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Our New Guns! We need some help with ideas

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:04 pm
by Thermy
Hey guys! Our high school has an annual water wars with a $2,000 grand prize. It is for seniors only and our team wants to go out with a bang.
We have never made our own guns, but got some money together this Thursday and got to work. What we have now are two basic APH guns, following the instructions from an old sscentral article.

Here are a couple of pictures =]

At the moment we are tweaking the guns for more power and easier pumping. The pumps we have are very poorly made because it was out first time. The guns start leaking only after a couple pumps and we need to fix that.
We had the idea of getting an air tank and hooking it up instead of the hand pump. Would something like this be possible?

We have a huge hiking backpack with two 5 Gallon bags of water in it. We are both big guys and would easily be able to run around with a big tank connected by hose to the gun.
Has anything like this ever been done before? Is it even possible? If so please help us out, we have lots of stores with everything available and easily accessible. We need to finish these bad boys off soon.
If you have any other recommendations on how to improve our guns, or alternative pumping methods, please do not hesitate to help us out.

Re: Our New Guns! We need some help with ideas

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:43 pm
by martianshark
Hooking up an air pump wouldn't work since you're pumping water. Just try making more pumps using different methods. Try giving them multiple O rings. Also, to make sure the pump stays centered, did you put an end cap on the end of the pump tube?

Re: Our New Guns! We need some help with ideas

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:35 pm
by DX
You might want to try using a pair of skirt seals rather than O-rings. They are found in the same place as you'd find O-rings. The best way to attach them is up to experimentation. I'd imagine that one could drill a hole through them and into the rod, and hold it in place with a long screw and epoxy putty. Alternatively, you could find some cheap stock soakers and saw their pumps off for the homemades. Those ones won't leak as long as you attach them with something that can deal with being under water pressure, like epoxy.

An air pump will not replace the need for a water pump in a homemade using a separate pressure chamber. Water is moved from the reservoir into the PC using suction. Solar showers work pretty well for backpack reservoirs. They are cheap and easy to attach. I would also recommend adding torque arms to your PVC ball valves - they will open much faster and easier that way.

Re: Our New Guns! We need some help with ideas

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:31 pm
by Thermy
Alright, so using a pump would do nothing, damn we're so lazy haha. On our bigger gun of the 2 we added a cap and handle to the pump, is it expected for water to start leaking at some point no matter how well we put the pump together? When I go to Lowe's tomorrow I'll check out the skirts. We are using the solar showers, that's what I meant when I said bags of water. Are there no options for automating the pump?

Also, we after looking over the FAQ's on the other archived website, I still couldn't find information on how long the gun is supposed to fire? And also, I read about prepumping, but it seems to do nothing in our situation, what could be the reason behind that?

One last question. We have a good bit of money and supplies left over from these two guns, is there a different style weapon that would be versatile for street warfare? Our competition spans the entire city with very urban areas. In addition we have a protected forest where tie-breakers will be held. What other types of guns, home-made or otherwise, would it be a good idea to have?

Re: Our New Guns! We need some help with ideas

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:29 am
by martianshark
Put a cap on all of them. It'll help the seal since the pump won't be wiggling around. A pump will eventually leak; this should happen when the O ring (or skirt seal) wears out. The amount of time that the gun fires depends on how big the pressure chambers are. This tool is supposed to be able to calculate it.

For an automated pump, I have made several designs involving hose pressurization. Basically, you forget the bottom half of the APH so that there's just a check valve connected to the pressure chamber(s) and the firing valve. You press the hose into the check valve (a length of PVC is attached to the hose), and the gun fills up and pressurizes it. Thus, no pumping is required. The 2L Homemade (shown on SS Central) is a cheap example of this, but most of my designs were built from PVC pipe.

How much money do you have left? I would recommend getting some powerful air pressure Water Warriors blasters, most notably the Colossus and Gorgon. The Colossus has a nice shape, has decent power, and has a huge pressure chamber. The Gorgon is very powerful, but can be difficult to pump due to its weird pump shape.

If you have a LOT of money (a few hundred dollars), you could buy some vintage CPS blasters. Anything that says CPS on it is pretty powerful and useful. You can find some CPS guns for sale on eBay.

Re: Our New Guns! We need some help with ideas

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:20 am
by Thermy
Thank you so much, we will head out to the store tomorrow and grab a few Colossus's, and we have enough left over parts to make a hose pressurized APH too!

For our current guns though, when you say get caps, do you mean putting a cap on where the pump goes in and then drilling a hole big enough for the rod to go through?

In addition, for the front we currently have some barbs that I think are 1/4" ID, is that too big, and would there be any better type of nozzle?

Re: Our New Guns! We need some help with ideas

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:59 am
by marauder
Welcome to WWN Thermy. How many people are on your team? What are the rules to the war?

Please keep us updated on this. When the war is over it'd be awesome if you could give us a report on how your team did, along with any pictures of the event. We have a water warfare league, where teams like yours submit their battle reports and compete. You get points for your participation and these points translate into prizes at the end of the year (IE guns and or gift cards to hardware stores). If you're interested in joining the league, you can post your battle report in this forum:

Either way, this event sounds awesome and we hope that you destroy the opposition.

Re: Our New Guns! We need some help with ideas

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:04 pm
by Thermy
Thanks for the welcome!

Our teams are 4 people each, with 50-70 teams competing. I'll post the rules as copied from the facebook group.

Code: Select all

Water Wars 2012: Rules and Regulations

4 PLAYERS TO A TEAM; ONE TEAM CAPTAIN; $5 each participant totaling $20 for a team.


NOTE TO BEGIN: Each participant is responsible and liable for themselves and their own actions. We will not be held accountable for ANYTHING. By registering as a team, you understand and agree to these terms, and also to the following rules and regulations. Keep in mind, first and foremost, that this IS NOT A SCHOOL-SPONSORED EVENT.

Additional note: ANY police involvement will lead to the automatic disqualification of your team. 

Tournament Style

• This is a bracket-style, single-elimination tournament. There will also be first-round byes, which will be randomly selected. 
• Match-ups will be decided by a random drawing 
• The team with the most members still in at the end of each round wins.
• In the event of a tie, the two teams will participate in a mutually agreed upon tiebreaker. If no tiebreaker is performed, one of the judges of the tournament will administer a coin flip. This is final, and will result in no disputes.
• The prizes will be decided upon by the judges and will be largely based on the number of participating teams.


• There will be two judges, along with the help of one Junior judge-in-training. All concerns are to be brought up with one of these three, and no one else. 
• All concerns should be either called-in, e-mailed, or discussed via text. The contact information for each judge is located on the last page of this packet.
• All e-mails MUST have “WW12” as the subject or they risk being deleted.
• Please, follow the rules to the best of your ability.

Basic Information and Procedures

• Each participant will receive a plastic wristband which will remain on AT ALL TIMES during a round.
• Once a person is hit, the “shooter” must remove the “victim’s” wristband.
• The wristband, signed by both the “shooter” and the “victim,” must be returned to the judges. Please Specify who the "shooter" and "victim" are. It must be placed in the drop box. Details are at the end of this packet.
• The captain serves as the spokesman for each team, and therefore is asked to be the only person to contact the judges by phone. Should you have an issue about anything, please have your captain contact a judge. Also, your captain serves as the decision-making individual for your team, and concerns should be taken up to the captain.
• If you are hit, you may not hit any members of the opposing team for the remainder of the round. However, you can still aid your team in any other way previously allowed by the rules.
• Each round is approximately 48 hours long, with some exception noted. Rounds will begin at 12:01 am on the noted day and end at 11:59 pm the noted day. 


• Any team that violates the rules will be warned or disqualified, with all final decisions the Judges make being final.Your team will get one warning. After the warning the team will be disqualified. 
• Arguing with any of the three judges will not be allowed, as their decisions are final! Excessive arguing with either the judges or another team is grounds for disqualification.
• If any part of your body is hit by water, you are out. Clothing is part of the body. 
• Must be hit by WATER only (No saliva etc.). No harmful substances may be used to hit someone. If anything other than water is used, it is an automatic team disqualification. Nothing can be put in the water, such as dye or substances.
• The water must be inflicted by the other team directly. No helpers or traps may be used to directly get another person out.
• When you hit an opponent, there is a 2 minute TEAM grace period to retrieve the opposing player’s bracelet. The player getting the bracelet MAY NOT be shot in this transaction period. This is plenty of time to retrieve the bracelet, and to get away. The period ends as soon as a player is in a car or a house, or after the 2 minutes is up.
• If there is any stalling or delay by the player giving up the bracelet, that player, as well as another player from that team decided on by the judges, is disqualified for that round. This will not be tolerated, and is the most important rule to the game, as it will come into play the most.
• Any means to deliver water is acceptable unless otherwise noted (Water guns, balloons, cups, etc.) All Water guns resembling actual guns must be marked with reflective tape. Reflective tape can be obtained from the judges. 
• All start times and end times for each round will be posted on the website. NOTE: Each round begins at 12:01am on the noted day and ends at 11:59pm the day noted. 
• Regulations on what is off limits: ALL school sponsored activities (school, sporting events, NHS events, A.P. exams, etc.), a person’s workplace (WORK BEGINS AND ENDS THE MINUTE A CAR IS TURNED OFF AND WHEN IT IS TURNED ON), and graduation parties 
• Failure to adhere to these rules can result in the disqualification of one member for a round, or an entire team for the tournament. This decision is up to the judges, and all decisions are final. ANYTHING THAT IS ILLEGAL IN REAL LIFE IS PROHIBITED DURING WATER WARS!
• Paintball guns DO NOT COUNT, and if used, disqualification will be enforced.
• Any local, state, or federal Government property is a safe zone (library, post office, etc.). But staying there in hiding will result in disqualification.
• Open windows in your house are fair game to shoot you through, as well as unlocked car doors.
• An opponent’s house may NOT be entered without permission. If an adult or sibling answers the door and allows someone to enter, however, IT IS ALLOWED. This means NO breaking and entering will be tolerated. If you are found breaking and entering you will be automatically be disqualified from the tournament. 
• Please refrain from getting people wet in private businesses (restaurants, office buildings, any types of businesses, etc.)
• Destruction of personal property will not be tolerated and will be dealt with by the judges
• Final word resides with the three judges. If a team believes that the judges have made a biased decision against them, which will not happen, they can take it up with the remaining judges.
• At the end of each round, there will be a lockout. The judges will determine the times of the lockout. Lockouts will generally fall between 6pm and 9pm and last for about 2 hours. Please refer to your schedule for exact times. You will not be allowed to be in any home between these hours. Family emergencies and work related conflicts are excused, but MUST be cleared by judges. Other teams must be notified of team members work schedules. Work must be cleared with the other team as well, to avoid conflict at places of work. If a team member is caught at a home without a valid excuse (determined by judges), they are out for that round. Please no lying or making up answers to keep yourself in the game. Water Wars is based on the honor system.
• Furthermore, additional lockouts will be enforced. Please, check the Facebook group often.
• ANY police involvement will lead to automatic disqualification after the situation. 
• Parental involvement needs to be kept to a minimum
• Judges hold the power to make changes throughout the tournament, and as you know, communicating these changes SUCKS. For this reason, because we have put in so much time, we ask that you will please check the Facebook group frequently for information as opposed to contacting us.

Additions to the Rules

• Clarification about parental involvement: parents/neighbors preside over all. They own the property, and they have the right to threaten to call the cops or ask you to leave. 
• Your calls are very important to us, as we have put together this tournament for you guys. They will be answered and dealt with in the order they are received. Please be patient and try to figure out problems by yourselves as much as possible before calling the judges. Please honor out time and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Thanks!
• This game is all about the honor system. Obviously, the judges cannot be everywhere watching the actions of all the teams! Because of this, there is a gray area, and some situations are left up to interpretation. It is hard to make rules for every little situation, especially when many teams interpret them differently. Again, the judge’s ruling is final. If you have an issue or think there has been an unfair ruling, PLEASE, let us know and we will talk about it. Again, we are out to make this the best possible tournament, and I promise you, WE WILL NOT INCLUDE BIAS in our decisions.
• If two tied teams cannot come up with an appropriate tie breaker then a coin flip will be administered in the presence of a judge. 
• Don’t bash the judges, please. Remember, we did this voluntarily. We really do appreciate the constructive criticism, but rude comments are unnecessary. If you do have a problem, approach us with respect and we will try our best to resolve it.

Please remember, this game does NOT come before anyone’s health, safety, or overall well-being. Please, remain within the law as well as the rules. This should be an amazing end to senior year, and please, please, play as fair as possible. Check Facebook group OFTEN for match-ups and news

Good luck!
Just as an update to what we have going on, today we bought two pesticide tanks with a pump built in, this allows us to prepump our guns with water, and then continue to pump with the onboard pump. The only problem is we have 2 Gallon jugs, and they are not big enough, we have some hiking backpacks that can fit the biggest one they have at Lowe's so tomorrow we will go get those instead. We keep having our O-rings snap on our pumps and it's really frustrating. We are looking into what we can do to make a better pump. Our large gun fires 47' tops, and we haven't tried the smaller one with backpack pump thing.

Thank you for recommending those Colossus guns, they are pretty solid and are a good sidearm to our big ones. In addition to those, we have 400 filled water balloons and if we can figure out how to make our power washer less dangerous, we will be mounting it on our friends pickup truck for super awesomeness. We have a few mountable cameras that we plan on having record our battles, mostly because it's cool to watch but also if someone ends up cheating, after all it is a huge cash prize.

One more thing, would it be wise to add something like this to our arsenal?
I just skimmed the instructions but it doesn't seem to difficult to make, would something like that be ideal for our type of water war?

I know i'm asking a ton of questions but this is just my first time doing anything like this and we really want to win. Thanks again for being so awesome and welcoming, I have found building these guns very enjoyable and regret that I didn't try it sooner!

Re: Our New Guns! We need some help with ideas

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:34 pm
by atvan
A Water Balloon Launcher could be useful. Search for it, there are some recent threads that contain a lot of information about the subject.

The SuperCPS has simalar performance to the APH, but can fire strait up or upside down, which the APH cannot do. It could be useful if somebody is attacking you from an upstairs window.

Re: Our New Guns! We need some help with ideas

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:41 pm
by Thermy
Would something like this work?

Re: Our New Guns! We need some help with ideas

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:47 pm
by martianshark
That's a pretty good design. To reduce the price, you may want to make the shape linear instead of over-under.

Re: Our New Guns! We need some help with ideas

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:49 pm
by Thermy
We ended up building it just like in the article, but had to improvise the actual valve to pump it up by just cutting one off an old bike tire. I'll post some pics later tomorrow.

Re: Our New Guns! We need some help with ideas

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:03 pm
by Thermy
My phones camera will not work for some reason... anyway we are getting up at 4 this morning and going after our first team. All girls that are not taking this too seriously. We plan on blocking off the driveway and getting one of them while they clear it up.

Re: Our New Guns! We need some help with ideas

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:49 pm
by martianshark
Good luck. Plan well. Don't take any unnecessary risks.

Re: Our New Guns! We need some help with ideas

Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:10 pm
by Andrew
I know it's probably a little late but a quick fill hose system, as martianshark mentioned earlier, would definately make pumping easier. You can quite easily add a quick fill system to your current aph's so you can pressurise them in a few seconds from a hose, or by using the hand pump if a hose is not available at that time.


All you need is another check valve a t-junction (to replace the elbow, or to fit between ebow and PC) a 1/2" or 3/4" threaded connector and a suitable hose connector (similar to the blue/green connectors on the end of my blaster below (The top one is a nozzle, the other is a quick fill device). This quick fill adaptor MUST be fitted past the second check valve (see diagram, the quick fill bit is the red area) otherwise you'll end up firing out your pump rod!


The pics you linked to suggest there isn't much space, so you could always just add one of those hose connectors (aka tap connector) to the front of the blaster (as a nozzle like the green connector in the pic) and use that to pressurise the blaster, aswell as the hand pump, by opening and closing the firing ball valve with a hose connected. That would mean you don't need to heavily modify the existing designs.

Anyway, good luck with the water war! :aph:

Re: Our New Guns! We need some help with ideas

Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:43 pm
by atvan
It might also be easier to just have the hose attachment go in the smae place as the backpack connects.

Re: Our New Guns! We need some help with ideas

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:57 am
by Andrew
As long as you hold on tight! I tried this once (using the silver backpack connector on the buttstock) before fitting a quick fill device.

It can be done, but if you do put the hose connector where the backpack connects to the blaster, the pressure will force the pump forwards, and even out of the blaster. Also, unless the pump has a really good seal, it will leak quite a bit when pressurising. Yes you'll pressurise the PC a lot quicker than by pumping, but you'll still have to put a lot of effort into holding the pump in.

Re: Our New Guns! We need some help with ideas

Posted: Tue May 01, 2012 6:47 pm
by atvan
Oh yeah…

I suppose you could drill a small hole through the pump handle and tube right at the end and put a long nail through it to hold the pump in.