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The Nitron's firing trigger.

A firing trigger is a type of trigger. Almost every modern Nerf blaster has a firing trigger.


Most firing triggers feature the traditional orange Nerf color. More modern firing triggers have slight treads on it for gripping and a few rectangular shaped holes for aesthetics. It has a small spring right behind the trigger that causes it to come back forward every time it is pressed.

Pressing the firing trigger most commonly does one of the following, based on how the blaster is primed.

Plunger system
Releases a catch that holds back the plunger on a charged blaster, allowing the spring to shove the plunger forward and compress air that propels the dart out of the barrel. The Recon CS-6, Jolt EX-1, Triad EX-3, and Sweet Revenge are some examples.
Similar to a plunger-system, the trigger releases a catch that holds back the string, allowing it to fire a dart. The CrossBolt and Codebreaker Crossbow are string-powered blasters that have firing triggers.
Torsion spring
In most purely mechanical Vortex-line disc launchers, it releases a catch that holds a torsion spring under tension. The spring powers a launching arm that flings the XLR Disc forward and out of the barrel. The Vigilon and Praxis are examples of this style. Very few XLR Disc blasters (such as the Ricochet and Ripshot) fire when the trigger releases a catch that holds back compression springs.
Air tank
Opens an air valve to release pressurized air from an air tank into the barrel to launch the dart. The Hornet, Secret Strike AS-1, and Big Bad Titan are some examples.
Air bladder
Opens a valve to release air from a pressurized rubber bladder, which uses the force to prime and fire the blaster in one action. The Rapid Fire AS-20, Wildfire, and Magstrike are some examples.
Flywheel system
In the case of a modern electronic flywheel blaster, the trigger actuates a dart pusher, either purely mechanical or motorized, which slides a dart between the spinning flywheels for launch. On conveyor system blasters, the trigger activates the conveyor belt. On a blaster such as the Zeus MXV-1200, the pull of the trigger opens a gate that allows a High-Impact Round to be automatically fed into the flywheels via pressure from the magazine's follower; no pusher is present.
Motorized direct plunger
Activates electronic internals that prime and fire a direct plunger in one action. The Stampede ECS and Vulcan EBF-25 are some examples.

Other very uncommon trigger mechanisms also exist. Triggers on a Gyro Strike or Ripsaw, for example, release gravity-fed ammunition to fall into the flywheel mechanism for firing.

Multi-step trigger

A multi-step trigger, also known as a staged or progressive trigger, is a type of trigger typically found on multi-shot blasters with more than one plunger. When pulled partially back, the trigger releases the first plunger's catch, and when pulled all the way, releases the other plunger's catch. This allows for the option of single fire on multi-shot blasters, where the user can decide how many darts they want to fire by pulling the trigger back appropriately. Blasters such as the Barrel Break and Rough Cut 2x4 use a multi-step trigger.

Fully automatic Buzz Bee flywheel blasters that lack an acceleration trigger use a multi-step trigger as well. Pulling the trigger halfway activates the flywheels, and pulling the trigger all the way engages the pusher mechanism. Examples of blasters that use this mechanism are the Brute, Cyclonic, and Automatic 20.

False triggers

Some blasters appear to have firing triggers, when in fact they do not. Sometimes these may have an alternate purpose such as with the Super Soaker EES Sonic, where the trigger activates sound effects. On the majority of occurrences, however, false triggers do not do anything and cannot be pressed in.

False triggers have not been used on Nerf blasters; however, they have been used on the EES Sonic and Splash Fire Super Soakers. Many off-brand blasters also feature false triggers.

Color schemes

Triggers are generally orange on every modern Nerf blaster. Rebelle blasters often feature pink triggers. Dart blasters from other brands may have an alternative color, depending on the appearance of the blaster itself.

An exception to this rule are the updated 2012 versions of multiple Dart Tag blasters, which have blue triggers. This includes the Sharp Shot, Speedload 6, Swarmfire, and the Speedswarm.

Gray triggers

Another exception to this rule are the weakened, "safe" versions of modern Nerf blasters, which instead feature a gray trigger; this trend began with the release of the N-Strike Elite and Rebelle series. These gray-triggered blasters were generally made for countries with limits on how hard a toy blaster may shoot. As such, there is a considerable performance drop with "gray trigger blasters".

Australia lessened its toy laws restricting toy gun performance in 2020, allowing standard orange trigger versions of blasters to be sold in their country.[1]



  1. YouTube logo.png FoamBlast (2020-06-29). This Week in Nerf EP 74 - More Elite 2.0, Goodbye Grey Triggers, Goodbye to a Fallen Hero (Video). YouTube. Retrieved on 2020-07-17.