Since they’re primarily designed for kids Nerf’s dart blasters, even the battery-powered ones, aren’t actually very powerful. It’s why there are entire communities of Nerf modders out there, but Peter Sripol might be the first to upgrade a Nerf blaster with an internal combustion engine. The only thing you really need to pump is gas into its tiny fuel tank.
A couple of years ago Sripol upgraded a Nerf blaster with a mechanism that harvested hydrogen from water to explosively send darts flying across a room. It was impressively capable, and considerably more powerful than a stock Nerf blaster, but equally dangerous as the hydrogen explosions started to physically destroy the darts, and there was the risk of the entire blaster going kaboom every time the trigger was pulled.
If you’ve ever been disappointed by the performance of a Nerf toy, you’re not alone. For safety (and legal) reasons the blasters come with limited power out of the box, but there’s a thriving community of modders online who’ve found ways to give them more kick. That includes Peter Sripol...Read more
This year, Sripol created a modded Nerf blaster with performance improvements that’s much safer to handle, but not exactly safer for the environment. The battery box and electric motors that usually power the dart-flinging flywheels on this Nerf Elite 2.0 Turbine CS-18 blaster were gutted and replaced with a Toyan 4-stroke gas-powered engine that’s typically used to power remote control toys — not a weapon of mass co-worker annoyance.
Aside from precision metal adapters created on a fancy lathe, adapting the Nerf blaster to work with the gas engine wasn’t terribly difficult, and the addition of a custom gearbox gives the toy an impressive boost in firing rate, emptying a 30-round dart magazine in seconds. There are some challenges to using it: it’s loud, and you have to deal with the engine’s exhaust meaning that unless you’ve got a well ventilated warehouse to run around in, this blaster is suddenly an outside toy.