Dart Shenanigans, Part Two

In my first post on darts, I discussed the various official Nerf darts you can buy off the shelf in stores. But as you become more invested in the Nerf world after a few wars, you start to crave better alternative ammunition.

Luckily, there’s a plethora of off-brand dart choices that are not only compatible with Nerf, not only drastically cheaper than official darts, but are in many cases of better quality! Here we will break down the options I’ve personally tested.

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The Quest for a Nerf Sniper Rifle

There are two questions I always get asked whenever people find out about this Nerf stuff we do: “Is there a Nerf grenade?” and “Is there a Nerf sniper rifle?” Neither product, technically speaking, exists.

As for the first question, I don’t really know why such a thing hasn’t been produced (apart from useless foam balls shaped like grenades). My assumption has been that it would simply be too costly to manufacture. You may have seen the ThinkGeek “Nerf Nuke” video on YouTube. That’s kind of the logical endpoint for a Nerf grenade, but it hasn’t been officially released and not even the modding community has taken on the challenge of building it, to my knowledge.

Nerf-Longstrike-CS-6

Nerf Longstrike CS-6

Regarding the Nerf sniper rifle, that one seems like more of a no-brainer. I mean, just take existing Nerf blaster mechanics and slap it into a sniper rifle-looking shell right? Well, yes, Hasbro has already released a couple such designs. The most famous being the Nerf LongStrike, but the LongShot and Centurion both evoke sniper rifle aesthetics. But here’s the problem: It’s ONLY aesthetics. Performance is a whole other matter.*  Continue reading

Thrifting Basics

Since Nerf blasters are, after all, toys, there’s enormous potential in the secondhand market for great finds at pennies on the dollar (“thrifting”, as the online Nerf community calls it). In many cases it’s the only way to get your hands on discontinued, rare, and vintage models. Between thrift stores, yard sales, eBay and classified listings, there’s plenty of opportunity to build up an impressive arsenal cheaply, provided you’re willing to put in the footwork. But if you don’t know what you’re doing you can easily end up wasting money on a pile of plastic junk.

Following are some basic tips for maximizing your odds on the secondhand market.

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Introduction to Nerf Modification

Once you’ve amassed your Nerf arsenal and participated in a war or two, it’s natural to start thinking of ways to maximize the performance of your blasters. Thanks to the internet hive mind and the growing numbers of adult enthusiasts, Nerf modification is an immeasurably vast world with countless guides and resources available to assist you.

This article is meant to provide a springboard for beginners interested in modding their Nerf guns with some basic knowledge and places to start learning what to do, and how to do it properly. It will be restricted to power/range modifications only, as there is currently no way to reliably and consistently improve accuracy of the blasters themselves due to the inherent flaws of foam darts (see Dart Shenanigans).  Continue reading

Dart Shenanigans

Darts

As soon as you start to dip your toes into the waters of Nerf gun modification, you start obsessively thinking about ways to get better performance out of your blaster. At least I did. But while there seemed to be plenty of ways to augment your power (and therefore your range), I wasn’t finding anything about improving accuracy. As it turns out, the accuracy equation has much less to do with the blasters themselves, and everything to do with the ammo they use.

Nerf has released a number of foam darts over the last couple decades. I remember, one of the first Nerf guns I ever had was the original Sharpshooter, which used long darts with foam fins. There have been a few varieties of suction-tipped darts, and many varieties of simple rubber-tipped ones – the most recent and universal of which are the standard Elites. The ones we mainly use in our Nerf wars. And while these are perfectly suitable (and inexpensive) for our needs, their design puts a fairly low ceiling on just how dead-on you can get with any Nerf blaster regardless of its quality.  Continue reading

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