Those of you who are new to Nerf may believe that you are limited to the guns that you can purchase in the toy aisle of your local Target or Walmart.
However, the truth is that there are hundreds of Nerf blasters that you can find online or in-store, even if they have long been discontinued.
To help you better determine which type of gun you need, use the following list of ten types of Nerf blasters that you can purchase right now.
The 10 Different Types of Nerf Blasters (Nerf Guns) That Rock
1. Mini-Blasters Are Great for Young Children and Stealth Attacks
Although Nerf doesn’t have a specific line dedicated to mini-blasters, there are quite a few mini-blasters on the market.
Mini-blasters are characterized by their small size, their low ammo capacity, and their unique cocking mechanisms. Mini-blasters are typically able to carry and shoot up to three bullets and have cocking mechanisms that need to be pulled down or back.
Along with these qualities, many mini-blasters are able to match the range of some of their counterparts and use the same type of ammunition as other blasters as well.
A Nerf mini-blaster is the type of gun you will need if you are introducing a child to Nerf or if you need an easily concealable weapon during battle.
Advantages of Having a Mini-Blaster:
- Easy to Carry
- Great Gift for Toddlers or Younger Children
- Typically Have Same Range As Larger Nerf Guns
Disadvantages of Having a Mini-Blaster:
- Low Ammo Capacity
Some Popular Mini-Blasters That You Can Currently Purchase:
- Don't be fooled by this blaster's compact design - the Jolt blaster is sized for super-stealth blasting and features Elite dart-firing performance
- Load 1 dart into the barrel, pull down the cocking handle to ready the blaster, and pull the trigger to fire!
- Micro Triad EX-3 blaster has mega power
- Blaster knows which barrel is loaded
- Fires darts up to 90 feet
- Cocking handle readies your shot
- Blaster comes with 3 Elite Darts and instructions
- BigShock blaster fires Mega Darts
- Blaster fits in the palm of your hand
- Mega Whistler Darts scream as they fly
- Dart storage in the blaster
- Includes 2 mega darts
- The BigShock is essentially an N-Strike Mega version of the Jolt EX-1
- It features a single dart holder on top of the blaster; this dart holder doubles as an integrated sight as well
2. Nerf N-Strike Elite - Handguns Are Great for Flexible Blasting
Handguns are one of the more versatile types of blasters produced by Nerf and come in handy as both a primary and a secondary weapon.
Handguns can usually be operated with one hand, have lighter bodies than the other Nerf blasters and have an ammo capacity of at least six rounds.
Despite these common characteristics, Nerf handguns vary in their build and their functionality. Some handguns use a cocking mechanisms that need to be pulled back and require manual reloading, whereas others have semi-automatic firing.
Overall, you should be looking into purchasing a handgun if you want a weapon you can use in battle without having to worry about the expensive price tag that comes with some of the larger Nerf blasters.
Advantages of Having a Handgun:
- Easy to Operate
- Plenty of Firing Methods to Choose From
- Good Ammo Capacity
- Useful As Primary or Secondary Weapon
Disadvantages of Having a Handgun:
- Manual Reloading Can Be Difficult and Time-Consuming
Some Popular Handguns That You Can Currently Purchase:
- FIRE 6 DARTS IN A ROW: Fire 6 darts in a row from this quick draw, fast firing Nerf N Strike Elite Strong Arm toy blaster that shoots darts up to 90 feet (27 meters) and includes 6 Nerf Elite darts
- INCLUDES 6 NERF DARTS: Includes 6 Official Nerf Elite darts that are designed for distance, tested and approved for performance and quality and constructed of foam with flexible, hollow tips
- FLIP OPEN ROTATING 6 DART BARREL: The Strongarm Nerf blaster has a rotating 6 dart barrel that flips open for easy dart loading and is hand powered no batteries required
- N-Strike Elite blasters fire up to 75 feet for the ultimate in dart blaster performance
- Vortex disc blasters Bend the Rules of Battle with discs that can curve, bank and ricochet
- Fire Vision sports gear glows bright, day or night, with blazing Micro prism Technology
- Nerf Sports raises your game with essentials like the Pro-Grip Football and Nero basketball set
- Achieve the impossible with all the most awesome gear from Nerf
- 6-dart motorized blasting
- Customize with drop grip and dual-rail barrel
- 6-dart clip and 6 Modulus darts
- 1-handed blasting
- Fires darts up to 90 feet (27 meters)
3. Shotguns Are Great for Close Range Combat
Shotgun Nerf blasters, which are mechanically similar to real shotguns, have a low ammo capacity but have the power necessary to shoot one or multiple bullets quickly at your opponent.
Nerf shotgun blasters are typically characterized by their long barrels that can shoot up to 2 foam darts, their pump action cocking mechanisms, and their lack of accuracy.
These types of blasters are great for close combat situations but should be not used for any other type of battle, as they are highly inaccurate at distances and take a while to reload.
Advantages of Having a Shotgun:
- Powerful Launching Capabilities
Disadvantages of Having a Shotgun:
- Low Ammo Capacity
- Lack of Accuracy
- Reloading Is Time-Consuming
Some Popular Shotguns That You Can Currently Purchase:
- Nerf N-Strike Elite Rough Cut 2X4 Blaster (read the review here)
- Pump action to fire a steady stream of darts
- Tactical Rail is compatible with most N-Strike accessories; Each sold separately
- Fires darts up to 75'
- Darts work with any Elite blaster and most original N-Strike blasters; sold separately
- Blaster comes with 8 Elite Darts and instructions
- Blast 2 darts at once
- 3 ways to blast – 1 dart, 2 darts, and slam-fire
- Holds 10 Nerf MEGA darts
- Fires darts up to 85 feet (26 meters)
- Includes blaster, 10 darts, and instructions.
- Breech-load, double-barrel blasting
- Fires 1 dart at a time up to 90 feet (27 meters)
- Includes blaster, 6 Mega Whistler darts, and instructions
4. Rapid Fire Blasters Are Great for Nerf Wars and Bombarding Opponents
The term “rapid fire” can refer to the capabilities of many Nerf blasters. For example, Nerf produces handgun-sized blasters that have rapid-fire capabilities as well as seven-pound blasters that have rapid-fire capabilities.
Still, rapid-fire blasters do share some common characteristics. Rapid fire blasters require batteries to operate, have a larger ammo capacity, and use an acceleration trigger that needs to be pulled along with the regular trigger in order to launch the bullets quickly.
Rapid-fire blasters are best suited for Nerf fanatics who need a blaster that will allow them to effectively attack their opponents with ease.
Advantages of Having a Rapid Fire Blaster:
- Quickly Shoots Darts at Enemies
- Excellent Ammo Capacity
- Generally Easy to Carry
Disadvantages of Having a Rapid-Fire Blaster:
- Requires Batteries to Operate, Which Can Become Costly Over Time
- Typically Expensive
- Some Rapid Fire Blasters Are Heavy and Difficult to Carry
Some Popular Rapid Fire Blasters That You Can Currently Purchase:
- N-Strike Elite blasters and Elite darts deliver the ultimate in blaster performance
- Requires batteries
- Defend against a zombie invasion with Zombie Strike blasters
- This version comes in simple brown packaging
- Features SwitchFire Technology
- 3 modes: Single-fire, burst-fire, continuous-fire
- Swivel handle to stabilize shots
- Storage stock and 2 barrel-scopes.Includes two 12-dart clips and 24 Modulus Elite darts
- Requires 4 C batteries (not included)
- This refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, and may arrive in a generic box
5. Long-Range Blasters Are Great for Outdoor Environments
Long-range Nerf blasters can be best compared to today’s sniper rifles.
These blasters often have long barrels and bodies, use ammo clips that are inserted into the bottom of the gun, and have tripod or bipod stands so that you can improve your accuracy and better support the gun’s weight.
The range standard set by the Nerf Elite series is typically about 90 feet. However, long-range rifles extend this range to about 100 feet or more, depending on the type of ammunition shot by the blaster.
This category does not include blasters such as those that use high-impact rounds and manage to meet this type of range.
While useful, long-range blasters are only helpful in indoor environments that are expansive or outdoor areas.
Advantages of Having a Long-Range Blaster:
- Darts Will Be Able to Easily Reach Opponents From Far Distances
- Long-Range Blasters Typically Come With Accessories Necessary to Use Them Comfortably
- Ammo Clips Make It Easier to Reload the Blaster
Disadvantages of Having a Long Range Blaster:
- Too Heavy and Long to Carry Into Battle
- Not Useful for Close Range Combat
- NERF ULTRA PHARAOH BLASTER WITH PREMIUM GOLD ACCENTS: This Nerf Ultra dart blaster features special gold accents and special edition gold Nerf Ultra darts
- NERF ULTRA PHARAOH BOLT-ACTION BLASTER, CLIP, DARTS, CLIP STORAGE, SCOPE: Includes a 10-dart removable clip, clip storage stock, and integrated scope. Blaster and clip work only with Nerf Ultra darts
- INCLUDES 10 SPECIAL EDITION GOLD-COLORED NERF ULTRA DARTS: Special edition gold color, innovative flight tip, Aerofin technology, lightweight Nerf Ultra foam. They work only with Nerf Ultra blasters
- NERF ULTRA DARTS ARE THE FARTHEST FLYING NERF DARTS EVER: Blast into the game-changing superiority with Nerf Ultra darts -- the farthest flying Nerf darts ever, up to 120 feet (36 meters)
- SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING: Ships in simple, recyclable packaging that’s easy to open and frustration free
6. Nerf N-Strike Mega Series Blasters Are Great for Added Power
The Nerf N-Strike Mega Series emerged in 2013 as part of the Nerf N-Strike Series.
This series features blasters that have red and orange designs along with a “Mega” logo, they use mega series darts that are much larger than the average Nerf dart, and has a variety of blasters in different series as well.
Mega blasters have an advantage over other blasters due to their larger bullets. These bullets usually fly much farther than other series’ darts and pack more of a punch.
Blasters from the Nerf N-Strike Mega Series are good for those who need more power than the average blaster.
Advantages of Having a Nerf N-Strike Mega Series Blaster:
- Several Types of Designs to Choose From
- Range From Mini-Blasters to Long-Range Blasters
- Have More Power Because of Their Larger Bullets
- You might like: The Best Aftermarket Nerf Mega Darts That Are Durable
Disadvantages of Having a Nerf N-Strike Mega Series Blaster:
- Comes With Similar Problems as Nerf N-Strike Elite Series and other series blasters
Some Popular Nerf N-Strike Mega Series Blasters That You Can Currently Purchase:
- Nerf N-Strike Mega Mega Mastodon (full review here)
- Dominate Nerf blaster competitions with the Mega Mastodon blaster, the first-ever motorized Nerf Mega blaster.
- Storm into the action with this mighty Nerf blaster and launch 2 dozen Mega Whistler darts with the screaming fury of a rampaging beast.
- The Nerf Mega Mastodon blaster launches into action with a 24-dart rotating drum.
- 6-dart capacity
- Includes blaster, 6 Mega Darts
- Rotating drum lets you fire 6 darts without reloading
- CycloneShock blaster fires Mega Darts farther than ever,
- 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
7. Nerf RIVAL Series Blasters Are Great for Serious Nerf Battles
The Nerf RIVAL Series was released in 2015 and is intended for teens and adults who need serious power from their blasters.
The Nerf RIVAL Series uses high-impact, foam ball rounds that are capable of reaching speeds of about 100 feet per second, use magazines to make it easier to reload during battle, and come in red and blue so players will be able to form teams.
While most of the Nerf RIVAL Series Blasters are only made to support the high-impact rounds that they were designed for, some of the blasters are capable of launching mega series darts.
Overall, a Nerf RIVAL Series Blaster is the type of gun that you will want if you plan on playing frequent, intense Nerf battles.
You Might Like- Best Nerf Rival Blasters To Own
Advantages of Having a Nerf RIVAL Series Blaster:
- The Most Powerful of All Nerf Blasters
- Comes in Two Distinct Colors So Players Can Form Teams
- Long Range Works for Indoor and Outdoor Use
- Magazines Make It Easy to Reload
Disadvantages of Having a Nerf RIVAL Series Blaster:
- Not Recommended for Children
Some Popular Nerf RIVAL Series Blasters That You Can Currently Purchase:
8. Nerf Vortex Series Blasters Are Great for Infrequent Nerf Games and Young Children
Nerf Vortex Series Blasters were first introduced in 2011 but have since been discontinued.
These blasters use disc projectiles in place of foam darts, reach distances of about 35 feet, and their size ranges from about the size of a handgun to the size of an assault rifle.
The Nerf Vortex Series Blasters are not made well enough for Nerf gun battles but do make good gifts for those who won’t use their blaster frequently or who are too young to handle the power of a Nerf dart.
You might like: The Best Nerf Vortex Blasters That Are Worth Owning
Advantages of Having a Nerf Vortex Series Blaster:
- Light Discs and Launching Make Great Blasters for Young Children
Disadvantages of Having a Nerf Vortex Series Blaster:
- Not Designed for Serious Nerf Gaming
Some Popular Nerf Vortex Series Blasters That You Can Currently Purchase:
- Revonix 360 blaster's roto-action revolving barrel holds up to 30 discs
- Slam fire handle lets you launch a constant stream of discs up to 65 feet
- Farthest firing vortex blaster
- Includes 30 xtra long range discs
- Blaster comes with 30 xlr discs and instructions
- Measure 12.0 inches (h) x 3.38 inches (w)
- For ages 8 years and up
- Made of abs (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)
- Features continuous action, projectile launcher and easy loading
- Firing range distance up to 50 feet
- 5-disc blaster features built-in, rapid-reload disc clip so you can stay in the action and on the pa
- Drop-down clip snaps open for reload and holds up to 5 discs
- As with all vortex blasters, features xlr long-range disc technology to launch discs an ultra long d
- Vigilon blaster comes with 5 discs and instructions
9. Nerf N-Strike Modulus Series Blasters Are Great for Those Who Want a Customizable Weapon
The Nerf N-Strike Modulus Series was first introduced in 2015 as a customizable series of weapons.
All Nerf N-Strike Modulus Series Blasters can be customized in different ways with the accessories provided, the parts for one blaster can be used to customize any other blaster in the series, and some of the weapons are capable of shooting mega darts as well as missiles.
Some of the accessories that come with these blasters include shoulder stocks, barrel sights, and barrel extensions. These are the types of blasters that you should purchase if you want a highly modifiable weapon.
Advantages of Having a Nerf N-Strike Modulus Series Blaster:
- These Blasters Are Highly-Customizable
- Parts That Come With Other Guns Can Be Used for Any Gun in the Series
- Able to Shoot Different Types of Ammo
Disadvantages of Having a Nerf N-Strike Modulus Series Blaster:
- Known to Jam due to Gun Coming in Parts Rather Than a Whole Blaster
Some Popular Nerf N-Strike Modulus Series Blasters That You Can Currently Purchase:
- Blaster features switchfire technology
- 3 modes: single-fire, burst-fire, continuous-fire
- Customize with swivel handle, storage stock, and 2 different barrel-scopes
- Indictator blinks when clip is empty
- Includes two 12-dart clips and 24 modulus elite darts
- Ages 8 and up
- 3 ways to blast
- Elite blaster creates a base to add all of the tri-strike components
- Combine the missile launcher and stock for a discrete missile blaster
- Includes elite dart blaster, mega dart barrel extension, missile launcher stock, 10 elite darts, 10-
- N-strike elite blasters and elite darts deliver the ultimate in blaster performance
- Mega series blasters feature mega whistler darts that scream through the air
- Defend against a zombie invasion with zombie strike blasters
- Ignite the night with fire vision sports gear that glows when thrown
- Raise your game with the pro-grip football and nerfoop basketball set
10. Bow Blasters Are Great for Those Who Crave Variety From Their Blasters
Bow and crossbow blasters can be found throughout many of the Nerf series that are currently available.
Bow and crossbow blasters are typically characterized by their bow-like cocking mechanism, their design that resembles a bow or a crossbow, and, sometimes, by their arrow ammunition.
Although many Nerf bows and crossbows may look like an authentic bow or crossbow, many of them do not fire in a similar fashion, especially the bows. If you are looking for real firing action, the only blaster will work is the crossbows.
Overall, bow blasters are great for those who want something that is different from the common blasters that Nerf makes.
Advantages of Having a Bow Blaster:
- Cool Design
- Long Range
- Variation in Ammunition
Disadvantages of Having a Bow Blaster:
- Does Not Always Have Same Firing Method As Real Bow or Crossbow
Some Popular Bow Blasters That You Can Currently Purchase:
- High-capacity, dart-firing bow
- 15-dart indexing clip
- Pull string back and release to fire darts
- Fires darts up to 85 feet
- Comes with 15 elite darts
- Heartbreaker bow blaster has real bow action
- Blaster fires arrows up to 85 feet
- Includes 3 message darts and a decoder to reveal secret messages
- You can store the detachable quiver and decoder on the bow
- Arrows whistle as they fly
Some Popular Crossbow Blasters That You Can Currently Purchase:
- Imagine being the ultimate zombie hunter with the Crossfire Bow Blaster
- Include 4 powerful Zombie Strike darts
- Take your shot with a quick pull of the trigger and load another ready to fire!
There are more Nerf blasters out there than one can imagine, especially if you look into some of the series that have been discontinued. No matter what type of blaster you need, the list above will better help you with your research and will open your eyes to the world of Nerf.
About the Author
Jeremy is the founder of Dart Dudes, the leading resource for parents looking to pick up a Nerf toy for a child. He grew up with his four brothers and two sisters where there was always a Nerf war taking place. With a focus on safety, Jeremy has helped thousands of parents help chose the right Nerf toy for their kids or grandkids. He lives in California with his wife and family. Learn more about me.