I think the Vortex line has perhaps the weirdest naming scheme of any group of Nerf blasters. You start out with the Proton and the Praxis, both real words. Maybe they’re going for a pr- naming pattern here, but then you get the Vigilon. Huh. That’s not a word, but ok. Follow that up with the Nitron. Ok, that’s just close enough to being a real word, I’m just annoyed. There’s already a Proton, why not commit and call it the Neutron? “But Tim, it’s got nitro in the name to emphasize how fast it is.” I hear you say. But is it fast? Is it really? That’s a question for the rest of the review to answer.
THE BLASTER ITSELF
The Nitron was released in 2011 as the big flagship blaster for the launch of the Vortex series. It uses a standard flywheel control setup for the blaster with a motorized pusher enabling full-auto fire. The interesting thing about the flywheels is that they’re different sizes to impart a spin to the discs as they are fired, you know, so they work at all. The full-auto is a nice thought, but it’s just so slow that a manual semi-auto trigger could easily outpace it without even trying too hard. Not looking so good on the “nitro” front. I guess the complex system of wheels, and levers, and whirling blades used to launch the discs was too dangerous to put a jam door on it, so instead, there’s a disconnect switch along the top of the blaster, just behind the single accessory rail. Toggling the switch off not only opens the circuit and prevents the flywheels from revving, but also moves the retaining bar in the chamber out of the way, allowing troublesome discs to fall out the barrel when tilted down. Returning briefly to the accessory rail, the Nitron was initially packaged with a very fancy light up scope with several styles of illumination, and is actually quite a nice little extra piece, however mine is elsewhere at the time of me writing this so it wont appear in any photos. Just know that it is part of the Nitron package and I still have mine, just somewhere else for now. Don’t give me that look. The body of the Nitron is all original and even has a slot in the back of the stock to hold a extra magazine, should you have one handy. The lever just above the trigger is the magazine release for the forward magazine well. The ergonomics are decent as all of the controls are easily accessible and there aren’t any sharp edges or abrasive textures. The stock feels a little long for the rest of the blaster, and I keep getting the feeling like maybe it should be fired from on top of the shoulder like a rocket launcher. Now the performance. The “nitro” part. It uh… it’s slow. It’s real slow. I mean, it shoots mini frisbees, so they fly a good long ways, but they’re really not in a hurry. Even the rate of fire is leisurely at best. Sure, it’s big and looks impressive, but unless your younger siblings are completely paralyzed by fear when you bust into their room, you might have a harder than usual time actually trying to hit them. The Nitron requires 6 C cell batteries to fire, and the included scope takes 2 AA batteries. The Nitron comes packaged with the scope, a 20 round magazine and 20 Vortex discs.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
So no, it’s not fast. Should have just called it the Neutron. Oh well. It’s not a bad blaster, really, just far outclassed in this day and age. If you can find one for a decent price, I’d even recommend picking one up, if for no other reason than to get yourself a nice scope and a 20 round Vortex mag.