Monday, October 11, 2010

Barrel Break IX-2: Up Close + Personal

"Barrel Break IX-2. To guard my precious assets"
The Nerf N-Strike Barrel Break IX-2 is an upcoming (by Australian standards) blaster that fires two rounds between each load, either simultaneously or one after the other. It gets its design cues from a sawn off shotgun and is although we've only had it for a few months (our review here), it's already become a firm favourite amongst us at Urban Taggers. Soo what makes it so cool and why do we like it so much?

Barrel Break in hand. and held in the most awkward manner.
Barrel Break: Fully 'broken'
The Barrel Break was initially our LEAST coveted blaster in the new 2010 N-Strike release range, being able to ONLY fire two darts at a time, and with what looked like an awkward reloading mechanism, I pretty much just picked one up because I could. Once out of the box though, it became pretty evident that the Barrel Break was unlike the other blasters. Any complaints of a reshelled Recon didn't apply here; it was a completely different firing mechanism that actually packs quite a punch as stock. And anyone who picked it up.. LOVED IT.
The switch above the trigger to depress
Pushing the switch down with your thumb allows you to release the barrel.
Q: How easy is it to load?

A: It's not "easy" per se, but it's nothing difficult either. The barrel is quite stiff and is locked in place- you need to press the release switch located above the trigger (there's one on both sides of the blaster depending on whether you're left or right handed)  
Dem two lil' arrows need to come together..
Once you've pushed it down, it's a matter of sliding the barrel out from the clasp and then "breaking" it down. You'll  need to use a decent amount of force to "break" it in half so you can load the darts. There are two small arrows on the hinge of the barrel- you'll know the barrel has been "broken" correctly when the arrows line up. 
And from another angle.
If you don't break it all the way completely, the barrel will jam and get stuck. It takes some time to get used to, as well as quickly loading two darts in the barrels and snapping it shut. It's pretty satisfying when you do though.

Barrel Break on the scales..
Barrel Break- size compared to other household items
Q: How big is it?

A: The Barrel Break is sizable given it does only fire two darts; however it feels very solid and can take quite a beating. It's around 45cm long from the base of the grip to the end of the barrel, and weighs 580grams with no darts.

Barrel Break's tactical rail. Naked.
Barrel Break's supplied ammo holder. With some camo suckers
Q: What about the tactical rail?

A: The tactical rail can accommodate all N-Strike tactical rail accessories, however it's really used up to carry the supplied dart holder. If you didn't want to attach it, I guess you could load it with a scope or anything else, but given the TYPE of blaster it is, I personally wouldn't bother. 
Loaded and ready to go
Q: How about accuracy?

A: The Barrel Break might LOOK like a shotgun but as with all Nerf blasters, it fires just as accurately as any other blaster so if you aim it correctly, your darts should go where you want them to go. It's of course more fun to just point and shoot without the careful aim. Obviously you have two barrels to look down, not just one so the darts WILL be a little off centre.

Q: How powerful is the Barrel Break out of the box?
A: The new 2010 blasters all seem to pack a bit more punch than previous Nerf models, so I'd say out of the box it's pretty impressive with that 12-15 metres achieved by the Alpha Trooper and Spectre are similar with the Barrel Break too. 
Loading two rounds.. obviously you'd push the dart all the way in..

Q: Does it take all types of Nerf ammo?

A: Pretty much. It comes with whistler type darts, but as pictured I've used it with sucker darts as well. I generally only use streamlines with clip system blasters, but the Barrel Break CAN shoot them as well. 

Q: How do you fire darts one after the other?
A: The Barrel Break has a half trigger firing mechanism; one half squeeze will fire the round chambered in the left barrel; press fully and you'll fire the right. If you press the trigger fully in one motion, both rounds will fire at the same time. Unlike the Buzzbee shot guns, there are no plastic round holders to fire out. (note- it is a little sensitive at times to get the "half" squeeze right- some Barrel Breaks are more sensitive than others)

Instructions on the side of the blaster
In case you forgot which blaster we're talking about
Q: Could you dual wield a Barrel Break?

A: In theory, I guess but it's probably not the best for it. You definitely need both hands to reload the blaster. The fact it can fire one dart after the other means if you were, for example carrying two of them, you could fire four rounds one after the other before you needed to reload.. but then you'd be sorta stuck. Reloading does take longer than say with a Nitefinder, so you'd have to be running off a fair bit. You also cannot "snap" the Barrel break shut with one swing motion which means you need the other hand to physically close it.
Down the barrel.. Can someone say 'air restrictor?"
Q: What about modding the Barrel Break?

A: Not my thing, but from what I can see it'd be a similar case of changing the springs and/or removing the air restrictors.


Q: Will it fit in the Tactical Vest holster?

A: NoYes, although the Barrel Break is quite fat and will technically fit in the Tactical Vest holster, without the ammo holder on the tactical rail. It's not the most comfortable blaster for this and the strap doesn't really come over the handle (thanks to CanadaNerf for this amendment) though.

Artsy shot of under the barrel

Q: Why do YOU love it so much?

A: It's just a really FUN blaster. It feels nice and sturdy in the hand, it looks tough and the mechanism to load and fire the Barrel Break is just all about role play and lots of fun. Everyone who picks it up straight away puts on the tough guy swagger/voice/both and it's one of those rare blasters that is fun throughout the entire process, not just the firing. It's actually fun to load the Barrel Break, to break it open, to snap it shut, even just to carry it. And it's different from the other Nerf blasters.

Q: When is it available in Australia?

A: The rumour was.. now. October was what Toys R Us apaprently said, but to be honest, Australia as we know is notorious for delays in blaster releases (Massive launches like the Stampede are an exception). It's honestly one of the "it'll come when it comes" You can listen to whoever you like, but if you haven't seen them in the stores yet.. it's because they're not there.

Q: How much will they sell for?

A: Again.. who knows? The fact a Raider CS-35 can sell for as little as $35.00 AUS to $79.95 AUS in the space of a few months suggests any "RRP" means nothing in Australian dollars, nor can the rest of the world be indicative of the Australian selling price. Every toy store prices differently too. 


  1. $25 is what toys r us told me in email.

  2. I heard that too from Toys R Us. Still haven't seen them though. Then they told me Deploys would be available in July this year. And Geoffrey Giraffe was a real animal..

  3. I'd love to get my hand on one of these, even if only to see how it compares to its nearest competition, the Buzz Bee Double Shot. To think, I'd sawed the barrels off all those Double Shots last year, and then Nerf brings this out *sigh*.

    @Pocket: Is there anything you'd improve about it?

  4. I don't know how much they cost...the only "new" gun we have here (in MN) is the Alpha Trooper.

  5. It can fit in the tactical vest. I do it all the time. But the strap on the holdster can't really go around the handle.

  6. Canada_Nerf,

    Ahh yes. SO it does.. I don't know why we DIDN'T take the tactical rail off first to see.. mild brain fart moment I think:P Thanks!

  7. Toys R' Us website says $19.99.

  8. I'd be guessing that'd be for the US Toys R Us website. On the Australian Toys R Us website it only says you can buy a Vulcan or a Titan. And it's not in the catalogue.

  9. I purcheased the Barrel Break from Toys-R-Us last month for $30 bucks.

  10. I looked online and they have it for only $16.99 WITH a bonus flashlight attachment..... Its kinda weird i guess.

  11. In the US you can purchase it with the mission kit light. Not in Australia atm.

  12. Ya im getting it today... I hope its good but the light will be pointless because there would be no easy reload

  13. I got it, it rules 2 shots at once owns in a war, the light thingy is kinda bad except in nighttime

  14. ya it really can help

  15. My barrel break can be closed with a quick swing of the arm, which makes me look like the Terminator when I use it.

    1. I wonder if doing this constantly will affect the blaster

      Hmm I remember Arnold in Terminator 2 using a Winchester level action type shotgun. need to watch that film again

  16. Got home a few minutes ago with the Barrel Break and found a slight problem. I loaded and cocked the gun, but without firing I hit the barrel release trigger and then "broke" the barrel. It was then jammed and would neither fire nor return to the shooting position. My friend mysteriously fixed. Has anyone else had this problem? Other than that I love this gun.

  17. I don't know if this IS the same problem, but the Barrel Break jams when you haven't 'broken' it in the full position. I was stuck for ages till I realised, if u actually break it fully, (ie push it all the way till it can't push anymore) it'll return.

    Sort of like a handbrake of a car. You need to snap that baby hard and all the way:)

  18. do they sell them in australia?

  19. Getting my N-Strike Barrel Break next week for 21USD. Cant wait to get it.

    I am getting this since I love the compact shotgun used in the games Dead Trigger and Contract Killer: Zombies 2. Especially Evelyn in Contract Killer: Zombies 2.

    Given the rather complex system of the blaster, I may have to take good care. Not sure how well elite and streamline darts will work with the blaster. Hope they work well enough.

    Not sure if the performance is any different from the N-Strike Elite Barrel Break.