Mod Shop – Nerf Raider – Air Restrictor Removal + Spring Replacement

The humble Nerf Raider; widely dismissed by the hardcore nerfers of the world but my personal blaster of choice for most situations. First up, no, it isn’t a LongShot. It will not hit your magical 30m mark, nor will it leave welts. For your average Joe however, it will tick all the boxes for a simple, easy to use, well stocked, mid range blaster, that’s also quite straight forward to perform a few simple mods on. It’s what I recommend to practically any new player who asks me and it comes with the wonderful 35 round drum mag.

Nerf Raider Box

Today I’ll quickly run you through an air restictor removal (commonly know as an AR mod) and we’ll chuck in an aftermarket spring while we’re at it. I used the Black Tactical V2 spring myself, but there a whole range of aftermarket springs out there. This is a relatively simple mod to do and certainly one easy enough for a first timer to attempt.

The tools/consumables I used for this mod were…

  • A small phillips head screwdriver
  • A hand drill, complete with extra long drill bit
  • A long, round hand file
  • Telfon tape
  • A dremel, with grinding wheel (only needed for this particular spring)
  • Black Tactical V2 spring

First up grab yourself the blaster, a clean working area and a small container to put all the loose screws in. I’m a big fan of spray paint can lids just because I have a lot of them floating around, but really practically anything will work. Grab your screwdriver and remove the two screws holding the end cap on.

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There should then be five screws holding the front handle on. Remove the screws and the handle.

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Continue to remove the remaining screws and open up the blaster.

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Check it out, Raider internals yo! I’ve included a few close ups here so you can refer back to it if you have problems getting it back together. At this point I’d recommend taking a few minutes just looking at the internals to get a better understanding of how it all works. It will help when it comes time to put it back together and it’s just a good habit to get in to.

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OK, enough photos, lets continue. Remove the four screws holding in the two rail pieces as shown.

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And you should now be able to slide the whole plunger and rod assembly out. Looking down the plunger tube you can see the air restrictor. If this is your first time, try blowing down this end of the plunger tube and you’ll quickly understand what the AR does. Funnily enough, it restricts the air allowed through. Obviously we want as much air moving as quickly as possible to give the dart the biggest kick we can, so we’re going to have to remove this.

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Grab your trusty drill and go to town on that sucker

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Once you’ve drilled out the bulk of it, grab your hand file and clean up the insides as best you can. Any left over dags here will impede the air flow and hurt the power of your blaster. At this stage I also improved the seal but forgot to take a photo of it. To do this you’ll need to remove the O-ring from the end of the plunger rod, wrap a small amount of teflon tape around the O-ring seat, then put the O-ring back over the top. This helps to improve the seal between the plunger and the plunger rod, ensuring that none of the air escapes around the side. This part is very much a trial and error type process, have a play yourself and you’ll soon figure out how much tape to apply.

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If you’re only interested in doing the AR part, feel free to skip this section.

This photo is a comparison between the stock spring ont he left, and the aftermarket BTV2 spring on the right. As you can see, the BT spring is noticeably thicker and this gives it it’s added strength.

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Also because of it’s thickness, the BTV2 spring requires a little modification to the blaster shell to stop the spring binding.

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Grab your dremel and grind away the tabs as shown.

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Slot your newly improved plunger rod, bolt sled and plunger back in to place. Reattach the two rails and the screws to hold them in. Slide your new spring in.

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Put it all back together and you’re done! Grab a clip and a handful of darts and go test your new and improved blaster.

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With stock streamline darts from the stock blaster, I was getting an average of 7.5m

With the same darts from the modifed blaster, I was getting an average of 17m

Note: unless otherwise stated, all range tests on this blog will be done as an average of 18 darts, fired level from the shoulder.

You should now have yourself a significantly improved blaster that will be the envy of all your friends! Ok, probably not, but it’s still a decent improvement. Few blasters can match the Raider for its ease of use, dart capacity and rate of fire; and now it even has a somewhat decent range to go with it. Enjoy!

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6 thoughts on “Mod Shop – Nerf Raider – Air Restrictor Removal + Spring Replacement

  1. Personally I recommend the AT over the Raider- it’s cheaper, the drum isn’t as unbalanced, it’s stock ranges are significantly better (approx 40-50% better, according to your Raider ranges) and I personally find the pump grip easier to use and more comfortable.

  2. Thanks for the Reply Chiew. I can certainly see people’s fondness for the Alpha Trooper. As you said it’s cheaper and the ranges are better (although mine don’t get the 40-50% extra you’re claiming, maybe an extra meter or two stock vs stock). The drum is more unbalanced, there’s no denying that, but I don’t find it at all concerning. However, the almost double capacity is something I can’t simply pass up. The choice of grip is always going to be a dividing factor. I prefer the handle grip of the Raider, but that’s also probably because I’m so used to it. I know plenty of people who prefer the AT grip and I think it’s just a matter of personal preference.

    Either way, I still do own a few AT’s and use them fairly regularly. Both are quite similar but good dependable blasters.

  3. In terms of ranges, my Raider (stock) gets maybe 8-9m with occasional duds.
    My 1st AT gets consistent 11-13m ranges.
    My 2nd gets more inconsistent ranges of 10-15m (my bro’s).
    This large difference in range does make a difference in stock wars, although modded I’m pretty sure all the reverse plungers get roughly the same.
    The grip, as you mentioned, is down to personal preference and therefore cannot be accounted to which is a better blaster. Besides, it’s easily modded.

    The other main dividing factor is the two drums. The AT’s holds 18, and is small, compact and light. Ideal for multi-purpose. It fits in any CS blaster comfortably and is non intrusive.
    On the other hand, the Raider’s drum in the Raider makes it very left side heavy, and loaded into the AT makes priming a little annoying (if you’re a rightie) because your left arm may hit the drum.

    Also, I find the 35 overkill in CQB small team wars (which I have) because you only rush and spray as a suicide mission, or to win (in which case you have ample time to reload. All other times, you take single potshots, in which it is easy to reload as both team have each other supressed. In these CQB wars, the 35 drum’s negatives (size, bulk, unbalanced) outweigh it’s pros (capacity, duh).

    In a blaster like the Stampede or Longshot, I can see why the 35 drum is so good. The Stampede is full auto, so easy to spray and no need to prime. The Longshot is bolt action so priming is not affected by the drum’s size. However, in a 1v1 in my war conditions, the AT’s extra accuracy is really the key winning factor.

  4. Pingback: Loadout | Foam Dart Goodness

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