Nerf blasters come in many varieties. There are long-range blasters, modular blasters, and multi-use blasters––and then there are blasters that just destroy everything!
When it comes time to take the fight to the next level, grab a Nerf machine gun and make sure that your enemies don’t stand a fighting chance. But which blaster is right for you?
We’ll go over exactly what you should be looking for in a Nerf machine gun and detail all the awesome dart-firing, army-decimating features that make our Top Five the Top Five.
Quick Look: Our Top Picks
What Should I Be Looking For in a Nerf Machine Gun?
This is probably the first question that came to mind when you decided it was time to give your armory an upgrade. There are plenty of things to think about before making a choice. Ammo type, whether or not it’s motorized, rate of fire, and portability are all important to take into consideration before settling on a new machine blaster.
Thankfully for you, we’ve taken care of all the research and done the homework for you, so all you have to do is read on, make an informed decision, and become an unstoppable one-person Nerf missile battery!
Choosing the Right Ammo Style
The Elite Ammo is known for its precision and long flight distances. It’s perfect for those who like to pick off opponents from afar, as well as anyone who likes to take a sniper-type role. In addition, a wide range of Nerf blasters support the Elite Ammo style and have interchangeable ammo clips, so if you already have Elite line blasters then a machine gun using this style of ammo would be perfect for you.
On the other hand, there are the Nerf Rival Ammo style. Unlike the traditional Nerf missile, the Nerf Rival series fires a bright yellow, pitted, golf ball-type orb. The Rival Ammo flies just about as far as its Elite counterpart, but it tends to have a little less drop over its trajectory.
What that means for you is a projectile that’s suited to an aim-and-shoot strategy as opposed to the more traditional Nerf spray-n-pray method.
Plus, the Rival Ammo style has been clocked coming out of the barrel at an unbelievable 70 mph, which, although it doesn’t mean further travel distance or increased sting (I shot myself point blank with no lasting marks), is still an awesome number to quote when bragging to your Nerf buddies about your sweet new piece.
Battery-Powered Nerf Blasters – The Rundown
All of the blasters on this list need batteries in order to operate. There are good and bad sides to using a battery-powered blaster.
On the plus side, battery-powered blasters generally have higher rates of fire than their non-electrified counterparts. This means that you can really let loose with one of these bad boys; they’re perfect for suppressing fire or for holding off large groups of enemies at once. Not only that, but the sound of your Nerf machine gun revving up is totally killer. Never underestimate the intimidation factor!
Blasters that aren’t motorized can be annoying–– and sometimes downright difficult––to fire repeatedly. That’s not to say that they’re totally worthless, but it’s worth your time to think about how important that easy high rate of fire is to you.
Unfortunately, battery-powered blasters come with a few downsides as well. One thing to keep in mind is the weight. For example the Nerf Rival Zeus MXV-1200 requires an absurd 6 C batteries––that’s a total of more than ten grams additional weight just to operate!
And, while the Zeus is one of the coolest blasters to make our list, it’s worth your consideration to make sure that the added weight won’t be the straw that breaks the camel’s back (or yours).
Weight Consideration for Nerf Blasters
That brings us to our next point: size and weight. As we just went over, one of the things that can really add to the weight of a blaster is batteries. While having a heavy Nerf blaster can certainly make battle a little harder, having an oversized blaster can present it’s own difficulties.
This point particularly applies to those looking for a blaster for a smaller child. While it might be fine for a teen or an adult to lug around a battlefield, I’d be hard pressed to hand the Nerf N-Strike Elite Rhino-Fire to an eight-year-old and tell him to go find cover. Sure, it’s probably the most intimidating Nerf gun around, and it’s rate of fire and ammo capacity are spine chilling, but portable the Rhino is not.
Meanwhile, the Nerf CS-18 N-Strike Elite RapidStrike is lighter and much more portable, plus the clip comes off for even easier storage. Add in the fact that you can carry additional clips (that work with most other Nerf Elite clip-fed blasters) and you have a blaster that approaches the ideal for a run n’ gun strategy.
Now here’s what you’ve been waiting for––our breakdown of the Top Five Nerf Machine Guns!
Aside from the protruding clip under the body of the gun, this is perhaps the most classic-looking Nerf gun on the list. It’s got the standard orange-and-blue Elite color scheme (standard because it rocks!) on top of a Goldeneye-worthy gun body. As far as design goes, they hit it out of the park, too. The batteries are situated in a tray toward the front of the gun, right where you would want to hold the rifle barrel in order to steady your aim. Because the batteries add extra weight, they couldn’t have been placed more effectively.
- The Rapid strike CS-18 blaster holds 18 Elite Darts
- Acceleration Trigger powers up the motor for rapid firing
- Fires Elite darts up to 90feet.Colors may vary.Clip holds 18 darts and is see-through for instant firepower checks
- Elite Darts work with any N-Strike Elite blaster and most original N-Strike blasters (sold separately)
- Not using Hasbro Nerf branded darts might jam the gun.
Amazingly useful transparent clip design allows you to know exactly how many rounds you have left.
Able to fire in single-shot, burst, or fully automatic capacity
Compatible with a large variety of Nerf Elite Tactical Rail add-ons
Able to utilize ammo from any other Nerf Elite blaster.
Utilizing the separate flywheel trigger in conjunction with the firing trigger can be a bit of a pain
Some have mentioned occasional jamming issues with the blaster
OK. It pays to be honest, so here goes: we have a soft spot for the Zeus MXV-1200. It looks just like the assault rifle from the Halo series and as Halo fans, as well as fans of Red Vs. Blue, this blaster is a dream come true.
- NOTE: This version comes in simple brown packaging
- Team Blue Zeus MXV-1200 blaster charges up every battle with motorized blasting
- Requires 6 C batteries (not included)
- Easy-load, ambidextrous magazine
- Flip-up sights, trigger lock and jam clearing door
Aside from its aesthetic appeal, the Zeus manages to find a way to stand out. With flip-up sights, a magazine that is unbelievably easy to reload ( seriously!), and not one but two tactical rails, the Zeus promises to be a Nerf war weapon of choice.
Fires Nerf Rival ammo at an astounding 100 FPS––that’s 30 meters per second of sheer rival-annihilating velocity!
The ambidextrous clip is very easy to reload in a hurry and transparent so you don’t have to constantly count rounds while you fire
Able to fire in both semi-automatic and full-auto modes
Without a doubt one of the more powerful blasters on the market
Runs on six C batteries, which undoubtedly put this blaster on the heavier side. Not the best choice for younger Nerf warriors
The Nerf Rival ammo is (at the moment) not as widespread as its Elite counterpart
The Elite HyperFire is a high-speed, high-capacity monster. Add in a body that combines good ergonomics (it’s ideal for anyone who likes to keep moving while they battle) with an imposing design (drum clip!) and you’ve got a blaster that will do you proud in any battle.
- Fires up to 5 darts per second with fresh batteries
- 25-dart drum
- Fires darts up to 90 feet (27 meters)
- Comes with 25 Elite darts
- Includes blaster, 25-dart drum, 25 darts, and instructions
Thankfully, the HyperFire isn’t about good looks alone. It boasts a fantastic range that does the Elite ammo style justice, as well as a firing rate that we would be happy to see on every other machine gun type model.
On a fresh set of batteries, the HyperFire can fire darts at a rate of five per second. That means you can blow through the entire 25 missile drum in about 5 seconds at peak performance!
Fires darts at a range of up to 90 feet, which means this blaster has plenty of power to back up its speed
Capable of using a variety of Nerf Elite clips and drums, which makes reloading a cinch with this blaster
The jam-clearing door’s lock occasionally comes open when firing, so if this door or it’s locking mechanism is not totally sealed then the gun disables itself
Hands down, the Rhino-Fire wins the award for “Nerf gun most likely to give an opponent nightmares.” Take one look at this thing and you’ll see why, or better yet, take a look at it from down range.
Check out the full review of the Elite Rhino-Fire here.
- Rhino-Fire blaster rapid-fires Elite darts from 2 alternating barrels with motorized blasting
- Removable tripod helps you steady your shots
- Blaster's 2 drums hold 25 Elite Darts each
- Includes 50 Elite Darts. Requires 6 D batteries (not included)
- Blaster comes with two 25-dart drums, 50 Elite darts, tripod and instructions
Twin barrels. Twin 25-dart capacity drums. It even sits on a tripod because it’s too awesome to pick up and fire. In every respect, the Rhino-Fire is a force to be reckoned with. If we could get this thing loaded onto some type of vehicle, there wouldn’t be a Nerf warrior alive who could stand up to its power. In fact, the only thing the Rhino-Fire is missing is a choir to sing its praises while you tear your enemies to shreds - that, and maybe a shoulder strap.
Once again, the Elite style ammo proves its supremacy. This thing can load darts from the majority of blasters on the market at the moment, and, just like the HyperFire, it is compatible with a wide range of clips and drums
Just look at it! Really, the intimidation factor is off the charts
Accuracy and range are better than expected for a high-speed dual machine gun
Fifty rounds add up to a huge opening salvo
Really, really needs a shoulder strap. Without one it’s too bulky for most to pick up and run with comfortably.
Takes a gluttonous six D batteries. They get costly enough to continually replace that it’s worth looking into some rechargeables instead.
Last but not least on our list is the Nemesis, another entry in the Nerf Rival series. While it shares the same imprint as the Zeus, that’s about where the similarities end. The Nemesis may be an expensive blaster (around $100) but trust us when we say that it’s worth every penny.
- This version comes in simple brown packaging
- Fully motorized
- Hopper feed – high capacity
- Choose red or blue to battle as Team Red or Team Blue
- Experience ultimate precision and intense competition
Whether you’re looking at rate of fire, range, ammo capacity, or versatility, the Nemesis outperforms virtually every other blaster on the market today. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that it’s the best one on this list, even though it does have a few downsides.
The Nemesis is hopper-fed, which means you don’t have to worry about refilling clips or anything like that. Instead, just pour ammo into the top of the blaster. This makes reloading the Nemesis so easy you’ll find it hard to go back to other styles
This thing can hold 100 rounds at a time - double that of the imposing Rhino-Fire
The motor on the Nemesis is powerful enough to fire rounds at 90–100 FPS on fresh batteries
The Nemesis weighs in at a bulky 6 pounds (including batteries). This is not a blaster that your little sibling will be comfortable carrying around for extended periods of time, and some young Nerf warriors might not be able to heft this beast at all
If this gun could somehow also use the Elite ammo style it would be perfect
While all of the blasters on this list are formidable, the Nemesis is head and shoulders above the competition in nearly every respect. If you can, we urge you to at least try this monster out once. Nothing beats the feeling of letting off 100 rounds in one furious press of the trigger, and it will remind you of every Hollywood movie where the guns seem to have bottomless clips.
And that’s it for our Top 5 Nerf Machine Guns! But don’t take our word for it; give these blasters a try and find out which is the perfect fit for your battle style!