Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Comparison: Nerf ZS Doublestrike vs Nerf Elite Triad

For a time the Triad was Nerf's best pocket pistol, packing 3 consecutive shots along with the small profile of a Jolt and the power of an Elite blaster. However in 2014, the Zombie Strike series received the Doublestrike, a small blaster also intended for the pocket pistol role. Which one is better at its job?

Aesthetics: This is probably the most controversial Aesthetics round so far; as you know if you've read other comparisons I don't score on aesthetics. The Doublestrike is one of the most stylised mini blasters around, clearly taking cues from the Derringer pocket pistol, packing a hammer prime, dual barrels and the faux grip tape seen in the early ZS blasters. The Triad on the other hand, packs the bare minimum of painting and styling, and sacrifices form for function. While I would agree with the majority that the Doublestrike is the better looking blaster, I don't score on aesthetics.
Accessories: The Doublestrike comes with two darts, the Triad three. I'm giving this round to the Triad, but since it's one dart, it's pretty meaningless.
Range/Power: The Triad reaches standard Elite ranges, getting about 14m average flat for a grey trigger.
The Doublestrike sadly does not live up to expectation, averaging 9-10m flat as a grey trigger. It's quite inconsistent, I had one dart soar to 12m and several dive at 7-8m.
The Triad easily wins this round.
Accuracy: Neither blaster is fantastic since both blasters use Elite style darts. The Triad's grouping is decent, getting through the 7-8m doorway pretty consistently, and only rarely hits the door frame. The Doublestrike on the other hand is pretty bad, of the ~20 test shots I've taken with it, around 8 have swerved into the doorframe. A further 8 of them dived straight into the ground at the 7-8m mark, and only about 4 of them achieved any significant distance from the door frame. Almost every single dart I've fired from the Doublestrike has swerved away from target.
The Triad wins this round easily too.
Usability: Both blasters have usability issues, primarily stemming from them being small.
The Triad's biggest issue is that its shell design leads to it being very uncomfortable to hold. Much like the Jolt, the front of the handle really digs into your hand if you hold it tightly, and this is made significantly worse with an upgraded spring. However besides that the Triad is fairly easy to load, prime and fire.
The Doublestrike also has a handle problem, though its problem is slightly different. The hook at the end of the handle limits the number of fingers you can comfortably fit on the handle, and that number is usually 2 unless you have particularly thin fingers. The remaining finger is thus forced to hang around awkwardly, or squish together with the other fingers to fit.
Additionally besides that handle issue, the Doublestrike is known for an over-prime problem. The draw on the Doublestrike's hammer is around a centimetre longer than the draw required for the hammer to catch. As a result, the excess draw results in the hammer springing forward a small distance. The primary effect of this is that upon overprime the Doublestrike would often spit out its top dart, as demonstrated perfectly by this GIF from Blasterlabs:
This defeats the main purpose of the Doublestrike's double dart firing.
An additional issue is the unusually high rate of catch breaks. Though there have been less reports of it recently, the Doublestrike is also known for breaking its catch even with light use. I believe this is also due to the overprime problem, which causes the hammer to swing into the catch with extra force.
Interestingly, my Doublestrike displayed neither of these overprime issues, though I'm not sure whether this is due to it being a newer, slightly improved version or simply because it's a grey trigger version (which seems to have a different spring).
The Doublestrike does have an advantage over the Triad in that its hammer prime, though harder than the Triad's, allows the Doublestrike to be one-hand primed. Though the overprime issue does come into effect again, being one-handable is a significant advantage in adverse situations.
However as the overprime issue is so well documented and occurred frequently upon release, I'm giving this round to the Triad.
Rate of Fire: The Doublestrike can get off both darts in around a second, thanks to its dual barrels and hammer prime. The Triad can get its three darts off in around a second and a half.
Since both blasters are such low capacity, making ROF basically meaningless, I'm going to count this round as a draw. If pressed though, I'd say that the Triad does have more potential for rapid fire.
Capacity: The Doublestrike holds two darts, while the Triad holds three.
The Triad wins this round obviously
Value for Money: The Doublestrike is available from Kmart for an extortionate 15AUD, while the Triad is only 8AUD, also from Kmart.
The Triad wins this by a long shot.

The Doublestrike has won no rounds, while the Triad has won 6, with 1 draw. Thus I declare the Triad EX-3 the totally and utterly superior blaster. Besides being one-handable and looking cooler, the Doublestrike is completely inferior to the Triad. If I were buying blasters to be practical, I would gladly trade the Doublestrike for two Triads or a Strongarm and a Jolt. Or even put a few more dollars along with the Doublestrike to get something better like a Stryfe, Hammershot or Sweet Revenge.
Though in fairness if you get blasters for cosmetic modding only, the Doublestrike is a clear winner.


  1. my orange trigger Doublestrikes are more accurate than my triad but their power is quite a bit less. the Doublestrikes are really fun for indoor use.

  2. The DoubleStrike was updated to not have anymore excess draw.

    1. Do you have proof of that? Mine still had the excess draw yet didn't spit out the top dart.