Thursday, April 5, 2012

Elite: More Answers, More Questions

With the new N-Strike Elite photos up at Nerf Mods & Reviews, there's a lot to talk about.  The Elite Barricade certainly surprised me, but I'm more surprised as to why have two Flywheel-based blasters in the Elite Lineup and still have the Barricade one running off 4.5 Volts?  To achieve those "Elite Distances" that the commercials for this new line have been boasting, there needs to be a voltage increase for the Barricade or improved motors driving those darts forward.

With the Hailfire's design, the solution would be simple: just have more batteries in the blaster to drive the motor faster.  But with the Barricade design being reused on this blaster, you're stuck with 3 AA battery slots that'll limit your range using standard batteries.  This leads me to believe even MORE so that the underlying performance booster in these dart blasters is the new dart design itself.  The blasters are probably tweaked themselves, but a new motor inside the Barricade wouldn't get it THAT much more range.  A newer dart that is weighted better and can achieve longer ranges would be needed.

If my speculation about the better dart design is true, and if the dart is truly "Universal", the Elite Dart could improve every blaster Nerf has ever made to fire Micro Darts.  I'm getting more and more excited for the darts from Elite than anything else, which seems odd, but the promise of improving blasters without having to modify or make your own is an attractive promise.


  1. Wait wait wait? Is it still April 1st? Is this real? :)

  2. I think you're pretty spot-on with most of this. My knowledge of motors is rather limited (read: nonexistent), but I do not imagine much can be done within the Barricade to hit the claimed ranges. Separately, I have difficulty believing that the darts themselves could be responsible for them, though there is much excitement to be gleaned from their application to other blasters as you mentioned. I would posit that the ranges claimed alongside the initial wave of information for the Elite line are not meant to be applied universally to all the line's blasters. If they are, then I fear Nerf is pulling a fast one on us. That isn't too much to be concerned about, though, as some measure of improvement is inevitable and thoroughly welcome.

  3. perhaps they swapped out the battery AA tray for AAA to be able to fit another battery or two? Also, it's have to have different flywheels to the original barricade as the original fired whistlers.

    Either way, I'm skeptical on how a "stock" barricade can fire 15m, let alone 75 feet. It still looks fantastic though.

  4. I think that the barricade will work better because it has the flywheels closer together/larger, just like when people clip mod them to use streamlines. That way the flywheel grips the dart for longer and the edge of the flywheel moves faster laterally (assuming the same RPM's)
    However, a streamlined, balanced dart could revolutionise these distances as well. I can only assume that these darts would be superior to older nerf darts fired out of older guns, but this is highly dependant on the seal.
    ... But I can't imagine Hasbro redesigning the appearance of the blasters just for the new darts. They have to be better, too. They just have to. If the Retaliator using streamlines performed the same as the recon, it would be a dark day for nerf.
    -PS thanks for the tip for fixing my LTX. It reloads fine now!

  5. I have to concur with that, more or less.

    The Barricade could always be using slightly hotter motors with the same stock battery setup. There are MANY winds available in any given motor series and type, including the FA-130 in these flywheel guns which come in winds ranging from something colder than a stock rayven motor to high-end, high-revving RC motors with carbon brushes and other non-Mabuchi design improvements.

    Only a small change in motor spec would take range from 40' stock to 50' Elite on the same 3 alkie cells.

    A prime example is the higher Kv of Barricade motors versus Rayven motors, hence a popular swap for the Rayven in HVZ circles. Mine runs 'cade motors (and I do believe was the first to do so) and I gain about 2 cells worth of range over rayven motors.

    However, the darts are going to be a primary factor. In fact, there is what may be a little taste of Elite out there now in the form of recent W and the newest production of T code darts, which have higher quality foams, give better barrel fit and can drastically increase ranges over older K code and similar darts that were typically encountered in the history of N-strike when used with suboptimal (but reliable-feeding) stock barrels. Given these hi-po darts, some stock alphas can hit 50' flat which, coincidentally, is... one of the 2 range specs for NSE. (The 75' would be the elevated range, logically.)

    These Elite darts are probably something like a re-engineered stable version of a W code streamline.

    And indeed, such a dart will be a MASSIVE benefit to people like me (who HVZ with stock ammo and want to reach out and touch things with mag-fed guns) should NSE's darts turn out to be what we think. One of the key problems with some of my HVZ guns such as my (80') Swarmpede is that they exceed the maximum stable velocity for even W-code streamlines, and thus effective range is limited. Stefan bans limit my options for stable darts severely, and a safe, factory-made stable dart will be a very serious improvement.

  6. I think I guessed correctly that their would be a few more flywheels coming out this year way back in january for one of your question of the week things.

    Idk about the elite ranges anymore, some european ad or package art said 15m or about 45ft.

    Now that we can see that the elite barricade is a repaint with a new stock, I'm not holding my breath for 75ft stock when these come out.

    However, it could be done in the barricade with in the same shell with new guts.
    -more voltage
    -better motors
    -bigger flywheels
    -better darts

  7. it atuley never said the elite barricad had to hit those ranges tho.