The Rough Cut 2x4's priming mechanism.

A priming mechanism (sometimes shortened as priming mech) is a mechanism seen on all non-electric blasters.


Priming mechanisms differ from blaster to blaster. Many earlier blasters like N-Strike blasters use a spring-based priming mechanism on non-clip system blasters. These spring-based priming mechanisms use a return spring to pull the priming mechanism back into place, however, in non-clip system blasters, this means that the user can pull the priming mechanism back after priming, except that it is not going to pull back a plunger, meaning that it moves faster. Newer blasters, use either a priming mechanism with a lock that locks the priming mechanism in place or a gear and rack system, where a set of gears and gear racks move back a plunger.


Modification of a priming mechanism usually only applies to slide-action blasters. Some modifications use a 3D-printed pump that connects to the slide, and makes the plunger pump-action.




The SledgeFire, an example of a break-action blaster.

Break-action is a style of priming where the blaster is either two halves, or the barrel can open; Darts are loaded inside, and the half or barrel is moved back into place. Some blasters, such as the X-Shot Vigilante feature break-action and have a separate means of actually priming. The blaster itself actually uses a pump-action priming mechanism, while the break-action aspect of the blaster is simply for chambering darts and not actually priming the blaster.


Elite Longshot

The Longshot CS-6 (Elite Repaint variant), an example of a bolt-action blaster.

Bolt-action is a style of priming where a bolt, usually located on both sides of a blaster, is pulled back and forth in a straight-pull manner. However, some blasters like the Jupiter XIX-1000 or the Buzz Bee Predator use a more realistic bolt that pulls out to prime, and goes back in to complete its cycle. Many blasters that are bolt-action are sniper-like blasters. Most bolts arrive with the blaster disassembled to save packaging space and are not usually designed to be detachable without modification, although there are some exceptions.


Dude Perfect Bow

The Dude Perfect Signature Bow, an example of a bow-action blaster.

Bow-action is a style of priming that works like a bow. Some bow actions are similar to crossbows, while others are similar to normal bows and do not have a trigger. Bow action blasters are usually string-powered or plunger operated.



The SlingStrike, an example of a slingshot-action blaster.

Slingshot-action is a style of bow-action that functions more like a slingshot than a bow, in that a string or elastic must be pulled back and released. Unlike traditional bow-action, slingshot-action usually requires pulling on a tab attached to the string instead of pulling the string itself. Slingshot-action blasters are mostly string-powered.



The Voidcaster, an example of a dual-action blaster.

Dual-action, or double-action is a style of priming where the trigger pulls back the plunger, and releases it. As a result, there is a lot of force required to pull the trigger, and has a low muzzle velocity, which is around 50 to 60 FPS. Additionally, most dual-action blasters have larger or longer triggers to facilitate the trigger pull required. Dual-action blasters are often marketed as "no-prime" blasters, since priming is automatically done while pulling the trigger. Due to the relatively heavy trigger weight, some blasters, such as the Snapfire 8, allow the user to manually adjust the spring's length to make the trigger pull lighter, with the cost of the blaster being less powerful. Like hammer-action, dual-action blasters can be easily dual-wielded, since an individual blaster only requires one hand to prime and operate (reloading, however, is a different story). The priming mechanism has only been seen on four Nerf blasters: the Snapfire 8, the DartFire, the Nailbiter and the Voidcaster.



The Negotiator, an example of a hammer-action blaster.

Hammer-action is a style of priming where a hammer is used. Hammer-action is most effective when dual-wielding, due to the fact that hammers are easier to use with one hand than other priming types. Most hammer-action blasters use a trigger that is the catch itself. Hammer-action was first used by the Hammershot.



The SlingFire, an example of a lever-action blaster.

Lever-action is a style of priming where the user pulls back a lever, and pushes it back. In some cases, it can be dual-wielded if the user pulls back the lever with one hand, while balancing the blaster as well. Levers are usually located under the grip, in the case of the SlingFire and the Scravenger, but blasters such as the Diatron have a lever mounted on the side. Most lever-action blasters do not feature slam fire, as the user's finger cannot press the trigger easily while working the lever. The Scravenger however, is an exception to this, as it features a switch that can toggle the slam fire on and off; when the switch is on, slam fire is achieved by rapidly priming the blaster without needing to press the trigger.



The Breakflip, an example of a flip-action blaster.

Flip-action is a type of priming very similar to lever-action, where the handle is pushed forward and back to prime the blaster. The only current flip action blasters are the Breakflip, the Flipbow and the Whipblast, all of which are BOOMco-branded blasters. There are no Nerf-brand flip-action blasters. Flip action blasters are easier to slam fire than lever-action blasters, as the user's finger can still stay on the trigger when priming. As a result, most flip-action blasters have slam-fire built into them. Depending on the design, flip-action blasters may be primed by rotating the handle clockwise or counter-clockwise first, and returning the handle to the original position.


Atlas red

The Atlas XVI-1200, an example of a pump-action blaster.

Pump-action is a style of priming where the user pulls back and forth a slide or a grip. It is easier to use than most priming types, as the hand can simply rest on a slide or grip, and will not block view if a hand is holding a slide and the user is attempting to look at a scope. As a result, pump-action is one of the fastest priming mechanisms. Most modern pump-action blasters have a slam fire feature.

Pump grip

TwinShock new orange trigger

The TwinShock, an example of a pump-action blaster with grip.

A pump grip is a style of pump-action that has a vertical or otherwise-shaped grip. They are easier to slam fire because of their grip. Some pump grip blasters have adjustable grips, such as the Doominator.



The Disruptor, an example of a slide-action blaster.

A slide is a style of slide-action priming that is is similar to pump-action. However, slides are usually located on the top of the blaster and not underneath. It is slightly less effective than pump-action, as there is usually no good place for the user to rest their hand on, however, it allows the blaster to have a more compact size.



The IonFire, an example of a breech-loaded and primed blaster.

A breech is a style of slide-action priming where the breech is opened by sliding it backwards, having a dart loaded or inserted, and sliding it back. Breech-priming has been criticized in some blasters, as most breech-loading blasters have a low rate of fire, and, in some breech-loading blasters like the IonFire, it forces the user to bend the dart to load in all the way. Breech-action blasters act very similar to the way clip system blasters chamber darts, as they feature a breech and a dart tooth. Some breech-action blasters have multiple chambers, like the DoubleBreach. Additionally, some breech-action blasters may have different priming mechanisms, such as pump-action, to open the breech.

Plunger rod


The Trilogy, an example of a plunger rod slide-action blaster.

A plunger rod is a style of slide-action priming where a blaster's priming handle is fixed to the blaster's plunger rod, and is pulled back and locked into place. It has only been seen on blasters with a direct plunger. Most plunger rods have a hole or hook to pull back with a single finger, while others have two small handles to prime with two fingers. Unlike other priming mechanisms, this type of priming does not slide forward, as the plunger rod is fixed with the plunger head. Thus, blasters with plunger rod styles of priming cannot slam fire, although they can be bow-fired.


  • Flywheels can be considered the priming mechanism-equivalent of flywheel blasters.
  • The correct term for the action of priming a blaster would be to "cock" or "charge" the blaster. However, the term "prime" is technically not erroneous, because in blasters, the action of "priming" usually generates the power required to fire the projectile, rather than purely chambering a new projectile.
  • In real firearms, slide-action and pump-action are used synonymously when referring to an underhand charging mechanism.
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