The NERF Lawbringer is an imposing blaster, dominated by a large 12 round drum and post-apocalyptic styling. The firing mechanism is similar to the Hammershot, so it can be used one-handed, but it does not feature slam-fire.
I must admit I found the specification of this blaster a little confusing at first glance. Spring-powered with no slam-fire and no magazines usually imply a secondary weapon, but the size and capacity imply it should be a primary.
So where does the Lawbringer fit in the world of NERF blasters? Let’s see how it all works and see if we can make head or tail of it.
- I love the looks – impressively threatening
- Incredibly good fun and comfortable to use, it feels like shooting a sawn-off shotgun from the hip!
- Very reliable – the only jam I had was when I didn’t push a dart in far enough
- You can partially re-load the large 12 round drum as it is front loading, so it is operational as soon as a single round is loaded.
- No slam fire, so the rate of fire is not the fastest, but adequate once you get the hang of fanning it
- No way of doing a quick full reload – each dart must be loaded
- Stock is a little small for shouldering.
- Slightly expensive blaster for what it offers
- Hammer-action priming means no batteries required and it can be primed one-handed, great for games like capture the flag where you could use a spare hand.
- Post-apocalyptic styling and transparent casing to show inner workings make it look damn cool!
- 12 round drum gives you a good capacity and ability to partially reload make it a good blaster for games that require a lot of scrabbling around for ammo.
- The rate of fire is never going to scare anyone though!
Essentially an overgrown Hammershot (and nothing wrong with that!) that is great fun, looks cool and, in the right circumstances, makes a great Primary blaster.
Doomlands Lawbringer Review
The Lawbringer appeared in 2015 as part of the 2169 Doomlands range. While it does not say “Elite” anywhere on it, the Doomlands 2169 range is made to the same internal specifications as the Elite N-Strike blasters. This means the power and range should be similar, just with a post-apocalyptic edge rather than the sci-fi styling of the N-Strike Elite range.
So we can see this hammer-action blaster looks as cool as, plus it should fire with decent amounts of power.
However it is too large to realistically be slung as a secondary blaster, but has no magazines or slam-fire to make it an obvious primary weapon.
So is it nothing more than a cool looking blaster or does it have a place in a serious NERFers collection?
Unboxing & Getting Started
Once you have battled your way through the various cable ties and torn cardboard, you will find the blaster itself, 12 Darts, which are also branded Doomlands but are no different from Elite Darts, and the instructions.
The blaster comes completely assembled. All you have to do is pop in the 12 darts that come in a separate bag and you are ready to go.
Design & Ergonomics
Starting from the front of this blaster at the stubby muzzle, you will find a sling point, however, it does not have an N-Strike attachment so you cannot put on barrel extensions. This is not much of a surprise as this is not an N-Strike blaster, and the 2169 Doomlands range has a different aesthetic.
On the top it features an iron sight and two tactical rails, so there is a good amount of scope (excuse the pun!) for customizing it with your choice of accessories (sold separately of course).
Underneath it has a nice handgrip, but no other tactical rails.
Looking at the grip, the handle feels a little weird initially as the angle is very steep for a blaster the size of this. Once you get used to it it’s not uncomfortable so there’s no problem there.
The grip itself is large enough for a large hand like mine but also works well for smaller hands too – it makes me wonder why NERF don’t do more grips like this rather than squashing things up as they’ve done with the Hyperfire.
If I am being picky, the grip is a little cramped if you have the habit of keeping your finger outside the trigger guard when you are not about to fire. This gets taught in firearms training, but if you usually keep your finger in the trigger guard you’ll never notice.
Moving further back to the stock, there is a second sling mount and slots to hold six darts on either side. This means you can hold one full reload on the blaster itself, a nice touch.
The length of the stock is smaller than it looks. This means that when an adult shoulders it, it feels a bit cramped up. This is similar in feel to the NERF Retaliator, but with a blaster like this, you’re probably going to be shooting from the hip anyway!
Loading and Firing
To load, the 12 darts need to go into the cylinder. A dozen darts is a pretty good capacity for a cylinder and it is fixed in the blaster, you don’t need to push a button to eject it. You load each dart from the front with the plastic tip pointing away from the cylinder in the direction of fire. You can rotate it freely to load the next spare slot in the cylinder.
This method of loading has pros and cons versus magazines. Magazines allow you to very quickly switch from one pre-loaded magazine to another. However, once you run out of preloaded mags it’s actually faster to reload a cylinder than to reload an empty magazine and then reinsert that magazine. So if you’re the type to just run a big dump pouch of ammo or you are in a game where scratching around for ammo is the order of the day, this could be the blaster for you.
To prime it, ready to fire, look just above the grip to the orange tongue looking thing. This is the priming handle. To prime, just pull down until it clicks. You are now cocked ready to go, assuming you’ve loaded it of course!
Another nice touch is that the shell is transparent, so when you operate the priming mechanism you can see it all operate which is very cool.
The priming action itself is just like a Hammershot. This can be done easily two-handed, but it can be done one-handed with a little bit of practice to make it smooth.
The trigger action is also just like any other spring powered blaster, with good feel and an easy pull.
Rate of Fire
This is a non-slam fire spring blaster, so you are never going to keep up with a flywheeler, but with a bit of practice at fan-firing, cowboy style, you can get a pretty decent rate of fire.
You have also got 12 rounds to play with, double most blasters of this style, so it can do a pretty good job of covering fire when needed.
Accuracy and Range
The internals are made to the same spec as the Elite blasters and we actually got a slightly higher than average set of figures for the muzzle velocity, averaging 73FPS.
This slight increase in muzzle velocity, while good, does not really affect the range much and this is in line with a most Elite blaster with a max useful range falling around the 20m mark. As with all NERF blasters, we got the occasional one flying off further and some reaching less far.
If you don’t like all these high-tech magazines and battery-powered flywheel blasters and want a slightly different primary blaster, this could be for you.
It’s really comfortable to shoot and it has a pretty good rate of fire once you get the hang of fanning the hammer. It is far more reliable and lighter than any flywheel powered blaster. Plus 12 rounds is a decent capacity for a non-magazine fed blaster and it’s very quick to reload, relatively speaking.
This blaster is as simple and practical as you can get – there are no batteries needed, you just stuff the darts in, prime it and you are ready to fire. Sure magazines will carry more ammo per load, but when it comes time to reload and you don’t have any extra mags this will be the blaster you want.
Being picky, the stock is a bit too short, but I cannot see myself firing like this, you just want to fire from the hip Clint Eastwood style. You’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when this gets in your hands!
Other than that, some people just don’t like this priming style. So if you are one of those, I wouldn’t buy a Lawbringer!
So overall opinion of the Lawbringer is that it is a whole lot of fun and in some wars, this will make an ideal weapon of choice. It is definitely worth your consideration.