Monday, January 7, 2013

Nerf N-Strike Elite Roughcut 2x4: Fun but flawed

Of all the all new N-Strike Elite series of blasters, the new Roughcut 2x4 has been the one blaster I’ve been waiting for since the 2nd round of Elite gear was announced/leaked; it sounded the most interesting and I liked its general design. 

Given its form factor, it’s a suitable successor to the old N-Strike barrel Break IX-2 being a shot gun styled unit complete with the simultaneous dual round functionality but also holds 8 rounds with an added bonus of slam fire. Sounds cool? It is. Sorta..

Although not due for domestic release till mid 2013, we still got our hands on one (Thanks to Neil from the Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag crew) to have a bit of a play.

The Roughcut is a solid piece of kit; like all Nerf blasters it’s sturdy and well built, with a really chunky muzzle and sloped rear grip. Aesthetic modders should love the design as it lends itself to a variety of different ‘looks’ pending the paint job.

Out of the box it sports the new N-Strike Elite colours- presumably the domestic model WILL have a grey trigger but our particular test unit was imported from the US so orange it is. It's also bigger in hand than I thought it'd be.

Although the blaster accommodates 8 rounds, it basically fires two darts at a time which is sort of in line with the shot gun styling of a bigger spread. I’ve yet to be able to shoot the darts in any single shot mode like with the Barrel Break, so it is true to its 2x4 name- consider it more a mega 4 shot blaster instead:)

Loading the blaster is pretty simple- no clips here, it’s just a matter of sliding the rounds into the dart holes at the front of the blaster. I haven’t encountered any issues with the darts falling out yet- seems to be a pretty snug fit. Obviously it should be used with Elite darts, but it does work ok with whistlers, suckers and dart tag darts. Original streamlines, not so much, although I had a freak occurrence where THREE darts shot out at the same time (albeit the streamline was pretty woeful)

The handle is quite short, which seems to be the trend with the new Elite blasters, but I've got small hands so it hasn't really been an issue for me. They also feature a standard loop to attach straps should you be so inclined.

There's also a loop on the top/ back of the Roughcut too.

The Roughcut's priming mechanism is a tracked grip that slides back and forth under muzzle. It's quite smooth and feels solid , if not at times a little stiff. There were a few times where it felt like the grip had jammed, and it took some gentle wiggling for it to cock back again.

It's a matter of pulling it back towards you and then push the grip forward and the blaster is primed. I’m always a big fan of a front grip pump action (vs bolt action such as the Longshot or a rear slide cocking mechanism like the Recon) so I thought this would be awesome, but to be honest the grip is.. well pretty darn uncomfortable to hold, let alone pull back.

 It’s a very short, strangely shaped grip that even I with my really small hands struggle to grip and I found it digs into my palms.  

This of course makes it somewhat uncomfortable and difficult to slamfire; yup the Roughcut has this functionality which is awesome, but it feels sort of stiff and awkward to do so effectively because of the uncomfortable grip. I tried various different ways of holding it which gave moderate success, but nothing fantastic, so I ended up giving up on it. Slamfire will still only give you effectively four shots, so it's not particularly efficient in battle:)

The Roughcut is designed to shoot two darts, (one from each side of the muzzle) simultaneously. It's quite clever in that if there is not dart in the adjacent chamber in on the opposite side, it'll just fire the next dart down. Firing order does go from top down though so there is some consistency with it:)

 I've had a play with various configurations and on the whole, it still always manages to fire two darts at the same time, so long as there's at least one dart on each side of the muzzle. It's a lot like the way the Triad EX-3 can detect if there's a dart in a chamber or not.

The Roughcut does have a tactical rail on the top- ideally you'd probably attach the Barrel Break IX-2 dart holder to it, but sure, anything with the attachment piece will work.

As for performances- the Roughcut fires with the power that we've grown to expect from the new N-Strike Elite series (well the orange trigger models anyway). It packs a fair amount of punch and the distances are similar to it's other Elite brothers. It is however a tad on the inaccurate side- two darts will leave at the same time, but there were times where neither of them hit the target and one or both could easily spiral off inconsistantly. That being said- it's supposed to be a shot gun, so the fun part is shooting with a larger spread, and in a few cases, I managed to hit two opponents at the same time with one squeeze of the trigger which does give you a massive "BOOYAAAAAA" sense of achievement:D

It's more refined, more clever and to an extent, more fun than the Barrel Break IX-2. The aesthetics and build quality are awesome, and the fact that it is a 'shotgun' makes it just so much more fun to play with. It became a very quick fan fav with the folks at UT headquarters from a role playing "wtf is THAT?" sort of way, but when it came down to the regular impromptu wars in my apartment, it became a source of frustration and very quickly changed out for something a little more consistent and accurate. I still love it, would recommend it and am still very much looking forward to getting one of my own, but as far as whether it's a GREAT Nerf blaster? I do believe the quirk/random factor of it that makes it so cool is also what makes it a bit of a let down. Everyone struggled with the slam fire, the hit rate from a distance was pretty poor and the fact it was essentially a 4 shot shooter meant anyone who had it ran out of ammo pretty quickly. 

There is more to a Nerf blaster than JUST performances though- the Roughcut is tough, it's so much fun so I'd still suggest you to pick one up where you can. 


  1. Great review, it looks so sick with the pinpoint :)

    I have a Q - a few people have reported banana'ing of darts, or warping (in my case darts being kinda "chewed up" at the bottom after being used in the 2x4.

    Did you notice anything too?

  2. Great review pocket!
    We've had one of these units since christmas and its awesome, just let your readers know it takes some getting used to to do a propper single shot from this blaster, I dont know if it is the blaster itself or if I just got used to the barrel break, but single shots can be achieved with a little bit of pratice. I did notice that when firing single shots you tend to lose power though (range + distance) all in all though it is a great secondary blaster and is great to be had as a backup while re-loading. I have had a problem with darts falling out but only after they have been left in the blaster for a few days. Again Pocket great review and keep up the good work, your blog has been an "infosource" for family for many of years now and we hope you never quit being our first source for Nerf news and reviews!

  3. I have a Roughcut, and I honestly love the thing, I have not experienced any chewing of darts or warping of darts in any sense. The most damage I've seen to a dart is having kept them in the barrel overnight (I left it at work) the bottom of the darts had impressions from the A/R. Also I am 6'4" (not tiny in any sense) I, personally, do not find the handle small at all, in fact, it's comfortable in my big hands.

    Slam fire takes practice, the front grip/priming slide, is a little small for my taste (best one is still the AT for me) so my hand does slip if I'm using slam fire too fast, but if your taking slower shots, it's ok.

  4. this looks like a good time for modders to attach the LGFG handle to the priming rail kind of like what was some times done with the alpha trooper. that would make the prime a lot easier but would detract from the shotgun appearance. another solution would be to change the pump handle for a different one.

    1. i cant w8 2 se someone integrate one of these under thier longshot, i did that with my barrel break and glued the ammo rack to the side and it rules. but THIS would just dominate.

    2. I was wondering if someone could swap the handle of the new Rampage (or old Raider) with this one, myself. This gun might become more functional, and the other would look great!

  5. i picked up a rough cut at target for 20 dollars. for me the handle on the rough cut is awesome and i only have one flaw. the slamfire handle is very uncomfortable and the gun also jams often.

    p.s. the tactical rail doesn't work on mine:(

  6. Here is a link to a Roughcut and Stryfe integration.

    I didn't make this, but not too bad for a prototype.

  7. Too bad it doesn't have the ergonomics of the pyragon at the front end.

  8. there must be something extra in yours that's causing it to not fire one at a time, because I can make mine into an 8 single shot blaster the same way as the barrel break, by just pulling thr trigger half way.

  9. I'm glad I'm not alone with the criticism of the pump feeling small. I don't use the slam-fire mode much, but I still get paranoid I'll pinch something racking the slide. Aside from that, it's a lot of fun. Pump actions are so visceral :) and with careful trigger discipline it is a clipless 8 round, sling-under-yer-coat enforcer :)

  10. This seems ok. But I prefer my Barrel Break because it's much more interesting to load darts and I also like the yellow colour scheme much more than the blue one.

  11. Also folks should keep in mind that it can be fired one shot at a time if you practice it. The trigger actually has two separate sweet spots for the firing of each barrel. So you can effectively for single targets use it as an 8 shot blaster. (Which is better then most of the basic clip style blasters.)

  12. I want to add a stockade stock to mine and a barrel break attatchment to the side (norinco style!) anyone kno how to do that?

  13. I have one of these Guns, they are easy to use, have a great RoF and are realtively accurate.

    I still think the barrelbreak is better, tho'...

  14. Kmart has them 29 aus

  15. I have a little problem with roughcut.When I use it, some times you need to pull the trigger strong to fire two darts or one sometimes