Instructables

Step 8: Barrel Replacements Part 2: The Barrel

Shown below are the most commonly used barrels in Nerf modification. However, you must first understand the use of couplers in Nerf modification. Couplers are pipe fittings used to "couple" (hence the name) two lengths of barrel material together. There are couplers for CPVC and PVC barrels. Why and how would these be used? Well, imagine if the barrel is glued in place on a gun. Every time you want to back-load stefan, you would have to put the dart in the barrel then ram-rod it to the very back of the barrel. This takes quite a while to simply load the gun and is unpractical. However, If a coupler is glued in place of the barrel, you can take the barrel out of the coupler, load a dart in the back of the barrel, then stick the barrel back in the coupler.

1/2" CPVC
  • Works with: micro stefans (back-loading) and Nerf micro darts (front-loading)
Notes:
  • Good quality material
  • Very cheap material (a couple of dollars for 10 feet of 1/2" CPVC)
  • Can be cut with a hacksaw, PVC cutters, pipe cutters, rotary tools, etc.
  • Works in 1/2" CPVC couplers

Brass Tubing
  • Works with: micro stefans (back-loading) and Nerf micro darts (front-loading)
Notes:
  • Very good quality material, gets great performance
  • Material is quite expensive (up to 5 dollars for a foot of this)
  • Can be cut with a rotary tool using a cut-off wheel. Other tools may be able to cut this, but most use a rotary tool
  • Does not work in couplers
  • Comes in many sizes, but sizes 9/16" and 17/32" are the two main sizes that Nerfers use for barrels
  • 17/32" is the more common barrel size and has a tight fit on darts
  • 9/16" has a looser fit on darts, but it works better for some people

1/2" PETG
  • Works with: micro stefans (back-loading) and Nerf micro darts (front-loading)
Notes:
  • Very good quality material, similar performance to brass barrels
  • Much cheaper than brass, sold by a vendor on this Nerf website for $0.50 a foot
  • Can be easily cut with a hacksaw, pipe cutters, a rotary tool, or even scissors!
  • Does not work in couplers

1/2" PVC (SCH40)
  • Works with: Nerf micro darts (back-loading)
Notes:
  • Good quality material
  • Very cheap material (a couple of dollars for 10 feet of 1/2" PVC)
  • Can be cut with a hacksaw, PVC cutters, pipe cutters, rotary tools, etc.
  • Works in 1/2" PVC couplers
IMPORTANT! - 1/2" PVC is larger in diameter than 1/2" CPVC. in fact, the neck of stock Nerf darts fits in the barrel. Because of this, you can back-load stock Nerf micro darts into 1/2" PVC barrels. This is not the most common barrel material. Back-loading stock Nerf micro darts into 1/2" PVC barrels does not receive ranges as great as micro stefans in a 1/2" CPVC barrel, so 1/2" PVC barrels are not commonly used. There is, however, one common use for 1/2" PVC: barrel "nesting." This is basically when one glues their brass or PETG barrel inside the 1/2" PVC, "nesting" it inside the 1/2" PVC. There are a couple of reasons for this:

1.) One may nest their brass/PETG barrel in 1/2" PVC to protect the barrel, as brass tubes are prone to denting and PETG is prone to bending.

2.) One may nest their brass/PETG barrel in 1/2" PVC so their brass/PETG barrel can be used in a coupler set-up.

Note on nesting: 1/2" CPVC will not nest in 1/2" PVC, as the walls of 1/2" CPVC are too thick. In most cases, it is unnecessary to nest 1/2" CPVC in 1/2" PVC, because 1/2" CPVC is not prone to deforming as brass and PETG are, and 1/2" CPVC works in couplers as is.
minioop1 year ago
your link no longer works
asdfps21233 years ago
there is no difference between PVC and CPVC. my standard stock darts would not fit in 1/2" PVC.
origamic123 years ago
I recently bought some cpvc and couplers for my modified big bad bow, and its been ok, getting ranges around 50-60 ft with a 4 inch barrel. However, for a modded and cpvc'd bbb those arent great ranges, and when i tried to use a longer barrel (8 inches), the dart never left the barrel. The seal is nearly airtight, so the seal is not the problem. I think the cpvc i bought is a bit to tight on my darts, which is the reason im not getting great ranges. My stock darts fit the barrel rather tightly, and sometimes i need to twist a dart in. how can i widen the ID if the cpvc so the darts will fit better?
geek27 (author)  origamic123 years ago
Widening the ID of your CPVC probably won't be easy, if it is possible. If you do manage to widen it somehow, it'll the inside of the barrel will probably be a little uneven in places, and you will have very bad range, accuracy, or both. In other words, I'm not sure how to widen the ID of your CPVC, but you probably shouldn't do that anyways.

I would recommend trying a different brand of CPVC or different foam to make your stefans. If you are sure that the seal isn't contributing to the low-ish performance of your blaster, then the only thing you can do really is just to try different barrelling or foam!
Drewdudewer4 years ago
I actually have to manully load my Longshot. I lost the clips :-((
kameronk924 years ago
Any suggestions for new streamline darts? I have the raider cs-35
geek27 (author)  kameronk924 years ago
If you do a barrel replacement on your guns, you can use rear-load streamline darts just as you can rear-load stefans. However, I've heard that streamline darts tend to spin out due to the holes in the front of the darts. If you are using a raider, you may be able to modify it to accept stefans. However, this may involve a barrel mod on the raider, which may be difficult due to the breech system. Search the NerfHaven mods directory, there may be some writeups that help!
Fyrus_4 years ago
How do you make a Breech?
 You don't literally "back-load" it that just means you push it to the back of the barrel.
you could buy a bunch of barrel tubing and expanding foam to make custom darts.
geek27 (author)  spenfisher124 years ago
I'm not sure if that would work so well... assuming you mean the expanding spray-foam.  You see, the spray foam, when dry, will not only stick to the inside of the barrel tubing but it will be very firm.  That stuff isn't exactly soft foam.  When it dries, it's solid stuff.

Would you care to elaborate on your idea?  I'm not sure I understand what you mean!
some foams are softer than others and ofcors you would have to make small 1 dart molds
wehe-tehe4 years ago
you can buy 5/8 in. fbr and make stefans out of that and you can use those in 1/2in. pvc
geek27 (author)  wehe-tehe4 years ago
When I was writing this, I was thinking about discussing the concept of mega stefans.  However, I felt that mega darts may be a bit uncommon, so I decided not to mention them completely.  I figured that reading the barrel replacement section would be a bit too confusing if I brought up the concept of mega stefans.  So, I did away with it completely to make this a bit easier to read. 
What's a mega stefan dart?
geek27 (author)  Pizzapie5004 years ago
Mega stefans really aren't all that common.  They're essentially larger versions of stefan darts.  They do not fit into any of the above listed barrels except the 1/2" PVC barrel.  The 1/2" PVC barrel is the second one to the right.

Normal stefans are made with 1/2" foam backer rod.
Mega stefans are made with 5/8" foam backer rod.

In addition, mega stefans often use heavier weights.

Do they go further or something?
macman5555 years ago
Very good and well written, Kudos!
this is so helpful. I tried to build a net gun and made my own ideas for a grappling hook gun but my mom wouldn't let me. Maybe if all I'm shooting are soft little nerf bullets or stefans she'll let me finally make something cool.'