Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Review: Nerf Dart Tag Quick 16 - Slam and Jam? O.o...

(Link) For this review (born out of jealously, because of Alex’s recent acquiring of the new Elite Retaliator and Rampage) we’ll be returning to the comfy leather reviewing couch (let’s face it, the couch makes for a better background than the floor, plus the camera flash helps :P) to review the Dart Tag Quick 16, one of the most rare blasters to find here in Australia. Thanks to S.O.F.T.’s new (relatively: P) admin Alex, we’ve got our hands on one. :D And now, S.O.F.T. brings you an exclusive review.

Australia, thus far, has never seen an official release for the Quick 16, despite being a highly-sought after blaster. It also never received the blue trigger treatment the other DT blasters have received, so the Quick 16 is the perfect subject for the title of ‘Rare Blaster’. (We’ll explore the Quick 16’s current situation/problem in a later post more thoroughly.) Due to the blaster’s scarce availability, we had to order mine from America, so if you’re after one for yourself, I’ll put a link to the eBay store we used at the end of the review.

In the box, you get the Quick 16, sixteen of the blue DT darts, and instructions. Pretty damn simple, really.

The first thing I liked about the 16 when I first saw it revealed, it was very unique-looking. VERY unique looking. It features the same panel styling and ‘curviness’ as the other DT blasters, but with a built-in ‘banana’ clip, something the fans have been asking for years. Happy to say, you got your wish fans.

All of the detailing from the Swarmfire return for the Quick 16, adding a layer of ‘consistency’ to the range, making them feel like ‘a fully-fledged team’, all with their different roles to play. Just like a real match of Capture the Flag :P

Etchings of the Dart Tag symbol (a target) and all sorts of knobs, marks and paint-job (gills also? O.o) make for some truly EXCELLENT eye-candy. And who doesn’t love that? :P And with the huge engraved ’16’ on the clip, it truly completes what is easily deemed an AWESOME looking blaster.

The perfect way to describe the 16 is that it is the DT cousin of the veteran blaster, the N-Strike Raider CS-35. Gladly, the 16 features the awesome dual-firing modes that made the Raider famous, Single-Fire and Slam-Fire. You could say, it is the ‘aggressive, fast-firing’ blaster of the five, perfect for spamming and ‘quick’ attacks. :P The first time when you use the 16, it feels a little different and unusual, but once you get the general feel of it, it is intuitive and enjoyable.It also feels really comfortable in my big hands, and is lighter than I expected, a little heavier than a Vortex Praxis.

Operation of the Quick 16 is very similar to the Raider, but with a few aspects twisted around. Instead of the classic switching out ‘universal’ clips/drums when you run out that you’re used to with the N-Strike line, the Quick 16’s most prominent feature is the integrated banana-shaped 16-dart clip. Instead of switching out clips, you refill the built-in clip by placing DT darts in the slot, (located in the middle of the blaster) one at a time. Whistlers and Suckies also work with the 16 well, but I recommend sticking with the DT darts. After all, they were made for :P

I particularly like this reloading style (it makes a nice change from reloading clips) and it makes sense to have a built-in clip when playing a Dart Tag match, because mobility is the key, and you can’t afford to be burdened down with your equipment. It’s just you, your blaster, and your skills. It’s pretty intense stuff. :P

The built-in/integrated clip features a system all of its own. Multiple dart ‘sliders’ push the dart into the main blaster unit (the clip I feel, is separate from the blaster) One located at the bottom to keep the darts feeding upwards, and one inside the dart slot area to push the dart into the barrel area when the priming handle is at its MOST-(backwards) position and a door even pops up to cover the slider when preparing to prime. There are a whole load of mechanisms in the blaster, and you wonder how it all works, which lends to the aspect of ‘fresh and unique’. You can reload darts at any time when the priming handle is in the MOST-forward position, primed or un-primed.

The trigger handle area feels very comfortable and smooth, and features a bandolier hook for strapping the 16 onto a belt/sling. If I had one complaint, the trigger is thinner than the other DT blasters, making the trigger digging into my upper finger joint, making it ache after a while.

The jam door features on the right-hand side of the 16, and will only open when the priming handle is slid all the way back. There are a whole lot of mechanisms in there, and space is very limited. In the instance when a jam occurs, you’ll have a fair bit of trouble getting it out.

Now, as you may know, the Quick 16 has a horrid reputation for jamming easily, and this aspect is witnessed by customer reviews on I hate to say, it DOES jam very easily. And I’ll say this now: If you absolutely HATE jams, I recommend you don’t get this blaster. But with my hands-on experience, this ONLY happens when you try to Slam-Fire very quickly. (User error, in a nutshell.) The 16 requires you to be very firm and precise, by sliding the priming handle ALL the way forward, and ALL the way back. This may infuriate some people, but I personally find it very rewarding when you get a good rhythm going. J And that’s all there is to it, loads of practise with the 16 to get the feel of it, in my opinion. Ignore the reviews on Amazon; they obviously don’t accept the blaster for what it is. When it does jam however, it does annoy me that I have to use a wooden spoon to wedge out the bent dart to a place when I can get my fingers on it. It may not be perfect, but it is still excellent. 

Performance wise, it could be worse. Since it hasn’t received the blue trigger treatment (mine was 1st gen, portrayed by the box), it performs a little weaker than the new versions of the Swarmfire and Sharp Shot. But, if you use good-quality darts and use a good rhythm, you’ll get a decent amount of POWER!!! behind it. Accuracy is great, but decreases if you use Slam-Fire. I regard the 16 and Raider as CQC weapons anyway, so the lack of power doesn’t really matter for me.

In conclusion, from my experiences, the DT Quick 16 is great blaster to get your hands on. It may suffer from a few jamming drawbacks, but when you learn how to operate it properly, it makes for a great assault weapon, plus awesome styling to boot. I’m gladly giving the DT Quick 16, 8 out of 10 darts. Quick 16’s are hard to come by and there are also rumours flying around that the 16 might be discontinued, so if you’re a dedicated collector like myself and one pops up cheap, go for it.

S.O.F.T.'s Official Verdict: 8 darts/10 darts
Next, it is Alex’s turn to de-brief us on the new Elite Retaliator and Rampage, and see if they live up to the hype. :D Mr.1835Link OUT!!! (Hope you like the new banner.)

Here is the eBay seller that Alex and I used.

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