An in-depth and investigative scientific inquiry into the purported performance levels of the subset of weapons systems classified under a heading reserved for those specimens relying solely on ammunitions comprised of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen
This is a test. This is only a test. The following story contains
the results of a water gun test conducted by Boise Weekly in
front of BWHQ one afternoon between rain showers. Boise Weekly
accepts no responsibility for results skewed due to wind, product
malfunction or our own stupidity. Each and every water gun was tested
rigorously for performance on a 50-foot runway, diligently measured and
erected on the sidewalk in front of our offices. Upon completion of the
official testing, we did in fact succumb to the most serious hazard of
water gun testing--the sudden urge to grab a loaded weapon and soak all
people and inanimate objects in sight. No animals or Boise
Weekly employees were harmed in the making of this story although a
few passersby were slightly traumatized by what they witnessed.
Fearless inhabitants of Boise, Idaho:
The end is near.
In five weeks’ time, the easy going temperate days of spring shall take their final bow and give way to the grueling, sweaty hard days of a dry Idaho summer.
For those who abhor the heat, detest the sun and disdain the feeling of sweat as it trickles down the spine of your back, you will struggle through coming, uncomfortably hot times.
Are you ready?
If you’re not armed to properly fend off heatstroke and wash away the dust of the desert day, it’s time to stock your arsenal. That’s right, it’s time to arm yourself against the insidiousness of a hot and boring Idaho afternoon.
To ensure that you find the arms most suited to your specific defense needs, we’ve conducted a thorough test of easily obtainable pieces. Whether you’re hoping to modestly augment your weapons systems or start from scratch, we’re here to help.
Water Warriors Renegade
When you threaten to "get out the big guns," this is the gun you
have in mind, whether you know it or not. First off, it's a
menacing-looking beast. But it ain't all bark and no bite. The
adjustable stream--water saver mode, medium spray or
drencher--facilitates long-range and close-up attacks whether you're on
the offensive or the defensive.
Thing that makes you go huh: Medium spray actually gets
farther than water saver mode, and the drencher is a ho-hum case of all
girth and no length.
Why it's a good addition to your aqua arsenal: You're
guaranteed to hit no less than 30 feet no matter which stream you
Measurements: 19 inches long, 4 inches wide
Claims: This thing is all about (imagine the menacing
"dun-dun-dun-da-da-dun" of the Darth Vader theme here) the Pressurized
Performance System. Product information says this beast will blast up
to 42 feet, hold up to 58 oz. of water and weighs around 5.75 pounds
when filled, which is all well and good, but here's the claim we're
interested in putting to the test: It boasts of being the "longest
blasting water warrior." We'll see about that.
What is cool about the Renegade is not only the double chamber
system but also the three adjustable nozzles, which can easily be
turned in the heat of battle depending on your need to "water saver,"
"medium stream" or "drenching stream."
Warnings: There's a long, bulleted list, likely compiled by a
very diligent attorney. "Do not shoot anyone's face or eyes"; "When not
in use do not leave water warrior pressurized"; "To avoid injury: use
only clean, clear water. Use of other liquids may be harmful or damage
the Water Warriors"; "All the packing material must be removed by an
adult." Oh, and it's only for those ages 6 and up.
From: Buzz Bee Toys, buzzbeetoys.com
Performance: Whether due to user error or inflated promises
on the part of the manufacturers and marketers, this one, while
impressive, didn't quite live up to our expectations in terms of
distance performance. As an overall weapon, it gets two thumbs up. In
water saver mode, the Renegade made it 39 feet on the first try and a
sad 20 feet on the second squirt. Medium spray is the most ideal
distance stream, clocking in at 47 feet, 2 inches. The drencher,
however, is a nice, fat stream, although it only makes 31 feet, 6
inches. Even by averaging those distances together, the Renegade is
staring down about 34 inches, which is about eight inches short if you
consult the box.
Super Soaker XP-215
Men will likely identify better with the mini Super Soaker's
faults more easily than women, and perhaps better accept them. Women,
however, will not put up with such performance dysfunction. During our
test, it was clear that the mini Super Soaker was not only a dribbler,
but a leaner. As one tester so emphatically summed it up: "Hooks to the
left and sprays? No thanks!" And as if those flaws weren't enough to
turn us off, we discovered that stamina was also an issue for the mini
Super Soaker, which blew its load in one pathetic shot.
Thing that makes you go huh: As an effort from the infamous
Super Soaker crew, this hardly lives up to the company's
Why it's a good addition to your aqua arsenal: It looks damn
cool for a little guy.
Measurements: 9 inches long, a bulky 2 inches wide
Claims: holds 4 oz. (215 ml) of water and shoots 23 feet (7
Warnings: This toy is for ages 6 older. The manufacturers ask
that you do not aim at anyone's eyes or face, and in order to further
avoid injury, use only clean tap water.
This one comes with specific directions to maximize performance.
Users should pump the gun 25-30 times to pressurize the chamber and
only fill the tank two-thirds full.
From: Hasbro, supersoaker.com
Performance: We'd prefer a two-pump chump. True story. It's
cumbersome and time consuming to pump this sucker so many times,
especially for such underwhelming results. Despite all our grousing
over the XP-215, it did exceed performance predictions, delivering a
healthy dose of wet between 20 and 25 feet, with an impressive farthest
distance of 35 feet (which means the marketing team would do well to
capitalize on that extra 144 inches). It also means that if the makers
could get the dribbling under control, this sucker might be a might bit
Don't mind the fact that it's pink and rubbery soft; the
eliminator is like a James Bond water weapon. It looks like a hunk of
floating Styrofoam in the pool, but wait, what's this? The top pulls
up, sucking water into some unseen cylindrical cavity and discharges a
hefty stream of water to an unsuspecting, Daiquiri-sipping suntanner
gliding by on a pool lounger.
Thing that makes you go huh: It's deceptively simple looking
while completely errant and difficult to control.
Why it's a good addition to your aqua arsenal: Looks like a
benign pool floatie, acts like a rabid water spewing monster.
Measurements: 12.5 inches long, 2.5 inches wide
Claims: Shoots up to 30 feet and brags that one can
"rule the pool" with this baby.
Warnings: Suitable for ages 6 and up. The actual
product warning says "choking hazard--not suitable for children under 3
years as foam pieces may break off and cause a choking hazard." And of
course, don't shoot it at the eyes or the face. We don't want someone's
forehead getting wet now, do we?
From: Prime Time Toys, primetimetoys.com
Performance: Impressive to say the least. Although the major
soaking range is in the 28- to 30-foot range, you could easily annoy an
opponent as far away as 43 feet.
Water Warriors Pressurized Deluge with pressurized
Unlike the mini Super Soaker, which looks like something that
would discharge a proton stream in order to neutralize an alien
invader, the Deluge actually looks like a mini Super Soaker. Same
bright yellow body, same bright green chamber, same bright orange
trigger and muzzle. And, predictably, it out-performed the mini (aka
XP-215), leading us conclude that perhaps Super Soaker should stick
with super and leave the mini-making to Water Warriors.
Thing that makes you go huh: It's an awkward in between
size--too big for your leg strap and too small to brag about.
Why it's a good addition to your aqua arsenal: Its in-between
size is actually not a bad thing. Carry it in your oversized purse (or
your man-purse/messenger bag) and you'll out perform the rest of the
heat-packing crowd, who will likely have something more like Brain trio
(see Page 22).
Measurements: 7 inches long, 2 inches wide
Claims: Blasts up to 36 feet, holds up to 8 oz. of water,
around 1.25 pounds when filled.
Warnings: Nice long list, in addition to the advice that the
Deluge is only for those people ages 4 and older. "Do not shoot
anyone's face or eyes"; "When not in use do not leave water warrior
pressurized"; "To avoid injury: use only clean, clear water. Use of
other liquids may be harmful or damage the Water Warriors"; "All the
packing material must be removed by an adult."
From: Buzz Bee Toys, buzzbeetoys.com
Performance: A couple of pumps pressurize the system in order
to get the most bang for your buck, but even with appropriate
pressurization, we never saw 36 feet. Try as far as 30 feet, with a
majority of spray falling in the 25-foot range.
Sea Lords Water Squirter: Great White Shark
Is that a great white shark in your pocket or are you just happy
to see me? This one is a trifecta bet for the water waster looking for
something that does well in spray length, pocket portability and
style--with added intimidation should you choose the great white shark
over the sea horse, orca or dolphin versions.
Thing that makes you go huh: Opponents are sure to laugh at
your silly fish gun.
Why it's a good addition to your aqua arsenal: Opponents are
sure to laugh at your silly fish gun.
Cost: 79 cents
Measurements: 4.5 inches long, 1.5 inches wide
Claims: Shoots up to 25 feet, leak-proof and pre-tested.
Warnings: Package says this toy is not for children under 3,
but on another part of the package, it says for ages 5 and up.
From: HT toys, httoys.com
Performance: Most of the spray landed between 16 and 22 feet.
The farthest shot made it 25 feet, 2 inches.
Mega Brain Squirter Set
The Brain series is definitely your choice for a concealed weapon
with a hint of intimidation factor. Clocking in at only 6 and 9 inches
long, this trio (only two pictured here) could handily be stashed: one
in the purse, one in the jockey box and one in the waistline of your
Thing that makes you go huh: The brains. We're trying not to
be haters here, but ... we just want to know why brains and not, say,
hearts or grenade-looking things.
Why they are a good addition to your aqua arsenal: The
brains. Like they say, two heads ... better than one. Between your own
and your gun's, you should look like the smartest heat beater on the
Measurements: Two at 6 inches long and 1 inch wide, one at 9
inches long and 2 very slim inches wide
Claims: Shoots up to 30 feet.
Warnings: According to the packaging, this toy presents a
choking hazard because of its small parts and, therefore, is not for
children under 3.
From: HT toys, httoys.com
Performance: The two smaller Brain guns produced varied
results, with the gray gun shooting as far as 25 feet, 7 inches while
its green counterpart made it slightly farther at 26 feet, 8 inches.
However, both guns dropped most of their ammo between the 15- and
25-feet markers. The larger blue Brain gun dropped the majority of its
ammo much closer, between 15 and 20 feet, reaching a farthest distance
of only 25 feet, 6 inches.
Air Pressure Super Soaker 50, the 20th anniversary
This is for the water warrior who wants to look old-school even
if he's not. Billed as the new-and-improved version of the original
Super Soaker, it's not exactly clear what's new (other than some simple
design changes), which means that when you pull it on an opponent, you
could be bluffing 20 years of tactical experience. Of course, if your
opponent is too knowledgeable, she'll know you just picked it up this
Thing that makes you go huh: Too much pumping to pressurize
can leave you vulnerable between hard-hitting offensive maneuvers.
Why it's a good addition to your aqua arsenal: Because it's
the water gun that changed the world of water fighting forever.
Measurements: 18.5 inches long, 2.75 inches wide
Claims: This one's reputation precedes it. In fact, this may
be the only entrant present that even has a reputation. Back in the
day, wielding a Super Soaker was a statement. The ultimate water weapon
classified its user as serious about being cool in all senses of the
word, if a bit financially frivolous. On the back of the package, Super
Soaker boasts its 1989 market release, and on the front is a simple
one-line statement: "The original just got better." Aw, yeah, bitches.
Performance claims say this baby will hit up to 35 feet (11 meters)
with a capacity or 25 oz. (740 ml).
Warnings: Do not aim at eyes or face. To avoid injury use
only clean tap water (so it's not a good idea to fill the Super Soaker
with chlorine bleach?). For ages 6 up.
From: Hasbro, supersoaker.com
Performance: For ultimate performance, this one requires some
decent pumping action. Best to pre-pump before the heat of battle, and
pump between shots to ensure fire readiness when required. Supersoaker
knows exactly how far she'll go, though. With a slight wind at our
backs, she hit 37 feet, 2 inches.
Banzai load and shoot h20 blaster
The Water Blaster is the water equivalent of a toy gun that
shoots out a flag with the word "loser" embroidered on it. With two
bottles of back-up ammo and a vinyl and velcro bandolier, the WB looks
uber mod. It helps that the directions are in English and French. The
bandolier, however, is meant for very small bodies, the back-up ammo is
difficult to load into the holster as well as into the gun, and the
trigger is merely for looks while the pump does all the work and
manages to produce nothing but a meager spray of refreshing mist. Not
exactly your warfare-savvy weapon.
Thing that makes you go huh: Where do we start? No trigger.
Slow pump action. Accessories not adult friendly. Sad stream.
Why it's a good addition to your aqua arsenal: If you can get
the bandolier on and can get the back-up ammo into the elastic
holsters, you're going to look good for battle if nothing else.
Measurements: 10.75 inches long, 3.25 inches wide
Claims: This one is a bit full of itself. The big, bold claim
is: "arm yourself for the ultimate water blast attack." And three
smaller ones say the Banzai has "max soak factor"; "max 25 feet in
distance"; and "max 8x power." Not exactly sure what 8x power is.
Warnings: Too many. Especially given its lackluster
performance. For ages 3 and up.
From: Toy Quest, toyquest.com
Performance: First things first, you have to be in a secure
spot to load this thing. Bottle-like chambers screw in and out, and
it's a time-consuming, cumbersome and noisy process. Most of the water
falls between 15 and 20 feet; however, despite its weak little stream,
the Banzai managed to make it 32 feet at its best.
Stream Machine Hydrobolic Water Launcher
This is the mutha of them all. If grandma had to give up her
double ought for a water version to hide in her skirts, this would be
her replacement of choice. If only we'd had the double-barrel version
rumored to be out there. This fine specimen of weaponry could blast a
hole the size of a cantaloupe through the side of BW
headquarters and still have enough ammo and umph left to take out
Thing that makes you go huh: Unlike the more colorful members
of your collection, this one ain't much of a looker in plain old
Why it's a good addition to your aqua arsenal: We repeat:
It's the mutha of all water launchers (this thing cannot rightly be
called a squirt gun; "squirting" is hardly what it does).
Measurements: 31.5 inches long, 2 inches wide
Claims: You won't find any claims on the gun or its
non-existent packaging. If you visit the Web site, you'll find specs on
the SM-750 (and you'll discover that it's the SM-750), but be prepared
to be distracted by all the other offerings from Water Sports LLC. You
won't find any performance claims on the Web site as far as distance,
but other Web sources claim up to 60 feet.
Warnings: Unless you're really looking for the warnings, you
may not see them. On the muzzle in small black lettering it says:
"Warning: high pressure. Do not discharge at face and eyes."
From: Water Sports LLC, instantfun.ws
Performance: You will annihilate your squirming, screaming
enemy with this one. Length, power and volume are all there. She'll get
between 57 and 60 feet at her farthest, but the major, drenching
soakage happens right around 40 feet. :