Nerf N-Strike Elite Rampage Blaster Review
The popular Nerf N-Strike Elite Rampage blaster is the direct successor of the Nerf Raider CS-35 that came out in 2009.
While these two blasters look very much the same on first glance, the Nerf Rampage is actually a very decent upgrade.
This is our review of the Nerf Rampage and its main features.
Nerf N-Strike Elite Rampage
Released in 2012, the Rampage is part of the Nerf N-Strike Elite range which was introduced to the market in that same year. The N-Strike Elite series is the upgraded range of the Nerf N-Strike series that was first released in 2003.
Just like the Elite Retaliator is basically a revamped version of the N-Strike Recon CS-6, the Elite Rampage is the upgraded version of the aforementioned N-Strike Raider CS-35.
The Elite blasters are meant to be more robust and firm than their predecessors and they typically have improved firing ranges. N-Strike Elite blasters also use the new and improved Elite darts, with a different color scheme and shorter tip plugs for improved compatibility. They are also a bit lighter than their predecessors. The Rampage comes with 25 Elite Darts that fit nicely in the 25-dart drum magazine (reduced from 35).
It has often been reported that with the old N-Strike guns, the loading mechanism could damage the dart heads. They would bend or even come off. The new N-Strike Elite series doesn’t have that problem which is another plus for the Rampage compared to the Raider.
Main Features of the Rampage
When comparing the Rampage and the Raider, they look very much the same, but there are definitely some key differences. First of all, the color scheme is a bit different which gives the Rampage a much more refreshed look and feel. The range and accuracy have also significantly improved.
The Raider came with a bulky 35 dart drum whereas the Rampage comes with a smaller 25-dart drum barrel. This is not a major issue though as 25 is still a lot, and it looks and feels more ergonomic.
One of the big drawbacks is that the detachable shoulder stock that came standard with the Raider, doesn’t actually come with the Rampage. You can certainly still attach it in the shoulder-stock mounting point, but it’s not included unfortunately. Why? We are not sure.
Let’s go through the main features of the N-Strike Elite Rampage blaster:
1. Overall Design, Grip and Shooting
What we like about the Rampage is the new color scheme which makes it look a whole lot better. The white lines specifically work really well. Colors don’t matter much, but good looks it’s still important.
The handle of the Rampage has an excellent grip. It’s great that the direct plunger system was re-introduced in this gun as it benefits the range and also makes it easy to use.
Operating the Rampage is easy. To reload, simply pull the priming handle back and press the release button to remove the drum. Reload with 25 darts, put the drum back in the connector, and push the handle forward. Then simply pull the trigger to shoot.
The Rampage also has a feature called slam-fire, which is really why you would want this particular gun. Simply keep the trigger pressed whilst moving the priming handle back and forward as quickly as possible.
Using slam-fire, you can easily get to a 3 dart-per-second firing rate which is awesome.
To avoid potential jamming and damaging the darts, make sure to move the priming handle fully forward and backward.
The other benefit of the direct plunger system is that it allows you to modify the gun by increasing the spring tension. This won’t affect the internal workings of the gun at all but will give you even better range.
The Rampage is slightly heavier than the Raider but the lighter drum and improved ergonomics compensate well.
2. 25-Dart Drum Barrel
The Raider drum was known to occasionally jam which the Rampage certainly doesn’t do. And to be honest, the 35 drum just looks clumsy and out of proportion. So to scale things back from 35 to 25 is a good decision.
If you’ve never used a Nerf gun with an external drum barrel before, you may find that the gun feels somewhat unbalanced. This is something you’ll easily get used to, and it’s also much better than with the Raider which carried a bigger drum.
3. Firing Range and Accuracy
The improved direct plunger system in the Rampage certainly has a very positive impact on the range. The claimed firing range is 75ft, but in all honesty that’s a bit ambitious. If you can get it to 60ft, you’re doing really well, and on a good day with the right conditions, you may even get to 70ft. One tip: use a bit of an angle when shooting and you’ll get a much better range.
The decent range and accuracy should also be attributed to the Elite darts that are a great improvement compared to the older Streamline darts. Elite darts are much better balanced and lighter which works wonders. You can still use Streamline darts with the Rampage though. In fact, you can fill up the drum with both at the same time if you’d like.
Check out the below video to see for yourself how awesome the N-Strike Elite Rampage is:
The Rampage is by far one of the most popular Nerf guns available. Overall, this gun is an excellent improvement compared to the Raider. For most of us, range and accuracy is what matters most when battling it out with your Nerf guns, and the Rampage delivers really well in that regard.
The strategic decision to use a smaller drum barrel is a good one as it makes the gun look and feel a lot less clunky and also lighter.
Pros and Cons
Let’s summarize this review with the pros and cons of the Nerf N-Strike Elite Rampage.
- Overall robust feel and grip
- Better looks compared to Raider
- Smaller 25-dart drum fits better
- No jamming issues with the drum
- Good range and accuracy
- Very affordable
- No shoulder stock included
- Grip can feel less comfortable without using shoulder stock
- Reloading the drum can be a hassle as it takes a bit of time to fully load the drum when empty.