Monday, December 15, 2014

Koosh Dart Tip Glue, BW12, And Customer Satisfaction.

I was planning my next dart order, being that I have mowed through half of my Yutoys Koosh lot already, and I was going to buy from eBay seller "beautifulwoman2012" and do a review of the first and most common koosh source, as well as getting that cool dark green foam they offer, and hopefully the slick (more accurate and reliable) tips. I was however expecting to receive poorly glued darts and spend time rebonding tips.

Then I saw this comment on reddit from user JeffOnReddit, in the thread of my Stock Class Ammo Roundup:

My last batch from BW2012 was as nicely glued as Yutoys ( i bought darts from both). Have i been lucky?

Which hinted at things turning around with the koosh quality control.

Then I found this listing:

Nerf N-strike Elite Rampage Retaliator Blasters 500 pcs Darts Improved Adhesive

Improved adhesive!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Practical Stock Class: Doing Magfed Right, Individual Ammo Load and Scavenging Considerations

I cover the tech's viewpoint typically, and game design and meta-concerns have been touched on by both me and contributor Herbert West, but there hasn't yet been much about actually playing.

Granted, I don't consider myself an "excellent" player of either stock class or HvZ, by far. I am a much better tech than I am a player, but I almost always succeed by an underlying methodology to the apparent madness on the field. In no way do I claim my ways are the only way to approach the game, by far - your mileage may vary, for what it's worth, etc. - but this series will be my player advice.

This first topic was inspired by comments left by an anonymous user on my ammo roundup post, which focused on magfed systems above all else:

"...myself and many HvZers i know avoid relying on mag-fed blasters due to the amount of time taken to scavenge darts and refill those mags during long-running matches. Front loaders are more efficient as they are easily topped up from a pouch of loose darts as you walk or jog."

Namely the longstanding "detachable-magazine debate" - within stock class, you have one group of players (most of them, in my experience) working around a milsim-type usage of detachable mags and noting the high endurance and quick reloads offered by this system, and another, typically minority at this point, group advocating shotgun-style loading on the fly (LOTF) from a supply of loose rounds.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Stock Class Ammo Roundup

In this post I will attempt to make sense of the various options available to the player. As OldNoob said, we are in the golden age of darts, and what to buy can be confusing at times - yet with the field slowly wising up about ammo, staying current and not shooting junk is ever more important to success on the field.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Concept Bullpup Rapidstrike

Contributing factor 1: Let's face it, Rayvens are so 2012. They have all their rough edges, cage alignment problems, vibration problems, ergonomic problems, janky trigger linkages and just general malaise about them. They are semi-auto, and expensive, and as of right now, their availability is low.

About the only outstanding feature of the Rayven system is that it is (prior to the 2015 Crossbolt) the only bullpup, magfed nerf gun you can buy off the shelf.

Now, I don't mind bullpups. I would not want to fight exclusively with them, because I find standard layouts are far better with mag changes and intuitive handling despite the length efficiency and inertia shortcomings - but I really don't mind bullpups at all. I just don't care for semi-autos nor the aggravating and dated Rayven.

Contributing factor 2: My RapidPistol is down. I smoked my RS motors after a year of bashing. I was happy with the perfomance of the weapon but not its ergonomics. I want a new secondary that will handle and carry more like a Rayven. I am considering selling my RapidPistol (with a FK swap) and replacing it with something.

Contributing factor 3: There is a standardization program underway within the squad (details not to be posted). Discussion of the upgrade path for a Rayven-wielding scout led to mention of a Rayven full auto conversion with RS parts, which I countered by suggesting a bullpup RS, getting rid of all the Rayven hardware completely.

Enter the XM198 Vulture:

That should do it. I will hopefully get on this build sometime soon.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Shelf Watch Gainesville, FL: More Of The Same, K-Code Elite Madness

I am at the old stomping grounds for squad stuff and an HvZ minimission, and today I have time to kill, so I trolled the stores.

Wal-Mart Butler Plaza:

Zing Sky Ripperz on clearance.

Note: Target is not clearancing these. I suspect Wal-Mart is dropping them or overstocked.

Clipfire internals and mod guide (lots of pictures)

This took long enough to post, eh? A review of the Clipfire can be found here, in which I promised an internals guide which I said would be done "soon". As it turns out, "soon" can mean "in a few months" - still, better late than never.

This guide assumes that you are opening your Clipfire with the intent to modify it - after all, there aren't many other reasons why someone would want to open a blaster, and if you have it open anyway, you may as well modify it while you're in there. The Clipfire is the only blaster that I've worked on that is easier to open, modify, and close than to reassemble in its stock configuration.

One convention that I follow consistently in this guide is that the text underneath each picture corresponds to that picture. I've erred on the side of too many rather than too few pictures, as a Clipfire can be tricky to work with.

The blaster depicted in this guide has had the front of the barrel shroud cut off. As this makes it possible to open the shell completely, this makes the pictures clearer. If you leave the front of your barrel shroud in place, everything here still applies. Also note that the rest of my barrel shroud has been slightly warped in an unsuccessful attempt to destroy the glue holding on the front of the shroud with boiling water, so yours won't look exactly the same if you cut off the front.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

PSA: Watch Out When Buying Voberry Darts

Voberry's generic full-length darts (review and part 2) have caught on, and with them, the name "Voberry" has become very familiar in the NIC. These "Voberry" darts are quite safe, with flexible dome tips similar to an Elite tip.

However, Voberry is a brand, company, or d/b/a - not a tradename for a dart design. Recently, Voberry seems to be distributing another type of dart, known in the hobby as a "full vinyl jacket" (FVJ). These things have hard tips. You wouldn't want to play a game with them without eyepro, and I would keep them away from HvZ games. On the flip side, they are very accurate, and not necessarily a bad round.

All of Voberry's listings on Amazon for these darts appear to have an image in this format showing the range of foam colors characteristic of FVJ darts including the signature "mini-mega" red:


Particularly beware this listing for blue-foamed darts easily mistaken for the original "High Quality" Voberry product.

If you are looking for known good Voberry darts, and not FVJs, use ONLY the original Amazon listing with "High Quality" in the title and tons of customer reviews!

Now that is out of the way, these two darts are the most common generic Chinese darts on the market by far, dwarfing the number of listings for koosh tips, and in some cases it can be difficult to tell what type you are dealing with before you buy. Note key features that can help you identify FVJs from listings:

The tip design - FVJ tips are shorter than Voberry tips, and have a more square-cut, blunter end. In listing images, they will typically appear shiny or glossy like plastic, and when viewed end-on, they may look somewhat rebated in design, with the edge of the foam visible, whereas Voberry tips almost always cover that edge.

The colors - FVJ darts, like the earlier "Sizzliz" or "4 color" darts (which BW12 still sells!), are available with multiple foam colors. They also always have orange tips. If you see a duplicate listing other than foam color for your darts, they are almost certainly FVJs. Voberry darts are currently NOT known to be available with any foam color other than blue, though images of logo-printed ones exist.

This is an FVJ:

And this is a Voberry:

Pay close attention!

Voberry-type darts are the most common "7.2 cm knockoff elite" on the internet - you will often find them listed on ebay. However, your mileage, as to quality control, may vary when buying from these listings.