Introduction: Nerf Maverick Air Restrictor, Barrel Lock Removal

Picture of Nerf Maverick Air Restrictor, Barrel Lock Removal

So, this is a basic tutorial on removing the Nerf Maverick's air restrictors, increasing power, and removing the barrel locks, which allow the barrels to slide out farther, making reloading easier, plus a few minor mods that help increase power. 

What you'll need:
1x Nerf Maverick
1x Screwdriver
1x  Knife 
1x Needlenose Pliers
2x Pennies
1x 19mm felt pad

Silicone-based lubricant (check and make sure that it's safe for both metal and plastic)

Step 1: Removing the Slide

Picture of Removing the Slide

1. Remove the three screws on the slide. Those are the only three screws that you'll deal with that are a different length than the others, so store them separately! Pull the slide apart, ensuring that the spring + tab combination on the right-hand part of the slide doesn't fall off.

2. There are eight screws, all the same length, on the outside of the Maverick. Remove them all and set them to the side.

1. Once all of the screws are removed from the outside of the gun, pry apart the two halves. If they refuse to separate, carefully pry them apart with a knife or another thin tool.

Step 2:

Picture of

2. Now that the inner workings of the gun are revealed, carefully remove the large spring and set it aside. Then, remove the barrel assembly from the rest of the gun. This is a little easier if you press the magazine release button while doing it.

3. Pry the front hinge off of the barrel (Pic 2) using a screwdriver or similar item. This might take a while. Once it is removed, let the metal axle piece fall from the barrel assembly. (Pic 3) There's a small spring on the back of the axle. Make sure you don't lose it!

4. There are three screws on the back of the barrel assembly (Pic 4). Remove all of them and set them aside. 

5. Remove the back of the barrel assembly (Pic 5). 

6. Remove the orange caps from each barrel (Pic 6). Below each one should be a small spring, and a smaller three-pronged piece. These are the air restrictors. Remove them, then replace the orange caps. Once you've done so, reassemble the barrel. Be sure to put the screws back in!

Step 3:

Picture of

Now that the air restrictors are removed, it's time for the bolt lock. Put down the barrel assembly. Pick up the front hinge piece (Pic 1). 

On the front of the front hinge piece is a small rectangular protrusion. This is the first half of the magazine lock. Cut it off. Once you're finished, make sure the surface is fairly smooth. (Pic 2). Once you're finished, reassemble the barrel assembly. If you're confused about how to do so, refer to step 2.

The second magazine lock is located on the left side of the gun (Pic 3). It's a part of the frame, so just carve it down until it's no longer there. (Pic 4)

Step 4: Increasing Spring Power, Reassembly

Picture of Increasing Spring Power, Reassembly

Now that the barrel locks have been removed, it's time to turn our attention back to the main body of the Maverick. Remove the spring and plunger assembly. (Pic 1) 

Now, remember those two pennies and that felt pad? Grab 'em. Stick one of the pennies to the felt pad, and put the pennies (felt towards the back) in the back of the gun, where the spring used to reside. 

Now, cut/shave down the cross on the back of the plunger assembly. It doesn't have to be neat, it just needs to be cut down, and the top of the cross should be even. (Pic 2)

Once that's complete, put the plunger assembly and spring back into the gun. (Pic 3)

Step 5: Finishing the Reassembly

Picture of Finishing the Reassembly

Now that you've replaced the plunger and spring assembly, it's time to put the barrel(s) back into the main body of the gun.

Once you're sure the internals are in order (see Pic 1), put the two halves of the Maverick together, then replace the screws. 

Finally, assemble the slide. Remember to hook the spring (noted in Pic 1) back onto the slide.


Pigzerd- made it! (author)2017-11-14


Fatboy2278 (author)2016-12-24

What is the purpose of removing the barrel locks?

Drift476 (author)Fatboy22782017-09-27

It allows the barrel to fall out when you unlock it. It's pretty much for if you have another barrel. but even if you don't have another one, it allows for much easier, faster reloads.

MikeH175 made it! (author)2016-02-09

lmao so ez im mlg lmao lmao lmao u guys r scrubs

MikeH175 (author)MikeH1752016-02-09

just a small mod lmao took 10 minutes

Jaxonables (author)MikeH1752017-02-26

Thats a really short time. I've done a 1995 crossbow mod which took multiple days just for the epoxy to dry

MikeH175 (author)MikeH1752016-02-09

if u cant do it ur a scrub

MikeH175 (author)MikeH1752016-02-09

Bubbles lmao lmao lmao lmao

Joystick (author)2016-03-24

I am cereal. I can't get the front hitch off!!!

Fatboy2278 (author)Joystick2016-12-24

Get a set of needlenose pliers. Put each "nose" under each side of the swivel on either side of the pin. And GENTLY pry up. Either end of the pin will pull free. Its held by friiction teeth.

Joystick (author)2016-03-24

Where do you get felt pads?

mrunge340 (author)Joystick2016-09-10

KurtS1 (author)2015-03-03

I only see one screw in the slide where are the other two?

johmcgran-2 (author)KurtS12015-11-12

One is in the back by the hole and the other is on top of the slide and one is in a small hole on the back of the tactical rail.

(And here is a picture)

johmcgran-2 (author)2015-11-12

I really like the mod because it is so easy to do but one problem I ran into was that I shaved the front cross instead of the back.

funerapico (author)2013-05-06

I'm having trouble posting replies due to CAPTCHA issues, I was trying to reply to Arx:

I agree with Arx, so many people recommend removing the "air restrictor", but it's there to protect the piston - not to limit the speed of the projectile! A more accurate name would be "piston brake", "anti-hammering valve", or similar. I'm only guessing here, but it might actually help with accuracy too, if it stops the piston from pushing out extra air once the dart has already started moving down the barrel. Adding more air-pressure while the dart is in-flight down the barrel will probably mess with the dart's trajectory, and may be why people see significantly more 'spread' with AR-removed Nerf guns.

I've just upgraded my Nerf with a more powerful spring, and I'm glad I left the 'air restrictor' in place - even with a spring that's nearly twice as strong (in pressure) as the last, the piston brake still helps slow down the piston after the dart has fired.

To anyone modding their Nerf I recommend tracking down a larger spring that suits your blaster, before you remove the AR. If you're unhappy with performance with a new spring alone, then you could always remove the AR as a last measure.

Thanks for the thorough instructable, good stuff :)

RufusTheHound (author)funerapico2015-08-13

I just put some cardboard in the plunger to soften the blow, the gun's more powerful and it's not taking so much damage

Kiteman (author)2015-02-15

This project just got mentioned on Engadget!

EpicMinecrafter870 (author)2015-01-04

I didn't add the "Russian roulette" mod, but I did ar removal and penny mod.

Btw three American pennies work well.

BlueRobot (author)2014-12-01

Thanks for posting! It made a three year old maverick shoot like new:)

Zappzipper (author)2014-10-18


cody6268 (author)2014-06-28

It did not cock, so I went back and troubleshooted until I found the problem.

As it turns out the orange piece that is seen through the slot where the pin on the cocking slide should go needs to be cocked all the way back before the gun is reassembled.

Jagro101 (author)2014-06-20

Great work!! Loved it!

Hexaquan (author)2014-04-16

Nice pocket knife I have the same one.

pyromaniac123456789 (author)2013-08-25

It is hard to take the grey thing off the end of the barrel.

orodgers (author)2013-07-17

Mine maverick is kinda broken will it still work?

rainboeDeath (author)2013-05-24


funerapico (author)2013-05-06

I've just upgraded my Nerf with a more powerful spring, and I'm glad I left the 'air restrictor' in place - even with a spring that's nearly twice as strong (in pressure) as the last, the piston brake still helps slow down the piston after the dart has fired.

To anyone modding their Nerf I recommend tracking down a larger spring that suits your blaster, before you remove the AR. If you're unhappy with performance with a new spring alone, then you could always remove the AR as a last measure.

Thanks for the thorough instructable, good stuff :)

anubhavtalukdar007 (author)2013-02-08

I did the AR mod and penny mod, didn't chop the orange sticks off but my maverick isn't shooting any further.PLZ HELP somebody! VRY VRY thanx in advance. also my darts dont fly strait after travelling 5-6 feet they tend to go down and dont hit the target! I just wanna know if this same prob is happenin 2 everybody??????

jchhebson (author)2012-08-04

Very clear and easy to follow instructions. Thank you for a job well done.

nimrod316 (author)2012-07-26

i would recommend to not to remove the restrictors cuz it gives u a huge disadvtange imho. arrows fly less steady and far.

the barrel mod is nice but optional.

certainly go for the coin mod.

glueing the clutch is a must!

oh and this is nice too:

i will post pix on fritzing if i finish the project.

mettaurlover (author)nimrod3162012-08-03

Removing the air restrictors has zero negative effect if you use new or good condition darts, or anything other than streamlines. Also, the entire point of removing them in the first place is to increase range by a substantial amount. You seem to not know that much about Nerf modifications or how Mavericks work, since your project is completely useless to anyone who can count the number of times they've fired, which is everyone old enough to use one.

MadBricoleur (author)2012-07-26

Hahaha, next step is to build a Nite-Mav.

origamic12 (author)2012-07-18

When removing the AR,.you can drill out the peg so it can accommodate nerf streamline darts. Otherwise the peg will keep the streamlines from fitting correctly. Just make sure to place the spacers back on after for a good seal. Otherwise neat write-up with clean pics.

Saint_Zvlkx (author)origamic122012-07-18

I've never had an issue with using Streamlines in any of the Mavericks I've tested. The Streamlines don't fly quite as straight as Whistlers, but they seem to work fairly well. I'll try removing the pegs from one of my Mavericks, see if it helps.

Notbob (author)Saint_Zvlkx2012-07-22

I've been in to modding my Nerf/s for a while, and I've gone and removed the air restrictors from two mavericks, a spectre, a firefly, and a raider (as well as a bunch of non-nerf brand ones as well) . In all but one of the cases (the firefly), removal of the air restrictors have either not caused any problems, or was beneficial, when firing streamlines.
The firefly is an exception, it didn't like streamlines before, and it doesn't fire them reliably after. I think mine is just a bit "different", becasue I've been able to fire streamline reliably from my friend's firefly without problems. I guess some just don't like streamlines.

Fully removing the pegs would do two important things:
1) It would allow the blaster to use "stefans" (home-made darts), which tend to not be hollow in the centre,
2) By fully removing the peg, cutting/drilling it out, so that it is disconnected by the supports that the three-prong piece fits through, you open it up to allow for much more airflow through, giving you superior ranges.

I hope this helps, If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Saint_Zvlkx (author)Notbob2012-07-22

Thanks for the information! I wrote this guide for people who want basic, simple mods for their Maverick. However, it seems as if removing the pegs is fairly easy, and beneficial I'll add it to the guide once I've tested it.

On that subject, have you ever had issues with darts slipping out of the barrels once the pegs have been removed?

Notbob (author)Saint_Zvlkx2012-07-22

I have not had any problems with Nerf-brand darts slipping out of the barrel, and during "research" (playing around with Nerf darts and scrap pegs) on the issue, I have been able to determine that the peg doesn't actually play a part in retaining the dart in the barrel, as the external diameter of the peg is significantly less than the internal diameter of the tube in to which it fits.
If you do encounter issues with darts slipping out of the barrels, you could look in to either re-barrelling the turret, or lining the existing barrels with some kind of material that will make the darts fit tighter.

I should note that in some non-nerf brand blasters, in particular one called the "snipe shot" by BuzzBee (its a piece of absolute junk, don't buy it), the peg is what holds the darts in place. Thankfully, no Nerf-brand products use this technique the retain darts.

gsuslikesme (author)2012-07-22

What is the can of lube for? It is not in any of the steps...

Arx (author)2012-07-22

The "Air Restrictor" that everyone seems to like removing is not actually there to slow down the dart or anything, but to slow down the piston after the dart is moving.

Try firing without a dart sometime (on an unmodified nerf) and you'll see how it works.

If you want to take it out, realize that the piston will now be slamming into its stop, instead of having the air vents close, slowing it to a halt. It'll probably break eventually.

Saint_Zvlkx (author)Arx2012-07-22

I do understand the purpose of the air restrictor, and yes, it can reduce the lifespan of the gun, especially if you dry-fire it. That being said, they do reduce the power of the weapon. It's possible to reduce wear and tear on the plunger by padding the inside of the plunger assembly. I'll see if I can add a step for this.

ElizabethGreene (author)2012-07-22


jtmcdole (author)2012-07-22

Would love to see before and after videos of the gun in action!

funsize07 (author)2012-07-20

Thanks for tell us how to get the hinge off. I have read other instructables, but they don't tell you how. I tried to get the air restrictor out, but I couldn't get the hinge off.

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