Air restrictors are used to represent pieces inside of a Nerf blaster that cut off air flow when the dart is not all the way back in the barrel, to prevent the plunger system from becoming damaged when dry fired. They are normally located in the back the blaster's barrel and are often attached to the dart post. Modders usually remove these during blaster modification because doing so increases the range of most blasters. The removal of these pieces allows for maximum potential and no air flow restrictions to be achieved.
Some blasters, such as the Strongarm, are known to be less powerful with their air restrictors removed, but the reason for this is not really understood. One theory is that removing the restrictor causes the air to flow slower due to the Venturi effect, which is the creation of a partial vacuum when the flow of a fluid or air is restricted, increasing its speed of flow. Thus, a pipe with air flowing through it which narrows at one point before widening again draws air from a second air-filled pipe attached to the narrow portion. This occurs because, as the air has an increase in kinetic energy, its pressure must decrease.
Most blasters require the restrictor to be drilled out with power tools, or chiseled out with a screwdriver and hammer. With some revolver-type blasters such as the Maverick REV-6 or the Hyperfire, the air restrictors can be easily removed by simply unscrewing the cylinder, removing the dart posts, and pulling them out.
There is a risk that some of the blasters internals such as the plunger head and the plunger tube may become damaged after frequent use of or dry firing without an air restrictor, as there is no mediator between the plunger and the bolt. To compensate for this, some modders pad the head of their plunger with soft foam to increase the lifespan of their blaster's internals. Additionally, some users reinforce their plungers, or buy entirely new ones made out of stronger materials like aluminium and polyoxymethylene to reduce this problem.
Some modern blasters such as the Triad EX-3 and Rough Cut 2x4 also require air restrictors in order to operate, so removing the air restrictors in these blasters could have a negative effect on their performance, or cause it to stop working entirely.
|External features||Barrel • Cylinder • Jam door • Muzzle • Priming mechanism • Tactical rail (RIVAL • Buzz Bee • BOOMco. • X-Shot) • Trigger (Acceleration trigger • Firing trigger) • Turret• Unjamming button|
|Firing mechanisms||Air bladder • Air tank • Flywheel • Plunger (Direct • HAMP • Motorized direct • Reverse) • Popper • String|
|Dart delivery||Bolt sled • Breech • Conveyor system • Dart tooth • Pusher mechanism • Rotation mechanism|
|Plunger parts||Catch • O-ring • Plunger head • Plunger tube • Plunger rod • Spring (Torsion)|
|Other internals||Air restrictor (Intelligent) • Dart post • Flywheel cage • Lock|