How to Modify a Nerf Gun
Okay, so painting your Nerf gun is done. Ready to get serious?
For us painting is as far as we got. My boys and I may go back to the Nerf gun modding some rainy day soon, but for now we just want them reassembled so we can shoot each other.
If modding the gun is your favorite part of it, though, there are plenty of ways to do that. One simple trick is to replace the big spring behind the firing piston. A tighter spring will be harder to cock but will shoot bullets faster and farther. Make sure you get a spring that’s roughly the same length as the original one in your Nerf gun, otherwise it may not compress enough to let you cock the gun.
Another good trick is to replace/extend the barrel using brass piping. You can make a tighter, more airproof fit this way increasing the amount of compressed air available to propel your bullets. This makes them go farther and faster. Extending the barrel should also improve accuracy (though if your aim sucks, this will just make it suck more accurately, sorry). The big problem with this mod is that it turns the toy into a bit of a weapon. The bullets come out fast and the barrel is metal, so don’t use this mod on guns you intend to let younger boys play with unless you’re around to supervise.
Try adding a scope to your gun. In the heat of battle you probably won’t look down it much, but this is good for sniper rifles. A cheap plastic telescope works well. Just don’t expect to hit everything you see. Seeing better doesn’t do much for the accuracy of nerf bullets alas.
Attach a small flashlight to the top of your gun, then play in the dark. Avoid laser pointers. Some Nerf guns come with very dim red lights for targeting, but most laser pointers are dangerous if pointed in the eye. Stick to pen flashlights cause good games don’t end in a trip to the hospital.
An alternate to the brass barrel is a long plastic barrel. This will improve accuracy and could increase bullet speed but not as much as the brass barrel. Plus, if your kid clonks some other kid on the head with it it’s a lot less likely that anyone will have to get stitches. I know, your boy is perfect and would never hit another kid, even accidentally, with a toy gun while pretending to kill him. This is a warning for those *other* parents.
Here are some sites full to the brim with Nerf gun modifying ideas. Enjoy!
Plus one utterly over the top Nerf gun mod. These guys ramped up the voltage of their Nerf Dart Chaingun, mucked around with the electronics, painted it, and turned out a monster that shoots at 500 RPM. Running it partially melted the gun, but it was cool until then.