This Mod Guide will cover performance mods for the Nerf Retaliator.
- Air Restrictor (AR) Removal
- Spring Replacement
- Locks Removal
These mods are also applicable to the Nerf Rampage as they both share similar
internal bolt and plunger mechanisms.
Disclaimer: Modify at your own risk. Modifications may wear out or damage your blaster. Please be careful when using hobby tools!
:: AR Removal ::
Step 1: Disassemble
your Retaliator. Make sure to remove all the screws before detaching the
Step 2: Take out the bolt sled assembly. Disassemble the plunger mechanism components and remove the plunger casing from the bolt system.
This is what the bolt looks like with the air restrictors still intact.
Step 3: Use a long screwdriver and a hammer, carefully knock out
the air restrictor assembly though the back of the bolt.
You can also use other tools (ie. power drills) to remove the air restrictors too. Just be careful not to damage the bolt in the process.
This is what the bolt looks like with the air restrictors removed.
At this point in the process, you will probably notice that a leftover part of the air restrictor (the 3 pronged piece) is still inside the bolt, and it will tend to rattle loosely back and forth. Simply apply a drop of glue inside the rear section of the bolt and let that loose piece adhere to the back so that it doesn't move anymore.
:: Spring Replacement ::
One of the ways to increase the speed of air delivery through the bolt is to
replace the stock spring with a stronger aftermarket spring.
There are many different springs with different sizes and spring force ratings. Spring choice will depend on your usage.
This example below shows a stock spring (top photo) vs. an aftermarket 8kg load spring (bottom photo).
Notice that the stronger aftermarket spring i use is made shorter than the stock spring, this is because the spring wire is thicker, hence it takes up more space when compressed.
The reduction in spring length allows the plunger system to accommodate the extra space required by the aftermarket spring (or else the plunger will not be able to catch properly).
Note that when using shorter aftermarket springs, the bolt lock should also be removed to ensure that the bolt does not get stuck during usage (see below for more information on bolt lock removal).
Here is what they look like installed within the plunger system.
Note that in this plunger design, the spring has to be kept within the catch system dimensions to work.
:: Special Notes ::
Generally for blasters with air restrictors removed, padding is usually recommended to be installed on the plunger. This is because without the AR, there is no air buffering system to cushion the plunger on bolt impact.
But in the Retaliator plunger system, the plunger itself features a narrowed internal area at the front section, this creates a sort of "buffer" effect and prevents the plunger from striking the bolt.
During modding tests, it turns out that plunger padding wasn't necessary in this blaster. Even without any plunger padding, when the
blaster was fired, there was only a
muffled impact sound (instead of the loud cracking noise common in previous blaster designs).
In addition, the stock o-ring already has an excellent seal, so there was no need to replace it. Note that if the plunger seal is too tight, it may create excessive resistance and slow down the plunger, resulting in noticeably reduced performance.
:: Locks Removal ::
Remove the bolt and trigger locks. This is an optional modding step, but it is highly recommended (especially in blasters with air restrictors removed and using shorter aftermarket springs).
With the locks removed, it allows users to be able to release a primed blaster in a controlled manner. This is more convenient than having to fire an extra shot just to de-prime the blaster and helps prevent dry firing.
The user can simply push back the bolt anytime, pull the trigger to release the catch, then ease the plunger forward under support with the priming grip.
In addition, as mentioned earlier, the bolt lock removal mod is also required when using shorter aftermarket springs, to ensure that the bolt does not get stuck during usage.
Important Note: With the bolt and trigger locks removed, users have to ensure that the bolt sled is pushed all the way forward before firing (do not fire when the breech is partially or fully open).
For additional reference, here is the bolt lock removal procedure for the Nerf Rampage (photo shows the left side of the Rampage casing):
:: Final Step ::
Assemble everything back together and its all done!
:: Modified Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator - Range Test Video ::
:: Sample Test Fire Data ::
PTG: Parallel-To-Ground (Shoulder height, no elevation)
ATG: Angled-To-Ground (Aimed higher, 30 degrees elevation)
Distance is measured at where the dart lands (Average of 6 darts).
Stock Elite Retaliator
Ammo: Elite foam darts
PTG = 45-55ft
ATG = 65-75ft
Modified Elite Retaliator (AR Removed Only)
Ammo: Customized foam darts + 1.0 gram soft silicone tip weight
PTG = 55-65ft
ATG = 75-85ft
Modified Elite Retaliator (AR Removed + 8kg Load Spring)
Ammo: Customized foam darts + 1.0 gram soft silicone tip weight
PTG = 70-80ft
ATG = 90-100ft
Note that Elite foam darts can achieve similar ranges too, but their overall performance and accuracy tend to be rather erratic when used in modded blasters (ie. they still curve and swerve in flight), so their results are less consistent.
The tests were done under controlled conditions and the
results are sample estimates for reference (your results may differ
depending on materials and mod techniques used).
:: Additional Notes ::
For modding reference, i've also tested the brass breech mod on one of my other Retaliator units and its ranges improved further by another 10-15ft.
Note that although an improved breech system
with 100% air seal does help increase power efficiency and range, the overall performance improvements are still based on their existing plunger air volumes (compared to larger direct plunger blasters like Longshots or Stampedes).
:: Modding Materials ::
For modders who are keen on aftermarket springs for modding the Retaliator or Rampage, here is the Elite Retaliator/Rampage Mod Upgrade Spring available for online purchase.
To use this aftermarket spring, please take note of the following:
- Although this spring will initially be a tight fit on the plunger rod, when it compresses it will widen slightly for smooth plunger movement, this is designed so that the stronger spring is still kept within the catch and plunger space perimeters during compression for reliable blaster operation.
- The bolt lock MUST be removed for the blaster to work properly with this spring (otherwise the bolt will get stuck and cannot be primed).
- This spring is compatible with both the Retaliator and Rampage.
- For Rampage users, the metal priming bar connecting the pump action grip and the bolt sled on some units may bend slightly due to the heavier spring load, therefore this could cause the plunger not to catch by just 1-2mm. The solution is to either apply a layer of foam padding on the plunger head as a spacer or epoxy the priming bar to make it stiffer. Another alternative is to cut a ring of PVC pipe and epoxy it to the back of the bolt as a spacer too. These various methods will help to add abit more distance to the plunger rod moving backwards to enable it to catch properly.
- Update! This aftermarket spring now comes in a shiny silver color (instead of dark metal).
- The international postage and packaging is set at a flat USD$5.00, regardless of spring quantity, therefore it is worth ordering more springs at one go to save on overall postage. :)
- Combined orders with other kits or springs are also possible too, just place the orders together and the excess postage will be refunded back to your PayPal account.