[Alex] Hey all, just a quick update that I finally for my hands on an N-Strike Elite Crossbolt blaster, which only just hit some Tasmanian stores a couple of days ago :D this one was found at New Town K-Mart for $39.
Cutting straight to the chase with my thoughts on the Crossbolt so far:
+ BULLPUP!!! :D
+ Thin profile and lightweight
+ *Proper* String action firing (none of that Crossfire Bow "string is for aesthetics only" nonsense)
+ *Can* shoot quite far and accurately out of the box, even with regular Elite darts :o
+ Dead simple to do basic mods for a bit more power / aesthetics
- Jams. Not badly and not often, but can be frustrating to un-jam due to the internal loading design
- The priming handle is a little rough to grab and prime due to its shape. You do get used to it though
- Short in length. Although being thin is great, the overall length is odd. Particularly that the shoulder stock is not really existent... and here I thought the Rayven was bad @_@
- The trigger feels crunchy. Due to the double-catch design (one for the trigger, one for the string) when you fully press the trigger back, it feels like it *clicks* into the wrong place and feels awkward
I have also heard from other Crossbolt owners that the magazines have a tendency to drop out, particularly when shouldering the blaster and accidentally pressing the mag release button in. I have not had this issue at all, though I can see how it can happen.
For modding I have done the following:
> Not attached the bow arms
> Removed *all* the internal locks (not required, but helps with smoother operation)
> Tightened the string (through where the bow arms would have connected
When I've had more time to play with it and taken it to a couple of Nerf Wars, I'll revisit how to tighten and mount the bungee cord string. But for now this is a pic of how I currently have string tied:
Just a double-knot which holds tight enough that it won't come loose easily, but allows me to untie it if I need to make adjustments / open it up for modding again.
I had it looped through the hole where the bow arms normally go and *underneath* the faux barrel that passes through it:
*Edit* I've had a couple of people mention that other modders have tied the string either in the middle or up higher, rather than down below. From what I tinkered with it doesn't matter *too* much where it's tied off, as long as its within that relative area. Whats more important is NOT having the string TOO tight (see below):
PRO TIP: *DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN THE BUNGEE CORD!* This might sounds counter productive for a mod designed to improve power and distance of fired darts, but hear me out:
You need to find the sweet spot where the cord is nice and firm when un-primed, yet nice and taut when primed. It needs to be smooth and easy to prime without putting too much force into making the string catch.
If you tighten the string too much, you will end up with misfires galore, plus you just wreck the back of your darts - either by indenting them or even splitting them! I also found that while the string was too strong, it was more likely to just snap *underneath* the dart, rather than pushing it out.
Nevertheless, once I found the sweet spot for the string to be tied off at, I can now almost consistently get 10 out of 12 darts to fire straight at 50 ft flat-ish (give or take 5 degrees) and often the remaining two will either go 45 ft at worst, or 55ft at best (these are only rough guestimates). Angled was pretty consistent too.
Now for internal mods, you don't *need* to do this, but I wanted to make the priming process smoother, so I decided to take out all unnecessary locks:
The green circled lock is for the front jam door; while the jam door is open, you cannot prime the blaster while this lock is there. You do *not* need to open up the internals assembly to remove this piece.
The yellow circled locks are the magazine and dart detection locks - you cannot prime or fire the blaster if you do not have a magazine loaded, or if your magazine is empty. You do *not* need to open up the internals assembly to remove these pieces.
The blue circled lock I believe are to make sure you can't fire it when the string is either mid-prime, or hasn't returned all the way back to its resting position after firing. I found the latter reason annoying so I took these out. You *do* need to open up the internals assembly to remove these pieces.
The red circled lock is probably the most important one for me to remove: the priming handle lock. This prevents you from pulling back the priming handle once the blaster is already primed. For me this is essential to remove since it allows me to either de-prime, or helps clear jamds easier. You *do* need to open up the internals assembly to remove these pieces.
Now, I haven't taken a photo of the internal assembly where all the parts go or where these locks come out -- I'll get around to it when I re-open the Crossbolt (or when I mod Tom's) -- this was just a quick after thought to take these pics for a mod guide.
PROTIP: Always use fresh darts. The bungee string can wear out the back of your darts pretty quick when its tightened up. Try not to use the same darts over and over in a short space of time - give them time to breathe :P
Overall this is a fun blaster to use; small, quick, good power out of the box and best of all; BULLPUP :D
Sure, it isn't the most powerful blaster out there, but this thing will do a fantastic job at indoor or stock blaster Nerf Wars. Plus the shoulder stock area needs a bit of fleshing out for those who want to shoulder it like a crossbow or rifle - but I can imagine the cosmetic, shell and integration mods for this are going to go off given a few months :P
As always; thank you all for reading, I hope you find this post helpful / informative either if you are deciding to grab a Crossbolt for yourself, or if you have one that you're thinking of modding. This Crossbolt definitely gets my seal of approval :P