Following is a list of commonly available (as of early 2016) Nerf dart blasters and their vital statistics. There are several others currently sold at retail not covered here, as I have limited this list to blasters I have personally owned/tested.

Note: MSRP figures are loosely based on the prices I typically see these blasters going for at “big box” stores like Target and Walmart.

Elite Blasters

Strongarm

MSRP: $13Strongarm

Capacity: 6

Rate of fire: Single shot

The most common Nerf blaster you’ll see in stores, this makes an excellent sidearm. Accuracy and range are standard but it’s quick to reload and cannot jam.

FirestrikeElitefirestrike

MSRP: $10

Capacity: 1 (integrated storage for 2)

Rate of fire: Single shot

A very basic, elegant sidearm pistol, with good range and accuracy but as low an ammo capacity as you can get (though reloading is fast and easy). Includes an integrated flashlight that is cool in theory but far too weak to be of any use.

Triad

MSRP: $7Nerf_N_strike_elite_Triad_ex_3

Capacity: 3

Rate of fire: Single shot

The Triad is  by far the best “last resort” derringer style blaster there is. The range is insane for such a small gun and reload time is super speedy due to the simple design, but the tiny capacity is a drawback.

Retaliator

MSRP: $24Retaliator

Capacity: 6 – 25 (clip system)

Rate of fire: Single shot

Of the rifle type blasters the Retaliator is the standard go-to. Good accuracy and range, and a popular choice for modders. Included stock and barrel extension use standard attach points and can be used on a number of other blasters, including the Rampage and Stryfe.

Rampage

MSRP: $32Rampage

Capacity: 6 – 25 (clip system)

Rate of fire: Single shot

The Rampage has become harder to find in recent years, but is an outstanding all-around blaster. Range and accuracy are comparable to the Retaliator, but with the added benefit of a more intuitive pump-action priming mechanism. Also the only blaster apart from the Rhino Fire that includes a 25 dart drum magazine.

RapidstrikeRapidstrike_CS-18

MSRP: $40

Capacity: 6 – 25 (clip system)

Rate of fire: Fully automatic

Aside from the Rhino Fire, this is the only full-auto Nerf blaster currently sold in stores. Accuracy and range are decent but there is a propensity for jams.

Stryfe

MSRP: $20Stryfe

Capacity: 6 – 25 (clip system)

Rate of fire: Semi-automatic

Think of the Stryfe as the battery-powered version of the Retaliator – a great all-around clip system blaster with no significant drawbacks, that also accepts most stock and barrel add-ons. The Stryfe is one of the most frequently recommended blasters in the Nerf community.

Roughcut

MSRP: $20Roughcut

Capacity: 8

Rate of fire: 1 or 2 darts per shot

A fun, reliable pump action shotgun blaster that can alternate between one or two darts per pull of the trigger.

Crossbolt

MSRP: $25Crossbolt

Capacity: 6 – 25 (clip system)

Rate of fire: Single shot

Of the many bow and crossbow style blasters on the market, this was the first to utilize actual bowstring action as a propulsion mechanism, as opposed to spring plungers disguised as bows a la the Crossfire. It’s quiet, stylish and gets great range, but some may find the bullpup ergonomics awkward.

Demolisher

MSRP: $30Demolisher

Capacity: Up to 25 (clip system), plus attached single shot missile blaster

Rate of fire: Semi-automatic

The Demolisher is an amazing primary weapon, with excellent range and speedy semi-auto fire. The attached pump action missile blaster in front is good for a change of pace.

Zombie Strike blasters

Hammershot (Rebelle Sweet Revenge)Hammershot

MSRP: $15

Capacity: 5

Rate of fire: Single shot

The hammer action on this revolver makes it great for one handed use, and accuracy and range are both above average.

Crossfire

MSRP: $18Crossfire

Capacity: 4

Rate of fire: Single shot

Although the crossbow action on this blaster is just for show, its range and accuracy are both well above average. Capacity is on the low side but there’s no danger of jamming and if you’re going for a little style, this is a good choice.

Slingfire

MSRP: $25Slingfire

Capacity: 6 – 25 (clip system)

Rate of fire: Single shot

Like the Crossfire, the Slingfire is another “style” blaster. It would be classed as a single shot, clip system rifle if not for the priming mechanism that resembles a lever action shotgun that can actually be cocked one-handed, Terminator 2 style.

SledgefireSledgefire

MSRP: $28

Capacity: 3 x 3 dart scatter shots

Rate of fire: Single shot

The break-barrel reloading action and 3 dart shells in the Sledgefire are unique among modern Nerf blasters. The tactical disadvantages introduced by this system make it an unwise choice of primary blaster in battles, but damned if it isn’t a lot of fun to use.

FlipFury

MSRP: $20FlipFury

Capacity: 12

Rate of fire: Single shot

The FlipFury has the same functionality and performance as the Strongarm, but with double the ammo capacity via a nifty secondary trigger that lets you instantly flip to another full barrel. Very fun.

Doominator

MSRP: $40Doominator

Capacity: 24

Rate of fire: Single shot

The Doominator is the FlipFury on steroids, taking the same swappable 6-dart cylinder concept and doubling the capacity. It works on a sheer intimidation level and the amount of ammo it can carry at once is nice, but for such a large weapon you might expect it to be more powerful. In truth it achieves ranges at or just below that of the FlipFury.

Longshot

MSRP: $35Longshot_Zombie1

Capacity: 6 – 25 (clip system)

Rate of fire: Single shot

The original N-strike Longshot was legendary for its time, as the largest Nerf blaster released to date. However, this re-release suffers for several reasons. The internal mechanics are identical to the old Longshot, which means performance is pitiful compared to modern blasters. What’s worse, it has severe jamming problems as a result of the slightly different dimensions of Elite darts, which is wasn’t originally intended to fire. Popular with modders due to the abundance of internal space.

MEGA blasters

CenturionCenturion

MSRP: $50

Capacity: 6

Rate of fire: Single shot

The Centurion is a great intimidation weapon, but has limited capabilities in battle due to the low capacity, long reload time, and propensity to jam. Excellent range provided your darts are in good shape.

MagnusMagnus

MSRP: $15

Capacity: 3

Rate of fire: Single shot

The Magnus packs a whollop with its MEGA darts and long range, and is less likely to jam than the Centurion, but the 3 dart capacity is extremely limited and reload time is fairly slow.

Cycloneshock

MSRP: $25CycloneShock

Capacity: 6

Rate of Fire: Single shot

All the power, range, and intimidation factor of the Magnus, but with double the capacity. As of now, the best all-around blaster in the MEGA product line.

RotoFury

MSRP: $35RotoFury

Capacity: 10

Rate of fire: Single shot

Sports the highest capacity of the entire MEGA line, in a form factor that screams beefy power. Range is comparable to the Magnus and CycloneShock. A great new primary weapon for MEGA fans.

Other

 

Modulus ECS-10

MSRP: $40Modulus

Capacity: 6 – 25 (clip system)

Rate of fire: Semi-automatic

The Modulus is the first of a new line of Nerf blasters that will be expanded soon. At its core, it’s only a re-shelled Stryfe packed to the gills with accessory rails and attachment points, but you can purchase accessory kits separately that include barrel extensions, stocks, sights, and more. Performance of the blaster itself is similar to the Stryfe. Not a bad investment if you’re into aesthetics.

RIVAL ApolloApollo-red

MSRP: $25

Capacity: 7 – 12

Rate of fire: Single shot

Another brand new Nerf line, RIVAL is aimed at older kids and adults. The Apollo and Zeus fire small dimpled foam balls instead of darts, and are designed with high range and accuracy in mind. Indeed, the Apollo comes out of the box packing the power of a typical spring modified dart blaster, with great (but still not perfect) accuracy thanks to the ammo type. Be prepared to lose lots of these little balls if you use it in a war.

RIVAL ZeusZeus

MSRP: $50

Capacity: 12

Rate of fire: Semi-automatic

The Zeus is the bigger, badder older brother of the Apollo, featuring motorized semi-automatic fire at double the price. The aesthetics are amazing, and it obviously far outclasses the Apollo in rate of fire, but the range has been reported to be slightly lower than its sibling, so choose carefully.

N-Strike Sharpfire

MSRP: $15Sharpfire

Capacity: 1 (with storage for 6 in removable stock)

Rate of fire: Single shot

A curious little pistol released under the non-Elite N-Strike line, the Sharpfire closely resembles the NES Duck Hunt blaster, and comes packaged with a removable stock that doubles as a kind of holster, and a proprietary barrel extension. Range is noticeably less than Elite, but it couldn’t be easier to modify with a stronger spring.

 

Jolt EX-1

MSRP: $5Jolt_Elite_colors

Capacity: 1

Rate of fire: Single shot

You will probably find these little guys for about 3 or 4 dollars anywhere Nerf guns are sold. There isn’t much to say – it’s a tiny single shot (and no more) derringer. For its size, range and accuracy are decent but there’s not much reason to choose this over the Triad.

N-Strike Maverick

Nerf_maverickMSRP: $10

Capacity: 6

Rate of fire: Single shot

Go to any Goodwill looking for Nerf guns and you’re practically guaranteed to see at least one of these lying around – it sold that well. Now 10 years old, the stalwart Maverick can still be bought new at places like Walgreens, but with its successor the Strongarm available anywhere, there’s not much reason to get one.