Monday, 11 May 2015

N-Strike vs Elite Round 6: Elite Strongarm vs N-Strike Maverick REV-6

The Strongarm and Maverick are both staples of their respective lines. Both are the quintessential 6-shot revolver that's easy to use and very cheap. Which one is better?
I do realise that in the scheme of things this comparison is pretty late, but I really want to keep up the Elite vs N-Strike comparison records.

Aesthetics: The Maverick takes after classic revolver styling. It's big, it's brash, it looks cool, and is a staple in aesthetic modding. It's almost impossible to look around Nerf aesthetic modding without seeing some Mavericks. The Strongarm on the other hand has a much sleeker, slightly thinner, overall more modern design. Both have very distinct styles, and so like every other aesthetics round I'm not awarding points.
Accessories: Both blasters come with themselves and 6 darts (Strongarm has Elites, Mav has Suctions, though the double pack has Whistlers). It's a draw here.
Range/Power: The Maverick, being an N-Strike blaster, has a poor range of about 8-9m, not helped by the unaerodynamic Suctions. Use of Whistlers bumps the range up to maybe 10-11m. The Strongarm, though a little inconsistent with Elites, easily breaks the 12m mark, even with a grey trigger.
The Strongarm wins naturally.
Accuracy: Thanks to the Suctions/Whistlers it comes with, the Maverick is surprisingly accurate, though the Whistlers do veer a little bit. Most darts will easily fly straight through the usual doorway at 7-8m. The same cannot be said about the Strongarm, primarily due to the Elite darts. While a few darts do fly straight through the doorway, most veer off, whether hitting the doorframe or just flying away.
The Mav wins this round.
Usability: Both blasters have issues, though the Mav's are far more prominent.
The Maverick has a horrible rotation mech. It's directly linked to the trigger, and so the trigger pull directly determines how good of a rotation you will get. Too slow and the plunger will fire too early, resulting in a weak shot. Too fast and you risk the cylinder not rotating at all. Basically if you don't pull the trigger at the perfect speed, you'll get a weaker shot, totally misfire or just not rotate properly.
This gets even worse as the Mav gets older, as the rotation mech gets worn down and so rotation becomes less and less reliable.
The Strongarm is known to over time get worn down in such a way that it slowly begins to fail rotating. I've seen this occur to one of META's Strongarms, though that one was already like that since it was second hand. Besides that, all of META's main use Strongarms still work perfectly despite the abuse they've gone through, however I have read a number of cases (more than most one-off issues) of Strongarms failing to rotate. Rotating after firing has greatly improved the Strongarm's consistency over the Mav, as it removes the variability of the trigger pull from the equation. It also almost totally removes any misfires or misrotations.
The Strongarm's issue is less severe than the Mav's, and on top of that doesn't have as many issues as the Mav does.
Strongarm wins of course.
Rate of Fire: The Maverick is limited to about 2-3dps before you start getting misfires and misrotations. The instability of the rotating mech really lets it down here.
The Strongarm, thanks to slam-fire, can pump out its 6 darts in about a second if you really push it.
The Strongarm wins naturally.
Capacity: Both blasters have 6 dart cylinders so this round is a draw too.
Value for Money: Both blasters were available for similar price ranges, 10AUD outside of sales is about the best you could get. The Strongarm however performs much better out of box and has far fewer issues than the Mav, so it's a much better purchase, and so wins this round.

The Strongarm has won 4 rounds, the Maverick 1, with 2 draws. And the Maverick's sole round was entirely dependent on the darts included, if you gave the Strongarm the same ammo you'd probably get similar spread patterns. Therefore I declare the Strongarm to be the unambiguously superior blaster. The Maverick has no practical place in the Nerf world any more, it's value is purely aesthetic, nostalgic or for collection (and even then, only the special colourings).

After this sixth round of N-Strike vs Elite, the score is:
Elite: 4.5 -- N-Strike: 1.5 

I should have a new review up in the next week if I don't get swamped by some surprise assignments and tests.


  1. I knew which Blaster was going to win before I read the article, however I just wanna say that the Maverick grip is so much more ergonomic IMO.

    1. Funnily enough I personally prefer the Strongarm's grip, the Mav's grip is spaced out too far apart for me to grip comfortably.

  2. I've had a bad experience with the Strongarm because were the slide hooks into the plunger the plastics worn away and I can't load it without it slam firing before the plunger is back all the way.
    My Maverick has lasted 9 years so far but thats without heavy use.