Wednesday, 7 September 2016

FVN/VTN Dart Mini Test Fire and Observations

FVNs are a more recent dart design to appear. It merges the bullet-like tip design of ACC darts with the hard vinyl material of FVJs. I wasn't intending to get some for myself, but a friend of mine bought a bunch and passed me some to test.
The main difference between the FVN dart and the more conventional FVJ dart is, naturally, the tip design. The FVJ's mimics the tapered flat top of the Nerf Streamline/Elite, while the FVN has a round, more bullet-like shape similar to that of the ACC dart (although the latter has a soft head). In terms of length, the FVN head just about matches the length of the FVJ head. The FVN does hit a little harder thanks to its smaller impact area, but otherwise there's not a great deal of difference.
Here's an FVN next to one of my green Kooshes. Note the colour difference, with the Koosh being better described as an "apple" green, while the FVN is closer to a "lime" green. The Koosh also has a slightly longer body, however this is compensated for by the FVN (and FVJ) having a longer head. These dart designs have roughly the same overall length, and so are almost entirely cross compatible with a typical Nerf blaster.

Like their flat tipped brethren, the FVNs are substantially heavier than Kooshes, which in turn are significantly heavier than Elites. FVJs however still greatly outweigh the FVNs. Don't pay too much attention to the exact numbers on my scale, I have reason to believe that this scale is slightly off.

Throughout the tests, I reused the same FVJs and FVNs over and over again. I reused the FVNs as they are the only ones I have on hand, and I reused the FVJs to try and keep as many constants throughout the tests as possible. These FVJs are already fairly heavily used. I tried a variety of different blasters, though only one stock one. I tried to use a variety of different blasters, but I don't actually own that many distinct blasters.
Since I have so few FVNs to test, I'm not calling this a full review. If I ever have reason to, I may buy a bunch for myself for a larger and more comprehensive test.


Rebelle Sweet Revenge (grey trigger)
Relevant Mods: 7 dart cylinder, spring spacer
Performed essentially the same as regular FVJs. No noticeable difference precision, though the FVNs seemed to fly a little bit faster. I don't have a chronograph on hand to confirm that though. The darts followed almost identical flight paths.
Modulus Recon MkII (grey trigger)
Relevant Mods: none
Had more side to side variance than FVJs, but still achieved very straight flight paths. Seemed to achieve roughly the same range.

FO Stormtrooper Deluxe Blaster
Relevant Mods: Hobbymods 7kg spring
Experienced a noticeable amount of dart curving resulting in poor precision, with some darts even threatening to helicopter. As such, range was significantly more inconsistent. Regular FVJs tended to fly dead straight, almost like lasers.

Buzz Bee Sentinel (US spec)
Relevant Mods: none
Fired off a mixed bag of shots. Some travelled dead straight, while others veered off. One dart even went full helicopter. Regular FVJs tended to fly pretty straight, and don't helicopter.

Elite Retaliator
Relevant Mods: Hobbymods 7kg spring
Most shots had noticeable dart fishtailing, however otherwise performed about on par with regular FVJs. Precision is not great, but between the two darts was indistinguishable, as was approximate range.

N-Strike Longshot
Relevant Mods: "Sleeper" brass breech, Hobbymods 14k spring
Regular FVJs already have trouble staying stable, and a significant proportion of them already tend to veer off. FVNs performed even worse, with pretty much all of them veering way off target, fishtailing and some even helicoptering out. With such inconsistency, approximate range is pretty much impossible to determine, and pretty much irrelevant.

Elite Rapidstrike
Relevant Mods: MTB Hellcats for flywheels, no faux barrel
Due to having stock flywheels, the FVJs did not fly out with a great amount of energy or very good precision. Nevertheless, they tended to keep to straight flight paths. The FVNs on the other hand were imprecise, inconsistent and tended to curve during flight.

Elite Rapidstrike
Relevant Mods: MTB Hellcats for flywheels, Worker flywheels, 19/32" brass guide
With Worker flywheels and a brass guide, my Bullpup RS fires FVJs quite effectively and precisely, certainly far more than any of my other Rapidstrikes. Even all these couldn't fix the FVNs though. It was more precise and consistent than the stock flywheel RS, but compared to regular FVJs, the FVNs were still all over the place.

Throughout my tests, I also beheaded 4 of the 10 FVNs I had on hand. This wasn't necessarily due to the power of the blaster, but rather the severe lack of tip glue. The above picture shows the tiny amount that was applied to this particular FVN, and this was the same with all the other FVNs that I beheaded.

Overall, the FVNs did not perform especially well at any level of power that I tested, and at no point were they in any way superior to the more conventional FVJs. They are less precise, less stable and have far worse (or at least much less consistent) tip glueing. Naturally since I did have an extremely small sample size, take my results with a grain of salt, but from my experience so far with them, you should just stick to regular FVJs. It's also possible that just this particular seller or colour of FVNs is particularly poor, as there are a number of FVN listings on eBay and elsewhere.

This is the link my friend used: link

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