You'd have to suggest the hottest blaster this year that just came out of nowhere is this upcoming Nerf Rayven N-Strike CS-18. Speculation has been thick and fast over the past few weeks since we posted links to blasted.de of the upcoming blaster; I can confirm on the whole our switched on readers were pretty accurate in their observations from a few blurry pics. It IS a rear vertical flywheel blaster but one that uses an 18 round clip to fire streamlines.
When the opportunity came for us to get our hands on one to test, I don't think anyone would have said no:) Regardless of whether you're a fan of flywheel blasters or not, we have to admit the Rayven is pretty damn cool.. tacticool even:P
(For the record this is our 666th post on UT.. whooooooooooo spooky!)
The blaster uses a flywheel mechanism but unlike the revolving barrel of the Barricade RV-10, the Rayven is standard clip fed compatible. It can fit all of the standard sizes with clips and drums, but it comes with it's own special 18 round clip.
As rightfully pointed out by many of you, the Rayven CS-18 accommodates barrel extensions from other N-Strike blasters such as the Recon, Longstrike and Spectre which can come in handy if you are not a fan of the short muzzle.. just need somewhere to put your other hand:)
The Rayven CS-18 has two tactical rails- one on top of the blaster and one on the right hand side. I'm particularly a fan of the side one, which allows for a practical use for those mission kit lights.
The built in stock is a little short for my liking, but I got used to it after a while. The Rayven also has loop holes for shoulder straps, which I thought made sense given the design of the blaster. The styling also makes it pretty uncomfortable to dual wield- sure being semi automatic in theory you COULD, but I found the stock sort of gets in the way and doesn't allow for the greatest in mobility for those who like to use two blasters simultaneously.
The jam door is located at the rear of the Rayven CS-18 and uses a unique hinged mechanism to open rather than the traditional slide of other N-Strike blasters.
Clip release is found in a protected button found in the stock of the blaster. Interesting design choice; I'm sure they had their reasons rather than the standard release on the side of the blaster.
Now onto the clip. The Rayven CS-18 boasts Firefly technology- that is that it exposes bright light to the glow in the dark darts, therefore.. well allowing you to shoot.. in the dark. There was a lot of speculation on how this would work- as many of you know, the Firefly used an interesting "flash" mechanism that would light the dart up just before firing.
|The power switch on the clip. Once on, it just stays on. Note the "firefly" logo|
Not so innovative with the Rayven; I admit I found the way the Rayven light up the darts to be a tad.. low tech. Essentially all that it is (from what I can tell so far anyway) is the Rayven's clip merely has a 3 AA battery powered torch that just turns on with a flick of the switch, thus shining a bright blue light through the clip and against the darts. Nothing else to it. It's THAT simple.
|The LED's inside the clip. Look cool admittedly.|
|The clip release switch WITH clip attached|
|With mission kit pinpoint sight and green light|
The Rayven looks amazing and the fact that you can do so much with how changing it's styling will be a big hit with tacticool fans and aesthetic modders alike. I love this thing, it just looks tough and while I can't really care much for the "Firefly tech", the clip does look mean and all I keep coming back to is the styling and aesthetics that went behind this pup. It's sort of Stampede, sort of Deploy, sort of Barricade all in one and it just works. I'm unsure of why they chose the green, but I really don't mind it.
|Adding a Recon CS-6 barrel|
|Adding a Whiteout Longstrike CS-6 barrel|
|Adding a sonic Recon barrel with Stampede bipod|
|Size compared to the Barricade RV-10|
|With a Raider 35 round drum. Uncomfortable.|