The N-Strike Maverick REV-6 was the poster child for Nerf for ages; it was the blaster that got many of us into the world of multi shot foam dart goodness as it was the ultimate 'bridge' blaster from a basic single shot to taking things just a little bit more seriously. With the new Elite series, it made sense that there needed to be a successor to it, and rather than just a repaint/reshell (and gawd knows we didn't need ANOTHER Maverick repaint) dem good fellas at Nerf have released the Elite Strongarm; sort of the love child of the Maverick and Spectre, with influences from Uncle Raider thrown in:D
8-1-13: Apologies for the minimal info on the Strongarm, I don't actually own one yet nor have I seen them released here for now. Neil of the Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag crew offered me his Strongarm to quickly write up so these are my initial thoughts but I generally don't get too stuck into a blaster for testing if it's not mine. (I'm mindful of wear and tear and if I bust it, I can't easily replace it) As with most of my posts, they often evolve and are updated as I have more time with the gear.(especially once I get one for myself)
'Refined' is a word that I seem to associate a lot when making mention of the new Elite designs and the Strongarm is no different. The build quality and lines of the Strongarm are a lot sleeker and more futuristic looking; much more like the Spectre's design but with the 6 round barrel. Obviously it features the new Elite series colour scheme. From initial appearances, it's a little boring and doesn't bring a WHOLE lot of new stuff to the table but after a bit of time with it..
The grip is shorter than the Maverick, which kind of makes the rest of the blaster looks less aggressive and somewhat longer and sleeker. Short grips must be all the rage- not sure about WHY this is so, but I haven't heard that many complaints. It doesn't feel bad though, and I found after a while I quite liked it in hand.
The barrel of the Strongarm is smaller, and smoother than the Maverick's- but rounder than the Spectre's. It doesn't jut out as much either, but the general form factor of the Strongarm is quite slim and graceful looking:) It's a new mould and not just a repaint, and that's ALWAYS a good thing.
Similar to the Maverick, there's a button on the left hand side of the blaster that you press to release the barrel.
Loading darts is pretty simple. I found this is a blaster that really does better with Elite darts only- I personally had jams with anything else though these days all I really have lying around the apartment are Elite darts so it's not a big deal.
The priming slider is more like the Spectre than the Maverick- it doesn't have a tactical rail on it, but still features a look on the back of it for those who still enjoy the dual wielding/akimbo style of tying their pants drawstring to the blaster and pushing it forward to cock:) It's a great smooth mechanism and easy to grip and prime rapidly, which comes very useful below:)
A surprise bonus is the Strongarm DOES have slamfire (hence the influences from Uncle Raider) which does still allow the blaster to keep some sense of crazy wildness about it. Although I'm not sure of the real usefulness of slamfiring only 6 rounds, it takes its cues from Clint Eastwood rapidly firing his Magnum, so it's not a bad thing to have and it's a NEW feature the Maverick/Spectre didn't have. Bonus!
The tactical rail is more in line with the way the Spectre does it; given it's a handgun/pistol I don't see any real need for any sights, but it's again nice to have the option. I actually would have really liked to see a secondary tactical rail on the under carriage of the muzzle- I think a tactical light would look fantastic and there's so much space there for it. Sly Dev here I come.. :P
Performances are great as you'd expect from an Elite series Nerf blaster. Our test model is of course an imported unit, hence the orange trigger and improved performances; it's quite accurate and powerful in a relatively compact housing. It's very much comparable with the Triad on the accuracy/distances and i'm sure if tilted it'd be close to the 75ft claims.
Of all the announcements and leaks of the N-Strike Elite series, this was one I really wasn't THAT interested in, but given some time with it, I actually think it's won me over. It's a good, strong, solid Nerf blaster, which if you use Elite darts is pretty reliable and accurate. For a decent price, I'd suggest it's worth picking up, especially if you are a Maverick/Spectre fan.
We should be getting these sometime in the next month, albeit with a grey trigger and detuned performances:P