5 Best Nerf Shotguns You Need to Have

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Last updated: February 24, 2021

The Nerf shotgun is a unique type of blaster that we don’t see very often appearing in the shelves. And that’s a pity, because they’re fun to play with.

In this article I am going to explain what a real Nerf shotgun is, what a shotgun-style blaster is, and I am going to share my personal top five.

What Are Nerf Shotguns?

I think it’s important to clearly explain what can be classified as a Nerf shotgun, because there is a lot of misunderstanding around this topic of course.

Please note though that this is my opinion, and everyone is welcome to have their own opinion about this topic.

So, what is a Nerf shotgun?

A Nerf shotgun is basically a blaster that is able to fire multiple darts or rounds at the same time.

Bonus points if these blasters are also “shaped” like a classic shotgun, i.e. a slightly horizontal handle, longer barrel, etc.

There are quite a few Nerf blasters that are considered shotgun-style blasters, for example the Nerf Rival Takedown, but they aren’t real Nerf shotguns because they can’t fire multiple rounds at once.

There is one very obvious drawback to real Nerf shotguns though. As fun as it is to fire multiple rounds at once, it’s also kind of pointless. You’re running out of ammo a lot quicker, for no real benefit other than the fun of it.

Just something to consider.

Top 5 Nerf Shotguns

Here we go, this is my top 5 best Nerf shotguns you should consider adding to your Nerf blaster collection.

1. Nerf Rival Atlas XVI-1200

Let’s kick off this list with a blaster from my favorite range of Nerf guns, the Rival series.

The Atlas XVI-1200 is a pump action blaster with a direct plunger insider. It fires two High-Impact Rounds at once, and does this through a single barrel, driven by a smooth priming mechanism.

Nerf Rival Atlas XVI-1200

As you can expect with most blasters in the Rival range, the Atlas performs really well, with excellent power, velocity, and firing range. Being able to fire two rounds at once is a lot of fun, but as mentioned above, you are also running out of ammunition a lot quicker.

The Atlas has a 12-round magazine, which isn’t super big. But its performance + the fun factor make this my favorite shotgun in this list.

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Nerf Rival Atlas XVI-1200
Ammunition:High-Impact Rounds
Shooting:Two at once

2. Nerf N-Strike Mega TwinShock

The Nerf TwinShock in the N-Strike Mega series is a rather odd looking shotgun, with a huge 10-pipe barrel at the front. The TwinShock fires two Mega Darts at a time, which matches the design of the barrel, with 5 sets of two smaller barrels.

It’s a pump action blaster that can single fire, multi fire, as well as slam fire. That’s right, you don’t have to fire two darts at once, which makes the TwinShock extra special.

Nerf N-Strike Mega TwinShock

The slam fire option is great too, as it allows you to quickly fire all ten darts one after the other. The priming and firing mechanism overall with the TwinShock is absolutely top notch.

The versatility of the Mega TwinShock in combination with its excellent firing performance make it one of the best Nerf shotguns ever made.

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Nerf N-Strike Mega TwinShock
Ammunition:Mega Darts
Firing:Two at once

3. Nerf N-Strike Elite Trilogy DS-15

The Trilogy DS-15 in the N-Strike Elite series is a rather unique type of blaster in the sense that it uses shells to fire darts.

This is also where the name comes from. DS stands for Dart Shell, and 15 refers to the 15 darts it can fire with 5 shells in storage. The word trilogy was chosen because it can fire 3 darts at once, through each shell.

Nerf N-Strike Elite Trilogy DS-15

This all sounds a bit complicated, and perhaps it is, but handling the Trilogy DS-15 is super easy and a lot of fun. Simply prime it, load a shell into the top of the blaster, and fire the three darts from the shell.

When priming, the previously used shell that is empty will drop out automatically, freeing up space for the next one. Overall, it’s a fun, unique and solid blaster that deserves to be part of your collection.

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Nerf N-Strike Elite Trilogy DS-15
Ammunition:Elite Darts
Firing:Three at once

4. Nerf N-Strike Elite Rough Cut 2×4

The Rough Cut 2×4 in the N-Strike Elite series looks, feels, and fires exactly like a real Nerf shotgun, which is why it belongs in this list despite its age.

It’s a direct plunger pump action blaster that can fire two Elite Darts at once, but it can also single fire as well as slam fire.

Nerf N-Strike Elite Rough Cut 2x4

There are two versions of the Elite Rough Cut 2×4, with the first one released in 2013, and an improved version re-released a year later.

The newer version has improved internal workings, resulting in better firing performance and a more smooth firing mechanism overall.

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Nerf N-Strike Elite Rough Cut 2×4
Ammunition:Elite Darts
Firing:Two at once

5. Nerf Zombie Strike SledgeFire

The last blaster in this list of best (real) Nerf shotguns is very similar to the Trilogy DS-15, not based on looks, but more so based on the workings of it.

The Nerf Zombie Strike SledgeFire uses shells to fire three darts at the same time. It comes with three shells though, not five like the Trilogy DS-15.

Nerf Zombie Strike SledgeFire

The SledgeFire fires ZombieStrike Darts, which are essentially the same as Elite Darts, but have a different color theme to match the ZombieStrike sub series of blasters.

This blaster has been around for quite some time, but it’s a real Nerf shotgun that deserves a spot in this list. The SledgeFire was quite revolutionary when it first came out, and is now a great collector’s item to have.

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Nerf Zombie Strike SledgeFire
Ammunition:Zombie Strike Darts
Firing:Three at once

Final Thoughts

As you might already know, real Nerf shotguns are hard to find. They’re quite unique, and maybe that’s because they’re just not the most popular type of Nerf blaster.

I personally quite like Nerf shotgun blasters, despite the obvious drawbacks. In any case, I hope you found the above list useful, and that you’ve been able to pick your favorite.

As always, if I’ve missed one that you believe belongs in this list, do let me know!

Thomas Dunnett

I'm a huge fan of Nerf blasters, home laser tag, and other real-life action games that keep us active, social and young at heart.

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