Rival’s longevity is not to be underestimated. Even with the introduction of other new blaster lines, new blaster formats and gimmicks keep coming. In the case of the Rival Pilot, that gimmick is a break-action barrel. But is it truly a gimmick if it works well and speeds up reloading? Let’s dive in!
The Single Shot Blaster Chronicles
Ever since the release of the Knockout, Rival has had a reliable and steady stream of small pistols that have proven incredibly popular with modders. After all, they all have lots of easily accessible power. But even for the average consumer, they’ve offered different things. The Curve Shot Flex offered more ball storage and the curve effect. The Fate lined everything up in a streamlined package. Now, the Pilot ditches a sliding breech for break-action.
On a personal note, I realize break action isn’t necessary. But it’s so fun to have on a blaster. Thanks for this addition, Hasbro.
The blaster is simple to use. When priming the blaster, the final bit of plunger travel disengages an internal mechanism holding the front in place. The barrel then moves forward and tilts down. Push a ball in, close it up by hand, and you’re ready to fire. The best part is that there’s no need to get the ball placement just right; when closing the breech, the blaster will push the ball into the correct place inside the barrel.
As with other Rival blasters, you have small features like a safety switch that locks the trigger in place. Given the compact size of the blaster, there’s no onboard storage space. But when running a single-shot pistol, pockets or an ammo pouch are a good option.
The Pilot averaged 93fps in my testing, slightly above the box claims of 90fps. Meanwhile, the rate of fire, while naturally slow, ended up faster than previous offerings like the Knockout. It was easy for me to make a shot every two seconds.
Regardless of the brand of ammo used (Nerf, Adventure Force, Sxhot), rounds all seemed to fly pretty consistently. Whether the Accurounds are truly better (or at least better enough to justify buying) is a test for another day.
The blaster is similar to other blasters in this format, with a few tiny differences. For example, the plunger tube isn’t totally clipped in; there are two screws and two clips, making disassembly easier.
There is an extension spring contained within the pivoting track. While disassembly is naturally best in the unprimed position, putting the blaster back together should be done with the barrel broken open. That keeps the spring out of the way and makes life easier.
The Rival Pilot is a worthy entry to the line. It’s just as powerful as the blasters that came before it. And the break-action loading is not only fast but fun to use. Buy one!