I still haven’t reviewed the Vortex series or any of it’s blasters, so I figured why not start out with the latest Vortex blaster, the Pyragon? I’ve had a good amount of use with all the Vortex blasters actually, but haven’t had the time to write up review on any of them, so be on the lookout for reviews on those in the future. I’ll be reviewing it’s features, usages in Nerf Wars & HvZ, and even give some user tips.
The Vortex Pyragon retails for $39.99, and comes with the blaster, a 40 disc drum magazine, and 40 newly colored orange & white XLR discs. The newly colored discs are much easier to spot in green grass then the other normally green Vortex discs. Even the blaster itself goes away from the Vortex standard color of green, and instead goes with the red/orange color scheme. The internals are said to be a little bit stronger then the Praxis or Lumitron, so it should get a little bit more range. The blaster comes with one tactical rail on top. It also uses the Vortex magazine system, so you can still put in the 10 disc and 20 disc magas.
The blaster is simple, but nice looking. It's got orange stripes on it's sides but mostly has a white and gray look on it. What's unique about this Vortex blaster is that it's the only one to have slam fire, which means it can spit out discs at quite the high rate of fire. Slow firing speeds were a weakness of the Vortex line with it's previous releases, but this blaster solves that problem. The handle looks a bit small, and awkwardly shaped, but it seems to fit just perfect in my hands. I'm five foot, ten inches tall and twenty years old, so it's nice to know that it'll be comfortable for the adults as well.
Whats also special about this is the 40 disc drum. It's the highest Vortex, and Nerf, ammo capacity. To use it, you insert 20 discs, flick the switch, insert 7 discs, flick again and put 7 more, and flick again and insert 6 discs for a total of 40 discs. You can actually put one more in the drum for a total of 41.
Foam From Above's video demoing the drum mag and pointing out some details.
Despite the complex internals of the drum, it feeds the Pyragon quite fast, and can keep up with the high slam fire rates of fire.
The blaster is a bit on the smaller side, which is a plus or minus depending on who you ask. The smaller size allows for comfortable maneuvering in tight corners, but I find it a little uncomfortable to try to keep accuracy while slam firing without a stock. I like my blasters with a stock, but this does not come with it. However, there's plenty to choose from on the market, so it shouldn't be hard to get one for this blaster. When I use a stock, I find it much easier to aim and fire the discs at opponents, and it also helps me keep closer on target while slam firing.
Me using the Pyragon and slam fire against my two cousins in some quick Nerf War matches
On the topic of slam fire, the range combined with that make this the most potent of the Vortex blasters. It's definitely an asset that does nothing but help you in Nerf Wars. In the above video I only fire single shots at my two other cousins, and I lose the first match. The second match I whip out the slam fire, and the match ends much more quicker in my favor. I haven't had any jams using slam fire, and neither have users across the internet.
Humans vs. Zombies Vortex blaster users finally get a high rate of fire blaster to match their already good ranges, and the white and orange discs should be easier to find. They'll need something like a backpack or MOLLE Pouch to carry their spend Pyragon drum, since it is a bit on the big side. The slam fire will serve them well during games.
My positive experiences haven't come with negatives though. Since the Vortex Discs seem to travel slower then darts, even if you do slam fire, you might need to do it early to allow the discs to travel and hit the opponent. It's not too big of an issue, since the closer you are to your opponent, the lesser the problem is, but it's still some food for thought. With the drum, it is a little bit wider then the blaster, so I could picture people clipping walls or corners when they go around them too close. I personally haven't experienced it though. If your very slam fire heavy, you'll go through ammo very quickly. In the second match in the above video I went through the 40 discs of ammo, and had to switch to a 20 disc mag. Thats almost 60 discs that I used up, so be sure to be a little picky with your shots, conserve ammo, or carry lot of spare mags for this blaster.
Speaking of that, bigger spare mags are a bit in short supply. The only ones for sale separately are the 10 disc mags, the 20 disc mags only come with the Nitron at the moment, while the drums only come with the Pyragon. So respectively, thats $45 and $40 you have to spend if you want to get a spare mag, or you can try things like ebay. But even then it's still a bit on the expensive side. Until Nerf releases bigger mags publicly, the Pyragon will be a bit expensive to feed.
I also noticed that theres no area to attach any slings on. The hole up from their the sight is too small to allow the Nerf Bandolieer to go through. I'm sure that creative users can some up with something, I'm guessing Velcro would probably used, but in things like Humans vs. Zombies or Nerf Wars, having sling points or areas on the blaster is very important for comfortability.
Overall, this blaster reminds me a lot of the Raider CS-35 when it came out in 2009, but better. The Vortex line at the moment reminds me a bit of the N-Strike Line in 2009, because there weren't any clips bigger then the 6 dart clips, and you had to buy an extra Raider if you wanted more drum mags. The slam fire, high ammo capacity, magazine system, small size, and high comfort level are the positives for me. Negatives are the lack of sling points on the blaster, and it not coming with a stock. Overall, I'd give this blaster a good score of 8/10. You won't be disappointed, just prepare to go looking for discs after games!