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Nerf Raider CS-35 Dart Blaster Review

Updated on March 26, 2015

With the wide variety of Nerf guns out there, it’s sometimes hard for newcomers to know where to start. Like real weapons, each Nerf dart blaster fills a niche. You can get anything from the massive N-Strike Stampede ECS machine gun to the highly portable six dart barrel Maverick. For most kids the best place to start is with a fairly light-weight semi-automatic like the CS-35. It is perfect for the running-and-gunning manoeuvres that kids are most interested in. From there you can add more specialized weapons to the arsenal if so desired.

The Raider is unique in that it has a very high-capacity magazine, yet it is easy to run around with. The special magazine drum holds a generous supply of 35 foam darts. By adding an additional magazine and more ammo, you have the luxury of swapping an empty clip with a full one without reloading. You’ll probably want to opt for the deluxe set or to stock up on accessories right off the bat because running around the yard to pick up the darts after shooting off 35 darts gets old fast. With two magazines and 70 darts on hand, the possibilities open up considerably.

That huge capacity comes with a downside. Since the magazine clips into one side, it is of course heavier on one side than the other. This can make aiming more challenging that it has to be as the feel of the Raider is less than ideal.

One great thing about this gun is it fit nicely in a variety of different hands. It doesn’t matter how big or small you are as the stock at the back of the gun is adjustable. If that doesn’t suit you, simply press a neon orange button to release and remove the stock altogether. A tactical rail allows you to attach optional accessories from Nerf such as a scope or light.

There are two methods that can be employed for firing. You can pull the trigger then pull back the pneumatic pump to reload, or alternatively hold down the trigger and use the pump to initiate rapid fire. Once you get a feel for it you should be able to fire off around two darts per second. It is powered by this pumping action so batteries are not required unlike some of its larger cousins.

If you’re looking for a Nerf gun with a long range, the CS-35 falls short. Long-range shooting isn’t what the Raider was designed for. As the name implies it is for closer range offensive attacks on the ‘enemy base.’ The CS-35 can shoot good distances up to 30 feet at times but can’t do so consistently. On average shots can be expected to max out at around 15-20 feet.

Nerf Raider and Longshot.
Nerf Raider and Longshot.

Nerf Raider CS-35 Dart Blaster Review Verdict

The CS-35 is the workhorse most kids will want to take into battle. It is reliable and a blast to run around and fire with. That is what boys love doing with Nerf guns after all.

Out of any Nerf gun on the market this one provides the best value for the dollar. Kids will like the high-capacity magazine and as long as you have at least two magazine and 70 darts (available with the deluxe set), it won’t be such a hassle to keep gathering darts and reloading all the time. Also impressive is the fact that you don’t need batteries to operate the Raider. Running out of power mid-battle is sure to get any kid pummelled with foam, unable to defend against the onslaught of darts.

The only real drawback with the Nerf Raider CS-35 Dart Blaster is the modest range. If you like to blast your enemies from a distance, take a look at the Longshot CS-6 or Stampede ECS instead.


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