSRP: 

$20

Buy Link: 

Not yet released

Pros:

  • Massive capacity
  • Fairly small
  • Forearm brace
  • Compatible with Nerf darts
  • Cheap
  • Quick to reload

Cons:

  • Quite wide
  • No customization options
  • Takes a long time to reload completely
  • Awkward top prime

Opinion:

This might honestly be a great HvZ primary. With the arm brace built into the grip, holding the blaster for a long day of running around shooting zombies won't be as bad as you would think. The cylinder holds 40 darts, so it'll be a lot of firing before you run out, and with the open faced cylinder design, it will be easy to top off your ammo supply whenever you have a spare moment from darts that you find on the ground. If you do empty the entire drum, it will take quite a while to reload, but with 40 darts, you won't need to do a full reload very often. If this thing gets the same good performance as the rest of the Dart Zone line, it should be a very effective blaster to use in HvZ and in any dart war. 

Overall Score: 8.5/10


Closing thoughts:

Man, that was a lot longer than I intended it to be when I started working. And there are still so many decent blasters that I didn't even include. Hopefully I'll revise and update this as we get more information about future blasters and they start to be released. I suppose after everything is said and done, I didn't decide on one "perfect" blaster. If you want a Nerf blaster, the Rampage or Retaliator are my choices. For Buzz Bee, the Sentinel if you can find one, or the Air Max Champion is also a great option. For BOOMco, a Breakflip or a Flipbow will do marvelously, and for Dart Zone, their new Magnum looks very promising. Hopefully soon I'll get around to making a flowchart for choosing a primary as well, so that people don't have to actually slog through all this text to choose a blaster. And then maybe I'll do a similar thing about pistols and secondaries. We'll see. 

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