Friday, 1 February 2013

Nerf Vortex Pyragon Review

A somewhat overdue and underdue review, in this post I'm reviewing the 2012 addition to the Vortex line, the Pyragon.
 When the first line of Vortex blasters came out, the Praxis was considered the best of the four due to its design, range and accuracy. It was criticised for a lack of capacity (somewhat remedied by the 20 disc mag from the Nitron) and not having slam fire, limiting ROF to around 3 discs per second. Additionally not everyone was a fan of the Vortex paintscheme. Nerf has remedied all of these with the Pyragon, sporting a greatly increased capacity (from the 40 disc drum), ROF (from slam-fire), a somewhat increased range and a new shell design with awesome paintscheme on the side.

First things first.

This is the box of the Pyragon, and is kind of what you expect. Info boxes on the features, the 40 disc drum in the Nitron and Praxis outlines, the slam-fire and ads for the Lumitron and Nitron (interestingly with scope and not shield). This was bought in Australia.
 Nerf is getting really good at this eco friendly thing, using cardboard pieces to hold the Pyragon in place, with no cable ties or even paper ties in sight. Interestingly unlike most blasters the Pyragon doesn't have a cardboard 'tray' from which cardboard cutouts hold the blaster in. This is likely due to the thickness of the drum and Pyragon.
Out of all the cardboard pieces, this is what you get. A Pyragon, the 40 disc drum, 40 discs and an instruciton manual. No hidden extras, no secrets. Now is probably a good time to say just how awesome the paintscheme of the Pyragon is. The white with red highlights, and splashes of grey and black works extremely well, and is complemented by the Pyragon's bulky design.
When all opened 40 discs definitely make a significant stack.
 The handle, at first glance, seems too straight to be comfortable. In actual fact, it is very comfortable and quite large, meaning kids and kidults can use them comfrotably.
The mag release switch, just in front of my thumb, is in my opinion a little too high. Larger users may be comfortable with it but I'm not so large, and thus it is a little uncomfortable. The switch is on both sides for ambidextrous use.
The pump grip, in a first for Nerf, has a thumbhole just behind the grip, allowing for secure grasping of the grip and allowing for easy slam-fire. The grip slides along the track very smoothly, as a good priming grip should.
A close up on the traditional Vortex jam switch. Here you can sort of see the new stylings on the Pyragon, but sadly iPod Touch cameras aren't good and you can't really see it.
The Pyragon, when pictures first arose of it, was considered to be an upgraded Praxis, but I feel it is a unique blaster in its own right. Here you can see the differences in styling and size between the Pyragon and Praxis. Firstly, the most evident changes are the priming grip (shotgun grip into foregrip) and the Pyragon's much greater bulk, particularly in front of the trigger. The mag release has also been moved up slighty, the tac rail has been extended along the whole blaster, the sling points no longer exist, and the stock attachment point no longer has that small cylinder.
 Here you can really see the extended tac rail (which still has the lock in the same place), and how much bulkier the Pyragon is, partially thanks to its white paintscheme (which makes objects look slightly larger).
Here, a focus on the handles, stock attachment points, mag releases and the lip above the handle. The Pyragon's handle is slightly larger and more straight than curved, and the lip above the handle is slightly larger than the Praxis.

All in all, there are a number of differences to the outsides of the blasters, but what makes the Pyragon really special are its internal features and 40 disc drum. The Pyragon is roughly the same weight as the Praxis when unloaded, but the drum provides the main weight here.

 A key feature of the Pyragon is the 40 disc drum. These four pictures show its four sides, while the bottom is merely a grey slab and you won't see the top when it's loaded.

To hold 40 discs, the drum uses four internal minimags which hold 7 discs each. This lever switches around the minimags for reloading, but when firing they advance automatically. The small orange plate shows which minimag is in line with the 'neck' of the drum.

As you switch the minimags around, you can see which minimag is loaded through the window in the back of the drum.

When the last minimag is loaded, you can see the first minimag on the other side of the window. At this point the switch for advancing minimags will lock up.
The drum feeds extremely quickly and is smooth to load (albeit takes a long time because it holds 40 discs and you have to manually advance the minimags). It has been emptied in 2 second by a Lego wheel connecting to a fast spinning motor, so it shouldn't misfeed in a Nerf blaster.
The drum is actually heavier than the Pyragon, but because it's a bottom loading blaster it isn't hard to handle like the Raider.

Now on to performances, and why the Pyragon is so awesome.
At first, my Pyragon had a few duds not reach 15m, and accuracy wasn't great. As I used it, however, the range seemed to become more consistent and accuracy became better.
Ranges for the Pyragon well surpass 15m. It gets 20m reasonably easy, and a few discs drift further.
It should be noted that the Pyragon is more powerful than the Praxis and Proton (and probably Vigilon and Nitron as well). I have fired the Pyragon and Praxis side by side, and the Pyragon's discs fly a little faster than the Praxis.
Accuracy at 15m is good. Although the discs do curve off to the right, they curve off to pretty much the same place, meaning that it is very consistent.
ROF of the Pyragon is insane. I've successfully emptied the 40 disc drum in 6 second (6.67 dps) with no issues whatsoever. No jams, no misfires, no ugly consequences like those from a Raider.
All in all, the Pyragon is a fantastic blaster. Retailing for around 60AUD, but frequently seen on sale for about 40AUD, the Pyragon can be picked up for a great price, although considering the Raider also retailed for 60AUD, the Pyragon's retail price is already pretty good value. It's the best Vortex blaster you can get, and one of the best Nerf blasters you can get. I highly recommend getting one, if not more.

40 disc drum doesn't misfeed or jam up, Pyragon is very smooth and easy to use, slam-fire is very, very easy, ranges and accuracy suroass that of ordinary Vortex
40 disc drum is a pain to load up, Pyragon is quite bulky, slam-fire grip thumb hole may provide an issue when switching to sidearm

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

Overall: 4.7/5

Personal Rating: 5/5 - Best Vortex blaster ever! Ridiculous capacity, great range, insane rate of fire, what's not to love?

1 comment:

  1. I'm sold man, absolutely loved the review - you covered every angle, and I cannpt wait to pic one up! There has been a distinct lack of good Vortex reviews. So thank you! bravo! and keep it up man!