I got into Nerfing mid 2010, not long before the Barricade came out. Before that, I'd never seen or handled a flywheel blaster. By the time I got the Barricade, I already had a Recon, NF, Secret Strike, Reflex, Deploy, Magstrike and Stampede (as well as a yet to be opened AT). I'd had experience with Longshots and Mavericks as well, but nothing like the Barricade. When I first tried it out, I found the noise quite annoying, because at the time I'd been used to plungered blasters. This was with just 3AAs. I fired off the ten darts, as was not too impressed but I somewhat enjoyed the semi auto. At this time I was used to lightly modded blasters barely breaking 15m. Then I plugged in two 14500s and a screw for a dummy, and switched the Barricade on. Even after watching SGNerf's vid I was not prepared for the roar from the motors. The darts soared it with drastically increased power, but because it was a revolver, and I'd developed an attachment to clip (mag) system blasters, the Barricade was never really one of my favorites. I'd pick it up just for the roar of the flywheels and the semi auto spray of 10 darts (or go for the Magstrike). Additionally I found that the Barricade liked jamming, so badly it would ruin a dart an take over a minute to fix.
In summary, flywheels didn't make a great impression on me initially.
Time passed and I'd acquired more blasters, of particular note a number of ATs which instantly became my favourite. SgNerf and pSyK had unveiled their clip (mag) fed Barricade, as had others, but they never struck me as something I'd like. And so more time went on and I say flywheels really only for sidearms or for rushing rapid fire. I never really saw them as potential for major or important blasters to me.
And then the Rayven came out.
Before I got mine, UT got theirs as did a number of other Nerf bloggers (which made me jealous). UT had shown how ridiculously loud and awesome the Rayven could be with 14500s, but I wanted a Rayven for myself because it looked awesome and was clip (mag) fed. I finally got a Rayven, and immediately put 4 14500s in it. I revved it up, scaring myself and everyone else at my birthday party, and fired out darts at ridiculous velocities into my front door. After that the Rayven became my 'sit next to me' blaster, which I pick up to fire hits at random things around me. Although the only major difference between the Rayven and Barricade was that the Rayven was clip (mag) fed, the Rayven to me was a lot more comfortable to use, as well as a lot more reliable, almost never jamming, and of key note being clip (mag) fed. As I've said before, I have a fondness for clip (mag) system, so the Rayven's awesome design and power, plus being clip (mag) system really made flywheels awesome for me. Many have said that you can get a great ROF from semi auto blasters, and as I've shown in my Rayven reliability test vid, semi auto blasters can get ROFs in excess of 6dps, which is similar to a Pyragon.
For a while, the Rayven and AT competed for the title of favourite clip (mag) system blaster. Many blasters had come and gone, but none of them could truly replace the Rayven or AT.
My only problems with the Rayven were that I found the stock a little small, and the rattling of clips (mags) inside the magwell caused a surprising number of misfires and jams.
Then came along the Stryfe.
To me, the Stryfe embodied the true potential of flywheelers. The Stryfe is very small and compact, can be tacticooled easily, is capable of excellent ranges and ROF, and fits all this awesomeness in a really cool looking shell. It had an accel trigger, which I prefer over a switch because it offers better control over flywheel revving, minimizing unnecessary revs. The Stryfe's stock capacity is terrible, but at this point in my Nerf life I have more than enough clips (mags) and darts to rectify this problem. And now the Stryfe is my blaster of choice, replacing the Rayven thanks to its extra tacticool, comfort and colour scheme, and competes with my AT which has been relegated to blaster rack duty.
So in summary, my first flywheel experience, the Barricade, wasn't great but showed some potential, the Rayven was the first blaster that showed me how cool flywheelers could be, and the Stryfe sealed the deal. Although there are many who swear by their Longshots or other high powered springers, I am a Nerfer who likes both springers and flywheelers, and for now the Stryfe will be my go-to blaster.
I'll make my own pro-con list on flywheelers.
- Ranges are easily augmente, even without much electrical knowledge
- Semi auto/full auto so ROF is impressive
- Often really awesome looking shells (Rayven, Stryfe case in point)
- Can be in really small shells
- Electronic modding can be a nice change to constant mechanical modding
- Fun to use
- Noise intimidates many people
- Can reload clip (mag) system ones super super fast
- Noise can be offputting for some Nerfers as users
- Must rev up to fire - firing delay
- Must rev for several seconds for max range - firing delay
- Power is dependant on battery strength, range lost over time