This week, we’ll be playing the NES classic, Duckhunt using the zapper light gun. Wait, hang on. Nope, scratch that, this is a Nerf blaster, but let’s be fair, you can understand my confusion. I mean, look at it. Ok, fine, we can look at it together. Let’s get into reviewing the N-Strike SharpFire.
THE BLASTER ITSELF
The SharpFire was released in 2015 as part of the N-Strike series which was a little odd seeing as N-Strike Elite had already been launched several years prior. It is a single-shot, breach-loading pistol/rifle thing. It’s a bit of a mess, quite frankly. To my knowledge, it was the first Nerf blaster to use this breach-loading mechanism but not the last as it has also appeared in the Modulus and Accustrike lines as the IonFire and FalconFire respectively. The core blaster can be used on its own as a small pistol or combined with the included (and proprietary) stock and barrel extension. The barrel extension is just a tube that snaps on the front, but the stock can be reversed and used as a holster of sorts. It even has a belt clip on one side and can hold 6 extra darts in storage as well as holding onto the barrel extension when not in use. The shell of the blaster is completely original and has only seen reuse in the SharpFire Delta, effectively just a recolor and without the accessories. The ergonomics of the SharpFire leave something to be desired. The lump on the back of the pistol grip makes achieving a firm grip rather awkward, and the barrel and stock are too short. The stock is especially uncomfortable as it has no semblance of a cheek rest of any kind, leaving your head floating awkwardly behind the blaster as you hunch way down to get any kind of sight picture. The whole thing is quite literally a pain in the neck. This is not helped by the fact that the barrel attachment mechanism is so poorly designed that it is both too tight where it causes stress marks in the plastic from attaching and detaching, but also too loose so the barrel never stays on straight. As a pistol, my left hand can wrap around the fingers of my right hand in a standard grip, but as a rifle (kinda sorta), It feels like there should be something more substantial to hold on to in the front of the blaster and there isn’t. These would be bad enough except that both of these accessories are only compatible with the SharpFire, and likewise, the SharpFire can’t accept standard attachments. Performance isn’t exactly stellar either. With just the core blaster, many shots seem to idly coast through the air before dropping to the floor as opposed to the speed and force seen with Elite series blasters, which again, had been out for 3 years at this point. I just feel like I need to point that out again. With the barrel attachment on, the loose fit would sometimes mean that darts would impact the inside of the barrel and slow down before exiting the blaster, leading to some hilariously flaccid shots. Needless to say, you don’t want this happening when you decide to bust into your younger sibling’s room. You’ve got an image to maintain. The SharpFire comes packaged with its stock, barrel extension, and 10 N-Strike Elite darts.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Hoo-boy. That was a rough one. When it was first shown in a leaked promo image back in 2014, I was super excited for it to come out because it didn’t look like anything that had come out before it. I was really confused why no one else seemed interested in what could have potentially been a dedicated Nerf sniper. Then it came out and I figured out why. I guess it’s hard to convey scale on a low res leaked picture but this thing really is just kind of disappointing all around.