Saturday, 31 December 2011

Nerf Raider CS-35 Review

The Raider CS-35 was Nerf's third CS blaster, and the first to utilise 'slam fire' and a drum mag. It was originally officially released on 9/9/2009. Unlike the majority of modern Nerf blasters, the Raider (as you can see above) is blue instead of the traditional yellow/orange.

The Raider, unlike the Alpha Trooper which is all go and not much show, is a much better looking blaster. With an 18-clip (mag) loaded into it, it resembles WWII SMG's such as the Sten Gun. With it's 35 drum, however, it resembles a mix of a Tommy Gun, Sten Gun and an LMG of some sort. In other words, it resembles something machine-gun-ish.

The 35 drum is one of the key attracting factors to the Raider, as it is the highest capacity Nerf currently offers. (as of 2011). As it is a CS drum, it is compatible with all other CS/ECS blasters such as the Stampede and Recon. It's capacity is twice that of the next largest drum/clip (mag) (18 drum/clip [mag]), and so this drum is a large advantage ammo-wise. It's also 10 more than the nearest capacity - the Vulcan's 25 dart belt.
However, all this extra ammo comes at a big price. When it's loaded into the Raider, the Raider becomes very left side heavy, and as a result can unbalance you in your first wars with it. It's not hard to get used to, as the drum isn't actually that heavy, but it's more the unbalanced nature of the Raider. Unlike most CS blasters with their centre of gravity somewhere in front of the handle, the Raider's is towards the left.
Also, hold that much ammo requires a very big drum. The circular part of the drum is twice as wide and twice as high as the AT's drum (meaning 4* the front and rear surface area), which adds a lot of bulk, especially to a blaster with it's clip (mag) dock facing towards the left. It's easy to hit walls and other objects with it when you're so used to vertical clip (mag) docks like the AT. It also means exposing more of yourself than you would have to with vertical clip (mag) dock weapons. Usage tips here.

The Raider is primed similar to an AT, but uses a foregrip instead of a shotgun style pump grip. This can take some getting use to, but fortunately the foregrip is extremely comfortable. I personally prefer the AT's pump grip, although I know that SG Nerf prefers the Raider's foregrip.

The Raider is primed by a simple pull of the foregrip, replace the clip (mag)/drum if necessary, push the foregrip back into position, then pulling the trigger. It's very simple, and kids of most ages will be able to do it.

The Raider was the first blaster to utilise 'slam fire'. This simply means you hold down the trigger and move the foregrip back and forth as quickly as possible. This is a lot faster than the traditional pull-push-trigger method, allowing for a ROF of 5 dps if done quickly enough. Particularly with practice, slam fire can put out a substantial wall of foam which is merely amplified by the huge capacity of the 35 dart drum.

The Raider's foregrip priming action is quite smooth, although due to its design the foregrip tends to scrape against the side of the rails on which it travels, shaving off small pieces of plastic and adding friction to the prime. This will likely vary between units, although mine was a particularly bad offender.\

The Raider is a notorious jammer.
The 35 dart drum features a somewhat slow feeding mechanism which not only increases misfire and jamming rates, but also limits rate of fire. Unlike modern 18 clip (mag) which can feed reliably extremely quickly, the 35 drum can start to jam up at 5dps and more, though this depends on the individual drum.
The inherent drum jamming rates are not helped by the Raider, which is more jam prone than the Recon. For whatever reason, the Raider feeds worse than the Recon, and can result on chopped darts, such as these:
This has happened to me frequently when just casually handling the Raider. I would imagine that prolonged war usage would cause far more jams of a more serious nature.

I've reviewed the Raider's stock a while ago, here.

Now onto the Raider's firing. It is an old blaster, so Recon like ranges are expected. It also has a long barrel, which reduces range but supposedly increases accuracy. The barrel is not removable as the foregrip needs it for a guide rail.
The Raider is reverse-plungered, so potential range is limited.
The Raider's ranges are approx 8m when single shotting, and 9-10m when slam firing; less than an AT, but still decent in an indoor war.
The Raider's accuracy is not as good as an AT or Longshot, although it is still bearable thanks to its capacity and ROF. It has one of the worst accuracies I've ever seen on a Nerf blaster.

The Raider retailed for $60-80 when first released. However, it is frequently available for $40 in Kmart and BigW in sales. Considering it comes with a unique drum and solid blue stock, $40 is a reasonable deal for the Raider.
I recommend this as it's not only good value for money, but it also bolsters your other blasters, and is a decent blaster in it's own right.
The Raider is useful as a booster pack for other clip (mag) system blasters because of its unique blue extendable and very sturdy stock, and its equally unique 35 dart drum. As a blaster however, the Raider is totally and utterly inferior to the Alpha Trooper (both N-Strike and Elite) and the Rampage, the Elite version of the Raider.

Highest capacity available from Nerf (as of 1/1/2012) (which can be used in all CS blasters), stock is extremely sturdy, ROF can be up to 4-5dps - more than most blasters, generic CS blaster pros
Accuracy and range are not the best (outclassed by AT), side clip (mag) dock gives the Raider bad weight distribution when using the 35 drum, clips (mags) and drums are difficult to remove from clip (mag) dock (due to design), 35 drum is ridiculously bulky, large and heavy (although useful in the Stampede), generic CS blaster cons

Power: 3/7
Accuracy: 2/5
Value for Money: 5/5
Usefulness: 4.5/5
Rate of fire: 4/5

Overall: 3.63/5

Personal Rating: 1.5/5 - never liked the Raider's design. The drum's too big and the Raider's too unbalanced. Also jams are frequent. Ranges and accuracy suck too. The stock is cool though, and the drum is useful for feeding things like the Stampede.

Awesome capacity, great booster, sub-par blaster.


  1. Which should i get vulcan or stampede. The vulcan is at my toy shop (i live on an island)
    but the stampede isnt which one

    1. For casual fun the Vulcan is cooler, but for actual war usage the Stampede is better.
      The Vulcan has more cool factor and is really fun to use, but the nature of its belt fed system relegates it to defence because belts are difficult to reload compared to clips.
      Stampedes have worse accuracy than Vulcans, but the inclusion of 3 18 clips and an extra 6 clip allows you to outlast many opponents, as well as providing easy reload.

      I personally would get the Stampede.

  2. thanks man your awesome (im the guy up the top)

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Replies
    1. Yep, that's a common Raider problem.

    2. I have the Raider and personally, I hate it as a main gun. Don't get me wrong, 35-dart-drum is excellent at holding darts and the raider looks cool as well but... IT IS SOOOOOOOO UNRELIABLE DUE TO ITS ALMOST CONSTANT JAMMING! Everytime I am about to ambush my bro in a nerf war, guess what? It jams, leaving me to attempt to hit him with one bullet with a reflex while mending the Raider. RAGE!!

  5. Mine didn't jam even I use slam fire

    1. Like with all blasters, there are good and bad batches. In general with Raiders they jam, and often the jams are caused by the drum.
      If you have a good feeding drum (rare but exist), your Raider will jam a lot less.
      With my experiences my drums have fed fine with my Rayven at consistent 5-6dps, but my Raider is quite jam prone.

  6. i have a maverick and am considering a second blaster. My choices are the : nite finder, the recon, the raider and the barricade. My budget is USD 40

    1. I personally wouldn't go for any of those. An Elite blaster would be far better, outranging all the blasters you've listed. I'd suggest an Elite Retaliator, N-Strike Alpha Trooper or an Elite/N-Strike Rayven. With left over money I'd suggest getting more clips (18 clips for like $10), more darts (Elites are the best) and maybe another small blaster like a Firestrike or Strongarm, since Mavericks are renowned for deteriorating fast, terrible ranges, misfires and jams.

      If you had to choose from those, I'd have to say Raider, since it's the only one of the four that can act as a reasonable primary blaster. With the remaining money I'd suggest getting more ammo and clips.

    2. yeah get a retailiator their really good, they have good accuracy and decently sized
      I would get a retaliator.

  7. hi what should i get,elite alpha t or rampage

    1. That depends on what blasters you have and your personal blaster usage preference. Here's some things to consider:
      - EAT comes with a 12 clip, Rampage with a 25 drum
      - EAT is shotgun-pump action, Rampage is foregrip-pump action, and both have slam-fire. Which you prefer is one of the main factors in choosing between the two.
      - EAT has a vertical magwell, Rampage a left-side magwell. I personally hate the horizontal magwell as it makes the blaster quite unbalanced as well as making problems when using straight clips. I'm honestly not sure how many people prefer horizontal over vertical magwell.
      - EAT is 29AUD from Target off sale, while Rampage is usually 45AUD+.
      - Performances of the blasters are similar.

      I personally would pick the EAT as a blaster as I dislike the Rampage design, but that's just me.

  8. 5m ranges, Raider stinks

    1. I was getting slightly higher ranges, but yes, yes it does.

  9. you should get a rampage. they have them on clearance at kmart

    1. Never been interested in the Rampage besides for the 25 drum, and even then I'll never use it except for tacticool. If it's not already apparent, I absolutely hate the Raider design, I'm far more comfortable with an AT/EAT. Heck I'm more comfortable with a Retal. Besides, I just spent a fair bit of money on some other Nerf stuff I've been hunting so I'm trying not to spend any money for a while.

    2. that's fine, i never liked the rampage but it would've been nice to know your opinion

  10. This is titan. I love the rampage with raider attachments. What do nerfers think?

    1. Well the Rampage is a pretty solid blaster and the Raider stock is widely regarded as one of the best stocks out there, so all in all you've got yourself a pretty decent primary.

    2. This is titan. Thanks.☺

  11. Is there a replacement constant-force spring that can be used in 35 round raider drums that will feed reliably into a 14 dps full auto rayven? My drums are starting to feed more inconsistently the more I use them.

    1. A Nerfer named "Meishel" ordered a batch a while back which worked well, however since then there haven't been any as far as I'm aware.