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These Nerf Darts Can Fire Themselves:

These Nerf Darts Can Fire Themselves:

With these self-firing Nerf darts that can fly up to 44 feet, you have the element of surprise.

Even if you’re using brightly colored plastic blasters with foam darts that don’t hurt, the element of surprise can still help you win. It’s not very sneaky to sneak up on your enemy with a Nerf gun, but it is sneaky to do the same thing with a handful of self-firing darts. No one will know what you really want.

When we last checked in with Joel Hartlaub of the YouTube channel Joel Creates, they had added a self-extending blade to a cardboard tube, which kids use to pretend to be a Star Wars lightsaber. Hartlaub still wanted to make entertainment for kids and kidults (yes, that’s a real marketing term), so he set out to design and build the world’s smallest Nerf blaster. It’s so small that it fits inside a Nerf dart.

These Nerf Darts Can Fire Themselves:

There are two main ways to make a self-firing dart that is good for the market: spring-loaded mechanisms and compressed air. Hartlaub agreed that you could also use explosives, but he said that would be riskier and less appealing. So, most manually primed dart blasters use a combination of the first two methods, where a compressed spring creates a blast of air in a chamber when it is released. Hartlaub used a spring, a nail with a notch on the end, and a thin aluminum tube to make a foam dart that could fire on its own. It took him a few tries, but it worked. All of it fit right into the dart.

It worked, but neither the range nor the power were very scary. So, Hartlaub tried some more things, some of which were probably not safe because they involved butane, gasoline, and a spark lighter. But he was able to make an impressive firing mechanism that is just as small, even though it uses explosions. Now, their dart has a capacitor, a heating element that acts as an ignitor, and a small button that lights flash cotton deep inside the dart. The flash cotton makes enough expanding air to send the dart flying, but it doesn’t make much heat, so the foam won’t melt.

In tests, the self-firing explosive dart flew an impressive 44 feet. Most basic Nerf blasters can only shoot about 50 feet. The range could probably be increased even more with more testing and a better amount of flash cotton that doesn’t blow the dart apart. Even though Hasbro would never let it be sold.


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