# Saturday, 20 June 2009

You are obsessed with it! My wife said to me. To which I replied calmly, no I'm not as I glance at WZ while he played at the fiberglass houses and slides in Toys R Us.

But everytime you come to Toys R Us, you keep checking it out. And then you talk about it for a while. I replied that while I might be intrigued by it, it's just another gun.

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If it's just another gun, would you be so obsessed over it? Aren't you supposed to be the one that tells me not to buy so many toys?

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I don't understand why you're thinking so much about it and not buying it, it's way cheaper than most of the other crazy junk you buy. Well I need to think of the consequences, the aftermath, how much work involved to play with it, where would I put it?

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You know what.. this is probably the only thing you desire that I can afford to get you. And now you who are reading this, think about this image for a second. Your significant other lugs a toy half their height from a shelf and heads for the checkout counter with the full intent on buying it for YOU, just because you're obsessing over it.

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A Nerf Vulcan EBF-25 Dart Machine Gun. Yes it just looks like a big gun in the pictures, so let me explain it in one sentence.

It's a battery powered, chain belt ammo fed machine gun that's capable of firing darts in rapid succession! (about 3 a second)

IMHO I find the belt fed part as the most innovative part about this gun. 

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When I first saw the ammo belt, the following scenario immediately played through my head. It's during the design meeting of the team developing the machine gun.

A : So... how many rounds should we allow the gun to carry? 25, 50? What kind of clip should we use?
B : What if we didn't put a hard limit on how many rounds? What if we made some way of constantly feeding ammo into the gun instead?
A : Like a ammo belt? But that's insane, how would a kid be able to lug around the already heavy gun along with 3 meters of ammo?
B : A Kid wouldn't, BUT... an adult intend on winning out in an office Nerf dart war, would be more than capable of not only carrying, but BUYING as much ammo as he wants!

And that's where the true genius of the designer shine through. The ammo belt that comes with the gun is able to carry 25 rounds, BUT... you can purchase additional belts of 25 and link them into a giant chain (EDIT: Looks like I screwed up, after an inspection of an add on ammo pack, I don't think they made it so they can link up to form a giant china. It does seem hackable to make it work though), and then some how if you can figure out how to coil the thing around your arm and still have the gun fire without jamming, you can finally realize that Rambo fantasy you've been having. (By the way it's kinda hard to coil the belt around your arm and still have it fire properly, and yes.. that's like the first thing I tried to do. You KNOW you would have tried to do it too!)

The firing mechanism is pretty ingenious.

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You have a rotary dial which advances the and primes the next dart into shooting position. And then when the dart is in position, the firing assembly locks the dart in place and then kicks it out.

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The firing assembly is the white thing with an orange ring that you see at the back of the grey ammo belt. What's interesting is that if you run out of batteries, or you feel like conserving ammo, you can actually cock the thing MANUALLY with the pump lever.

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And then shoot off one dart at a time.

Performance wise, as a dart gun, the Vulcan suffers some trade offs. Which might be quite severe to some. When firing in battery powered full auto mode, a dart travels about half a living room before losing power, while in manual mode the darts seem to fly as far as the bog standard N-Finder gun I got previously. But while range isn't the virtue of the Vulcan, the fact that you can keep firing rapidly till you run out of ammo is a fun feeling... until you remember you have to reload the damn thing! :P If you wanted a gun that has a decent rate of fire, as well as having pretty decent firing range, get the 6 shooter Nerf Maverick which I also mentioned previously.

The tripod is detachable from the gun itself.

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The legs actually close with a spring action, so the idea it's possible for someone to rapidly pick it up and redeploy it in another location.

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Everytime I look at this shot I keep thinking of R2D2, do any of you get the same feeling?

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While the Vulcan is a FUN toy to play with, I'd think the tactical value of the Vulcan in a Nerf war is close to a standard single shot dart gun, while you can have a high rate of fire and a large ammo capacity, once it's gone, it's hard to reload on the field since you can't just pick up a dart and drop it into the chamber to fire. If you're looking for a gun that gives the best bang for buck, I'd say the 6 Shooter Nerf Maverick is the best choice.

That said, it's immensely fun to tell your son to go look at the glass door and then fire darts around him to make an outline... until you run out of ammo and realize.. I need more than 25 darts to encircle him!

PS. In case you feel like commenting about all the various mods I should do to my guns to make them faster, stronger, better. I KNOW about the mods. I'd do them in a HEARTBEAT, if I didn't have a little kid in the house that's just as likely to shoot himself in the head as well as something else around the house! :P


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