Saturday, 3 August 2013

Pump Action Nerf Retaliator

Back when the Recon first came out (2007-2008?), people criticised it's uncomfortable top slide priming and some modders (me included) made the useless included light into a pump to make a pump action Recon. This not only improved its ROF and comfort of usage, but also rapid-fire accuracy. Fast forward to 2009 and the Raider comes out, with foregrip pump action and slam fire. This made priming much more comfortable and gave the Raider a much higher ROF, although the side magwell was a criticised point for many, including me. A bit further forward to 2010 and we have the Alpha Trooper, with pump action slam fire like the Raider, but with a vertical magwell instead of a horizontal one. That combined with above average stock performance, the AT's other features and its low price made the Alpha Trooper an extremely popular blaster. Some however preferred the foregrip pump action of the Raider.
Now recently in 2012, when the Elite line was first launched, two of its blasters were revamped versions of old blasters, namely the Retaliator (Recon) and Rampage (Raider). While the Retaliator was well received by many, the Rampage has a number of fans but seemingly not as many as the Retaliator. They shared similar problems to their predecessors, namely the awkward top slide action for the Retaliator and side magwell for the Rampage.
To improve the Retaliator's ROF several people did the same pump action mod as they did with Recons, except with the Retaliator's foregrip, making the Retaliator a foregrip pump action blaster like the Rampage, but with a vertical magwell and without slam fire.

I am one of those people, although I performed the pump action mod in August 2013 rather than upon Elite release in 2012.

Retaliator unprimed. The foregrip moves nearly to the end of the tac rail, but not quite off it.
 The Retaliator half primed. Note that the foregirp goes back farther than a stock Retaliator barrel allows.
 The foregrip in half primed position is mere millimetres from the end of the barrel. Moving it back just that tiny bit would make no noticeable difference to the priming action, so I just left it like that.
 Just to show how comfortable it is to use, my hand does not touch the wood at all.
The final part of the mod, done after assembly. E-tape has been wrapped around the wood to provide cushioning for the hand, and the corners have been lightly sanded so they're not as sharp.

What this effectively results in is pretty much a foregripped Elite Alpha without slam fire.
Why did I do this mod? Well...
  • Although I am comfortable with foregrip pump action, I dislike the Raider/Rampage side magwell design, as it makes the blaster far more cumbersome and unbalanced.
  • A normal Retaliator is not really a true rifle, rather a pistol with heaps of attachments on it. I wanted to make a 'better' Retaliator that could be better qualified as a rifle, or at least as a carbine.
  • Although I do prefer my Elite Alpha, it is not foregripped and I wanted some variety in pump action.
  • For my friends who don't have 'decent' modded blasters (ie ranges of 20m+) and borrow my blasters, the spring combination in this Retal make it quite decent, but without the foregrip pump action it does not have quite the same combination of ROF and rapid fire accuracy that an Alpha design does. 
  • I have 2 Retals and I wanted at least one of them to be special.
  • I had the wooden bars left over from my pump action Recon which I reverted back into an ordinary Recon after the light used for the pump was turned into my iPod Touch rail mount. These bars were just sitting in one of my boxes collecting dust underneath some of my more special blasters and parts.
  • The foregrip pump action gives the Retaliator a better carbine feel than an ordinary Retaliator as well as a higher ROF and better rapid fire accuracy, and also provides foregrip pump action with a vertical magwell.
  • I felt like it.
  • Because I could.
The mod itself wasn't very hard, primarily because the bars were already cut to length and had most of the holes I needed. Additionally, with the past experience with making a pump action Recon, I knew exactly what to do with the Retaliator to have it working well.

There are a number of viable reasons why you would do this mod and not just use a Rampage or Elite Alpha Trooper. Some I can think of are:
  • You want a pump action foregrip blaster but cannot afford the Rampage
  • You want a pump action foregrip blaster but do not like the Rampage side magwell
  • You want a pump action blaster but do not like the Alpha Trooper design
  • You have materials for a pump action mod and a spare Retaliator that you want to mod
  • You want to have a higher rate of fire from your Retaliator
  • You dislike the Retaliator slide priming mechanism
  • You want your Retaliator to work more like a rifle than a pistol with heaps of attachments


  1. just thought you might like to have a look at this:

  2. This is very smart thinking! A great simple modification to 'pump up' the retaliator or even on a recon if you wanted. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Do you have pics of the original pump action grip using the ugly torch that came with it?