Recommended Blasters

There are hundreds of Nerf blasters available across dozens of product lines – even browsing the Nerf aisle at Target can be overwhelming. When you factor in discontinued products still commonly found at thrift stores, the amount of options can be paralyzing. Here, I’ve listed a handful of the most reliable and effective blasters in various categories to help you narrow down your loadout. I’ve tried to limit this selection to products still available new on store shelves, but this list may become outdated from time to time. Check store availability before committing to your choices.

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

Pistols & Sidearms

Strongarm

MSRP: $13Strongarm

Capacity: 6

Rate of fire: Single shot

A modern update to the classic Maverick revolver, accuracy and range are standard but it’s quick to reload and cannot jam. A good all-around pistol. Also sold in a slightly different form factor as the Disruptor.

Triad

MSRP: $7

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.

Hammershot (Rebelle Sweet Revenge)Hammershot

MSRP: $15

Capacity: 5

Rate of fire: Single shot

Among Nerf aficionados, the Hammershot is legendary and remains the most popular sidearm due to impressive range and one-handed operation via the hammer prime. An official holster is also sold by Hasbro but may be discontinued.

Cycloneshock

MSRP: $20CycloneShock

Capacity: 6

Rate of Fire: Single shot

If MEGA is more your speed, you can’t beat the Cycloneshock. Essentially a Strongarm on steroids.

Primaries (Air Powered)

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.

Surgefire

MSRP: $25

Capacity: $15

Rate of fire: Single shot

The Surgefire is a relatively high-capacity, simple pump action springer that doesn’t suffer from any jamming issues or confusion that often plagues beginners. Standard Elite ranges apply, and these can often be found on sale, such as the Costco package that included 30 darts for $17.

Raptorstrike

MSRP: $30

Capacity: 6 – 25 (clip system)

Rate of fire: Single shot

Because both range and accuracy are capped by toy safety standards and dart quality respectively, true “sniper rifles” don’t really exist in off-the-shelf Nerf world, other than from an aesthetic standpoint. That said, the Raptorstrike is a beautiful, intimidating blot-action blaster. The included Accustrike darts do offer slightly improved accuracy, and can be used in any blaster.

Twinshock

MSRP: $40

Capacity: 10

Rate of fire: Single shot (two dart burst)

I would normally recommend the Rotofury for a MEGA primary, but it seems to be heading toward discontinued and can’t be reliably found new. The Twinshock has the same capacity and same pump action grip, but in a dual column configuration that operates similarly to the Roughcut shotgun (can fire one or two darts per trigger pull).

Primaries (Electric)

Stryfe

MSRP: $20Stryfe

Capacity: 6 – 25 (clip system)

Rate of fire: Semi-automatic

The Stryfe is so popular among Nerf enthusiasts that it has been continually sold and re-released under different product lines and color schemes since 2013. Part of that is due to its utter simplicity, making it very easy to modify and an excellent starter project to learn the mechanics of flywheel blasters. But even in stock form the Stryfe is fun and effective.

Hyperfire

MSRP: $50

Capacity: 25 (clip system)

Rate of fire: Full-automatic

The Hyperfire has replaced the Rapidstrike as the go-to Elite fully-automatic blaster, and features a belt-driven propulsion system that launches an impressive 5 darts per second.

Regulator

MSRP: $60

Capacity: 6 – 25 (clip system)

Rate of fire: Variable

The Regulator is the first and only Nerf blaster to offer select fire. Choose between semi-auto, 3-round burst, or full-auto with a toggle switch. The modding community had been building this functionality into various electric blasters for years – how it’s available off the shelf.

Shotguns and Bows

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.