|Rehashing this Photoshop manip:)|
Barry – son – it doesn’t have to be that way. Let me tell you why flywheel blasters are the shizz.
Let’s get this point out of the way first: yes, a lot of the flywheel blasters released in the last 2 – 3 years have been rubbish. Buzz Bee Ultimate Rapid Blast? The Auto Tommy 20? Air Zone Dual Shot Rapid Fire? But amongst this steaming pile of cr*p are a few gems, which with a small investment, pay off with great results.
Let’s talk about Nerf’s Barricade first up. Easily the best flywheel blaster on the market. 30 feet (9 metres) straight out of the box. Takes 3 x AA batteries for a power output of 4.5 volts. Makes a bit of noise but it’s very accurate.
Now imagine if young Barry had purchased a couple of the very cheap Trustfire/Ultrafire 14500 AA batteries which pump out 4.2 volts each fully charged? Just put a couple in and leave one of those normal AA’s in there. You’ve now got a 9.9 volt Barricade and life is about to get interesting.
First thing you'll notice when you turn it on is it's a lot noiser. The second thing you'll notice when you pull the trigger is that you have now just nearly doubled the range of your blaster. Head shots at 45 - 50 feet (12 -15 metres)? No problem. Keeping you opponents honest at 60 feet (18 metres)? Easy. Now don't be tempted to go for the Streamline darts at this stage. Stick to a heavy dart like a Dart Tag dart and you'll keep the accuracy of a stock standard Barricade.
Any decent list of flywheel blaster A-listers has to include the Air Zone Power Strike 48. Yes, it doesn't have trigger. Yes, it sometimes fires two darts at a time rather than one. Yes, it does sound like a vacuum cleaner. Yes, the darts have some kind of plastic insert which makes them quite hard (and painful). But..........it will hit 40 feet (12 metres) straight out of the box, it has an ammo capacity of 48 shots and it performs well with Nerf darts. It takes 4 AA batteries for an output of 6 volts.
Now considering we've got those two 4.2 volt AA batteries lying around it would be a shame not to to put them in there wouldn't it. So let's add those and keep two normal 1.5 volt AA's in there. We're now putting out 11.4 volts. It now sounds like a 4 cylinder car stuck in 2nd gear. But we're now banking 50 - 55 feet (15 -16 metres) for each one of our 48 shots. Beware though - being a pump action mechanism it needs an experienced operator. Pause slightly between shots to let the flywheels spool up, and be very smooth with that pump action slide. The '48 also has a tendency to overheat when you've increased the voltage and it basically just stops working until it cools down. Again, don't go for the Streamlines. Not only do you have to cut them to fit but you'll have to open the '48 up and put tape on the flywheels. Easiest solution is to cut the suction tips off Nerf suction darts and they'll fit in their nicely. Or alternatively cut your your carrying capacity to 36 darts and use standard Dart Tag darts. The heavier darts are always a winner with flywheels, but you won't get the accuracy with the '48 that you will get with the Barricade. Having said all that, it's a great looking blaster and with a bit of experience with it's quirks it's a lot of fun to use.
|Pic courtesy of SG Nerf|
More voltage? We can do that. The 'Storm has been tested all the way up to 21 volts, but 12 volts is quite sufficient. But bear in mind with the extra voltage you'll need to add some tape to the flywheels for the flywheels to grip effectively. And that poses its own problems in the sense that you're not just dealing with screws to open up the 'Storm but also glue. Even with the tape on the flywheels performance is inconsistent. You're looking at stock (or less than) ranges all the way up to 50/60 feet (15 - 18 metres).
Unless the 'Storm is readily available at your local stockists I'd say not to worry too much about getting one. An honourable mention also to that old party piece the Air Zone Punisher. People tend to forget it's a flywheel blaster. Takes 6 D batteries (9 volts), 30 feet (9 metres) out of the box, 30 dart belt. The Punisher is a lot of fun and it likes a little tweak up to a cheeky 14 volts. Easy enough to do with our two 4.2 volt AA batteries and a couple of D battery converters. Once that rotating barrel starts spinning at that voltage people will look twice (usually while backing away).
So there you have it - fun with flywheels. For a small cost outlay of a few cheap batteries from Hong Kong and a charger (easily found on the 'net - as well as the converters) you can modify your flywheel blaster in the time it takes you to change batteries. And no one will laugh at your Barricade again.
Neil. Out. :)