The last gun I modded some three months ago. The front gun is useless in my opinion. I saw it to be a Scout with a new shell. It has no value to me so it's in parts bucket #12. The gun stock is an excellent weapon for indoor use. It's fairly accurate and has an excellent rate of fire.
I'm sure mods are out there for the Longshot already, I just haven't had time to sit down and look at them. It is a great idea to undertake the general modifications on this blaster. However, it is not an entry level mod, so inexperienced modders beware. A Dremel tool in invaluable when fiddling with one of these. Perform the usual air restrictior removal to start off with.
The spring in this blaster is so-so. It's big, but a tad on the weakside. I use on almost every mod, a new spring. The spring of choice at the Armory is Handyman Springs from Home Depot. They are the length of a first generation Nite Finder, but twice as thick. The spring will compress in most Nerf guns, but I will throw a word of caution to you. Reinforce the casing with some sort of metal. I use aluminum or brass. Really just anything to give added support.
A good idea is to install a nice sturdy rubberband from the front of the Longshot to the bolt. This will bring the bolt forward after cocking elminating you manually doing it after each shot. I installed a spring on the side to do this, but this is slightly more complex. Remember that everything time you want to put in a fresh magazine, you'll have to hold the bolt open otherwise it will shut with no magazine. I find the automatic bolt closing method to be a bit quicker in combat.
The magazines are very well made for a Nerf product. I find that I can load in seven micro rounds into the magazine. Most of you know that I am a champion of the larger caliber mega dart. I found that mega Stefans will fit in the clip and chamber in the weapon. Megas chamber nice and tight which is always a good thing. They most definitely hit harder than micros and I found little to no deviation in range between the mega and micro when fired from the Longshot. I find accuracy to be bit better due to the shorter, stouter build. This stabilizes the dart a bit better than that of the micro. The only drawback is that the magazine will only accomodate six megas due to their larger diameter.
The drawback to the Longshot itself is the magazines. You only receive two with the blaster. This can present a problem with reloading. I fixed this problem by fabricating stripper clips from cassette tape casings. You'll only want the side that the tape fits down into. Dremel out the bottom piece of plastic to allow the rounds to slide out:
The whole stripper clip should slide right down into the magazine, thus charging the spent magazine. Now put your finger on the top round and pull the stripper clip up out of the magazine. Six or seven rounds are now in the the replenished magazine. I will post pictures of the loading process in the morning to simplify things. The stripper clip retains the darts well, so no need to worry about rounds falling out. The stripper clip accomodates either micros or megas. I've made four of these to keep in pouches during battle. This is infintely faster than reloading the magazines round by round.
Streamline rounds are actually quite good. They've been in use around here for a good while with good effect. However, Stefan rounds are ultimately your best choice. This takes us to the next section, ammunition.
I have been handloading my ammunition for years. I was using the tried and true fish sinker as the weighting system in all of my rounds. However, fabricating rounds for the Longshot proved to be difficult. The standard sinker was too heavy and the round would drop while flying down range.
I remedied this by testing the optimum weighted round for the Longshot. The standard streamline is 14.6 grains on a gunpowder scale and is in excess of two inches. I experimented and found the optimum length to be 1.75 inches. The most effective weight is 13.6 grains. I have replaced the old fish sinker with shotgun pellets. A single pellet weighs in at .8 grains. A 1.75 inch piece of foam backer rod with five pellets give us 12.3 grains. The way I load the Longshot rounds is to take my foam backer rod and make an "X" shape insicion on the top end. I put five pellets in the incisions like so:
Place a nice dome of hot glue to seal the pellets in. Your end weight should be 13.6 plus or minus. Be sure when placing the pellets to make sure they are evenly spaced so the one side is not weighted more than the other because this obviously causes decreased accuracy and wobbly flight.
When handloading a mega round for the Longshot, the length should be 1.5 inches with five pellets. The weight still comes out to a nice 13.6.
The ranges from these darts fired from a Longshot are as follows:
Long- 91.3 feet
Short- 83.4 feet
Average- 87.7 feet
Long- 91.4 feet
Short- 78.5 feet
Avg- 88.4 feet
I find that these rounds I loaded specifically for the Longshot work well with other blasters, too. Therefore, I have made the switch to all of my rounds to the new weight system and make sure every dart is acceptable for combat in accuracy, stability, and hitting power. I suggest before you Nerf, to take about fifty rounds and test fire them. Make sure they are shooting where you want them to. You are bound to find unsatisfactory rounds in your batch. Take only the rounds that will best serve you.
Thus, gentlemen, I will preach consistency when handloading for your blasters. Take pride in your ammunition making. Experiment and see what you can come up with for your different blasters.
I have concluded that the Longshot is more than adequate for all major styles of combat. Once modified, it is pleasingly strong enough to cast rounds well past the 80 foot mark consistently. Some indoor players stray from the use of Stefans and will find that the stock Streamline will perform well. The volume of fire is nearly double that of a traditional muzzleloading Crossbow or BBB.
I hope you find this article useful. Thanks for reading.
Edited by Starbuck, 19 December 2006 - 01:49 AM.