Are two barrels better than one?
Coming out of the main Doomlands line, the Nerf Double Dealer is an aggressive new blaster with a clip-based, shotgun styled body. It comes with two twelve dart clips, which are loaded and fired from simultaneously from each of the two barrels. It’s also capable of slam fire, features two tactical rails along the top, and can even hold two standard clips in its stock behind the trigger handle. With a comfortable grip and pump action, it’s a gun loaded with potential, but that ultimately falls short in a few key areas.
Out of the box, the blasters requires a small amount of assembly to snap together the slots where clips are fed, and in the usual Nerf style, these are very difficult to remove when placed. After assembly, one or two clips can be loaded into the side slots, which are compatible with all current NERF clip system holders (though loading in two 300-count drums does throw the weight off drastically.) The firing mechanism, a handle pump on the underside of the gun, is satisfyingly loud and catches properly throughout extended use. In fact, unlike other blasters with a ‘softer’ priming system, the Double Dealer is less prone to jamming on uncooperative darts, and more prone to simply shredding or folding them.
Speaking of darts, NERF continues a new trend with its clip system guns by including two custom 12 dart clips. With a partially see-through exterior and some sharp modeling on the bottom and back, these clips look just as aggressive as the blaster itself. They are also compatible with most other NERF clip guns, with the exception of the older version of the Recon MKII, and feed properly into automatic blasters. The gun itself accepts all NERF clips, up to and including the 36 shot drums, two of which result in a very strangely balanced weapon.
Aesthetics aside, the performance of the Double Dealer is lower than what it advertises. Darts travel anywhere between 40-50 feet on average, though removing one clip and firing the blaster with only one feed does increase the shot speed and distance. Admittedly, doing so negates the main selling point of the Double Dealer, but allowing it to fire single shots is helpful when ammo runs low. After cycling through roughly 20 clips, we experienced only two miss-feeds, both of which soundly destroyed the dart but allowed one chamber to continue firing. However, it is worth noting that many other reviewers have commented on an unusually high jam rate, especially when using older clips. Overall, the performance is very middle of the road, and it’s clear this gun was designed more for its looks than its bite.
Despite a very interesting design and a neat gimmick, the Double Dealer falls hard in one area: price. Coming in at a MSRP of $39.99, the Double Dealer is just simply too expensive for what it offers. It’s hard to see this being used as a main blaster by more serious players due to its wavering performance and jam issues, and the expensive price moves it out of the hobby enthusiast sweet spot. What’s worse, the wonderfully designed clips are locked behind a paywall that many will find difficult to justify spending. As the blaster drops to the twenty dollar range, it may become valuable as a way to pick up some non-standard clips and a decent shotgun, but until then, the Double Dealer is a dead man’s hand.