I first saw the Nerf N-Strike Elite Hailfire earlier this summer, at the big ol’ Nerf launch party and I finally got my sample! (Thanks Nerf!)
And, we’re back! As you can see, I’ve put up some photos of the Nerf N-Strike Elite Hailfire. At max capacity it can load up to 144 darts at once, using 8 18 round straight mags. I’ve also included some shots of different combos of mags and accessories, just for fun. So, how did I like it?
My play style on the field is pretty haphazard, so something like this so ridiculous plays into it very well. Whether you’re using 4 35 round drums or the 18 round mags, you’re looking at a new futuristic side table :). Basically, this thing is a “heavy weapon” and it should be used as such. You stalk with it, you walk with it, if we learned anything from the Nerf N-Strike Vulcan you aren’t supposed to run with it, especially at full capacity. When using smaller mags, sure it handles better but you’re not supposed to be very mobile using something this big. A strap helps, but run and gun this thing is not at 144 darts. You’re not going prone with it, as the thing demands you stand there tall and proud, to lay down the foam.
Now, my thinking about taking this out to a Nerf war with stock blasters – I’m not going to really be using much else. I barely use 144 darts when using a Stampede during a round of CTF or Freeze Tag; I’m going to check my fire to cut down on reloading between rounds, and I might even just use one mag per round. To me, that’s at least 8 games I’m going play without having to swap all my mags. Victory favors preparation; if I’m going to use the Hailfire, I’m going to have a mess of preloaded mags in my gear, and on top of that I’m going to make sure I use one or two per game. It’ll cut down on reloading between rounds, much less relying on reloading on the fly. I’ve done this with a Stampede, Alpha Trooper, and a Rayven. It’s a system I can make work for the Hailfire too. And yes, once I’m out, I’m out. Unless it’s during a lunch break, you won’t catch me reloading all 8 mags all over again.
As for the blaster, it’s fun! Who doesn’t want to unload all that foam? When using the handle, it’s a tactile experience of being a big bad walking turret. I liken it to using a smart gun from “Aliens,” minus the swivel arm. The trigger pull is solid, the flywheels rev loud and proud (seriously, with something like this are honestly telling me you want to play it silent?) and the transparent door is a nice touch (Hey Rogue!)
Using the Hailfire is easy enough- the handle on the top rotates the ammo rack, which accomodates N-Strike mags/drums, however you combo them is up to you. You pull the accelerator trigger on the handle, and the main trigger moves the pusher arm that feeds darts into the flywheels. The ranges I was getting were somewhere in the 50s-70s, whether flat or angled, video to follow. I didn’t run into trouble with streamlines like I did with the Nerf Barricade, so bonus points for that.
Otherwise, it’s about $40 for this bad boy, and with that you get 4 6-round mags, the Hailfire, and 24 darts. Why so few? At this point, my guess is that the assumption is you already own a few 18 round mags after owning the Stampede, and wanted to keep the initial cost of the Hailfire down, while 18 round mags and a Hailfire upgrade kit separately. Personally, I bought a large number of longshots once upon a time, and it ended with me having a surplus of small 6 round mags.
Either way, it might seem like a big cost but I sometimes just want to unleash a cloud of foam at people. On days I don’t want to use my Nerf Vortex Pyragon, the Nerf N-Strike Elite Hailfire gives me a dart shooting option. It’s reliable, it’s intimidating looking (as far as Nerf blasters can look intimidating) and I had a good amount of fun trying it out. And that’s the important thing, isn’t it? The fun? You can dress up your reasons for having something “War-worthy” or “Useful” but hang it all, this thing is decadent, it’s overkill, and some days you feel like a nut. Have one of those days.
OH SO YOU WANT VIDEOS, HUH? NERF N-STRIKE ELITE HAILFIRE VIDEOS???
annnnd maybe you remember this one?