Nerf Vortex Vigilon

nerf vortex vigilon

The smallest of the 2011 Nerf Vortex lineup, the Vigilon is a spring-loaded disc blaster. Slightly longer and bulkier than the Nerf Maverick, this blaster is easy to hold for hands of all sizes, and its nice weight gives the impression of sturdiness. In short, it should appeal to anyone who would like a small disc shooter at their side.

Like the other Vortex blasters, the Vigilon features a tactical rail that makes it compatible with most N-Strike accessories.

The Vigilon features a five disc internal clip system. The clip opens easily enough, thanks to a spring loaded mechanism that you control by flipping a little switch on the side of the blaster.

Loading the discs is simple, but it can cause some headaches at times. The experience reminds me of loading a Pez dispenser — sometimes you’ll have to fight a little bit to get the discs laying flat instead of on their sides. This is a minor problem, but it’s worth mentioning.

To prime the Vigilon, simply slide the top-mounted slider backwards and then push it forward again. Once primed, pull the trigger to fire.

These new Vortex blasters pack quite an impressive range out of the box, and the Vigilon is no exception. Expect it to fire between 55-65 feet when held at a slight upward angle.



Nerf Vortex Praxis

nerf vortex praxis

Nerf Vortex Praxis Review

The Nerf Vortex Praxis is a 10 disc shooter, and one of the stars of the new Vortex line.

Complete with a tactical rail and removable shoulder stock, you can mix and match most of the N-Strike accessories you’ve acquired over the years with those that come with the Vortex. Though most accessories are simply cosmetic, they do look cool — and it’s definitely nice that Nerf releases backwards compatible weaponry.

The Nerf Praxis makes use of a removable 10 disc clip, which seems to be the perfect capacity for these new Nerf disc guns.

If you want a larger disc capacity, the Nitron has a 20 disc clip — but for me, the 10 disc clip is a nice tradeoff between capacity and load time.

Firing the Praxis is easy, even for little hands. Simply prime the blaster once using the nice grip that’s found just below the front of the barrel, and pull the trigger to fire a disc.

Out of the box, you can expect to shoot discs between 55-65 feet. In my opinion, this is pretty incredible — I don’t remember the last time that Nerf released a blaster that had that ability out of the box. Sure, these are discs and not darts, but that doesn’t make it any less satisfying to shoot a target a long way away.

I was highly skeptical of the discs at first after becoming so accustomed to Nerf darts, but I have to say that I’m now a big fan. They may not be as accurate as darts, but they’re way more fun.

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Nerf Speedload 6

nerf speedload 6


Nerf Speedload 6 Review

The Speedload 6 is one of the most unique Nerf guns to be released in recent years, both in terms of appearance and functionality. Sort of a hybrid between a pistol and a rifle, I suspect that the Speedload will be one of the 2011 Dart Tag blasters that we will be using for a long time to come.

The Speedload 6 features an integrated clip system with a six dart capacity. The integrated clip is found on the left hand side of the gun, close to the barrel. Given the location of the clip, left handed people may find it a bit awkward to load. But for the rest of us, loading the darts is quick and easy. With a little practice, loading six darts will only take a few seconds.

I have only had the darts jam once when using the Speedload 6, and it was my fault (d’oh). Thankfully, jams are easy to fix by opening the well-placed jam door on the front right side of the blaster.

There are two ways to fire the Speedload 6: slamfire mode and ‘standard’ mode. To activate slamfire mode, just hold down the trigger and repeatedly pump the cocking mechanism. This firing method works well, and I was really surprised  (in a good way) to see this feature on a Nerf handgun.

The stock range on this blaster is 25-30 feet, which is really pretty great for a handgun. I’ve been consistently impressed with its consistency and accuracy.

The Speedload 6 comes with six whistler tagger darts.


The Nerf Speedload 6 is a very versatile blaster that will please most Nerf fans. The slamfire mode is an excellent addition that separates this blaster from others, and the overall design and execution is top notch. I’d recommend this blaster to everyone.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary Speedload 6 from Nerf. While it was an awesome and appreciated gesture, it did not influence my review in any way.


Nerf Sharp Shot

nerf sharp shot

Nerf Sharp Shot Review

The latest in a long line of single fire Nerf blasters, the Sharp Shot is a good secondary weapon that may become the primary go to pistol in some Nerfer’s arsenals.

The first thing you’ll notice when you take the Sharp Shot out of the box is that this blaster feels really sturdy. I have pretty big hands, and it was still very comfortable to hold. I also gave the Sharp Shot to my daughter to use for awhile (my young test subject), and she said it was comfortable as well. I don’t know what kind of wizardry Nerf is up to, but seriously, keep it up — the quality of these 2011 guns is impeccable so far.

It’s not often that I’ll mention a belt clip in a review, but the one that comes with the Sharp Shot is actually pretty cool. In the past, removing your Nerf blaster from your belt has almost always been pretty awkward. However, this clip is designed in such a way that all you have to do is pull on the blaster and it pops right off. Whether you decide to use the clip is up to you, but it’s a pretty cool design regardless.

Out of the box, the Sharp Shot shoots about 20-25 feet, which is pretty good for a single shot blaster. Younger kids will be happy with it how it is, and modders can make some simple adjustments to the air restrictor to easily increase the range to 40 feet or more.

The Sharp Shot has storage for four darts: one in the barrel, and three in the reserve slots in the front.


At a retail price of $7.99, the Nerf Sharp Shot is an incredible value for the money. I’d whole heartedly recommend it to Nerf fans of all ages.


Nerf Swarmfire Blaster

nerf swarmfire

Nerf Swarmfire Review

If one thing is certain, it’s that Nerf’s 2011 Dart Tag line blows away the Dart Tag lineups from previous years. Combining futuristic design with great performance, I’ve been pretty excited about getting my hands on these blasters, and the Nerf Swarmfire is one of the guns that turned my head when I first heard about. 20 dart capacity? Auto fire? Dart Tag? Sign me up!

Though the Swarmfire isn’t a perfect Nerf gun, it does a lot of things very well. For starters, the overall appearance is awesome. I’d grown a little tired of the orange and green Dart Tag guns from years past, and this new ‘alien’ look is great — I’m a big fan.

The blaster itself is very durable, and will hold up well to extended play. I haven’t experienced any jamming issues, and the autofire works as advertised. As with other automatic Nerf guns, the Swarmfire does require batteries to operate (6 Cs). I don’t know exactly how long you can expect the batteries to last, but I can tell you that I’ve probably put a solid half hour of firing time into mine and it’s still going strong. Considering that you can empty the blaster completely in about 10 seconds, you can expect to get pretty good life out of your batteries.

My only real complaint about the Swarmfire is that I’ve been a little spoiled by the elegance of the clip system, and it feels a little old school to manually reload all 20 darts each time.  If you don’t have a stockpile of darts at your disposal, I’d recommend picking up some extras.  Having more darts will cut down on the time you have to spend cleaning up between sessions. The Swarmfire can fire Dart Tag Darts, Suction Darts, and Whistler Darts.

The Swarmfire is also a little front heavy, but the shoulder stock does a pretty good job of balancing things out, so it’s a very nice blaster to hold.

The best thing I can say about the Swarmfire is that it’s a lot of fun to use. The gun feels good in your hands, and the automatic firing never gets old.


The Nerf Swarmfire is one of the best Dart Tag guns that Nerf has ever made. It may not be a perfect blaster, but it would still make a great addition to any Nerf arsenal.


Nerf Barricade RV-10

nerf barricade

The upcoming Nerf Barricade appears to be yet another fantastic addition to what has been a very strong year of Nerf N-Strike releases.

The Barricade is a motorized semi-automatic Nerf blaster with a 10 dart revolving barrel. Internally, the Barricade uses flywheels to fire the darts out of the barrel, which is pretty cool — just make sure that you use the right darts (sonic darts), so that the flywheel will ‘grab’ the darts correctly. The Barricade will require 3 AA batteries to operate.

Loading the Barricade appears to be pretty simple. You’ll have to load the darts one at a time, manually rotating the barrel as you go. To fire, just turn the switch to ‘on’, and pull the trigger. Expect average ranges to be fall in the 25-30 feet range.

There is a tactical rail on the top of the gun, so you can add your scope, favorite stock, or whatever you like. The more guns that Nerf releases, the more I love the tactical rail system.


Nerf Stampede

nerf stampede

The Nerf Stampede is an automatic blaster. It’s a lot like the Vulcan in its execution, but there are a few primary differences:

1. The Stampede is way lighter than the Nerf Vulcan is. In fact, the Stampede is surprisingly portable, and can easily be carried and fired with the same hand (kids will have a hard time holding and firing with one hand, but it shouldn’t be a problem for anyone 12 or older).

2. Whereas the Vulcan uses an ammo belt, the Stampede uses the clip system. And seeing as the Stampede is an automatic blaster with a high rate of fire, Nerf has introduced a new 18-dart clip with the launch of the Stampede.

3. The Stampede does not have an automatic pump mode, meaning that batteries are required.

Rate of Fire

In my testing, I found that the Nerf Stampede fires approximately three shots a second. If you don’t want to go full automatic, firing single shots is also very easy to do, as the number of darts fired is determined by the length of time that you suppress the trigger.


I was very pleased with the range. I’d estimate that most shots travel between 25-30 feet, which is really pretty impressive considering that the gun is battery operated.


The Stampede comes with two primary accessories: The shield and the tripod. Both accessories are removable, and use the tactical rail — meaning that they can also be used on other guns that feature the tactical rail in the Nerf N-Strike line.

In addition to using the clips that come with the Stampede, you can also use the drum from the Nerf Raider to further increase the dart capacity.


As with all clip system Nerf guns, the Stampede ECS uses streamline darts.


The Stampede requires 6 D batteries to use. As mentioned above, there is no manual pumping mechanism, so this Nerf gun will not work without batteries.

Also, be aware that the Stampede does make a rather loud ‘pew pew’ sound when it’s fired. While I find the sound pretty unoffensive, parents with children who might play with the Stampede for hours on end may want to make sure that they have a good spot outdoors in case the sound gets on your nerves.

I was not able to find a shut off switch for the sound effects, but ultimately the sound does serve a purpose — it does a great job of masking the mechanical sound of shooting the gun (which would be far more annoying).


The Nerf Stampede ECS is an absolute blast to play with. It couples the rapid automatic action of the Vulcan, but it comes in a much smaller and manageable package. The rate of fire and range are both excellent, and in the end, any Nerf fan should be able to have a lot of fun with the Stampede.

Pick one up when they come out in September.


Nerf N-Strike Spectre REV-5

nerf spectre

I have another new Nerf gun to announce: The Nerf N-Strike Spectre REV-5.

I’m pretty pumped about this one. It combines features of the Maverick (one of my favorite Nerf guns) with the Recon (which I think is a bit underrated). In short, my curiosity is definitely piqued.

This is what I know about it so far:

  • It will be available in October exclusively at WalMart.
  • It has a 5-dart rotating barrel blaster.
  • The stock is adjustable.

I’ll update this post with more information as I receive it.


Nerf N-Strike Barrel Break IX-2

nerf barrel break ix-2 n-strike

Another new announcement from Nerf, this time in regards to a new double barrel blaster called the N-Strike Barrel Break IX-2.

I don’t know much about the Barrel Break yet, but here is what I do know:

  • The Barrel Break IX-2 will go on sale in August
  • It will be available only at Toys R Us
  • It’s a double-shot blaster
  • It features a Tactical Ammo Storage accessory with room for 8 additional darts

Personally, I’m pretty excited for the double barrel action.

More details to come…


Nerf N-Strike Alpha Trooper CS-18

Nerf Alpha Trooper CS-18 N Strike

The Nerf N-Strike Alpha Trooper CS-18 blaster will be released in August of 2010, and it looks like it has a ton of potential to be awesome.

I don’t have all the details yet, but here is what I do know:

  • It will be a Target exclusive
  • It features an 18 dart drum
  • It has rapid fire capability

I’ll post more details as they come.