Thursday, 27 August 2015

Comparison: Nerf Mega Magnus vs Buzz Bee Air Max 3/Boss

The Magnus was Nerf's first Mega blaster after the horrible mess that was the Failturion, and was actually a decent and usable blaster. Some time later and Buzz Bee reveals their line of Mega-firing Air Max blasters, one of which is eeriely to the Magnus, the Air Max 3/Boss. How does the new kid compare?

Aesthetics: The Magnus, as with the rest of the Elite line, has sharp, sleek lines and has an all round modern style. In typical Buzz Bee fashion, the AM3/Boss has had less effort and detail put into smaller shell details, and as such doesn't carry the same sophistication that most Nerf blasters do. To me the AM3/Boss has a nice Sci-Fi aesthetic. Naturally no official score in this round, though I personally would give the edge to the Magnus.
 The Magnus comes with itself and 3 Mega darts.
The AM3/Boss comes with itself, 3 Air Max/XL Distance darts and a 3 AM/XL dart clip (mag).
The AM3/Boss wins this round by virtue of its clip (mag) being detachable.
The grey trigger (22m claim) Magnus typically achieves 13-16m flat ranges, though by virtue of the inconsistent Nerf Mega dart no shot is guaranteed to reach those ranges.
The (15m claim) Air Max 3 typically achieves 11m flat ranges using the flat headed Air Max dart, and is extremely consistent.
Naturally the Magnus wins this round.
The Magnus, by virtue of it using Nerf Mega darts is horribly inaccurate and inconsistent. Nerf's Megas love swerving everywhere except where you're aiming.
The Air Max 3, by virtue of it using Air Max darts is extremely accurate and consistent, with the darts tending to land within about 0.5m of one another.
Naturally the Air Max 3/Boss wins this round
Usability: This part is, as with a lot of comparisons, the most interesting part.
The Magnus uses an internal mag to hold darts, which requires loading of darts directly through the feed lips of the internal mag. As such the darts that get loaded into the Magnus get a little more squished than usual, which can affect feeding and performance. Furthermore loading darts is not as easy as it should be. The slot into which you load darts is slightly shorter than a Mega dart, and as such you can't just shove the dart straight down, you have to push one end in (usually the head since it's more rigid) then feed in the rest of the dart. This makes reloading take slightly longer than if you could push the darts straight down into the mag. Additionally, the prime feels a lot more crunchy and friction-y than most blasters, with the forward action often feeling like you're forcibly jamming it up.
The AM3/Boss on the other hand is smooth and easy to use, but the clip (mag) release is in a rather awkward position, and is not easily reachable by either your main hand or your off hand holding the clip (mag). However the AM3/Boss functions just as smoothly as any good clip (mag) system blaster, and doesn't have the same loading/priming issues that the Magnus has.
On that basis I'm giving the AM3/Boss this round.
Rate of Fire: Both blasters use a similar slide priming mechanism with quite long draws. However the key factor here is that the Magnus feels to have a lot more friction in the cycling action, particularly when closing the breech. To me it feels a little like jamming up the Magnus, and this hesitation reduces its ROF ever so slightly compared to the AM3/Boss, which is perfectly smooth and easy. I believe the extra friction comes from the spring loaded feed lips which are necessary for the top loading action.
The Air Max 3/Boss wins this round just.
Capacity: Both blasters hold 3 Mega sized darts each, so naturally this round is a draw.
Value for Money: Since the Air Max 3/Boss has not yet reached regular Aussie retail, I'll be going with the US retail prices. The Magnus retails for about 15USD while the Boss retails for about 10USD. Since both blasters have counter-points to their respective advantages, I'm giving this round to the AM3/Boss on the basis that it's significantly cheaper.

As with a lot of other Buzz Bee vs Nerf rounds, using one ammo type for both blasters will make both above rounds draws, and that likely also applies to orange trigger/US release blasters too.
Overall the Magnus has won 1 round, the Air Max 3/Boss 5 rounds. Thus I declare the Air Max 3/Boss to be the superior blaster. The Magnus does have one key advantage, that being it can easily be reloaded on the run, while the AM3/Boss has to switch clips (mags) or remove the clip (mag) to reload (which are less common than regular dart clips [mags]). Overall though the AM3/Boss is smoother to operate and the ability to take larger clips (mags) is a huge advantage.

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