Thursday, 17 July 2014

N-Strike vs Elite Round 5: Elite Rapidstrike CS-18 vs N-Strike Stampede ECS

Today's comparison post will be of Nerf's two full-auto clip (mag) system blasters. Hopefully this will keep you guys occupied until I get my Rapidstrike review done.

Aesthetics: The Rapidstrike is only a few centimetres shorter than the Stampede, but the difference in designs makes them appear quite different. The Rapidstrike resembles an assault rifle type blaster with the stock extended, and a carbine-y thing with the stock retracted. In comparison, the Stampede resembles a light machine gun, especially in its full set of attachments. Both blasters look great in their own way.
Accessories: The Rapidstrike comes with itself, an 18 clip (mag) and 18 Elite darts.
The Stampede comes with itself, 3 18 dart clips (mags), a 6 dart clip (mag), a "Blast Shield" attachment, and a foregrip/bipod attachment, as well as 60 Streamline darts.
I think it's quite obvious which blaster wins.
Range/Power: The grey trigger Rapidstrike gets about 10m average true flat. It's ranges aren't particularly consistent, but the average is 10m so that's what I'm giving as the range. Stampedes get less than 9m ranges, at least mine did. I've heard reports of stock Stampedes getting over 35 feet ranges, but I'm certainly not getting that.
The Rapidstrike wins by a bit.
Accuracy: Both blasters have pretty awful accuracy. When you have accuracy that bad, it's pretty hard to say which is better, so I'm just gonna say that they're both awful and so this round is a draw.
Usability: Usability is probably the most interesting section here. Let's start of with the Rapidstrike.
The Rapidstrike uses 4 C batteries, which is lighter than the Stampede's 6 D batteries. Additionally, the Rapidstrike has a more ergonomic front grip (without any attachments). Because of its overall lower profile and retractable stock, I find the Rapidstrike a little easier to handle. The retractable stock is useful for storage too. The Rapidstrike's translucent jam door is pretty cool. However, as a flywheel blaster, the Rapidstrike suffers from having fire delay, in which you have to first rev up the Rapidstrike before you can fire with any reasonable range. The Rapidstrike's biggest problem in the Usability area is a particular jam known in some circles as the "Vigilante Malfunction". In this particular jam, the dart being pushed into the flywheels is stopped by the rubber skirt just in front of the flywheels. In this particular jam position, the dart pusher does not touch the dart at all, but the dart is just out of reach of the flywheels. This usually results in an awkward situation where you are pulling both triggers, and making a lot of noise, but nothing is happening. Even worse, I have both a Rayven and Stryfe, and I have not experienced this jam with either of those blasters so there really is no excuse for Nerf to have not solved this jam.
On the other hand, the Stampede has a much larger jam door opening, and the clear window on the right allows you to look into the firing mech without having to open the jam door. Though the Stampede does have wind up fire delay, this fire delay isn't as long as revving up the Rapidstrike to fire off a first shot. The Stampede's main usability issue is that being a breeched clip (mag) system blaster, it is susceptible to the "regular" type of jam, in which a dart usually gets squished and mangled. It seems to happen more than my Alpha Troopers, but maybe that's just my darts. This sort of dart mangling doesn't occur with the Rapidstrike, but both blasters can jam just the same.
Because the Rapidstrike is slightly easier to handle due to its lower weight, and both blasters have some jam issues, I'm handing this round to the Rapidstrike.
Rate of Fire: The Rapidstrike running off 4 C batteries gets a ROF of at its peak, around 3.5dps.
The Stampede only gets up to a little under 3dps running off its 6 D batteries.
Naturally the Rapidstrike wins.
Capacity: The Rapidstrike comes with a single 18 clip (mag), for a capacity of 18.
The Stampede comes with 3 18 clips (mags) and a 6 clip (mag), giving a total out-of-box capacity of 60.
Stampede wins this round, obviously.
Value for Money: The Rapidstrike is currently available for 60+AUD outside of sales, and as little as 40AUD during sales. The Stampede was available for at its cheapest, 60AUD outside of sales at Kmart, and usually 100+ everywhere else. Seeing as their non-sale prices are the same at their cheapest, the Stampede comes with so much more stuff, and the Rapidstrike's performance isn't that much better, I'm giving this round to the Stampede.

Overall, the Rapidstrike has won 3 rounds, the Stampede 3 rounds with one draw. Therefore this round is a draw. However, the Rapidstrike is clearly the superior performing blaster, as its wins are the the performance rounds. On the other hand, the Stampede is a much better "booster pack" for your other clip (mag) system blasters as it includes more clips (mags) and attachments.

After this fifth round of N-Strike vs Elite, the score is:
Elite: 3.5 -- N-Strike: 1.5


  1. Rapidstrike vs Stryfe

    1. I have a grey trigger Rapidstrike and an orange trigger Stryfe, so I can't do that, sorry. Maybe if I get another Stryfe, or use someone else's.

  2. I think you are forgetting that the stampede is 8 years old now and the rapid strike is still in production I could get those ranges with no start up or annoying whine from fly wheels and my darts lasted a little longer but I agree now stock go rapid strike but back in the day if released side by side they would be pretty even... I'm looking at modding both with similar up grades to voltage and such but I have had the dream of integrating to make a full auto L.S. love that shell but that fire rate not so much....

    1. *6 years old, Stampedes came out in 2010. Stampedes also have a tendency to bite chunks out of the back of darts, and Stampede jams do far more damage to the dart. You're also forgetting the significant fire delay that the Stampede has, which though not as long as a stock flywheeler, is still very significant. Even an upgraded Stampede's fire delay is still significant, and when compared to a properly modded flywheeler, is much longer than the time to spool up a good flywheeler.
      Not to mention a stock orange trigger Rapidstrike completely blows a stock Stampede out of the water.

  3. Curious, what are ergonomics?

    1. "Ergonomics" in this context describes how comfortable the blaster is to handle and use.

  4. the rapidstrike is one of my favorite blasters. butt the stampede sucks soo bad it james it's slow fireing IT'S 50 BUCKS and comes with a stupid bipod. so f*** you hasbro take that!!!