Nerf blasters under the "CS" or "ECS" systems are only compatible with Streamline Darts, Elite Darts, or Elite Suction Darts. The only exception to this rule are some clip system blasters released under the N-Strike Elite series, like the Retaliator and Rampage.
Clips have a spring which pushes the darts into the blaster's chamber when the chamber is open. Once the chamber is closed, the trigger can be pulled and the dart can be fired. Once the chamber opens again, it allows the clip's spring to push a new dart into the firing position.
A small plastic nub protruding from the rear of the blaster's clip well is responsible for keeping clips in place when in the blaster. Sliding or depressing clip releases utilize springs to extend/retract this nub.
Most clip system blasters feature a dart holder usually located inside the grip. One exception is the Deploy CS-6, which has the holder located in the shotgun style pump. Additionally, on some blasters an extra dart can be muzzle loaded if placed with the cocking mechanism back and the clip removed.
Clip and drum variations
The clip system features two forms of ammunition holders: clips and drums.
There are three different types of clips: the six dart clip, the twelve dart clip, and the eighteen dart clip.
A standard clip can hold six darts and comes with almost every clip system blaster. The Rayven CS-18 includes a Firefly Tech clip that can hold eighteen darts and makes the special Streamline glow in the dark darts glow in the dark.
The second ammunition holder type is the drum, which generally can hold more than clips. There are different types of drums: eighteen, twenty-five, and thirty-five darts (the Alpha Trooper CS-18, Rampage, and Raider Rapid Fire CS-35, respectively).
An inherent advantage with the clip system is that it allows Nerfers to hold varying amounts of ammunition in a single, quick-detach container. From the prevalent six dart clip to the thirty-five dart drum, darts that would have to normally be tediously loaded one-by-one into the blaster's internal clip can now be instantly replenished with a simple clip change.
The clip system also benefits from utter prevalence in the Nerf product lineup. Nearly all large N-Strike blasters released later in the series lifetime use the clip system for reloading, making new clips easy to acquire.
The clip system is not without fault. While clips can hold many darts at one time, they can accept only Streamline, Elite Darts, and Elite Suction Darts. The use of any other dart type will jam the blaster. Human error can also cause jams.
A known flaw in clip system blasters is that the ones produced in the N-Strike series (with the exception of the Longshot CS-6 and the Stampede ECS) use reverse plungers. While reverse plungers make blasters cheaper to build (and therefore cheaper to buy), they are notorious for poor range and poor accuracy. The N-Strike Elite series fixed this issue, as all released clip system blasters within the line are direct plunger blasters, with the exception of the Hail-Fire, Elite Rayven CS-18, Stockade, Rapidstrike CS-18 , and the Stryfe, all of which use a flywheel system to fire darts.
Leaving Streamline Darts inside clips for extended periods of time is not recommended, as the darts will eventually warp over time as a result of being placed under pressure by the spring inside the clip. These warped darts are more prone to jamming. It can also warp the darts so that they are narrower than the slot on the top of the clip, making them impossible to keep in. Also, if a full number of darts is put in the clip, the spring will be pushed down, causing it to be weaker, and then causing jams because the darts don't feed in quickly enough.
If clips are loaded into the blaster facing the wrong direction, the user may have to take the blaster apart, especially if they try to prime the blaster. The blaster will jam and users won't be able to pull the jammed clip out of the blaster by using the clip release button as the slide won't budge. Users should take the blaster apart and take the internals out. Once the blaster is opened, users will be able to take the jammed clip out. Once the jammed clips has been taken out of the blaster, users will need to look up how to put the internals back in.
Clip system blasters
|Raider Rapid Fire CS-35||2009|
|Alpha Trooper CS-18||2010|
|Alpha Trooper CS-12||2013|
- The clip system is erroneously named, it is technically a magazine system, as the accepted definition of a clip is a structure that holds ammunition together to be loaded into a magazine (meaning that clips do not advance their darts), whereas a magazine system actually feeds ammunition into the firearm using a spring or other self-contained movement. The only blasters that actually uses a formal clip are the PowerClip, Max Force Sawtooth, and Magstrike AS-10.
- Despite the risk of darts being warped if left in clips for long periods, many Nerfers still do this and have their darts work perfectly fine.
- Despite some N-Strike Elite blasters not mentioning anything about the clip system in their names, these blasters are considered clip system blasters, as they use the same clip system that the N-Strike series uses.
|N-Strike number codes|
|Air system • Air system vessel • Clip system • Electronic belt fed • Electronic clip system • Electronic revolver • External single fire • Internal single fire • Revolver|