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CHALLENGE: Need Gun w/ Small Stream/Nozzle but Rapid Re-Fill

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:36 pm
by h20guy
Hey guys-
New here. I have an odd, but very specific need for a gun. I am putting on a Charity Event where we'll be spraying water on people. I need a gun that can fill quickly (ala piston style), but have a SMALL NOZZLE for a fairly thin stream of water. Think of a squirt bottle when the nozzle is set for a stream. We just want to spray a little bit of water on people, NOT soak them. We'll be having a large group of people using these at the same time, so they must be fairly cheap, and, dummy-proof. Piston style guns seem to be the way to go- stick them into a bucket, pull back, push. That's quick and fairly dummy proof I think.

I've looked at various Piston Style guns, both homemade and commercial (Stream Machines, etc). The commercial ones have too large of a hole at the end. I even tried putting a thin nozzle on the end of those- and while THAT works perfectly for shooting the water, the refill rate is PAINFULLY slow. I know the 36" Stream Machines have a model with a one-way valve on the end of them, allowing for more rapid refill- however, the hole for shooting the water out is too large for my purpose. When I place a thin nozzle on THIS model, if refills quickly- however, the one-way rubber valve on the inside can't handle the back pressure with the nozzle installed, and water shoots out of the valves as well as the nozzle.

Homemade piston style guns have the same problem. You can put a smaller hole on the end of them, allowing for less water to be shot out, but they also re-fill extremely slow.

Shoot- we even tried squirt bottles. They work perfectly, until your hands get tired from squirting after about 5-10mins. We need a solution to work for people to use for 1.5hrs straight!

Do you guys have ANY suggestions for me? You guys are VERY ingenious with this stuff, I'm hoping you can help!
Thanks in advance!

Re: CHALLENGE: Need Gun w/ Small Stream/Nozzle but Rapid Re-Fill

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:13 am
by mr. dude
Me while reading the post: "Please don't make me suggest a Super Soaker pleasedon'tmakemesuggestaSuperSoakerpleasedon'tpleasepleaseplease oh no I have to suggest a Super Soaker".

Any of the new Super Soakers that have the refill canisters seem like they'd suit your purposes. You don't have to worry about soaking anyone with them, and refilling is as easy as taking off the empty canister and popping a new one into the empty gun (while someone else can go refill the recently emptied canister). The main drawback is that it's pricey, I haven't been keeping up with the prices but I feel like it's somewhere around $15 per gun and $5 per extra canister.

I'd love to name you some cheaper alternatives, but at the moment I'm a tad too sleepy and can't think of anything. I'll try again tomorrow :D

Re: CHALLENGE: Need Gun w/ Small Stream/Nozzle but Rapid Re-Fill

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:57 am
by marauder
Syringe style piston pumpers may be easy to refill but they also have several disadvantages. As you pointed out, almost every syringe style piston gun has a fairly large nozzle. Second, if you are going to be out there firing for 1.5 hours it will be tiring and annoying to have to refill after EVERY shot.

Instead, I suggest piston blasters that aren't syringe style. IE piston style guns with onboard reservoirs. These guns shoot out less powerful streams of water and you don't have to refill after every shot. Big Lots is carrying the Water Warriors Shark for $5 this year. The Water Warriors Warlock is very similar and I expect it to be similar price. I haven't seen it in stores though.

Other options for under $10 include the Super Soaker Bottle Blitz and the Splashfire, both of which have been rereleased in some areas. The advantage of the Bottle Blitz is that you can attach basically any old water bottle to it to refill. So, if you and your group save up water bottles for the upcoming event, you can just have a cooler full of them and use them for easy refills.

One gun that is perfect for this, but a bit more pricey, is the Super Soaker Scatter Blast. It shoots out a showerhead type spray that is perfect for cooling people off. I bought one this May for $12 and while it sucks in actual watergun fights I found that if you shoot it up in the air and let the water fall down on people it makes a perfect cooling mist.

The least tiring option of all would be the Super Soaker Electrostorm. These are battery powered, so your hands really won't get tired, and they produce a weak stream. However, the annoying nee nee nee of the electronics would drive me crazy after a while, so consider that a warning.

Lastly, if for some reason any of these don't seem appealing, you can get generic piston pump guns with onboard reservoirs for ~$5 at Toys R Us, Target, Wal Mart, and plenty of other places.

Re: CHALLENGE: Need Gun w/ Small Stream/Nozzle but Rapid Re-Fill

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:54 am
by isoaker
This sort of thing screams "squirt pistols" to me. Things like the Water Warriors Kwik Grip XL or Water Warriors Power Shots.

Now, refilling is not as quick as sucking in water into a syringe-type water blaster, but at the same time, you get much more than a single shot per fill. Streams are small so no major soaking until you've been hit by 100+ squirts and they are fairly obvious to operate. There are, of course, dollar/dime-store cheap alternatives, but I think these ones are made a little better and have a touch more resilience (though if used and abused, they will break as all other small water blasters do).


Re: CHALLENGE: Need Gun w/ Small Stream/Nozzle but Rapid Re-Fill

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:57 am
by h20guy
Wow! This is GREAT info here guys! Since I'll be needing so many of these things, I like the $5 (or less) price range. However, I can see a need to splurge on some of the Scatter Blasts (or similar) for a handful of them as well.

Silly question here- on these pump style guns, it appears that the triggers to activate the actual shooting? So as I pump it up, water will start squirting out, and if I over pump, there's no way to stop it until the pressure runs out? Is that right?

The ones that use a pump style, but also uses an active trigger to start/stop the actual squirting- are those the CPS guns? Are there any of those available, even cheap generic brands, in the $5-10 price range? I'm just trying to feel out all my options here.

Thanks a ton for all this info! It's great!!!

Re: CHALLENGE: Need Gun w/ Small Stream/Nozzle but Rapid Re-Fill

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:55 pm
by marauder
The piston style guns with on board reservoirs don't build up any internal pressure. When you push the pump forward (away from the gun) they draw water from the internal reservoir. When you pull the pump back to you water shoots out the nozzle. So, let's say you have a bunch of runners coming to you. You push the pump forward on your gun, then you pull it back to you, firing the water into the air towards the runners. After that, it's a bit slow and you don't see any runners. The gun won't fire again until you see more runners and pump it at them. These kinds of guns include the Water Warriors Shark, Gremlin, Super Soaker Splashfire, Super Soaker Bottle Blitz, and the Super Soaker Scatterblast.

The guns with pumps and triggers use internal pressure. In some guns you fill up your gun with water and then when you pump air enters the water reservoir. The air takes up space, so the internal pressure inside the watergun increases. Once you've pumped air into the water reservoir you can pull the trigger which simply opens up a valve (the nozzle) allowing for pressure (water) to escape. Since air is lighter than water, the piping which leads to the nozzle comes from the bottom of the reservoir, allowing you to drain almost all your water before you start shooting air.

In other guns you have a pressure chamber which is often called a firing chamber. has a nice graphic depicting this. Instead of pumping air into the reservoir, guns with a pressure chamber will pump water into a seperate reservoir. The more water you pump into this chamber the more pressure you generate. When you pull the trigger the valve at the nozzle opens, which allows for pressure (water) to escape just like in waterguns with no pressure chamber.

CPS stands for Constant Pressure System. This was invented by Super Soaker in 1996. All CPS guns fall into the above category, ie they have a pressure chamber. However, the reason they are different is that their pressure chamber is made out of rubber. In the How Stuff Works link the gun at the top is a CPS 1200 opened up. The black balloon looking type thing is actually made out of rubber, that is the pressure chamber. The purple plastic around it simply protects it from getting roughed up by the elements. When you pump water into the rubber pressure chamber the rubber expands. It's the same concept as filling a balloon with air or helium except that you're pumping water into it. The rubber expands as water enters it, but it is applying a force upon the water the whole time because it wants to contract, however a valve won't allow it to contract until you pull the trigger. When you pull the trigger the valve at the nozzle opens, like in any other gun with a trigger, allowing for pressure to be released in the form of a nice blast of water. The force of the rubber contracting (like a leaking tire, basketball, or balloon) acts in such a way that the amount of pressure leaving the gun is constant. With air pressure guns your pressure decreases the longer you hold the trigger down because there is less air and water in the pressure chamber or reservoir. This translates into your range and power of your shot dropping with time. This is not the case with CPS guns since the pressure being released is more or less the same you get the same amount of range and power in your shot untill all the water in your pressure chamber is gone and you have to pump again.

Water Warriors also makes guns with rubber pressure chambers/bladders but they aren't officially called CPS because CPS is a term owned by Super Soaker. I still call them CPS cuz it's very similar technology. The only CPS gun currently available in stores is the Super Soaker Hydrocannon. It's a bit too powerful and more expensive than you're looking for.

I recommend getting a variety of guns. Your team can try out new guns during their 1.5 hour shifts, which will help make things more fun, and it will create a more varied experience for the runners. Remember, if you fire up and let the water fall down on the runner due to gravity, you'll get more of a shower effect. You'll need some good acuracy to hit individual runners this way though haha. I really like the Shotblast for this event. Even if you just get one, for yourself, I recommend it. Other than that I highly recommend the Water Warriors Shark and or Warlock for $5.

Re: CHALLENGE: Need Gun w/ Small Stream/Nozzle but Rapid Re-Fill

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:07 pm
by Andrew
Basically with a standard piston-based blaster (with no trigger) if you stop pumping (even halfway through it's pump stroke), it stops firing. Instantly. If you pump harder/faster you'll get more range, but the volume of water fired will be the same. It's basically a more aesthetically pleasing and slightly more complex version of larger stream machine-esque pistons, but with an on-board water supply. As M4 mentioned CPS is to do with the method of pressurisation not the use of a valve or trigger.

Re: CHALLENGE: Need Gun w/ Small Stream/Nozzle but Rapid Re-Fill

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:49 pm
by h20guy
So I finally found a Gremlin for $8 at Big Lots. It works awesome for my use. Any ideas on how/where to get these, or similar items in bulk for much cheaper price?

Re: CHALLENGE: Need Gun w/ Small Stream/Nozzle but Rapid Re-Fill

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:49 pm
by mr. dude
Wal Mart should have them, the most expensive Gremlins (or their equivalent, they're all the same, just different names and colours) I've seen here were for $5, I got mine on clearance for $2. Just poke around Wal Mart/any big department store and you should find something.