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N-Strike Elite Stockade Review


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#1 kevne

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 01:45 PM

Before you all go getting excited. This blaster was purchased in the UK. Hasbro has made it known that the Stockade will not be released in the US for "some time". Don't ask me where to buy it in the US because you can't. Just read, enjoy and comment appropriately.


So I noticed that Argos have released their new catalogue. Being the inquisitive fellow that I am, I decided to have a look. Of course I couldn't simply thumb through the glossy pages of the catalogue, that is sooo last century. I decided instead to use the handy dandy computerised ordering doo-dad they have in store to have a look at the Nerf goodies. All the Elite series were there and were unsurprisingly advertised as "Available August 2012". All except the Stockade, this said "2 in Stock" so I bought one.


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The first thing you'll notice is the big shiny 20m range sticker on the box. Anyone with a calculator will know that this equates to 65', 10 short of what we expected. Disappointing I know but it sure gives the Barricade RV-10 a swift kick in the trouser furniture.


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On the back of the box, the small print states that the Stockade has a max range of 22m which is a much more pleasing 72' but as we all know, this will have been measured from an angled shot.

We get inside the box and it all becomes a bit more exciting.



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The stock looks the business. It has a brilliant new style dart holder which is very easy to use and grips the darts firmly without damaging them. The stock also features an ambidextrous release switch which is really useful if you're an awkward lefty like me. Unfortunately, as many people are experiencing with the Retaliator, the stock is far too short for a big manly man like me but then, it is designed for 8 year olds. My next mission might be to lengthen it somehow.


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As we have seen with the other Elite blasters, from the outside the Stockade looks exactly like the Barricade in every way, just with a nifty new paint job. It still takes 3 AA cells so no improvement on the voltage from Hasbro. It would seem however, the internals have had a bit of a reboot.

Starting it up with the switch on the side of the handle (again, the same as the Barricade), you'll notice immediately that you won't need earplugs to use the Stockade. It is much, much quieter than it's predecessor and even a bit quieter than the Rayven. This however, might simply be down to the fact that the Stockade runs at a lower voltage to the Rayven.


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We open the Stockade up and again, it's a similar story to the Barricade. Not having a Barricade at hand for comparison, I'm not entirely convinced that the dart pusher hasn't been redesigned. If anyone can confirm that'd be great. Otherwise, nothing much to report with the trigger assembly or turret but things are a bit more interesting up at the front.


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You'll notice that the flywheels on the Stockade are new and similar in design to the Rayven. They have a smooth surface and a large circumference compared to the Barricades smaller, toothed flywheels. This alone will account for the improved performance. A larger circumference will mean that the surface if the flywheel is travelling at a higher speed. It also appears that the Stockade is also packing the same motors as the Rayven. This seems to be the reason for the reduction in noise from the blaster.

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Thanks SGNerf for the picture.


Better bearings, higher revs and a larger flywheel are the main reasons why this thing spits darts as far as it does. Couple this with the improved design of the Elite darts and you can see why Nerf feel the need to revamp old blasters. Getting the most out of blasters without the cost of designing and retooling is fine by me. It all helps to keep the price down. I got rid of all of my RV-10s because they are ugly, because of their terrible performance and of course, to avoid going deaf and whilst I'm not going all weak at the knees about the Stockade, it is just so much better than the Barricade. I'm not saying that it's amazing, it's still ugly, cumbersome and fiddly to reload but it is a step in the right direction. Well done Nerf.


Test firing the Stockade was a real pleasure. It purrs like a kitten as it revs up and rattles and vibration are at a minimum thanks to the new motors. The trigger pull is a little stiff and clunky but then, nothing has changed with the mechanism. Ranges are very good. I'm waiting to borrow a Barricade to do a proper range test with a comparison so look out for that soon.


So, what do you think? Will you be buying one? Personally, I wouldn't bother. You'd be much better off saving your money for the Retaliator.
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#2 Apollo441

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 02:22 PM

I don't understand how you can call it "ugly" then again i love my barricade, nice review, looking forward to the side by side testing.
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#3 THE MATIC ATTIC

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 04:00 PM

How much did it cost you?
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#4 kevne

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 05:13 PM

I don't understand how you can call it "ugly" then again i love my barricade,


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

How much did it cost you?


A good question. One that I should really have answered in the review.

24.99 GBP. Best not to convert that to USD (you'll scare yourself with the price). We pay the same amount as you guys for our blasters so when you get it it'll probably be $24.99 USD.
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#5 Jeo

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 11:01 PM

Dart pusher is different, good spotting. Also the rear trigger spring mount.
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Edited by Jeo, 25 July 2012 - 11:02 PM.

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#6 kevne

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 11:44 AM

Thanks Jeo for playing spot the difference and for confirming the different dart pusher.

It turns out there is another difference that I failed to spot first time round.

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Stockade

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Barricade.

The Stockade has what appears to be a dart tooth between the turret and the flywheels. At first I couldn't fathom what purpose this served as it didn't seem to lock in position like conventional dart teeth (not to mention the fact that they are useless on flywheel blasters). Instead, this mechanism has sprung fingers on either side of the barrel that centeralise the dart as it is fed into the flywheels. This innovative idea seems to really improve the blaster's accuracy and is another of the suttle differences that make the Stockade so much better than it's predecesor.

So, on to the ranges.

I tested the Stockade alongside the Barricade for the best possible direct comparison. Both blasters were using the same brand new batteries, loaded with 10 elite darts and fired PTG. The following ranges are the average distance over 10 darts.

Elite Stockade - 14.7m (48 feet)
Barricade - 8.2m (27 feet)

The results speak for themselves, the Stockade clocks nearly twice the range of the Barricade, but does that make it twice as good? To be honest, I'm not sure. I like it but I don't love it.
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#7 kevne

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 12:18 PM

Sorry, double post.

Not really sure what happened there.

Edited by kevne, 26 July 2012 - 12:18 PM.

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#8 Jeo

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 11:18 PM

Are those arms hooked up to the trigger in any way, or just sprung back and pushed out of the way by the dart?
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#9 kevne

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 01:17 PM

Are those arms hooked up to the trigger in any way, or just sprung back and pushed out of the way by the dart?


They are simply pushed apart by the dart as it is fed into the flywheels.
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#10 Briguy52

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 12:21 PM

Would you mind posting a picture of the motor setup on the Stockade? Because of the cited drastic reduction of noise, I'm starting to think that in order to have increased ranges and reduced sound at the same time (while at same voltage levels), they might have a different motor in both the Hailfire and Stockade. I really doubt that just the smooth (un-toothed) flywheels, new darts, and different dart pusher are enough to increase its ranges so much. Perhaps they might even have a brushless motor, but as much as I would hope for that, it's pretty unlikely.
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#11 kevne

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 12:49 PM

Would you mind posting a picture of the motor setup on the Stockade? Because of the cited drastic reduction of noise, I'm starting to think that in order to have increased ranges and reduced sound at the same time (while at same voltage levels), they might have a different motor in both the Hailfire and Stockade. I really doubt that just the smooth (un-toothed) flywheels, new darts, and different dart pusher are enough to increase its ranges so much. Perhaps they might even have a brushless motor, but as much as I would hope for that, it's pretty unlikely.


I'll get a picture of the whole motor assembly for you buddy. Watch this space.

I can say with an amount of certainty that they are not brushless motors. When running, the Stockade has more of a high pitch whine than the Barricade's lower 'rumble', which would indicate to me that the motors are new. Possibly even the same as the Rayven. Just by listening to them I can say that the motors do spin at a higher RPM than before. The larger flywheels will aid this, spitting the darts out faster.
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#12 kevne

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 05:45 AM

I took the flywheel housing apart on the Stockade but I wasn't quite prepared for it to be so much of a struggle. The wires leading to the motors are so tight that it makes it difficult to wiggle the housing free. Once free, I found that the housing is glued together at the nub below the barrel. once the glue was released, the whole thing came apart easily.

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Now the housing is open, you can see just how much bigger the flywheels are than the Barricades. It also turns out that the surface of the flywheels is coated with a thin layer of silicone in order to help them grip the darts.

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From the back of the flywheel housing, you can already see that the motors are unlike anything we have seen before. Completely different from those used in the Rayven which I suspected would be used in the Stockade. You can see in the picture that nerf are still using the axial inductors to help protect the motors.

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Taking the motor out was a bit of a bitch. The spindle was a really tight fit in the flywheel and I really had to give it some welly to get it out. When it finally came free, I was amazed at how small the motor was. These things are tiny, around half the size of the motors we are used to seeing. Unfortunately, due to the custom housing, I doubt it would be possible to replace these motors with the dash motors as we have in other blasters.

I have already started to modify the Stockade but unfortunately, with the British summer, the rain means I can't do a range test just yet. I hope to post the details soon.
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#13 MavericK96

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 12:21 PM

Any idea if it is possible to use the Trustfire Lithium Ion batteries with this thing's motors to overvolt? Barricade had some good results with that.
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#14 kevne

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 02:55 PM

Any idea if it is possible to use the Trustfire Lithium Ion batteries with this thing's motors to overvolt? Barricade had some good results with that.


Indeed you can. First you will need to remove the linear inductors from the motors as we have done in the past with the Rayven. (These components are commonly mistaken for resistors). I have tried it and the power increase is amazing. I have almost prepared a mod writeup with a range test for this but I'm afraid I've been a bit busy lately.
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