Mod Shop – Nerf Stampede – Black Tactical upgrade kit + AR Removal + Bump Firing Cure

Over a year ago I wrote a post about this very mod. However having recently directed a friend through to my original write-up, I found it was a little lacking. Now I’m not often the first to admit that something I’ve done is crap, even if it is, but given how often I’m spruiking the stampede and the Black Tactical kit, I thought it best to have a do-over.

Today we’ll be performing an Air Restrictor (AR) removal, installing the Black Tactical (BT) kit, and upgrading the voltage.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Loadout

Late last year I was asked by a reader to show everyone what blasters I take to a typical game. I kinda did that, but also included a few other things that my housemate and I will normally take to a game.

Continue reading

Mod Shop – Nerf Rampage – BlackTactical Spring Replacement + Safety Removal

This will be my second write up on the Nerf Rampage. In the first post we went through a basic air restrictor removal. That was a nice start to an already decent blaster but Black Tactical is now stocking replacement springs for the Rampage/Retaliator and wow but are they fun. I’m quite a fan of this rampage at the moment but friends who I’ve done the same swap for have complained that it’s too hard to prime. Not for the feint of heart or arm then!

I had just picked up a brand new Rampage for the purposes of this mod so we’ll be running through the AR removal again. Because the BT spring is shorter than the stock spring, we also need to remove.bypass most of the stock locks.

Continue reading

Mod Shop – Shortened Nerf Stampede

Our mod this week is a little different to most of the other posts so far. Not just because this is more of a discussion piece and less of a walk through, but also because this is the very Stampede that I actually use in games. It has a Black Tactical Stampede Kit, micro switch replacement, voltage upgrade, safety removal, and of course the physical shell mods. The latter four are what we’ll be talking about today. If you’re interested in the former, please check out my previous post on the subject.

I’ll start by saying that this was not done for aesthetic reasons, this was done for performance reasons. It is not pretty. Not by any stretch of the imagination. It is aesthetic modding at it’s ghetto finest. On the performance front however, the blaster is now smaller, lighter, easier to handle, simpler, and fires harder and faster.  All in all, I’d say it’s a pretty effective blaster.

Up first we’ll cover off the obvious stuff, the shell mods. I simply took my Dremel and proceeded to cut off everything that wasn’t needed. That means most of the battery tray is gone, the jam door, and everything in front of the front of the breech once it’s all the way forward. Everything related to the clip well is still in tact, along with the dart tooth and of course the entire firing mechanism.

Photobucket

I also did the same to the other side of the shell oddly enough.

Photobucket

Next up was the trigger micro switch. The stock stampede normally has a switch located here, underneath a flat orange cover. This switch has a rather weak return spring with can lead to bump firing. In the picture below I’ve already upgraded the spring, but for my own blaster I very much wanted it to be reliable, so I replaced the entire switch.

Photobucket

As you can see here, no more stock micro switch.

Photobucket

Instead I have my own one in the handle. This required some cutting to fit correctly, but it was pretty simple really. An assortment of hot glue and random pieces of plastic I had sitting around hold it in place.

Photobucket

A picture with the trigger pulled in and the switch depressed for reference.

Photobucket

Next up came further simplification. The stock stampede comes with a further four of these micro switches spread throughout the blaster. Here is a close up of one of them.

Photobucket

And another photo showing the location of all four. They act as safeties for the blaster, preventing you from firing unless the jam door is closed and there is a clip in the blaster. Now while I’m sure that’s all well and good for the 8yr old this blaster was designed for, I’m not going to jam my finger in it while it’s firing (if I do, I kinda deserve what happens), and I know not to dry fire. With all that in mind, these were all just added complications; extra things to go wrong if you will. Therefore, they all had to go.

Photobucket

As you’ll see in this photo, there are no more micro switches (other than the one for the trigger), no on/off switch, and none of the associated wiring. This means that the wire from the negative terminal on the battery sled goes directly to the motor, while the positive terminal leads to the trigger switch and then to the motor. Significantly simpler, far less to go wrong.

Photobucket

Finally came the voltage mod. Just as I did in my previous Stampede post, I’m using four Trustfire AA batteries. However, instead of the AA-D cell convertor shells I used last time, this time I hard wired a 4xAA holder inside the shell.

Photobucket

Originally I simply soldered this directly to the terminals as shown, but this eventually broke. Since then I’ve gone back and completely removed the terminals and soldered the holder directly to the existing wires.

Photobucket

Then it went back together.

Photobucket

I jammed the batteries in the remainder of the battery tray and went for a test fire. Surprise surprise, it worked. The batteries were held in with tape for quite some time (ghetto fabulous) but I’ve since devised a screw system to hold the batteries in place. Nothing fancy there, they’re just wedged into place with a bolt. No photos of the current system sorry 😦

Photobucket

Finally, size comparison with an Alpha Trooper.

Photobucket

Alright, that’s about it folks. Like I said, more of a “hey, check this out” style post rather than a walk through. The performance is exactly what you’d expect from any other stampede with 4 trustfires and a BT kit, only now it’s lighter, smaller, and simpler. How much lighter I hear you ask? Well a stock stampede with 6 D cells weights about 2.2kg, a stock stampede with no batteries is 1.3kg, and mine? 0.8kg, complete with batteries. Sure that might not seem like much, but it now weighs about 36% of what it originally did and will cause less of a strain while you’re running around.

I don’t know what more I can say about it other than, this is the blaster I use in most games. I can’t giving anything a higher praise.

Cheers,
Joe

Mod Shop – Nerf Stampede – AR, voltage, BT kit

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.

Photobucket

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.

Photobucket

As always, have a look at the internals and try to figure out how it works before you pull it all apart.

Photobucket

I promise you that it looks far more complicated than it actually is.

PhotobucketPhotobucket

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.

Photobucket

Behind it you should find the plunger tube.

Photobucket

Now remove the catch by unscrewing these two screws.

Photobucket

Then come back to the front of the breech assembly and remove these two screws. This part should then come off in two pieces.

Photobucket

We should be left with this.

Photobucket

Remove the whole plunger assembly and then the two screws at the back of it.

Photobucket

And it should come apart like so…

Photobucket

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.

Photobucket

Peel the backing tape from the padding and stick it to the plunger head, making sure that it’s centered.

Photobucket

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.

Photobucket

Now to get to work on the AR. Grab the plunger tube and your drill and make the AR disappear.

Photobucket

As always, clean it up with your hand file. We want that air flow as smooth as possible.

Photobucket

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.

Photobucket

Place the whole plunger/breech assembly back into place, re-seat the catch and screw it in. Photobucket

We’ll also need to put the cover back on too.

Photobucket

Then put this piece back in too. Not sure what it is, maybe a spring holder bracket?

Photobucket

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.

Photobucket

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.

Photobucket

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.

Photobucket

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.

Photobucket

Now put the switch back in

Photobucket

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.

Photobucket

Last stage of this modification is a voltage upgrade. In this case I used AA Ultrafire batteries

Photobucket

And to make it so that I got to keep the stock battery tray, I used four AA to D sized convertor shells.

Photobucket

Simply open the shell, place the AA inside and viola, you have yourself a D sized AA.

Photobucket

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.

Photobucket

Put the shell back together and then put the battery tray back in the blaster and we’re done! One modded stampede.

Photobucket

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.

Mod Shop – Nerf Alpha Trooper – Spring replacement problem solving

Sorry all, another quick one this week. Still no internet at home so had to punch out a quick one without many pictures. Hopefully I’ll be back to normal by next week.

Went to a game on Saturday; brilliant fun, lots of people, great games. Throughout the day I had a couple of people ask me about spring replacements on their Alpha Troopers and specifically why they were so much more problematic than spring replacement on other reverse plunger based blasters. I went home that afternoon and had a play around with two different AT’s (both with different aftermarket springs) and sure enough, results were mixed. Both blasters were wildly variable in their ranges and sometime would fail to cock altogether. I then grabbed a brand new AT and took to it. Did the standard AR job and tried a couple of different springs and still no love. Played around for a while trying to figure out what was the problem and all of a sudden it dawned on me; if I pushed the back of the plunger forward after I fired, it worked every time. I pulled it all apart to find out was causing it and wow but was it obvious. The stock AT spring is longer than either the Recon or the Raider. This is because it’s slightly under load when the blaster is un-primed, which forces a locking mechanism forward. Have a look at the first two photos below and you’ll soon see what I mean.

Here is the blaster with a BTV1 spring, under no load. Pay careful attention to the small black spring above the trigger and the mechanism it’s attached to.Photobucket

Now compare that to the position here when I pull the plunger all the way forward. See the difference? The stock spring would keep it under load, even when the blaster wasn’t primed.Photobucket

Again, the BTV1 un-primed.Photobucket

Compared to the BTV1 with the plunger pulled forward. See our problem here? I stuffed around trying to make a spacer that was the right length to force the mechanism forward enough but the compressed length of the spring was then too much with the spacer in place.

Photobucket

Instead, really simple solution.

Photobucket

Cut the stock spring down and use a few coils from it in addition to the BT spring and we’re in business.

Photobucket

Unfortunately the priming bar and bolt sled aren’t connected to the plunger so no amount of pulling the priming handle forward will solve it, we have to push the plunger forward from behind.

I put about 70 darts through it with no problems. No idea on ranges as I was confined to a garage at the time, but seems about on par with any other sprung reverse plunger blaster I’ve done. It should get a game tested soon enough and I’ll report back on it’s workings then, but for the moment I think I’m on to a winner.

Cheers guys, hope to return to normal by next week. Current plan is to do a write up on one of the more advanced blaster modifications I’ve done recently.

Joe