Thursday, April 30, 2009


Taking a look back at blasters of olde-

What we're talking about today is the Nerf Blastfire. It was part of the Nerf Airjet line back in the late 90s, and I remember wanting to get it because it reminded me so much of the guns I saw on the show, "Farscape." It was large, five barrels, and semiautomatic. It had a twist, though. There was a large orange button on the top, and if you were primed and ready, if you opted to hit that button instead of pulling the trigger all five darts would shoot out at the same time! I termed a fire mode like this "Alpha strike" taken from BattleTech terminology for a fire mode where a mech will unload its entire ammo supply on something. So does the Blastfire.


It has a pretty decent range, but I tell you that a kneeslide paired with a meant for an instant hit. Not quite as efficient as a true shotgun would be, but effective all the same. The barrels fire sequentially top to bottom.

What you do is pull the green slide back and forth to ready the chambers. Pump 6 times and you're locked and loaded. I'd probably say I could get 30 feet out of my stock blaster, and the trigger always fires. Comfy to hold with either one or two hands, this thing has had nothing else like it. The Hornet is the same idea, but the trigger I found too unreliable, not to mention it definitely does not hold as well as the Blastfire. If you get the chance, definitely grab it. Even stock, you'd be glad you did.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Full video from the first ChANO- for the public!

Some of the music is from Halo, yes. And all rights belong to the respective owners. I'm just a guy with a camera who loves the music. If you gank the vid, please make sure you let people know where it came from! ^_^

ChANO 2009 from Video Ninjas on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Putting this up so the involved parties can have a look before full release...

ChANO 2009 from Video Ninjas on Vimeo.

Monday, April 13, 2009

ChANO - 2009


This weekend marked the first meetup for a Nerf battle I knew about that was organized through the Nerf Internet Community and staged in the city of Chicago, specifically Hyde Park. Most of the Chicagoland Nerf Wars I had heard about were organized in the surrounding suburbs, this was a nice change of pace.

11 AM, April 11th. Information Day. It took a member of California's vaunted Nerf community to set the whole shebang up, but finally it happened. "Ice Nine" from Nerfhaven chose to go to school in Our Fair City and he confessed an itchy trigger finger. Having participated in Nerf Wars in California, he and his roommate, "Zorn's Lemma" decided to get the ball rolling and put out word MONTHS before on Nerfhaven, inviting all interested fighters and guests. One of whom, was yours truly.

Now I'd organized some battles before within my circle of friends but never went so far as to organize a group from Nerfhaven. This was how I found myself wandering around Promontory Point on a Saturday afternoon. I figured all I had to do was look for the brightly colored weaponry, name calling, and a large group of people. Coming over the hill, I looked down and saw some foam darts laying around. And more. Following the trail, I found them in the middle of capture the flag. Quick introductions and a team assignment later, I was out there with my Disk Shot pistol and crossfire shield in hand.

Until that day it had been awhile since I'd been on the field. Running from position to position, jumping, taking pot shots... it was coming back. Not entirely sure how good I felt about running into six blasters and an N-Force sword camped around the flag objective but whatever, it was the nature of the game and I had to remember how to play, and remember fast.

There was the familiar click of priming handles, the snap of plunger heads colliding along plunger tubes, and the "foomp" from air guns. Darts whistled past my ear crashing into benches and playground equipment. People were yelling, running, and jumping all over the place. At times all I saw were swirls of the yellow and red flags, the grass, the sky, and the various bright colors of the plastic Sometimes all I could hear was the pounding of my heart. Sometimes I opted to sit out so I could take photos and video; it was crazy to make sense of all the action and small struggles that comprised each round. Hunters became the hunted, teams were dwindled, mates disappeared. Unlikely and unarmed heroes rose above the ranks to unlock their achievements for victory.

As the day went on, I was able to attach names to faces. Snake, Ice9, Zorn, Mr.Badwrench, DemonLord, Finnster to name a few. All decent enough fellows. There were maybe close to 20 total, and the darts came flying fast and furious during each round.

Some personal highlights came from running through large crowds of the other team untouched and tagging at least one of them. My "Han Solo" moment chasing a target and then running into his entire team, having to run away and find my front lines again, yelling "TRAIN!" to make sure they knew I was in trouble. Dead man rushes, one of which ended up with me going headfirst into a high powered PAS (pump-action shotgun). Very deadly, very accurate and not the smartest idea. Somehow though, the only contact I heard was the "ptank" it made bouncing off my crossfire shield. When I looked up, I saw the amazed looks and kudos, confirming I achieved the unlikely. A quick shot and a sprint to safety later, I finally got to relish the vindication. Close to that point, I figured I should play a bit more and then call it a day because I couldn't do anything better for the rest of the fight. For me, the fight was finished.

In addition to the fighting, just seeing everyone's mods in person was finally seeing money where their mouths were. It was confirmed with my own eyes the ranges these guns got, and damn it was kinda scary to think one day I would be on the other end of that barrel. Spare parts were up for grabs and people were able to trade and sell as needed, as the community helps each other out to get our mods to be all they can be. Or at the least, open up space for new acquisitions.

Living the dream, as they say. Words to practice and thoughts to action. Hey, when in doubt... squeeze the trigger and give it a shot.


Thursday, April 09, 2009

Holy crap... HvZ anyone? Or not...

So the link above provides a bit about how Bowling Green State University ( have been playing Humans Vs. Zombies ( and unfortunately, the players have been getting in trouble. While I haven't had the joy of playing this particular game type, I know the weapon of choice for the humans tends to fire foam projectiles. It looks like concerned citizens are phoning in about students running around campus with firearms and in this day and age, it's not that surprising to be honest.

I remember back in grade school, I once brought a water pistol to class. It was clear blue and plastic, but was found out and warned that I would be in serious trouble for having that at school, as it was considered a firearm. At least, that's what they told me.

It would take a bit of work to make a nerf blaster lethal. Annoying, sure... painful, yeah... but fatal?

When I was in undergrad I had my fair share of times running around with my nerf blaster, and to be fair I never bothered to check if it was considered contraband by the school rules. I just assumed it being brightly colored was enough to indicate I was not waving anything around that was dangerous. In hindsight, that was pretty reckless.

The point of it all? Check and double check, make sure your school is aware of the appearance of nerf blasters and related products so they can head concerns like these off at the pass. It's a different world and we can't take a lot for granted anymore. I like to think that communicating what you're doing, what you're using, and what to expect can mean the difference between a blanket ban and a controlled limitation. Be safe and be smart.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

When in Detroit...

Fear this: nonlethal nerf round&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi

See that blue round in the first row? Apparently, Detroit police can use THAT as a nonlethal countermeasure for crowd control.

With the original link provided, here's the article:

"If Final Four fans get too rowdy, cops have Nerf attack ready


Detroit Officer Brandon Cole loaded the Nerf round into a launcher, warned onlookers to back away and fired.


The projectile slammed into a tree trunk, leaving a little puff of smoke in its wake.

Cole smiled slyly: “It’d make you leave, right?”

That’s the goal of the non-lethal Nerf round — a blue sponge grenade meant to temporarily incapacitate security threats through blunt trauma. Used properly (read: between 5-120 feet away from the target), the grenades don’t break skin or even break a rib.

Instead, it’s “pain compliance,” Cole said. In short, it hurts, hopefully halting any hijinks that too-feverish Final Four fans might start.

“We’re basically getting prepared,” Cole said.

Not that Detroit police hope — or expect — to have to use any of the non-lethal gadgets their “grenadiers” with the Tactical Mobile unit practiced with today. But Michigan State University has had Final Four-related riots in the past.

If things do get out of hand, Cole said it’s better to use tear gas and sponge grenades than bullets.

Among their arsenal:

• Tear gas that can be deployed grenade-style by pulling a pin and lobbing the can into a crowd, or shot by a 12-gauge launcher or 37-mm gun. Officers usually launch a smoke-only grenade first to test the wind.
• The so-called Nerf rounds, which are shot from a 40-mm gun and travel 300 feet per second.
• The 12-gauge bean bag launch (remember those welts left on Johnny Knoxville in “Jackass: The Movie”?), which are smaller and do more damage than their Nerf counterparts.

“It’s all just physics,” Cole said.

And, hopefully, unnecessary.

“This is just precaution,” he said. “If they know we’re out there, we hope they’ll stay in line.”

Contact AMBER HUNT : 586-469-4682 or"

Damn... definitely a far cry from getting shot with one of these (, eh?