Viva La Difference!
Posted 20 June 2007 - 11:43 PM
Or, why Nerf should be Nerf, paintball should be paintball, and airsoft be airsoft.
By Pineapple; written January 2007
Last week, prompted by a friend's announcing that his son-in-law was going to do some improvised paintball games at a local property, I picked up my Phantom VSC .45 stock-class paintball marker for the first time in a LONG time. I went to the local Fish-n-Dive shop (basically a tiny sporting goods store and tourist trap), and bought a case (1000) of Diablo Dusks. It was all they carried, beggars cannot be choosers.
I brought the marker out onto our meadow, twisted in a 12 gram CO2 cartridge, dropped 12 balls into the SC tube feeder, and pumped back...and fired at my target tree, 80 feet away.
12 times. 12 solid hits, in a grouping about the size of a cantaloupe. It felt great.
Then I realized it. It's all different.
Why am I writing about my paintball re-vitalization on a Nerf website? Because sometimes even I get Nerfing confused with paintball, just as some of the other younger or newer users get Nerf confused with airsoft, mil-sim, lazer tag, water wars, or any of the other shooting activities that compete for our attention.
When I instituted White Dog Hobbies Armory, I had visions of polar bears dancing in my head. I thought I'd try my hand at being the Doc Nickel of Nerfdom. Sure, with plastic parts, and with Nerf being so simplistic compared to paintball, why not? I could accomplish many of the decorative machine work with hand tools and a bench lathe. Plastic is cheap, I have more PVC pipes than I know what to do with, a decent stash of Nerf blasters, and the experience both on the field and the forum boards to have a cool thing going.
But I realized something. If my friend didn't tell me about Nerf related web-sites six years ago, if I didn't visit and register at NerfOnline and NerfHQ back five years ago, I wouldn't have known about modifying Nerf blasters. Probably wouldn't have cared. Possibly even would have become a troll like the occasional PBNation squid that makes his way over to the forum boards to harass Nerfers about their hobby, to make them feel more masculine.
And while practicing my snap-shooting from cover again, planting shot after shot into my targets from 15, 25, 40, 50 feet away, I realized that even my stock-class markers, with their limited, pump-action firepower, could outshoot my best Nerf blaster, RoadBlocker, my customized SuperMaxx 5000, on it's best day.
I don't completely understand why the serious Nerf hobbyist would desire to attempt to assume their blasters can be a substitute for an airsoft gun replica, or a paintball marker. Oh sure, I myself have used the adage of "if it makes you happy, go for it, at least you're Nerfing". But when the notion of making Mil-sim Nerf a mainstream topic of discussion on the forum boards is met with reistance and ridicule, the user (generally a fairly new user to Nerf with less than a year of experience, or lack of knowledge of major Nerf war procedure) tends to get perturbed and outright angry. They fight back and cuss on the forum board as though they are the modern-day prophet of the New Era of Nerfing, military simulations with colorful, dart shooting toy guns. And painting a Nerf blaster black, will make it "badass".
In this ditty, I'm basically parroting the words of several different experienced Nerfers, but my personal observations about why Nerf is unique and enjoyable, in and of itself, are brief, practical, and just make common sense. And mind you, for those who don't know, I'm a 42 year old happily married father of two, gainfully employed, who just so happens to find some happiness in building, modifying, and allowing myself and my kids to run amok with plastic toy guns.
1) COST: This above everything else is my chief rationale for endorsing Nerf blaster play. I plunked down 30 bucks for my case of 1000 Diablos. Paintballs. Disposable, one-shot dealios. That same three sawbucks could buy:
1 Longshot, OR
3 Lanard Double Shots, OR
4 Reactor Ball Blasters, OR
4 Mavericks, OR
5 NiteFinders, OR
3 Bags of TaggerDart refills, with enough change to buy a Nite Finder.
The fact that I can be well-armed for the price of what most paintballers burn in a half-day is a major indicator that Nerfing is a hobby that EVERYONE can enjoy, not just the trust-fund babies with cash flowing out their wazoos, or people who will max out three credit cards to get the most "leet" equipment and gear and jerseys so they can emulate the pro ballers, or buy a replica, pellet-shooting rifle that sometimes can cost more than it's real-steel counterpart.
For the price of a Mickey-D's lunch, you can have your very own pistol and some spare ammo. Now THAT's cash well spent.
2) LOW VELOCITIES: Yep, you heard me right. Low velocities. Now that may not fare well with some Nerfers who will argue that their blaster shoots "400 feet", and while that may or may not be the case, the fact is that most NORMALLY MODIFIED blasters would barely reach the 140 foot mark on a good day. That is less range capability than 75% of the weaker airsoft guns, and lower than most paintball markers shoot.
Lower velocities means one fun factor; DODGING shots. You can imagine you're doing the John Woo special and shuck and jive away foam, shot after shot. Dodging means you can walk "up the middle" with your weaponry, straight at the opponent's fort, knowing that you DO have a chance to juke a quick left or right and get right in their faces, opening fire with your own low-velocity weaponry.
Low velocities mean new and innovative strategies not necessarily do-able by the paintballer or airsofter. I mean, in paintball, if you see the ball coming, you're basically dead meat. Worse if you see a string of yellow Anarchy tourney-balls the split-second before they hit your torso at 14 bps...it's not fun to get hit (well, actually it is). With Nerf, you've got to get in close and get the angle on your opponents in such a way that they literally walk into your lines of fire, one shot at a time. Even the full-auto rigs in Nerf, the RF-20, Wildfire, Powerclip, and Magstrike, have rates of fire between 6-8 darts per second, expending their full load in 2-3 seconds.
3) TINKERING AND INNOVATION: Now I'm not saying that you cannot tinker and innovate with paintball or airsoft. Look at the creations by Doc Nickel (Doc's Machine), or DB Custom airsoft. You can modify and improve, but again, it's going to cost you a pretty penny to make your gun "like the ones on the website". Have another credit card to max out?
Nerf is different, in the sense that you can take household items, crap from your dad's (or mom's) toolbox or workbench, and with some hot glue, Plumber's goop, and epoxy, create your own beast. Make it cosmetically appealing, or tweak and add power to it, but you can often modify a complete blaster for less than the cost of a set of screws for an AutoCocker or Marui P-90.
4) SOCIAL ACCEPTANCE: This will get me some feedback, I'm sure. But one of the best things about Nerf blasters is that they DON'T look very much like any current firearms out there today. Add to it the motley colors and logos, and you have a "toy gun" that wouldn't get much of a second glance at a park or playground. Try that with a Marui M4 with M203 launcher, or even a Spyder or Ion paintball "gun".
When I show people my paintball markers, they look and treat them like my pneumatic pellet gun collections...as though they were real firearms. They gingerly pick them up, sight them down, and put them just as carefully back down.
Put a Nerf blaster in front of the same people, and I tell you, nine out of ten times, no matter what age, the first thing out of their mouth is the word "cool!" They pick it up without hesitation, point it at each other, themselves, and wonder how they work. Load up a modified NiteFinder and shoot someone, and INSTANTLY they become a fan. I've had a room full of college kids, high and middle schoolers, and adults go totally bonkers as darts and balls flew about, everyone obeying the "3:15" rule and upholding the honor system. In a world where "wiping" and hit disputes abound, it's nice to see total chaos, while being attentive to hit rules, or just winging it and going with a no-rules firefight, complete with close-range welts.
This is the reason why I'm so against kids striving to make their Nerf blasters look like "real" firearms, with black paint, and attaching gadgets and add ons from the airsoft manufacturers, or from real firearms. Granted, in a woodsball or airsoft combat situation on a controlled field, that would be acceptable. But in a park with families, or on a school campus, the sight of a realistic toy gun just generates too much negative stigma to be truly "family oriented".
So as I practice my snap-shooting from cover, and prepare to take on some "green" players equipped with Spyder and Tippmann equipment, I become one with my Phantom once again, practice with my "Carterized" Tunnel Rat back-up pump gun, and thank God that each shooting hobby employs unique qualities and quirks that force the seasoned player to try all three...and take their pick of preference.
Viva la difference.
<!--quoteo(post=209846:date=Feb 5 2009, 06:27 PM:name=boom)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(boom @ Feb 5 2009, 06:27 PM) </div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->
It's to bad you live in hawaii I bet there are not many wars there.Wait what am I saying<b> you live in hawaii you lucky bastard.</b>
Posted 21 June 2007 - 12:01 AM
Posted 21 June 2007 - 12:17 AM
"ah man, I would give you so much for one of those NIB crossbows or one of those crossbows on the floor. The ones on ebay have gone up to $59 and the shipping alone is $12." -Rip32
Posted 21 June 2007 - 12:21 AM
Posted 21 June 2007 - 12:24 AM
About how much are you holding in the pictures on the spools?
A shit ton.
The shot hit Andy squarely in the forehead. He was, in fact, on my team.
Posted 21 June 2007 - 09:01 AM
Posted 21 June 2007 - 12:56 PM
Don't be sorry. Being sorry means you were wrong or you're trying to get fucked. Were you wrong? No. So why do you want to fuck Ted? I've met him; you're making a mistake.-VACC
Posted 21 June 2007 - 06:40 PM
Posted 22 June 2007 - 08:23 PM
Posted 23 June 2007 - 09:55 AM
Posted 25 June 2007 - 06:42 PM
If only more parents were as open minded about Nerf guns as you, the world will be filled with more welts.
I'm a 42 year old happily married father of two, gainfully employed, who just so happens to find some happiness in building, modifying, and allowing myself and my kids to run amok with plastic toy guns.
Posted 25 June 2007 - 08:03 PM
I have to agree about social acceptance, especially when it comes to people in public places.
Amongst the Black Knights, it's become commonplace to have police called on us by neighbors afraid we're "contaminating" local schools with Airsoft guns, ruining the local atmosphere, ect, ect. The fact that we've had police called on us not once, not twice, but more likely a dozen times sine I joined would seem terrifying, except that every encounter has ended with the police leaving us be, content to get back to their daily lives.
Piney, this really is great and wwell thought out. Thank you for the reminder of why we play this game.
"Headband" - as so named by OMC
"That One Guy in the Pineapple Shirt" -So aptly named by Baghead
Posted 22 October 2008 - 07:52 PM
Posted 22 October 2008 - 08:06 PM
Posted 22 October 2008 - 08:22 PM
Posted 22 October 2008 - 09:07 PM
Probably dead by now, or something.
Posted 23 October 2008 - 06:21 PM
Probably dead by now, or something.
Posted 23 October 2008 - 06:55 PM
SGM's Shred Shop -Mod Service
NerfHaven's resident drama queen.
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