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Mortal Pistol preliminary review and thoughts


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#1 arfink

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 07:10 PM

Some of you know that I recently jumped through a bunch of hoops to obtain a Mortar Pistol. This is an unusual foam flinging toy from China which is not made by a major company and is also completely unique. (not a bootleg)

A quick picture for those of you who don't know about it yet:
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-many thanks to SG Nerf, your photography skills are crazy good-

I recently received mine, and while I won't say how much I paid for it I can say there is a good reason why nobody in the US has bothered getting these- it's spendy. Maybe if there is interest someone will do a group order, but it's not gonna be me. Sorry guys. Anyways, on the review:

First of all, in China this toy sells for around $16 to $18. Don't let the price tag fool you- this blaster is made of quality plastic, with the exception of one critical part, which I will get to in a moment. The design of the shell, while somewhat bland from a molding perspective, is at least comfortable and very sturdy. The turret rotation is fairly solid, with the only weakness in my mind being the slightly "creaky" sound it makes. Despite the somewhat alarming noise that rotating the turret makes, it is rock solid and indexes quite well. Puts the Maverick to shame.

The stock ammo does not fit well at all in the barrels and does not fly well, tumbling out of control because it has no significant weight. When you tip the blaster towards the ground the "shells" have a tendency to fall out. However, at point blank range even these poorly fitted projectiles pack a serious punch. My brother and I conducted the mandatory "buttocks shot test" on a test subject (my cousin Brad) who reported it had some sting to it. :) So of course next in line was the "duct tape a hunk of barrel to the valve outlet and see what happens" test. Slugs were clearing around 100 feet flat (min 85, max 128) with a ~3 foot barrel that had basically no seal at all, just held against the valve by hand. This was with 5 pumps, by the way. Duct-taping the barrel in place helped the seal slightly and brought the bottom end up a bit. When I get around to modding this I expect it to be extremely powerful, perhaps so much so that it'll be non-war-legal.

Now on to the major weaknesses of this blaster, most of which I think can be overcome with modding:

Firstly, there is NO OPRV. Of any kind. Aside from the obvious problem of most wars banning air blasters without OPRVs, this has serious problems from a structural standpoint. The entire blaster is made out of some pretty nice quality plastic, with the exception of what I'd consider to be the single most important part- the air tank. The tank body (grey/white part in the picture above) is made of a much softer, more flexible plastic material. As a result this piece is capable of deforming when it's pressurized and de-pressurized. On my tank it happens to deform around the base of the pump, meaning that the handle does not come out quite straight, but at a slight angle. This doesn't adversely affect the operation of the blaster in my experience, but it is ugly and annoying to have a handle that seems slightly out of place. Also, after firing a shot the plastic of the tank "relaxes" and makes a protracted creaking sound by rubbing against the shell of the blaster, which you can hear in SG Nerf's videos.

Secondly, the lack of OPRV means that if you choose to overpump the blaster the tank will eventually rupture. This happened to my blaster when an overly enthusiastic relative decided to pump it about 15 times, until it made a loud "POP" sound all of a sudden. The front orange piece of the tank contains the valve, and is actually two pieces, though you can't tell from the pictures. This broke cleanly along the seam, thankfully, and I was able to glue it back together and resume normal operation. However, this could be a serious problem in a war to be having a tank rupture because you weren't counting pumps.

Possible mods to correct this problem would include adding a McMaster OPRV and replacing the main tank body with 1.25" PVC, which I think would be pretty doable. However, at that point you're basically in homemade territory already, which leads me to the final part of my review.

If all you want to do is mod a blaster that has an air tank similar to this you should use one of the Marshmallow Blasters, which have the same kind of tank design. I chose to get this blaster for a few reasons which many people here will probably not agree with: I liked the funky, colorful, chunky shape of the blaster, and that the turret will be pretty easy to make into a 6-shot shotgun turret. I liked that the air tank was easy to take apart and tinker with. And lastly, I wanted to be able to replicate its function as a homemade by studying its internal components, something which is very difficult to do with the Marshmallow Blasters, which are glued together in a very inconvenient way. Finally, I just really wanted one.

TL:DR Summary

Pros:
-It's big, colorful, comfortable to hold, and pretty sturdy.
-Shoots haaaaaard. Large volume of air at high pressure with very few pumps.
-Gigantic turret.

Cons:
-No OPRV
-Tank is too flexible.
-Expensive.
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#2 Lein

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 10:27 AM

Another pro you should put is that the tank can be used as a "ballistic knife" and can be easily integrated.
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#3 arfink

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 02:26 PM

Another pro you should put is that the tank can be used as a "ballistic knife" and can be easily integrated.


I hate to shoot you down, but that tank is not being "easily integrated" into anything except the most massive of blasters, nor would it be a very comfortable ballistic knife handle, despite the side actuated button. It's just way too big. The pictures don't show you how huge this really is. The body of the blaster is almost the size of a UMB. The tank itself is 1.5" diameter and probably a foot long. You'd have an easier time "integrating" a Titan tank into something. In reality, you should be integrating others things into this blaster, except there is no appreciable room left inside with that mondo tank in there. So when I say it's chunky, I do mean abso-freakin-lutely huge.
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#4 DudeRadster

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 02:49 PM

Do you think it was actually worth the price you paid for it? From what you've said, it seems like this could be easily replicated as a homemade for much cheaper.
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#5 arfink

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 03:31 PM

Do you think it was actually worth the price you paid for it? From what you've said, it seems like this could be easily replicated as a homemade for much cheaper.


I think it was worth it for me, but likely not worth it for other people of a more pragmatic mindset. Those kinds of people can keep building their SNAPs, and I'll just ignore them. Of course, there are also people who think that the classic Crossbows or boxed Longshots are worth it too, and this was cheaper than either of those.
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#6 mysterio

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 09:28 PM

A homemade version would be called the scunbag.
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If two powerful is a problem then just go with one powerful. I guess this style of hopper will work even beyond three powerful..


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#7 arfink

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 11:32 PM

A homemade version would be called the scunbag.


Assuming I just replicated the scunbag...
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