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Nerf Gun Barrel Mod: CPVC, PETG, or Brass?

So you want to mod the barrel on your Nerf gun so it will shoot farther? That’s understandable. Chances are you’ve looked around and to much demise, have no idea what type of material you should use for the barrel. Don’t fret, I’ve been where you are, and was clueless as to how to go about doing it. After sifting through NerfHaven (past all the hate and troll posts) I managed to get a good grasp of how this is done, and to save you the hassle of visiting NerfHaven, here is what you need to know about the different barrel materials.

But First, Why Even Mod The Barrel?

The major reason why nerfers mod the barrel is to increase shooting distance. The standard barrel that comes with most Nerf blasters, including N-Strike Nerf guns, is considerably larger than the dart, which doesn’t allow much air pressure to build up. By decreasing the ID (inner diameter) of the barrel to a size that is closer to the OD (outer diameter) of your darts, there will be less room around the dart for air to pass, allowing more pressure to build up behind the dart.
nerf barrel mod

What’s the Trick to Getting The Most Range?

It’s important to know that you will not get maximum range if the dart fits too loosely or too tightly in your barrel. For maximum range you generally want the dart to go into the barrel without having to twist or wedge it in. A dart should fit in snug enough that it doesn’t fall out when the barrel is held vertically, but comes out with a decent puff of air.

To test a barrel you can perform what is called a drop test. Hold the barrel vertically and insert a dart. If the dart falls through then the barrel is too big. If it fits in easily without twisting then proceed to blowing into the barrel with a small burst of air. If it comes out then you have a winner!

Breakdown of CPVC, PETG, & Brass

The three most commonly used materials for a barrel mod are CPVC, PETG, and Brass tubing.

CPVC as a Nerf Gun Barrel

CPVC nerfCPVC stands for Chlorinated Poly Vinyl Chloride. Basically, all you need to know is that it is just an acronym that tells the buyer the chemical compatibility of the piping.

Many people use CPVC because it’s cheap, and available in sizes that will fit a Nerf dart. You can often find 5/8 inch CPVC piping for $1.50 per 10 feet, which is more than enough for 10+ Nerf guns.
CPVC nerf barrel

Brass as a Nerf Gun Barrel

brass nerfBrass is also used because of its availability in small sizes. Another big reason to use brass is because of its polishing abilities. It can be polished to a finer tolerance, meaning that there will be less friction on darts that pass through it.

Many nerfers buy polished brass tubing for that reason. However, the only drawback to using polished brass is the price, which can be in the upwards of $10 per foot of tubing. Of all the options, Brass makes the most sense if you are looking for serious performance. If you do go with Brass, the size you should use is 17/32, which fits streamline darts. The drawback to using brass is epoxy glue doesn’t stick to it as well, and its also tougher to cut.
Brass nerf barrel

PETG as a Nerf Gun Barrel

PETG nerf barrelWhy is PETG used? Because it’s clear, and looks cool on a Nerf gun. It is also available in small sizes.
If you want a barrel that outperforms the stock barrel on your Nerf gun, yet also something that looks cool, then PETG is a good choice. Aside from looking cool, it also is easier to cut, easier to glue, and light enough to use on a Nerf gun with an auto-rotating barrel without hindering performance. You can find this stuff for $3.66 for 6 feet.
PETG nerf barrel

So, Which Should You Use?

I and many other Nerfers swear by brass, it works phenomenally, and can add 15 feet in range to a stock Nerf gun. Do some other mods and you can easily get TWICE that! However, while we do love brass, there are some benefits of getting the other two. Here is a quick summary of the benefits of each of the above materials:

  • If your on a budget, CPVC can’t be beat!
  • If you want performance, Brass is best!
  • If you need something light, PETG is perfect!

Get Started! Here’s Some 17/32 Brass For Sale

Since you’ll probably be buying some Brass of your own to mod your Nerf gun’s barrel, here’s a fantastic deal on 3 feet of17/32 brass tubes. In most places brass tubing can cost $10 per foot, but with the deal below you can get 3 feet for $7.89, which works to be just $2.63 per foot! Pretty flippin good deal if you ask me :)

  • Updated July 24, 2016
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