Alpha Trooper. These two words are highly prized in the Nerfing community, due to a very good reason: It's great. Not 'great' great, but 'excellent' great. Have I lost you? :P Time for a bit of background. The Alpha Trooper was released in Australia way back in late 2010, alongside the Barrel Break and Spectre. I like to refer to these three blasters as 'The 2010 Trio'. A mix of the Recon and Raider, with a fancy new eighteen-dart drum.
|Angle crazy, I am :P|
The first impressions of the Trooper :P is that it's very compact and lightweight, when you pick it up and start feeling it. It's about the same size as a Raider (minus the stock) but a lot more streamlined and thinner. The clip is fed at the bottom rather than the side, which was a great decision in my opinion (more on that later) and it does have a bit of oomph behind it, like all the new N-Strike blasters have.
In the box, you get the mightly Alpha, one eighteen-dart drum, eighteen clip-system darts and instructions. The box is up in the attic, along with the other N-Strike boxes :(
First up, I'll describe how the Alpha works. It's one of the most-highly coveted blasters in the current N-Strike range, due to it's highly praised firing ranges and method. The Alpha features TWO firing modes: Single-Fire, and Slam-Fire, where the most fun is to be had with this blaster. To single fire, slide the priming handle to the back position (the gray slider located on the barrel) load in your clip with ammo and insert it into the bottom until it clicks, slide the handle to the most forward postion, then press down on the trigger to fire a single dart. To Slam-Fire, all that is required is to constantly press down on the trigger, and quickly slide the handle back and forth to fire a constant stream of foam fury.
The clip release button is located just near the trigger, and you have to pull down on the clip/drum as well to release it.
If a jam occurs, there is slide-back hatch located on the top, accessed when the priming handle is slid back as far as it can go. In my experiences with the Alpha, it only jams when the operator doesn't slide the handle back and forth as far as it can go. Just a friendly tip :P
|Where all the magic happens :P|
|Tiny, but DANGEROUS :D|
Okay, now onto the awesome drum. One word can describe it: Cute :P It's very tiny and compared to the Raider drum. The most important aspect, for me of the drum is the size. The Raider drum is a bit too big for my liked, so I instantly liked this little ripper. You don't want a fat, bulky drum getting in the way of your arms :P If I had one complaint, it runs out of ammo too easily. but, this complaint is soon forgotten. Remember, this is a clip-fed blaster, so it can be easily replaced. It's also been observed by many that straight clips work better than drums. (Excellent consumer advice, we give :P)
The Alpha, has one main Tactical Rail located on the top-back area of the blaster, and it features a stock attachment butt-thing. :P Any N-Strike/Vortex stock can fit onto this with ease. May I suggest the yellow Raider stock that came in a special value Barricade pack? Sturdy, and colour matching to boot :P Alpha is compatible with ALL N-Strike clips.
|We've decided to use Mavericks as our standard unit of measurement :P|
If I had to come to a conclusion, the Alpha Trooper is a must-buy, for any newcomers to the Squadron and the world of Nerf. It's a lightweight, easy to use Slam-Firing beast and an excellent assault blaster. Only niggle is the limtied capacity, but it's easily solved. Alpha's are going around Target Australia as a exclusive for $20 - $30, so go out, pick one up, and LOVE it.
S.O.F.T.'s Official Rating: 10 darts/10 darts (WOW!!!)
Next up, it's a practical, unique blaster that even surprised me by just how fun it is, the Barrel Break IX-2. Thanks for reading! :D