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Modification of Nerf Blasters; The Price to Pay

By Pineapple

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#1 Pineapple

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 02:37 AM

Modification of Nerf Blasters; The Price to Pay

We’ve all had our time on both Nerf related web sites and web forums, reading about the varying kinds of modifications performed to increase performance; either range, accuracy, or rate-of-fire. We are often impressed and inspired when we hear of someone discovering a new way to extract the maximum efficiency out of their spring or air powered weapons. But do we fully understand the inherent price we pay when we decide to upgrade these blasters?

I’ve read many times of forum goers complaining about their gun’s breakage either during, or not long after, a modification of some sort. They appear to be frustrated, perhaps exasperated, that their newly modified SuperAirTechTarget XXLMax whatzit is now an inert piece of plastic. More frustrated is the parent who laid out some decent coin to find out that their kid’s new purchase is now sitting in a corner, or worse, the trash can.

I’ve observed several factors which can both explain, and point to solutions that would make for less frustration, perhaps reduce the failure rates of modified Nerf weapons; and overall make the fascination of modified Nerf blasters more satisfying.

First and foremost, a clear understanding of a Nerf blaster. Some people may be disillusioned by their “beloved” X-bows, Max Shots, and hybrids of varying vicious sounding and “bad-ass” names, as being both invincible and ageless. Not true…for the most part. These are plastic toys, and we all know that plastic under any amount of stress begins to weaken, especially repetitive cycles of priming/ pumping/ cocking, and subsequent firing. It’s going to happen, and more so if we have increased the amount of stress placed on the plastic parts by means of a modification. It’s just the basic rule; when we modify ANYTHING for increased performance, there is an increase in rate of failure as time goes on.

Secondly, the degree of modification is going to determine the lifespan of the blaster. If you’re going to do a basic simple spring pull and barrel swap on, say, your Nite Finder, you can expect a whole lot more lifespan than the same Nite Finder with three bungie cords wrapped around the end of the plunger rod. The added stress of elastic will subsequently affect the plunger rod, plunger, tube, and even the shell/ frame of the blaster.

Lastly, the manner in which we play with these blasters is also a large determining factor in longevity. I’ve seen my “fleet” of six SuperMaxx 1500’s break during our “team-building exercises”, either by overpumping (first no-no), or by trigger breakage by overzealous trigger fingers (they actually thought a harder/ faster pull would increase range…duh.) Our plunger weapons (my SM 350’s, my SharpShooter II, my nephew’s Expand-a-Blast) have had broken plunger rods/ cocking handles, by kid’s “racking” the cocking levers as though they were working a SoloFlex machine. Plastic….breakage….


So now understanding the symptoms, what are some possible solutions…or at least the ones I observe by the modifiers of today? Actually, quite elementary, especially to those versed in Nerf blaster fix ups.

1. Utilizing the efficiency of the STOCK set ups on spring powered Nerf guns. By this I mean working and experimenting with barrel designs that are as efficient as possible regarding the volume and velocity of air that the blaster puts out “as is”. Cxwq is leading the way here with his nested barrel designs, and PETG tubing. I’ve experimented with some plastic tubing that may have enough friction coefficient to hold a micro Stefan long enough for a good pressure build, and yet smooth enough to facilitate a clean, straight shot.

2. Including durability modifications into the performance mods. Grinch’s Max Shot failure inspired me to make these observations. The break on his Max Shot looks like it occurred on an area prone to breakage with time. Others replying to Grinch have pointed to the same area. With that in mind, incorporating a reinforcement during the mod process at this weak point will proactively avoid breakage, and definitely increase longevity.

3. Educating newbies and others who borrow our modified blasters as to proper operation without premature breakage/ failure will help as far as field durability is concerned. I now have six Nite Finders as my “rental fleet”, and I’ve made it a point to instruct everyone on proper use (sounds so basic but I’m confident it will reduce the odds of field failure during exercises)

My hope is that this would shed some light on what may have been causing frustration to some of the newer ones delving into the hobby of fixing up Nerf blasters and enjoying the increase of performance during their wars. It by no means guarantees unbreakability of our toys, but will at least promote the most enjoyment possible…and fun is what it’s all about!
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-Piney- of White Dog Hobbies Armory


<!--quoteo(post=209846:date=Feb 5 2009, 06:27 PM:name=boom)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(boom @ Feb 5 2009, 06:27 PM) View Post</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->
It's to bad you live in hawaii I bet there are not many wars there.Wait what am I saying<b> you live in hawaii you lucky bastard.</b>
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#2 Ragornocks

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 09:53 PM

Spring guns, man. The way I see it, with some epoxy and steel plating, I can fix about anything that happens to my spring powered blasters. My Xbow is immortal...from any of the obvious stress problems, anyways.

It's true, though. Guns break all the time. They are just plastic...so, what more can you expect? Even if they were full die-cast steel, they would still break...do you know why?

'Cause people made them.
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hug the fuck out of 'em, philippe!

#3 ompa

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 10:46 PM

lol 50 years from now Rags, your x-bow is going to be just one large lump of steel with some epoxy and plastic showing. True guns break, but if you take care of them they last longer. Basic things such as not throwing them and trying to be somewhat gentle go a long way in increasing the lifespan of a gun.

~ompa
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#4 Pineapple

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Posted 10 April 2004 - 08:34 PM

My Xbow is immortal...from any of the obvious stress problems, anyways.

That's amazing....I was thinking of you when I mentioned building in reinforcements to maintain longevity. Your x-bow may be a rare exception when the others are all coming apart.

What was that link to your mod again...stage 1 - 4?

-Piney-
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-Piney- of White Dog Hobbies Armory


<!--quoteo(post=209846:date=Feb 5 2009, 06:27 PM:name=boom)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(boom @ Feb 5 2009, 06:27 PM) View Post</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->
It's to bad you live in hawaii I bet there are not many wars there.Wait what am I saying<b> you live in hawaii you lucky bastard.</b>
<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

#5 Ragornocks

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Posted 10 April 2004 - 09:12 PM

Well, I threw it onto NHQ under articles...but the Freewebs page may still be up here.

You'd never tell from the outside that it was some part-metal monstrosity. It's not even that bad...but, I have all the most stressed areas pinned down. The only possible parts I see breaking is the actual outer shell, if I were to, like, chew on it, then throw it at someone.
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hug the fuck out of 'em, philippe!

#6 Guest_nerferdude_*

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 12:52 PM

today i got a secret shot 2 that i wrked very hard for and after modding it it got a freakin' air leak! that;s the third time it's happened!(i have had 3)
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#7 rusty

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 02:17 PM

The one of the ideas for my reverse enginneering post was to learn how to make exact metal replicas of the plastice nerf cases. I had a dream... that one day i would be filthy rich from selling solid metal crossbow cases to those that had ruined there plastic cases...

Rags:The freewebs page is down what happened? also what happened with the level 5 mod?
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#8 Famine

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 11:04 PM

I had a dream... that one day i would be filthy rich from selling solid metal crossbow cases to those that had ruined there plastic cases...

I had a dream, that I could read a Nerf forum without being completely insulted by the stupidity of some posts. THEng, not even the military uses completely metal rifles. High quality plastics and ceramics. Look into it. A hell of alot easier to work with, just as durable, and a hell of a lot lighter.

Shit, a slightly stronger plastic and some minor design refinements is all the X-Bow shell needs. The Horsemen have had X-Bow shells in service for like 7 years now and we've only lost 1 to breakage that whole time; mine. It warped when I left it in my back seat for 3 weeks one summer.
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~Famine
of Mag-7
East Coast Nerf 2005: Step It Up.
East Coast Nerf 2006: That's more like it.
East Coast Nerf 2007: I'm not driving to Massachusetts again.
East Coast Nerf 2008: Day of Regret.
East Coast Nerf 2009: Quid pro quo, douchebags!

#9 Ice Nine

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Posted 13 April 2004 - 05:38 PM

I take perfect care of my guns.

Not one of them has ever malfunctioned in/at my hands, and I don't expect them to.

Note: This post's information does not include the RF20, which has chronic problems no matter how I treat it.
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Unholy Three: DUPLUM SCRTA, DUPLUM PROBLEMA (2009)

But Zeke guns tend to be like proofs by contradiction

Theoretically solid but actually non-constructive

Rnbw Cln


#10 Dan Wask

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Posted 17 April 2004 - 10:02 PM

I have 5 working guns in my arsenal. I own 37 guns. Most of them are modded, then, they sucked, then they broke. 6 of those 37 are blastfires. All, broken.
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QUOTE (Arcanis @ Apr 9 2005, 12:02 AM)
When I insert a dick, nothing happens.


#11 Illadar

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 04:44 PM

<_< That is so sad :(
Mine died, but 6 thats just insanity.
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#12 okto

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Posted 08 July 2004 - 02:26 AM

gimme a busted blastfire or two ;)

no but really...do you still have/are you getting rid of them?
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#13 Silencer32

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 06:19 PM

today i got a secret shot 2 that i wrked very hard for and after modding it it got a freakin' air leak! that;s the third time it's happened!(i have had 3)

Yeah, the secret shot 2 is especially prone to develope air leaks. I don't know why, but I've had that problem happen frequently (not just after modding) and heard about it happening to a lot of other people. It's worth it to get one that works though.

On the subject of eventual wear and tear on guns, and their potential breakage; I have always been a fan of preventive maintainance. Modding your guy for power is fine, but unless you mod it to maintain that power and take measures to make sure your gun CAN maintain that power without breaking.

One area I've always been worried about but never heard discussed was catch mechanisms. That little tiny piece of plastic has to hold whatever force you're exerting on the plunger with springs or rubber bands or whatever, the entire time the gun is cocked. It hasn't happened to me yet, but it would seem logical that these small parts will wear down with time, due to the stress put on them. Replacing them completely with something made to their shape, but of a stronger material would be ideal, but their shape is often difficult to replicate. Does anyone have any ideas on how to reenforce these?
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#14 ompa

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 07:21 PM

Actually, you could ask Katachi, as he does resin casting- he could probably make duplicates of the catch mechanism.

~ompa
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#15 Silencer32

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 07:24 PM

Actually, you could ask Katachi, as he does resin casting- he could probably make duplicates of the catch mechanism.

~ompa

But would resin take the stress we'd be exerting on it? For example; a spring replaced, heavily banded xbow.
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'I pity the fool' a man once said, and I laughed, for he knew not.

#16 ompa

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 07:51 PM

Now that I'm not sure.... however, I did read in a recent popular science magazine a way to basically make and mold iron in your own house... someone that reads the magazine, please refresh me as I'm too lazy to currently get it out.

~ompa
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#17 okto

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 08:40 PM

aluminum stock. in sheets, 1/8" thick. easy to work, rigid, strong, cheap, light. made a new trigger for my RF20 out of an old amp heatsink that had a 1/8" baseplate. strong as hell, and as light as the original trigger without any flex.
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#18 Pineapple

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 11:06 AM

In light of the many new users who are coming on and learning (apparently the hard way) that modifying Nerf blasters takes some forethought and awareness of the vulnerability of their toys (they ARE plastic, after all), I'm bumping up my thread.

The Longshot looks way complicated to just dive in and start hackin' away, without at least trying to work on some simpler mods first (like Nite Finders). I'm leaving my son's Magstrike the way it is, and when I finally pick up a Longshot, am going to take a good and hard look at it before stuffin' in the strongest spring I can find on earth. Probably do no more than a air restrictor removal and maybe a barrel mod.

But, for now...bumped.




-Piney-
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-Piney- of White Dog Hobbies Armory


<!--quoteo(post=209846:date=Feb 5 2009, 06:27 PM:name=boom)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(boom @ Feb 5 2009, 06:27 PM) View Post</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->
It's to bad you live in hawaii I bet there are not many wars there.Wait what am I saying<b> you live in hawaii you lucky bastard.</b>
<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->


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