NXT Tactical Shotgun – Review!

NXT Tactical Shotgun Review
Vas The Stampede




Fact Sheet:
NXT Tactical Shotgun:
Price: $42.99 at Toys R Us
Range: 20′ (flat, angled = approx. > 30′)
Ages: 5+
Ammo: Foam darts (3 velcro/3 suction) – proprietary, does not match any other brand of dart. Additional ammo packs are available.
Availability: Most major retailers.
Includes: 
Tactical Shotgun x 1
Darts (3 suction type, 3 hook & loop)
Target x 1
 

Sample was provided by the manufacturer, opinions are my own.

A look at the NXT darts – they’re shorter than most other brands.

The push-button breech, load the darts here.

NXT Generation Toys is a company I ran into at New York Toy Fair this year. I’ve seen their products at Toys R Us, but haven’t picked one up before. It was an unfamiliar brand, and I can only budget so much for blasters. But, they were kind enough to send along a sample, so let’s see what I’ve been missing out on.

FIRST OFF: I got a little background on the company, and their aim (is it were) is on target practice, giving parents another avenue to teach their child about hunting and marksmanship. They not only have shotguns, but crossbows, bows patterned after compound bows (a long bow too), and a bit of an old-time element with flintlock pistols and long rifles (see: Frontier Series).

BUT, the intended use for them is – target practice. The tactical shotgun came with a target of its own, but there are others available in the cartoon shape of animals and more traditional archery targets, reinforcing the hunting and outdoor sportsman theme.

Performance:

One of the neatest features about the tactical shotgun was the popout chamber. You push a button, out pops the dart chamber, you put the dart in, prime the shotgun, pull the trigger. It is one of the more unique ways to load a toy. However, this means it is also a single shot, and the chamber is small to accommodate their own ammo, but no other brands.

The NXT Shotgun only hit about 30′ at most with the toy angled, and 20′ flat after a number of shots. Compared to other brands currently, this isn’t something we see nowadays, especially at their price. In this case it might be a question how much you like how it looks.

Aesthetics:

Tactical means tactical. The toy is a solid matte black, with the obligatory orange tip. It feels light, and built so that the intended market (5+) should be able to manipulate the pump, with a little help from an adult (also part of the experience of making target shooting a parent-child experience). The pump does feel pretty solid, though I have to admit the feel of the toy doesn’t seem to be as robust as more recent toys. Again though, this follows with being built so a small child can use it. There’s no questioning what type of firearm this is modeled after though, so yes it can shoot targets but it might also be a good purchase for cosplayers and around Halloween.

The darts – the foam doesn’t match the current feel of other current brands. The foam feels lighter than other dart types, and the tips felt like they could peel off, especially if the dart got caught while pushing the chamber back into the body. 

Ultimately, is it a buy? If you really want that shotgun look and pump-action feel, then go nuts. But the ranges are low compared to what else you can get recently for a similar amount of money. In close quarters this could be fun, but you would be limited to the proprietary ammo which means you’re lacking a lot of flexibility if you intend to go player vs player. As a target shooting game alone, combined with the targets and 20′ of space it could be a fun experience for the young kids to learn how to aim and maybe begin familiarizing themselves with outdoor shooting. Hopefully this helps, and if I’ve missed anything feel free to submit a question or comment below.

Review: JT Splatmaster – z100 & z200! (and a group shootout to boot!)

Splatmaster Playgroup – late 20-early 30 year olds, varying levels of experience with gas-powered paintball

Ah, paintball.  Flinging spheres of paint at 200-300 fps out of CO2 charged markers in games of combat, whether objective or elimination based, it’s a hobby that has had quite the following.  In Illinois, we have a truly unique field, CPX Sports that has a HUGE selection of fields.  And not just inflatables, but some include a full-on town (Bedlam), a burnt out city (Armageddon) and an ancient temple (Jungle of Doom).  What does all this have to do with JT Splatmaster, from JT Paintball?

JT Splatmaster wanted a review, and CPX was willing to let me bring a group over to play and give some feedback on both the JT Splatmaster markers and the field itself.  And on that note, let’s take a look at the markers.  Also available are a bevy of accessories, and you can read more about those HERE

First, the  JT SPLATMASTER Z100 PISTOL($29.99):

With barrel plug inserted; and pullback assistance handle attached.
A look at the magazine (7 shots)

Included:

  • Z100 marker x 1
  • Pullback assist handle x 1
  • Barrel plug x 1
  • Instruction manual x 1 
  • Magazine for the marker x 1 (additional magazines sold separately)

WHAT ABOUT IT?
Right off the bat, I knew this thing wasn’t a toy.  Sure, you had “paintball” things like the old lever-action Supasplats and others like those, but they did not feel NEARLY as solid as the Splatmaster markers.  The outside is a really durable and tough, thick plastic.  At least, I think it’s plastic.  Either way, this thing will take a beating.  There’s a button for a magazine release and  a safety switch (a proper one-touch switch; not the continuous hold like on the BlasterPro line), which adds to the feel, aesthetics, and usage of the marker.

The magazine holds 7shots, and primes by pulling back the side on the top, if you can use a Maverick, you can use this.  It’s definitely longer than a maverick and heavier, but it’s also much easier to holster.  Magazines are going to be sold separately.  I found the pullback assist handle not that easy to attach and it came off when I pulled it, so I just left it off.  Still a lot of fun to shoot though, I just wish I had more mags on-hand.

Next, the JT SPLATMASTER Z200 SHOTGUN ($39.99):

 Included:

  • Z200 marker x 1
  • Barrel plug x 1
  • Cleaning rod x 1
  • Instruction manual x 1

This was the marker we used for the duration of the day.  15 shots, pump-action, and breech loaded (even had a floppy trap door over the breach, nice touch!  It also has a safety switch but no other buttons.  You can see it has tactical rails, as I attached a camera to it.  It’ll accept picatinny mounts, so if you have’em, use’em!  Word has it that additional accessories are in the works, so keep your eye out for them.  Additional accessories such as ammo packs, targets, and safety equipment are all located here.  One recommendation from Hustle paintball is to use the 50 count grenade container to hold spare ammo, and there is a nozzle on that and the 200 paintball container to assist in loading through the breech of the Z200 swiftly.  This too is built incredibly solid, and I just wish it had a stock.  Maybe in a later marker.

GENERAL THOUGHTS:
 These have been chrono’d at 120-130 fps, drastically less than their gas-powered siblings.  Even at that rate though, it is wise to treat these as you would any other paintball marker, including using a full mask and goggles when playing in a player vs player game.  For target practice, you can get away with just using the goggles.  Safety first, and it’s usually a good policy to have eye protection on when playing with any toys that shoot.
That being said, these things were a lot of fun!  The group had limited experience playing paintball, some a handful of times and others not at all.  The general consensus was everyone enjoyed the decrease in pain (I told everyone to layer up as they would playing normal paintball) and the much more limited ammo available.  Instead of a full hopper, you had only the 15 rounds to make it in a round (none of us had extra ammo holders available, although some risked keeping spare ammo in their pockets.  I know, I know >_<)  People could run and charge at each other without getting tagged 5 or 10 times from a hail of paint.  Would we do it again?  Sure!  Will this kill paintball?  No!  It'll get more people interested at least, and this is a bang-up way to introduce them to the sport.  Whether 9 or 29, this is a good thing for people looking to play something a little different without feeling beaten up.  These things definitely stung enough to let you know you got hit, but no worse than getting a bad insect bite.  I've been punched harder than these things put out.

It was definitely nice to try some new strategies rather than just lay out paint, and JT is definitely onto something here.  Hopefully, we’ll see even more new markers next year.  Between the solid build, the fps, and the accuracy (these things definitely hit 50′ in a better cluster than I thought, but 100′ is still a max range, and it’s hard to hit anything then.

Interestingly, no ammo with the markers.  Considering how fussy paint balls can be, I shouldn’t be surprised.  It is much easier to regulate temperature and shipping conditions when you separate the products.  Also, the goggles and masks are sold as separate units, to reinforce that younger players should work their way up to playing Player vs. Player games.  Parents, this would be one way to incentivize proper blaster/marker safety.  They can’t PvP without earning their way up to the mask.  Also, some paintball fields might have these for rent:  rentals are different colored from the markers at retailers to prevent theft.  Rentals pistols are red, while the shotguns are blue.  Vice versa for consumer markers.  This does not mean consumer markers are different, just a different shell but they all perform the same.

On that note, here’s a video of various footage I snagged during that day:

Considering the ranges and power these things do have, it’s definitely better to keep the play to the backyard.  You don’t have to worry about accidentally hitting someone unexpectedly which again, safety first.  Definitely nice not having to pick up ammo after myself for once, but it definitely pays to play in a proper field, with ammo that washes away/disintegrates.  Worth giving a try!

Ah well.  Questions?   Comments?  Feel free to post below or write: foamfromabove_AT_G_MaIL-DOT-COM