Friday, August 20, 2010

Review: Nerf N-Strike Barrel Break IX-2

Nerf Barrel Break IX-2. You could be mine... oh wait. you are.
With visual cues from sawn off shotguns in any good action flick, the Barrel Break IX-2 is the most original blaster Nerf have brought out for a while. The Barrel Break boasts genuine double barrel firing power, with it having the ability to offload two rounds at the same time. It looks tough..but how good is this hotly anticipated blaster REALLY?
The Barrel Break IX-2 comes in a relatively small box. It's supposed to be a Toys R Us exclusive, but they're not stocked in Australia (this one came from Singapore).

Barrel Break IX-2 box. Same kid on the front as all the new blasters.
Inside, you pretty much get the basics- one Barrel Break, one pack of whistler darts and a ammo rack to store your darts. Kudos to Nerf for getting rid of those @#$% metal ties and replacing them with much easier to open, environmentally friendly paper string.

Inside the box. Yup... as I said pretty much:)

The blaster feels great to hold- it's a bit bigger than I thought it would be, but has a great weight to it and you can feel pretty comfortable holding it with one hand or two. Size wise is comparable to other mid range blasters like the Alpha Trooper CS-18.

Barrel Break size against an Alpha Trooper
The Barrel Break uses a very unique loading/priming function unlike other Nerf blasters. Depressing the switch at on the grip near the trigger allows you to pull open and "break" the blaster to load your darts.

Aww man I broke it..

Ensuring your Barrel Break is "broken" completely, as a half cocked effort will jam your blaster which I found on my first play. Once you've opened it, you can simply load your two darts in the chamber.

all lined up and ready to go!
Snapping the barrel back into place also arms the blaster and you're ready to fire off some rounds! Performance is surprisingly good given what I have read; these new Nerf blasters out of the box definitely have some kick behind them and I'd have to say this particular piece would rival a Longshot in terms of power and distance. Pulling the trigger completely offloads two rounds at the same time, allowing for true double shot performance, but a half press will fire off the left barrel first, followed by the right if you pull the trigger again. It's actually really fun and you very quickly get into the shootin' tootin' (or zombie slayin') mood real quick:)

Night light on top of the Barrel Break.. 
The Barrel Break comes with the N-Strike tactical rails to allow you to attach other N-Strike accessories, although it's REALLY supposed to be for attaching your spare rounds for firing. You can always attach the ammo rail on TOP of your accessory..

Barrel Break with Camo darts on a Recon light:)
The Barrel Break IX-2 is a LOT of fun to play with- it looks fantastic and has very decent ranges and power. My issues with it is mainly the fact it ultimately only shoots two darts and relies heavily on the wielder's ability to reload manually as fast as they can. While everyone goes on about it being a great side arm, I personally feel you're restricted by only having two rounds to work with in heated situations. Loading the Barrel Break still requires two hands, so dual wielding is STILL not really possible unless you're happy two of them primed and be restricted to four rounds. Ultimately it's still just shooting the same dart you'd use in a Maverick or a Nitefinder so it's not like you've got amazing real shot gun power:P

That being said, I LOVE IT. It's just so much fun to load and fire, it's solid and has a great weight to it and did I mention how tough it looks?

23-8-10 UPDATE: One thing about the Barrel Break IX-2 is you can't have darts in the chamber without priming the blaster. Most other Nerf blasters can have darts in the barrel (or clip) but unless the primer is cocked, you can squeeze the trigger with nothing (sorta like a makeshift safety); in the Barrel Break's case, once you've "broken" the blaster, loaded the darts and closed it up, it's ready to fire. The only way you can actually tell if the Barrel Break is loaded is to squeeze the trigger and see, OR try to "break" the barrel open and if it is loaded, you'll squish the darts in two:P (the third way is to look down the barrel.. but I never think that's smart, foam or otherwise!)

No word on when it'll be available in Australia, but they're going for around 30-40 bucks US from online e-tailers. Get one if you can, you'll love it.

Usability: 6/10
Out of the box performance: 9/10
Cool factor: 9/10
Price point: 6.5/10 (only because you have to either import it or buy from a grey import seller)


  1. I love this one, my bf has one and it's my favourite Nerf gun from his collection. I thought it was exclusive to the US?

    Great review btw

  2. It's available in HK + Singapore (possibly Malaysia too) as well; I ordered mine from Singapore.

    I have to admit, it's definitely up there as one of the most fun blasters I've used. I've kept it on me around the apartment for the past few days and still find it awesome to use.

  3. I finally bought one today (in Malaysia) and totally loving it. Now I can't wait to kill some zombies..

  4. I found this blaster in my local Toys R Us store and was going to buy it but did not think that it would not be unavailible in Australia. what is better this or the Alpha Trooper? Because I might buy an AT at target today

  5. THIS GUN IS AWESOME! my friend has it and i use it so much i can load it w/ 1 hand (except putting in the darts.)

    is this or the alpha trooper a better deal for the money?

  6. I've had my barrel break for a while and I love it!! In close hand combat this really tells the other team to back off!! I had to get mine at toys r us so if you get the chance to get one GET IT!!!! I live in the US so I could just go downtown and get mine. And I got mine for about $20.

  7. I've been wanting one of these for a few months now - trolling my local Toys R Us stores every two weeks and last week a flyer from them announced Barrel Breaks for half price at $15 (Canadian). So I got two of them today and plan on turning one into a Steampunk style shotgun. (They also got a whole tonne of Sonic series Mavs and Recons - definitely going to get some more Mavs.)

  8. best nerf gun ever

  9. I've got one (last one at toys r us) and you can check if its cocked without puting your darts or your eyes in danger. You can see the orange tubes through the 'vents' in the grey section above the back of the grip. (I hope that made sense)

  10. There are also sonic series barrel breaks at Toysrus.

  11. Pocket,
    If you look at the back of the blaster, you actually can see if it's loaded or not. If it is, the two gill-looking things will be orange. if not, they just look like... gills..?

  12. sweet gun, its pretty compact. it would be best for a stationary nerf war, or just shooting it around the house. fells good in your hands and is a good all around gun.