10 Best Nerf Guns in 2020

best overall rating
  • Comes with blaster, 6 Elite foam darts, and instructions
  • Easy-to-load rotating barrel
  • Rapid-fire is easy thanks to the Slam Fire slide
premium choice rating
  • Record battles or view live video feed
  • Comes with tank drone, remote control, charger, 25 darts, and rechargeable battery
  • Holds and fires up to 25 Elite darts
great value rating
  • Comes with 3 Elite foam darts
  • Powerful Nerf gun for its size
  • Compact design

Since 1992, Nerf guns have been one of the few toys that are popular among both children and adults alike. Kids love shooting the soft foam darts at their parents and friends and office workers have learned that covert Nerf wars are a fun way to blow off some workplace steam. But while the concept behind these toys remains the same, the technical designs and choices available today are simply staggering. With so many options out there, finding the right Nerf blaster can be a bit tough.

After all, a small single-shot gun isn’t the right weapon for a workplace skirmish and a huge rapid-fire model might be a bit too much for an 8-year-old kid to handle. With this in mind, we took a look at some of the most popular Nerf guns on the market today. After putting them to the test, we came up with our list of the 10 best Nerf guns of 2020. Whether you’re looking for a simple, kid-friendly model or an all-out powerhouse blaster, we’re confident that each of these models hits the mark.

Nerf guns are one of the most popular toys among the young and the young at heart. That’s because few things are as fun as launching soft foam missiles at your friends, family, or co-workers. But these toys have been around for a long time and there are so many more options available today than there were over 25 years ago. Today you can choose from dozens of compact pistols and gigantic rifles designed for different things like laser accuracy, rapid-fire action, and blunt force.

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When you consider this, it’s easy to see why picking the right Nerf gun is a lot tougher than it used to be. That’s why we took a good, long look at some of the most popular options on the shelves today. We evaluated them based on their design, performance, price, reviews, features, and fun factor. In the end, we came up with our list of the top 10 Nerf guns of 2020. So whether you’re looking for an all-out Nerf assault blaster for the office or a lightweight model for your son or daughter, we’re confident that each of the Nerf guns below will hit the bullseye.

View the Top 10 Best Nerf Guns, Below.

Buyer’s Guide

What to Look for in a Nerf Gun

If you’re looking to purchase a Nerf gun, chances are you’re feeling a little overwhelmed. That’s because Nerf offers so many different types of products. That’s great because it means that this popular brand truly has something for everyone. But it also makes narrowing your search down to that one perfect Nerf blaster pretty difficult.

So before you go shopping, take a few minutes to read our buyer’s guide. It will help you understand what kind of Nerf gun is right for you and what you should be looking for when it’s time to purchase one. Nerf guns make great gifts for 10-year-old boys!

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Firing Mechanism

Speed and firing capacity is critical when you’re in the middle of a Nerf firefight. That’s why a model’s firing performance is one of the first things you should consider. There’s a variety of models on the market including manual, semi-automatic, and automatic blasters. Manual Nerf guns need to eject a dart from the chamber before the spring can load the next one, this means that you’ll have to pull the trigger every time you want to fire.

Semi-automatic models have a mechanism that enables you to fire more rapidly but will still require you to perform some sort of action to load and launch each consecutive foam dart like sliding a grip or pump back and forth while holding down the trigger. Finally, automatic models are electric blasters that run on batteries.

These models are the most expensive but can send a steady stream of foam projectiles at your target. The important thing to consider is your playing style. If you enjoy popping off one shot at a time and pride yourself on expert marksmanship, then a manual blaster is the way to go. But if you want the best of both worlds, look for a model that offers versatility.

There are plenty of terrific Nerf guns that give you the option of shooting one dart by pulling the trigger or holding the trigger down and rocking a grip back and forth to unleash all of your ammo consecutively. Models like this are incredibly popular because they allow you to choose between single-shot or rapid-fire performance.

Type of Nerf Gun

The next thing to think about is the type of blaster you’d want to carry. There are countless options when it comes to Nerf guns but they can generally be broken down into four categories. Nerf pistols are made to resemble handguns are offer terrific accuracy and easy operation. They’re fantastic for close quarters and make great secondary weapons since they’re generally very lightweight. Plus, you can use a Nerf pistol with one hand.

The downside is that you’ll need to reload these models more frequently since they have a lower ammunition capacity. Nerf shotguns and rifles are probably the most popular options out there since they offer the best of both worlds. They have a longer firing range than a pistol, making them great for nailing targets from up close or far away. They can normally hold anywhere from 5 to 25 foam darts, depending on the model.

The downside is that these blasters are larger and require two-hand operation. The next type of Nerf gun is the machine gun. These models feature some sort of high-capacity drum, hopper, or magazine and are capable of holding anywhere from 20 to 100 projectiles. This makes them the weapon-of-choice when you need massive firepower.

They also allow for rapid-fire shooting but do tend to have a bit less accuracy than a pistol, shotgun, and rifle blasters. The final option is the crossbow hybrid Nerf blaster that is designed with a bow-like design but can shoot darts like traditional blasters.

They generally have a solid accuracy that’s on par with rifles and shotguns but is actually better than machine gun models. The drawback is that these large models tend to have a lower ammo capacity of 10 darts or less.

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Range

The next thing to consider is how far you need your new Nerf gun to shoot. These toys can have a shooting range of anywhere from 40 to over 100 feet. When considering the range you’ll need, think about how and where you’ll be playing. If you want to use your new Nerf blaster in the office, around the house, or in other close-quarter areas, then a shorter firing range is totally acceptable.

But models with a limited range aren’t going to cut it when you’re trying to take a target out from a distance since the dart will drop before it reaches its mark. On the other hand, anyone who is going to be playing around the neighborhood or in any wide-open area should make sure that they buy a blaster with solid long-range performance.

A longer firing range is also ideal for anyone interested in playing sniper with their friends since it will allow you to hit your target from a distance.

Ammo Capacity

One of the most important factors is how much ammo your new Nerf blaster can hold. That’s because you don’t want to run out of ammo at the wrong time. Some smaller models can only hold up to 3 darts while other larger blasters can hold up to 25 or even 100 foam projectiles. If you are looking for precise control and are more of a sharpshooter, then a model with a low capacity is perfect for you.

But if you don’t want to reload and are looking to take your opponent down in a storm of flying foam darts or balls, then you should invest in a Nerf gun with a high-capacity magazine, drum, or hopper.

How Does a Nerf Gun Work?

Nerf guns use air pressure or momentum to send foam darts flying through the air. There are a few types of Nerf guns out there. While the end result is always the same, the mechanics behind each style are very different.
Spring-loaded blasters are designed with a spring that cocks back to introduce air into the chamber. The spring is released when you pull the trigger, causing a sharp increase in pressure that propels darts forward.

This format can be found in a variety of models but is especially common in pistols. Flywheel nerf guns are electric, battery-operated models. They have two small wheels that rotate rapidly. The dart travels through the wheels when you pull the trigger, launching the dart at high speed.

The last type of Nerf gun is the air blaster, which allows you to create pressure by pumping air into the chamber. Once the chamber is pressurized, the dart can be fired by pulling the trigger. Most manual Nerf rifles and shotguns are designed are air blasters.

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What is the Most Powerful Nerf Gun?

You’ve got several great options if you’re craving power and want to send foam projectiles flying at your targets and opponents. But one model that stands out from the pack in terms of sheer power is the Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K. This powerhouse assault weapon is designed for all-out Nerf wars. It’s fully-motorized and can hold up to 100 yellow foam balls.

But the thing that makes this foam-launching beast really special is the fact that it rockets these projectiles at an astounding speed of 100 feet per second.

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How to Fix a Jammed Nerf Gun

Nerf guns are surprisingly reliable and are designed to prevent jams. That being said, there are a few things that can cause a foam dart to jam in the barrel or in the magazine clip of a Nerf blaster. The three main causes are using the wrong dart size, improperly loading darts into the clip, and misaligned or damaged barrels. To avoid a jam from happening it’s important to make sure that the darts you’re using are compatible with your blaster.

And when you’re loading, make sure that the darts are facing the right direction and that they’re loaded straight and not at an angle. Also, make sure that there are no gaps between the chamber and the blaster’s barrel and that the barrel isn’t damaged or bent. But if your Nerf gun does jam, don’t worry. It’s a pretty easy problem to solve.

If the dart is still in the clip, you can probably pry it out with your fingers or a flathead screwdriver. And if it’s stuck in the chamber, you’ll need to remove the magazine and reach into the chamber with a pair of needle-nose pliers or a flathead screwdriver and carefully pull or pop it out.

Expert Tip

Any Nerf blaster veteran will tell you that there’s nothing worse than running out of ammo and having to search the ground for stray darts. To avoid this, make sure you purchase extra ammunition. For standard guns, one additional pack should be fine. But if you are buying a high-capacity model, you’re better off purchasing two additional packs of foam darts.

Did You Know?

Not all Nerf ammo is the same. In fact, there are 5 different types of Nerf ammo on the market. Depending on the Nerf blaster you choose, you’ll be shooting standard rubber-tipped foam cylinder darts, high-precision AccuStrike darts, whistling Mega darts, super-sized Missile darts, or high-velocity foam balls. Read more about the types here.