I have to say that I’ve never been in an IT department that didn’t have at least one Nerf gun hanging around. I know that I have at least 2 in my office right now, not counting the 2 that are here to review. The first of these to come under the microscope is a single shot gun, the Nerf Nite Finder EX-3. This is a micro-dart gun with two unique features, an aiming light, and the ability to connect to and become part of the larger Nerf N-Strike weapon system.
The Nite Finder comes neatly packaged with 3 darts (and a convenient order form for more darts), instructions, and a base that can be used to hold a target, which is printed on the back of the box waiting to be cut out. It requires 2 AA batteries for the targeting light which aren’t included.
The gun itself is blue, with safety orange highlights. It fits neatly in the hand, and has storage for 2 extra darts underneath the aiming light.
The Nite Finder EX-3 is pretty much ready to use out of the box. The only assembly required is the installation of the 2 AA batteries for the aiming light. These are installed in the bottom of the pistol grip. The installation does require a small phillips screwdriver for opening the battery compartment. A bit of pressure is required on the compartment cover to screw it back together after the batteries are installed, but nothing excessive. The instructions that come with the gun show cover the battery installation with very good illustrations, and installation only takes about 30 seconds (after you search around for batteries).
Using the Nite Finder EX-3:
The Nite Finder EX-3 is a single shot spring loaded gun, unlike some of the older, larger Nerf guns that use large air bladders for shooting. The weapon is cocked by pulling back on a finger loop on the back of the gun. Once the gun is cocked, a dart is loaded in the muzzle of the weapon, and you are ready for action. The aiming light is activated by pulling back slightly on the trigger of the weapon. Pulling the trigger the rest of the way fires the dart.
Aiming this Nerf Gun is a bit different than the other versions I’ve used. The light beam is actually quite useful for aiming. Using the small protrusions on either side of the aiming light lense, you can easily adjust the impact point of the light dot. Centering the lens by eye before shooting it for the first time, I hit the water bottles that I was using for targets with my first three shots. Not bad at all. The range was about 12 feet, or a cube and a bit, and it was indoors with little or no air movement to disturb the flight of the dart.
Overall the Nite Finder EX-3 is a good single shot weapon. It has a unique laser-like aiming system, and good accuracy out to 20 feet. The easy adjust feature of the aiming light makes it easy to adjust the point of impact for your shooting style. Range is listed on the box as 35 feet, which seemed a bit long for any kind of accurate shooting, but the darts do have some force still upon impact at that range.
We weren’t able to test how the Night Finder EX-3 fits into the N-Strike system right now, but we will try to in the future.
I do have one concern with this Nerf blaster, which is related to the unique aiming light, which in the dark, and coupled with the outline of the blaster, look very much like a real weapon. Otherwise, the Night Finder EX-3 is a fun, easy to use and rather unique Nerf Blaster, just perfect for blowing off steam in your department.