Some kids get a big kick out of Nerf guns. And the toys have taken an epic turn since many of us played with them before the turn of the century. They are powerful, accurate, and some have a rate of fire that rivals real machine guns.
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Yet adults just can’t leave well enough alone. There’s an entire subculture of workplace violence that is enacted with Nerf guns. And many of the best minds in America are busy modifying springs and adding compressed air to make the toys that much more effective. But these mad men typically limit themselves to simply modifying stock Nerf guns.
So what happens when one of the Nerf geeks decides he wants a bigger gun? Easy. He builds a bigger gun. A Nerf N-Strike Maverick that is fired fired with its grip resting on the ground.
Mark Rober built this beast with the team from Eclectical Engineering.
The concept is simple enough. It started with the Nerf N-Strike Maverick as a model. Here’s one version.
The bigger gun runs on a 3,000 PSI paintball tank. Compressed air. A regulator inside limits each shot to 80 PSI. At that rate, the gun should shoot about 20 times per tank.
The Nerf N-Strike Maverick is an accurate gun. The video below has several illustrations of just how accurate it can be–one of which is the foam bullet extinguishing a candle flame. Sticking the darts to glass is easy enough, too.
And the monster gun doesn’t disappoint either. Only it has a tendency to knock over the beer bottles.
And if the video is any guide, I wouldn’t shoot the darts at any glass that you really want to keep.
The darts are toilet plungers stuck down into a pool noodle. They have some mass. Yet they tend to fly straight, and suprisingly fast for a toilet plunger: 40MPH at the muzzle.
That’s enough velocity to get them to stick to most smooth surfaces that can handle the abuse. Remember that there’s a stick in there, behind the rubber of the plunger, which adds to the weight.
That’s where this gun comes in handy for most Nerf battles. Although I’m not going to volunteer to get shot with it. Check out this baseline comparison. Here’s the Nerf N-Strike Maverick that has been shot at a stack of cups.
That’s not bad for one Nerf dart. But the darts don’t really compare.
Like I said. I’m not going to willingly stand by and volunteer to test out terminal ballistics.
I know one of the things that I’ve had to parent my way through thanks to the typical Nerf velocity and accuracy is that the older more experienced kids have a tendency to hold back and make very selective head-shots, usually from close range, on the younger kids who just dump ammo and run around like crazy. This always ends in tears. The potential for head-shots with this thing is somewhat terrifying. It is accurate enough that the crew hit this plate, mid-air.
Yet Rober took the gun into a fight, and shot at kids he was related to. Their reaction to seeing the gun pretty much says it all, but this kid took a plunger in the back of his arm.
The videos below show the evolution of the gun. After the plunger bullets, they narrowed the barrel and built some more aerodynamic projectiles for the gun. The result is impressive. The second video looks a bit more dangerous. They uncork it and run it up against some unsuspecting fruit. The result is messy.
Still, even with the better projectiles running at 80 PSI, the gun puts up some good distances. 130 yards from compressed air is not bad.
Oh, and for those of you who can’t have fun unless something’s educational, there’s a healthy dose of science thrown in, too. If that isn’t your thing, forget I mentioned it. I swear you won’t notice.
Of course, they had to test the effectiveness of the gun against watermelons, in a video that would do YouTube legend Hickok45 proud: