I was very interested in Nerf's new Vortex series when I first found out about them. However, I didn't necessarily want to spend $25 on a Praxis or double that on the Nitron, so I decided on the Proton, the smallest Vortex blaster. Did it live up to the hype? Read more to find out.
The first thing I noticed when trying out this blaster is the number of locks and safeties on the new Vortex blasters. I'm not sure whether it's a good thing or not. The Nite Finder, a comparable single shot blaster is the exact opposite and is as simple as a plunger and a catch. It took me 10 minutes to fully understand all the catches and locks. They do prevent jams, however.
Once I finally got it working I wanted to see its performance. I took it into a thirty foot hallway, fired, and watched the disc zoom down the hallway with fairly little drop. I was pretty impressed. The power was very consistent as well. Another thing I noticed was that the discs tend to curve off to the left, which is bad for accuracy, but at least it was consistent.
I tested the RoF against some other blasters. These results are how many seconds it took for each blaster to load and fire 4 shots.
PAS (breeched, heavily modded) 27 seconds
Nite Finder (modded w/ vacuum loading) 12 seconds
Tek 6 10 seconds
Proton 18 seconds
Vigilon 7 seconds
As shown by the results, the Proton shoots pretty slow overall. The disc loading method is neat, but involves more steps than necessary to load darts. The Vigilon (review coming soon) is great because you can just slap in several shots and fire them as fast as you can prime it.
Overall, the Proton is interesting and is a good intro to the Vortex series. I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars. However, I would recommend the Vigilon over this if you don't mind spending the extra $5 for something with better capacity. I think that while the Vortex most likely will not replace N-Strike, Nerf did something unique that works well with the Vortex series.