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Shells, as their name would suggest, were designed to mimic real life shells or cartridges. They are essentially a plastic housing that a dart (or multiple darts) can be inserted into. Nerf shells usually hold more than one shell, and are only compatible with their patron blasters, but off-brand shells can hold a single shell and may be compatible with multiple blasters.
Depending on the design, shells may have built-in air restrictors, which means that dry-firing the blaster without a shell loaded may damage the blaster as the blaster itself does not have an air restrictor.
Blasters that are designed to hold shells usually have a mechanism that automatically ejects the spent shell during priming or reloading. As a result, shell-fed blasters are usually not as practical as conventional blasters, as the shells can be easily lost in the heat of battle, and most blasters that use shells cannot work without them.
In 2005, Buzz Bee created the first shell, initially meant for blasters in the Ruff Stuff Air Blasters series such as the Rapid Fire Rifle and the Double Shot. Shell compatible blasters eventually expanded to other series, such as the Air Blasters and Air Warriors series. Their low, cylindrical, dart-like profile allowed them to be used in various proprietary clips such as the six shell clip and the four dart clip, although feeding issues with their patron blasters arose due to their complexity. Buzz Bee shells also housed the blaster's air restrictor, since the blaster did not have one itself. Lately, Buzz Bee has been drifting away from designing shell-compatible blasters in favor of creating more conventional and cross-brand compatible designs.
In 2013, Hasbro created the SledgeFire shell, compatible with the Zombie Strike SledgeFire. The shell was able to hold three darts in a triangular pattern, and was only compatible with its patron blaster.
In 2019, the Elite Shell, along with the DS number code, was created for the N-Strike Elite Trilogy DS-15. Being able to hold three Elite Darts, the design was very similar to the SledgeFire shell, although the two shells are not cross compatible.
A popular modification for Buzz Bee shells is to remove the air restrictor. This modification, however, can be difficult, as well as tedious if one would like to perform this modification on multiple shells.
There are aftermarket 3-D printed shells that are compatible with the SledgeFire, that can fire different forms of ammunition such as a single Mega Dart instead of Zombie Strike Darts or Elite Darts. Often, to use these shells requires little to no modification of the blaster itself, making this modification very popular.
Sometimes the dart post in shells are removed to allow compatibility with other darts.
Buzz Bee Toys
|Shell (Buzz Bee)||2005|
|Blaster accessories||Barrel extension • Detachable shoulder stock • Flip-up sight • Scope • Shield|
|Ammunition accessories||Ammo rail • Belt • Chain • Clip • Drum • Magazine (XLR Disc • High-Impact Round) • Shell|