The 10 Best Nerf Guns

Updated March 08, 2018 by Quincy Miller

10 Best Nerf Guns
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 39 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. When you're tired of watching your kids, the smart thing to do is to give them all Nerf guns and turn them loose in the backyard. Our selections offer a wide array of features, like rapid-fire magazines and high-speed rounds, so your little ones will stay entertained for hours on end. As an added bonus, you can buy the higher-end models for yourself — for when the children get cocky. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best nerf gun on Amazon.

10. Mega Mega Mastodon

The Mega Mega Mastodon is as close as you can get to a kid-friendly Gatling gun, as it has a drum that can hold 24 darts — which means that it can fire 24 darts in dazzling succession. There's no better way to dominate a Nerf war (or to break things in your living room).
  • convenient shoulder strap
  • tears through batteries
  • rounds jam if bent
Brand Nerf
Model B5575
Weight 7.5 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Zombie Strike Doublestrike

It's not the only weapon you'll want in a full-blown battle, but the Zombie Strike Doublestrike is perfect for quickly double-tapping your enemy of choice. Cocking the hammer might be too difficult for very little ones, but that just means they'll be left defenseless.
  • can fire barrels independently
  • no-prints duct-taped handle
  • darts can fall out occasionally
Brand Nerf
Model A6562
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

8. Rival Khaos

The Rival Khaos isn't for young kids, as it can hold up to 40 rounds, and it can fire them at an amazing 100 feet per second. It's a great way for teens to spend an afternoon amusing themselves, or for you to use in order to keep your teens in line.
  • fires a good distance
  • can find cheap replacement ammo
  • difficult to load
Brand Nerf
Model B3859UF0
Weight 5.5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. N-Strike Rough Cut

The name of the N-Strike Rough Cut likely comes from the fact that it's essentially a sawed-off shotgun full of foam missiles. It loads and fires each projectile with a satisfying pump action but, unfortunately, it can't blast them all out at once.
  • can shoot two darts at a time
  • comfortable pistol grip
  • long reloading process
Brand Nerf
Model A16912050
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

6. Zombie Strike Sledge Fire

The Zombie Strike Sledge Fire explodes with a blast of three darts per cartridge, providing plenty of suppressing fire. Its constant need to be reloaded puts you at a tactical disadvantage, but one good blast from this monster will put any tyke down for the count.
  • ammo storage in shoulder brace
  • 3-dart shell encasement
  • inaccurate over distance
Brand Nerf
Model A4326F01
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. Rival Nemesis

When you're real serious about fake war, you buy the Rival Nemesis. Powered by 6 D batteries, it can hammer your enemies with up to 100 high-impact rounds in seconds. You won't find a better way to teach your kids not to start a Nerf war they're not prepared to finish.
  • hopper is extremely easy to fill
  • equally good for lefties or righties
  • heavy to lug around
Brand Nerf
Model B8239
Weight 6.3 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Lazer Tag Phoenix

It's not your typical Nerf gun, but the Lazer Tag Phoenix lets you recreate an infrared zapper experience in the comfort of your own home. It's as much fun as traditional models, without requiring you to spend your afternoon picking up projectiles.
  • cool sound effects
  • good for indoor use
  • can be set for team or solo use
Brand Nerf
Model 926922050
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

3. Triad EX-3

The Triad EX-3 is ideal for concealed carry, as you can sneak it in a pocket or even the palm of your hand, ensuring that your victim won't sense danger until it's too late. Don't let the size fool you, though, as it packs a powerful punch for such a small gun.
  • good for young children
  • makes a great stocking stuffer
  • remarkably accurate
Brand Nerf
Model A1690
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. N-Strike Elite Strongarm

The N-Strike Elite Strongarm is a six-shooter from the future, with a classic drum housed in a modern blaster. There are no batteries involved, though, so you can get a full day's worth of enjoyment out of it without spending a fortune on Duracells.
  • shoots up to 90 feet
  • grip under barrel head
  • can fire all six darts at once
Brand Nerf
Model 36033F01
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Zombie Strike Hammershot

When the undead rise to feast on our brains, the only thing that can stop them will be the soft foam darts inside the Zombie Strike Hammershot. It's built for one-handed use, so you can finally feel like Doc Holliday ... if he fought the walking dead, of course.
  • quick and easy reload action
  • comes with stencils
  • not prone to jamming
Brand Nerf
Model A4325
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

A Brief History Of Nerf

The man who created Twister had an idea.

Fresh off the success of his balance-based game in 1967, American inventor Reyn Guyer wanted to create a new hobby that would take America by storm, and he knew the one thing that Americans couldn't get enough of: cavemen.

He was tinkering with an idea that would allow children to pretend to be their ancestors, complete with foam rocks with which to decorate their caves. One day Guyer noticed his employees were having more fun tossing the rocks around than playing the game as intended, and ever the opportunist, Guyer took the idea and ran with it, creating a new game which involved throwing the foam rocks over a net.

Unfortunately, the first company he ran to — Milton Bradley, who had produced Twister — wasn't interested. The second company, Parker Brothers, didn't like the game Guyer pitched, either.

But they were in love with those foam balls.

You see, one of the most common struggles in life is between parents and kids. Kids want to throw balls inside the house, and parents don't want to have to replace every breakable item they own. But a foam there was an idea.

Marketed as "the world's first indoor ball," the Nerf (or "non-expanding recreational foam") ball was an immediate hit. Parker Brothers asked Guyer to develop more Nerf toys, and he obliged, creating footballs, billiards games, and even a Nerf air hockey game.

Perhaps his biggest stroke of genius would come in 1991, however, when he created the Nerf Bow & Arrow. Finally, kids could shoot projectiles at each other without fear of putting someone's eye out. An unqualified success, the bow and arrow kit led to a wide array of Nerf gun toys, and kids today can boast more firepower than many small nations.

There's no telling where the company will take its foam invention next, but one thing's for certain: when a Nerf war breaks out, if you're not armed, you're fair game.

Caring For Your Nerf Arsenal

While Nerf guns are undoubtedly fun, it can be frustrating to discover you have to cut a battle short because you've run out of ammo, or the bullets that you can find are bent, broken, and won't shoot straight. That's why it's so essential to take care of your arsenal, so that the fun never has to stop.

Just like with a real gun, you're going to want to keep the moving parts of your Nerf blaster well-lubricated. Take time out every two or three months to give any moving parts some TLC, so that they'll continue to stay moving for the foreseeable future. The best Nerf lube is silicone grease, which can be found in your local hardware store. Don't use WD-40, cooking oil, or any personal lubricants, as they'll just damage the plastic.

Also, if you have an air blaster, keep one pump of air in it when not in use. This will keep dust from getting inside and gumming up the works, as well as ensure that you're always prepared to counter any ambushes from foam-based terrorist cells. Go ahead and dust it regularly as well, because the last thing you need is a speck causing a misfire when you've got your little brother dead-to-rights.

Of course, you'll want to collect and store all of your spent rounds after the smoke has cleared. This keeps them from getting trampled and mangled underfoot, and also means your dad won't yell at you if he finds them all over the house (and I don't care if you're 45 years old — dads will always yell about Nerf darts lying around).

If the ammo is already bent and misshapen, you might be able to salvage it using boiling water. Take some tongs and dip the bullets into the water, being careful not to touch the pan. Dunk them for one or two seconds, then remove and place them somewhere they can expand as they dry. Voilà — good as new!

Tactics And Strategies For Dominating Your Next Nerf War

I'm going to tell you something that might seem a little extreme, but it's true: anyone who says that a Nerf war isn't a life-or-death situation is your enemy, and should be treated as such.

Ok, maybe I take Nerf wars a little too seriously, but the fact remains that if you find yourself in a foam shootout, you're going to want to win, and with the strategies I'm about to share with you, your enemies won't stand a chance.

The biggest mistake most newbies make is trying to be a hero. No, it doesn't hurt when you get shot with a Nerf gun — but it means you lost, which should hurt far worse. Don't be too proud to take cover behind a couch, or on the other side of the bed, or behind Mom while she's cooking (no one ever has the guts to shoot Mom). Then, when the time is right, pop out of cover, take your shot, and hide again. It's how the pros do it, and it's how you should do it, too.

Also, firing blind is a rookie mistake. Don't shoot unless you can see what you're aiming at, and are reasonably confident you can hit it. Because remember, what happens if you miss in a Nerf war? That's right — you just gave your opponent more ammunition, and in Nerf shootouts, whoever has the most bullets will likely win. That's why you always want to have a backup piece as well.

Finally, teamwork is essential to victory. Getting your opponent in a crossfire is a nearly unbeatable strategy. When they have to worry about fire from all angles, they can't think straight, and they won't be able to shoot straight, either.

And remember, the best teammate is a double agent...and no one ever suspects Mom.

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Last updated on March 08, 2018 by Quincy Miller

Quincy is a writer who was born in Texas, but moved to Los Angeles to pursue his life-long dream of someday writing a second page to one of his screenplays.

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