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When you think pump-action blasters, think mechanical Nerf guns that have a priming handle. Such guns are usually powered by a spring mechanism and need to be primed before they can be fired.
In this article, I will be showing you the best pump action Nerf guns, and why in particular I love each and every single one of them.
For the sake of this list, bows of any kind are out. I consider them a separate category.
Also, anything not actually made by Nerf will not show up on this list (sorry, Powerball fans). Having said that, let's get right into it.
Quick Look: Our Top Picks
Firing this one was simply a pleasure. It is shaped like a portable submachine gun and the grip is easy on the hands.
This may be one of the last competitive blasters that still have the bulkier Mega darts instead of the more streamlined Elite darts. So, if you are a Mega fan, totally go for this.
The muzzle bore is wide enough to accommodate the size of the Mega darts. Behind the muzzle, there is an inbuilt, cylinder-like rotary magazine that can hold ten darts.
You load it just by pushing Mega darts into it from the front.
This blaster has slam fire, so you can just hold down the trigger and push out a large number of darts in split seconds.
However, I noticed while slam firing that my hand kept bumping against the edge of the body of the blaster just behind the priming handle. This might cause some issues for long term use.
The dart velocity for this blaster is standard, somewhere around 70 fps. Overall, this is a very good and interesting blaster.
- Mega RotoFury blaster fires Mega Whistler Darts up to 90 feet
- Includes 10 Mega Whistler Darts
- Rotating drum fires 10 darts at a time without reloading
- Slam-fire action
- Mega Whistler Darts scream through the air
Let's look beyond the cool color code (which is actually one of the reasons I love this blaster). The Rampage is designed like an Assault rifle and it is really light to carry.
This could shoulder the weight of being your primary weapon and not buckle.
If you want even more info about the Rampage, here is our very in-depth review.
There is an attachment point at the back where you can attach your favorite stocks, giving more balance to a blaster that is already pretty well balanced, while not hurting the overall aesthetics at the same time.
For me, what really stands out in the Elite Rampage is its drum magazine. The drum magazine can hold a maximum of 25 darts.
The magazine was designed in such a way to be symmetrical so that it does not drag you towards one side when you're trying to steady your aim. A little advantage, but very important to me.
The Elite Rampage also supports slam fire and I think that is very cool, especially when coupled with its drum magazine. This one could truly unleash mayhem on the battlefield.
- High capacity 25 dart drum: The Nerf Rampage blaster’s drum holds up to 25 darts and includes 25 official Nerf Elite foam darts giving you plenty of firepower for Nerf battles
- Slam fire action for rapid dart blasting: shoot a rapid fire dart Storm at targets with the toy blaster’s slam fire action feature as you hold down the trigger and slide the handle
- Hand powered blasting up to 90 feet (27 meters): you're in control as you prime and fire the Rampage Nerf blaster by hand; No batteries required and send darts flying up to 90 feet (27 meters)
- Includes 25 darts: includes 25 official Nerf Elite darts that are designed for distance, tested and approved for performance and quality, and constructed of foam with flexible, hollow tips
I'm not such a big fan of the glaring orange color, but we're talking performance here. This is a pretty comfortable blaster to use.
It comes with two 6 dart magazines but is cross-compatible with other Nerf magazines. There's a hole in your grip where you can insert an extra dart. I'm not sure why that is so, but I appreciate the sentiment.
The priming handle goes around the circumference of the barrel, which means you can prime holding the handle with your full palm, and that makes it much easier for me.
The priming handle also has a hand posteriorly which prevents friction between your hand and the body of the blaster while priming.
All these features I've mentioned so far are shared by the standard Elite Alpha Trooper. The XD adds to this by having a detachable stock that when attached can fold either to the right or to the left.
This way, folding the stock can easily convert your blaster from something rifle-like to a submachine gun.
The first Rival entry on this list. Instead of carrying the weight of the entire world, this blaster can carry the weight of your challenge for domination of the Nerf battlefield.
On first use, I was not really so into this blaster, but boy did it grow on me. The weight is a little bit on the heavy side, and so I would not recommend this for younger users.
The design is slightly eclectic, and I love it that way (though I didn't at first).
This blaster shares the same magazine with the Zeus, a long cylinder which you shove balls into to load.
The major selling point of this blaster is that it can shoot two balls at once. Two balls! How crazy is that? Imagine the possibilities this will open up on the battlefield.
For this alone, I'll forgive this blaster any errors, known or imagined
This blaster can also slam fire and combining this with shooting two balls per fire is total madness.
- Fires 2 rounds at once
- Choose red or blue blaster to battle as Red Team or Blue Team
- Spring-action blaster has a trigger lock, and tactical rail
- Experience ultimate precision and intense competition
- Includes blaster, 12-round magazine, 24 rounds, and instructions
The shooting velocity of this blaster is just crazy, and that is one of the reasons why it makes this list. In indoor battles, I doubt there are blasters that can dominate the Apollo.
The Apollo is built in such a way that the grip is closer to the front end than to the back end. I find the design revolutionary.
This way, I can carry the majority of the weight of the blaster on my forearm. I've not really tested this long enough to be sure if it is an advantage, but in the short run, it looks to be a massive advantage. When it comes to sidearms, the Apollo is king.
- Spring-action blaster comes with 7 high-impact rounds
- Easy-load magazine holds 7 rounds
- Choose red or blue blaster to battle as Red Team or Blue Team
- Blaster has a trigger lock and tactical rail
- Includes blaster, 7 rounds, magazine, and instructions
Think Apollo, but with more ammo. Way more ammo. The Artemis has three separate magazines which each can hold ten balls, for a total of thirty balls.
Shooting the very fast-moving Rival balls, the Artemis can overwhelm most opponents with a flurry of balls while they struggle to reload their magazines.
Similar to the Apollo, I think the Artemis has slightly more balance, based on the position of the priming handle (which also kind of acts like a foregrip).
The Artemis also has multiple string attachment points, something that is noticeably lacking in the Apollo.
In size, this would be somewhere between the Kronos and the Artemis. I'm not sure if I should classify it as a pistol or as a sawed-off shotgun.
Its size could make it pass as a pistol, but it has more rounds than the Kronos (which is the typical pistol), and the grip angles away from the barrel while pistols usually have grips that angle towards the barrel.
The orientation of the grip is disorienting at first, but with time, you'll come to love it.
How this blaster is built, you are not meant to sight down its barrel to aim (although you can). Instead, you should shoot from the hip. Unleash your inner gunslinger!
There is a quirk that the Takedown has that may come in handy in tight situations. If you press the jamming button, you can actually shoot out two balls at once instead of one ball. Pretty neat.
- PUMP-ACTION NERF RIVAL BLASTING -- Pump the handle to prime the breech-load Nerf Rival Takedown XX-800 blaster and fire 8 rounds in a row to take on the opposing team in high-intensity games
- 8-ROUND CAPACITY BLASTER WITH 8 ROUNDS -- 8-round capacity blaster comes with 8 Official Nerf Rival rounds and fires them 1 at a time with pump-action blasting (no batteries required)
- FIRES ROUNDS AT A VELOCITY OF 90 FPS -- Fire rounds at a velocity of 90 feet per second from this spring-action Team Red blaster that has a trigger lock to prevent accidental firing
Okay, I might be biased about this one as this is a replica of one of my favorite guns in Fortnite. But even beyond that, it's a very nice looking rifle-like blaster actually and it is very easy to handle.
The priming handle of the Mega Fortnite TS whaps around the barrel of the blaster and makes it much easier for you to prime. Furthermore, you can slam fire and I think that is a massive boost.
This blaster also gives you the opportunity to store extra darts in a secret compartment located within its stock. I haven't seen anything like that in any blaster before. Nice one from Nerf and we hope for more.
- DART-BLASTING REPLICA OF THE FORTNITE BLASTER: This TS blaster is inspired by the blaster used in the popular Fortnite video game
- PUMP-ACTION 4-DART BLASTING: Blast 4 darts in a row from this 4-dart, pump-action blaster thats hand-powered by you (no batteries required)
- 8 DARTS AND STORAGE STOCK: Includes 8 Official Nerf Mega darts and has storage on the stock for 4 darts, so you can keep backup darts nearby for fast reloading
- OFFICIAL NERF ELITE DARTS: Official Nerf Elite darts are designed for distance, tested and approved for performance and quality, and constructed of foam with flexible, hollow tips
So, here we have a split between a flintlock and a revolver which has a laid back grip, can be loaded with a minimum of hassle, fires very quickly, and also has slam fire. How could it not make this list?
I just wish that the magazine of the Vagabond could be detachable so one could get plenty of it. But I'll take what I have currently.
- Vagabond blaster has pump-action blasting
- 6-dart rotating barrel
- Rack the action and fire one-handed
- Includes blaster, 6 darts, charm bracelet with 2 charms, and instructions
The only entry on this list that doesn't shoot darts or balls. It shoots missiles. Missiles! Just stick the rear end of the missile into the muzzle to load it. No much jargon or technical abilities needed.
Shooting missiles is not the only strange thing about the Thunderblast. It also does have a trigger. You shoot by priming the blaster. How crazy is that?
I'd like to add an extra mention, even if I'm not sure it's actually pumping action.
- Thunderblast launcher fires missiles into battle up to 60 feet
- Action grip helps you steady your shot
- Missile storage for up to 2 missiles on the top rail
- N-Strike accessories (sold separately) attach to the launcher's Tactical Rail
- Includes 2 missiles
Is this an entirely new category of its own? I'm not sure. But I know I have never seen a flywheel that is powered manually, and that's what we have here.
Once again, there is no trigger and you shoot with the priming handle. But this time around, your shot velocity depends on how hard you pump the handle.
This gun literally blows me away. See here for video details on someone shooting it.
Okay, that's it for our pump-action blasters. You may not agree totally with this list, but every single blaster here was selected impartially (at least to a large extent).
The Nerf world keeps growing and more amazing blasters keep coming out. I can't wait for the future.