I am so glad that writing this Nerf Elite 2.0 Shockwave RD-15 review gives me a legitimate excuse to pick up Nerf’s foam firing behemoth other than just ‘I thought it would be fun to shoot people in the legs.’ Not that this isn't enough reason to pick up one of the best Nerf guns, of course.
There’s no shortage of air powered and battery powered options out there; each boasting upgradeability, extra foam rounds and incredible firepower. They also make a significantly drier investment than the best water guns and are ideal for more unpredictable summer days.
The Shockwave RD-15 is a step into Nerf’s midrange offerings. At a slightly higher price point and boasting a significantly better magazine size than the Commander RD-6, the RD-15 is also a more physically demanding blaster. Sitting at 67cm long, it’s an impressive piece of plastic kit. Here’s our breakdown.
Nerf Elite 2.0 Shockwave RD-15 review: Price & release date
The Nerf Shockwave RD-15 is available now, and costs £19.99/$24.99/AU$39.00. That means it isn't quite a cheap pocket money toy, but is only edging into Nerf’s midrange.
With a drum and not the clip of something like the £29.99/$29.99/AU$49.00 Nerf Echo CS-10 or the motorised blasting of the £49.99/$49.99/AU$79.00 Nerf Ultra One, the RD-15 is sitting at an excellent price point for the size and range on offer.
It’s also nice to see Nerf sticking to its ‘include double the number of the foam bullets in the barrel’ maths, because 30 feels positively generous in this case.
Nerf Elite 2.0 Shockwave RD-15 review: Features & performance
Design-wise, the RD-15 has an impressive ’80s action movie aesthetic with probably a bit more neon orange than Stallone would appreciate. The bright 15-bullet barrel, trigger, and handle are handy accents that mean you’re never going to lose this in the garden on even the dullest of days.
The RD-15 is also big on upgrades. There are three of Nerf’s proprietary ‘Tactical Rail’ slots which means further purchases down the line can add all manner of scopes, cameras and sights to spec it out even further. It’s also possible to upgrade both the barrel and the stock but with the RD-15 weighing in at 1.34kg, there’s already an impressive heft to the blaster.
This is another of Nerf’s pump-to-fire offerings, meaning you need to crank a handle under the barrel back and forth in order to rotate the drum into place and then pull the trigger. This means a delightful audible cartoon crunch and brilliant pop as you fire your foam bullet. Not only does this feel positively joyous every time you fire the bullet with a satisfying thock, the range here is incredible.
Nerf’s 27m claim is no joke and you’ll be needing all 30 of those foam bullets for when you just can’t find where they’ve bounced off to. Whether you’re firing carefully and individually, or popping off a slew of projectiles, aiming is sharp and can become dangerously accurate.
One downside though, especially if you’re firing quickly, is that bullets can occasionally get stuck in the mechanism as the slider does need to go fully back and then forwards again to prime the blaster. It’s fine if you’re the methodical sort but pray and sprayers might have to stop to fix every so often.
When it comes to safety, it’s also worth saying that point-blank firing can start to sting bare skin, so following Nerf’s eyewear guidelines is a wise choice here.
Nerf Elite 2.0 Shockwave RD-15 review: Verdict
Crunchy firing, an impressive 15-bullet barrel, and excellent range makes Nerf’s Shockwave RD-15 a compelling option at this price point. Those looking for machine gun-style peppering should look elsewhere, though as this isn’t really made for relentless spraying. But as a middle-ground of price and being able to keep firing without stopping to reload, it's pretty great.