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Nerf Rival Apollo Overview/Internals


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#1 CaliforniaPants

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 08:26 PM

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This thread will serve as the core place to ask any questions or put information about the new apollo blaster, please feel free to ask for any information or pictures that i have not provided and i will do my best to help. now on with the show

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id like to start off by saying that this thing is an absolute BLAST to play with. i am a 6 foot tall, fairly large person and it fits me very well. the balls work way better than i expected and they really slam out of this thing, plus they bounce a ton. also like this thing looks rad as hell? im way into it.

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as said above, this was made for larger hands. its the best any nerf brand blaster has felt in the hand for me. i do wish it was a little bit longer so i could shoulder it, but i imagine the larger battery powered version might be better for that.

Sceptor Ball Compatibility

i was personally really interested to see if sceptor balls would feed into these blasters, but that is not the case. they're slightly larger and as a result do not feed out of the magazine correctly

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Magazine Mechanics

the magazine, much like the rest of this blaster, is very well designed and made. the clear plastic feels very strong, but i wouldnt want to stress it too hard. however what im really impressed by is the ball retention.

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as you can see the balls just pop in easily and are held in by the spring loaded tab on the left. the good part of this tab being so easily accessible is that you can easily move it aside to empty the magazine to prevent your balls from being deformed by spring pressure during storage. very handy for the end user.

Internals

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opening this up was quite a surprise, there's a whole lot going on here that i am into and not so much into. note: dont worry about taking the screws out of the handle, you dont need to if you just wanna get at the basic bits. the blaster now separates into two parts: the barrel and handle/magazine well and the plunger tube and gearbox. yes, gearbox. lets start with the barrel and handle

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here you see the barrel, handle/magazine well, and priming handle at "resting" state. the barrel is stepped much like other nerf barrels, where there is a tight usable section and then a lose section at the end. when the priming handle is pulled backwards the orange barrel moves forward, letting a ball come up behind the barrel from the magazine. this is shown in the next couple pictures

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barrel forward

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ball in place behind barrel

when the priming handle is pushed forward the barrel is pushed over the ball, sealing it against the plunger tube and then ready to fire.

now for the back half

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here is the plunger tube and gearbox. the plunger tube is held in place by those two screws near the base of it, otherwise it spins freely. sort of weird? take out those two screws and you should be able to pop the plunger tube off with no issues

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inside you'll find a fairly robust spring and a o-ring, standard stuff here. i left it alone.

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the plunger tube however, is a bit surprising. if you dry fired the blaster when you opened it up you probably noticed that this thing slams like a drilled out nitefinder, and thats quite a change from other modern blasters ive handled that slowly made their way through the stroke and now we can see why. the air restrictor is pretty much just a suggestion, there are holes all over it and is more free breathing than some modded blasters. since this is so free breathing i also left it alone, but if you wanted to pull it out i would just snip the little nub off and slide out the disc. do NOT make it an open hole or you're just going to push a ball into the plunger tube and be sad. to put it back together just pop it in then put in the screws, easy.

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the gearbox seems to be of similar materials as other nerf blasters. i didnt open it since i have no interest in replacing springs or anything, due to the gearbox and the risk of snapping gears.

and thats it, its all pretty straightforward if not a little fiddly in places. i may design a stock for it so its a little more comfortable to put against my shoulder, and im definitely going to buy more ammo. this thing is a blast.
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#2 Draconis

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 02:35 AM

Nice work. In addition to the same Sceptor ball curiosity you showed, I reversed the swap as well. I found that the Rival balls fit in stock Sceptor clips just fine. Unfortunately, they get about 10-15 lower range than the Sceptor balls, but that is still about 20% greater than the Apollo gets.
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#3 Meaker VI

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 06:32 PM

Wow, that thing looks much more complex than I had expected. Gears? Why? And that barrel-system is nuts. It goes forward and then slips backward to capture the ball?

Several airsoft guns I've disassembled are essentially plunger, floating PT, trigger sear, and a nozzle on the front of the PT that pushes the BB into the barrel; basically exactly how the Longshot works. I'm curious why they didn't do something similar here.
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#4 Irish8

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 05:27 PM

Can you please let us know the details on the plunger dimensions and air displacement? As always I'm looking for things to convert to micros (Called "standard" now?) and slap a hopper on to make solid loaners.
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#5 CaliforniaPants

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 07:03 PM

Can you please let us know the details on the plunger dimensions and air displacement? As always I'm looking for things to convert to micros (Called "standard" now?) and slap a hopper on to make solid loaners.

the priming mechanism takes up the entire top of the blaster, it rides in tracks to keep it straight and solid so im not sure where you would put your hopper. also the nature of how you prime it means your hopper would have to either be at an extreme angle or way out past the plunger tube so you dont punch it every time

also this thing shoots balls as far as micros and holds seven shots, it already is hoppered
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#6 Meaker VI

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 10:26 AM

Finally saw some Rivals stuff in a store yesterday (for some reason, only the balls; no blasters were anywhere to be seen), they are smaller than I expected. Really, probably more similar in diameter to a dart (maybe mega or old-mega) than to a ball - I'd thought they were golf-ball sized.

I probably should have figured that out earlier though - they're meant to fit inside the handle after all.

Not sure why you would get this somewhat expensive blaster to convert ammunition type that has inexpensive blasters readily available. Get a stack of night finders (or the equivalent) or build a bunch of homemade blasters.
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#7 shmmee

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 02:18 PM

I've heard some airsoft guns have a rubber patch on an upper part of the barrel so the bb is spun backwards when it fires- which increases accuracy and distance. Does the apollo have anything similar? would superguing a bit of a rubber band to the top of your barrel create a similar effect? As a concept test you could simply snake the rubber band into the top of the barrel and pin it down when the chamber closes. You'd loose some of your air seal but you should be able to see if it spins without making any permenant changes to your blaster.

Rifling may not help a steffan, but with that golf ball dimpling it would be extremely well suited to that ammo.
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#8 Langley

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 02:38 PM

Using the scientifically proven method of "Eyeballing it" It seems like there's some definite backspin already. The ammo gets much better range than you would expect for it's apparent velocity. I've been told I'm 'doing it wrong' by some people on one of the facebook groups, but they seem really inaccurate, possibly due to the backspin or just the size/weight of the ammo and susceptibility to wind. I think the magazine is really cool though, Standard dart mags are a huge pain to reload, and flywheel kids take forever between rounds reloading and picking up stock darts, so these are a nice change.
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#9 tweak

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 05:57 PM

Does the apollo have anything similar?


Yup, a plastic one molded into the barrel. The Zues has a rubber one.
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#10 Meaker VI

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 10:06 AM

I've heard some airsoft guns have a rubber patch on an upper part of the barrel so the bb is spun backwards when it fires- which increases accuracy and distance. Does the apollo have anything similar? would superguing a bit of a rubber band to the top of your barrel create a similar effect? As a concept test you could simply snake the rubber band into the top of the barrel and pin it down when the chamber closes. You'd loose some of your air seal but you should be able to see if it spins without making any permenant changes to your blaster.

Rifling may not help a steffan, but with that golf ball dimpling it would be extremely well suited to that ammo.


It's called 'hop-up' and it's usually right at the entry to the actual barrel. The airsoft guns I've dissassembled used it as part of the 'chamber' that holds the bb prior to firing.

It definitely causes a weird trajectory though. The bb goes much farther, but on the high powered guns it's only flat for about the first 1/3-1/2 of the trip than goes up in a gentle arc. I've had shots that should have hit dodge over the top of people before.

Re: Accuracy: The trick is knowing that your sights are accurate for two ranges - somewhere toward the start of the upward arc and somewhere toward the end on the downward arc. In between, you need to aim low. Before and after, aim high. Figuring out where those ranges are and how much you need to compensate (and, with adjustable sights, what they are) is something for you to experiment with and get a feel for.
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#11 shmmee

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 04:18 PM

Using the scientifically proven method of "Eyeballing it" It seems like there's some definite backspin already. The ammo gets much better range than you would expect for it's apparent velocity. I've been told I'm 'doing it wrong' by some people on one of the facebook groups, but they seem really inaccurate, possibly due to the backspin or just the size/weight of the ammo and susceptibility to wind. I think the magazine is really cool though, Standard dart mags are a huge pain to reload, and flywheel kids take forever between rounds reloading and picking up stock darts, so these are a nice change.


An easy way to see how much of a difference the backspin makes would be to turn the blaster on it's side and shoot it. The backspin would then be moving the ball to the right or left instead of keeping it aloft. You'd be able to measure the range gain from the backspin pretty easily that way by comparing it to shots fired with the blaster held vertically.

The amount of left or right deflection would also be an interesting number to study. If you really learned to predict the flight path, you could turn the blaster to arc a ball around a corner or turn it up-side-down to put a heavier drop on the ball to get someone hiding behind a mobsitcle.

I hope blaster orientation isn't as finicky as the disc shooters are for a straight and level shot.

Edited by shmmee, 03 September 2015 - 04:20 PM.

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#12 markeski

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 11:46 AM

Anyone have any pictures of the internals of the gearbox?
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#13 Draconis

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 08:03 PM

I hope blaster orientation isn't as finicky as the disc shooters are for a straight and level shot.


It absolutely will have the same susceptibility to roll angle, but for a very different reason. Weird, no? Because the ball is spinning backward, any angle off of vertical will push the initial hop-up off to the side. Any vertical component of the vector force imparted by the spin will be counteracted by the force of gravity, but the horizontal component will continue to convert the angular momentum into horizontal acceleration.
Discs, on the other hand, exit the barrel spinning one direction (counter-clockwise for the Nitrons, is it the same on the others?) and remain in that orientation due to the gyroscopic motion. If they are horizontal they just keep floating, but if they are angled, they just slide down the air in the direction of tilt. I suppose we could perform experiments to determine if the discs would fall faster if tilted left, rather than right, but I don't think any of us care that much.
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#14 Majestic

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Posted 09 September 2015 - 12:09 AM

We(Markesi) noticed a fun thing at our indoor war this weekend. On a hard surface, the balls can be loaded into the magazine on the fly by simply turning the mag upside down and pushing the open end onto the balls where they lie on the ground. This seems invaluable in a world where flywheels and the 10 minutes it takes to load mags between rounds seems to be becoming the norm.
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#15 YourAverageNerfKid

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Posted 08 November 2015 - 09:19 PM

I have one, and i took it apart because the performance was only like 15 foot range. i did, and i saw a hair stuck in the gearbox, i took it apart, but it exploded! now i have an entirely dismantled apollo. i need help on putting it back together. i seriously want to use this and dominate my friends in wars.
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