The 10 Best Nerf Guns

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This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in December of 2016. When you're a kid, few activities are as exciting as playing with Nerf guns. Our selections offer plenty of cool features, like rapid-fire magazines and high-speed rounds, so your little ones will stay entertained for hours on end. They come in an incredible range of colors and shapes, and many are quite affordable, too, so you don't have to worry about breaking the bank. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best nerf gun on Amazon.

10. Rapidstrike CS-18

9. Mega Mega Mastodon

8. Triad EX-3

7. Elite Rough Cut

6. Zombie Doublestrike

5. N-Strike Elite Strongarm

4. Zombie Strike Hammershot

3. Rival Nemesis

2. Lazer Tag Phoenix

1. Ripchain Combat

Editor's Notes

April 26, 2019:

When it comes to choosing a Nerf gun, there are many features to consider. Here, you'll find models large and small to suit kids of different ages and sizes. There are quite a few magazine styles to choose from, too, and even a laser tag option for those families that don't care to deal with projectiles flying around the house.

The Zombie Strike Sledge Fire has been removed from the list due to fulfillment issues, and the Rival Khaos got the boot after repeated complaints about a frustrating loading process. The Elite Rough Cut was replaced with an updated version, which boasts an improved design and enhanced firing power. To provide shoppers with a particularly rugged option, the Ripchain Combat was added to the list and awarded the top spot.

It should be noted that many of these toys are intended for specific age groups, so it’s important to look at each individual product’s age recommendation. Additionally, kids of all ages should be supervised while playing with Nerf guns, and they should also be advised about how to use these toys safely.

A Brief History Of Nerf

The second company, Parker Brothers, didn't like the game Guyer pitched, either.

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.

Also, if you have an air blaster, keep one pump of air in it when not in use.

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.

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

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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Taber Koeghan
Last updated on May 01, 2019 by Taber Koeghan

Taber is a writer from Santa Monica, CA, with a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of California, San Diego. After completing her degree, she began writing and editing copy for a host of high-traffic e-commerce websites. Her areas of expertise include the beauty, style, pet, and home products categories, and she has plenty of experience covering literature and art, too. Her personal interests in crafting and decorating inform her writing and -- she hopes -- add a good bit of insight to her work. Outside of copywriting, she is a reporter and columnist at a Los Angeles community newspaper and is currently pursuing a master of fine arts in creative writing.

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