We may earn compensation from some providers below.

7 Best Nerf Shotguns in 2023

nerf shotguns best
Updated on 03/27/24

Ah, Nerf Shotguns, an underrated class of Nerf blasters that are beautifully different and fun to use.

What is a Nerf Shotgun?

There are so many Nerf guns out there, I think it could help to clarify what exactly one is.

A Nerf Shotgun is a foam dart shooting toy that either looks or operates in a similar fashion to a real shotgun. Some typical features include:

  • Pump-style, lever action, or break action priming system.
  • Shell-ejecting systems or firing multiple rounds at once.

Let’s take a better look at the features of the best versions of this style of blaster!

The Best Nerf Shotguns

This class of Nerf guns can be hard to judge because all of them are fun for different reasons. However, there is one that stands out when it comes to overall performance.

The best Nerf shotgun, the Rival Atlas XVI-1200, is a pump-action blaster that has a 12-round magazine. It shoots two High-Impact rounds at once with a velocity of 90 feet per second. The Atlas is powerful, very accurate, and easy to use.

The Atlas is our top choice, but there are other ones on this list that are definitely worth taking a look at.

1. Nerf Rival Atlas XVI-1200

Best Overall Nerf Shotgun

nerf rival atlas xvi 1200 blaster

 The Nerf Rival Atlas is a spring-powered blaster that shoots two balls at once with solid accuracy.

Included with the purchase are 24 Rival rounds and the 12-round see-through magazine that loads in the top of the gun.

Rival balls, also known as high-impact rounds, are some of the fastest and most accurate foam bullets made. After loading and pump priming the Atlas, it fires two balls at once, which I think gives it more of a shotgun feel.

The magazine slides in quickly, so if you have multiple, you can get back in the action fast. In fact, I recommend getting an extra clip for it.

Shooting at an average of 90 FPS, the Atlas can help you deliver some precision pain in a Nerf war. The ammo doesn’t really hurt that bad, but this blaster is recommended for kids ages 14 and up.

Even though this blaster is large, the grip is comfortable and reasonably sized for large or smaller hands as well.

This gun features a little orange flip-up sight and a tactical rail that is made for Rival attachments but also holds N-Strike ones loosely.

For additional safe measures, there is a trigger safety to help you prevent accidental foam shooting. Also, if any jams occur, there is a little side door that will let you get your fingers inside to clear it out.

Overall the Atlas is really great choice for a great performing primary Nerf shotgun! For more info, you can also find it on our list of the best Rival series Nerf guns.


  • Ammo Type: Rival (High-Impact rounds)
  • Ammo Capacity: 12-round magazine
  • Velocity: 90 feet per second
  • Powered: Spring-powered

Reasons to Buy:

  • Shoots hard
  • Very accurate
  • Includes 24 ammo rounds
  • Great range
  • Quick loading

Reasons to Avoid:



2. Nerf N-Strike Mega TwinShock

Runner Up

nerf n strike mega twinshock

If you want a giant and intimidating shotgun, the Nerf Mega Twinshock will deliver!

This hunky blaster shoots Mega darts and includes enough darts to put in each of the ten barrels. The darts are also pretty fast to load from the front.

The Twinshock shoots at a bit over 70 FPS and has a creamy smooth priming action with the front vertical grip. It also has a very unique and easy-to-use two-stage trigger system.

A single pump allows you to fire two darts either at the same time or separately. One dart will fire with a half trigger pull, and the other will launch when it is pulled all the way down. This means that one hard pull will fire both simultaneously.

If that isn’t enough,  you can also increase the firing speed a bit with slam fire. This is done by holding the trigger while repeatedly pumping to quickly unload the gun.

In addition to the two top sling mounts, this gun includes two standard tactical rails for attachments like a scope.

If you don’t mind the large bulky size, the Twinshock is one of the all-around best Mega series Nerf guns.


  • Ammo Type: Mega darts
  • Ammo Capacity: 10
  • Velocity: 70 feet per second
  • Powered: Spring-powered

Reasons to Buy:

  • Best Mega series shotgun
  • Single and double fire options
  • Smooth operation and priming sound

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Average performance
  • Slightly top heavy


3. Winchester Lever Action Shotgun

Best Off-Brand

shellington winchester lever action shotgun

The Winchester Model 1887 dart blaster is a great example of a quality-built gun with a different design.

You can feel the sturdiness right away with the crisp lever-action priming and shell loading system. The metal parts help bring foam flinging to the next level.

The shells are required for shooting, and it is important to note that the darts are custom length. The gun comes with six shells, and 20 custom Elite style darts. You can cut Elite darts to the same length if you need more darts.

To load this blaster, you put the darts into the shells and push the lever into the forward position. This exposes the tube that holds five shells. The loading system is a bit slow but gives it a real shotgun feel.

It shoots just above the average velocity at 75 FPS, and ejects shells every time you fire and prime.

This blaster also features a tactical rail on top that is compatible with the standard N-strike attachments.

Due to the metal parts and unique design, this dart blaster is more expensive than a standard Nerf gun. However, we have this on our list of best lever action Nerf guns, and I would recommend this to any Nerf lover.


  • Ammo Type: Special cut dart, requires shells
  • Ammo Capacity: 6 (5 shells plus one in chamber)
  • Velocity: 75 feet per second
  • Fire-Rate: 1 round per second
  • Powered: Spring-powered

Reasons to Buy:

  • Unique design
  • Very realistic
  • Quality built with metal parts
  • Ejects shells after firing

Reasons to Avoid:

  • More expensive
  • Can’t buy additional shells


4. Spring Thunder Dart Blaster

Best 3D Printed Shotgun

spring thunder 3d printed nerf gun
Image From Frontline Foam

The Spring Thunder is a fascinating 3D-printed dart blaster that is sure to impress.

With the help of specially designed shells, it can blast off pretty much any type of Nerf ammo you have lying around. You do have to purchase the specific shells, but they are reasonably priced.

The Spring Thunder can fit five shells total, but each containing the dart type of your choosing. You load the darts into a shell and then load those into the gun.

Loading can be a bit slow, but this shotgun has a smooth prime and a realistic shell ejecting system when you cock it.

This beast flings regular Elite darts at 120 FPS, making it one the most powerful Nerf guns on this list. The velocity of other types of darts it shoots varies, but it does so at respectable speeds.

The Spring Thunder is the most expensive Nerf shotgun on this list. It is ideal for older kids or adults who really love Nerf and want very unique blaster.

This purchase only includes the blaster, but many color and attachment options can be added on. There are a ton of options when buying 3D-printed Nerf guns, and the blasters are very high quality.


  • Ammo Type: Any type with specific shells
  • Ammo Capacity: 5 Shells (4 in tube, one in chamber)
  • Velocity: 70-120 feet per second
  • Powered: Spring-powered

Reasons to Buy:

  • Shoots several types of Nerf ammo
  • Realistic ejecting shells
  • Shoots hard

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Expensive
  • Some maintenance required

Buy at Frontline FoamBuy at Shellington Labs

5. Nerf Rampage N-Strike Elite

Most Ammo Capacity

nerf n strike elite rampage

The Nerf N-strike Elite Rampage is a slick-designed shotty with a large ammo capacity and a good choice of upgrade options.

This blaster has an awesome tactical feel with the stock attachment point and two Picatinny style rails on top. It is compact and has a 25-dart drum magazine that will help you outlast your foes.

To prime the Rampage, you use the front vertical grip, which also allows you to hold the gun steady during each pump. The primary grip also has a secret one dart storage area to help you get one more try.

It performs slightly above N-Strike averages with 70 FPS dart speed and a max range of 75 feet. The firing rate is also above the standard, with the slam fire feature launching up to 3 darts per second.

The biggest downside I can see is that it doesn’t come with a stock. While not everyone wants to put it to the shoulder, you’ll have to have one or buy one to do so.

For most Nerf wars, the Rampage is a very solid choice for a primary gun. In a straight-up shotgun battle, this one is hard to beat.


  • Ammo Type: Standard Elite darts
  • Ammo Capacity: 25 darts
  • Velocity: 70 feet per second
  • Powered: Spring-powered

Reasons to Buy:

  • Large ammo capacity
  • Slam fire
  • Above average performance

Reasons to Avoid:

  • No included stock


6. Nerf N-Strike Elite Rough Cut 2X4

Most Compact

nerf n strike elite rough cut 2x4

The Nerf Roughcut 2×4 is popular because it is compact, easy to load, and can fire two darts at once. It is possible to fire one dart at a time, but it takes some practice.

This gun holds eight darts in barrels that are stacked two wide and four high; hence the name 2×4. Launching the darts with this is quick and easy when a single pump fires off two darts.

When flinging multiple darts at once, you lose a bit of dart speed, but this blaster still shoots at a respectable 50-60 FPS.

Additional features include two sling attachment points and a tactical rail on the top portion of the gun.

The Roughcut is a simple shotgun that was pretty popular when it came out. Now, the Twinshock is a bigger and newer version of this blaster with a better one or two dart launching system.

I would still say this is a little more practical because of its size compared to the Twinshock. The Roughcut is worth trying for some classic pump-action blaster fun.


  • Ammo Type: Standard Nerf Darts
  • Ammo Capacity: 8 rounds
  • Velocity: 60 feet per second
  • Fire-Rate: 2 rounds per second
  • Powered: Spring-powered

Reasons to Buy:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Shoots two darts at once

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Below average FPS


7. Nerf Zombie Strike Sledgefire

Most Unique

nerf zombie strike sledgefire blaster

Behold the Zombie Strike Sledgefire, a break-action dart blaster that shoots three darts at once!

This unique zombie fighter only works with the shells and ejects them with each shot. After putting three darts in a shell, you load it by opening the gun in the middle and sliding it in. When you open the gun again, the shell will launch out to make room for another.

Shooting three darts at a time brings the velocity down to about 50 FPS. However, you can get slightly higher dart speeds by only loading one or two darts in the shells.

Additional external features include an ammo storage tray and one tactical rail on top for standard attachments.

The Sledgefire is a zombie-themed Nerf gun that is great for playtime but is not going to do well in a shootout. It is just too slow to reload and doesn’t hold enough ammo. That being said, it is fun to play with, and I know people that just love it because of the style.


  • Ammo Type: Standard Elite Darts
  • Ammo Capacity: 3 darts
  • Velocity: 50 feet per second
  • Powered: Spring-powered

Reasons to Buy:

  • Unique break action design
  • Fun shell ejecting system
  • Shoots three darts

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Slow loading
  • Slow rate of fire


Nerf N-Strike Elite Trilogy DS-15

Honorable Mention

trilogy ds 15 nerf n strike elite blaster

I feel like it wouldn’t be right to forget about the large, shell-ejecting Nerf Trilogy DS-15. This blaster fits one shell in the chamber that holds three Nerf darts inside it.  To load it, you pull the pump handle back, put in one shell, and then push the handle forward.

The rear shell tray holds the included five shells with three darts in each. This means you have five shots at the ready, containing 15 darts in total. Similarly to the Sledgfire, the Trilogy cannot fire darts without the shells.

When fired, the three darts fly at 50 FPS, which isn’t bad considering it is launching multiple at once. This shooting speed compares to something like the Nerf Jolt, and is enough that you know you got hit by it.

Other external features include a tactical rail above the barrel and two sling mounts on the top. As for the grip, it is a bit small but comfortable enough.

While this gun works just fine, I would only recommend it to those who really like the shell-ejecting design. It is going to be tough to use in a heated Nerf war, but still enjoyable to operate.


  • Ammo Type: Standard Elite Darts
  • Ammo Capacity: 3 darts (one shell)
  • Velocity: 5o feet per second
  • Powered: Spring-powered

Reasons to Buy:

  • Shell ejecting pump action
  • Three dart burst

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Slow firing
  • Slow reload


Final Thoughts

There is something special about this type of gun that brings the imagination a bit more to life. Is it the loading noise, the way they feel, or just all of it combined?

A lot of people don’t know that there are many brands besides Nerf that make great dart blasters.  These toy blasters are getting better and more sophisticated by the day with the help of the ingenuity of smaller companies.

However, Hasbro and Nerf still make some of the most fun blasters that are well tested and suited for a greater range of ages.

We hope you enjoyed our choices for the best Nerf shotguns you can buy. Happy Nerfing!