Category: Fun toys

Best nerf guns to buy in 2017
Best nerf guns to buy in 2017

One of the most popular gifts or presents that young boys would love to get is a toy gun. There is an undeniable thrill in simulated warfare and toy guns are an integral part of this experience. Be it toy guns with sound effects, water guns or ordinary pellet guns, every grown up must have enjoyed these items at some point in his life.

But nothing beats the safety and thrill that a Nerf gun offers. They have been the go-to choice for toys when it comes to guns and blasters. But which are the best Nerf guns and blasters? In this article, we review some of the best Nerf blasters and help you pick the right one.

List of best Nerf guns and blasters

Our pick of some of the best Nerf guns and blasters
PictureProductFeatures 
Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster - Rotating barrel can hold up to 6 Elite darts
- Darts can fire upto a distance of 75 feet
- Two fire modes, load and fire or hold and fire
- Comes with a tactical rail which allows customization using various accessories
Nerf N-Strike Elite Rampage Blaster - Unique slam fire handle to quickly fire darts
- Removable drum connector, comes with a 25 Elite dart magazine
- Darts can fire up to a distance of 75 feet
- Tactical rail for customization
Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator Blaster - Elite blaster which can be customized with a barrel extension, a stock and a stability handle
- Removing all extensions gives a standard sized blaster
- Quick loading 12 Elite dart clip
- Darts can fire up to a distance of 75 feet
- Barrel extension comes with both top and bottom rails for customization
Nerf N-Strike Elite Triad EX-3 Blaster - Suitable for children of all ages
- Shoots 3 Elite darts
- Can shoot up to a distance of 75 feet
- Cocking handle action to fire
- Lightweight
Nerf Zombie Strike Crossfire Bow Blaster - Unique cross bow action
- Can shoot 4 Zombie Strike darts
- Suitable for children of all ages
Nerf Zombie Strike FlipFury Blaster - Unique 2 flipping dart drums ensure that you don’t have to reload frequently. Just flip the drum and you are good for another round
- Holds 12 Zombie Strike darts, 6 in each drum
Nerf Elite 2-in-1 Demolisher - 2 in 1 blaster, fires both darts and a foam missile
- Dart shooting is motorized, the missile is pump-action
- Acceleration trigger
- Detachable stock which also holds the missiles
- Can shoot up to a distance of 75 feet
- Can hold up to 10 darts
Nerf Zombie Strike Hammershot Blaster - Suitable for all ages
- One handed blaster
- Holds 5 Zombie Strike darts
- Can shoot up to a distance of 50 feet
Nerf Zombie Strike SlingFire Blaster - Unique 2 way loading : swing lever and shoot or flick the blaster with one hand to load
- Can hold up to 6 Zombie Strike darts
- Can shoot up to a distance of 75 feet
- Tactical rail allows for customizing the blaster
Nerf N-Strike Elite Rapidstrike CS-18 Blaster - Motorized dart firing
- Can hold up to 18 Elite darts
- Can shoot up to a distance of 75 feet
- Accelerated trigger allows for rapid fire
Nerf N-Strike Elite CrossBolt Blaster - Unique cross bow action
- Can hold up to 12 Elite darts
- Can shoot up to a distance of 75 feet
Nerf Rival Apollo XV-700 - Spring action based blaster
- Can hold up to 7 high impact rounds
- Designed for quick loading
- Tactical rail allows for customization
Nerf N-Strike Mega Mega Mastodon - Motorized mega dart blaster
- Comes with a 24 dart drum
- 24 Whistler darts included
- Can fire darts up to a distance of 100 feet
- Large sized
Rival Zeus MXV-1200 Battle - The Rival Apollo's elder brother
- Motorized dart shooting
- Can hold up to 12 high impact rounds
- Designed for quick and easy loading
- Tactical rail allows for customization
Zombie Strike Doominator Blaster - Can shoot up to 24 Zombie Strike darts
- Unique 4 flippng drums, each drum holds 6 darts
- Stylish 3 position handle
- Comes with a stability handle

What is a Nerf gun or blaster?

A Nerf gun or a Nerf blaster is a toy gun that is manufactured by the American multinational toy company Hasbro. The gun fires darts, discs or balls that are made of a special patented foam, which makes these ammunitions relatively harmless to kids.

Though it is not officially confirmed, but general toy-gun enthusiasts argue that the term NERF is actually an acronym that stands for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam referring to the foam material used in the darts. Irrespective of how the term was coined, because of the popularity, the term Nerf gun has become a synonym for any gun that can fire foam darts whether it is an actual Hasbro Nerf branded toy or not.

How to pick the best Nerf gun

When it comes to picking the absolute best Nerf gun, there are some parameters that you need to look out for. They are:

  • Size of the blaster
  • Number of darts
  • Ease of use

Size of the blaster

The size of the blaster is an important factor to consider when buying a nerf gun. Even though kids may ask for the biggest possible blaster on display, it may not be practical for their size. Small children will have a hard time holding and shooting with long blasters or ones with a barrel and stock extensions. Kids will find blasters which can be shot with one hand easy to play with.

The size of the blaster will also make cocking or loading of the blaster a little difficult. Small children will have a hard time balancing the blaster and loading it.

Number of darts

This one is a no-brainer. The more the number of darts that you have in your blaster, the more you can fire them. When all it takes is one dart to gain supremacy, you better have a blaster which can hold enough number of darts.

Typical clip size ranges from 6 to 25 darts in a single clip. Smaller blasters also exist like the Nerf N-Strike Elite Triad EX-3 Blaster which holds just 3 darts.

When picking a good blaster, ensure that you pick one which can hold a good number of darts.

Ease of use

The ease of use of the blaster is of utmost importance when it comes to picking the best Nerf gun. Small children will prefer the point and shoot option where they don’t have to be bothered with loading or cocking of the blaster. Some of these Nerf guns have a lever that needs to be pulled to load them and only then the shot is ready to be released. Children with small hands can find this difficult or will need some form of adult help to accomplish this.

Most of the Nerf guns have a tactical rail which allows customization of the blaster by adding various accessories like a scope, zoom or ammunition storage to the actual gun. Children will find this very entertaining and love the freedom that the toy offers in term of creative thinking. Do note that these accessories need to be bought separately but will fit most Nerf guns from the same line of products.

Which are the best Nerf guns and blasters and what our picks are?

Nerf N-Strike Elite Rampage Blaster

best nerf gun
The Nerf N-Strike Elite Rampage Blaster is a great blaster for its price. It boasts of a robust and sleek design and is meant for two hands play.

It comes with a dart drum which can hold up to 25 Elite Darts. The slam fire handle allows for rapid firing of darts at your opponents.

It uses the Elite Darts but other darts will fit in too. It can fire the darts up to a distance of 75 feet.

As with most Nerf guns, the Nerf N-Strike Elite Rampage Blaster also features a tactical rail which allows for customization of the gun by adding various accessories.

Pros
  • Large dart capacity at 25 darts
  • Slam fire allows for rapid firing
Cons
  • Can get jammed if the darts are a little out of shape
For its sleek design, impressive dart holding capacity and the rapid firing feature, the Nerf N-Strike Elite Rampage Blaster is our Editor’s choice for the best Nerf gun.

Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster

best nerf blaster
The Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster is an awesome blaster that can fire darts up to 75 feet.

It boasts of two different firing action – pull the Slam Fire slide and fire or hold the Slam Fire slide and shoot all darts.

It can hold up to 6 Elite Darts. The dart barrel rotates and needs to be popped out to be loaded.

As with other Nerf guns, the Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster features a tactical rail which allows for customization of the gun by adding various accessories.

Pros
  • Lightweight and stylish
  • Easy loading of darts
  • An affordable option to start with Nerf guns
Cons
  • Can hold only 6 darts
For its affordable price and well-built quality, the Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster is our Smart Value pick for best Nerf guns.

Nerf guns accessories

No simulated combat is complete without the right gear. Same hold right for Nerf gun fights. While you have purchased the Nerf gun of your choice, take a look at some of these accessories which will perfectly complement your favorite blaster. The number one accessory that you should simply pick up is a good pack of Nerf darts so that you are never out of ammo.

While there are a lot of cheap copycats out in the market, the Darts refill pack from Nerf itself and Raytheon Toys are simply the best. Raytheon toys bring you 300 pieces of darts so that is all the ammo you will ever need.

Also, take a look at the tactical vests and face masks to provide you all-around protection.

How to take care of your Nerf gun

Nerf guns are made keeping their target audience in mind – children. As such they are made of hard plastic and are hence durable. But as with any toy, frequent use can degrade their performance over time. That doesn’t mean you cannot do anything to prolong its life. Listed below are some tips on how to take good care of your blasters.

  • Read the instructions provided on how to open your Nerf gun. Then lubricate the parts with a plastic safe lubricant.
  • Never dry fire your gun. Dry firing means firing the blaster without the dart. Doing so will make the plunger head hit the barrel directly and over time this can lead to chipping and breaking of the barrel.
  • When not using the Nerf gun, remove the darts clip and store it separately. Keeping the gun loaded with the ammo increases the spring tension and can weaken it over time.
  • Avoid prolong exposure to sunlight as the color of the gun may change over time.

Do toy guns promote violence and are they a harmful influence on children?

There has been a lot of debate whether toy guns make for good toys for children – the consensus being that they promote aggression and violent behavior. Even though the common sense may suggest that to be the case, but the studies have shown that the truth cannot be farther from this.

Most child behavior experts are of the opinion that banning pretend gun play in children can have the opposite effect, they will look out ways to channel that oppression.

Child-led play advocate Jeff A. Johnson, author of Let Them Play: An Early Learning (Un)Curriculum says that “If your child wants to play guns and you’ve enforced such a ban and think it’s working, you’re probably just not turning around fast enough”.

Stopping certain toys and behavior in children lead them to do those activities behind your back and that can cause more problems. Children do not get the realities of violence and us not explaining that to them makes matter complicated.

In fact, some experts suggest that deeply ingrained routines of violent role-playing and fighting are essential to a child’s development.

“Aggressive behavior in pretend-play is different than actual aggressive behavior in real life,” says co-author and Case Western Reserve University child psychologist Sandra Russ.

How can parents promote safe play with toy guns?

Here are some general pointers for parents to ensure that their child’s obsession with toy guns does not turn too bad.

Have a healthy talk with your children

Speak to your children and ask them questions about their play activities. Question them on what role they are playing and why have they chosen that particular role?
What kind of aggressive behavior are they playing? Speak to them on the virtue of this behavior and explain what is acceptable and what is not.

Whatever you do, ensure that you do not criticize the child for his decisions and explain it to him by partaking in his activities.

Observe their gun play and coach them

Ensure that your children are not too obsessed playing with only toy guns. Let them explore more playing options, both indoor and outdoor.

Take some time to monitor their gun play to ensure that they are not veering towards violence while playing and effectively coach them about this.

Limit their exposure to violence

Experts are of the opinion that exposure to violence on TV and video games is linked with reduced empathy and increased aggression. Limit your child’s exposure to any violent content on TV or as sort of a video game. Explain to them on why this is wrong and let them ask questions. But under no circumstances ban them completely off some content as this will make them more curious.

Buy toy guns which look like toys

Never buy toy guns which children can relate to in real life or something they see on TV or in video games. That is the reason most Nerf guns come in a plethora of colors and designs so that they appear different from their real life counterparts.

Teach safe gunplay to your children. Good etiquettes like never hurting someone in their face, firing at animals or those who are not engaged in play should be encouraged.

Final thoughts on the best Nerf guns and blasters

The Nerf series of guns and blasters make for excellent toys and your kids are sure to have a lot of fun playing with them. Even you can join them for a round of family tagging. We hope this article gave you an idea on the various Nerf guns or blasters that are available and which one is best for you and why. We also suggested some accessories that will nicely complete your Nerf gun. Do let us know your thoughts in the comments section. Happy tagging!!!

Image credits:Amazon.com