August 20, 2013

Buzz Bee Sidewinder Review and Thoughts

While the main focus of Buzz Bee's current lineup is on the EXTREME air blaster line, there are other blasters popping up. One example is the Sidewinder, which at first glance appears to be a Raider/Rampage clone with a turret instead of a drum clip. However, it works quite differently. Read on for more internal pictures and range testing!
Out of the box, the Sidewinder does indeed look reminiscent of a Raider or Rampage. However, it has a large turret, akin to the Tommy 20s of past generations. It also has a really thin shell profile at the drum well, indicating that this isn't a normal blaster.

The drum is held in place by two plastic clips that snap into the side of the blaster. These are easily removable, so the drum can be taken out and swapped for another one (assuming that you have one, that is. These drums are not sold separately, so you'd have to buy another Sidewinder. Experiment on the second blaster, perhaps?).

The rotation mech is simple; when you move the pump grip forward, a small ratchet moves the drum to the next position.

And the big question: how does this blaster work? Well, it's somewhat of a disappointment.

The pump handle IS the plunger on this blaster; the trigger is merely ornamental, and there is no spring power to be found. Range is simply dependent on how hard you pump. Unlike Nerf slamfire blasters, you fire on the backward motion, so there is no odd adjustment needed to aim.

Tubing connects the pump to the back of the drum well, where a foam seal presses against the back of the drum.

So, ranges? Well, assuming you can pump hard enough, you can certainly exceed the advertised 30 ft when angled, but it's nothing to write home about. The darts tend to fishtail out of the blaster before correcting themselves if you pump hard enough; it would seem that there may in fact be TOO MUCH plunger volume, especially when you consider the large plunger tube size in comparison to typically tiny Buzz Bee springers. 

There is enough meat to the shell to allow rebarreling the drum and adding a few inches, should you decide on using Elite darts or stefans. Furthermore, there are no dart pegs to speak of, only the tiny holes behind each barrel. While I doubt it would be easy to accomplish, one could theoretically turn this plaster into a springer. For an example of the mechanism needed (at least a variation of it), look at makeitgo's Multiple Orgasm.

Of course, a much easier modification would be dropping in an air tank, such as that of a Panther. There is plenty of empty shell space between the drum well and rear handle for an air tank.

Fir now, the Sidewinder seems to just be a fun blaster, especially for the younger crowd. I'd love to see what my fellow Nerfers try to do with it, though!


  1. I wanted to know what kind of darts it uses.

    1. Buzz bee darts. I personally prefer the suction cup ones.

  2. I know it's not as strong or effective as most similar Nerf blasters to this, but I love this toy. It's simply really fun. Plus it comes with a great sized drum that you can refil without having to take it out. And it also it helps that it generally goes for about half the price of a Stampede. Kids will love it, and if you don't love it, I can understand because it doesn't have great ranges, but you should probably just loosen up while you're playing with toys anyway. If you do, you'll have fun. :) Though, I recommend only really using it indoors.

  3. The Dart pump when pulled back and forward does not shoot the darts out. :(