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How Does a Nerf Gun Work

How Does a Nerf Gun Work?

The Nerf Gun is an essential component of any toy collection, suitable for target practice, Nerf battles, and reverse engineering to understand their inner workings. Let’s prepare for some fun!

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The specific Nerf Gun featured in this video is the Nerf Elite Disruptor. It can hold up to six darts simultaneously. To operate it, simply pull back on the cocking mechanism, aim, and pull the trigger.

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On the left side of the gun, you’ll notice several holes for screws. By removing them, we can examine the internal components more closely.

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Let’s start with the trigger. As you can see, it is connected to a spring. When you pull the trigger back and release it, it quickly returns to its original position. Additionally, some extra plastic parts here connect with another component, which I’ll refer to as the vertical slider. Usually, the vertical slider is held up by a spring. However, when the trigger is pulled, it comes down. We’ll revisit this in a moment.

This component is called the piston, which fits inside a tube along with a powerful spring. The spring’s purpose is to keep the piston in its forward position. This is where the cocking mechanism comes into play. Notice the small block protruding here. When you pull it back, the piston moves with it. You can feel the resistance from the spring as you pull. Once pulled back far enough, it engages with the vertical slider and locks in place. Now your Nerf Gun is loaded and ready to go.

One crucial detail is that when the gun is loaded, you can see an orange strip from behind.

Now, let’s move on to the firing process. When you pull the trigger, the vertical slider comes down, releasing the piston, which quickly returns to its original position. This causes all the air inside the tube to be forcefully expelled through the front, propelling the dart forward. Ignition!

After the dart is fired, the cylinder rotates, positioning the next dart. How does this mechanism work? A few additional pieces below the piston facilitate this process: supporting black plastic, a white rotating cam, and the cam bar. When the piston extends far enough, it latches onto the cam bar. When the trigger is pulled, the piston is released, firing the dart as we’ve seen before. Following closely behind, the cam bar moves forward, rotating the cam, which, in turn, rotates the cylinder, aligning the next dart.

Let’s focus specifically on the cam and the cam bar. Each time the bar moves forward, the cam rotates. The magic happens on the opposite side.

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The bar has a circular tip at the end, which fits into corresponding grooves on the cam. As the bar moves back and forth, the information smoothly slides through these grooves. The bar is positioned to exert a slight pressure towards the cam. As it moves back, it passes over an edge and further into the groove. When the bar moves forward again, instead of returning straight ahead, it follows the curve, causing the cam to rotate. Let’s observe this motion again: slides back, pops down, moves forward, and follows the curve.

Mechanical devices like this never cease to fascinate me. I can only imagine the work required to design and ensure the proper functioning of such intricate mechanisms.

You can purchase one of these Nerf Guns from Amazon for approximately 12 U.S. Dollars. Check the description below for a link.

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