Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Nerf Vortex Pyragon Review (Nerffan)

(Nerffan) Hi readers, I'm back, and I'm proud to present you a review of the  Nerf Vortex Pyragon!
(REDONE 13/3/13)This is a review of the latest addition to Nerf's Vortex line(as of 2012)- the Pyragon.

When the first batch of Vortex blasters came out, many Nerfers preferred the Praxis over the other three blasters in the line, because it had good range and accuracy, and had good usability. However, the Praxis was critised for having a low ROF of 2-3dps(no slamfire), a flimsy stock, and a low-capacity mag. Many were also not used to Vortex's pus green colour-scheme, resulting in Vortex not being as popular as Nerf thought it would be.

And ever since Nerf's new NSE(N-Strike Elite) line launched, everyone was just drooling about the Elite blasters, but I personally chose to get my hands on a Pyragon because:
  1. I was just amazed by the Vortex Line. 
  2. I wanted a non-jamming-and-reliable high capacity slam fire blaster. 
And 3, because I'm a stock Nerfer, so I don't know how to mod a Longshot to shoot 1000ft or whatever. And that's why I want the best performance you can get from a stock blaster.
Anyway, I'll stop jabbering about the Vortex line and get onto the review.

First, the box art. Like many other Nerf boxes, it advertises other blasters in the line(in this case the Lumitron and Lumitron) and highlights the main features of the blaster.

We've heard that some of officially-reconized Nerfers(like BasicNerf) have got a sneak peek of a Nitron with a shield, but apparently it's gone on Australian boxes. And yes, this was bought in Australia.

And since there was the encouragement of saving energy to slow down global warming, Nerf has cleverly held the Pyragon and its contents in place with no wire ties, no strings but with carboard pieces. Nerf has also got rid of the use of the cardboard insert trays and twine that held the blaster and its accessories down.

This is an interesting move for Nerf, because in the past the contents in a box was held down by twine or some kind of tying material

So out of the box, it looks like this.(Above pic)

Assembled. As you can see straight away, the Pyragon's colour scheme looks epic. The red,grey and white accents match perfectly with each other, and the black bits just gives it a contrast, and gives the blaster a bit more tone. Not much to say here, but the paintjob does its job well.


The pump grip now has a thumb hole, which is a first for Nerf. This new feature allows for an easy, comfortable grip and it also slides smoothly along the priming rail, leaving only very faints marks of friction.

The slam-fire action is also probably the most smoothest that I've encountered on a Nerf blaster, and I've experienced no jams yet, which is great. Most of the jams were mainly caused by human error.

There is also a small sling point to clip your carbiner/bandolier to. However, it's way too small, and way too wide. After trying to fit a friend's bandolier, it got stuck and I scraped a bit of the paint-job off. :( I really don't use sling-points, but for people who play HvZ games, sling-points are pretty important for comfortability. And for extra usability tips, click here.

Nerf has also made an interesting straight grip for the Pyragon, and although it looks uncomfortable, it feels great, being smooth and long enough for larger users too. The  mag-release switch has also been moved a bit higher. It's more comfortable for users with larger hands, but for me it's a bit high, though it's still easy to use.

Back when the Pyragon was still considered a rumour, many Nerfers speculated that it was a Praxis reshell, just like the Lumitron was.But as the NOC(Nerf Online Community)had more information about it,many relised the Pyragon has a different exterior and interior altogether. Though it feels similar and is used the same way as a Praxis/Lumitron, Nerf has actually made the Pyragon more thicker.And with more awesome features.:D

                                          Size comparison to Praxis

                                          Thickness compared to Praxis

As you can see with the pic above, there are a few changes Nerf made with Pyragon, revealing that the Pyragon was not a reshelled Praxis speculated before. Firstly, The Pyragon has a bit more shell on the blaster (as Nerf likes to do with their blasters), the pump grip is obviously a new style grip, the stock attachment nub no longer has the cosmetic cylindrical structure, the tactical rail is extended(but accessories still lock at the same place, sad.) and the Pyragon can no longer support the Retaliator stock, as discovered by BasicNerf. And for some apparent reason the Pyragon is also more heavier than the Praxis, too.(With no mag loaded,though)

                                                       With the other Vortex discs.

Nerf has also supplied the Pyragon with 'bright orange XLR discs' that look sweeet. The discs are perfect; they don't blend in with the grass(which the original green discs did) and just look epic. As for WHY Nerf supplied the Pyragon with the discs, I don't know. It still looks epic, though. :) So far, it's exclusively only for the Pyragon, but the upcoming Vortex Diatron will include the 'orange discs',too.

     Other than it's internals, the Pyragon is unique for it's 40-disc drum. I'll describe it in 6 words. It is a stroke of genius!

Inside the drum there are 4 minimags that each hold 7 discs. The other 12 discs are held in the fourth minimag, to make 40 discs.

Loading the drum is slow but smooth, and the process is done by simply flicking a lever on top of the drum as you fill each internal mag. When you finish filling the fourth minimag the lever advancing the internal mags locks up. You can also see which chamber you're loading on top of the drum and through a clear window on the side, which is a nice cosmetic feature. :)

There's also an 'unload' switch on the neck of the drum and it's pushed down when inserted into a blaster, allowing the drum to unload itself.

Unlike any drums so far,the 40-disc drum feeds extremely fast and reliably, never jamming like the 35 drum did. Demonstration can be seen from P13c30fch33s3's slam-fire video here.

The drum is also amaller than I expected it to be, but it's good, as it's helpful for manoeuvrability. The drum is about the size of 3*10-disc mags squeezed together, and is also pretty heavy, even without discs loaded in, but you'll get used to it over time.

And naturally, it's compatiable with other Vortex blasters too.


Here is some mix and match pics. (Above and left)

And for performance,
The Pyragon easily hits the typical Vortex 18m mark and can surpass it too. Compared to a Praxis/Lumitron, it seems to have more velocity too, and of course, the range is consistent, even when slam-firing. I have no idea of how Nerf improved the Pyragon's performance, but Tactical Tag suggests it has a stronger torsion spring, and also has a different slam-fire mechanism altogether.
As for rate of fire, 4-5dps is possible, though it's very taxing on your arms. 8-9dps is also possible, demostrated byP13c30fch33s3's slam fire vid.. It hardly ever jams too, only misfiring once on me. The jamming problems is much better than the first generation of Praxis'.
Accuracy is actually far better than I thought. With my first generation Praxis, most of the shots were either a hit or a miss, while the Pyragon can hit a medium target from 10-12m away. And for some reason mine seems to curve less, too, which is a plus in my books. :D

For my particular Pyragon, I found out that it had problems using the old 10-disc mags(from the Praxis) and I have to use a decent amount of force to push the mag in. If anyone else has this problem, please comment below.

Final word? It's EPIC! Nerf has produced a Vortex blaster with all the improvements that their fans wanted, with fantastic ranges, and some new interesting internals, too. It's ability to unload 40 discs in such a short period of time and it's jam free firing has just got me hooked! Priced at $40-90, it's a good buy, although the lack of a stock, especially for such a large blaster is a little tight. I got mine at Target for 30% off, so in my opinion it's great value for money. :D

Pros: Slam-fire, very reliable(almost no jams!),looks, high performance(even for Vortex),accuracy, discs are easier to find(orange opposed to green), comes with high capacity drum, very high ROF.
Cons: Orange discs are exclusive to Pyragon and Diatron, sling point is too small.

                                          Looking down the iron sights through a FPS view.

Power: 7/7
Accuracy: 4.5/5
Value for Money: 4.5/5
Usability: 5/5
Rate of Fire: 5/5

Overall: 4.8/5

Personal Rating: 5/5 - This has got to be the best Vortex blaster so far and it's certainly one of my favourites!

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