Sunday, October 3, 2010

Alpha Trooper vs.. Alpha Trooper?

Two Alpha Troopers walk into a bag..
Ok.. so putting the automatic weapons aside, I'm back to poppin' wit ma 'trooper yo! While I am clearly a big fan of the tuff lil Alpha, there are many owners out there who..well aren't. Personally I had experienced almost above average ranges and accuracy from the blaster and I hear there are many of you who would agree with me, but then there seems to be a proportion of you out there who find the Alpha Trooper is pretty much a disappointment and fires horribly. One answer to this could be managing expectations (maybe I'm easily satisfied!) or perhaps the other is maybe the quality control- maybe some of these are poorly made and others are just freaks of an over zealous factory worker?

This gave me the perfect excuse to pull another one out of its box.. In the interests of testing and research:)

My Alpha Troopers were bought from different suppliers;  AT #1 has been used significantly over the past few months, whereas AT#2 was just cracked open this morning.  AT#2 was purchased first but stayed in its box because it took ages to arrive, whereas AT#1 is actually a newer release blaster (but older in terms of my usage).

Going down to my underground carpark, I took both Alpha Troopers and two packets of 18 fresh darts (actually the ones that came with one of my Stampedes) for this test. Each blaster had a chance to shoot with the other's drum (just in case the drum could affect the performance). No wind in the underground carpark, just the odd bemused neighbour taking out their rubbish:) (I did notice however for the first time the really unusual dramatic arc the dart does once it's flown for some distance.. at times it just suddenly veers off to the side?)

After the tests-to be honest.. I was a lil disappointed that there actually WAS a difference.  AT#2 was significantly underpowered compared to AT#1. I could possibly chalk this up to issues with spring wear or frequency of use if AT#2 WAS the blaster I used the most, but it wasn't. And, while there were a few rounds where the AT#2 did get some decent distance, but on the whole it was quite a bit less than the older blaster.

AT#2 was hitting around 11-12 metres and AT#1 was getting around 14-15 metres easy (and yes, this was on contact with the ground, not after the bounce). 

I admit given I mostly use them inside in my apartment, the ranges aren't that big a deal so I probably wouldn't have noticed had I not gone down to the carpark. It won't have me whining and throwing my inferior Trooper out.. although maybe I'll have to be calling it "Beta Trooper" now:P (I can now understand why modding becomes popular..)

Anyway..strangely enough.. there's a difference. I'm not wondering if this is the case with other Nerf blasters as well; when you read posts of people saying "I hate (insert blaster here) it sucks" maybe they've just got themselves a dud?


  1. Fire another fifty shots out of the newer AT and you'll find that it'll fire a bit better. I find that after you warm the spring up a bit, it'll work better.

    My original Alpha Trooper was terrible. Darts used to spiral. And I mean, do a full arc in the air before it would hit the ground. It looked kinda cool. But very frustrating. I changed the spring around over :)

    What I do realise though, is that the streamline darts tend to fly to the side or dip straight down sometimes. I personally find it annoying. "T" darts float the furthest, but they swing really hard. The "E" darts don't seem to swerve as badly though.

  2. Hopefully this fault doesn't crop up when Oz gets a shipment of ATs to (probably) Target.
    P.s. Can I have your inferior AT? :P

  3. I still think it's awesome. :)

  4. Speaking of "Old Blaster" vs. "New Blaster", I got my Nite Finder EX-3 last year (it kicks butt), and now my little brother just got one a few days ago and his ("New Blaster") Nite Finder's (when we put batteries in it) light is brighter and...better:(

    Oh well:p

  5. Thanks for running some tests and enduring your neighbors obvious jealousy. Did you test firing level, or up for max distance? I'll try to get my wife to help me do a better test. My blaster may be more in line with your first AT and not a legit 18-20M.
    Hearing that yours will go 12M and 15M does make me feel like the AT is one of the better stock blasters.

  6. Just got mine yesterday and I think it's a good one! :)

  7. I got mine and it shoots about 30ft. so I use it all the time in wars