The firing trigger, the most common type of trigger, is the part of a blaster that causes the blaster to fire when it is squeezed, pressed, or otherwise actuated by the person using the blaster. Firing triggers are found in Nerf, Super Soaker, Water Warriors, Buzz Bee, Lanard, Larami, X-Shot and Air Zone blasters. As of 2012, every N-Strike, N-Strike Elite, Dart Tag, and Vortex blaster has a firing trigger. Every blaster of the discontinued Airjet Power series and SuperMaxx series also has a firing trigger. Although they are now common, from 1989 to 1993 all plunger-based blasters lacked triggers and relied on a push-pull or pull-and-release firing method (with the exception of the Sharpshooter). The first blaster that used compressed air, the Mad Hornet (released in 1997), had a trigger, so there was never a pre-trigger period for compressed air blasters.
In blasters that use potential energy (energy stored in a spring or compressed air), the trigger acts as a firing device that causes the release of the spring or air inside the blaster, firing the ammunition. In spring blasters, this trigger causes the catch to release the plunger so that the spring can force the plunger forward to provide the airflow to shoot the projectile.
Blasters that use compressed air to fire the projectile have two main types of trigger mechanisms:
- The trigger may directly open a valve to release the air from the air tank into the barrel (as in the Big Blast). In this case, the user can open the valve slowly by pulling the trigger slowly; if this is done accidentally, it may cause unexpectedly low performance.
- Some blasters use a spring (as in the Airtech 2000, 3000, and 4000) or a complicated mechanism that cocks and releases a hammer (as in the Mad Hornet and SuperMaxx 500, 1000, 3000, and 5000) in an attempt to make the valve open more quickly for increased performance.
- The trigger releases a small amount of pressurized air from the tubing leading to the air tank, causing the piston valve to open and release the rest of the air into the barrel. This is called a 'piston valve tank' or 'backpressure tank'.
These two air trigger mechanisms are not compatible with each other; a trigger from one type of air system and a tank from the other will not work together.
In the case of flywheel blasters, the trigger may connected to a pusher that pushes the dart or ball between the flywheels (as in the Barricade RV-10 and Motorized Ballzooka MP-150), or may just allow the ammunition to fall toward the flywheel(s) (as in the Buzzsaw). In electric-powered spring-plunger-based blasters, it may simply turn on the motor (as in the Vulcan EBF-25) or turn on the motor and perform some mechanical function as well (as in the Stampede ECS).
Reverse Firing TriggerEdit
A reverse firing trigger is a type of trigger only seen on one blaster so far, the Lanard Pop Shot. Unlike a regular firing trigger, this kind of trigger needs to be let go in order to fire. It stops air from releasing it while it is pressurizing, and when it is let go it releases the air. No other blasters have done that yet, so it remains unique to the Pop Shot.
No firing triggerEdit
Some blasters do not utilize firing triggers. These blasters may be fired by releasing a handle after pulling it back (as in the Bow 'n' Arrow), by pushing a handle forward rapidly (as in the Blast-A-Ball), by sliding a handle back and forth (as in the Power Strike 48), by moving a handle back and forth rapidly (as in the Master Blaster), by pulling a handle back as far as it will go (as in the Arrowstorm), or by returning the handle to its starting position (as in the FastBlast). Some of these triggerless blasters have a part that looks like a trigger but does not fire the blaster; this is called a false trigger.