Heres the review of the Alpha Trooper CS-18 I promised you guys I would make. After my Saturday Nerf battles and my Sunday spent off recovering, I’m here to impart knowledge to you. After about 5 games of Nerf played, I came out learning more about the gun and myself.
Hit the jump to read more. I talk about it’s abilities, strengths, weakness and the overall uses of the blaster.
First off let’s talk about the hardware of the blaster. The 18 Round Drum and Slam Fire come in handy. My position around my church and position as commander did not make too much use of these abilities. Most of my time with this blaster was spend using more like a Rifle and less like of Machine Gun sort of weapon. I spend most of the time firing off single shots from normal 6 Dart Clips.
BUT in the situations that I did use the Slam Fire I was hindered by the lack of stock and my attachment on the N-Strike Rail. I stuck that “Flash Light” that comes with the Recon. It was hard to “Aim Down the Sights” since that on on my N-Strike Rail, and the way they were built made me have to put it upside down on the Rail. Perhaps that “Laser Sight” they sell would have helped me more in this situation, but the spread of dim light actually helped me and my teamates in the almost pitch black darkness we fought in.
As for the stock, it would have helped for sure. The gun felt already decently sized to me, almost as big as my Deploy, so I felt like a stock wouldn’t be necessary. If I could do those battles over again, I would have used a stock. It would have provided some stability to the gun and allowed me to aim down something while resting it on my shoulder. Raider stock vs. Recon stock is a whole ‘nother story though. The Raider stock is solid and adjustable, while the Recon stock is said to be flimsy. But the Recon stock can hold a clip in it. I was already decked out in with 6 clips, not including my 18-Round Drum, so the Raider stock seems like a better choice in that situation.
The Drum was nice and small, and didn’t provide any problems to me. It even fit in my cargo shorts pocket. However, the problem was that in my experience 18 shots can go pretty fast, and then the drum would become useless. I instead use 6-Dart Clips, while using the threat of Slam Fire and an 18-Dart Drum in my left pocket as a threat to advancing enemies.
The jamming problems didn’t happen to me since I made sure I slammed the handle back with decent amounts of force every time. If there was a jam, a simple handle pull and clip release allowed me a look into the bottom to pull out any jams. I found that easier then using the jam door. The lack of jamming allowed me to drop my secondary weapon the Nite Finder after just one game since I was so confident in this blaster, and it did not disappoint.
The holes in the grip of the blaster and handle are nicely placed. If you felt any awkwardness about the hole in the handle or just the overall feel of the gun, it should go away after the one game. Don’t let that hold you back from using it either. The strap that came with the Deploy felt too short to be used comfortably with the blaster, so I switched to another one that I borrowed from one of my mom’s purses. It balanced nicely behind my back even with it’s bigger 18-Drum clip. I wasn’t winging any walls with it either.
To counter act the weakness of the blaster, equip it with a stock, bring lots of ammo and have some sort of fast, consistent reloading system for the blaster. Maybe even go mod this and remove the ARs to make it even more deadly. This gun has a good amount of versatility. It’s lighter then the Raider and has the abilities of both Recon and Raider. Use it for cover fire, assault, stationary positions or even just your standard battle gun.
Overall, this is something that I would compare to the Assault Rifle of Nerf. It comes with a decent sized Drum Mag of 18 Darts, a high rate of fire, has it’s own N-Strike Rail, and it compatible with all sorts of accessories and clips. Don’t let any comparisons of this being called a Recon and a Raider combined hold you back from buying this gun. It comes with too many great features for $20. Imagine all the Recons in the world replaced with Alpha Troopers. I can definitely see this as the gun of the future. It’s cheap ($20), has great features and is easy to find (you KNOW it’s gonna be at Target, since it’s a Target exclusive).
If you have any skeptical friends, tell them to drop $20 on this, then go have fun with them.
3/18/12 EDIT: I forgot to give this a number rating like how I’ve been doing for my other reviews. I give this blaster an 8.5/10, and this blaster serves as my new standard of quality for new and future blasters.