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What is the Best NERF Gun for 5-Year-Olds?

How to pick the best NERF gun for young children

NERF guns are lots of fun for children as they run around and shoot each other up (with harmless foam darts, of course). NERF battles are as exciting as video games, but with actual body movements and real “weapons.” No wonder kids enjoy NERF guns a lot.

Not all of the guns are designed for small children, though. So you might be wondering, “what’s the best NERF gun for a 5-year-old?” Or maybe you have younger kids who want in on the action too.

The best NERF guns for kids are usually the smaller, pistol-type models. They are comfortable to hold with one hand, and they’re friendly on kids’ tiny hands too. Reloading them is also not hard.

Take a look at our top three picks for the best NERF guns for young ones. These models work best for kids who are 3 to 6 years old.

If you are looking for affordable options, check out the best NERF guns under $15.

1. NERF N-Strike Elite DualStrike


First of all, the DualStrike is a pretty cool-looking NERF gun. It has a top and bottom barrel, which fires Elite and Mega Whistler darts, respectively. There’s a selector switch on its side so your kid can choose which barrels would fire when he pulls the trigger. It fires one bullet at a time, and it’s cocked by merely pulling a handle on the back of the gun.


  • Ammo: NERF Elite and Mega Whistler darts
  • Ammo selector switch
  • Holds 6 darts 
  •  Can take NERF suction cup darts too


This is easily the best NERF gun for 5-year-olds and younger kids. It’s easy to cock, fire, and reload, and the lightweight is a big plus. Your kids’ small hands will not have issues with the DualStrike. Plus, the screaming Mega Whistler darts will add to the fun!

Pros Of NERF N-Strike Elite DualStrike

  • No batteries required
  • Holds 6 darts at a time
  • Easy to load

Cons Of NERF N-Strike Elite DualStrike

  • Slide may be hard for younger kids to pull
  • Sometimes, the gun fires with a weaker force


2. NERF N-Strike Elite Quadrant


The Quadrant is a bit shorter and smaller than the DualStrike, so it’s great for smaller kids. It isn’t bulky, making it much easier to hold steady and aim. The Quadrant contains four darts in a rotating drum, so your kid doesn’t have to keep reloading after every shot. Also, similar to the DualStrike, the Quadrant’s firing mechanism has a pull-back handle.


  • Rotating barrels hold 4 darts at a time
  • Simple pull-back handle for firing
  • Fires 1 dart at a time


The best thing about Quadrant is its simplicity. Just load up four darts into the drum, pull the slide, and fire away. While it doesn’t hold as many darts as the DualStrike, the Quadrant is lighter and has a more affordable price too. Younger kids will surely love this one.

Pros Of NERF N-Strike Elite Quadrant

  • Inexpensive
  • No need to reload after every shot

Cons Of NERF N-Strike Elite Quadrant

  • Holds fewer darts


3. NERF Zombie Strike Crossfire Bow


Is it a gun or a crossbow? It’s both! The NERF Zombie Strike Crossfire is not exactly what you’d expect out of a NERF gun. But it does give the gun a pretty nice touch. As you pull the handle back before each shot, it feels like a real crossbow. Your kid will surely feel like such a cool kid with a novel NERF gun.


  • Holds 4 darts at a time
  • Equipped with crosshairs for better aiming
  • Can shoot NERF suction cup darts too
  • Pull-back handle action


For kids looking for the most peculiar types of NERF guns, the Crossfire is an excellent pick. It looks, feels, and fires like an actual crossbow. 

Pros Of NERF Zombie Strike Crossfire Bow

  • Handle is easy to pull
  • Can fire 4 darts before reloading
  • Very easy to load
  • Easy to aim
  • No batteries required

Cons Of NERF Zombie Strike Crossfire Bow

  • The string may break too soon
  • Darts sometimes fire weakly


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