Splash DamageBlogPhoto Blog: Creating a Dirty Bomb Nerf Gun

Splash Damage Blog

Photo Blog: Creating a Dirty Bomb Nerf Gun

Nerf guns - they're really rather popular here at Splash Damage. One of our artists, Laurens Corijn, already made his mark with a custom Nerf gun based on Brink a few months ago, and he's now taken things to a whole other level of awesome. Dirty Bomb, our latest multiplayer shooter, was to be his source of inspiration, and being the Nerf enthusiast he is, Laurens decided that his latest custom Nerf gun would be a sniper rifle. Read on to find out how Laurens went about building the gun, along with plenty of photos of the finished article!

The modifications made by Laurens make this rifle more powerful than a standard Nerf Gun. Splash Damage does not endorse these kinds of modifications, and Nerf blasters modified in this manner definitely don't belong in the hands of children. Always be careful when handling a modified Nerf blaster, and never aim at eyes.

With that disclaimer out of the way, take it away, Laurens:


This gun started out as a standard, bright yellow Nerf Longshot CS-6 that my girlfriend actually gave to me as a present. It’s an older blaster, the first one ever released to feature the "Clip System" with darts in magazines. It's still quite popular these days because it is one of the best looking Nerf blasters, and because the internals feature one of the largest plungers of any Nerf blaster, so it has a lot of potential for upgrades. I decided this was the best blaster to win the office-arms race; Studio Director Olivier Leonardi had been beating me ever since he got that shotgun and machinegun!

Dirty Bomb Nerf Gun

With that in mind, I decided I wanted to go all the way with upgrading this thing, I wanted to put every high-power mod and reinforcement I could into it. This included re-barreling with brass, replacing the spring with one 4 times as strong, replacing or updating the bolt-sled to withstand the spring forces, as well as various other updates.

The brass re-barreling was by far the most time-consuming and difficult thing. I followed this excellent guide online. It took a lot of sanding, grinding and fitting to achieve a full airtight seal. The spring was replaced with a 10Kg spring from Orange Mod Works (instead of the standard 2.5Kg). This spring is so powerful it destroyed a lot of the stock internals while testing, forcing me to replace more and more. Two component epoxy glue proved to be inadequate, so I switched to riveting some components. The bolt-sled (the part that transfers the cocking motion to the plunger) was replaced by an Xplorer Composite Bolt Sled, which can withstand the spring forces repeatedly without breaking. The back of the plunger tube was strengthened with a steel plate. Finally, I had a piece of the plunger custom-machined from aluminum since the plastic one broke as well. Almost all of the safety locks had to be removed since they just got in the way of the upgrades.

Dirty Bomb Nerf Gun

I decided I also wanted to do a "front gun integration", where you cut the under-barrel launcher from the original front barrel attachment and glue it onto the bottom of the main gun. I integrated a hidden trigger that can be fired separately, because I didn't want to hook everything up to the main trigger (it was already quite heavy to pull). The parts were glued with epoxy, transitions smoothed with Milliput. The result is that this gun can actually fire two darts at once!

Dirty Bomb Nerf Gun

I built the barrel out of scrap from the original Longshot front barrel and a separate Nerf Recon barrel I had lying around. It took a lot of cutting and smoothing to make sure the barrel wouldn't obstruct the under-barrel launcher. The Bipod is a cheap airsoft thing from eBay. The scope is also from eBay; not the cheapest thing I could find, but this one has an illuminated reticule, which leads to that cool red tint in the scope glass!

Dirty Bomb Nerf Gun

The whole thing was almost completely painted silver, then covered with matte clear coat. I applied techniques such as “washing” with thinned black paint, airbrushing shadowed areas and using the "hairspray technique" to get a scratched paint effect. I also tried some new things such as Rub-n-Buff metallic wax which I picked up from Adam Savage's "Man Cave" videos. All the heat gradients are just simple airbrushed gradients of yellow, red, blue and black (in that order). I pushed the metallic accents by using graphite powder to make them darker and shinier.

Dirty Bomb Nerf Gun

So how does it shoot? It depends on the ammo and if you put the barrel on or not. With standard blue Elite darts and the barrel attached, you can only get about 15m/50ft, due to the friction in the barrel slowing the darts. With home-made smaller, heavier darts that's slightly more, about 20m/75ft. If you take the barrel off, the range easily doubles!

Dirty Bomb Nerf Gun

The whole thing took more than 2 months to complete and cost quite a bit in material; you'll probably need at least £200 to do something exactly like this, excluding a lot of the tools like an airbrush, drill or rotary tool.

Dirty Bomb Nerf Gun


Thanks Laurens! Now it's over to you, Community. What video game-themed shooting apparatus would you like to see Laurens tackle next?