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N-Strike vs Vortex


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Poll: N-Strike or Vortex? (66 member(s) have cast votes)

What is the better Nerf battle series?

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#26 Daniel Beaver

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 11:11 PM

I don't mean this in any personal way against you but I would ask to see proof. I definitely believe the vortex discs maintain their initial velocity for the duration of flight though.


Here's some of my raw data from a few months back - I can't find the original post on NH, but this is what it linked to. My Praxis was shooting a 57±4 fps, the dart shooters never more than about 45fps. I tested a bunch of other guns, but didn't record data: the Vigilons and Protons performed on par with that even before I did the spring mods, and the Recon performs almost identically to the Quick16, while the Stampede is slightly more powerful (somewhere inbetween the reverse plunger blasters and the Vortex blasters). I also tested (but didn't record) velocities from 10 and 20 feet away, to get an idea of dropoff; the darts lost about 33% of their velocity within the first 20 feet, while the discs only lost about a sixth (I need to get better data than that, but it was really obvious what was happening: at 20 ft, the darts where barely setting off my chrono's 30fps minimum, whereas the discs were still cruising through at 50fps or faster). I didn't get much more rigorous than this, and my experiences with these blasters at wars supports my data. I think the perception that the discs are "traveling slowly" is a purely psychological one.

I should mention: I supplied my group of people with a box of about 300 vortex discs, and everyone stuffed their pockets before rounds. I wonder if some of the bad experiences people have with Vortex blasters is simply because of a lack of ammo at hand

EDIT: Also worth noting is that Longshots stand way apart from the rest of the N-Strike series in terms of power. They're not very good out of the box, but it's pretty easy to make them shoot harder than the Vortex blasters.

Edited by Daniel Beaver, 06 July 2012 - 11:19 PM.

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#27 Curly

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 11:36 PM

In my personal experience Vortex blasters have too many quirks to make up for the range and velocity.

I have NO scientific evidence to support this, but from my limited experience with disks, they seem to fall in a linear fashion. Rather than follow a parabola like other things do, disks seem to linearly float downwards at a decent speed. This would cause the discs to be at a low altitude for a longer period of time, making them very easy to dodge. Now, darts still wouldn't do any better with a flat trajectory, but darts seem to respond better to angling than discs. I find that discs veer off sharply with very minor errors. I dislike having to mount a carpenter's level to my blaster to ensure my shots don't land in somebody else's yard.

Let me restate that I have NO way to support this, but whatever shenanigans are afoot cause me to be more consistent with a dart blaster despite the range difference. Don't even get me started on ricochet, I spend more time looking for discs than shooting them. Beaver mentioned that you can spray at people until you can get close to them, but you can do that just as easily with a dart blaster. That also uses alot of ammo, which is upsetting.

On the other hand, dart blasters have the choice of turrets or magazines/drums, each with their own strengths. I personally adore using open turrets to gobble any darts I find without much hindrance, or spraying 35 darts, then proceeding to load my second drum. The Pyragon excluded, none of the Vortex blasters have the high capacity or the ability to reload without rendering the blaster unloaded. The Pyragon looks to rival CS-35 drums, but I still dislike discs. Not to mention 18-round clips will be available from the Elite series, making a volume of accessible darts a financial possibility, while you need to buy twice as many Vortex clips. Clip capacity aside, the shape of N-Strike clips/drums are easier to carry with the bandolier and vest, so more of the clips are immediately accessible.

I used a Recon at my first couple NIC wars(both indoor) with 18-shot clips and I simply used the Nerf Bandolier to hold another 2 clips. Reloading wasn't as big an issue as it was a sidearm. I would use it as a panic blaster when my primary was empty/unprimed. Clip changes happened every couple lives during the "walk of shame" and I refilled the clips between rounds. Problem solved. It was handy for an AR-removed Recon, and the compact size for the capacity was a pretty good niche. The proton or the Vigilon would have been the closest equivalents, and they have lower capacity and don't work well when shot at funny angles, which those 2 wars necessitated at times.

If your blaster is a pain to reload, carry more blasters. Between that Recon and my primary, usually one of them was loaded. If I had single shot pistol to boot I would basically always be ready to fire. Having a quick-draw sidearm makes reloading problems negligible. A good secondary holster/mount makes "clippys" more practical. If you're concerned about actually reloading the magazines during rounds, buy more. It's copping out to say each blaster has it's strengths and weaknesses. It's being smart to work around them.



Anyway, I put way more thought into that than I care to admit. I dislike Vortex blasters, but I'd like to hear how a disc-lover could counter somebody sporting a crapload of clips or a couple turreted blasters that never seem to be completely empty. Briguy did mention the lack of jams, but personally I find that only Recons have those issues, I've used just about all the other clipped blasters and they seldom jam when loaded correctly.

I'll also note that my small novel concerns only stock blasters. In terms of modding I feel that any type of stock ammo isn't suitable at all. The N-Strike clip breeches lend themselves to modding, but they are pushed FAR beyond their safe working limits for good ranges, even with OMW kits. Longshots are somewhat excluded because they're longshots, and perhaps the Elite blasters to a lesser extent.
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#28 Guitarzan

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 09:36 AM

Here's some of my raw data I didn't get much more rigorous than this, and my experiences with these blasters at wars supports my data. I think the perception that the discs are "traveling slowly" is a purely psychological one.


Alright, based on your data im willing to except that maybe the percieved slowness is psychological. I'll pay attention to that at the next war and my friend just acquired a chronograph so hopefully I can make my own tests too. Thanks for sharing your findings.
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#29 Blood Angel

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 05:39 PM

Thank you for all the replies. I didn't think I would get this much feed back.

I had no intention of making this a "which gun is better" thread. This is mainly about game systems as a whole.
I could have asked about "Nerf" Dart Tag vs "Nerf" N-Strike or "Nerf" Super Soaker vs "Nerf" Lazer Tag for that matter.
This is "NerfHaven after" all.

And of course, I agree that everything is situational dependent. So, sometime one is better than another is one case vs the next.

Personally my favorite Nerf weapon systems are the old school Arrow Storm, Crossbow, Chainblazer, and the Ultimator. If you don't
know these blasters you are not old school.

On a separate note, I have played a modded N-strike vs Vortex game and the games where about even (across all games types we played).
When we started mixing vortex and n-strike teams, we started noticing that the vortex guys have a harder time scavenging
for disks and reloading. The clips are flat and have a Hasbro Nerf support system for them in place already. The Vortex series does not.
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#30 shandsgator8

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 06:00 PM

The Vortex Praxis is my primary for indoor wars; it used to be the Alpha Trooper.
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#31 Meaker VI

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 11:17 AM

... I also tested (but didn't record) velocities from 10 and 20 feet away, to get an idea of dropoff; the darts lost about 33% of their velocity within the first 20 feet, while the discs only lost about a sixth (I need to get better data than that, but it was really obvious what was happening: at 20 ft, the darts where barely setting off my chrono's 30fps minimum, whereas the discs were still cruising through at 50fps or faster). ...


It should be taken into account that vortex discs are something like twice the mass of any war-legal dart, so I'd expect drag to have a more detrimental effect on the darts' velocity.

I should mention: I supplied my group of people with a box of about 300 vortex discs, and everyone stuffed their pockets before rounds. I wonder if some of the bad experiences people have with Vortex blasters is simply because of a lack of ammo at hand


This is definitely my issue, I too have experienced the "discs magically disappearing in a clean-room" phenomenon.

...but from my limited experience with disks, they seem to fall in a linear fashion. Rather than follow a parabola like other things do, disks seem to linearly float downwards at a decent speed. This would cause the discs to be at a low altitude for a longer period of time, making them very easy to dodge. Now, darts still wouldn't do any better with a flat trajectory, but darts seem to respond better to angling than discs....


This is an interesting point - darts follow a simple ballistic trajectory, while the discs do something else. Changing the range of engagement for a dart-blaster is easy - angle the blaster up/down, while discs are much more difficult to fire at any angle above flat because of their flight characteristics.
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#32 Daniel Beaver

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 12:06 PM

This is an interesting point - darts follow a simple ballistic trajectory, while the discs do something else. Changing the range of engagement for a dart-blaster is easy - angle the blaster up/down, while discs are much more difficult to fire at any angle above flat because of their flight characteristics.

It definitely requires some brain calibration. The flight path of the discs varies widely depending on how you tilt your blaster, and are especially prone to curving mid-flight. I suppose you could use that to your benefit after a lot of practice, but for now it seems like only a hindrance compared to the reliable trajectory that darts follow.

Edited by Daniel Beaver, 09 July 2012 - 12:08 PM.

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#33 cheyner

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 05:52 PM

It definitely requires some brain calibration. The flight path of the discs varies widely depending on how you tilt your blaster, and are especially prone to curving mid-flight. I suppose you could use that to your benefit after a lot of practice, but for now it seems like only a hindrance compared to the reliable trajectory that darts follow.


I find that is actually one of the stronger benefits of using Vortex blasters. Nobody knows where the disc is going, where with most non-streamline darts they follow a mainly linear trajectory, making them easier to dodge. I have started carrying my Praxis with a 20 disc mag on a sling, along with my primary. I find it fairly effective to spam a few disc's at somebody and pick them off with my primary while they are dodging the disc's.
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#34 Buffdaddy

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:13 PM

I find that is actually one of the stronger benefits of using Vortex blasters. Nobody knows where the disc is going, where with most non-streamline darts they follow a mainly linear trajectory, making them easier to dodge. I have started carrying my Praxis with a 20 disc mag on a sling, along with my primary. I find it fairly effective to spam a few disc's at somebody and pick them off with my primary while they are dodging the disc's.


^This. The last Massacre Cheyner and myself attended, we brought a bunch of discs (recovered almost all, too) and had lots of fun with them. Given, it's an indoor war, but with the Praxi modded and lots of discs, they weren't ineffective. They do fire slower than all the other modded blasters, so between messing up people's timing for dodging and the sheer number, it worked.

Also, it only took a little practice, but you can get very precise with these - I was putting discs through the peepholes in the cover that was there.
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#35 Blood Angel

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:30 PM

I find the discs are hard to see in general. They come in white (the color of walls) and green (the color of grass). The blending, variable speed, and thin profile make the Vortex series difficult to dodge.

In terms of overall firepower, its hard to beat two Rayvens rocking 35 rd drums. Not to mention the new Elite series Hailfire coming out.

I've seen people "punch fire" darts to make up for the range, but it would be nice to have the firing consistency of the discs. I don't
think I've seen a single one jam yet.
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#36 SpectreX

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 03:48 PM

Seems relevant to the discussion, but NM&R shared a video which pits the new NSE Retaliator against a Lumitron representing the Vortex line. The video shows both blasters fired flat from the same position in slightly breezy "real world" outdoor conditions. The quality is ok, but not great (I would know I made the video), but it should be decent video evidence to base opinions on.
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#37 Briguy52

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 05:34 PM

The Pyragon excluded, none of the Vortex blasters have the high capacity or the ability to reload without rendering the blaster unloaded.

Technically, you can prime the Vigilon and Praxis, remove the clip, and add more discs in. That's why I was able to fit 7 discs total into the Vigilon and 11 into the standard Praxis magazine/clip.
Also, the only Nerf dart blasters (that are currently available of course, no vintage stuff like SSIIs) that can reload while keeping the blaster ready to fire would be the turreted ones and the two "built-in" clip Dart Tag blasters. I guess you could make a sort of "flip clip" or dual mag of sorts and reload the other one while keeping the other one though.


On the topic of FPS and muzzle velocity, could someone with a chronograph test out the voltage modded Nerf blasters and the Nitron? I feel like the flywheel blasters get pretty significant buffs in the FPS category from voltage increases (my own personal experiences have been from a Rayven with 9.4 volts of Ni-Mh) but I'm curious as to how a Nitron would perform in terms of FPS.
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#38 proplus

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:00 PM

Plusbows and rainbows beat all of these END OF DISCUSSION!!!!!

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Edited by Daniel Beaver, 10 July 2012 - 10:34 PM.

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#39 Daniel Beaver

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 10:32 PM

Also, the only Nerf dart blasters (that are currently available of course, no vintage stuff like SSIIs) that can reload while keeping the blaster ready to fire would be the turreted ones and the two "built-in" clip Dart Tag blasters.

You can reload the Quick16 on the fly - one of it's defining, and underrated characteristics.
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#40 JordanGuy

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:32 PM

I'm sorry if anyone already said this because I didn't have enough time to read ALL of the other posts, but the main downsides to disks are that there is no homemade option. Well, there may be, but not as far as I've seen. So you could have your vortex gun and like 50 disks and then someone comes with like 100 easy to make and cheap homemade darts, and maybe an airgun that shoots homemade mega darts (sorry, that's probably not what they are called). The main bad part about vortex is the inability for homemade darts. But, someone should find a way to make those homemade.
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#41 ktcookie

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 03:05 PM

I have to say I do love the Nstrike series, but i can not say much about the vortex series, I sadly do not own any vortex guns, I am waiting for the Pyragon to be released. But from the information i have previously gathered, i do like the Nstrike better.. for now.

1. Shooting range. vortex shoots prety damn far stock compared to regular n strike blasters, even compared to the New elite blaster vortex wins
2. Clip Capacity. Right now N strike has a higher clip capacity than vortex, and in coparison the vortex clips seem bulkier.
3.Modding potential. N strike wins, there are so many more mod guides, online, you can mod an N strike blaster way more than a Vortex blaster. And a big issue to me is that I have only seen one guide to make homemade vortex disc, while there are many different ways to make steafans and slugs.
4. Quantity. Nstrike wins, there are more N strike blaasters than Vortex blasters. Remeber this is Nstrike vs Vortex not the clip systems.
5. Orignality. more than anything, i think Nstrike wins because lets face it, when i type in Nerf on google, a nerf Maverick pops up, thats Nstrike alright. And i think that most of this amazing community started out with a dartblaster.

Yes i know that this is biased since i dont have a single vortex gun, nor have ever tried one, but when i get my hands on one, my opinion is most likely to change but for the time being : N strike is AWESOME!
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#42 BiwinningPanda

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 07:22 PM

What if I told you that Vortex blasters have a higher initial velocity than N-strike blasters (60fps vs 45fps)? And moreover, that their velocity drops off slower than N-strike blasters? They seem slower, but are not.

I just checked jerm781's videos and both the Praxis and Proton shoot about 55 fps and under, whereas the Recon and Longstrike shoot about 58 fps with some shots hitting in the 70fps range. So it definitely varies a bit between blasters, and with the inconsistencies of streamlines it looks like they have about the same velocity.

Edited by BiwinningPanda, 12 July 2012 - 07:28 PM.

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#43 BOSS9

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 08:34 PM

I just checked jerm781's videos and both the Praxis and Proton shoot about 55 fps and under, whereas the Recon and Longstrike shoot about 58 fps with some shots hitting in the 70fps range. So it definitely varies a bit between blasters, and with the inconsistencies of streamlines it looks like they have about the same velocity.


I gotta say, I trust Beaver more than Jerm.

I like playing around with N-Strike, and I wish I still had my proton. That's the extent of my opinions for this thread.
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#44 BiwinningPanda

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 08:55 PM

I gotta say, I trust Beaver more than Jerm.

I like playing around with N-Strike, and I wish I still had my proton. That's the extent of my opinions for this thread.

Well Jerm has a video of the blasters firing through his chrono, so it's not really a matter of trust. Not saying I don't trust Beaver but Jerm has consistent video evidence showing both blasters fire at similar velocities.

Edited by BiwinningPanda, 12 July 2012 - 08:56 PM.

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#45 Daniel Beaver

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 09:51 PM

Well Jerm has a video of the blasters firing through his chrono, so it's not really a matter of trust. Not saying I don't trust Beaver but Jerm has consistent video evidence showing both blasters fire at similar velocities.

I didn't chrono the Recon, so maybe it shoots harder than the newer N-Strike guns. I'm sort of inclined to think that Jerm is using a bad chrono setup - they're very sensitive to external light sources, and I don't think he should be seeing so much variability in his shots. Also worth considering, though, is the dart fit; he may have had a batch of stock darts that fit "just right". I would actually see that as a win for the Vortex blasters, though. Their performance is very insensitive to the quality of the ammo used.

Edited by Daniel Beaver, 12 July 2012 - 09:53 PM.

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#46 MattTheSasquatch

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 11:00 PM

Personally, I started on N-Strike and I still love them. The Vortex line is kind of lacking in some aspects such as accessories, originality, ammo capacity, but I'm not giving up on them. I don't own one, but have used one or two and may buy one someday. I do like the Vortex Blasters, they are quite fun. But, it appears to me that Hasbro is spending more time and money on N-Strike than Vortex, but N-Strike has built up such a great reputation. Both lines are very good in their own ways. Vortex, I believe within a few years, will become huge like N-Strike and have many accessories and different designs. I'm "calling" the first Vortex line the "Prototype Series". They all work and look similar. It was mainly a test to see if the disc shooters are popular among the customers and it's proven that there's potential. The Pyragon will be the first Vortex blaster to really set the standard for disc shooters.

For my final thought after all that, N-Strike is the clear dominant winner for today. Wait five years and the Vortex line may become popular and overthrow N-Strike.
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#47 Meaker VI

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 10:49 AM

...
2. Clip Capacity. Right now N strike has a higher clip capacity than vortex, and in coparison the vortex clips seem bulkier.
...


Something I don't fully understand is how N-strike (or any dart blaster) is consistently considered to win on ammo capacity. Yes, out of the box, you can buy a 35-round drum for N-strike; but most come with 6-18 round mags, not really different from stock Vortex blasters/mags. Hoppers can potentailly hold huge amounts of darts, but usually hold around the same as any clip/magazine fed blaster and are more unwieldy. Vortex clips are much easier (for me) to load; the Vigilon just takes a stack of discs and I'm sure a stripper clip could be arranged for it. I've found N-strike to have much, much more unreliable dart feed, and there is basically no homemade option to make new clips. Vortex clips can be fashoned from a segment of pvc, no modifications or rare pieces (Y's for hoppers) necessary - if any of the blasters were made to gravity feed it'd be a piece of cake to make a larger mag (no spring necessary even; but unlike N-strike mags, many types of spring could work in a vortex mag - Vortex discs are more crush resistant than any war-legal dart). The reliability of their clips is a huge plus.

I think if we got some reliable, easy, and cheap way of making vortex discs, they'd see a larger draw than they do now. Modification is mostly unnecessary since they already preform well. Homemades (also not technically N-strike, but all the popular ones shoot darts, not discs), awesome as they are, are also unnecessary; and unlikely unless any machinists decide to take up the charge or someone finds some magical "C" channel that works perfectly with the discs.
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#48 Briguy52

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 12:30 PM

You can reload the Quick16 on the fly - one of it's defining, and underrated characteristics.

Sorry, when I said " "built-in" clip Dart Tag blasters " I meant both the Quick 16 and the Speedload 6 but I wasn't very clear.

However, I would definitely agree with Meaker VI that in terms of dart capacity, everyone points towards the 35-round drum, but in reality it sees little use. For instance, in HvZ (yes, I understand that we focus on NIC stuff more here, but HvZ makes more use of streamlines and stock clip systems vs. hoppers/choppers/etc.) most people prefer carrying around 2x 18 round clips instead of the giant and awkward 35 round drum. The new 25 round drum may change that now by being symmetrical(the 12 round clip is just stupid considering we have an 18 round out there). Also, most people are not going to go around buying crappy Raiders just for a 35 round drum.

In terms of homemade clips for the Vortex discs, the main problem is that you need to attach the PVC to the bottom of a stock 10 round clip. However, I think that this could be theoretically fixed (I traded my Praxis so I can't really test anything right now) by cutting the bottom off of a 10 round clip off, attaching a coupler, and then make PVC "shingle clips" of sorts, except for discs and not darts. Of course, you would need to implement a system to keep discs from falling out of the stock clip part, but I actually think that may work.
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#49 Blood Angel

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 12:57 PM

Seems to me that this is more about what is available and what can be done, as opposed to what is technically better.

Accessories are a BIG/HUGE deal. Glock makes more money selling their accessories then they do their actual pistols. The same might be said for the N-strike. I, personally, have bought around 300 darts. Some green, white, orange, and glow in the dark (and when blue comes out, I will buy that too). They seem cheap and they get destroyed pretty easily. Extra darts, extra clips, a vest, bandolier, barrels, stocks, fore-grips, and sights make the N-strike system versatile and customizable.

What does the Vortex have? Extra clips and disks. However, as I have mentioned before, I've never seen the Vortex blasters jam. They are 100% reliable in my opinion. Not saying the N-strike isn't. Just that that is something to think about.

I have seen magazine problems, bad dart jams, feeding problems with new mods, and other things go wrong with the N-strike series. Still...I think the support (ie money backing) for the N-strike out weighs the marginal reliability issue.

I think if we see some backing by Hasbro or just dedicated players making public tutorials on how to make the Vortex compete with the N-strike, people will start to think about buying the series just to see for themselves.
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#50 BlackhawkJack

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 12:11 AM

I personally favor the Dart system over the Disks in terms of accuracy and the ability to create cheap homemades relatively easy.

The only thing that I don't like about the darts is their ability to get mangled in the chamber. I've personally seen one get cut in half after I fished it out of the barrel.

As for those who say that the disks get lost in the grass due to their green color, a suggestion I have is to spray paint them the bright color of your choice. I have not personally done this so I don't know how the buildup of paint might affect loading and firing so I would just put a thin layer on.
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