A New Kind of Post: In Which I Review and Upgrade the Nerf Zombie Strike Doublestrike

Sometimes things do not turn out to be as good as you had expected. However, that doesn’t mean things can not be fixed. Let me give you an example.

In the Box

I received these in a package from Amazon last week. I have been looking forward to both of these blasters since I first came across the toy fair previews of them. I’ve had a plan for that Zombie Strike Slingfire since day one. Its an ambitious prop build that I’ll cover at a later date. For now, lets focus on the Doublestrike.

If you read my last post, then you know how fond I am of the Nerf Zombie Strike Hammershot, with its one hand priming mechanism and crisp trigger pull. I was expecting the Doublestrike to be, essentially, a scaled down, two shot version of the Hammershot. This is, sadly, not the case. Due to its design there are three short comings to the blaster. 

The first of these short comings is the low range that many reviewers have complained about.

DoubleStrike Internals

Behold, the anatomy of a Doubleshot. It is, in essence, the amalgamation of two of Hasbro’s most innovative design elements, the hammer priming mechanism and the “smart” air restrictor. At first glance, this seems like a great idea, but the execution leaves something to be desired.

We have seen the hammer priming mechanism used, to great effect, in the Hammershot. However, its design inherently limits the draw length of the plunger. The small form factor of the Doublestrike also limits the plunger tube diameter. So we are working with a very limited air volume.

We have seen the, so called, “smart” air restrictors used in blasters like the Elite Triad and the Rough Cut 2×4. The system is essentially a series of two or more mechanical valves that direct the flow of air to the first available barrel that has a dart in it. Though ingenious in its design, the “smart” air restrictor used in the Doublestrike creates a lot of “dead space.” “Dead space” is any area within the plunger/barrel assembly that is not evacuated of air when the plunger is driven home. These gaps slow down the escaping compressed air, resulting in less energy transfer to the dart.

This combination of low air volume and “dead space” is what I believe results in the lower ranges of the Doublestrike blaster. That said, 35-45 feet is not too bad for a blaster that fits in your pocket, and holds two shots.

The second short coming was the trigger pull. I realize that this is not an issue for most Nerfers, but I like a clean trigger pull. It feels better, and helps maintain accuracy. The Doublestrikes trigger pull is “spongy.” I don’t know how else to describe it. There seems to be a lot of play in the trigger movement. I believe this to be caused by the flexibility of the trigger itself and the friction between the trigger and the catch.

Finally, the third, and most frustrating flaw is the spacing of the hammer slot. The slot in the shell allows the hammer to be drawn back a good 1/2 inch past its catch point. This, coupled with the play in the catch/trigger assembly results in the plunger jumping forward a fraction of an inch when the hammer is released. This had the unfortunate effect of “spitting” the first dart out of the barrel before I could pull the trigger. At first, I thought it was a fluke, but it happened again and again, even when I was being very careful not to over draw the hammer. It may just be my blaster, but it strikes me as a serious design flaw when a Nerf blaster is “going off prematurely.”

Now that we have stated the problems, let me show you my solutions.

Range: Okay, so, I didn’t really solve this problem. Like I said, 35-45 feet is respectable for a pocket size blaster. Short of making it a single barrel blaster or swapping out the spring, I don’t see a way to increase range. I chose not to go with either, and accept the blasters limitations in this regard.

Trigger Pull:

Reworked Catch

I sanded down the catch where it engages the trigger. While I was unable to make it quite as crisp as the Hammershot, it is now far less “spoungy.” A little silicon grease should make it even smoother.

Dart Spitting:

Tools of the Trade

I used the tools and materials pictured above (a ruler, a utility blade, a screwdriver, painters tape, 1/8″ ABS plastic sheet, and one of those ipod plastic prying tool things).I also used a pencil and some plastic epoxy (not pictured). I used the screwdriver to remove the screws (all 7 of them), and I used the ipod tool to gently pry the shell apart.

ABS Bit

I estimated the size of the spacer that I would need, then used the tape, ruler, and pencil to map the cuts out on the ABS. I used the utility blade to cut out this 1/2″x1/2″ square.

ABS Bit and Epoxy

After test fitting the spacer, I realized that it was too big. I cut it down a bit, and mixed up some plastic epoxy.

ABS Bit Glued in place

Then I glued it into place.

ABS Bit sanded down

After another test fit I realized it was still not the right size, so I sanded it down with an emery board.

ABS Bit seen through the crack

Here is the finished spacer installed in the reassembled blaster. The spacer design could use a bit of refining, but it solves the dart spitting issue. My Doublestrike is now much closer to what it should have been.

Holster

As a last little “tidbit,” the Doublestrike fits into the Sweet Revenge holster rather nicely. Just be sure that the tactical rail lines up with the slot in the holster.

I hope this helps any of you trying to get the most out of the Doublestrike. Thanks for reading. See you next week.

 

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4 responses to “A New Kind of Post: In Which I Review and Upgrade the Nerf Zombie Strike Doublestrike

  1. hello!,I like your writing so much! proportion we keep in touch more approximately your article on AOL? I require an expert in this area to solve my problem. May be that’s you! Looking forward to peer you.

  2. I found that inserting a short length of 17/32″ brass tubing in the barrels also resolves the issue of darts being spit out by the extra action in the hammer pull.

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