As many into steam- and/or dieselpunk no doubt are aware of, Nerf is the brand of choice for many ‘punks when it comes to building an arsenal. Aesthetically many of the guns are pleasing and they are inexpensive enough. Of course, they come in a wide array of blindingly bright colours which can be solved in two easy ways: go for Nerfpunk or repaint your sidearm of choice.
For those wanting to repaint their gun, there are plenty of tutorials floating about the internet, and alternatively there’s a post on the subject on this here blog.
That all aside, whilst the Maverick is the go to gun, and the gun widely associated with the Steampunk scene nowadays, there is far more to Nerf than just that revolver.
Especially now that the Maverick is discontinued, we at The Gatehouse decided to do a monthly review of a Nerf gun.
Starting with the Zombie Strike series HammerShot.
Zombie Strike is a new series of Nerf guns, covering both boffer weapons of both melee and throwing variety (whether or not they are suitable for actual LARP I don’t know as I don’t own any) and then range weapons using ammo from both their Vortex and Elite series, just in a different colour, as is generally the case with this kind of thing.
So far only some of the foam weapons have been released and two blasters, of which the HammerShot is one, and the SledgeFire the other (which will be reviewed either in November or December).
I’m not sure what inspired Nerf to come up with this series, and opinions are divided from jumping on the zombie bandwagon to releasing weaponry for the Humans vs Zombies gamers to simply attempting to cater to a new target audience.
Background aside, lets get on with the review!
First of all: let’s talk design
As opposed to the yellow-black-grey of N-strike guns and Blue-grey-orange of the N-strike Elite series, the Hammershot is orange-grey-black with a touch of grey. If I were to describe it I’d say it’s the bastard love child of a shotgun and a revolver, and it sure as hell looks far better than a lot of blasters Nerf has come up with recently.
If something is to replace the Maverick, I’d put my money on this rather than the actual follow-up: the Strongarm.
Like most Nerf guns it features a tactical rail on which you can install a scope or other additional bit of tech compatible with these guns.
As an added bonus, because it is roughly the same size (in width at least) as the Maverick, it’s likely to fit in the same holster. It fits the Maverick holster I have fine at least.
As opposed to the product photo, a photo of my own gun.
And it doesn’t end here. The package not only contains the blaster and instructions sheet, but also a set of zombie themed stencils: an outline of the HammerShot, the Nerf logo, the Zombie Strike logo and a scrambling zombie.
Firing the HammerShot
The HammerShot is an extremely easy to use gun.
The barrel is fully rotating, whether it’s primed for fire or not, so there’s no clicking it out like a Maverick or Strongarm to load it.
Simply rotate it so you can stick in the darts, end of story.
Cock back the hammer, aim and fire the trigger. I have very small hands for an adult, and I have no issue at all using this gun one handed. I also really like the weight.
Range wise it covers the same firing distance as Elite guns typically do, and it definitely packs a better punch than the N-strike counterparts.
As a special feature it also has slamfire, which is fun and all but does nothing for the range nor aim of the gun, so personally I’m not that keen on it but hey, whatever rocks your boat.
If you’re looking for a good blaster, I would definitely say that it makes for a good alternative to the Strongarm, even though it houses 5 darts instead of 6 like the Strongarm and Maverick do. But to be honest the one less dart isn’t a hindrance with this particular gun.
It comes with 5 lime-ish green Elite style darts, but I’ve tested it with N-strike suction cup darts and whistler darts, as well as regular blue orange tipped Elite darts and it fires those as well. Using N-strike darts does seem to slow the darts down and lessen the impact, but they do work in the blaster. I’ve seen a youtube video where they tested them one with dart tag darts and those worked as well.
So far it’s not misfired nor jammed yet, so I don’t think that these are things the gun does easily. I’m a Maverick girl myself, but I must admit that this gun is a much smoother weapon to use. Especially as many Mavericks are quite prone to jamming or misfiring.
Modding the HammerShot
I’m actually going to use this gun for Nerfpunk, so I’m not going to repaint or otherwise mod it, but there’s several tutorials to be found on youtube on the matter if you want to modify yours. I did, however, take a good look at the gun and it does seem like it shouldn’t be (much) more daunting than modding a Maverick.
Modding possibilities: excellent
Easy to load: absolutely
Loading speed: fair
Ammo capacity: 5 darts
Fires: Elite darts, whistler darts, suction cup darts, dart tag darts
This is a great blaster, which I would definitely recommend. It’s very easy to use with a great look that should be easy enough to mod for those wanting to get rid of the colour it comes in. It’s compatible with a variety of other types of darts, which is an added bonus.
A photo of the darts I tested mine with. The Zombie Strike darts it comes with are plain lime type green, I just also happen to have gotten my hands on a Zombie Strike darts pack, which does have darts with a logo. But aside fom the lack of logo, the darts are the same.