The Neft Stampede; arguably Nerf’s flagship blaster. When I first started playing with blasters back in 2009 the Nerf Vulcan was the ‘must have blaster’ for the uninitiated. When most people I knew were running around with a Maverick, someone turning up with a Vulcan was a total bad ass. However, looking at the way new players talk about the Stampede now, I’m pretty sure that mantle has been passed.
What’s not to like? Right out of the box you’re getting full auto with a pretty decent rate of fire, nice ranges for a stock blaster, and some seriously tacti-cool looks. I played my first full day with a Stampede just the other week, despite owning one since release, and boy was it a world of fun. Today we’re going to be improving both the rate of fire and the range through an air restrictor removal (AR), voltage increase, an upgraded spring and an aftermarket O-ring.
The tools/consumables I used for this were…
- A few different phillips head screwdrivers
- A hand drill, complete with extra long drill bit
- A long, round hand file
- A Black Tactical Stampede kit (Main spring, O-ring, padding)
- 4 x 3.6v AA Ultrafire batteries
- 4 x AA to D battery convertors
- A Knife
First up we have a Stampede. Start by removing the battery tray and then work your way around the blaster to remove all of the screws. Before you can completely pry the shell apart, there is also a sticker in the battery tray compartment, cut it with your knife.
The shell should come apart. Be careful not to rip and wires as the on/off switch will still be attached to the other side.
As always, have a look at the internals and try to figure out how it works before you pull it all apart.
I promise you that it looks far more complicated than it actually is.
The whole firing mechanism is actually remarkably simple and well thought out. This is the stage where we’ll need to remove the cover on the center of this photo. It’s held in by 5 screws.
Behind it you should find the plunger tube.
Now remove the catch by unscrewing these two screws.
Then come back to the front of the breech assembly and remove these two screws. This part should then come off in two pieces.
We should be left with this.
Remove the whole plunger assembly and then the two screws at the back of it.
And it should come apart like so…
Pull the plunger and spring all the way out. Grab your plunger and wipe the head of it with a rag to make sure that there is no grease on this side of it.
Peel the backing tape from the padding and stick it to the plunger head, making sure that it’s centered.
Now grab your new BT spring. See how much beefier it is than the stock one? Slip it over the plunger rod.
Also, replace the stock O-ring with your new BT O-ring at this stage too. Simply pry the old one off with a screwdriver and slip the new one into place.
Now to get to work on the AR. Grab the plunger tube and your drill and make the AR disappear.
As always, clean it up with your hand file. We want that air flow as smooth as possible.
Put the improved plunger and spring back inside the tube. Slip the end cover back over the top and make sure both the plunger and end cover are orientated the same way as the picture below.
Place the whole plunger/breech assembly back into place, re-seat the catch and screw it in.
We’ll also need to put the cover back on too.
Then put this piece back in too. Not sure what it is, maybe a spring holder bracket?
Next, we’ll need to beef up the trigger switch spring. You’ll only need to do this if you’re experiencing problems with bump firing. Typically I find that this seems to start around 14v, and since we’re planning on running around 18v in this one, I’m pretty sure we’ll need it.
Start by removing the two screws that hold this cover on.
Beneath the cover you should find a switch (although your spring should be smaller as I only managed to take a photo after upgrading the spring). The whole switch should just lift out.
Yours obviously wont have the wires cut and won’t be able to get all the way out of the blaster, this is a spare I had lying about that was easier for taking photos with.
Pry the end clip off. It’s only complete on three sides and should be pretty obvious which way it needs to come. Grab a bigger spring, place it over the switch and push the end clip back on. I used a Recon trigger spring as I had one spare, but I’m sure pretty well any spring that fits would work.
Now put the switch back in
Here’s a comparison between the upgraded spring I used on the left, and the standard spring on the right. You can see that I also moved the clip a little higher; this was to accommodate the bigger spring.
Last stage of this modification is a voltage upgrade. In this case I used AA Ultrafire batteries
And to make it so that I got to keep the stock battery tray, I used four AA to D sized convertor shells.
Simply open the shell, place the AA inside and viola, you have yourself a D sized AA.
Ah, now this photo is actually somewhat of a lie. I had originally planned to use six AA’s, but decided to bring it back to four and two standard D batteries.
Put the shell back together and then put the battery tray back in the blaster and we’re done! One modded stampede.
With stock streamline darts from the stock blaster, I was getting an average of 12m
With the same darts from the modifed blaster, I was getting an average of 20m
Note: unless otherwise stated, all range tests on this blog will be done as an average of 18 darts, fired level from shoulder height.