It has been several months since I started following the news and speculation about the new line of Vortex series blasters. I thing I noticed was that a lot of people had little confidence in Disc blasters in general, as previous attempts have been less than impressive.
This new series of blasters caught my attention, so I went and picked up the Proton when the stock finally arrived in Singapore on the 9th.
The Nerf Vortex Proton is essentially a breech-loaded disc pistol that launches the new XLR (eX
ange) ammo. It fulfils the role of being the venerable Nitefinder's counterpart, and does a decent job of it.
The XLR Disc ammo is a little plastic disc with a foam rim, shaped like a frisbee or saucer with a hollow undercentre.
A simple ring-holed tab pulls out the breech-feed, as well as the bottom-rail of the entire barrel assembly. Very generous tolerance allows for the disc ammo to be loaded easily, and then a pair of tiny levers similar to actual firearm safety switches triggers the spring that pulls the whole assembly back into the pistol. When fired, the spinning discs easily achieve about 60-ish feet, or about 20-ish meters, of flight (performance may vary due to loose tolerances).
The simple, compact pistol body includes a relatively small but well-molded grip, and a triangular under-barrel assembly that contains the torsion spring that powers the launch mechanism. A small push-button built into the breech-tab serves for the jam release, which makes part of the barrel's tapered inner rail pull back to allow the disc to slip out.
Due to the loose tolerance, the Proton rattles when you shake it as the breech/barrel assembly slides back and forth, but in general, the little disc pistol is remarkably reliable. Safety locks built into the mechanism prevent you from dry-firing, or even attempting to fire with the disc inserted upside down.
Unless you are a staunch Nerf Dart conservative or simply are scared of attracting tiny dogs to play fetch with your XLR ammo, the Proton is definitely a wonderful little pistol to mess with. It's certainly a less "realistic" take on the toy foam blaster than the tacticool N-strike line, and a lot less likely to get police asking awkward questions when you get caught in public armed with it. I definitely recommend it!