As a nerf hobbyist myself, I’m always looking to take my game to the next level. Next level, next level fun.
You might have heard about nerf HPA (high-pressure air). It’s a fairly new offering in the hobby, especially for those of us in the USA.
Basically, HPA is great if you want…
– Next-level accuracy & tight shot groupings
– Easily adjustable power (150-350 FPS) with NO extra hardware
– Tons of different designs to try
– Satisfyingly awesome firing sound
– One blaster, any event
If this is you, read on.
If it’s not you, watch your butt on the field, sir. You might get sniped by an HPA blaster.
I had no idea what I was doing at first...
I started building my first HPA (high-pressure air) blaster in the shop.
I had heard that HPA could be the “next new thing” in nerf.
But I also heard that HPA was dangerous, not allowed in some places, and new terminology and parts I didn’t fully understand.
I was also skeptical that HPA could actually out-perform other blasters.
But I built one anyway, because the payoff could have been too good.
HPA to be a lot safer than I originally thought.
With no one to teach me, I made about every mistake you could with nerf HPA, but nothing dangerous happened.
My first HPA blaster (the HPA U Talon Claw) came together. The HPA setup wasn’t as complicated as I imagined after I figured out what I was doing.
And the noise? Most satisfying thing in the world.
And then I ran my HPA blasters in play…
I brought my Axiom to a small nerf war last week.
Some of my buddies worried that the HPA firing noise might worry some neighbors, but the blaster wasn’t even as loud as my car’s engine. Fired a few shots to show them and we all agreed that it was quieter than we thought it would be.
We were playing under 200FPS, so I grabbed my allen key and tuned my blaster down to make the coronagraph happy. The blaster was lightweight enough that I didn’t feel as tired after an afternoon chasing kids around.
Found out HPA can be super fun
- Any FPS you want (huge range between 150FPS to 400FPS)
- Lightweight (say goodbye to a sore priming arm)
- Easy setup (don’t get intimidated by all the jargon. It’s fairly simple in play.)
- Satisfying firing noise
- Semi-auto ease of firing
- Freedom to move around without a large blaster frame
- Great consistency (with the right barrel and darts)
*While I will help you with the setup, it’s not totally foolproof. You still will need to know some principles about HPA to use it safely*
What other nerfers say...
Since then, I’ve built tons of HPA blasters for nerfers in the community. I asked a few why they bought their HPA setup.
Here’s what they said:
- “A blaster to replace all blasters”
- “To try the next new thing in nerf”
- “To not be dead-tired after a day of play”
- “Something with adjustable FPS”
- “A blaster that’s more accurate than anything they have”
- “To dominate the field in nerf”
HOW SUPERCORE HPA ACTUALLY WORKS:
Each blaster will be a little different, but the principles are the same. In fact, once you get your basic HPA setup (SuperCORE, regulator, etc), you can swap it in and out of basically any HPA blaster.
Here’s an overview of how the Axiom works:
The Axiom is a remote line HPA setup, meaning that you carry the HPA tank in a pouch or somewhere other than mounted on your blaster.
I’ll post more information about other setups soon. A remote line setup isn’t a bad idea to start with if you’re just getting into HPA.
Best HPA Blasters to Start With
M79 FOAM DART BLASTER - MILSIG
*Don’t roll your eyes at this first one. I’m serious, when you have the right tank it’s easier than a springer*
The easiest blaster to operate in my experience is the MILSIG M79.
I know some youtubers *ahem* haven’t been able to operate it, but from what’s come out later, any malfunction has been due to using the wrong setup.
The M79 is literally plug-and-play.
Put in your tank, and you’re good to go right out of the box.
No fiddling with regulator adapters. No fiddling with extra parts. Everything you need is right there.
THE TEMPEST BY Ansuzalgiz
This is a classy, sleek design, and it folds open. Yeah, it’s sick.
It’s a bottle-on setup by default, which is easiest.
Unlike the M79, however, you do have to get used to a third-party regulator instead of having it pre-installed on the blaster.
If you’ve done springer blasters or maybe paintball or airsoft, then you’ll likely have no problem.
THE NEUTRINO - UK Foam Alliance
This is the next easiest to operate, due to it’s tool-less takedown feature.
Troubleshooting is super quick and easy.
It’s also got the great performance of all the superCORE blasters (150-350FPS).
You will have to learn how to install a remote-line. I haven’t had trouble with that, and many of my nerfer friends haven’t either.
Hope seeing those designs gets you started. There are many more designs out there.
In fact, once you have your basic setup, then you’re good to swap it into literally any compatible design there is.
In the end, springing for the HPA setup might save you money. Considering that many of us have bins and bins and bins full of blasters.
But we wouldn’t know anything about that, would we..