Buying their first nerf gun is an exciting time for kids. Parents might be a bit scared of the process but when used correctly, these guns are no more dangerous than any other toy. There are some simple safety precautions you can follow to make them a safe and exhilarating bit of play. This article will tell you what to look for when buying your child their first Nerf gun while keeping the price reasonable.
- Shooting Capacity
- Nerf Dart Range
- One-Handed vs. Two-Handed Nerf Guns
- Flip-to-Open Nerf Barrel Designs
- Age and Safety Considerations
- Number of Opponents
- Buying a Nerf Gun as a Gift and What to Look For
- Run ‘n’ Gun
The shooting capacity of the nerf gun is what makes kids excited. The faster it shoots, the more excited kids get. But shot accuracy is also something kids think about and also something parents might overlook.
The best shot accuracy is only supported by the best nerf guns. This means that underperforming nerf guns shoot to the side. Generally, the more you pay, the more accurate a nerf gun is. Whereas even “bad” nerf guns claim to fire at superfast speeds.
Unlike most other toys that may as well be more expensive, nerf guns are durable and they can be used for years to come without kids getting bored of them. Since they favor physical activity, nerf guns are a top alternative to video games and spending endless hours on a smartphone.
Nerf Dart Range
Nerf dart range is another thing that separates guns are you move through the price brackets. Many poor nerf guns aren’t able to fire nerf darts across a room in the house. While this is fine when playing indoors, things change quickly when play switches outdoors.
There’s no set firing range for the best cheap nerf guns But some of the most popular toy guns of this type have a firing range which is estimated around 85-90 feet. This is why it may be important to look at the things which make a gun capable to reach this range, such as build quality.
One-Handed vs. Two-Handed Nerf Guns
The debate on the one or two-handed nerf gun operation is endless. It is a matter of preference. Kids may be able to shoot a toy gun with one hand in the first minutes of a game, but their strength might be insufficient in longer games. Just like the real-life difference between rifles and pistols, one handed nerf guns are less accurate at range and weaker fire rate, but they are a lot lighter too.
This is why this debate needs to consider personal strength. The heavier the nerf gun, the harder it becomes to handle with one hand. But one-handed nerf guns may also be seen as back-up solutions for those already shooting a heavyweight gun. This is why kids need to consider their battle approach and a second smaller nerf gun may prove handy when the first weapon is out of ammo.
But accuracy plays its part as well. This is especially true for kids firing from a distance. Those who approach a battle with this strategy need to know that they further they try to shoot, the more accuracy reduces. This is the main reason why holding the hand steadily with two hands quickly improves accuracy.
Age should not be a determining factor in this debate. Kids who’ve already reached the age of 8 should be able to hold the gun with one hand. But some may see this as a personal preference. In case kids prefer shooting games full of actions, running around, jumping and climbing trees, a smaller nerf gun which is held with one hand allows them a second free hand to help around these climbs. And of course, you can always dual-wield!
Flip-to-Open Nerf Barrel Designs
Some of the best cheap nerf guns come with a flip barrel design. This means there are no buttons to press when it comes to replacing nerf darts. With a simple flip movement, the barrel opens and allows the nerf darts to be added quickly inside before heading back into battle.
This should not necessarily represent a must-have feature for all nerf guns. But those toys which are the best in their class have such design implementations. In-game use shows that this design may even make the difference, as they can easily be eliminated while still trying to replace their shooting ammo.
Age and Safety Considerations
The age kids start using shooting toys is 8. But this can be different according to the type of toy. Some of the nerf guns of the moment may only be used when kids reach the age of 9. Others might be used as soon as they reach the age of 8.
However, it’s not simply a matter of age. They should read the entire instructions together with their parents. Accidents are rare as nerf darts are made out of soft foam. But it’s not necessarily the shooting darts which keep kids from having fun and away from accidents. They can lose track of their surrounding environment or they can run into various obstacles such as the wall. This is why they need to be properly instructed on how to maintain focus when using a nerf gun.
Finally, the addition of safety glasses when playing will ensure no one get an unlucky scratch on the eye and will mitigate the disorientating (but not harmful) effect of a “headshot.” Keep in mind children should not be regularly aiming at the head, but some impacts do happen.
Number of Opponents
The number of opponents or friends kids plays against may also determine the type of nerf gun they’re going to use. This is why those fighting a single opponent might not need the heaviest shooter. On the other hand, kids playing in large groups need plenty of nerf darts and a higher shooting a capacity on top of a better firing range so that the pitched battle doesn’t descend into a close range brawl.
Parents should consider the type of environment kids play in and in most cases, small groups of up to 4 kids might not need the most powerful nerf weaponry. Those playing with such toy guns at school or camp might need a bit more shooting power. This is where the 20+ nerf dart designs prove useful. Furthermore, even these massive guns might soon be out of ammo when kids don’t know how to pace themselves and keep shooting wildly.
Buying a Nerf Gun as a Gift and What to Look For
Buying a nerf gun as a toy may be different as kids buying it for themselves. Adults need to consider the type of child they want to surprise, their age, friends they might be playing against and even the environment they live in.
Who Are These Toys Suitable For
Kids which are about to be surprised with a nerf gun need to be ready for such a toy. Their parents might not agree with a toy gun and adults should consider their upbringing before buying such a gift, even if it’s perfectly safe.
Friends, Siblings and Fun
Nerf guns are rarely an inspired gift idea for kids with no brothers, sisters or immediate friends to play with. While there are plenty of games they can play by themselves, such as shooting cans with nerf darts, these toys are the most fun when they are used against real opponents with similar toy guns.
Indoor or Outdoor
If kids live in large homes with plenty of outdoor space to play, they can easily make the most of the large-capacity shooters which handle around 30 darts before reloading. At the same time, kids in apartments don’t need as much shooting power. When choosing a nerf gun, consider your living space.
Can I Use a Nerf Gun Indoors?
Nerf guns are mainly safe to use indoors. They are specifically made to eliminate any dangers by shooting foam-made nerf darts. However, some nerf guns may be overpowered for indoor use where the nerf darts don’t need to travel as far.
Can I Buy Extra Nerf Darts?
Extra nerf darts are needed for most nerf guns. They offer one of the simplest methods of continuing to shoot longer without having to gather the nerf darts already fired.
Which Nerf Gun Is Best for Outdoor Use?
Nerf guns are mainly made to be used outdoors. Some similar guns may be used indoors. However, the 90 feet firing capacity of the best nerf guns means outdoors is their natural habitat.
Are Nerf Darts Safe for Kids?
Nerf darts are safe to play with. However, most nerf guns are only recommended for kids age 8 and above. Before purchasing a nerf gun, all parents should ensure the age recommendation is appropriate for their child.
Where Can I Safely Play With a Nerf Gun?
A nerf gun can be fired in the backyard. Playing with such toys may be liberating in the park, where there’s plenty of space to play fire the nerf darts to their full distance potential. A fun experience with nerf guns may also be booked at the local paintball range.
Run ‘n’ Gun
Nerf guns require a lot of creativity and kids can benefit from a bit of inspiration from adults. It is adults that can create makeshift cover to hide behind in the yard, or a fortress that combatants can fight over and capture/defend. At the same time, kids should also be taught how to use the toy guns and where to aim at. Anywhere from the neck down should be safe for kids of all ages.
Furthermore, there are a few tricks parents can use to teach their kids to shoot better. Practice targets are the best option for this purpose. A small can or any other plastic or wooden object is a safe target for kids to shoot at from different angles. It is a practice that’s going to make them better at the game. Since many young kids don’t have the coordination of adults, they may need to practice more before hitting their targets.
For practice purposes, the target practice shots should not be held from distances longer than 90 feet. This is why it is important to keep an eye on the right distance when trying to improve accuracy skills.
Apart from these short tips, kids need to have fun with their nerf guns. There are a limited number of rules the little ones can handle before they become too restricted and before the fun starts to fade away. So keep it light, keep it fun and most of all, keep shooting!