The ZhenWeiQi S200 Fire Rat is an excellent choice for an injection-molded springer sidearm blaster. It’s pretty powerful for its size, and its proprietary magazine makes the grip much more comfortable than it would have been with the full-sized Angled Talon mags available when it was released. Even with the release of the Nightingale and its “minimized” Talon mags, this blaster is hard to beat, especially at only $80.
You can hear more of my thoughts in the review video I made earlier this year. However, if you’re already sold on the Fire Rat, you’ll be excited to hear we started carrying the Fire Rat on the shop a couple of weeks ago.
As mentioned in the listing, the blaster comes disassembled in two boxes. In both the video and the written tutorial, we will go through what those boxes contain, how to assemble your blaster from those pieces, and even what you need to do to Worker Nightingale magazines for additional compatibility and capacity. Let's get going!
TOOLS, MATERIALS, & SUPPLIES NEEDED
Tools and materials required to do this job include
- a mallet or hammer
- a 2mm pin punch or an old 130-sized flywheel motor
- a 2.5mm hex key,
- a 2mm hex key,
- a pair of tweezers or small pliers,
- Super Lube or axle grease
- A cotton swab or acid shop brush (to apply the superlube)
- An old towel or rag
Though not shown in the tutorial, adding silicone lubricant to the plunger assembly is also recommended. We recommend Slug Slym, and we will be carrying it soon.
UNPACKING & ORGANIZING PARTS
First, go ahead and unpack everything. Again, the blaster comes in two boxes: One has the main body, the grip plug, and the bag of hardware; the other has the main assembly, the trigger, and the magazine. I recommend taking the time to organize the parts into a bin to make sure nothing rolls away off the table.
PLUNGER REASSEMBLY & SPRING SWAP ACCESS
In this tutorial, we're going to disassemble the internals a little further to show you how to swap your spring and lubricate your plunger. First, take the main internal assembly, and remove both the prime slide and pusher that were fit on the end for shipping. Remove both the orange barrel ring and the main front muzzle piece. Next, push down the tab on the top of the internal assembly to release the spring from the plunger. Here you'll have access to your spring and your plunger.
Putting it back together, line up the barrel and the catch through their respective holes. Note that the prime return spring tends to bind around the barrel as you align it into the hole. As you have it compressed, lift the tab (at the top of the assembly) back into place. Replace the front muzzle pieces, flexing the main piece around the plunger tube to where there are cutouts. Next, take the two longest screws and tighten them through the main front muzzle with the 2.5mm hex key.
INSTALLING THE TRIGGER & INTERNAL ASSEMBLY
Moving to the main body, remove the grip plug from the back and set that aside. Take the two longer springs from your hardware bin and apply a bit of superlube or axle grease as a temporary adhesive. With the tweezers, rest the springs in the channel and against the square stops. You may get away with resting the spring in the channel and sliding the spring against the stop with your pinky. Carefully insert the trigger, resting the plate in front of the springs, so it sits flush in the channel. Note: do not move or put pressure on the trigger at this time, as you are likely to knock the springs loose
Next, take the internal assembly and insert it into the body, again being careful that we don't displace the springs and the trigger. With one hand, hold the blaster at the trigger guard and carefully hold the trigger in place, keeping it flush in its channel. Take internal assembly and insert it through the front. You may need to flex the rear ends of the internal assembly to get it started. Tip this down slightly and gently work this towards the back. The parts of the front muzzle clamped around the plunger may also need to be pinched inwards to fit in the main body.
Next the slide lock: one of the unique features of this blaster. With some superlube or axle grease, temporarily adhere the smaller spring to the top of the channel and rest the second piece on top so that the tiny tab notches into the bottom of the same channel. Flip the assembled slide lock over, and drop that in place carefully, where the whole assembly rests under the internal assembly, and the switch pokes through its hole above the left side of the grip.
Hold the assembled slide lock in place and push the internal assembly further back into the main body. With a sort of twisting motion, use tweezers to swap positions of the trigger and catch near the front muzzle. Finish inserting the internal assembly and let go of the slide lock when it is secure.
SCREWS & PINS
Now install the two pins pictured here. They are close to the same size, but one is slightly longer. The longer one goes in the top, the shorter one in the bottom. Place the blaster on top of the towel to prevent marring, and then gently hammer the pins down into position with your mallet. Set the pins to the final millimeter with the pin punch or motor.
Next, take the four black screws and secure the internal assembly with the two longer ones using your 2mm hex driver. Drive the two shorter screws on either side of the plunger tube. Replace the grip block, take the largest pin, and hammer that down into place with your mallet and pin punch.
Reinstall the pusher between the two protruding ends of the internal assembly (now the prime slide assembly), lining it up with two different sets of holes along the top. Fasten with two screws in the front countersunk holes with the 2mm hex key. Take the shortest of the three pins remaining and tap into the other hole with the mallet and pin punch, supporting the other side of the slide assembly by folding over the towel. Make sure the pin is completely flush on both sides. Lastly, slide on the top prime and secure with the last two matching, larger diameter pins.
Two other smaller pins are meant to be installed in the bottom of the front muzzle. However, our mod tech, Greg, has discovered they are unnecessary. In fact, they only make it more difficult to maintain your blaster and upgrade your spring later if you want to. If you’re confident you’ll never want to open up your Fire Rat again, install them using the pin punch and mallet. Otherwise, you have successfully assembled your new blaster.
NIGHTINGALE MAG COMPATIBILITY
Now, if you want a close picture of what I did to my Nightingale magazine, here is a photo. It’s a minor modification, adding a second mag release catch slightly higher than the one for the Nightingale. I cut the notch with a Dremel, but a small file might work okay in a pinch. In our limited testing, it works well in both the fire rat and the Nightingale, and it adds five more darts of capacity than the included magazine. It is worth mentioning that the slide lock feature relies on the external follower of the proprietary mag. If that is a feature you can’t live without, then you may want to wait until we carry more of the Fire Rat mags in the future.
I hope this blog post is clear and helpful, especially for those who like following along on paper rather than video. If you have any questions about the ZWQ S200 Fire Rat or if you have a question about the assembly, feel free to shoot us an email, and we’ll try to get back to you quickly. Until next time I’m Out of Darts. -LG