Brayden Duplessis, 15, stands with his arsenal of Nerf guns. He turned 15 on Sept. 27 and received a new Nerf gun in its original box from his mother. (X. Y. Zeng photo)

Teen cultivates Nerf gun community

He also builds his own Nerf guns.

Brayden Duplessis, 15, has a passion for Nerf guns and has led the charge to get a enthusiasts’ group formed here.

“It’s been about a year since I got my first Nerf gun and … ever since then I’ve been interested in the capabilities that you can have with them,” said Brayden. “It’s a different shooting sport play style than airsoft or paintball in a sense that not only is it safe for everyone but the ammo is also reusable.”

Nerf guns are toy guns that shoot foam darts and players gather to compete in “wars.” With the help of his mother, Brayden hosted the first war in Hope on July 23, where nine people showed up. Ever since then, the group has hosted wars weekly at the Coquihalla Elementary School.

At every war, they will typically play two to three game types such as team deathmatch, where teams try to eliminate players from the opposing team.

Nerf guns vary in terms of the range they can shoot, the rounds they shoot and some guns are semi-automatic while others require priming for each shot. The intricacies of the sport go further as different types of darts cause different levels of damage. Eliminating a player requires a combination of where the dart hits and how powerful the dart is classified as.

On Sept. 27, Brayden had his birthday and his mother gave him a new, battery-powered semi-automatic rifle and in his spare time, he also uses hardware store materials to create his own weapons, such as long-barrel, air-pressure-powered, rifle that can shoot across a residential street.

Brayden also thinks about safety when he organizes wars. He never shoots his air rifle with all its potential because it could injure someone. He also ensures younger children know how to play safely, and he has also supplied safety glasses for players. He also hosts wars at the Coquihalla Elementary School saying that because there are houses nearby, hence help is close by.

The youngest player is nine years old, and at 15, Brayden said he is the oldest player. Brayden said age does not matter as long as that person has a Nerf gun. The cost of a gun can run from $5 to $300 and they can be found cheaply second hand.

Typically, they play every week on Saturdays at 2-3 p.m. at Coquihalla Elementary. Interested parties can find out more on the Facebook group titled “Nerf Enthusiasts Review Forum (N.E.R.F).”

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