Thursday, August 31, 2006

We're live! Tales from the Front lines.....

Man, it's been a long time since the last entry. In the past few months though, a lot has happened. The Magstrike and Longshot came out, to both thunderous applause (kind of) and whispered cautions (if not outright assdickery.) So the run-down:

Magstrike:
10-shot, fully auto or (relatively) semi-auto depending on how the weight of your trigger finger.

Aesthetically, the thing looks pretty sweet albeit a little like a paintball gun. The bladder/stock adds to this effect. Basically a sleeker looking Powerclip (see www.nerfcenter.com for pics of the Powerclip) the thing rattles off a spray of ammo among the ranks of the Wildfire and RF-20. The ammo fires out of a 10-barreled clip that auto advances from the internals through the top of the gun. The system is meant to be used for dart tag games and variants, hence the inclusion of the goggles and vest along with 20 dart tag darts. Depending on your tastes you can choose Church or Sarge. I mean, red or blue. The clip can be loaded with either stock ammo with suction/whistler tips, but more on the effectiveness of that later. Sizewise, the gun has a bit of heft to it, for even a grown adult such as myself, and the stock fits rather comfortably against my bicep when using both hands. Honestly though, this gun is made for guns akimbo.

I said it. AKIMBO. JOHN-WOO CALL ME "TEQUILA" STYLE. If not for the 25-30 pumps needed to prime the weapon, not very feasible in a long-drawn out skirmish. However, one can do the job QUITE nicely. 10 shots, reloading is a snap by pulling out the spent clip from the top of the weapon and sliding the fresh one in with little effort. Despite the split-second break that an RF-20 or Wildfire does not experience in reload, the Magstrike is the victor in target reliability.

The Wildfire and the RF-20 used a circular, 20-barreled design which got the darts towards the target, but in 20 different locations so the darts had a wider spread but no consistency. With the magstrike firing from a single point (well, 2 since the dart holes are staggered in the clip)the darts at least follow a more similar trajectory where the variance is less than it would be on a wildfire or RF-20. In situations where inches mean the difference between making your shots and falling into retreat, I like the magstrike.

This gun is by no means perfect though. While a good mechanic, the gun itself seems prey to unreliable performance. The clip barrels may/may not hold the darts if the clip is held facedown. If the darts slip, this means that they will not have the air focusing behind them and instead it will travel around the darts, affecting range and power. I found this especially true of stock sonics, micros, and firefly refills. Even some taggers may be too thin for the barrels on the magstrike clip. I recently took my magstrike out onto the field of battle and ended up switching to my trusty Blastfire because my darts always fell short of the target. Literally, someone managed to avoid all my shots because the darts fell a foot short of where I expected them to end up. That's partially user error too and fugly ammo, but all the same I didn't have any taggers at the ready to try out instead. Another issue reported (but not witnessed by me) is misfiring. I don't recall that happening but that necessitates study. At nerfhaven, someone noted the clip slides back into the body of the Mag, making it possible that empty barrels would fire instead of the loaded ones. A fix has been posted, involving layers of electrical tape. I need to test it range and accuracy wise against the wildfire, rf20, and with tagger ammo loaded in order to ensure the reliability of the initial action. Sadly, I do not own one of the Powerclips so testing the reincarnation against the predecessor is no possible. Right now I want to believe in the Magstrike and further testing/usage is necessary, but I can't say I feel comfortable enough to call it an "arsenal standard."

Transmission out, stay foamy.

FOAMME FATALES

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