Chicken Dinner

They don’t call me Champion Dave for nothing…

Crablike appendage not required for this mod.

At the weekend I purchased my second Nerf gun – an N-Strike Barrel Break IX-2. It’s a double-barreled shotgun and it was very simple to modify (at first). We simply drilled out the air restrictor completely (as you can see in the picture above), taped over the daft air release hole in the front part of the air chamber and then wrapped tape around the part where the spring sits on the air chamber to give it a bit of a buffer and to act as spacing. This increased the power of the gun fairly dramatically and didn’t take very long to do at all.

Then it all went belly up. The left chamber either wasn’t cocking or, the cocking mechanism was jamming, or the right chamber just wasn’t firing at all, or some combination of all three from pretty much as soon as I put the gun back together for the ‘final’ time. And I couldn’t figure out at all why. We tried removing some of the tape, gluing some components in place, firing it with only one chamber inside… pretty much everything we could think of, but to no avail.

I realised after much cursing that the rear part of the air chambers (obviously the Barrel Break has two, one for each barrel) were the wrong way around. Each has a clip that I had diligently made sure was facing down, in order to be caught correctly by the cocking mechanism, but we had completely missed the fact that these were off-centre – in the opposite direction to each other. A simple swap of these led to… one successful firing of both barrels.

Finally, late last night I cracked it. Not only had I put the air chambers back into the gun the wrong way around, but I had also put the left-hand trigger mechanism in back to front, explaining why that chamber wasn’t cocking and why the whole action of priming and cocking the gun felt like the whole thing was going to break in my hands (if I didn’t smash it repeatedly against a rock first). It’s all working fine now, though I need to reapply some more tape to act as a spacer or find some other sort of large washer, perhaps, to do the trick. I’vve also spent some of today shaving, filing and sanding down much of the exterior aesthetic nonsense on both the Barrel Break and the Maverick.

My jubilation over the completion of this mod cannot be underestimated, as it was really ticking me off on Sunday and I got a bit frustrated with it, myself and a few of the cooks (too many of ’em) pitching in variously with advice, suggestions and mockery. Still, I’m the one with the working shotgun now. 

Winner, winner, chicken dinner. (More Nerf news and mod updates coming soon).

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