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nerf Hacking Nerf dart guns

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Nerf, those lovable foam toys that are and have been a part of pretty much everyone’s childhood. When I was growing up, Nerf meant footballs and other sports-related items, but these days the company (a subsidiary of Hasbro) is known more for its dart guns.

Predictably, tinkerers began modifying the guns for greater range and rate of fire. Case in point, Greenville, TX maker and GeekDad contributor Anton Olsen, who modified his electrically powered Nerf Vulcan to shot really fast:

I picked up a Nerf Vulcan last year soon after they went on sale, and it faithfully protected my cubicle and me for a few months. The Vulcan’s reign over the office came to an abrupt end when one of our MechEs rebuilt a Nerf Rocket launcher to shoot darts with 120 psi of compressed air. Dubbed the law bringer, its reign was only briefly interrupted by my newly modified Vulcan.

Knowing that I couldn’t beat his velocity or range (over 100 yards), I decided to concentrate on rate of fire. A few people were reporting 500 rpm, and I managed to hit that easily with three 9.6V batteries wired in series.

See Anton’s full post on the GeekDad blog, or watch a video of the final product.

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net


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