Saturday, 3 December 2016

Review: Nerf Modulus Tri-Strike (Aus grey trigger)

The Tri-Strike is the first Modulus blaster to be sporting some properly new accessories, boasting the ability to fire three different ammo types from all its components. This is exactly the sort of thing that I was hoping the Modulus line would bring, accessories that wouldn't be seen in the Elite line. I waited for the price to drop a little before picking one up.

The Box

Standard Modulus style box, all the major parts are exposed while the ammo and instructions are hidden away in a corner.

The Tri-Strike Blaster

The base Tri-Strike is a relatively small piece, a very Retaliator-like blaster, just with bolt handles instead of a slide. The detailing on it is decent, the only paint missing from the left is the black for the "NERF" protrusions. This is in stark contrast to the Recon MkII, which lacked a significant amount of detailing from its left side. The greenish-teal colouring isn't too ostentatious and works better than the lime green did with the original Modulus blaster.

Unlike the Recon MkII, the Tri-Strike has a divot below its muzzle for locking barrel extensions. There is also a small amount of detailing on the front face, also in contrast with the Recon MkII. It's good to see Nerf learning from their mistakes.

As is standard, the Tri-Strike has a single tac rail on top, as well as a set of iron sights.

Naturally the Tri-Strike has a stock attachment point on the back. Note that this one lacks the cylinder found on most other springer blasters, this is due to a slight plunger redesign that keeps it from protrunding past.

Though the Tri-Strike has the hollowed out Modulus handle style, most of its lines are smoothed over and so for the most part it is comfortable to hold. I personally have a slight issue with the front edge, which I feel is a little too sharp, but overall it's far better than the original Modulus' handle.
The Tri-Strike's bolt handles are very small, about two-thirds the size of those found on the Longshot and Longstrike. This keeps the compact look and feel that the base Tri-Strike has, however they are still large enough to get a decent grip. The bolt handles may pose an issue if you have large hands.

The Tri-Strike is a mag fed blaster, and so has a magwell quite far forward. As to be expected, it is compatible with all Nerf mags, including drums. Unfortunately, despite the magwell being quite far forward, Nerf elected to keep the mag release buttons on the sides of the magwell. Not only are they unreachable by your main hand from the handle, but they are also annoying and awkward to actuate with your off hand, while grabbing the mag. This makes reloading generally much more annoying than typical blasters like the Retaliator or Stryfe.
The jam door is a simple slide-open one. It's not very big and doesn't open up a particularly large aperture, though I've yet to encounter any jams so far.
Interestingly, pushing back on the Tri-Strike's jam door will actually push back the entire bolt system if the blaster is unprimed. There is no jam door lock, so it can be opened at any time. Due to the internal design however, the bolt can push the jam door closed, so likewise the jam door can push the bolt open.

Here's the Tri-Strike next to a Recon MkII. There are naturally a lot of similarities, although there are also some important differences. First up is the difference in priming methods, the Tri-Strike using a bolt and the Recon MkII using a top slide. The next is the overall length, with the Tri-Strike's handle being noticeably further from the muzzle. This emphasises the distance from trigger to mag release - while the Recon MkII's mag release is quite close, the Tri-Strike's is quite far. Naturally the jam doors are also different, the Tri-Strike's being a slide-open and the Recon MkII's being a flip-open. Overall, while the two share many similarities, there are also a couple of important differences that will likely influence which one is more suitable for you. The biggest difference is that while the Recon MkII and Retaliator are compatible with aftermarket pump grips, the Tri-Strike is not.

The 10 Dart Mag

The 10 dart mag is exactly what it sounds like - a mag sized to hold 10 darts. This is a straight mag, rather than a banana mag, so is actually shorter than a 12 dart mag. That's all there is to it. I personally find it a little odd that Nerf made an entirely new 10 dart mag design just for the Tri-Strike, when including another 12 dart mag would have been perfectly acceptable, and in my opinion, preferable for the extra capacity.

The Mega Launcher

The Mega Launcher is a barrel extension capable of firing 4 Megas. It's a relatively stubby piece, though is very tall to accomodate the barrels and the pump.
Thankfully, unlike some other Modulus attachments, the Mega Launcher has a spring loaded locking nub to keep it in place.

The Mega Launcher is a pump-to-fire blaster. Simply pull the pump out all the way, then slam it back in to fire a Mega. The harder you slam it back it, the faster the Mega will fly out.


The Mega Launcher uses a set of Smart ARs to fire all its darts. Starting from the bottom left dart (from the user's perspective), the Launcher cycles clockwise through all loaded darts. While the Smart AR block eliminates the need to load darts in a particular barrel, it also introduces extra deadspace internally, which causes noticeable power loss in subsequent barrels. Additionally, Smart AR blocks are vulnerable to double-shots, where two darts in a row are fired in the same firing stroke. This is particularly prevelant with this manual plunger Smart AR blaster, and it is very common to have two Megas fire out at once with reduced power. This is particularly frustrating as often results in the wasting of one, if not both, of the darts. I find that double-firing occurs most frequently with the top two barrels.

The Mega Launcher is not a long barrel extension by any means, being barely longer than the Modulus Dual Rail Barrel.

The Missile Launcher
The Missile Launcher is an oddity of an attachment, consisting of both a tac rail attachment and a stock, connected by an air hose.

The Missile Launcher module simply holds the missile in a tac rail attachment on a missile peg.
It has a tac rail on the top, can attach to tac rails with the clip on the bottom, and a stock attachment point on the back. The air hose feeds into the back, into the missile peg.

Loaded up, the Missile Launcher module looks essentially identical to the barrels of the Thunderblast and Demolisher.

Like the Mega Launcher, as well as the Demolisher and Thunderblast, the Missile Launcher is a pump-to-fire blaster. Unlike those blasters however, the Missile Launcher's pump is in its stock, instead of being an underbarrel pump. Whilst this makes sense in terms of the Tri-Strike package as it completes the full Tri-Strike set, it is horrible to use. The pump is stiff, and having to use the stock as the pump means you can't shoulder the blaster when firing.

As a stock however, the Missile Launcher stock actually works fairly well. It's a decent length as demonstrated above, and is quite sturdy when retracted.

The one complaint I have with the stock is that its handle is too far forward, and so it leaves a rather small space behind the blaster's handle, which can be a little uncomfortable.

The Missile Launcher can be assembled as its own standalone blaster, however it still suffers from the same issues. The stock is still the pump, and so it is still impossible to shoulder and stabilise the Missile Launcher.
I also personally find the lines on the stock handle to be a little sharp and uncomfortable for my liking.

Fully Assembled


When all put together, the Tri-Strike is quite a bulky and hefty blaster. With the exception of the missile launcher, it's reasonably comfortable to use. The Mega launcher is within reach and the Missile launcher stays in place well. The Missile launcher stock makes the Tri-Strike as a whole a decent rifle-size blaster, with a usable secondary. That said, the Missile launcher is still awfully hard to use, and the extra forward weight makes it even harder to stabilise. Additionally, the Missile launcher module adds significant bulk to the top of the Tri-Strike.


Finally for performance. How do the Tri-Strike and its components stack up?
Range wise the Tri-Strike blaster itself is nothing special. It performs roughly to typical grey trigger standard, achieving around 8-10m true flat with the Modulus/Elite darts included. Not particularly good, but nothing unexpected. The Mega Launcher can achieve anywhere from 8-12m somewhat flat with a good pump. It's very erratic and inconsistent, owing to its pump-to-fire mechanism as well as its Smart ARs. The Missile Launcher is similarly inconsistent, though I haven't had any somewhat flat shots break 9m even from my best attempts. This is in contrast with the Thunderblast and Demolisher, which with a really good pump could launch Missiles beyond 12m.
Accuracy from the Tri-Strike itself is nothing out of the ordinary, perhaps slightly subpar. Naturally the Modulus/Elite darts are the primary cause of this, switching to a better dart type brings the Tri-Strike pretty much up to par with most other blasters. Accuracy with Megas is pretty poor, partly due to being pump-to-fire and partly due to Megas being horribly inaccurate. It is at least possible to brace the Mega Launcher against your shoulder if the blaster it is attached to has a stock. As for the Missile Launcher, oh boy. Since the stock is the pump, you can't brace it against your shoulder and get a decent shot off. As such, accuracy with the Missile Launcher is simply non-existent. It is practically impossible to get a good and accurate shot off.
Rate of fire is a bit more promising. The Tri-Strike has slam-fire, allowing it to beat similar blasters like the Retaliator. That said, due to the internal setup, slam-fire is a lot stiffer during priming than regular cycling, limiting its maximum ROF to around 4 darts per second. Being that the Mega Launcher is pump-to-fire and has Smart ARs, it can also be fired at a decent rate, I'd estimate around 3 darts a second accounting for the extra resistance from being pump-to-fire. Naturally ROF with the Missile Launcher is terrible, being that it is a single shot.

Game Utility
The base Tri-Strike serves essentially the same role as the Retaliator. It's a relatively compact clip (mag) system springer that can perform decently, making it ideal as a secondary/backup, or a small primary ideal for close quarters. The bolt handles of the Tri-Strike do make it a pain to holster or sling compared to the Retaliator, and its inferior power holds it back as well. Nevertheless, for close quarters it can work quite well.
The Mega Launcher is only useful as a Mega firing backup/emergency, as it is relatively inconsistent and not particularly powerful. It could come in handy in games where Megas have special abilities (for instance particular zombies that can only be stunned by Megas), however will be a rather underwhelming in general combat, especially with its tendency to double-fire. Furthermore, the Mega Launcher prevents the use of a pump grip, as it is a barrel extension. Carrying around a seperate Mega blaster would be a much more effective option for actual Mega blasting.
The Missile Launcher is even less usable, as it is vastly outclassed by various other rocket launching blasters, and is extremely difficult to use effectively. It's only effective within maybe a 6m range. Though it is quite bulky as an attachment, as an individual blaster it's not that big, so if you're really desperate for a simple rocket Launcher, the Tri-Strike's Missile Launcher could work in a pinch.

Value and Summary
I purchased my Tri-Strike for 50AUD from Kmart. it's available for the same price from Target, and BigW stocks it for 60AUD, though regularly discounts it to 50AUD anyway. It's certainly not the worst deal around, given that you are essentially getting 3 blasters in one, however given that two of them don't have triggers, it's also not that great a deal. The Tri-Strike itself is a solid base blaster, being very similar to the Retaliator, however the two attachment blasters have very limited utility and are not particularly useful. The inclusion of a unique 10 dart mag when a 12 dart mag would have been a little more useful is also odd. All of this combines to make the Tri-Strike feel substantial, yet not particularly good value. A 12 mag instead of a 10 mag would have helped a little, as would the secondary blasters being more consistent and effective. Overall, while the Tri-Strike isn't bad value for money, I feel that there are better deals to be had, especially given its high price. I'd only recommend the full set if you want a set of gimmicky, marginally useful firing attachments and are content to not have triggers.

Power: 3.5/7 (darts) 5/7 (megas) 5/7 (rockets)
Accuracy: 3/5 (darts) 1/5 (megas) 0.5/5 (rockets)
Rate of Fire: 4/5 (darts) 3.5/5 (megas) 0.5/5 (rockets)
Usability: 3/5
Value for Money: 3/5
Overall: 3.1/5 (darts) 2.81/5 (megas) 2.1/5 (rockets)

Personal Rating: 3/5 - the Tri-Strike is a solid blaster, the Mega Launcher is passable and the Missile Launcher stock is pretty nice, but the Missile Launcher itself is absolutely terrible, and generally the Tri-Strike is inferior to the cheaper Retaliator.

A link to the same post on BlasterHub: link


  1. I've seen a friend with a stock Tri-strike in th US. Fired it. It hits really far ranges. I can't measure it, but angled it(probably) can hit 90 ft. or more.

  2. Missle is Absolutly horrible, though. :(

  3. I have NO idea why more people don't like the Tri-Strike.
    I mean, it's basically a Retaliator, but with a better priming system and slamfire.

    And unlike the Rampage/EAT, having the priming mech (the bolt) in the middle of the blaster leads to far better accuracy while slamfiring compared to the Rampage/EAT.

    With a basic 5kg spring upgrade, this absolutely dominates in CQB...

    1. There are a number of factors I can think of that make the Retaliator more popular:
      - Retaliators achieve a lot more power when modded comparably
      - Being the first to be released, Retaliators have extensive aftermarket part variety and availability, while the Tri-Strike has almost none
      - The Retaliator's mag release is better placed
      - Slam-fire is very limited in its usefulness, and there exist parts to make the Retaliator slam-fire anyway
      - Retaliators are slightly smaller and a lot cheaper

      If anything, I would suggest that the bolt action makes the Tri-Strike's slam-fire less accurate than with the pump actions of the Rampage/EAT, since you're tugging on the side of the blaster with a heavily unbalanced load.