This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Which toy shotguns are best?

Many children enjoy playing with toy guns, and that includes toy shotguns. Toy shotguns are a fun, safe way to liven up any outdoor activity or spark a game of the imagination. Plus, many toy shotguns come with scopes, sound effects and different power levels. If you know someone who’s a fan of toy shotguns, check out the Romker Blaster Toy Gun. It comes with a lot of ammo and has a great firing range.

What to know before you buy a toy shotgun

Age range

Some toy shotguns are made for young kids, while others are better for older teenagers. In most cases, the more complex the toy, the older the intended audience. This is especially true if the toy shotgun has certain features like reloading.

Toy shotguns that shoot with more force or are bulkier or heavier are also better for older kids. If a young child uses one that’s meant for someone older, they may have trouble handling the toy. Or, in the case of toy shotguns that shoot with more force, they may end up hurt while playing.

For children under the age of eight, consider getting them a very simple toy shotgun or a similar toy like a Nerf gun or water gun.

Regulation and colors

Toy gun manufacturers must follow certain rules and regulations. Most of these rules exist to promote safe use, as well as to make it easy for bystanders to recognize the gun isn’t real.

The most notable example of this is the colors. Like other toy guns, toy shotguns will usually have something noticeable to show it’s a toy. This may be a bright orange tip on the barrel or other colors like blue or white.

Some toy guns, such as airsoft guns, look very similar to the real thing. And, since they use small BBs and pellets to shoot, which could cause injury, it’s especially important that they look different from the real thing.

While most manufacturers follow these regulations, it’s always wise to double-check the toy shotgun to make sure it won’t cause confusion or panic if a child is seen playing with it.

Types of darts and safety

Two big things matter when it comes to toy shotguns and safety: the type of dart and the firing power. If the toy uses foam darts, as is the case with many Nerf guns, it may slightly sting when it hits exposed skin. But it shouldn’t cause any long-term damage.

However, most toy guns can damage a person’s eyes if hit directly. This is even true of water guns and Nerf guns. And it’s especially true of BB guns and airsoft guns that use plastic pellets. To avoid this, it may be wise to get a face mask or other protective gear, especially when using more powerful toy shotguns.

Some toy guns fire with a low level of force, so they don’t pose as much danger to children or innocent bystanders. That said, others can hit harder than you may expect. If you already have a toy shotgun, test out its firing power before letting a child play with it.

What to look for in a quality toy shotgun

Material and type

Originally, toy guns consisted of wood with small bits of metal here and there for additional details. However, most newer models use strong, durable plastic instead. Plastic is generally considered safer than metal and more functional than wood. It’s also lighter in weight compared to metal or solid wood toy guns.

Nerf guns and Hasbro blasters are among the most popular brands of toy guns on the market today. Airsoft guns are another popular type of toy gun. They’re usually made of a combination of plastic and polymer, though some may have small metal components, too.

There are also unique toy shotguns available. For instance, the 3D Wooden Puzzle Model Toy Gift is both a functional toy and fun puzzle children can put together.

Firing mechanism

Toy shotguns typically have the shape of a real shotgun, but they don’t fire in the same way. The type of firing mechanism in the toy shotgun determines just how the toy functions.

For example, water guns have a trigger that, when pulled, uses pressure to fire a stream of water. Nerf guns, meanwhile, use springs and tension to fire foam darts. Some more advanced Nerf guns have an automatic firing mechanism.

Airsoft guns are a little more complex. Some are battery-powered, while others are gas-powered. Each Airsoft gun has its own way of being fired. A few unique toy shotguns use a lever that releases a rubber band when pulled. Some toys even fire two darts at once, making them look and function more like a double-barreled shotgun.

Many toy shotguns have a pump action component, just like their real counterparts. This gives the user a more immersive experience.

Theme

Some toy shotguns are based on games like Fortnite. In fact, Nerf has partnered with Fortnite to make themed toy shotguns that fire foam darts.

There are also cowboy-themed toy shotguns, realistic-looking shotguns and wooden shotguns.

Special features

Toy shotguns may have built-in sound effects, functioning scopes, flashlights or a rapid-fire feature. Some of these toy guns have a large drum that can hold a lot of ammunition, thus cutting down on reload times.

How much you can expect to spend on a toy shotgun

Most toy shotguns cost between $20-$40. More expensive toys usually have additional features like a drum or sound effects.

Toy shotgun FAQ

Can toy guns cause property damage?

A. Yes, but it depends on the type. Certain models of toy guns, including some Nerf and water guns, fire projectiles at a high velocity. These projectiles may be able to penetrate windows. Some toy guns, such as paintball guns and airsoft guns, have state-specific rules due to their potential for property damage.

Can you purchase additional ammunition for a toy shotgun?

A. Most toy shotguns come with some ammunition in the form of darts or pellets. However, it’s usually also possible to buy more ammo separately. Make sure you buy the right type of ammunition, or it may cause the toy gun to jam or break.

What are the best toy shotguns to buy?

Top toy shotgun

Romker Blaster Toy Gun

Romker Blaster Toy Gun

What you need to know: This 28-inch long, double-barrel toy shotgun consists of durable ABS plastic and is best for school-aged children.

What you’ll love: It can easily fire two foam darts at once and features a pump back that mirrors that of a real shotgun. The toy comes in white, black and orange, which distinguishes it from the real deal. Since it fires the darts with a lot of force, it may be best to use protective gear or inanimate targets when playing with it.

What you should consider: The toy shotgun is fairly large and may be too heavy for younger kids. It also doesn’t have replacement darts, though modified Nerf darts work with it.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top toy shotgun for the money

NERF Fortnite Pump SG Blaster

NERF Fortnite Pump SG Blaster

What you need to know: Based on the popular video game, Fortnite, this pump action toy shotgun is great for kids who want a uniquely designed Nerf gun.

What you’ll love: This toy shotgun comes with four Nerf Mega darts. There’s a space on the side for the darts, which is convenient for rapid reloading. Plus, the toy is very sturdy and similar in size to a real shotgun.

What you should consider: It only fires a single shot, meaning it requires frequent reloading. It also requires unique, larger darts.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

3D Wooden Puzzle Model Toy Gift

3D Wooden Puzzle Model Toy Gift

What you need to know: This wooden toy takes the concept of a shotgun and puts a unique twist on it.

What you’ll love: Designed more like a puzzle, this toy shotgun doesn’t require glue or additional tools to assemble it. It also comes with tiny, wooden figurines that make for great target practice. The toy also uses rubber bands rather than darts or pellets.

What you should consider: It can be a little challenging to put together. Some of the pieces are fragile.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.