Friday, 28 June 2013

Nerf Elite Triad EX-3 Review (20m grey trigger Aus version)

Having finally found a Triad in my local Kmart, I instantly fell in love with it and thought I would share my thoughts.

The Triad was first seen back when Elite rumours were flying about. On the Retaliator and Rampage boxes, an Elite Jolt was spotted inside the pocket of an Elite Tac Vest. When images of the Triad surfaced, people were speculating that it was in fact the blaster seen in the Elite Tac Vest, but this idea was quickly shot down when higher res pictures were found. When a firing video of the Triad surfaced, it appeared to simply be a Jolt with two dart holders, as the person used the two extra barrels to reload the bottom barrel, fueling speculation that the Triad was just a beefed up Jolt with dart holders. When people started getting their hands on Triads, it became evident that the Triad was much more than just a Jolt, being able to fire 3 consecutive shots without reloading. This alone made it far superior to the Jolt, and it quickly became a fan favourite sidearm.

The Triad comes in a simple blister package, like the Jolt and Secret Strike. Like other single shots, it comes with just itself and some darts.
On the back, the obligatory advertising blurb thingy, and stuff about 3 darts and all that.
The Triad's blister package is harder to open than that of the Jolt, requiring cutting through the plastic package itself or tearing half the cardboard of the backing sheet. For someone like me who attempts to preserve the package blasters come in, this new blister package design is terrible.

Out of the box, just a Jolt and 3 Elite darts. Run of the mill single shot stuff.

The Triad uses a handle style similar to the Jolt, with a shell with cutouts to allow the trigger to be inserted. Like the Jolt, this makes the handle cut into your hand a little, but not so much as the Jolt's handle, which is smaller and sharper. The shape of the handle, despite being straight, is surprisingly comfortable and fits reasonably sized hands. Like all Nerf blasters the Triad will probably be uncomfortable for people with large hands.

I personally find the Triad handle reasonably comfortable.

The priming handle is the same style as the Jolt, but has a longer priming stroke. Because it is so short, the spring is surprisingly strong for a nerfed Elite blaster, so for really young kids the Triad, like the Jolt, may be difficult to prime.

And now a couple more Triad - Elite Jolt comparative pics so you can fully grasp the size difference.

The Triad is on the left, Jolt on the right. Note that rest position is equal, but primed position the Triad is longer than the Jolt.

Down the three barrels, you can see that each one has its own air restrictor. The air restrictors are responsible for the 'smart' firing of the Triad, letting it know which barrel is loaded and which is not. Basically the the air flows from the plunger tube into the first open barrel and fires that dart. Because when the barrel is not loaded the AR closes, the air does not go out that barrel and moves on.
This does technically mean that as the Triad gets emptied, the air has to move further and further to fire the next barrel, thus each consecutive shot (assuming you don't reload) will not fire as far as the previous due to increased deadspace. This does occur, however the difference is not large enough to cause a significant worry. I've seen about a metre or two in range variance, really not much to worry about.

The smart Triad mechanism gives the Triad a huge edge in ROF over other single shots. For a normal single shot, you can fire one shot, and then have to reload the blaster.
The order the barrels fire in, from the perspective of a user, fires the bottom, right and then left.

For a Triad user it is very important to know which order the barrels fire in to avoid awkward situations in which you fire directly into a door or something. When reloading, because of the smart firing system, you don't have to worry about which barrel you load in because the blaster will know which barrel is loaded and which barrel is not. This is a major advantage over revolver blasters which have to be loaded in the current or next barrel to fire it off when next primed.

We've determined that the Triad is a multi-shot Jolt styled blaster. Does it perform like an Elite blaster?
Take into account that the Triad I reviewed was a grey trigger one, so of course performance is not as good as a US model.
At first, ranges varied between 9-14m, which is ok, but not really to my liking. After the first 15 shots however, the range begun to stabilise at a consistent 14m or so. Why the Triad needs to 'warm up' is beyond me (likely to lubricate the smart AR system or something), but hey, 14m is very decent, especially for a nerfed Elite blaster.
Accuracy is pretty good, although not as good as other single shots. I think this is partly due to the barrel design, but also partly due to the Elite darts, which are known to be inconsistent.
ROF for the Triad is far better than any other single shot, at around 1-2 darts per second. Sure it's not like an Elite Alpha Trooper or a Retaliator, but consider that past single shots have taken over 2 seconds between shots.
All in all, the Triad is a fantastic blaster. Great performance and a surprisingly high ROF for a mere $8 AUD is an absolute bargain. I highly recommend the Triad, as a backup blaster, and also just for fun. For $8 even if you don't like it (highly unlikely) you haven't lost much, so go and pick one up. Or more, since they're so much fun.

Pros: ROF compared to other single shots, performance is all round good, super cheap
Cons: Still has really low capacity, prime is harder than other single shots

Power: 6/7
Accuracy: 4/5
Value for Money: 5/5
Usability: 5/5
Rate of Fire: 2.5/5
Overall: 4.16/5

Personal Rating: 4/5 - a fantastic and fun blaster which is also really powerful with an OMW 6kg Vulcan spring, but I would have liked a little more accuracy and a better handle.


  1. i have just got it for 3 weeks. I was really impressive. I compared it to my jolt. My Jolt reached 36 ft. flat, 43 ft. angled but my Triad reached 60 ft. flat, 78 ft. angled. I use triad as secondary. I dual wield them.

  2. The only thing I don't like about it is that the air restricters keep pushing the darts out