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How Does a Nerf Gun Work – The Cool Engineering Design Behind This Toy

This one is called the “Nerf Elite Disruptor.” Lots of springs, levers, sliders, cams, and nerf darts! Different blasters load darts in different ways. The Nerf N-Strike Elite Disrupter blaster has a 6-dart rotating drum so battlers can fire 6 darts in a row without reloading.

source/image: Jared Owen

Nerf guns are based on engineering principles and designs that allow them to deliver the fun they are expected to.The simplest mechanism involves the shooter manually loading a dart into the barrel via the muzzle. Other blasters have revolving mechanisms that rotate multiple barrels into place.Watch the video from Jared Owen for more info:

To understand engineering principles, you need to be familiar with the components of the gun. The important components to note are the plunger, spring, and valves. Each of these has their key role in the grand execution. The plunger works by sucking air and loading the gun barrel with pressure.


When the trigger is pulled, the pressurized air sends a dart into a trajectory and the higher the pressure, the faster and farther the dart shoots. The conversion of potential energy into kinetic energy stored within the spring, when the trigger is pulled, is what gives the pressurized air force and in turn give the dart momentum.