Single-shot Nerf blasters have a lot going for them. While they lack the rapid-fire capabilities of their flywheel-powered motorized counterparts, they make up for it in increased accuracy, lower overall weight, and a reduced tendency to jam in the heat of battle.
That last is especially important, because who wants to be stuck in the middle of a firefight trying to dislodge a stuck dart?
In short, a good single-shot blaster should be the lynchpin of your Nerf war arsenal and a go-to option whenever you find yourself in a jam (pun intended!).
So how are you supposed to tell which is the best single-shot blaster for you? Read on to find out!
The 5 Best Single Shot Nerf Guns
Top Choice - Zombie Strike ZED Squad Longshot CS-12 Blaster
The zombie threat is growing bigger every day, and you need a bigger blaster to keep up! Blaster holds 12 darts and has a long-range targeting scope so you can aim with precision to take the zombies out.
The Zombie Strike LongShot is essentially a reissue of the older CS-6 Longshot model that is no longer commercially available - but that’s not necessarily a bad thing as the original LongShot was one of the most popular spring powered Nerf blasters ever, even rising to legendary status within the hardcore Nerf modding community.
The new LongShot comes with an updated color scheme as well as the ability to fire Nerf Elite darts, which greatly improves its range and velocity. When you factor in how ubiquitous Nerf Elite ammo has become as well as the fact that this blaster does not need batteries to operate, it’s easy to see why the Zombie Strike LongShot is a great choice as your primary blaster.
- Awesome Longshot CS-12 blaster
- Quick Reload clip holds 12 darts
- Long-range targeting scope
- Includes blaster, scope, 12 darts, 12-dart clip and instructions
- Tactical rail on top of the gun comes with an included scope that can be pricey to purchase by itself
- This blaster’s stock has an adjustable length for easy storage as well as a compartment to store a secondary clip to make reloading a breeze
- The LongShot is compatible with any N-Strike magazine, allowing you to utilize your accessories across your blaster lineup
- This blaster only gets up to around 50 FPS in terms of velocity, while most of its contemporaries in the Elite lineup fire at around 70 FPS
- The locking mechanism on the stock isn’t the strongest so it may collapse to its shorter length when too much pressure is applied
Over the years, it has sometimes felt as though Nerf has been punishing its customers who want to use a bow. Monstrosities like this made sure that the only ones who used Nerf bows were those who weren’t using them in Nerf wars––or, if they were, they were on the losing side.
Thankfully for all the would-be Legolas Jr.’s out there, Nerf finally came through with a bow that packs enough power, range, and ammo capacity to be a real threat against all the blasters––both spring- and flywheel-powered––that have dominated the market and the battlefield for so long. The Nerf Stratobow is easily the most fun we’ve had in a while when it comes to firing.
- High-capacity, dart-firing bow
- 15-dart indexing clip
- Pull string back and release to fire darts
- Fires darts up to 85 feet (26 meters)
- Includes Elite bow with attached indexing clip, 15 darts, and instructions.
- 15-dart clip packs the Elite ammo that we’ve come to love. The fact that the clip is easily visible makes it even better because you don’t have to count your shots
- Viewing window takes the guesswork out of whether or not the bowstring has been pulled back enough to prime the firing mechanism
- We cannot stress enough how much fun this blaster is to fire
- 85 feet is a more than respectable firing distance
- Averaging a little bit more than 60 FPS, this bow doesn’t quite stack up to many of the blasters in Nerf’s Elite line
These blasters are being reviewed side by side because, color scheme and certain cosmetic differences such as Han Solo’s top-mounted sight notwithstanding, these two blasters are identical. Both feature internal clips with a capacity of four Elite darts, both have top-mounted slide priming mechanisms, and both are a dream for any Star Wars fan!
These blasters would be the perfect addition to any Halloween costume, but they’re not just about looks. The internal clips not only keep the design looking clean but also recommend either of these blasters as the right choice for a sidearm.
Easy to fire, easy to load, and easy to love, there’s little that gets in the way of the Rey and Han blasters’ greatness.
- Pull the trigger to fire 1 dart at a time
- Fires darts up to 65 feet (20 meters)
- Blaster is compatible with Nerf Elite darts
- Includes blaster, 4 darts, and instructions.
- Internal clips hold four Elite darts that can travel up to 65 feet
- The priming mechanism is smooth and easy for any Nerf warrior, young or old, to operate
- (Han Solo model only) the addition of a sight - even if it doesn’t magnify - is very welcome
- Dart velocity is nothing to write home about and gives your opponents time to dodge your shots
- Wookie and/or droid not included
The FireStrike is a weirdly named blaster. It actually has nothing to do with fire, but what it does do is absolutely amazing. Under the barrel of this uncannily accurate and ultra long-range (up to 75 ft!) blaster is a laser sight, and anyone who has ever played Call of Duty, Battlefield, Counter Strike, or [pick your favorite FPS] can tell you just how useful such a feature can be. Not to mention the fear factor involved in suddenly seeing a red dot blossoming on your teammate’s forehead seconds before they’re taken down!
- Precision light beam works on targets up to 15 feet away.
- 3 elite darts work with any n-strike elite blaster (each sold separately).
- Use the tactical rails to customize with any tactical rail accessory (each sold separately).
- Up to a 75-foot range.
- Firestrike blaster, 3 elite darts and instructions.
- The FireStrike’s laser will pinpoint a target up to 15 ft away
- The FireStrike has Tactical Rails on top so you can add any Tactical Rail accessories to it that you want
- This blaster uses the N-Strike Elite dart ammo, so you can load it up with darts from any other Elite blaster in the elite line
- Comes with three darts and has storage for the extra two under the barrel
- The FireStrike’s laser sight needs two AAA batteries to function. While that’s not necessarily a deal breaker, it deserves a mention
- The laser sight doesn’t shine anywhere near the full range that this blaster can fire
Ah, the SledgeFire. What’s not to love about a Nerf shotgun? The SledgeFire is a break action-type shotgun blaster that pumps out a punishing three darts per shot. It may take a while to load and fire each volley but you’re guaranteed to look pretty amazing doing so.
This is the type of blaster that really shines when used in a support or secondary capacity. If you can manage to outfit it with some sort of strap or find a way to carry it on you, then the Sledgefire can be tactically applied to situations where it’s necessary to bring a little more force to bear.
What all that means is: If you’re surrounded by enemies or have to enter into territory without knowing who might be where, just grab your SledgeFire! One shot is more than enough to clear yourself some breathing room.
- High quality toys for children all ages
- Made using safe materials
- Tested for quality and durability
- Zombie Sledgefire Blaster fires 3 darts at once
- Each reloadable shell holds 3 darts
- Comes with three shells that hold three darts each, and are super easy to store on the blaster’s stock
- The loading and priming mechanisms are bound together, so when you’ve loaded up you’re already ready to unleash your next wave of darts
- Makes use of the superior Elite ammo style
- When ejecting a spent shell, the blaster helps out with a spring-loaded ejection mechanism
- While this blaster technically fires nine darts, you only get to squeeze the trigger three times before you have to reload all of your shells, which feels a little disappointing
- Ejecting and loading shells feels a lot slower than blasters with more traditional priming mechanisms
Our Top Pick
With a list like this it’s hard to choose a “best”; in fact, we’re tempted to just say that they’re all equally amazing - but that’s not what you’re here for, is it?
Still, we’re going to have to call it a tie between the Stratobow and the Han/Rey Star Wars blasters.
The Stratobow is a clear standout. It boasts superior range, a not-insignificant missile velocity, and a decently-sized clip that’s extra easy to reload. And that’s not even considering the fact that this is possibly the first Nerf bow actually worth taking into battle.
The Han/Rey blasters on the other hand, while not as amazing out of the box, are ripe with possibilities for any Nerf modders out there.
Plus, they look simply amazing. And trust us when we say that when you hold the Han Solo blaster in your hands you’ll know who really shot first (hint: it’s not Greedo)!
Things to consider:
There’s a lot to consider when choosing the right single-shot Nerf blaster, from ammo capacity and type, to range and ease of use. Some blasters have built-in goodies to help them stand out from the competition, whereas others boast Tactical Rails that allow you to add different modifiers and build your dream blaster.
If all this seems like a lot to worry about, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered! We know just what you should be looking for.
Picking the Right Ammo
Ammo should always be your primary consideration when choosing a Nerf blaster, and this holds doubly true when it comes to the single-shot variety.
Some, like the LongShot, utilize clips that can be quickly changed out and are likely compatible across the range of your personal arsenal, while others such as the Star Wars blasters or the Stratobow can be reloaded on the fly by picking up darts you’ve already fired.
All of the blasters on this list take the Nerf Elite Ammo type for a couple of reasons. For one, it’s the most common Nerf ammo style on the market at the moment, which means you can reload whatever gun you’re using at the moment with ammo from most of the other guns that you’re likely to own. Even more importantly, Elite ammo is famous for its great range and accuracy, meaning you don’t have to resort to the “spray ‘n pray” style of Nerf battling.
Lightweight Blasters That Don’t Sacrifice on Power
Another upside to the single-shot variety of Nerf blaster is their lower weights and general portability. Unlike motorized Nerf blasters, all of the guns on this list (with the exception of the FireStrike, and that one barely counts) can operate without batteries, which means you don’t have to worry about all the added weight.
The Stratobow and the LongShot may be on the bigger side of the spectrum as far as this list is concerned, but they’re still fairly lightweight. The rest of the blasters mentioned here––especially the FireStrike––are not only lightweight but they are small enough to be used as sidearms that you can pack alongside your main blaster. In fact, some Nerf warriors might even be able to fit the FireStrike in a pocket!
As mentioned previously, Nerf Elite ammo is prized for its range. In fact, some of the blasters on this list are capable of firing upwards of 60 feet, which is particularly impressive for blasters that don’t rely on battery power to fire!
Of course, range doesn’t mean a thing if you can’t hit what you’re aiming at. With the Han Solo and LongShot blasters you have a sight to help you line up your targets, while the FireStrike has a built-in laser sight. The Stratobow is arguably the most accurate blaster on this list (as long as you take the time to aim!), and if you really want to make sure you hit your target the SledgeShot’s three-darts-per-shot cover a lot of area quickly.
Thank you for reading our breakdown of the Top 5 Best Nerf Single-Shot blasters! Remember: battery-powered doesn’t always mean better, and as always, keep blastin’!