The Nerf Rapidstrike...
This was the first of the batch of 3 Nerf guns we purchased. Why 3? Because my son was going to a birthday party that was going to have a Nerf war and we didn't have a Nerf gun, and if he was going to get a Nerf gun, my husband was going to get one too...and when he called me on the phone to tell me this, I insisted he get one for me because I'm wasn't about to be the odd man out...I know how that goes! He got the Doominator and I got the Double Dealer as part of our batch of 3...but I digress.
The Rapidstrike is the ONLY gun in my arsenal that I really don't like. It gets heavy praise from people on-line and is a favorite and all but the standard go-to for Nerf Wars on campus, especially for modders, next to the Stryfe. However, it always jammed on us from Day 1. I thought perhaps it was from the magazine pushing the darts up too high in the chamber...so we'd push them down from the jam door before firing. It helped sometimes, but most of the time in an 18 dart mag the first dart will jam. Once you remove the mag, pop off the jammed dart, and re-insert, you will be able to fire about 50% of the time.
The other problem is you have to rev up the blaster a while before firing...like 2-3 seconds, or else it will jam the first dart. You simply cannot start revving and then fire shortly thereafter...you have to wait and built up the flywheel momentum. My other flywheel guns don't require as much time to rev before firing and all guns have fresh Duracell batteries.
It always appeared that the dart heads would get caught on the little inside skirt of the chamber.
The skirt is there to help direct the dart but it always seemed to stop the first dart, so I stripped it out of there with a pliers. Some people said this helped...and it did. It now will fire 50% of the time without jamming on the first dart. Once you get a magazine to fire it's fine usually throughout the rest of the mag, but when you go to re-load again, you might jam up yet again and have to go through the whole process again. It's more frustrating than fun...even my son's friend that came over tried it, it jammed on the first dart, so he set it aside for another gun. My son has rarely been able to fire off a shot successfully, always coming to us with jams. This is what initially got us to buy even more guns, because at first I thought it was all user error. Now I can say it was about 50/50 user error and the gun itself.
On top of all that, when comparing my gun's firing rate to those of people on-line in stock form, my gun only gets off 1 shot for every 2 the YouTubers get right out of the box. They say this is due to batteries and to change them but other than buying another pack of C's, maybe Energizer this time, I haven't tested this yet. I almost want to return the gun and buy another just to see. It could just simply be the power is too weak in my gun to fire off the darts successfully. Now, without the skirt, it does seem to help but when the darts fire they sometimes fishtail spiral out and drop at about 5 feet. The well-shot darts get about 20-30 feet. It should be averaging about at least 40 feet stock.
So...what to do? I really love the look of the blaster, and it feels great to hold. It is the perfect gun, in all respects, if only it had more umphf and wasn't such a jam-fest! This gun will be more difficult to mod since you have to use solder and change out wiring, but I am considering it. However, modding it means that it will simply blow everyone away! That's not my goal since I don't go to official campus Nerf Wars and only use it in the house or yard. I have no reason to blow anybody away and a modded gun is simply unfair when going up against stock guns.
Then again...what do I have to lose at this point if I modd it and it goes way wrong? Essentially it's a paperweight anyway since it's never a go-to for playing in the house anymore due to it jamming at some point on you 100% of the time. I can guarantee that if it doesn't jam with one mag it will for another with you swap clips. If you use it for 20-30 minutes hands-down it will jam. Yes it's a bit better now without the interior skirt but even so, if you put the 18-size mags in it just can't seem to handle it. It will handle the 6 dart mags OK but not fire them very far. 12 mags seem ideal...but this blaster is meant for swapping 18 mags in and out with ease.