Taking a trip down memory lane, who doesn’t remember having a badass fight with their siblings or cousins, shooting the oh-so-cool Nerf guns at each other? Fortunately, the tradition of those ‘friendly’ wars is still going stronger than ever, so your kids can join in on the fun too!
Nerf guns were all the craze when we were growing up, and they’re even bigger and better now! With 50 years’ worth of advancements in their technology, functionality, and styles, we have tons of models to pick from!
However, the incredibly wide selection can be very confusing for parents trying to find the best Nerf guns for their children, and that’s exactly where we come in!
After testing dozens of Nerf guns (and about a hundred hits to the face) we’re happy to present you with a list of the top 7 Nerf guns you can get your kid today, as well as a detailed buying guide to help you make the best decision possible. So without further ado, let’s jump into action!
How To Pick The Best Nerf Gun
It’s not a simple task trying to buy your kid the best Nerf gun, there are so many types and models that you can easily get lost down the aisle!
However, we’re here to help you make the most suitable purchase to bring as much fun as possible to your child’s life. Here are some concepts and factors you need to know and consider when choosing a Nerf gun:
A major part of the decision depends on what operation mode you’re going with. There are two ways a Nerf gun works, either manually or automatically.
For a manual Nerf gun, you’ll basically have to do everything by hand, from loading its barrel with bullets all the way to firing consecutive shots. You may even need to reload each dart individually.
The downside to this kind of operation is the slow pace, which can be quite frustrating, especially in the middle of a heated battle. Additionally, you’d be limited to a rate of one dart at a time, but then again, this allows for less clogging and minimal choking of ammo while firing.
On the other hand, automatic Nerf guns are engineered to let you launch multiple shots at once. The motorized mechanism also facilitates the rapid firing of darts so you can shoot a non-stop stream of bullets.
While the automation makes the overall pace of your game faster, it’ll eat up at your ammo quickly, causing you to run out of darts in a short time. The bigger output of shots can also get your Nerf gun stuck more often.
Nerf guns are typically built to simulate real-life weapons, and if you’ve done any amount of shopping for Nerf guns, chances are you’ve encountered about a million different designs of blasters. Okay, maybe not a million, but they’re so many, they might as well be!
Some resemble pistols, others mimic heavier machine guns. You want to pick a design that seems to appeal most to your kids, so you’ll need to do some research on what they favor, observe and register if you will.
We’ve taken extra care to include the most popular models of Nerf guns to our list, in order to make the job a bit easier for you.
A lot of the time, how a Nerf gun looks like is what makes your ultimate decision. This is actually expected because most kids want the ‘cooler’ more ‘badass’ looking gun, which is understandable of course.
On that note, if you’re buying multiple Nerf guns for your family members, be sure to choose different colors as you could. For one, you don’t want kids to be fighting over which is whose, and secondly, it’ll come in handy when you’re picking teams.
Size and Weight
Another important aspect to take into account is the size and weight of the Nerf gun. You’ll find them available in a wide range of dimensions, some very big while others are as small as a hand palm.
Smaller guns are lighter in weight. They tend to be more suitable for younger children who can’t exactly handle larger toys. They’re also excellent for certain types of attacks requiring stealth as well as agility. If your kid likes to run around chasing after enemies, then a compact Nerf gun would be a good choice.
Alternatively, bigger guns are notably heavier. They are an excellent choice for players who prefer a stationary or defensive style of battling, so they’ll need to be heavily-armed. These bulkier guns are a better fit for older kids to be able to handle the weight.
It’s worth noting that the more parts, features, and accessories are added to the gun, the heavier it gets. That’s why you’ll often find models with assembly options so you can hook or take out some components according to your shooting needs.
The ammo used for a Nerf gun is also quite variable. In terms of shape, there are two major types: darts and balls.
Darts, obviously, are the most commonly used type of ammo as well as being the original one. Standard darts are made of foam and are compatible with nearly all models of Nerf guns. You can find them in several colors with typical yellow or orange tips. However, they’ve been subjected to all sorts of tweaking to offer a wider range of fun qualities.
Suction darts, for example, have a suction cup on the bottom which makes them stick to almost anything. More recently, Nerf has produced two additional types, the AccuStrike darts with enhanced tip design for accuracy, as well as the Mega dart, which is bigger to increase the odds of hitting targets. The Mega dart also creates an exciting whistling noise as it flies through the air.
As for balls, they represent a new direction for Nerf guns. You’re basically shooting small balls at your opponent at a great velocity. They’re fast but notorious for getting lost rather easily.
A crucial point to consider if you want to defeat your enemies is the capacity of your gun’s barrel. This translates into how many shots you can fire before you’re forced to reload. The bigger the capacity, the longer it takes for you to run out of ammo
On our list, we’ve included quite a number of different capacities for you to choose from. We have Nerf guns with a single dart capacity, such as the N-Strike Jolt Blaster, as well as guns that hold 100 balls at a time, for example, the Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K.
Winning or losing a battle often comes down to whether or not your shot can reach that last enemy, deeming you the last man standing. This distance is referred to as the range.
The wider the range, the further the dart travels, and in turn, the higher the chance of hitting opponents. The majority of Nerf guns produce enough push to blast a dart up to a significant 75 feet, some can even reach a whopping 90 feet.
Nerf guns are pointless if they can’t deliver an accurate shot, and since you can’t possibly check that out before buying the gun, we did the work for you!
Our list is carefully configured to include some of the highest-rated guns when it comes to dart accuracy.
Reloading a Nerf gun is the trickiest part of the game, particularly when you’re mid-battle or during crunch time. You want your kid to be able to reload ammo as quickly and as easily as possible.
Nerf guns with drums are generally harder to reload, whereas guns with hoppers are usually a breeze to fill.
Setting a budget prior to making a purchase can be a great way to help you narrow down your options. Nerf guns cover an extensive range of prices, some models are as cheap as 10 dollars, while others can cost over 100 dollars.
Make sure to include extra ammo in your budget plans. I can safely say from first-hand experience, no amount of ammo is ever enough when it comes to Nerf gun wars.
Best Nerf Guns
1.Strongarm Nerf N-Strike Elite with Rotating Barrel
Kicking off our list with a huge crowd favorite, the Strongarm Nerf N-Strike Elite is one of the most positively received models of the company, available exclusively on Amazon.
This Nerf gun is designed to deliver quick yet powerful shots on the spot, launching fast darts up to 90 feet (27 meters). The rotating auto-advance barrel holds 6 darts at a time and is made for enhanced mid-battle mobility. All you need to do is flip the rotating barrel open and swiftly load the 6 Elite Darts, then flip the barrel shut and blast away your enemies!
The Strongarm Nerf N-Strike Elite is engineered for killer performance, your kid can alternate between shooting single darts and engaging the Slam Fire Blaster feature to fire up all 6 darts at once for the ultimate attack. To do this, your kid will move the slide back and forth while holding down the trigger.
The Strongarm Nerf Gun comes in a recyclable package which is easy to open for a frustration-free experience. It includes 6 official foam Nerf Elite darts with flexible hollow tips, tested and approved for quality.
The Strongarm Nerf N-Strike Elite Gun is an affordable solid choice for any action-seeking soul.
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2.Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K
For the more experienced warriors out there, the Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K will definitely appeal to kids and teens with a knack for mighty head-to-head confrontations.
Blasting this beast is fully powered by a motor, unleashing a blistering fury of rounds at an immense speed of 100 feet per second! Moreover, the loading process itself is super easy so you can jump back into the battlefield in no time, just slide the hopper open, dump the rounds in, shut it and charge in!
Speaking of rounds, the Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K has a super large capacity hopper, holding 100 high-impact rounds that provide your kid with plenty of ammo to be always prepared for sneak attacks.
The Nerf Nemesis motor runs on regular 6D batteries or you can couple it with the Nerf Rival Rechargeable Battery Pack (batteries aren’t included and the battery pack is sold on its own). It comes with a trigger lock and tactical rail for maximum control.
This Nerf gun combines volume blasting with ultimate precision into one awesome looking machine, ideal for more serious users as the price isn’t very casual.
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3. Nerf Zombie Strike FlipFury Blaster
With the fate of humanity at stake, zombies have to be stopped somehow! Your kid may be our only hope (let the dude or gal dream!), and their weapon must rise to the occasion. Enter the Nerf Zombie Strike FlipFury Blaster, a gun fit to defend civilizations with dual rotating drums and rapid flip loading action.
First of all, this Nerf gun looks pretty sick! I mean, why wasn’t this released back in the day? The futuristic design is an instant appeal to kids, making it an excellent choice for a gift.
The Nerf Zombie Strike FlipFury Blaster features two drums that rotate holding 6 darts each, for a grand total of 12 deadly shots. Once your kid is done firing all 6 darts of the top drum, he can pull the secondary trigger to flip drums and keep on fighting.
This Nerf gun is lightweight, only 1.9 pounds, with a comfortable grip. It’s quite affordable for its genre, making it suitable for shoppers on a budget.
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4.Nerf N-Strike HyperFire Toy Blaster
If you’re looking for something resembling a machine-gun style, this Nerf blaster should be right up your kid’s alley! Lots of kids are into this type of toy gun because the bigger size gives them a sense of power that smaller guns don’t quite deliver.
The Nerf N-Strike Elite HyperFire Toy Blaster is one of the fastest machines to fire Nerf darts in a second. It’s a fully motorized operation where the gun shoots up to 5 darts per second with fresh batteries, it’s rather cool but you’d have to always check for new batteries if your kid wants to keep up the rate.
To switch from standard firing speed into rapid action mode, your kid should press on the acceleration button, pull the trigger, and enjoy blowing targets away with his rain of darts.
The range on the Elite Hyper is also pretty impressive, it can launch darts for a distance of 90 feet maximum (27 meters) to hit opponents from far away with as much accuracy as possible.
The drum holds up to 25 Elite darts which are included in the box, and it requires 4 D batteries to run the motorized blaster, but you’re going to need to buy those separately.
The Nerf N-Strike Elite HyperFire Gun is more on the expensive side of the spectrum, but it can be a wonderful addition to your kid’s collection.
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5.Nerf N-Strike Jolt Blaster
On the contrary to the loud and proud HyperFire, the Nerf N-Strike Jolt Blaster is carefully designed to be the perfect companion for stealth attacks.
Starting from its compact size, the 6.6 × 6.2 × 1.1 inches dimensions allow for excellent concealing of the gun, waiting for that sweet moment of ambush. Its weight of just 0.3 pounds is very light which makes it super easy to draw, carry, and handle.
Moreover, the aim is rather accurate due to how much control you can get over the gun. When the right time comes, pull down the cocking handle to have your dart assume the stand-by position. Once you have a clear shot, pull the trigger to blast the enemy.
The barrel on the Jolt Blaster holds only one dart at a time, so it’s a reliable back-up weapon rather than a main battle gun. The straightforward operation makes it that much more convenient.
The Jolt Blaster is truly the ultimate weapon of discretion, fitting right into your kid’s palm or pocket with outstanding maneuverability for emergencies. It’s also very suitable for younger children who are still trying to get the hang of using a Nerf gun.
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6.Nerf Zombie Strike Sledgefire Blaster
Another one for all the zombie fighters out there, the Nerf Zombie Strike Sledgefire Blaster is quite the non-conventional design, but that’s what makes it extra special.
The Sledgefire Blaster is a multi-shot Nerf gun, in other words, it can fire 3 darts at once using reloadable shells. It features a single tactical rail sitting on top of the blaster.
Perhaps the most eye-catching part of the Nerf Zombie Strike Sledgefire is the integrated shoulder stock where your kid can store up to 3 shells, each holding 3 darts.
Reloading this gun is actually entertaining in itself. You need to press down on the orange lever to take out the barrel, then completely open up the barrel to remove any empty shells present inside. Grab a full shell from your stock and load it into the blaster, close it and you’re good to go! It’s a bit more complicated than other reloading techniques, however, it gives the experience a legitimate feel.
A sling or a strap can also be attached to the gun at the two points of connection located below the shoulder stock and above the muzzles of the blaster, this makes for better portability and easier carrying.
The Nerf Zombie Strike Sledgefire Blaster is tested for safety and quality, with a package that includes 9 Zombie Strike darts, 3 reloadable shells, Zombie Strike stencils, and instructions.
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7. Nerf N-Strike Mega Series RotoFury Blaster
To end on a high note, we couldn’t find a better candidate than the RotoFury Blaster of the Nerf N-Strike Mega Series. It features one of the most popular dart types, along with a fantastic range and a lethal slam shot.
The RotoFury Blaster bears a rotating drum with an impressive capacity of holding 10 darts. However, these are no ordinary darts, they’re actually Mega Whistler darts.
This means they’re larger in size to boost accuracy by increasing the chance of darts hitting the target. Additionally, once the shots are fired, the whistling darts fly screaming through the air, providing an advantage for group battles because teammates can be alerted when and where the danger lies.
The Mega Series RotoFury Blaster offers a long-distance range of up to 90 feet (27 meters), allowing no one to escape the killer darts! Your kid can use this gun as a single-shot machine, or switch to the rapid-fury mode and blast all 10 darts in a row without having to reload.
The user can either pump the handle on the gun, then pull the trigger to release one dart each time, or hold down the trigger and repeatedly pump the handle to shoot the enemy with a barrage of darts.
Unfortunately, under aggressive slamming of the pump, it can get stuck or fail altogether, so your kid should be a bit careful not to handle the pump too harshly.
That being said, the Nerf N-Strike Mega Series RotoFury Blaster is a superb choice for kids seeking to up the action dose with the mindset: “The best defense is a good offense”.
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The choice of the best Nerf gun ultimately comes down to what suits your kid the most while delivering an overall thrilling experience. But no matter what you pick, you can rest assured you’ve invested in some of the most enjoyable times your child will have.
That being said, you’ll find the Strongarm Nerf N-Strike Elite Blaster to be a solid choice for nearly all kids. It has the cool looks, an incredible 90-foot range, and the option of firing all its 6 darts in one powerful shot.