When you agree to be a part of any Secret Santa, you know going in you might end up with something super lame, like an unscented candle or a copy of Atlas Shrugged. But sometimes you open up your present to find something that is thoughtful, or unique, or just really freaking cool. And on the rarest of occasions you receive a present that is all three, like a one-of-a-kind modified Nerf sniper rifle personally made by Adam Savage, a gift so great it inspired people to donate money to charity.
That totally awesome thing really did happen to Imgur user Anthony Johnson, who signed up for the site’s Secret Santa gift exchange (as a backup no less!). Even in his wildest dreams it’s tough to imagine he ever expected to come home to the most bad ass Nerf gun we’ve ever seen.
Adam showed how he took apart, modified, and repainted a Nerf Longstrike Blaster during one of his patented One Day Builds, adding a working scope and bipod, as well as a a silencer. You can watch him (and his simple but effective method of keeping track of which screws go where, a strategy that has changed our lives) in the Tested video above.
As strong advocates of modifying Nerf guns to be
less safe more fun, we’d normally be focused on how he upgraded the gun’s spring and pump action to make it shoot longer and harder, but we’re obsessed with watching how much work he put into making it seem weathered and real, like it had been through hell during the Nerf War II. There are lots of little tricks of the trade here for anyone hoping to learn how paint and detail their own project.
(If you’re like me and spent the entire video questioning whether or not it was legal to make something like this without adding an orange strip on the tip of the gun, to indicate it’s not a real weapon, stick around to the very end when Adam adds that piece with strict instructions not to remove it.)
If you’re wondering if its recipient appreciated the amazing gift he was lucky to get, the answer is a resounding yes. Not only did he share a photo series to his Imgur account of him opening the gift along with a nice story about why it meant so much to him this Christmas specifically, he told Adam that as a thank you he was going to make a one hundred dollar donation to the charity of Adam’s choosing.
Adam picked Standing Rock and said he too would make a donation. That alone would be a sweet end to this story, but it gets even better. Other Imgur users were so touched by the time and effort Adam put into his gift, and by Anthony’s gratitude, that they announced they would make a donation to Standing Rock. At the time of this writing the world’s coolest Nerf gun has raised nearly 2,500 dollars in total. If you’d like to add to that number you can do so here.
So yeah, sometimes a Secret Santa gift is a total letdown, but other times — okay one time — it just so happens to be the coolest looking toy ever, made by a professional, just for you.
What do you think of this gun? What about some of the methods Adam used to make it? What trick or method fired you up the most? Everything about this story is great, so we want to discuss all of it with you in the comments below.