After the long absence of the Zombie Strike Sledgefire (and the bulky and silly “The Judge”), Nerf has finally given us another shotgun-type dart blaster. The Trilogy will not be everyone’s favorite flavor, but it doesn’t have to be. It just has to do its job relatively well – and it does. Even if sometimes the shell ejection is a bit finicky.
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The Return of the Shells
Like the Sledgefire before it, the Trilogy fires three darts at a time from plastic “shotgun shells”. However, the new shells are larger and rounder, with slots in the sides. Why the change? To support the new shell loading and ejection system, of course!
The Trilogy features both a top loading door, and a side ejection door. Priming the blaster slides the loading door open; it also quickly opens the side door and flips up a lever arm before closing that door again. That action is usually sufficient to remove any loaded shells – provided you’re holding the blaster relatively level. Tilting the blaster away from level can cause the shell to come out of alignment with its internal seat, preventing ejection. Even while level, this can happen on occasion, but it doesn’t seem to be common enough to truly detract from the fun.
The blaster features storage for five shells in the stock, with individual slots and plastic tabs to press against the shells. This is a lovely improvement, preventing shells from coming out during normal movement.
When loading shells, have one dart facing down. It doesn’t matter which one.
Oh Yeah, There’s a Blaster, Too
The Trilogy itself is fairly long and wide, but not annoyingly so. After all, it has to accommodate the shells and the internal mechanisms. The priming handle is a bit on the small side, but is perfectly adequate for using the blaster. The trigger handle is simple and open, and can accommodate most hands. The stock isn’t anything stellar in terms of comfort, just some ribbed plastic to stick against the shoulder.
The blaster itself largely eschews paint for the molded “tiger stripe” pattern in the blue plastic, similar to the Delta Trooper and Infinus. It’s a nice look for a more utilitarian blaster – you don’t need it to be fancy.
There are a few sling points, as well as a single tactical rail at the very front of the blaster.
Within the Beast
The Trilogy operates somewhat similarly to Rival blasters – a geared system converts a longer priming motion into a short movement of a strong spring. In this case, however, you’re directly moving the plunger tube, with the plunger catching as a side effect. This is necessary to make space for shell ejection and loading during regular use. When the pump handle moves forward again, the plunger seals against the shell, ready to fire.
The Trilogy, in practice, averages one shot every three seconds. Of course, that shot consists of three darts. In addition, my shots averaged around 70fps, so all the darts being fired have plenty of power to them. It should be noted that, since there are three individual “air restrictor” valves, shells not fully loaded with darts will still fire.
Of course, since this blaster is meant to have dart spread, it is one of the few cases where I’m perfectly okay using stock Nerf darts. Accustrike and other (better) darts simply travel as a cluster, without the spread you’d like.
The Trilogy is a fun blaster that isn’t necessarily practical for war use, outside of close, one on one situations and tight areas where a spread of darts would be helpful. However, that doesn’t make it any less fun. Shell loading and ejection works very well, with only a few hangups that seem to occur when the blaster is held at odd angles. As a “shotgun”, the Trilogy also manages to make effective use of the less accurate Nerf Elite darts. Overall, it’s a fun blaster, and as long as you’re aware of the limitations of a shell loading system, you’ll be fine.
On a personal note, I can’t wait to see what people design for the blaster to fire. 3D printed Sledgefire shells exist, after all, and I’m sure shells that fire Megas, Rival, and other ammo will be made soon!