What Is a Nerf Mod and Is It Safe
For about as long as Nerf guns have been around, enthusiastic owners have been developing mods for them. These mods span the gamut from darts that travel farther to using components of real firearms.
To many parents, the idea of “modding” what is essentially a projectile weapon causes some concern. The solution to that is a little bit of information about what Nerf mods are and what they can (and can’t) achieve.
In this article, we’re covering some of the basics of Nerf modding and addressing some of the safety concerns around them.
Nerf Gun Modding
The word mod is an abbreviation of modification. In the context of Nerf guns, it refers to any aftermarket alteration that owners make to the guns. There are no established rules about what does and doesn’t constitute a legitimate mod since it’s a DIY endeavor.
The degree of modification is mostly restricted by a modder’s know-how and resourcefulness. Creative Nerf gun owners have made some impressive alterations to their guns but most mods encompass only minor changes.
Types of Nerf Gun Mods
In the broadest sense, there are two types of Nerf mods – cosmetic mods and performance mods.
Cosmetic mods are restricted to a gun’s outside appearance. Painting a gun or adding aesthetic components are examples of cosmetic mods.
Performance mods, on the other hand, deal with improving how a Nerf gun performs. One of the most common examples is modifying a Nerf blaster to fire darts farther.
Some mods bridge the gap between cosmetic and performance since they affect both elements. An example of this is a longer barrel. It alters the appearance of the Nerf gun, but can also improve performance by making it fire more accurately.
Popular Nerf Gun Mods
While mods are as diverse as Nerf gun owners, there are a few main areas that modders mostly focus on.
Nerf Blaster Mods
A power mod is the most common place to start when modding Nerf guns. The idea is to simply improve the firing power of a Nerf blaster.
In the main, Nerf blasters are either spring-powered or air-powered. For spring-powered blasters, a simple mod is to exchange the stock spring for a more powerful spring. Standard springs can be purchased in any hardware store. But this modification doesn’t typically make the gun unsafe for either the user or anyone on the receiving end of a dart.
The Nerf Maverick is one of the most popular spring-powered guns to mod.
Air blasters are a little more complicated to mod in this way. Since they use air pressure to propel the dart rather than a spring, the procedure involves removing the air restrictor from their firing mechanism. It’s not exactly a risky procedure if children should enlist the aid of a parent to complete it correctly. Once finished, the gun will fire noticeably farther and with more power.
The Nerf Retaliator is a good air blaster to mod this way.
One of the most common Nerf ammo mods of recent times isn’t a mod at all. It involves making new darts for Nerf guns that are a reasonable facsimile of the real thing. Since third-party manufacturers have started offering darts in bulk, this has fallen into disuse.
However, avid modders still make their own darts (nicknames stefans) with all kinds of modifications from making heavier darts to having spiked tips. These modified stefans can be unsafe in some cases and there’s no reason to make them as official darts are now widely available at volume discounts.
XLR discs, another type of ammunition for Nerf guns, are also frequently modded. The mod involves placing a plastic BB in the center to make them heavier. Heavier XLR discs fly truer and farther but don’t present any additional risk to users.
Changing the color scheme of a Nerf gun is a great way to get into modding in the safest way possible. The plastic Nerf guns are made out of is suitable for most types of paint and it’s easy to create interesting designs and substantially change their appearance.
It should be noted that these paint modifications can be illegal. If the paint makes the Nerf gun difficult to distinguish from a real firearm, it may be prohibited by law. The bare minimum in the United States is for any toy gun to have a 6mm-wide blaze orange tip.
Is Modding Nerf Guns Safe?
Most Nerf mods are safe. But it entirely depends on the type of mod, so it’s difficult to generalize.
When done correctly using a legitimate Nerf mod guide, modding can be a creative and engaging hobby. However, many modders make intentionally dangerous mods which give the entire endeavor a bad reputation.
Hasbro, the makers of Nerf guns, don’t officially support modding. Its official stance is that there are safety implications for modding. Yet, the company has shown some support to modders who practice the hobby safely and within reason.
Is Modding Nerf Guns Illegal?
No. There is nothing that makes modding a toy gun illegal in and of itself. But there are some exceptions.
If the mod makes the gun too closely resemble a real firearm in appearance, it may raise concerns. Furthermore, if at any point the mod involves using live firearm ammunition or any kind of explosives, it will almost certainly be illegal.
What Is the Best Nerf Gun to Mod?
For a beginner to modding, the easiest and simplest place to start is an N-strike Maverick Rev-6 Blaster. It can be disassembled and reassembled easily and the components are easy to paint and alter. It’s also one of the cheaper Nerf guns so even if a mod goes wrong, it won’t be a major loss.
A Mod-Icum of Common Sense
Nerf gun mods are, largely, safe to implement and use if they’re done right and with the help of an adult. And they can be a great way for a kid to feel like a Nerf gun is partly their own creation.
As long as you’re prudent, modding is an awesome avenue to getting even more out of your Nerf guns.