Tactical ergonomics. Single point slings. Chest rigs. Rail systems. These are all common pieces of military jargon and gun-enthusiast forums. But the rifle in YouTuber LordDraconical’s hands is bright red plastic and definitely non-lethal.
It’s a Nerf gun, but not one of the spring-loaded dart guns of Christmas mornings past. The rifle is a KHAOS MXVI-4000, which uses two flywheel motors (like the pitching machines at batting cages) to zing pebble-sized foam balls at nearly 70 miles per hour.
Nerf markets these guns, part of their “Rival” line, to slightly older customers who want a more “competitive, tactical” feel to their battles without going full-on Airsoft. The foam balls aren’t painful, but they fly fast enough to be accurate for reasonable distances and give kids (and adults) a more fun experience than the old pop guns whose darts would only really stick to mirrors and windows.
Though the guns themselves aren’t cheap — the new fully-automatic KHAOS blaster will retail for about $70 — most consumers will probably see a gun that fires foam projectiles at 70 miles per hour and say, “cool!” Hardcore Nerf enthusiasts, on the other hand, see 70 miles per hour and say, “eh, it’s a start.” Because the beauty of a Nerf gun is that, in the end, it’s a big plastic shell with some motors and wiring inside. With a screwdriver, some hot glue, wire strippers, and an electrical engineering degree, you can turn your store-bought blaster into one hell of a weapon. One dad even converted a wheelchair into a Nerf-firing snowspeeder for Halloween.
Here’s a video of LordDraconical modifying the previous, semi-automatic Rival ZEUS blaster to shoot faster, further, and fully automatic. It’s long, but interesting — skip to 12:20 for a shooting demo after modifications.
There’s an expansive, very passionate community online dedicated to chopping up Nerf blasters and making them stronger. For them, expositions like yesterday’s Toy Fair 2016 present them with the next platforms to play with for the year, as they tinker, upgrade, and blast their way through childhood nostalgia and into an interesting hobby on its own.
Here’s a demo of the new full-auto KHAOS at Toy Fair 2016. Who knows what the modding community will turn this into, but we’re guessing it’ll be pretty rad.