BOOMco Mad Slammer Review

To be honest, the BOOMco Mad Slammer isn’t something you’ll like on first glance. Its a simple, non-intimidating red colored toy blaster. That’s what it is. No shields, no hidden shotguns, not even a trigger. People usually go either for a blaster’s aesthetics or its practicality, so its no big surprise that it hasn’t endeared itself to either of the demographics. And that’s really unfortunate, because underneath all that gaudy red mediocrity, the BOOMco Mad Slammer is versatile, fun and justifies its name and position in the BOOMco lineup. Let’s check it out! Continue reading BOOMco Mad Slammer Review

I joined Blasterhub!

A few days ago, while looking through Outback Nerf, one of the better Nerf blogs out there, I found that he had joined a certain website called Blasterhub, a sort of conglomerate of Nerf bloggers and writers that write reviews, report on new stuff and also have forums for further discussions. The website has been termed as an ‘unofficial off-shoot of Blasterlabs’, and anybody familiar with it would see the similarities.

More importantly, they were looking for more writers and bloggers who could contribute to the website, so I decided to drop a comment if I could contribute too. Soon, I was contacted by the admin who help me set up my account, and now I’m an author for Blasterhub!

Needless to say, I will be writing on both the blogs. I currently have plans to review more BOOMco blasters, and I will publish the Rapid Madness review  on Blasterhub before publishing new reviews simultaneously. This will be a great opportunity of getting in touch with the Nerf community, and also a great platform to build DeltaNerf upon. Be sure to check out Blasterhub!

25000 hits!

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Just in time for new year, I’ve reached the number. The number which makes one think, ‘can I go bigger than this?’ The number that is often the benchmark to start taking things seriously. All that, just in time for new year. Talk about obvious new year resolutions.

In all honesty, I can say I haven’t done this blog justice. You people deserve a lot better than what you get, and this time, it’ll happen. For long I’ve tried to pay more attention to this blog, but now, I won’t try, I’ll do. 2016 will be a storm, for you, for me, for Nerf.

I cannot be more thankful for the support you readers have given me. To express myself freely to a global audience is my dream, and you guys helped me achieve that, and will do so as long as I blog. Thank you so much!

So Happy New Year, have a great year ahead, and expect some foam related nerdery come flying at you!

 

BOOMco Rapid Madness Review

A couple of weeks ago I posted a loadouts post that happened to mention the Rapid Madness, and yesterday, I realized that I hadn’t published an official review of it. And man, does this thing deserve a review or what! Let’s dive right into this red-blue beast!

The Box

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Now I know that this section is kinda obsolete, but it represents how BOOMco is presenting it’s products to the people. When I walk into a toy store, the product needs to catch my attention, and I must say, BOOMco’s packaging is pretty sweet. A big box(about 30 inches across),open-faced, lots of panels sticking out, a good mix of black and red, count me impressed.

Now a few things that got my attention are the decreased range claims(45 feet rather than 50 feet), lack of the BOOMco round, and the new way of opening the box(there’s a panel on the back side that you rip off.). This leads me to believe that this is a second generation, Asian release of the Rapid Madness(the instructions were in Mandarin, Japanese, Malay, Thai and English). Because Asian countries do not have any restrictions on toy blasters, I wonder why was the range decreased. We’ll see that in the range test. In a word, the box looks fun, and so does the blaster.

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Inside the box, you get the Rapid Madness, a 20 dart clip, a smart-stick shield for the blaster, 30 darts, a 12×9 inch smart stick target and a few stickers(which I really like). The target has an adhesive backing so that you can stick it where you want to. I got the Rapid Madness on a lightning sale for INR 1000(about $15),although it retails for about INR 2499.

First Impressions and Aesthetics

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Once fully assembled, the blaster feels adequately sized for adults and kids alike. The handle feels nice in my big hands, so I see no problem for kids in holding the blaster, although I guess it’ll be a tad bit heavy for them. The embossed logo, matte paint finish and the unique colouring adds a unique look to the blaster, one not found in Nerf blasters.


The embossed logo, matte paint finish and the unique colouring adds a unique look to the blaster, one not found in Nerf blasters.


Going over to the aesthetics, It could’ve been a really, really comfortable blaster if not for one little flaw. The pump grip is really nice, offering a natural place to hold the blaster, and the cheek rest is comfortable enough. However, the handle’s thumb rest rises sharply and constantly rubs against my skinny hands. It might not seem as a major design flaw, but when you play for an hour or so, your knuckle will get sore and will sting a little.

Now another thing that can be an issue for younger players is pumping the blaster. I took a few measurements and found out that on full draw, the distance between the pump handle and my shoulder was 29 inches. So make sure you can pull the pump handle far enough. Also, the last few pumps requires some effort to be pumped,. That might not be a problem for an athletic adult like me, but it might be an arduous task for the kids.

Performance and Use

To fire the blaster, pump it 16 times(the over pressure release valve kicks in at 18 pumps), load the clip, and let it rip.

Range

I fired the blaster 3 times from shoulder height, parallel to ground and 3 times angled to ground, at about 30 degrees. I also counted the number of shots landing in each category based on range. Given below are 2 tables, which are the average of 3 parallel firing tests and 3 angled firing tests respectively.

Parallel to Ground

High shots- 37 feet – 4/20 shots reached this range

Average shots- 33 feet – 10/20 shots reached this range

Below Avg. shots- 28 feet – 4/20 shots reached this range

Low Shots- 24 feet – 2/20 shots reached this range

Angled to Ground  

High shots- 51 feet – 6/20 shots reached this range

Average shots- 44 feet – 8/20 shots reached this range

Below Avg. shots- 40 feet – 4/20 shots reached this range

Low shots- 37 feet – 2/20 shots reached this range

Rate of Fire

Again, the blaster was fired three times, and an average of three variables is given below. time was measured from trigger pull to last dart fired.

Time taken to empty a full 20 dart clip- 1.60 seconds, thus,

Rate of fire= 12.5 darts/second

Accuracy 

From 25-30 feet in a closed environment, I found 9-10 inch dart groupings when fired flat(thanks to smart stick). Darts tend to stay down the line when the shot is angled, owing to their better dart design. Accuracy might not be what the manufacturers were aiming for, but its way better than any Nerf blaster. I gotta say, these smart stick darts, they stick, and they stick good. Also, since they don’t have that weird hole in the front like the elite dart, they fly pretty accurately, accurate enough to use optics, I guess.

Overall Opinion

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I have to hand it to BOOMco, for their first attempt at making a blaster, this is pretty cool. The Rapid Madness does what it’s meant to do, and that is obliterate. The rapid fire flurry of darts(which is faster than 1st Gen. models) is just impossible to dodge, the darts stick extremely well, and the blaster lives up to it’s range claims, which is a first for me. I’m impressed with this blaster, if not completely sold. There are a few kinks to work out, but that can be overlooked when you have a blaster this good. It definitely gets a ‘BUY IT!’ recommendation from me. Comment, like and follow if you liked my review! Till then, see ya!

PSA: Don’t do the spring spacer mod on the Hammershot!

Hey everybody, just a heads-up on the spring spacer mod on the Zombie Strike Hammershot; don’t do it, it kinda messes up the dart trajectory. Want to know more? Read the foam related nerdery below!

For beginners, the spring spacer mod is a mod which increases the spring compression on certain blasters on full prime, for example the Maverick, or more recent cases like the Retaliator and the Hammershot. This mod utilizes the spring that is left uncompressed on full prime, giving a slight boost to performance and getting the most out of the stock spring. One usually uses cardboard, thin PVC pipes or other stuff to fill up some space of the plunger rod to compress the spring just enough so that it’s 100% compressed on prime.

The problem that arises following this mod is that the Hammershot spring isn’t favorable to fire on 100% compression, reason that the spring housing allows a little play in the spring, and soon after being overcompressed, the spring will shift from its optimal position, resulting in a slightly offset spring that negatively affects the dart trajectory, either due to increased air pressure, poor dart design(that hole on the dart head) or both. Nevertheless, you might get a shot or two that performs marginally well, but mostly you’ll be dealing with unreliable performance, with most of the shots tanking down fast at about 20-25 feet.

Another thing that can happen is ‘over-spacing’ the spring, so that it reaches 100% compression before the catch is engaged, thus resulting in frequent misfires and the catch not even engaging at all (and I’m not even mentioning the stress those plastic bits have to handle).

So if you’re using pristine darts every time, or are satisfied with one good shot out of five, go for it. Otherwise, I’ll recommend steering away from this mod. A non-predictable, marginal advantage but frequent misfires,poor dart trajectory and an overall worsened performance. Besides, the Hammershot is a pretty good performer in stock form, and if you really want to mod it, opt for an OMW 8kg spring that is much more reliable than this mod.

Nerf Loadouts Vol. I: Close Quarters Combat

Hey everybody and welcome to a new blog series that will focus on loadouts for different scenarios. Now I know that there are a dime a dozen of these posts out there, but I believe in personal opinion and the ever changing dynamics of the blaster world, with new blasters coming about every month or so. This month, it’s all about Close Quarters Combat (CQB).

Since most of my readers live in the city, and thus most of them live in apartments, our usual play environment involves either the corridors and staircases, or sofas and kitchen tops. Due to this close environment, range and accuracy isn’t usually a defining factor. However, rate of fire and quick reloading sure do play very important roles in this scenario, so I’ll be primarily focusing on blasters that excel in these areas only. Be sure to drop a comment if you think another blaster is worthy of being included, be it BoomCo, Buzz Bee or any other blaster.

Loadout 1: Ambush and Eliminate

Primary: BoomCo Rapid Madness + extra clips

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Secondary: Nerf Hammershot

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This loadout focuses on the element of surprise, where you pin down your enemy under heavy fire, forcing them to dodge/run, and then shoot them with the relatively accurate Hammershot. Since your enemy will usually run between defences, i.e. doors in a corridor or between sofas, you can literally obliterate them with 20 darts in 2 seconds when they’re exposed. Even if they manage to dodge the heavy fire, use the Hammershot to finish the job. Be sure to carry extra BoomCo clips because they will run out very fast. Scavenge the darts for the Hammershot.

I remember using this technique against my friend when playing at my house. When he was changing magazines for his Alpha Trooper, I charged at him with my Rapid Madness blazing, forcing him to run for cover. In his rush, he left his magazine behind, so I just walked up to him and finished him Hitman style.

Loadout 2: Unseen Assassin 

Primary: Nerf Rival Apollo XV-700

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Secondary: You don’t need one, end of story.

I’ve ran this loadout once, and I’m telling you, your enemy won’t know what hit him. Nerf’s Rival line is putting every single blaster out of competition, excelling in range, accuracy, reloading and holy cow these things shoot fast. Forget the days where you could get lucky and dodge a dart. These foam balls travel fast, hit hard and hit accurately. It’s so good I almost feel bad for my opponents, who whiz their heads around looking where this streak of yellow came from.

Fortunately, the tale doesn’t end here. These things richochet, so shooting accurately around corners is reality now. Once my friend was hiding behind double doors, one of them facing me. You won’t believe it, but I shot at the door facing me, and the ball pinged on the opposite door, pinged back into the room and hit him square in the chest. Another one of my friends hiding there said it was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. As for my tagged friend, he was too incredulous to say anything. Also, reloading is a breeze with this new ammo. Simply press the magazine down on the balls and fill up your magazine in seconds. This is the raison d’etre of the Nerf Rival Apollo, it’s built to win. Sure it doesn’t shoot quickly, but why dump ammo when you need only one shot to tag?

Loadout 3: Tacticool, it’s over 9000!

Primary: Nerf Stryfe+ Retaliator stock+ Retaliator foregrip

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Secondary: Nerf Mega Cycloneshock

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This loadout is for them CQB tacticool fanatics, who want their loadouts to look CQB-esque. So I made one, without cutting down on actual performance. Running a Stryfe with tactical attachments and a big, intimidating revolver certainly gives the user a mil-sim feel. Add a little crouching and “X-Ray Bravo what’s your status, over”, and you have CoD  right in your apartment.

Jokes aside, I personally do believe that this loadout is worth it. Moderate, ammo-saving fire from the Stryfe and last resort, fast fire from the Cycloneshock will certainly keep your opponents ducking for cover. I do run a Cycloneshock when I duel, and it’s definitely worth having a bigger dart that has more inertial mass and thus, better performance. Plus, it looks good, because style points.

That concludes my Vol. I for Nerf loadouts. Be sure to comment your personal loadouts and ideas, and don’t forget to follow! Next month it’s Backyard Nerfing Loadouts, till then, Nerf on!

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