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Homemade water guns

Last updated on 2013-02-19


Want the most powerful water gun there is? You're at the right place. With the manufacturers making poorly-performing water guns, more people are choosing to build their own water guns every day.

The greatest piece of knowledge necessary before attempting construction of a water gun is how a water gun works, and we have a page about how a water gun works. We also have an in-depth physics section to help you design your own water guns more efficiently and also measure their performance. What you need to know mainly is how a water gun works. The efficiency can be learned later.

If you have any specific questions, check out our general homemades FAQ, Materials FAQ, APH FAQ, and WBL FAQ. If you live in Australia or New Zealand, check out our page about PVC in Australia and New Zealand.

Homemade water guns

Name Builder Description
Pepper's water gun Pepper The forerunner to the basic APH-design water gun. Historically important and also interesting to look at. Today we know the answer to every problem it presented and those problems were addressed in the original APH design.

Year: 2003 / Max. range: 40 feet
2L Homemade Ben Simple water gun made from a 2L or similar size plastic bottle

Year: 2003 / Max. range: 44 feet / Max. output: 3 oz/s
Leftovers Ben A simple long shot time homemade water gun constructed from leftover parts. This page is a compilation by Drenchenator.

Year: 2004 / Max. range: 40 feet
Air pressure homemade Ben The air pressure homemade (APH for short) has become the standard homemade water gun. This design combines better than CPS 2000 performance with customizability, price, ease of construction, and availability of parts. A great homemade water gun for beginners.

Year: 2004 / Max. range: 55 feet / Max. output: 50 oz/s
SuperCPS Ben A high-powered CPS technology water gun similar to the CPS 3000 in shape. Uses the same latex rubber tubing that Hasbro's Super Soakers uses, but with a much thicker chamber than any Super Soaker ever had. Power, CPS technology, combined with a big pressure chamber for long shot duration makes this just about the most balanced water gun you can make.

Year: 2004 / Max. range: 60 feet / Max. output: 40 oz/s
RolandTower's Ultimate Water Gun RolandTower A popular backpack based water gun. Also the most popular page on all of Super Soaker Central. A killer water gun very suited for water fights with its long shot time and high power.

Year: 2004
Supercannon Ben The failed predecessor of Supercannon II.

Year: 2005 / Max. range: 50 feet
SuperCAP Ben An extremely powerful backpack water gun with a CPS system different than that of the Super Soakers. Boasts unmatched power, range, and shot time, but is large and cumbersome. This page has minimal construction information..

Year: 2006 / Max. range: 65 feet / Max. output: 130 oz/s
Supercannon II Ben The most powerful water gun ever. While definitely not the most powerful water gun possible, the basic design duplicated on a larger scale will result in more power. The design is as efficient as any PVC water gun can be. Supercannon II is just the beginning of tomorrow's super-water-cannons.

Year: 2006 / Max. range: 75 feet / Max. output: > 800 oz/s
DR-3 Drenchenator The first attempt at a good-looking, ergonomic water gun.

Year: 2006 / Max. range: 40 feet / Max. output: 40 oz/s
DR-4 Drenchenator Another attempt at a good-looking, ergonomic water gun.

Year: 2009 / Max. range: ? feet / Max. output: ? oz/s
CPS Custom Assault Rifle JLspacemarine A refined and polished homemade water gun that features a spherical bladder, a working trigger, and a massive onboard reservoir.

Year: 2008 / Max. range: 50 feet / Max. output: 40 oz/s

Off-site homemade water guns

Name Description
The UberSoaker This water gun is the most commonly referenced and therefore best known water gun in the spud gun community. The water gun is constructed from an air tank, 12oz CO2 tank, a garden hose, and a garden hose nozzle. The excellent capacity and excellent power combine to make this water gun versatile and extremely useful.
Dusty's water gun One of the few water guns to use water bladder tanks. It's very powerful and has constant pressure. Check it out.
Building a Homemade Beast Good guide written by forum member sbell25. sbell25 lived in New Zealand and this page probably is most useful for those who live there given differences in part availability from country to country. His water gun is very similar to the standard APH design and performs just like it.
Water gun similar to a rail gun Very interesting water gun, but completely inappropriate for water wars. The design is unlike anything we've seen - it uses 10,000 volts of electricity to accelerate water at Mach speeds! The high voltage and very limited range make this water gun inappropriate for water fights, but this is an option for those interested in just building something to shoot water.
Some Guy's CPS water gun Some people like making CPS water guns with balloons as the pressure chamber. We don't recommend that because the balloons break and are a pain to work with, but this is one of the few water guns that has used balloons and we'll link to it as an example.
MrPukeOnYourHead's piston water guns One of the first guides to make a homemade water gun. Only one picture is provided of the constructed water guns (on the pictures page). Nonetheless, this still is a valuable page for those interested in making their own water gun. The webmaster really was ahead of his time back in 2000 - piston water guns weren't duplicated similarly until Supercannon II in 2006.
XInventions water cannon Features your basic air pressure backpack water gun setup. Another commonly referenced page in the spud gun community. Nothing out of the ordinary for us however.
Homemade piston pump water gun A popular hand-powered piston water gun you can make yourself. Good design that can be modified to work with a backpack.
Xray's homemade backpack water gun Interesting water gun that recycles an old Super Soaker pump and features a homemade CPS pressure chamber made from many layered bike tubes. Viewing the picture (an attachment) requires registration at our forums.
Automatically Pressurizing Water Gun A CO2 powered water gun that automatically pressurizes. Nothing is known about the design, but it is assumed that the water gun operates much like any other pressurized reservoir water gun, just with the CO2 source replacing the hand air pump.
insanitys engineer's water gun Forum members from the UK have reported difficulty in finding PVC. Some UK members choose to make their water guns from metal pipe for that reason, and this water gun is constructed from metal pipe.
Sac American River Syringe water gun Another hand-powered piston water gun that uses a different piston design from others. This one takes a little carving to get a good seal, but works great once the seal is made.
Waterzooka Homemade piston water gun instructions. Website targeted as a fundraiser. Easy to build, includes free very detailed instructions, and also sells good working seals.
The Ultimate Water Gun For a long while, if you said homemade water gun, this is what came to mind. Made from a fire extinguisher, the Ultimate Water Gun isn't something you'll find everywhere. The site once offered instructions, but the rarity of the older design fire extinguisher ensured that few ever took up construction. Interesting website overall, be be warned that the reported ranges are exaggerations at best. Instructions from MAKE magazine are available here in a 1 MB big file.
Flash Fill High Pressure Backpack Water Gun This website has some plans on sale for a backpack water gun that has pretty good shot time.
Build a water mortar Instructions on how to build a pretty nice piston water gun.
Soda Bottle APH An air pressure water gun with large, cheap 2-liter soda bottles for pressure chambers.

Homemade parts and things to watch out for

Name Builder Description
Backpack reservoir Ben How to build a backpack water reservoir.
Pump construction Drenchenator How to build a quality pump.
Homemade check valves WaterWolf How to make homemade check valves which are cheaper than those available in stores.
Firing valves Drenchenator Overview of commonly used firing valves.
Simpler air canisters WaterWolf How to make simple air canisters for use with WBLs.
Water balloon shells WaterWolf How to make very high performance water balloon shells.
Layering LRT/CPH chambers Killer 7 A latex rubber tubing layering method.
The problem with high efficiency WBLs sbell Why high efficiency water balloon launchers should be avoided.
Latex rubber tubing Ben An in-depth introduction to latex rubber tubing and its use in homemade CPS water guns.
Versatile Hose System C-A_99 A new homemade QFD with a nozzle to defend yourself when refilling.
Homemade nozzle laminator JLspacemarine A device that laminates streams from homemade water gun nozzles, improving range.

Water balloon launchers

Name Builder Description
Semi-auto Water Balloon Launcher Drenchenator The first trigger actuated water balloon launcher. An experiment in making a semi-auto water balloon launcher.
Havoc Pepper Simple and effective water balloon launcher. The size can be changed if Havoc is too big for you. Other than that, it's your basic ball valve powered water balloon launcher.

Off-site water balloon launchers

Name Description
The Douchenator The most popular air pressure water balloon launcher. The Douchenator is small and very straightforward in construction. Every part is cheap and readily available.
AquaLab's 3.2 water balloon launcher What once was the most popular water balloon launcher. This is your basic solenoid valve water balloon launcher. Nothing out of the ordinary aside from the breech system. This website also features tactics for water balloon launcher users.

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