Monday, 17 December 2012

Nerf N-Strike vs Elite Round 1: Retaliator (Aus version) vs Recon CS-6

This post starts off a series of ongoing posts in which I compare the original N-Strike blasters to their updated Elite versions. Expect the Elite version to win, but more importantly note the differences between them.

For the first ever Elite vs N-Strike post, we'll be comparing the 'basic' blasters of the Retaliator (Aus version) and Recon.

The Retaliator resembles a generic assault rifle you'd find in CoD games. Combine that with the awesome Elite colour scheme and you get one fine looking blaster.
The Recon somewhat resembles a tacticooled light rifle you'd find in CoD, with flip up iron sights and a grenade launcher (although of course the Recon doesn't launch a grenade equivalent). The colour scheme isn't great. but it looks decent.
I far prefer the Retal, but as usual I don't score on aesthetics.
The Retaliator comes with itself, a stock, a barrel, a foregrip and a 12 clip (mag) with 12 darts.
The Recon comes with itself, a stock, a barrel, a light, a sight and a 6 clip (mag) and 6 darts.
Although the Recon comes with more stuff, the Retaliator's 12 clip (mag) is more valuable than the 6 clip (mag), thus equalises this round.
The Retaliator, as mentioned in the earlier review, gets a consistent 14m with the barrel on, and 11-16m with the barrel off.
The Recon gets around 10-11m with the barrel on, and 10-13m with the barrel off.
Because the Retaliator's ranges are greater in both aspects, it wins this round.
The Recon's accuracy is not good without the barrel, and only slightly improved with the barrel.
The Retaliator's accuracy is non-existent without the barrel, but surprisingly good with the barrel.
Because the Retaliator's accuracy is so much better with the barrel on, and both are equally bad without the barrel, the Retaliator wins this round.
The Retaliator is easy to use, reliable, and all of its components are useful. This is rare for tacticooled blasters as often there are useless accessories. On the other hand, the Recon's sight and light are not very useful (or not useful at all), and the barrel hinders more than it helps. Additionally, although I have not experienced a large number of Recon jams, many, many people have experienced the Recon jamming. Likewise I have never had my Retal jam, but there haven't been complaints about Retal jamming. Not only is the Retal more useful than the Recon, but also more reliable, handing it the round on a silver platter.
Rate of Fire:
Both blasters have the same shell, thus assuming the difference in spring strength is negligible (which it is for older and stronger users given the difference is quite small, and the stock springs are really weak anyway) they'll have the same ROF.
The Retaliator holds 12 in its clip (mag), while the Recon only holds 6. Obviously the Retaliator wins this round.
Value for Money/Availability:
The Recon is available just about everywhere, usually for $30. The Retaliator is not very common yet, usually at $40 or more. Although the Recon is cheaper and easier to find than the Retaliator, the Retaliator is so much better than the Recon that its better value for money equalises this round.

Overall, the Retaliator has won 4 rounds, the Recon none, with 3 ties. Thus the Retaliator is the far better blaster than the Recon. This is not surprising, given that the Retaliator is 'Elite' but it is interesting to see that there are no aspects in which the Recon is better than the Retaliator.

So after the first Elite vs N-Strike post, the score is:
Elite: 1 -- N-Strike: 0

It will be interesting to see if N-Strike has any superior blasters, or if it can just managed a draw.


  1. What I really want Nerf to do is make an Elite sniper rifle; maybe looking like the Longstrike, but Elitified. That would be pretty damn awesome.
    Anyhow, nice comparison!

    1. If you really want an Elite Longstrike, do what pSyk did with a Retaliator/Rampage and a Longstrike. He used the direct plunger from the Retal/Rampage and the shell and other parts of a Longstrike (shell, boltsled etc) to make what is effectively an Elite Longstrike. If Nerf release and Elite-ified Longstrike it'll probably just like pSyk's Elite Longstrike.

    2. I'll check it out. Thanks!
      And I'll try to get an AT this Christmas, going by your reviews of it. You rate it pretty highly, don't you?

    3. Yes. Besides the Retaliator, the Alpha Trooper one of the best, if not the best clip system blaster you can get (when stock or lightly modded).
      Just note that the drum seems to lose a little springiness over time due to the design of it, so I recommend just sticking with straight clips to ensure no misfires.
      Also make sure to use lots of force when priming, as some of the locks are a little iffy about releasing and require some persuasion.

    4. Thanks for the warnings. Oh, and BTW, this is a different name, cause I decided to make an account, just for the hell of it. :P

    5. No problem. I'm glad to help a fellow Nerfer out, especially when it comes to buying one of my favourite blasters :P

    6. I know that the retaliator is better than the recon but nerf cant just go back and probabley screw everything up again by messing with their mistakes if the want to fix them just fix them for future buyers than people thinking its something different cuz its not

    7. Some punctuation and more cohesive sentences would be nice, I couldn't understand a thing you said.

  2. The closest thing to an elite longstrike is the nerf elite mega centurion which hasn't yet come out in Aus :(

  3. no its a tie in the capacity, the CS-6 has a spot for an extra 6 dart clip in the stock. and if you put max darts in both, the CS-6 actually would come out on top due to its capability to hold an extra clip. relaiability would be the CS-6 as well, since it has a more simple firing system, it wont break as easily if you were to drop it.

    1. I'm sorry, I don't see the Recon's regular retail box coming with a second clip. I'm comparing what they come with, not what they can support. The Recon comes with a 6 clip, and the Retaliator a 12 clip. Because the Recon stock fits on both the Recon and Retaliator, they hold the same amount of darts whichever way you consider it. If I were to see what capacity they could support, I would say a Longshot could hold 71 darts. And that would be ridiculous and stupid because you'd need to buy two Raiders to achieve that. Additionally by that logic the Recon/Retaliator/Alpha Troopers/Raider/Rampage/Stryfe would all have pretty much the same capacity, and that is plain dumb for these comparisons. Your logic also ruins the accessories category and partially ruins the value for money category because you're looking at things that don't come with the blaster(s) in question.

      You're not *meant* to be dropping Nerf blasters on the ground...
      Besides, I haven't experienced any blasters break that easily, and I can assure you that if I did, I would have written about it. And so would everyone else on the internet. So while it's true that some parts on the Retaliator are pretty thin and fragile compared to the Recon, the Retaliator isn't fragile enough to pose a problem when stock.
      The Recon has a significantly greater jam rate than the Retaliator. That alone would give the Retaliator the win in usability, but the Recon's accessories are more useless than the Retaliator's, giving the Retaliator an even greater edge.
      Having to explain why the Retaliator wins to you makes me question whether you've actually used the Retaliator and Recon or not...

  4. I might be arriving a little late to this, but I'd like to give my opinions on this too.

    I currently own both a retaliator and a recon, with both being the Australian retail versions. From my personal experience, I can safely say that, yes, the retaliator does have the advantage in terms of muzzle velocity, and subsequently in range. I have, however, noticed that the difference in operational range is so minimal as to be nonexistent.

    In terms of jamming, both blasters seem to not have any problems with jamming unless the darts or clips are damaged. For instance, the clip that came with my recon suffers from a weak spring, resulting in frequent jams. Likewise, any darts that are misshapen also lead to the jams. The chances of jamming with either of these variables appears to be the same for each blaster though, so there isn't any clear winner in my eyes.

    For personal preference, I must say that I prefer the recon. The reverse plunger design, while not as powerful, results in a noticeably greater kick when fired, which I enjoy, and also creates more sound, which can lead to hilarious surprise attack scenarios. The retaliator is nice though. it's smooth and quiet in comparison, but the lack of resistance in priming and the general feeling that the gun has been 'nerfed', or not performing as it should, leaves me feeling disappointed while using it.

    Just my 2 cents.

    1. You bring up good points. Particularly in close quarters, the difference in ranges of both blasters is minimal. At least, for our grey trigger ones. I believe that orange trigger Retals get more than 50% more range than a Recon. As for the jamming, as said I have not experienced much jamming unless a bad dart is loaded or a weak drum is used, but there are a lot of people who complain about Recon jamming, who don't complain about the Retal jamming.
      You're right about the kinetic feedback of the reverse plunger. My first reaction when I fired the Retal was that it felt incredibly weak and quiet since I'd been using reverse plungers up until I got the Retal. And you're right, the prime is ridiculously weak and easy. That is, until you throw in better springs.

  5. Retaliators are always jamming

    1. Not sure what you mean by that, since I have two retals and they rarely jam, only jamming from user error, clip/drum misfeeding or damaged darts. I've never had retals jam of their own accord.

    2. I have a nerd retaliator and nothing's really gone wrong but I've never experienced a nerd recon so I may call it a tie

  6. i love the nerf recon it's ny 4th favorite nerf gun in the world also my retaliator elite xd color brok last week so i'm geting a blue retaliator some time soon