Monday, 5 December 2011

Comparison: Nerf Reflex IX-1 vs Secret Strike AS-1

This will be a comparison between the Reflex IX-1 and Secret Strike AS-1 - the two smallest blasters until the introduction of the Jolt EX-1.
The Reflex IX-1 is essentially a box with a tiny handle attached. In this sense, it's very minimalist, with the only 'extra' being a sling loop at the end of the handle. The Secret Strike is more stylised. Although it is even simpler in construction, it has a fancier shell. Personally, I think the Reflex looks better, although I don't award points in aesthetics.
Neither blaster comes with extra accessories - just the blaster and darts. However, the Reflex has 3 darts, the Secret Strike has 2.
Therefore, the Reflex wins this round by a metaphorical millimetre.
The Secret Strike, being air powered, has variable power. However, at full power some can reach 15m with Whistlers.
On the other hand, the Reflex is plunger powered, and therefore should have a consistent range. For whatever reason, it seems to vary between units. However, both of mine got consistent 11m ranges with Whistlers.
The SS wins.
The Reflex, having a barrel designed the way it is and using whistlers, has ok accuracy - better than most CS blasters, but not as good as blasters like NF's and Mavericks.
The Secret Strike, as it works well with Suctions, has better accuracy.
The Secret Strike wins this round.
The Secret Strike, having a miniscule pump, requires a minimum of 7 pumps to get a decent range. With something that small, it can be a pain. I also find the Secret Strike is not particularly ergonomic, being so small.
On the other hand, the Reflex, being plunger powered, only requires one pull of the slide to prime.
The Reflex wins this by a large margin.
Rate of fire:
Both blasters being single shot, they are quite slow to fire. However, the Secret Strike must be pumped 7 times, while the Reflex only once.
Therefore, the Reflex wins this round.
Both blasters are single shots, and only hold 1 dart - the one in the barrel.
Therefore, this round is a tie.
Value for Money/Availability:
The Secret Strike is $3AUD from KMart, and the Reflex $7AUD from Target or $50AUD for 6 at Toys R Us.
As the Secret Strike is just above half price of the Reflex, it wins.

The Reflex has won 3 rounds, and the Secret Strike 3, with 1 tie.
Therefore, this is a tie. The Reflex is easier to use (doesn't need to be pumped), but good Secret Strikes have more power than any other dart firing blaster (as of about 2010).
However, do note that the Reflex has very little modding potential being reverse plungered (max range of approx 18m or so), but the Secret Strike is more diverse (power wise), capable of ranges 30+m with a tank expansion. I've achieved that.


  1. While I do agree with some points in this review, my personal opinion would be with the SS AS-1, as I found mine had better range than my Reflexes do. My reflexes also sometimes can be hard to cock, I guess cause my catches aren't good in mine. Despite that, nice review!

    1. I have heard reports of powerful SS AS-1s, but both of mine (and one of my friends') all suck. Both of mine developed air leaks quite quickly, and my friend never uses his.
      IMO, a Jolt beats both the Reflex and SS anyway.