Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Nerf Elite Firestrike Review (grey trigger, 15m and 20m Aus) (EDITED 3/7/14)

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Firestrike you see in the pictures has been modified. The dart peg has been sliced off, which allows the use of Streamlines. This mod is not evident in the pictures besides the ones which look directly down the barrel.
The Elite Firestrike is the Elite-ified version of the classic N-Strike Nitefinder EX-3, incredibly popular due to price, power and accuracy, and mod capability. As the Nitefinder's natural successor, the Firestrike has had high expectations put on it. So does the Firestrike live up to expectations?

EDIT (3/7/14): I picked up a pair of non-freak Firestrikes, and so their performance will replace the freak Firestrike's performance.

Out of box the Firestrike is just as simple as the NF - itself and 3 Elite darts. There are also instructions included, like the NF, but with such a simple blaster you can't possibly need instructions.
The Firestrike is very small, particularly when compared to blasters like the Retaliator. Compared to the Nitefinder, the Firestrike is a little smaller, in particular the dart holders being within the shell unlike the exposed NF's dart holders, and the handle being surprisingly short compared to that of the NF.
The priming bar is more comfortable than an NF to pull, due to the handle being curved, more so than the NF's.

The Firestrike has the same sort of pathetic focussed LED light as the NF, but instead it is activated by a secondary trigger not unlike that of the Stryfe. Unlike the Stryfe's however, the secondary trigger only depresses about 2mm, simply to press the button inserted behind the trigger. For an experienced flywheel user like me, it feels extremely weird to have the trigger depress only 2mm.
The trigger and trigger guard are quite small, such that I am unable to spin the Firestrike using the trigger guard. Additionally, the trigger does not depress as much as most triggers I have pulled on other blasters.
As mentioned earlier, the handle is smaller than that of the NF, and smaller than most blasters. It barely fits my hand comfortably, so for larger users the Firestrike will probably be uncomfortable to hold. The tiny spike on the end of the handle may help, but in general the Firestrike's handle is pretty small and uncomfortable for larger users.

For the light to work, obviously the Firestrike needs batteries. It uses 2 AAA batteries, unlike the NF's 2 AAs, so you can sort of see how much smaller the handle is if you've seen an NF. Like all other battery doors, the battery door in the Firestrike's handle is held in by a screw and a little protrusion, and is a little hard to put back on with batteries loaded in because of the springs in the battery bay.
The light on the Firestrike is identical to that of the Nitefinder, with a tiny and pathetically dim red light below the barrel. Unlike the NF's it cannot be adjusted, but mine was already perfectly calibrated in line with the barrel, so no complaints there.

The Firestrike is a simple pull-back single shot, so you prime just by pulling back the priming handle, and fire by pulling the trigger. The seal on the Firestrike isn't perfect, so you can load the dart first or last and not affect performance.
Front view of the Firestrike. From left to right, the barrel, light, and two dart holders. If you've seen a Nitefinder you'll know that this is more compact.
With the light on. It's really pathetically dim.
Like almost all other blasters, the Firestrike has an obligatory and pretty useless tactical rail.

Note the small hook at the bottom of the handle. What this does is hooks onto the priming rod of another Firestrike, allowing you to prime Firestrikes with one another. While this is seemingly intended to allow you to dual wield, as a single shot, the Firestrike is not a very good blaster to dual wield anyway since you have to reload every shot. 

And as always, the final pic is an FPS shot.

The Firestrike, as an Elite blaster, has high range expectations. Even as the detuned Aus version, ranges of up to 15m are to be expected. But such is not the case.
UT has stated that their Firestrike is on par, if not a little worse than a Nitefinder. My Firestrike is not the same.
Unlike all my other Elite blasters, my Firestrike was achieving 26m (~80ft) stock. As ridiculous as this seems, it is true, and if you really doubt me I can do a firing video and a Google Earth screenshot to prove its range. It is most likely a freak unit, and chances are the majority of Firestrike in existence will not perform so well.
Accuracy suffers terribly from the sheer power of the blaster. Unlike normal single shots, the Firestrike fires Elite darts somewhat straight, but they tend to swerve at long ranges.

Non-freak Firestrikes get around 11-14m. Its shots are quite inconsistent - some darts dive into the ground early, while others sail on for a bit longer.
Accuracy isfairly good for an Elite blaster, but still nothing compared to the Nitefinder. Most shots fly relatively straight, so you have a decent chance of hitting a human sized target at 10m.
ROF is the same as all single shots, about 1 shot per 3 seconds depending on your skill.

The Firestrike is available throughout Australia (and the rest of the world) for at very least $8 AUD. This is about the same as an NF and Triad. For such a low price, such extreme power is extremely good value. It's perhaps not the best choice if you're not a modder, or only perform basic mods since the Triad sports similar ranges while being able to multi fire without reloading, and the Nitefinder is more powerful and accurate. It is possible to push the Firestrike's range over 130ft with some good mods and ridiculous springs. All in all, the Firestrike is a great single shot pistol, and definitely worthy of replacing the aging and popular Nitefinder EX-3. The Firestrike is a decent single shot pistol, but it's difficult to recommend unless you mod because both the Nitefinder and Triad outperform it in stock form.

Pros: Ridiculous power, looks cool, light only comes on when you need it, compact, built in dart holders, light is calibrated in line with barrel
Cons: Accuracy suffers due to power sucks, light is too dim to be used effectively

Power: 7/7 5.5/7
Accuracy: 4/5
Value for Money: 5/5 3/5
Usability: 4/5
Rate of Fire: 1/5
Overall: 3.19/5

Personal Rating: 3.5/5 - a cool single shot, but the handle is a little too small. I don't use single shots much any more, but they're still fun.


  1. Pretty good review, you must have been lucky with your FS, mine barely made 30 feet stock.

  2. great blaster to mod

  3. epic review, most people say the prefer the triad but I prefer the firestrike because the triad is just so WEAK compared to a firestrike

  4. i store my darts in my blasters 24/7. the current blasters i have are the firestrike, strongarm, the stockade and the retaliator. i know not to store darts in clips and not to leave blasters primed.

    would storing darts in the firestrike, strongarm or stockade affect the blasters performance?

    1. In the fire strike and Strongarm, definitely. The tight end of the barrels is tighter than the dart diameter, and so slowly squishes the rear end of the dart. This reduces the seal of the dart with the barrel, reducing range. To get around this, you could drop darts into the barrels. They will stop at the point where the tight barrel starts, preventing dart squishing.
      As for the Stockade, I'm not as sure. It uses grooves to keep darts in place. Leave your darts in there too long and they'll have grooves in them, but I'm not sure if they will affect performance