Three best Nerf guns
There are a few activities that the whole family can truly enjoy, and playing with Nerf guns is definitely one of them! Whether you're buying one for your kids or you're just a kid at heart, picking out the perfect Nerf gun isn't easy.
Unless you're well versed in Nerf gun lingo, it's not always clear what you get for your money. Should you buy a manual or automatic blaster? What type of ammo is best? How do you find the right size Nerf gun for the user? This guide will answer all these questions and more.
Considerations when choosing Nerf guns
Different Nerf guns use different types of ammunition. Most use one of three main types: traditional darts, mega darts, and high-impact rounds. Out of the two types of darts, the traditional is the smallest and safest. The mega darts are larger and hit slightly harder but are still fairly tame. High-impact rounds are small foam spheres that shoot faster and hit harder than darts. As such, Nerf guns that use this type of ammo are only recommended for ages 14 and up.
Manual or automatic
You can find Nerf guns that load either manually or automatically. With manual models, you must load each dart by hand. With automatic models, you load clips of ammo into the Nerf gun ahead of time. When one clip runs out of ammunition, you can quickly and easily swap in a fresh one.
Before buying a Nerf gun, think about the age of the person who'll be using it. All Nerf guns have a recommended minimum age. You should stick to these age recommendations both for safety reasons and for logistical reasons. Some Nerf guns are quite large and heavy and might be difficult for a younger child to wield. Likewise, it's unsafe for younger kids to use very powerful Nerf guns because they could hurt themselves or their playmates.
Nerf gun features
Ammo capacity: The ammunition capacity of Nerf guns varies widely between models. Some basic Nerf guns can only fit half a dozen darts in the chamber, while high-end models using high-impact rounds can fit up to 100. If you're planning some epic Nerf gun battles, the larger the ammunition capacity of your chosen gun, the less time you'll spend reloading and the more time you can spend defeating your foes.
Range: How far the ammunition flies varies by Nerf gun, too. The most basic models have a range of just 10 to 20 feet, while very powerful models can shoot ammo over 100 feet.
Nerf gun prices: Most Nerf guns cost between $20 and $50. The most powerful models cost around $100. Unless you want a high-end, super-high-powered Nerf gun, you shouldn't have to pay more than $40 or $50 to get a very respectable model.
Q. What's the recommended age range for a Nerf gun?
A. Most Nerf guns are recommended for ages 8 and up, but high-powered models are only suitable for ages 14 and over. If you're buying a Nerf gun for a child, always check the age rating before buying.
Q. Can Nerf guns cause property damage?
A. When used outdoors, Nerf guns are very unlikely to cause any damage to property. That said, there's a small chance that a pellet from a high-powered Nerf gun could break a window, so it's best to be careful where you're shooting.
Q. Can Nerf guns cause injury?
A. Nerf darts and high-impact rounds can hurt a little when they hit you, but they won't cause injury under usual circumstances. That said, eyes are delicate, and in extreme cases, a Nerf dart could cause eye injuries. For that reason, we'd recommend wearing suitable eye protection during Nerf gun battles.
Nerf guns we recommend
Best of the best: Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K
Our take: With its long range and rapid-fire action, this reliable blaster will provide countless hours of fun.
What we like: Impressive 100-pellet capacity. Shoots six rounds per second. Ammo travels 100 feet per second.
What we dislike: Quite large and heavy.
Best bang for your buck: Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster
Our take: Simple dart blaster with excellent range. Extremely affordable price.
What we like: Total range of 90 feet. No battery required, so you can keep shooting all day.
What we dislike: Small capacity of six darts.
Choice 3: Nerf Vagabond Doomlands Blaster
Our take: If you prioritize rapid firing over long range, this is the Nerf gun for you.
What we like: Pump action. Can be fired one-handed. Reasonably priced.
What we dislike: Some users report gun occasionally jams.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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