Southern Brisbane Nerf Club

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Nerf N-Strike Rayven CS-18 review

Before the Rayven, there was the Firefly. A bullpup design blaster that had an 8 dart cylinder in it made of clear plastic to allow light through to "charge" the glow-in-the-dark suction-cap darts. Fast forward a few years and the Firefly blaster name has been dropped, but as a "tech" it continues in the Rayven.

The Rayven is a semi-auto clip/magazine fed blaster using fly-wheels to launch the darts out of he barrel. It is a comfy blaster to hold and the trigger squeeze is smooth and doesn't require a lot of strength to pull. The bullpup design from the Firefly REV-8 carries on to this blaster but it is no longer a revolver nor does it use a plunger.

It uses 4 AA sized batteries to power-up a pair of fly-wheels that are mounted in the middle of the blaster, meaning there is a fairly long barrel for the darts to travel through before they exit the blaster. This could cause what is known as "barrel drag". The motors driving the fly-wheels are pretty quiet, more quiet than the Barricade RV-10. This blaster has 2 triggers, one that will push the darts into the fly-wheels and another that turns the fly-wheels on. So unlike the Barricade, the motors will just as easily be activated by lefties as it is for righties. However some don't like the "rev trigger", but I quite like the idea.

The Raven comes with an 18 dart Firefly Tech clip that takes 3 AA batteries on it's own, this is to power 4 LEDs inside the clip that "charge" the glow-darts. However it will only charge the top dart. Once the blaster is fully loaded with darts, clip and batteries, it is very unbalanced. There is a lot of weight behind the hand and this makes the blaster want to tilt upward.

I'm not a fan of the colour and I'm glad they changed it in the Elite version. The colour can be best described as "alien vomit" green. I'm not too fond of the clip's colour as well, it's a combination of grey and brown. Oddly, the bottom corners of the clip are rubberised.

The Rayven has one more downside, that being the range. It struggled to attain the N-Strike range of 35 feet and a couple darts spun out of control and dropped at 4 metres (12 feet). This is a comfy blaster to hold and I like how quiet the motors are, but it is unbalanced and not a very good colour.

1. bullpup design
2. glow darts
3. comfy
4. semi-auto clip-fed
5. quiet motors
6. rev-up trigger (allows easy motor activation for lefties and righties)

1. poor balance
2. poor performance
3. poor colours
4. long internal barrel
5. too many locks

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