The original Nerf Jolt EX-1 was first released in 2011 and due to its popularity, it has been re-released several times since with slight variations.
The Jolt name is perfect for this gun as it is mainly used for surprise attacks or as an emergency last shot blaster.
Though the Jolt is but a wee little gun, it is so beloved that it’s worth a deep dive into what it does right and what could be improved.
It is likely one of the only true five dollar Nerf guns left, but is this blaster worth even that? Let’s take a look for fun and see!
Key Features of the Nerf Jolt
For starters, let’s look at the main features of the N-Strike Jolt as well as the advantages or disadvantages associated with each one.
- Spring-powered with a t-style priming handle that makes it easy to pull and prime.
- Compact design so it can be easily hidden in a pocket or even in hand.
- Fires standard elite darts so you probably already have plenty of extra ammo if needed.
- Shoots up to 50 FPS which seems quite low compared to an average Nerf gun, but is really not that bad for a pea shooter.
- Ergonomic grip that extends with extra plastic pieces to make it comfortable for bigger hands.
- Six different designs to choose from: blue-white-silver, clear blue (ice), clear red (sonic fire), clear green, clear orange, and the original orange-gray-black.
Review of Nerf Jolt
After testing the N-Stike Jolt as much as one can, I rated it with a 7-point review (found below). I’ve concluded that this is a reliable blaster with unmatched value for what it is designed to be. The few drawbacks that I found are to be expected with a gun of its size and cost.
- Very affordable
- Compact and lightweight
- Though it is small, the extra plastic on the grip makes it comfortable for bigger hands.
- Makes a great concealable blaster for a surprise attack
- Quick to load and prime
- The one-shot capacity is understandable, but it would be nice to have at least a second one
- No customization options
- Lower FPS and range
Design & Ergonomics: 9/10
Let’s be real, the Jolt does just enough to accomplish its mission. It is a micro blaster that manages to feel good in the hand and looks about as good as you can make it.
This gun can be used just as easily with the right or left hand and the T-style priming handle makes for a smooth prime.
The grips are extended with just enough plastic on the bottom that it feels right even in an adult-sized hand.
If I had to complain about something with the design, I would like to see basic pistol sights on it just for fun.
Otherwise, I think Nerf did the best they could with a Nerf gun of its size and purpose.
Ammo and Loading: 8.5/10
The Jolt includes two standard elite darts which is fair for the capacity. The nice thing about the standard darts is that you likely have extra if you misplace the ones it comes with.
While the single-shot capacity is a bummer, you can’t really add more ammo capacity without making the gun bigger. The Nerf Elite Triad is a good example of a similar-style gun with three barrels and a bit larger in size.
Loading is simple with one barrel as you can quickly front-load the dart, prime, and fire.
The only downside is that the priming handle may be a bit hard to pull for kids.
Firing and Rate of Fire: 7/10
The firing and rate of fire are about what one would expect for one of the smallest Nerf guns.
It fires super smooth and clean every time.
While its low ammo capacity slows it down, it is quick to single-load and fire.
There’s not much else to say about the firing, other than it feels good and sounds good.
Accuracy and Consistency: 7/10
The Jolt is not necessarily inaccurate compared to the average Nerf gun, it just lacks in power.
You can consistently hit a printer paper-sized target consistently up to 15-20ft. After 25 feet the shot spread will increase rapidly.
However, you shouldn’t have any issues hitting a human-sized target somewhere in an average household room.
If you understand it’s not meant to be a sniper, you will not be disappointed with its performance.
FPS and Range: 6.5/10
The dart speed and range is the weak point of the Jolt. While it is understandable for its size, once again, I would like to see a bit more from it.
The Jolt shoots up to 50 FPS which is well below the 70 par for an average pistol. Well, the truth is that this isn’t an average pistol and shouldn’t be held up to that standard.
The range really isn’t that bad, shooting up to 55 ft with the average being somewhere in the 30-40 ft range.
Reliability and Durability: 9.5/10
This gun holds one dart and it will fire that one shot when you need it to. Perhaps it is the lack of a ton of moving parts, but the Jolt is ol’ reliable.
It is reliable enough that I didn’t run into any misfires in 100+ shots.
As for durability, it is so light and compact that is really hard to break. If you have a Jolt it will likely be working for a long time.
Fun and Value: 9.7/10
There is plenty of fun to be had with any Nerf gun, but just a bit more in those you can hide. It may not be intimidating, but it does its job when you need it.
The strongest selling point of the Jolt is that you can get one for under $5. There are guns not much bigger that go for 4-5 times the price.
Based on the factors listed above I give the Nerf Jolt an 8.2 out of 10.
The Jolt is great for a hidden attack or as a last-ditch effort to have just one more shot when it is least expected.
While it’s not gonna utterly destroy in a Nerf battle, it is also much easier to store and clean up after than something like an automatic Nerf Gun.
It’s nobody’s first choice but it is great to have as an emergency last resort. So yes, I think it’s worth buying.
The cons are again, its one-shot capacity and soft shooting. However, this gun might be perfect for those who want to shoot a little foam without really starting a war.
I wouldn’t recommend this as a primary Nerf pistol as it obviously isn’t going to compete in a battle against bigger guns. If you are looking for smaller blasters you can compete with, here are my recommendations for the current best Nerf Pistols.
Otherwise, I think the Jolt is easily lovable and worth every dollar—averaging about $4-7 USD online. The only other blasters that are that cheap are remakes of the Jolt or something small like Roblox Nerf guns.
Versions and Where to Buy
There are six variations of the Nerf N-Strike Elite Jolt.
You can click the link on each version below to check out their unique color scheme and current price. Some of these are exclusives and can only be purchased from one online retailer.
Find at Amazon:
NERF N-Strike Elite Jolt Blaster (Clear Green)
NERF N-Strike Elite Jolt Blaster (Clear Orange)
NERF N-Strike Elite Jolt Blaster (Sonic Fire & Ice)
NERF N-Strike Elite Jolt Blaster (Blue)
NERF N-Strike Elite Jolt Blaster (Orange)
Find at Walmart:
Find at Out of Darts:
While I like to be critical with my reviews, no one can hate the Jolt. You can’t beat the price, and it is a bare-bones Nerf gun that does exactly what it’s designed to do. The Jolt is very affordable and small enough to make a perfect stocking stuffer or a cheap last-minute gift.
If you are looking for more Nerf blasters like the Jolt but with a little more pizazz, check out the MicroShots. Nerf has an absurd amount of movie and video game-themed guns that will make for a more personalized gift.