Problems with current water guns
Written by Ben
Last updated on 2008-04-03
To better give manufacturers and idea of what we like and don't like, I'm going to critique current water gun designs below. Most of it is personal opinion, but most people will agree with my points.
While some recent water gun designs are interesting, they are far cries from the old CPS line. While manufacturers might not listen to some of my points because I'm not their target audience, I'm making suggestions that would apply to all age groups. I am not asking to eliminate gimmick water guns that sell to some people. I'm only putting up some suggestions for the higher end blasters. These suggestions aren't something stupid like "Make more powerful water guns." I'd rather address specific issues than say something that involves a lot. These suggestions apply to all brands, but some of the specific suggestions apply more to one brand than another.
- Add real nozzle selectors. Having two triggers for two nozzles is bad design. It complicates things and is certainly more expensive than a nozzle selector. With a real nozzle selector, you can still get the Flash Flood blast by having larger diameter tubing leading up to the firing valve.
- Add larger nozzles. Riot blast nozzles are interesting, but the limited range is not. Most people prefer streams. Having a riot blast option on the nozzle selector is an option. A 4 way selector with 1X, 5X, 10X, and riot blast would be a winning situation all around if you ask me. At worst, if someone doesn't like some of the nozzles, they won't use them.
- Grips and handles could be larger. Generally, it doesn't hurt to make a grip or handle larger than most might use. And the same applies here. Grabbing the tiny grips is terrible for people with hands larger than a 12 year olds'. A 12 year old will not mind grabbing grips larger than their hands.
- Increase PC capacity. The PC capacity of water guns such as the Flash Flood and Arctic Blast is terrible. The PC capacity of the HydroBlitz is more of what I would like to see. Remember, in CPS water guns it's best to have a pressure chamber as large as possible. The pressure is relatively constant, so you don't need full PC capacity to have high power. You can have high power at 50% capacity. I make my PCs extra big as a safety measure in my homemade water guns because I don't add pressure relief valves.
- Make pumps longer. The 6 inch pumps in water guns like the Arctic Blast are terrible. Even a 12 year old would prefer a longer pump. Super Soakers used to have pump capacities of one ounce or more, but now we're stuck with 2/3 ounce. That's terrible.
- Make more traditional designs. I'll admit, the Flash Flood style design is cool for a pistol, but it is no replacement for a main weapon. The HydroBlitz might be big, but it's designed weird and is held differently. Add handles in the typical location, simplify designs to work as expected, etc. The new designs are different, but that's not necessarily a good thing.
- Make less complicated designs. Complicated designs break more often, cost more money, and are probably harder to build. While the HydroBlitz might be the kind of water gun you want to release, I was surprised by the complexity when viewing it. There are two CPS pressure chambers, three valves, at least three check valves, a pressure relief valve, a pump that pumps on both strokes, etc. Last time I checked, simplicity was cheaper and more reliable. I think the trend towards complex designs is bad. Make a return to the more traditional, simple, designs.
- Make the tubing bigger leading up to the nozzle. I've found, as I'm sure you know, that flow restrictions reduce performance greatly. The tubing leading up to the normal nozzles are incredibly restricting, limiting the range of your water guns to about 30 feet. With larger tubing, you could add another 10 feet to that range easily without much cost.
- Make stronger pump rods. The pump rods of recent water guns appear like they'll break if you look at them too hard. Use thicker plastic please. I haven't read much about those rods breaking, but it's something I think could break easily.
Upside down fill caps are a bad idea. (This problem was fixed by Buzz Bee Toys in 2008!)
- Don't thread caps backwards. Enough said. Hasbro, you probably did this so that people would have to buy new water guns to use the backpacks, which is evil. Don't be evil. If you want people to buy new guns, change the size of the cap, not how they are threaded. Changing how they are threaded is extremely annoying.
- Add reservoir cap tethers. It's so easy to lose a cap from today's Super Soakers, and I bet that's what Hasbro wants. Adding a tether doesn't cost much, but improves the blaster.