Thursday, August 2, 2012

Nerf Vortex Pyragon: BOOM.

Of all the kit that has been on offer this year from Nerf, the one that I've really been keen on is the upcoming new Vortex Pyragon. It was allegedly an updated Praxis, which was my favourite of the original Vortex line but boasting an all new 40 round drum, slam fire and of course the thing that got me hyped from the start; finally an AWESOME stock out of the box colour scheme that would be the envy of Stormtroopers everywhere. 

Well, I finally got one (ok I got two) via very ordinary transparent means of and I was pretty damn happy with it. You know how I'm always going on about my much loved Alpha Trooper as my all time favourite Nerf blaster? Well truth be told.. the Pyragon MIGHT just topple it. Review and pics after the jump. (warning, pic intensive)

There's no real explanation as to why they've changed the colour scheme for the Pyragon, nor is it any "whiteout" or equivalent series- but I won't ask questions because I like it. Nor does it explain why there's bright orange XLR discs either- but I too like these as well:) The box just suggests it's just one of the Vortex line of blasters and mainly boasts the high capacity drum as its main selling point. 

Interestingly enough, you've heard of our American friends who received their Pyragons from Hasbro themselves and had boxes that featured the updated Nitron with the shield? Nope, both of my Pyragons feature the scoped Nitron on the back. Interesting, given mine came from the US too:D 

Internal packaging is at a minimum too which is all very green of Nerf- in the box you get the Pyragon, the 40 round drum and 40 orange XLR discs. Oh and a manual:D

While I found the Praxis a little rattle-y, the Pyragon feels a whole lot more.. solid. It seems sturdier, similar in weight but just better built, even with the tracking of the pump action cocking mechanism feels smoother and sturdier. I've gushed about the colour scheme already, but it just looks awesome. The only thing I personally would change are the 'tiger' stripes over the grey- just looks out of place in my opinion but it's no show stopper. The whole dark orange, white black and grey also tends to go with a whole lot more of the other Nerf accessories (more on that later) better than.. that pus green of the original Vortex line..

It says Stormtrooper, it says Ducati, it says sexy:D

While the design is very similar to the Praxis, unlike the Lumitron (which is just a repainted Praxis with a firefly tech clip), the Pyragon is a different, (albeit subtle) mould. It feels similar but the details show they've not just rehashed the same blaster again. The Pyragon is thicker and fatter.

Another difference is the pump action cocking mechanism. Given the Pyragon boasts continuous firing with the trigger pulled (what they call 'slamfire') the Pyragon has a new front on grip closer in themes to the Raider/Rampage front grip only with a thumb hole. The grip looks tough, and slides back and forth beautifully on the tracking bar.

Nerf have opted to supply the Pyragon with new bright orange XLR discs, unlike the traditional green which have been guilty of blending in too much outdoors amongst grass (not so much in my apartment). I like the bright orange, they stand out, go with the Pyragon's scheme and look awesome, though I'm unsure WHY they've chosen to make orange discs. Why not I guess:)

Next to an original XLR green disc and a glow in the dark disc
The big selling point for the Pyragon is the new high capacity 40 round drum- never before seen and quite an innovative design. Out of the box it comes with a warning sticker explaining the correct way to load the drum. It's not exactly counter intuitive, but it's not something you just pick up straight away so maybe I'm getting old but I did have to read the instructions.. just a lil' :D

The drum is very solid and weighty and quite well made, with a dark grey and orange plastic, and a orange translucent window to see inside. Storage wise, it has four chambers to store discs and obviously the standard clip fit neck. It's basically a matter of loading each chamber and advancing till they're all full.

On the lower right side of the neck, you can see a little 'lock' switch
On the neck is a small switch that locks the drum in place- you need to push this up to allow for the chambers to advance.

The orange switch on top of the grey drum lid is what's used to advance the chambers along once the discs are full. You slide it along and there's a little indicator on the top of the drum to tell you which chamber you're loading, as well as through the translucent window it also shows you the number.

Once your chamber is full, you can advance it on to the next one and continue. It' kinda a time consuming task, much like filling up a 35 round Raider drum, but for some reason feels like it takes.. longer:P

Once everything is loaded, it's simply a matter of sliding the drum, (facing forward) into the Vortex blaster. Naturally it fits all clip system Vortex blasters, so that's including the Nitron, Praxis and Lumitron.

All and all it's a very solid piece of kit, and for some reason several people who've played with it have said it does have a very "shock trooper" feel about it (whatever that means), given it's sans stock, all beefy and nuggety and looks very aggressive like. Given the way you hold it, with the front grip the way it is AND the large capacity drum in play, I guess it does feel more like a "shoot from the hip" heavy /suppressive fire kind of piece. The slamfire capability is probably the smoothest I've encountered on a Nerf gun, and it makes it soo easy to just fire off 40 rounds in a very very short period of time:)

Sooo about performances. The Pyragon shoots further than all of my other Vortex blasters. Again, I don't crack them open so I don't know why (I think Bazookafied over at Tactical Tag had some clues on this) but I do know the discs seem to come out faster, more accurately and further than my Praxis and Nitron. The discs seem to be the same feel and weight so it's not that, so it's something to do with the Pyragon's internals. I haven't gotten outside with it yet (and you know we rarely do take them outside) although we're clearing that 50-60feet distances pretty easily. Against the Retaliator it's definitely still holding it's own and we shot back and forth without trouble of making the range.

Performance for Vortex blasters have always been good so what we have here is a blaster that surpasses the already impressive Vortex ranges. Adding to that the very nice slamfire that gives you a very quick and effective way of emptying your load without any jams; I've been playing with the Pyragon all afternoon and so far, jam free. I like it!

The  rear design means you cannot fit a Retaliator stock on it, it won't fit.
The rear doesn't have the same plunger extension as the Praxis- it's shorter.

 Being a Vortex blaster, the Pyragon fits all standard Vortex clips- the 10, 20 and the Lumitron's Firefly clip.

Comparison between the Pyragon's siblings- Praxis and Lumitron

Firefly clip turns the Pyragon into a night time gun
Attachments are where you can really have some fun with the Pyragon. It's colour scheme lends itself to many different attachments without 'clashing' unlike the original Vortex blasters. There are some more obvious, such as the Super Soaker kit:

with Lightning Storm stock- goes seamlessly
White Shot Blast Stock and Sight
Given the use of white, it doesn't look that bad with the Super Soaker Shot Blast accessories either. Naturally it'll suit the white and dark blue schemes better, but check out the all blue finish:

With blue Shot Blast accessories
 It's still not offensive to the eye and actually kinda nice. Where I find the Pyragon looks really tough, is with painted black accessories- I happened to have a painted black Raider stock on hand:

With painted black Raider stock and after market metal 2x sight
With painted black Recon tactical light on the front
 But even with other colours, it still doesn't look half bad.

With red Recon stock and sight
Red Shot Blast accessories
 In fact, the ugliest match of all would be.. with it's Vortex sibling's colour scheme:

With Praxis stock
Firefly clip and Nitron Scope
 And of course, the 40 round drum fits all other Vortex blasters too; it actually really suits the Nitron:D
Nitron gets even bigger..
 Soo, final word? I LOVE IT. Nerf have brought out a kick ass blaster that covers off everything I like- it's short and nuggety, with a good pump action cocking mechanism- it's paintjob looks absolutely AMAZING and as far as I'm concerned is up there as the best looking Nerf blaster to date. It's got jam free slamfire that feels so natural to pump and fire and it performs beautifully out of the box. Really, it's what I've been waiting for and I'm happy to say Nerf have delivered. If you have the chance to get one I'd definitely recommend it- in fact get two.. I did:D


  1. Yeah, I can totally sense the enthusiasm in this review... and for good reason. Gotta admit, this blaster is quickly becoming one of my favorites too! It's different enough from the Praxis/Lumitron design and I like the "hefty" nature of it's aesthetics in general. Great power (better than any other vortex right now) and the Drum option is great. I actually like using mine with the 20 round mag for some reason, but the 40 round drum is just a blast to unload.

    Great review as always! Enjoy your Pyragons!

  2. Definitely went to town on this one Pocket, well done! Great review as always! Looking forward to getting mine too!

  3. Not to kill the mood but I absolutely despise the alpha trooper. The alpha trooper felt thin and flimsy. The priming handle was to thin to actual grip from the bottom. All the mechanisms felt very smooth but at the end of the day, I couldn't get over the thin, flimsy shell.

  4. Is this the first time you have used a non-Nerf sight in a review? I noticed a Walther red dot sight in pic 35.
    I think an EOtech and a black recon look better, but OK.

  5. When you say "thicker and fatter" do you mean fatter than N-strike or Vortex? Personally I find that the Praxis is already really chunky, so this thing must be huge!

  6. Yeah, there's no doubt that the Pyragon was exactly what Vortex needed. It's almost the perfect blaster; ranges over 60 feet, something like 10-rounds per second rate of fire, an ammo capacity so large that extra magazines aren't even necessary, and near flawless reliability that puts just about every other blaster to shame. What's not to like?

    Your excitement shows so much over it, and as far as I'm concerned anyone else who decides to pick it up is going to feel the same way.

  7. Mmmmm... I'll admit that I was skeptical about this blaster at first, but this review, and the pictures in it, showed that the 40 round drum is much more cohesive-looking than I expected with the new reshell. On top of that, I also have now watched Nerf's official "Speed Test" video for the Pyragon... around 10 disks in the air at any given point in time is a pretty strong argument! This is certainly high on my arsenal expansion list... luckily for me, my birthday is in a couple weeks! ;D I always liked Vortex, especially for its awesome ricochet ability, and it looks like this blaster will become the archetype of that feature! Great review!

  8. I am loving this blaster too, top tier for me in the vortex line. The only problem I'm having is a recent jamming issue. I'll get one or two shots off, and then its time to use the jam release switch. This really only started happening recently too. Anyone else having this trouble?

  9. Your opinion which one is better retaliator or prygon?

  10. Wish they'd extended the end of the barrel all the way to the front handle. It's like there's a piece missing at the front IMHO.

  11. You are so money! with this fantastic, thorough review! BB

  12. I have three of them and I noticed a jamming issue if you don't pull the front handle back all the while firing. If you try and pull it forward prematurely the Pyragon seems to lock up. As long as I make sure I pull all the way I do not have any problems.

  13. This would be at the top of my HvZ list for sure, if being a zombie wasn't so much more fun. What the heck, I might get one anyway.

  14. Where did you get the 2X scope?

  15. It deserves the drum and makes normal votex clips look puny anyway!

  16. It deserves the drum and makes normal votex clips look puny anyway!

  17. its crazy which web site i can find it?

  18. So... I just bought a Pyragon for $49 from Kmart in inner Melbourne, loaded it up, fired it down the hallway; yep, it's been detuned for Australia dammit. It consistently shot about 5 feet less than my Vigilon! Took it straight back for a refund. Hello Amazon.

  19. Just got one from big w. And I feel it has been de-tuned too. My vigil on feels like it fires further. I'm not gonna return it though cause the 40 clip is just too fun.

  20. is a malaysain pyragon better than a aussie pyragon?

  21. where can i get a scope for my Pyragon, especially the Walther red dot light? Can i use it without any modifications on Blaster and Scope? Or which alternate scopes i can use? Many thanks for the answers from Germany!