Thursday, December 22, 2011

Longshot Recasings

In the previous post, there was a video that I used a recased laser tag blaster in a Longshot shell.  While this is a rare blaster nowadays, when I started these projects, the Nerf Longshot CS-6 was a common blaster on store shelves.  It has frequently been used as a basis for building Sci-Fi Props and has even seen some screen time in films and TV shows.  While most Nerf Modders praise the Longshot for it's internals, you can't deny that it's just a good looking blaster, which is what made it appeal to ME at first.  I've built two Laser Challenge-based blasters from the Longshot aI frequently get comments and questions on, so I thought I'd share some info on some of my favorite recasings that are built around this legendary Nerf Blaster.

Unpainted original configuration.
Note the LCD display where the Jam door would be.
It started in the Fall of 2009, I came across a Nerf Longshot at a Thrift Store.  It's internals were busted beyond repair, as it looked like someone had forcefully tried to prime or load something and bent some of the parts.  As such, it was the perfect recasing candidate for a laser tag blaster.  The Longshot was the first Nerf-brand blaster I attempted to use for a recasing.  Before, I had primarily used Light Guns for videogame consoles (the Namco Guncon is a classic one).

Awful, isn't it?
I started construction on the blaster using a Laser Challenge P.R.O. pistol for it's OS.  I had a few different ideas of how to install the system, but I knew that I wanted to keep the bolt-action for the reload as a built-in handicap.  The first version that I combat tested had a Green Dot sight on it (that miraculously fit on the N-Strike rail perfectly) and an ammo gauge that was where the jam door once was.  I would later get rid of that option, as it was tough to see with the rail in the way.  I'm usually a critic of all-black blasters, but I often forget that I too was a culprit of this bland paint scheme.  Later I would repaint the blaster to the classic OD Green on Black look that many Sci-Fi repaints have looked like.

The paint job that would stick.  I love it!
The blaster went through a few changes and tweaks after I got the design finalized.  With a Tactical light mount on the side, as well as storage for a small utility light, this blaster had everything but the kitchen sink as far as I was concerned.  It had an effective range of 600 feet and was incredibly accurate.  While I never had a use for the Bi-pod other than for display purposes, it worked well folded up as a comfortable front grip.  The small utility light stored inside the bi-pod saw use on several occasions to make field repairs to other's gear.  It was my main weapon during the '09-'10 Off-Season but was quickly replaced by another Longshot-based project:  the M43A Sentry.

The Sentry project was launched due to the success of my M42B Scope Rifle.  I wanted to utilize the entire look of the Longshot and make a designated sniper rifle.  I used many of the design concepts in the Scope Rifle to help perfect the construction process of the Sentry.  Not only did the Sentry's range double that of the Scope Rifle, but it had a real Weaver Rail mounted on the top carry rail that mounted a zoom scope.  I permanently attached the LSFG parts to make it one large, solid, rifle that eventually earned a joke nickname of "The Compensator".  With a 9x Zoom scope accurately zeroed, the Sentry could hit targets at a jaw-dropping range of 1,200 feet.  Eventually the Sentry would get an upgrade to it's OS that would include the "Max Blast" (able to land 3 hits at once) as well as a scope upgrade.  The other neat thing is that we utilized the Clip System as a removable battery pack system.  The power supply was stored inside the clip and attached via 9V battery connectors.  I built a second one and stored it in the stock in case I ran out of juice in the middle of a game (though this was a rare occurance).  The only problem was that this range relied heavily on accuracy.  Even by being off by a couple inches wouldn't land a hit.  This made the Sentry incredibly hard to use in normal combat.  While the Sentry excelled in long-range attacks (it could usually cut the enemy team's life down significantly before they reached allied forces) it was awful and impractical for mid-range battles.  I found myself running away to go find another vantage point to attack from on many occasions.

During one game, I tripped and fell on the Sentry, busting the front gun attachment.  It was a wake-up call... a weapon as large and bulky as the Sentry with such an ineffective combat radius was just getting in the way.  As such, I "neutered" the Sentry and made it look much like the Scope Rifle, while retaining a long-range lens that could achieve ranges of 840 feet.  This range was long enough to still hit my opponents before they could hit me, but the new more compact size of the Sentry was also much more usable as a normal battle rifle.

The M-Series Family!
Both the Scope Rifle and the Sentry still see use today.  The Scope Rifle was modifed to change the reload from the bolt mechanism to a push-button designed for left-handed users as per it's new owner's request.  She happily frags us from afar with it!  The Sentry is also owned by another player in our group, though for some reason, it has had frequent internal problems and has spent more time on my workbench than actual use in games.  Not sure why it's so touchy, but when it DOES work, it's great.  Both of these blasters are part of my "M-Series" lineup.  I named them after designations in the Sci-Fi movie Aliens (1986) from the famous M41A Pulse Rifle.  I now am working on a Pulse Rifle, so there are games when the M41A Pulse Rifle, M42B Scope Rifle, and M43A Sentry are running around at our games.  It's neat to see the family together!


  1. That is a really handsome collection of rifles. I've been mulling over the possibility of another integration project using either a Longshot or a Recon. The look of that Scope Rifle may just be the impetus I need to get started.

  2. awesome recasings right there. if you're ever stuck and desperately in need of a longshot, hit me up. we have tons of them down here.

  3. skurj. if you are using a laser challenge board i would go for either gun, but if your using an LT base tagger, just use a long shot cause the internals are to much to work with in a small blaster like the recon, that is if you want to take off the barrel attachment. cause that barrel can store any thing from an extra log lens housing(wink wink) the laser challenge virtual paint ball lens, or even an extended battery pack.

  4. Longshot it is. Thank you sir.