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What is the best Nerf gun?

Nerf guns offer a perfect way to get outside and exercise your imagination, as well as your body. The foam-dart-firing toys are perfect for kids of all ages and make a great way to kill time at the office for adults.

Nerf guns have evolved quite a bit since their release in 1969. Some models rapid-fire foam bullets, some fire small foam balls instead of foam darts and others have scope and clip attachments that make them even more helpful when engaged in a Nerf war. If you want to buy a Nerf gun, it’s a good idea to start by learning what models are out there and how they differ from one another.

What to know before you buy a Nerf gun

How does a Nerf gun work?

Some Nerf guns use battery-powered spinning drums that grab hold of the foam darts inside the toy and hurl them out of the barrel.

Many Nerf guns don’t require batteries and instead use a plunger that pressurizes air in the Nerf blaster’s barrel. Once you pull the trigger, the pressurized air is released, sending the dart flying.

Should you get a manual Nerf gun or automatic?

Manual Nerf blasters require you to manually reload after each shot (or in some cases after three or four shots), but they typically offer more accuracy than their automatic counterparts. 

Automatic Nerf guns can rapid-fire as many bullets as their clip can fit, and many models allow you to buy larger clips to add to your blaster, should you feel you need more fire-power. Whereas manual blasters tend to rely on pressurized air, you’ll likely need batteries to use an automatic blaster.

How to store Nerf guns

If you find yourself genuinely embracing Nerf, you may end up with more blasters than you can handle. No need to worry though, there are plenty of creative ways to store your Nerf gun collection.

Some clever parents opt for installing a pegboard as you’d use in a workshop. Pegboards are the perfect way to keep your Nerf guns off the floor while simultaneously displaying them like trophies for the world to see. 

If pegboards aren’t your style, over-the-door shoe racks can make for a perfect place to store your blasters, as well as your darts. Cabinets, shelves and storage bins can be an easy way to stow Nerf guns as well.

What to look for in a quality Nerf gun


Nerf Ultra Three Blaster

Nerf guns’ firing range is from 50-130 feet or more. If you plan on using your Nerf gun mainly around the house, the range may not be a crucial factor for you. Still, if you want a gun that can fire a dart across an office building, or you plan on playing outside from a distance, you’ll want to opt for a long-range Nerf gun such as the Nerf Ultra Three Blaster.


Nerf blasters need to be able to take a beating. Another essential factor to consider is whether or not the blaster is prone to jamming. When you’re in a high-stakes Nerf battle, nothing kills the moment quite like a blaster getting jammed.

Most Nerf guns are tough, but some models, like the Rival Atlas XV – 1200, are less durable and prone to jamming.


You don’t need additional attachments to have fun with a Nerf gun, but it can be exciting to add different tactical and style elements to your blaster. Some Nerf guns, such as those in the Modulus series, allow you to add scopes, larger clips, new barrels and more.

How much can you expect to spend on a Nerf gun?

Some simple Nerf guns can cost as little as $15, whereas more customizable blasters may cost up to $70.

Nerf gun FAQ

Can Nerf guns be dangerous?

A. Nerf guns can cause eye injury if shot at close range, especially those with long-range-firing capabilities, but Nerf injuries are uncommon. The darts can also be a choking hazard for young children.

Can I use non-Nerf foam darts in a Nerf brand blaster?

A. In most cases, yes. There are many foam dart brands out there, and since Nerf is the most popular, most foam dart brands are compatible with Nerf blasters. It’s important to note that some generic dart brands use different materials that may be harder than those used in Nerf darts.

Best Nerf gun

Best overall

Nerf Longstrike Modulus Toy Blaster

Nerf Longstrike Modulus Toy Blaster

What you need to know: This blaster’s range, design and modular capabilities make it a perfect choice for professional Nerf warriors.

What you’ll love: This Nerf gun comes with a scope, extended barrel and bipod attachment that enhances accuracy at a distance. Includes three six-bullet clips

What you should consider: The bipod on this unit is a bit shaky.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Nerf gun for the money

NERF Ultra Four Dart Blaster

NERF Ultra Four Dart Blaster

What you need to know: At less than $20, this inexpensive blaster is perfect for Nerf warriors on a budget.

What you’ll love: This Nerf gun can fire darts 100 feet or more, is highly portable and has an easy-to-use design.

What you should consider: This blaster requires Nerf Ultra darts, and it only comes with four of them.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Nerf N-Strike Modulus ECS-10 Blaster

Nerf N-Strike Modulus ECS-10 Blaster

What you need to know: This is a stylish blaster with a wide range of customization options.

What you’ll love: This Nerf gun has over 30 configurations and shoots darts up to 90 feet. It comes with plenty of attachments, including a drop grip, dual-rail barrel, scope and banana clip. 

What you should consider: It doesn’t come with batteries.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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