Rayven CS-18 Basic Nerf Review (Write Up)


After about 5 months of this the Rayven being available to the USA public (about 3 for the worldwide audience) I finally take a look at a fairly new blaster. It’s part of Nerf’s new “Firefly Tech” series, whose lineup features the Rayven and Vortex Lumitron blasters. The Rayven CS-18 is a flywheel, battery powered blaster that comes with an 18 dart clip. Is this just another flywheel blaster, is the firefly tech just a gimmick? A lot of HvZ players are praising this, and could it’s role replace the Alpha Trooper’s? Check out the review for answers to those questions and more.

I would also just like to deeply thank Nerf for sending me two Rayven’s to review and keep. Thanks so much!

Inside the Rayven CS-18 box

The Rayven CS-18 is an electronic, AA (double A) battery powered blaster. It’s flywheel system (Tommy 20, Barricade, Vortex Nitron, also uses flywheels) requires 4 AA batteries to operate. Technically, you could use something like dummy battery converters to use less batteries, but more voltage will make the flywheels spin fasters, and the normal consumer most likely won’t know about that. 1.5v (volts) is the standard voltage for double A batteries, and 4×1.5 is 6v. People like to use stronger batteries to make the flywheels spin faster, giving higher rate of fire and greater range. But my policy is to review blasters in their stock form.

To use the Rayven, one must pull down on the outter button to get the flywheels to rev up, and then pull the trigger to fire a dart. The trigger is pretty sensitive to pressure, since not much will activate the flywheels. For maximum range, wait about a second and a half to two seconds before firing. Rayven’s bullpup design is quite comfortable and an advantage. It’s small and compact design makes it light, easy to carry, and easy to maneuver with. You will have no fear maneuvering around indoors or tight corners. It can be used as a rifle (firing off one or two shots at a time) or more of a submachine sort of blaster (firing multiple darts in bursts). Even though it’s size is small, it feels solid enough to get behind and use with both hands, and it also can be used one handed while on the run or while dodging darts. Rate of fire is as fast as you can pull the trigger. It’s not as fast as the Slam Firing Raider or Alpha Trooper, but it’s still fast enough that you can suppress and/or tag other players when their within range.

As you can see from the pictures above, and the above directly above, the Rayven also comes with sling points, so you can use your slings with it. The one pictured above is one from a gym bag of mine, but it works fine and is plenty comfy. This is a plus in my book. The back of the blaster, or aka the built in stock, is small, but comfortable.

The Rayven CS-18 also comes with an 18 dart Light It Up Clip. Two AA batteries power it, and blue lights will come out from the top. They looks pretty cool, but don’t affect blaster performance. The 18 dart clip is a big plus, since it’s the second highest system capacity thats out at the moment, and the 18 dart clips also feed better then their drum counterparts. Your going to need high ammo capacity with this blaster, since one should make use of it’s rapid fire, and that will make you go through darts fast. It’s only to your advantage that you “Light Up” your opponent when their in your line of sight.

Feb 2, 2013 EDIT: Decided to add photos of the Clip powered on in the blaster to show the level of brightness it produces.


The Rayven only has two tactical rails, one on the top, and one on the right side. I’m a little confused as to why it’s only on the right side, and not both sides. Theres not many practical attachments that you can strap on it though. I can only thing of the Recon light or a Strikefire as decent attachments.

Clips are very easy to remove from this blaster.
Speaking of the clip, the design they put on the clip release is excellent. The orange clip release is toward the back. Most will put their off hand to grab the clip and pull on the switch to release the clip at the same time. I find that this makes reloading clips very easy, comfortable, and for the most part fast if you can become efficient enough. People seem to dislike the 35 dart drum in the blaster, since it’s so big and it seems to poke people on their wrist area, as well as touching more of the body which decreases maneuverability a little bit. The 18 dart drums don’t give this problem (or do? I gotta test it). The 18 dart clips seem to avoid any of these ergonomic problems.

The top Rayven has the Spectre REV-5 barrel on, while the bottom one has a Recon barrel one.

Like most clip system blasters, the Rayven as the ability to fit a barrel attachment on it. Word to the wise, the Spectre barrel is shorter then the Recon one, and it’s also wider. It’s probably because it was designed for the Spectre, which in turn was designed to fire Whistler darts. I’ve still had success using the Spectre barrel on the blaster, but you should get tighter dart groupings with the Recon on.

The use of batteries is a good and bad thing. If you plan on using this blaster often, you should get rechargeable batteries. Theres not really an excuse not to. The use of electricity means the blaster has to rev up for a second or two for full range, while pump blasters can have a dart ready to fire at a trigger’s pull. It’s just something small, but something that some people may take into consideration when deciding about whether or not to use this blaster.

Something I didn’t like at first was the trigger pull. You have to pull a bit harder on it for whatever reason, and if you don’t you’ll probably get a jam when you shoot it. The only ways around this are modding the blaster to give an easier trigger pull or just getting used to it. Since I have no clue on how to mod, I just used the blaster enough to the point I’m used to it. Look past this slight setback when you start using this blaster, and you’ll learn to enjoy this.

As for the the idea of duel wielding this bad boy, it can be done. The Rayven is small and light enough to allow it. I’ve personally never done it in a game or battle, but just by messing around with them, they can still give out a good rate of fire. I personally don’t like it that much, I like having my focus on one blaster at a time, and trying to make sure everything is right with that one. Duel wielding would also reduce accuracy, at least in my opinion, so I would stay away from that in serious games.

All in all, the Rayven’s excellent design allows for user comfortably and ambidexterity. It’s small size gives maneuverability, and it’s clip system ability can give users different options to combat different situations. The $30 price tag may seem a little steep, but you get an 18 dart clip and a highly versatile blaster. I’ve also seen the price lowered to $25 in the USA at Target as a normal price.

I give this blaster an 8/10, if you have the chance to pick it up I highly recommend it.


3 thoughts on “Rayven CS-18 Basic Nerf Review (Write Up)”

  1. Good review, only quip is that you used “their” instead of “they’re” once or twice. Keep up the awesome reviews!


  2. I’ve personally found that ROF can just outshoot slamfire – Your slamfire video of the AT displays about 4.5 dps, but I’ve managed to nudge 5dps with the Rayven.
    In general rapid fire with the Rayven is only difficult due to the trigger pull being so hard.


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