Saturday, 1 August 2015

Review: Nerf Zombie Strike Doublestrike (grey trigger Aus)

The Doublestrike is one of Zombie Strike's more unique/better looking releases, seemingly being a shrunken down version of the highly acclaimed Hammershot, sporting an awesome Derringer style design. Can it live up to the Hammershot's acclaim?

The box is pretty standard open style Zombie Strike, with a couple of paper ties and the neat hand-sketched-like images on the back, as with all other ZS.
What you get out of the box, just the Doublestrike and two darts.
The Doublestrike is quite a compact and good looking blaster, sporting a Derringer style look, the ZS-style faux tape around the handle and the hammer prime from the Hammershot.
The Doublestrike (as its name implies) is a two shot blaster, using a Smart AR block to switch between the two. This allows it to not have to faff around with for instance rotation mechs, which would have greatly increased the Doublestrike's bulk.
The Doublestrike has a single measly tac rail on top. Pretty useless really.
Here's the handle and trigger. Note the two curves in front of the trigger. They fit my fingers quite nicely, but given the Doublestrike is a pistol sized/sidearm blaster, you're probably not going to be holding the Doublestrike with your off hand under the barrel, if at all.
The Doublestrike has a sufficiently large handle, and could have been a pretty comfortable one, if not for the hook at the bottom. The hook prevents your pinkie from fitting onto the handle, forcing your fingers to squish up in the small gap, which is rather uncomfortable.
The Doublestrike is hammer primed like the Hammershot, using what appears to be simply a scaled down hammer and curve from the hammershot. I find the hammer quite easy to reach and pull with my thump, though that could be from experience using Sweet Revenges so much.
Here's the hammer in primed position, pretty much the same as the Hammershot. I find that you have to take your hand off the handle to get the hammer into this position easily and comfortably, but coming from dual wielding Sweet Revenges, I'm used to the hand motions required for single-handing hammer blasters.
However the Doublestrike has a problem not present in the Hammershot design. As seen here, the hammer can actuall travel a couple of millimetres below the catch point, resulting in a big problem, as demonstrated perfectly by this Blasterlabs GIF.
As clearly shown, if the Doublestrike is overprimed and released, it may spit out the top dart, resulting in a halved effective ammo capacity of just 1, at which point you might as well just use a standard single shot blaster. This issue appears to be present only in orange trigger models, and possibly only early orange trigger models, as my grey trigger model has not experienced this issue even with deliberate overpriming.
I believe the overprime also contributes to another known issue, which was Doublestrike catch destruction. Again this is an issue that is only documented for early orange trigger models, and is due to the catch being part of the trigger piece (like the Hammershot), but due to the size of the Doublestrike it is very small. I believe that the overpriming causes the hammer to whack into the catch with a lot of force, which over time weakens and eventually breaks the catch. I only know of this occuring to early orange trigger models, so it's possible that grey trigger and late orange trigger models have been reinforced or have been altered to avoid the dart spitting and catch breaking issues.
 Here's the Doublestrike with just the bottom dart loaded.

Here's the Doublestrike next to its hammer prime brethren, the Sweet Revenge. If I had a Hammershot on hand I would have pictured that instead. Note the hammer areas, particularly the shape of the hammers and the length of the hammer draw.

While I didn't manage to hold the blasters perfectly aligned, this picture is still a good comparison. The Doublestrike's hammer area is closer to the handle than the Sweet Revenges, and is also a little shorter.
Both hammers in primed position. While it could be just due to perspective, from these pictures the Doublestrike appears to have a thicker, more hooked hammer. I personally find the Doublestrike hammer easier to prime as I find it easier to grab with my thumb.
Amusingly the Doublestrike fits in the Sweet Revenge's holster if you slide it into the tac rail slot, though naturally it's very loose so really not worth doing.
So how does the Doublestrike perform then, can it live up to the Hammershot's legacy? Sadly, no.
Range is rather poor, on par with lower end N-Strike instead of Elite. The Doublestrike will typically hit 8-9m ranges, with some darts diving into the ground at <7m and some soaring to potentially 11+m.
Accuracy is also fairly poor, like all other Elite-era Nerf blasters partly due to the terrible aerodynamics and balance of the Elite style dart. Nevertheless, at the 8-9m doorway accuracy test I could only get about 20% of darts through the door way, the rest either diving or swerving away.
ROF is pretty hard to measure, being that it's how long it takes you to draw the hammer, and you only have two shots. I'd say that single handed you could prime in a little under a second, though again with only two shots ROF is hard to measure.

Is the Doublestrike worth a look?
Well aesthetically it's awesome, no denying that. So if you're looking for a good looking Derringer-like piece to paint up that can also fire, then the Doublestrike is certainly an option.
If you're looking for a fun blaster to fool around with then the Doublestrike certainly is an option, it offers hammer priming in a compact, awesome looking form. However it is also outperformed by most Nerf blasters currently on the market, and has an unusually high price. So your money may be better spent on a cheaper blaster (such as a basic Strongarm or Triad), or spend a little more for a much bigger and better blaster (such as a Stryfe if you can find it, or perhaps a Cycloneshock, which people seem to love).
If you're looking for a sidearm/backup blaster, then the Doublestrike is an option, however as I determined in my Doublestrike-Triad comparison, the Triad is almost totally superior at that role.

The Doublestrike retails for an unusually high 15AUD from the usually cheap Kmart, where Strongarms are 10AUD, Triads are 8AUD and the Flipfury/Cycloneshock/Stryfe are 25AUD. Considering that you can get Triads for half the price, I would give the Doublestrike a miss unless you're dead set on getting one. And if you are dead set on getting one, you should probably wait for a sale or get one second hand. Though rare, I have seen Doublestrikes drop to 10AUD, which makes them a little more reasonable but still quite overpriced. I personally regret buying the Doublestrike for 15AUD, it really isn't worth that much and doesn't perform to standard.

Pros: Looks awesome, hammer action on a compact blaster
Cons: Pretty much everything else - poor performance, uncomfortable, expensive

Power: 3/7
Accuracy: 1.5/5
Value for Money: 2/5
Usability: 3/5
Rate of Fire: 1.5/5
Overall: 2.03/5

Personal Rating: 1.5/5 - while it looks awesome and is fun to use, the handle is uncomfortable and performance is terrible. Couple that with an obnoxiously high 15AUD pricetag and the Doublestrike is a don't buy from me. Get a Hammershot instead.

1 comment:

  1. The Triad seems to have started being phased out from Kmart. The Firestrike is currently at $9 not on sale and I've seen it at $5 on sale. Both of these blastters are certainly better choices overall than the Doublestrike, but the Doublestrike has an advantage often forgotten: It's ability to holster comfortably in small pockets or (in my case) duct-board holsters. It's a fun little thing to use, even considering it's performance, and the real reason to buy one is to muck around with it or for a convient and easily holstered last stand blaster.

    In casual HvZ and Team Deathmatch games, I often find myself relying on the little guy once I've run through my clips for my Longshot and I don't have time to reload my Strongarm.

    Is it worth $15? That's an obvious NOPE!
    Is it worth using? Depends on what you plan on using it for...

    There are certainly better options out there (eg. Stryfe, Strongarm, Firestrike, Triad) but the Doublestrike fil the niches role of being a last stand shooter in a way that no other blaster can. Quick to draw, easy to conceal, and has is pretty easy to use for larger hands if a little uncomfortable.