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Homemades FAQ

Last updated on 2008-05-27


Can a homemade beat a CPS 2000?

Yes, very easily. All statistics by any manufactured water gun can be beaten by homemade water guns. For example, The Supercannon II water gun achieves more than 20 feet more of range than the CPS 2000, with well over 25 times as much water output.

Can I build an onboard reservoir instead of a backpack?

Any variation of design is possible in homemade water guns. Onboard water reservoirs have been built before.

Can I buy a homemade water gun? Does Super Soaker Central sell homemade water guns?

Not currently. The SSC store was proposed earlier but this has been cancelled. You may be able to buy homemades from other members in the forums.

Do homemades hold their own? How well do homemades work in battle?

Stating that all homemade water guns work in all battle situations would be a lie. The answer is that how well homemades work depends on the gun and your fighting style.

There are several problems with most homemades. Not counting differences in power required because homemade water guns can cover all, there are several areas homemade water guns can improve.

Using ball valves as firing valves takes some getting used to. Ball valves also remove the possibility of one-handed use. However, the performance characteristics of ball valves are beneficial, so ball valves are not bad choices. Not using ball valves always is an option if they are a problem.

The next, big step that homemades should take is simple: building proper structures to hold the working parts, the internals. Drenchenator's water gun pioneering the subject.

Still homemade water guns can easily be as powerful as others, so lack of performance is generally not an issue. Once accustomed to homemades, a user often loses for reasons other than choice of weapon.

Has anyone built a hose-powered homemade?

Hose-powered water guns are easy to build. Hose couplers can be bought to attach 3/4 inch NPT thread to a hose, which then can be attached to a water gun. The water gun can be pressurized by the hose or be an extension of the hose from that point.

How big is too big for a pressure chamber?

How big is too big is a personal preference that depends on the type of water gun.

On separate chamber air pressure water guns, achieving good pressure may be difficult with too large a PC (pressure chamber). At the same time, PCs that are too small may not provide enough water for a good shot. Very large PCs may be desirable if long pump times are not a problem. The possibility for extended shot time may be advantageous.

On rubber-based CPS water guns, it is preferable to have the possibility of having a PC that can hold more than a liter of water to store a large amount of pressurized water if it is needed. If the user doesn't want to pump as much, they don't have to because the number of pumps has no effect on the power of the water gun. A large PC is also desirable to prevent over-pressurization of the CPS bladder.

On pressurized reservoir water guns, typically a PC as large as space permits is ideal. Water guns that are too long may be awkward to hold. The main limit here may be cost. Larger PCs using wider diameter pipe might cost too much.

How can I build a backpack reservoir?

Check out our backpack reservoir construction page for a bunch of different options to build backpack reservoirs.

How can I build a concealable water gun?

Although concealable water guns are not often built, they have been constructed for purposes such as use in StreetWars and other assassins competitions. These water guns generally have small- or medium-sized pressure chambers concealed behind clothing, with hose tubing and a separate trigger valve and nozzle assembly. The hose can also run through a shirt sleeve. We have several concealable water gun designs in the homemades section.

How can I build a gun that is supposed to be used like a turret in a car?

We do not have a guide for this, but consult this forum topic for more information on the subject.

How can I build a homemade Stream Machine, piston water gun, or river gun?

Visit our water gun construction page to see several different homemade possibilities.

How can I build a homemade water gun?

Check out our homemade water gun section for detailed guides on how to build water guns.

How can I build a hose powered, gatling-style water gun on a tripod?

We do not have any guides for this, but you are free to experiment and build one on your own. If it is hose-powered though, it may just be easier to use a hose nozzle.

How can I build a small homemade?

The key to building a small homemade is to use small parts. Look around, especially at small brass parts: they can make or break a project with a size restraint.

How can I build a stationary, tripod gun?

We do not have a guide on how to build this type of gun, but two forum topics may help: Pirate ship water cannons? and Greetings.

How can I build a triggered water gun?

Like the triggers of Super Soakers, those found on homemade water guns use a wire that pulls on a valve’s lever or piston. Less functional versions use simple hose handles, which tend to severely constrict flow. A more functional example, using a ball valve, is Drenchenator’s first homemade.

How can I drill straight holes in end caps?

The best way is to use a drill press while holding the end cap still. Drilling quickly through ensures the hole is drilled cleanly. If you do not have a drill press, carefully using a hand powered drill with the end cap held stationary is the best you can do.

How can I increase range without increasing the pressure?

Varying the nozzle orifice diameter can increase or decrease range. Taking a few ranges with different diameters can help find this ideal diameter. Use of more efficient nozzles (such as conical nozzles) and designs (such as the linear design principle) will also increase range without increasing pressure.

How can I make a CPS homemade?

There are several different types of CPS that can be built. Most choose the standard "rubber" CPS that was used in the CPS series of Super Soakers. In rubber CPS, there are several different possibilities, namely, latex tubing, balloons, bike tubes, and water bladder tanks. Constant gas pressure (more commonly, constant air pressure) is also a possibility, however, it is mainly suited to backpack water guns. Guides to both types of water guns are available in our homemade water gun section.

How can I make a homemade pull valve?

There are a few ways to do this but it is a bit complicated and Super Soaker Central currently does not have any articles on it. Register/post in the forums for help on this.

How can I make a homemade quick-fill device?

The VHS contains a solution for charging Super Chargers and also allows for filling regular blasters and contains a high range nozzle for shooting (so that switching parts is not needed to switch functions). A solution for Speedloaders has not been designed yet, but it is possible to work on your own. Also, if the fittings needed for the VHS's SC filler are no longer available, or if you want to design a Speedloader charger, take the item to be charged to the home improvement/hardware store and find a fitting that works for it. You may have to improvise, drill fittings, etc. Post in the forums for more help on this.

How can I make a pressure gauge?

Manufactured pressure gauges are not expensive and work well. There is no reason to make your own pressure gauge. Pressure gauges can be bought in most home improvement or hardware stores in the air tools aisle or online from websites like McMaster-Carr.

Pressure gauges are generally only useful for air pressure systems. For CPS, a transparent case works better so you can see the bladder expand. However, if you have transparent PVC that's pressure rated, that can also be used for any air pressure water gun. Water balloon launchers always need a gauge, which is often on the bike pump or air compressor but a seperate gauge is needed if the pump lacks a gauge or if a check valve is used to prevent air loss when detatching the pump.

How can I make a pump?

Read our article on pump construction.

Pumps are generally the most problematic and unreliable parts of homemade water guns. Most users are likely to have problems with pumps leaking. If you can't get a homemade pump to work properly, it may be possible to use pumps from broken stock water guns or from cheap imitations. Dollar store syringes are another possibility. Posting on the forums may be a good idea if you can't get a homemade pump to seal.

How can I make a rotary nozzle selector?

No one has made a reliable one yet, but they can be made several ways. The most basic way is to attach end caps in a line or circle with epoxy. Putting end caps on a wooden circle also is a possibility. Holes on a rotating plastic circle with a seal is also possible. Be creative, make one, write a guide, and get it on Super Soaker Central if you make a rotary nozzle selector!

Still, at least one attempt has been made to emulate a rotary nozzle selector using a rotary Nerf gun turret. However, results were fairly unimpressive due to the amount of leakage. A strong spring or bolt connection between the water gun and the nozzle selector is essential for maintaining the seal.

How can I reinforce a pump?

Insert a wooden dowel or another rod into the hollow pump rod.

How can I solvent weld or use PVC cement?

To solvent weld or use PVC cement, you need both PVC cement and PVC primer. Always follow the instructions on the cans as they can differ.

Go in a large, clean, open room or area, like a patio or garage with the door open. Make sure there is adequate ventilation. Lay out newspaper to provide a large, clean area.

First, apply primer to the ends of the pipe and the insides of all parts. Apply it to all surfaces that will touch. Applying primer is an important step: the pipes joint much better with it. Forgetting about primer leads to the project's failure in many cases.

After applying the primer, wait until it is dry to the touch. Apply the cement then in the same manner as the primer: on every area that will touch. However, apply cement to a piece and then to the next piece to that it will connect, as the cement becomes solid quickly. Join the two pieces together and twist then to ensure that the cement permeates all touching surfaces. Press and hold the pieces together for at least 10 seconds. Repeat until the project is joined and finished.

Lastly, wait at least 24 full hours until the parts cure.They can't take pressure during this period. Place the project in a dry, clean area (can be the same place as before) that is at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. After 24 hours, enjoy the success of your project.

How do I make a pressurized backpack gun?

Read RolandTower's guide to making a water gun to see how to make a pressurized backpack water gun. If you want a CAP (constant air pressure) water gun, check our SuperCAP.

How does a ball valve work?

Consult our firing valves article.

How does a pump work?

Please see our article about how water guns work for an explanation. A brief description, along with a visual representation, is also included in HowStuffWorks’ water blasters article.

How does the nozzle size affect range?

We know of at least two factors that explain how nozzle size governs range. The first is that flow = area * velocity. If flow were constant, then a small nozzle would have less area and more velocity, which leads to greater range. The second factor is that larger streams have a smaller circumference to cross-sectional area ratio. Thus, larger streams are less affected by air drag. The perfect orifice size depends on orifice quality and the pressure, so one must balance large and small.

Obviously, the real physics are far more complicated. For slightly more involved introductions, please read our physics articles. In the end, while the perfect sizes are difficult to calculate, good design will still ensure near-optimal range.

How hard is it to build a homemade water gun?

Homemade water guns are not very difficult to build. There will be an initial perceived difficulty to overcome, but that will be overcome once you start building. The first gun is a learning experience. When all of the parts are in front of you and you understand how to put them together, you've done most of the work already. Homemade water guns are FUN to build, not difficult. After you've built your first water gun, you look back and see that it really wasn't difficult at all, rather, enjoyable. Then you start to build your second water gun...

Generally, the most difficult parts of building homemades is getting some parts to seal; particularly the pump. (see "How can I make a pump" above for more) Also, reservoirs and backpacks can be difficult if you do not have the proper materials for them. A camel back or solar shower is necessary for backpacks though a hard shell container (such as the water you buy in stores that come in large muiti-gallon containers) can also be used.

That said, homemade water guns are one of the easiest things to build out there. Most parts needed are readily available but even if not, solutions can be found.

How is the 2L homemade filled?

With a garden hose.

How should I glue my PVC cannon together?

Read the FAQ item on solvent welding.

What can I use for a trigger valve?

See our trigger valves article for details.

What is a water mine/bomb/nuke? How do I make one?

Originally posted on iSoaker, the water mine was a water balloon timed to burst after a timer is activated. However, the original posting is currently unavailble.

What kind of homemade would be very cheap, good for a beginner, and easy to build?

The air pressure homemade gets great results, and is very easy to build. The alternative is the constant pressure homemade which is also nearly as easy to build.

Which design performs better, one with each chamber connected at the top or not?

Neither will perform better than the other. However, the connections may be more stable and carry slightly more water.

Will hot glue work as well as epoxy?

No. Hot glue is generally too weak and does not seal as effectively.

Would filling the space of the casing outside of a CPS bladder with pressurized air give the gun extra power?

Assuming you have sealed off the CPS chamber, yes, the maximum possible pressure will be increased. However, the technique defeats the purpose of the CPS (constant pressure system), as it causes the pressure to change depending on how full a the bladder is, as with an air pressure water gun. Pressurized air may also contribute to excessive rubber bladder wear.


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