How does a Nerf gun work | Explore The Design & Engineering

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Is there anyone in the universe who hasn’t played with a Nerf blaster? I know, it is one of the most expensive toy guns, but every kid and adult have played with it once in their lifetime.  With this gun, kids spend quality fun shooting game with soft and safe ammo. The Nerf gun lets kids to play like video game action, of course, safely.

This gun ensures your kid to enjoy with friends and improve motor skills. Even the adults love to play with Nerf guns with friends, and in someplace, you will find sports events with Nerf guns. But the main point is maximum people don’t know how does a Nerf gun work. In this article, we will talk about design and engineering of a Nerf gun.

Describing the techniques behind the nerf guns

As we said before, playing with a Blaster is a friendly, harmless war game for kids and teens. The Nerf gun assures varieties of the size range, blasting speeds, and ammo capacity to make the fun game enjoyable. But to know in details of a gun, you have to understand the design and engineering principles of the gun. So let’s get started to know more about this.

The interesting part is how the Nerf gun works. Since the Nerf blaster has been introduced, the toy gun has been upgraded to different editions to date.  Here, we will try to talk about the design of different versions to understand the toy gun’s techniques.

How the Nerf Elite disrupter works:

Nerf Elite Disruptor
Nerf Elite Disruptor

This Nerf blaster works with reverse engineering technology. This gun allows us to load six darts at a time. To aim and pull the trigger properly, you have to pull back the cocking mechanism. To understand the mechanism clearly, you have to unscrew the gun and look inside.

The trigger of the gun stays connected with the spring. The spring goes back to the original position after you let go of the trigger. You will find different types of plastics in the gun that stay connected.

The trigger is connected with the piece called vertical slider. So when you pull the trigger, the vertical slider comes down.

There is a piston that stays in the tube with a powerful spring. The spring keeps the piston in a forwarded position. You will find a small block sticking out in the gun’s body that helps the cocking mechanism works.

So when you pull back the trigger, the piston will also go back. While pulling back, the spring will resist and let you pull back until it hooks with the vertical slider. This is the position of a loaded gun. Now the gun is ready to shoot.

The loaded gun allows the orange strip to get visible in the back. When you pull the trigger, the vertical slider will come down and release the piston. The release of the piston makes the spring to go back to the place. This creates air in the tube to get out in the front with force, and this force makes the dart go out from the gun.

After one dart goes out, the cylinder rotates to place another dart in place. The rotation is done with some plastic pieces – the cam bar, white rotating cam, and black plastic that stays under the piston. The piston comes out and snaps to the cam bar.

So when you pull the trigger, the piston gets released, and the dart is fired. After the firing, the cam bar rotates the cam by coming forward and rotates the dart filled cylinder. The cam bar has a circular tip in the bar end. The tip fits tightly in the cam grooves. When the bar goes back and forth, the round tip slides through the cam.

The position of the bar creates little pressure that makes the bar go in the cam. When the bar comes back, it will go to the edge by passing over and then to the groove. So when the bar goes to the forward position, the tip goes straightway. It means the tip slides back, pops down, comes forward and goes to the carve way. This propels the cam to rotate.

How do automatic Nerf guns work?

How do automatic Nerf guns work
A boy with blaster

The automatic or electric Nerf blaster means you don’t have to wait for the next trigger to pull. When you pull the trigger once, the blaster starts firing until you leave the trigger, or your ammo is finished. This automatic blaster is known as a rapid-fire gun.

With this, you can fire up to 8 rounds per second where the semi-auto Nerf blaster allows only one fire in one round.

The rapid-fire Nerf gun works with two flywheels on the magazine top. The gun revs up when you will press the rev button. This will push the darts from the top of the gun to the flywheels and shoot out.

 In the rapid-fire blaster, you will find a piston behind the magazine. The piston moves back and forwards to push the front dart into the flywheels when the trigger is in the down position.

There is another automatic gun, which is known as a hyper-fire gun.  The hyper fire nerf gun has a plastic belt on the top of the magazine. The belt runs when the trigger is down and pulls the dart to put into the flywheels. After every fire, the belt puts a new dart in the magazine.

Air restriction Mechanism of Nerf Blaster Explained By Bill Hammack

Frequently Asked Questions:

Related: Top 19 Nerf gun accessories in 2021. Read full article.


Every parent makes a false promise that we will never let our kids play with toy guns. Why false promise? It is because after seeing a Nerf blaster and how other kids enjoy it, parents are forced to get this wonderful toy gun for kids.

It is good because kids stay off from the electronic devices and do some physical activities while playing.

So you can say that playing with Nerf guns is an easy and fun way to make kids move. Before giving your kid a Nerf blaster, it is better to know how the Nerf guns work.

This knowledge will help you to handle the gun perfectly, and if the gun is not working for any reason, you will find out the reason by opening the gun as you know the design.

Related Article:

Nerf Gun Safety Tips: The complete guide for players & Parents.

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