The 15 Best Nerf Guns

Sep 4, 2019

Category: Gear

For those of us who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, some of the absolute best toys we could get our hands on come birthdays or the holidays were Nerf guns. They gave us the ability to take our appreciation for video games and warfare out into our neighborhoods and parks for a little non-lethal fun with our friends. And, for many of us, our fondest memories include blasting someone unexpectedly with foam darts.

As it turns out, Nerf guns — also known as blasters — are still plenty of fun as an adult and offer up one of the best ways to help alleviate stress with your friends, family, and even coworkers (provided they approve of such activities). Better yet, the quality of these toys have improved tenfold over the years and now there is a huge number that put the ones we grew up with to shame. We’ve rounded up the 15 top options on our list of the best Nerf guns. Now get out there and dominate the foam dart battlefield.

Nerf N-Strike Elite Jolt Blaster

Perfect for covert ops or as a last resort, this is one of the most pocketable Nerf guns around — yet it still packs a punch. But, as it only fires a single shot at a time (of which it comes with two), you’re probably not going to want to make this your only foam dart firearm. Weighing in at less than an ounce and only 6.5″ at its widest point, this is as discreet as Nerf guns get.

Ammunition: Elite Darts
Capacity: 1
Range: 60 Feet

Purchase: $8+

Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster

The quintessential Nerf revolver, the Strongarm is a reliable classic through and through. As you might imagine at-a-glance, it can hold up to six darts in its cylinder and fires them one-at-a-time. It can also fire them in quick-succession without having to cock the shots individually by holding down the trigger and pulling back the slide rapidly. One of the most reliable and long-running blasters Nerf has to offer, the relatively-compact Strongarm is hard to beat.

Ammunition: Elite Darts
Capacity: 6
Range: 90 Feet

Purchase: $13+

Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster

So, this one is a bit of a sidestep when compared to the rest on our list, as it’s not intended for waging non-lethal warfare with your friends. Rather, it’s designed to play a harmless game of catch with your favorite furry friend, your dog. With four balls included, this single-shot blaster can launch tennis balls up to 50 feet and will help take a bit of stress off your shoulder in the process. If you’re a dog owner and you’ve trained Fido how to play fetch, this is a must-own for Nerf fanatics.

Ammunition: Tennis Balls
Capacity: 1
Range: 50 Feet

Purchase: $16+

Nerf N-Strike Mega Megalodon Blaster

Don’t let its appearance fool you; the Megalodon is actually small enough to haul with just one hand. Yet it still packs a wallop, boasting a 20-dart rotating drum that can fire up to 85 feet through the air. And, like the Strongarm, it has a fast-fire option which allows you to rapidly expel all 20 shots by holding down the trigger and cranking the top-mounted handle. Yes, it’s going to take a good amount of time to reload it, but you’ll still have plenty of rounds left while your enemies are out of ammunition — and that tradeoff makes this bad boy one of the best.

Ammunition: Whistler Darts
Capacity: 20
Range: 85 Feet

Purchase: $37

Nerf N-Strike Mega TwinShock Blaster

The first four options on our list are all limited to single shots — even when you consider the rapid-fire options. The TwinShock, by contrast, can also fire single shots but also features a blast mode that allows you to fire all 10 rounds at once, giving users shotgun-like power not found in other Nerf offerings. And if you want something that’s more in-between those two options, you can also choose to fire two shots at a time for up to five twin blasts. And it can manage that while still firing up to 85 feet at a time.

Ammunition: MEGA Darts
Capacity: 10
Range: 85 Feet

Purchase: $40

Nerf Rival Apollo XV-700 Mandalorian Edition Blaster

You might not know it if you’re not keyed into the toy world, but Nerf actually has a long-running partnership with Star Wars and has made quite a few sci-fi themed blasters therein. But this one might just be the best — not just because it’s made to look like something out of Boba Fett’s bounty-hunting arsenal, but also due to its ability to fire 12 high-impact Rival rounds at up to 100 feet-per-second. It’s also a battery-powered automatic, meaning you never have to cock it before firing. Exclusively available through GameStop, this is one of the best ways to incorporate that galaxy far, far away into your Nerf gun collection.

Ammunition: High-Impact Rival Rounds
Capacity: 12
Range: 90 Feet

Purchase: $40

Nerf Doomlands The Judge Blaster

Of all the Nerf guns on our list, The Judge is probably the one that looks most like it was ripped out of a video game. But all that styling overzealousness isn’t without substance, as this beefy blaster has a rotating drum that fires up to 30 darts, three at a time. On top of its massive capacity and 3-shot bursts, this one also has a handy and clever addition of a clear panel so you can actually watch the firing mechanism work with each shot. It’s an unnecessary addition, but a welcome one, nonetheless.

Ammunition: Doomlands Elite Darts
Capacity: 30
Range: 50 Feet

Purchase: $60

Nerf Dude Perfect Signature Bow

Though technically not a “gun,” per se, bows definitely fit into Nerf’s ethos and they’ve been making them in some form or another for years. But when they teamed up with Dude Perfect, the internet’s trick-shooting phenoms, they may have outdone themselves. This single-shot bow comes with two whistling darts and a target so you can practice your sharp-shooting at distances of over 100 feet or more. You’re not going to have a high rate of fire with this bad boy, but if you’re accurate enough at distance, you won’t need it.

Ammunition: Whistling Arrows
Capacity: 1
Range: 105 Feet

Purchase: $60

Nerf N-Strike Elite Infinus Blaster

One of the bigger drawbacks to some of Nerf’s high-capacity blasters is that they’re limited by how quickly you can cock them and also require a lot of effort in that regard. The Infinus, however, does away with that issue entirely by incorporating a battery-powered firing mechanism. That means the only thing you have to do with this 30-dart Nerf gun is aim and pull the trigger. Requiring four D batteries, this powerful blaster is the perfect semi-automatic to foil all your foes.

Ammunition: Elite Darts
Capacity: 30
Range: 75 Feet

Purchase: $70

Nerf Modulus Longstrike Blaster

On paper, the Longstrike maybe doesn’t look like the best deal. It has a fairly high price tag and a really short range for what is supposed to be a sniper-style rifle. But this one has a few things going for it for those who are watching a bit more closely. For starters, it isn’t just a long-barrel rifle — it actually comes apart to offer something more like a bullpup-sized format, but the long barrel can be attached or detached as you need it. It also comes with a trio of six-dart clips. And, if you’re really clever, you can actually remove the limiter from the firing spring to more than double the effective range.

Ammunition: Modulus Elite Darts
Capacity: 6
Range: 35 Feet

Purchase: $70

Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K Blaster

Another battery-powered semi-automatic, the Nemesis MXVII-10K is a powerhouse of a Nerf rifle. Not only does it hold a whopping 100 of the brand’s high-impact Rival foam balls, but it can fire them at a whopping 100 fps. Of course, that comes at the expense of heavy batteries — 6 D batteries, to be exact — but that’s the price you pay for this kind of firepower. If you can handle the heft, this speedy Nerf gun is near-impossible to beat.

Ammunition: High-Impact Rival Rounds
Capacity: 100
Range: 90 Feet

Purchase: $94

Nerf N-Strike Elite Rhino-Fire Blaster

If you’re playing a backyard game of Nerf capture-the-flag, it might be worth your while to look into the Rhino-Fire Blaster, as this beefy firearm is perfect for defending entrenched positions — like the location of your team’s flag. It comes with a pair of 25-dart drums and features a motorized firing system that alternates shots from each. It also comes with a tripod for steadier, more-accurate firing, but it can be removed in the case that you want to heft this big bad boy around.

Ammunition: Elite Darts
Capacity: 50
Range: 90 Feet

Purchase: $100

Nerf Rival Prometheus MXVIII-20K Blaster

The bigger, meaner older brother of the Nemesis blaster, the Prometheus MXVIII-20K doubles down on everything its smaller sibling does. It’s bigger, has a higher-capacity hopper (200 foam balls to the Nemesis’ 100), has a single rechargeable 1x 9.6volt NiMh battery, and can fire up to 8 round per second. It also still has the ability to shoot them at 100 fps and still uses the same gravity-based loading system. It’s pricier, sure, but the return is worth it to many.

Ammunition: High-Impact Rival Rounds
Capacity: 200
Range: 90 Feet

Purchase: $100

Nerf Elite Titan CS-50 Minigun Blaster

Anyone who has seen the original Predator knows just how badass someone can look hauling around a minigun. As it turns out, Nerf has made their own non-lethal dart-shooting variant that, while significantly less deadly, is comparably badass in regards to Nerf’s catalog of options. Complete with a shoulder strap, this gargantuan blaster comes with a 50-dart gun, an automatic firing mechanism, runs on a quartet of D batteries, and even has a legitimate spinning barrel akin to its larger, live-ammunition-firing counterparts. A Benjamin is, admittedly, a bit much to be spending on a toy gun, but give it a try and you’ll definitely feel like Jesse “The Body” Ventura.

Ammunition: Elite Darts
Capacity: 50
Range: 90 Feet

Purchase: $100

Nerf N-Strike Elite TerraScout Drone

If direct combat is not your forte and you’ve got deeper pockets, then the TerraScout R/C drone is going to be your bread and butter of Nerf’s offerings. That’s because this blaster is mounted to a remote-controlled tank chassis, meaning you can drive it onto the battlefield without putting yourself in danger. It also fires, remotely, up to 18 darts at up to 50 feet (or more if you can angle them well), will send a live video feed to your controller’s LCD screen, and can even record your videos for playback at a later time.

Ammunition: Elite Darts
Capacity: 18
Range: 50 Feet

Purchase: $198

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