K'NEX Review: NAR, TR8, ZKAR

About: K'NEX gun builder here at Instructables. More or less retired from the community, but I still pop in now and again.

The NAR, the TR8, and the ZKAR have long been the "standards" for good K'NEX guns. If you have a gun that has a higher rate of fire than the TR8, with somewhat decent ranges, you have a good gun (according to some people's philosophy). And so, I took the time to build the three "legendary" weapons to see for my self as to whether they are as good as some people say/think. So, I present the guns in alphabetical order in the next three steps. Now, keep in mind that I did somewhat extensive testing. This means that I did not just chuck the guns together and then said that they were bad/good, I took my time to make them as good as possible. So first of, the NAR.

Step 1: NAR (Not a Rectangle)

The NAR was introduced by oodalumps in December 31st, 2009. All he did was take the body and the mechanism of the TR, and added a simple, but effective, transfer mechanism, that would keep the users FPs from breaking. The gun I have in the pictures is not the NAR, but the gun in the pictures is supposed to represent it.

The Jamalam puts it this way: "The "Not A Rectangle", otherwise known as "Untangle" or simply "NAR" is easily the best single shot in terms of range due to the power transfer at the front. Because this is the only needed feature of the gun, it also makes the NAR very customizable and therefore you can change your NAR to the extreme. With enough work, you could make the gun look however you like."

Range: 4/10 (40 ft. max). It was alleged that got 100 ft., mine only got 40 ft., thus, 4 out of 10.
Looks: 6/10. Though this really does not matter, I think that the NAR looks pretty good.
Internal Functions: 5/10. It was hard to get the trigger to block the FP with out help.
Broken Pieces: 10/10. The NAR does not require any.
Comfort: 4/10. The NAR is not really that comfortable
Rate of Fire: 2/10. It was hard to pull and to fire with speed.
Sturdiness: 8/10. The NAR is relatively sturdy.

Overall: 39/70.

Keep in mind that this is my rating for the gun. I truly suggest that you check it out for your self, don't take my word for it. And, if I have offended anyone, I'm sorry, but this is my rating of the gun. Ignore it if you wish.

Step 2: TR8 (TuRret 8 Rounds)

Posted on June 1st, 2009, the TR8 made a huge impact on K'NEX guns. I was not around then, but I have heard A TON about it. It is the best single shot gun there ever was, and people love it. KILLERK's original TR8 'ible has received over 2,000 views, and has sparked huge popularity. Many different versions have been posted, and it is still used in wars today. It is said that if you have a gun better than the TR8, you have an epic gun.

Now, it may look like my version is "heavily modified," but it is not. I is almost exactly the same gun as Hiyadudezposted, just with a different turret. The only thing I really changed is the fore grip area, as I did not want to use up all of those white connecters. Also, I don't own any spacers, so that may have affected something or other.

Range: 7/10. I got about 70 ft. with one #117 band and a non-finned red rod. I got only 60 ft. with two bands and a finned red rod. The fins made the rod go downwards.
Looks: 7/10. I think it looks pretty boss. Almost futuristic.
Internal Function: 5/10. Same problem as the NAR. The Trigger needed help to block the pin.
Broken Pieces: 10/10. None necessary.
Comfort: 4/10. Its not THAT comfortable.
Rate of Fire: 5/10. I could not figure out how to fire this thing very fast. It just did not work.
Sturdiness: 6/10. It was relatively sturdy, but if you were to drop this, the TR might break.

Overall: 44/70.

Again, this is my rating for the gun. If you want to see it in action, go build it yourself.

Step 3: ZKAR (Zak's K'NEX Assult Rifle)

The ZKAR is probably my favorite of the three weapons in this review. It was posted in April 25th, of 2009, and is a worthy K'NEX war weapon. It is simple to build, easy to use, and gets great ranges. It has only two faults: 1) It requires a broken Y-rod, and 2) It needed one mod to make it hit the round. This mod was that I HAD to take the connecters off of the pin that connected the pin to the pin-guide. If you don't do this, your ZKAR will not hit the bullet, and your gun will not function.

Range: 10/10. I got 70 ft. easy.
Looks: 8/10. I think it looks boss.
Internal Functions: 8/10. It works great, but requires some pin-pull-redoes...things like that.
Broken Pieces: 4/10. It requires a broken y-rod, which many people are unwilling to give up.
Comfort: 4/10. The handle looks comfortable, but really is not...at least to me.
Rate of Fire: 6/10. You could shoot all 7 rods out of the magazine in 10 seconds (provided that it did not jam).
Sturdiness: 10/10. The ZKAR is quite sturdy.

Overall: 50/70.

I really do suggest that you build this. It will be a good experience.

Step 4: Now Keep in Mind...

And I repeat: keep in mind that the scores I gave them are just my opinion. I do not mean to offend anyone, that is just how I found the guns to preform. If you have any questions or comments, drop me a message, I'd like to hear from you. Enjoy!

-The Red Book of Westmarch



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    114 Discussions

    sonic broom

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Can you please explain how the power transfer works on the NAR and show some pix of it so i can know how it works

    thank you for all the help you can give me

    2 replies

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Just a bit curious. Under the stats for the TR-8, how is it that you got 60 ft with one band and a sniper round? I can get around 110 ft. on mine with one strong band and a sniper round, 198 ft. with 2 bands , 275 ft. with 4 bands, and 320 ft. with 6 or 7 bands. I don't mean to offend of coarse, I just don't see how on earth you're getting just 60 ft. with a sniper round when you should be getting higher ranges than that. But I guess it doesn't matter, I'm sure these things are long gone by now considering that I'm a year late replying to this. As for the review, I'm not going to judge, but you tried your best and that's all that matters. :)

    2 replies

    Well, I'll be honest with you, this was 10 months ago, so I'm not sure if this was as fair a representation as I originally thought it was. I suppose I should rebuild the TR8 and the NAR and give them another whirl, but since there are no comprehensive instructions on the NAR (and indeed, I don't see how anyone build Oodalumps original), I doubt that I will even try. I have kinda decided that I am a replica guy, so building concepts and performance guns don't do much for me.


    4 years ago on Step 2

    If you get the chance, I'd recommend building Killerk's updated version. It has a greatly improved trigger, a sturdier stock and forgrip, and the new slide mechanism is genius, so you can get really good rate of fire. I built both, and although the old one was very good, the updated version is close to perfection.

    Hmmm, I wouldn't consider the ZKAR as a "standard" for a knex gun because of it's long reload time. If anything, I think the Zaktangle would be a "standard."

    DJ Radio

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Reading this review, I think it's flawed, and not because of how you "built" the guns or whatever, I couldn't care less.

    In the Not a Rectangle review, you completely missed the original point of the gun. I assume you only used this gun with like 2 or 3 rubberbands, and with that many, it's inferior range and power wise to other single shots with normal bullet locks because of the fact that some energy will be lost in the power transfer, as opposed to the energy being transferred directly to the rod. However, the idea with the power transfer was that the absorbed energy would enable the NAR to have lots of rubberbands on it, with knexers putting upwards of 15 on their gun before their black rods broke. I loaded 6 rubberbands on my NAR and easily got 100 feet with finned red rods.

    Furthermore, you also missed the point that these mechanisms are so simple that you can easily customize your NAR or your TR. I put knex tires around the handle of my NAR and it's super comfortable to hold. There are many, MANY customizations that improve on the vanilla versions of the TR and NAR, including a wind-up mechanism, ammo rack, COMFORT mods, and handle pump, all of which I've tried and loved. I noticed you had problems with your trigger, there are multiple different triggers that have been made for the TR/NAR and I suggest you try them all out. I know the ZKAR isn't as customizable, but I've tried out different stock variants, and even Mepain's removable magazine variant.

    In a way, these guns aren't so much classic because they took simple mechanisms and made them into a powerful and reliable shell, but because the designs were so open-ended that you could vastly improve and customize the design. The NAR was derived from the TR body, and there's been a cool shotgun derived off the NAR shell. Don't say you're refusing to take this into consideration because you did build each gun with some sort of modification.

    Also, you gave the TR a 7/10 on range but the ZKAR a 10 on range, when they got the exact same range. I don't understand what's up with that.

    Yeah, this review warranted me coming back. That's how seriously misguided I think this post is.

    10 replies

    Meh, I tired of replying to silly comments/questions (and I mean no offense). Thanks for the comment anyhow.

    I truly do think that you guys are hating on my because you don't like the ratings, not because my review is flawed. If you don't like my review, ignore it. Just move on.

    Thank you DJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! People have told him this an infinite amount of times and... D: D: D:

    Red you're a nice guy and all...



    I'll say it again. You just don't like the ratings I gave them, and you don't like it that I don't like guns that "everybody" is supposed to like. I'm not going to bother to change my opinion, or this 'ible, just because it displeases people.

    They have tried "attacking" the way I built the guns... and failed.

    They have tried "attacking" me... and failed.

    They have tried "attacking" the way I rated the guns... and failed.


    Ok, no one has been attacking you as a person. Well, that's at least to my knowledge, and if they had, I'd stand up for you. Hating on you as a person, at least to me, is flat out insulting someone.

    People are not 'attacking' you because of how you built the guns, they are just trying to point out that you did some things wrong, and that if you fixed them and rated them again, the ratings would be different. People are annoyed that you rated these poorly because you did a few things wrong, and many of the veterans feel that these guns are not accurately represented, therefore they feel that the ratings aren't right.

    I realize these are just K'nex guns and won't affect my life; I'm sure, or at least hope, that every K'nexer has a life outside of this community.

    Which reminds me, I got to get working on something for a meeting later tomorrow, practice Tuba, memorize sheet music for marching band, work on Language Arts summer homework, and do a bunch of other stuff... Man, I've got to get cracking. Anyways...

    It's just that you won't hear any of us out, and you're dismissing our comments as 'silly.' If you could possibly take some of our advice on how to improve this ible, it would be nice. If you're just fed up with the whole thing and don't care, that's fine, too.

    I feel like there's not much more to be said here... :I I hope I'l be able to restrain myself from commenting again. :I


    5 years ago on Introduction

    That isn't a NAR. That is a TR without a turret.

    The entire point of the NAR was the loose ball socket in the front. Yours doesn't have that.