The 10 Best Nerf Guns

Updated October 26, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

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. There's no point fighting it. Most youngsters, and especially boys, love to play shooting games. So the least you can do is ensure that they play safely with one of these Nerf guns that only fire soft ammunition that won't cause any damage to their siblings and friends or to your house. 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. Nerf N-Strike Elite Rhino-Fire

The Nerf N-Strike Elite Rhino-Fire is especially useful if your kids also have a military-style Power Wheels Humvee, given the fact that this veritable machine gun is modeled after the M2 Browning .50 caliber weapons mounted atop those vehicles.
  • motorized blasting
  • fires from 2 25-dart drums
  • range decreases with firing time
Brand Nerf
Model 34276
Weight 7 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Nerf Zombie Strike FlipFury

While flipping from an empty drum to a fully loaded one is enjoyable with the slide action on the Nerf Zombie Strike FlipFury, the vertical orientation of the drums means you can't reload the spent chamber while the new one is in the firing position.
  • comes with 12 darts
  • compact barrel design
  • loud colors can give away a position
Brand Nerf
Model A9603
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. Nerf Zombie Strike Sledge Fire

Drawing from the Franchi SPAS-12, the Nerf Zombie Strike Sledge Fire explodes with a blast of three darts per cartridge. 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 3.8 / 5.0

7. Nerf Zombie Strike Doominator

The rotating ammo drums on the Nerf Zombie Strike Doominator allow you to reload empty chambers without taking your primary drum out of the firing position. That way, if a zombie, or a child, or a zombified child got the drop on you, you'd be ready.
  • 3-position grip
  • 24-dart capacity
  • priming handle feels flimsy
Brand Nerf
Model B1532
Weight 6.9 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

6. Nerf N-Strike Elite Centurion

If your child's play space includes a clock tower or, perhaps, a book depository, the Nerf N-Strike Elite Centurion is the ideal weapon. It's configured to the length and style of a sniper rifle, and its 100-foot firing range makes it a solid choice for distance work.
  • whistler darts scream in flight
  • tactical stand for support
  • assembly required
Brand Nerf
Model A3700
Weight 4.8 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. Nerf N-Strike Rough Cut

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

4. Nerf N-Strike Elite Rampage

Your kids are sure to have a ball using the Nerf N-Strike Elite Rampage to blow out the windows of shopkeepers who wouldn't pay for protection from the mob. After all, this is Nerf's version of the Tommy gun. Just make sure your little ones watch out for that RICO statute.
  • large capacity magazine
  • 75-foot target range
  • not the most accurate option
Brand Nerf
Model 98697F01
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator

The Kalashnikov AK-47 is the most ubiquitous automatic weapon in the world because it's inexpensive, easy to maintain, reliable, and accurate. All of those features also apply to the Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator, which is the closest thing you'll get to an AK in a toy.
  • tactical rail above and below barrel
  • quick-reload clips
  • stability handle included
Brand Nerf
Model 98696F01
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm

If modern Westerns, like Westworld and Cowboys & Aliens, have your kids eager to blend the style of the Old West with the technology of the 21st century, the Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm is a six-shooter from the future. It has a classic drum housed in a modern blaster.
  • shoots up to 90 feet
  • grip under barrel head
  • can fire all six darts at once
Brand Nerf
Model 36033F01
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Nerf Modulus Tri-Strike Long Range Kit

The Nerf Modulus Tri-Strike Long Range Kit combines the company's most versatile weapons system with a sniper's barrel and spotter's scope. It can fire two dart sizes, as well as a small rocket inspired by the grenade launcher attachment on the M4 carbine.
  • multiple configurations
  • effective at any range
  • folding bipod barrel support
Brand Nerf Modulus Tri-Strike
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.5 / 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.

Statistics and Editorial Log

Paid Placements

Wiki Granular Update & Revision Log

help support our research

Patreonlogoorange psj5g7Wiki ezvid low poly earth xdypeb

Last updated on October 26, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For our full ranking methodology, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.