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Test: Muzzle Velocity

Review: Water Gun Roundup
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Having a strong blast coming down the barrel of your water gun is essential if you want to shock and awe your opponents.  We thought it would be fun to see exactly how fast the water is leaving the guns.  Sure, this is directly related (at least on the single-pump squirters) to how hard you can pull the pump – but since I did all the tests myself, it should at least give a relatively level playing field.

For this test, we used some printed sheets with 1-inch bars on them, and a digital camera with a 30-frame-per-second movie mode. By watching the water move in 1/30 second increments, we could count the number of inches the water moves from the muzzle of the gun and then multiply the calculation out to feet per second. We did this twice for each gun. This is what we found:

As you can see, the Super Soaker’s stream is about twice as fast as the other guns’ flow. Just for comparison, most air rifles have muzzle velocities of 800 feet per second, and BB guns clock in at 200-300 feet per second. Now those two would REALLY hurt if they shot a water blast into your eye.

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  • 1 Hide
    mason_s , May 14, 2009 10:32 PM
    The soakability test needed to include a measure of soakiness over a particular time period. It was pretty obvious going in which one would win; the one with the longest duration on one trigger pull, with little variance from that theme. Had you folks included level of soakiness over, say, ten seconds, regardless of the number of trigger pulls, that would have definitely got the one-pumps back in the game and really gave us an idea of real-world usefullness.

    Other than that, this article has been the highlight of my day! :D 
  • -6 Hide
    Anonymous , May 14, 2009 11:50 PM
    stop wasting the resources
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 15, 2009 12:58 AM
    I had the super soaker 50 as my weapon of choice even against the rich kid with the backpack model super soaker It reigned supreme. The 70 was a good one too but required to much pumping.
  • 0 Hide
    San Pedro , May 15, 2009 1:29 AM
    I like the water cannons. Just a tube to suck water in, and shoot it out of. Only useful if you are at a lake, river, etc, though.
  • 0 Hide
    kato128 , May 15, 2009 1:47 AM
    The only one that could hold a candle to the good ol 50 was the 200. It was a bit heavy but you could soak someone from 20m away. Out gunned my uncle who had the hose one time.
  • 0 Hide
    acherimoya , May 15, 2009 4:05 AM
    Ugh, now I have to dig my old Super Soakers out of whatever closet they're buried in...!!!
  • 2 Hide
    maigo , May 15, 2009 4:12 AM
    I'm a fan of the classic 50, but an adult version would be awesome
    Milled aluminum, larger pump, shoulder strap, quick change bottles.
  • 0 Hide
    StupidRabbit , May 15, 2009 7:51 AM
    :D  I love the scientific graphs used in this article, especially the soakiness.. but great article though, i was surprised to see such an article on this site :) 
  • 0 Hide
    matt2k , May 15, 2009 10:58 AM
    Oh this brings back memories. I remember one summer when a friend who had to much money spent about 150 Euros on a MASSIVE (and highly powerfull) supersoaker. only problem was the tank ran out too fast and getting the maximum pressure was quite tough. of course on max it could drench you in seconds.
    I then used my budding engineering skills to devise a backpack with a small (waterproof) battery powered waterpump to gain more water and sustained pressure. good times :) 
  • 0 Hide
    LATTEH , May 15, 2009 12:40 PM
    damn it how come they dont make water guns when i was a kid they had a backback water tank and a super soaker bazooka
  • 0 Hide
    cielmerlion , May 15, 2009 1:45 PM
    LOL I was one of the ones that saved my money and bought a MASSIVE super soaker when i was little. Took me forever to pay off tohugh i forget how much it was. The this was super heavy and cape with a tripod it was so heavy it broke one of the legs. Good times :p 
  • -5 Hide
    Schizoid , May 15, 2009 1:59 PM
    You might as well fire-up this kind of review under "Tom's Kid Guide". Yes, us mature adults have fun with them too but we don't care to read about it on a *technical* site. THG is not at all what it used to be...thanks BoM.

    The only positive thing is the few cleavage shots!!
  • -5 Hide
    warplord , May 15, 2009 2:09 PM
    Yeah, I got some insight on some "bring back the memories" soakers but, no pun intended, I'd have to agree...this just isn't what Tom's is about bros/sis'. There's nothing technical using a water gun. If you can't find something to write about with all the gadgets out there and all the arguments within these gadgets then you definitely have a problem. Now if you want to rig up a water gun to a computer interfaced via a webcam and a custom controller then go for it! Now that would be interesting!!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 15, 2009 2:44 PM
    I thought this article was AWESOMES!
    I remember when super soakers came out... remember how much they cost? $50! Or at least that's what my parents told me... :( 
    I know there were other soakers out there. I loved my 50 for getting people wet, and I had another that would fire a large amount of water that would run out fast. My favorite though was this unnamed soaker. Yellow body with red container, the steam diameter was soo tiny you could keep the stream at max until the water ran out (shot pretty far too). It was the best for filling with pretty hot water, and then going outside and shooting icicles off my house. Once we had this HUGE icicle, it was dangerous (40 pounds of sheer stabbiness if it fell). My dad went outside with a blowtorch to try and get it down without breaking the window it was hanging over, yet barely made a dent. I went out there with my trusty gun and cut into that thing like a high powered laser XD My gun died though when an impact destroyed the cap on the bottle :( 
    I wish they made more awesome soakers again, with those pressure gauges and all the bells and whistles.
  • 1 Hide
    Tomsguiderachel , May 15, 2009 4:04 PM
    SchizoidYou might as well fire-up this kind of review under "Tom's Kid Guide". Yes, us mature adults have fun with them too but we don't care to read about it on a *technical* site. THG is not at all what it used to be...thanks BoM.The only positive thing is the few cleavage shots!!

    Who is the immature one?
    And yes, we do write reviews for kids' gadgets on this site once in a while. Believe me, you don't want to get into an argument with me on the definition of the word "gadget."
  • 0 Hide
    Tomsguiderachel , May 15, 2009 4:05 PM
    warplordYeah, I got some insight on some "bring back the memories" soakers but, no pun intended, I'd have to agree...this just isn't what Tom's is about bros/sis'. There's nothing technical using a water gun. If you can't find something to write about with all the gadgets out there and all the arguments within these gadgets then you definitely have a problem. Now if you want to rig up a water gun to a computer interfaced via a webcam and a custom controller then go for it! Now that would be interesting!!

    Dude. Just a friendly reminder that we have two sites: Tom's Hardware, and Tom's Guide. No more "Tom's Hardware Guide." Tom's Guide is emphatically NOT a "technical site." Thanks :) 
  • 0 Hide
    KT_WASP , May 15, 2009 7:13 PM
    Heh, I enjoyed this article.. made me think of summers gone by as a kid with nothing to worry about other then water gun wars! Love the charts and all!

    Great work.. and thanks for the memories you brought back!
  • 0 Hide
    Phosters , May 15, 2009 8:29 PM
    Fun article, thanks.
  • 3 Hide
    cracklint , May 15, 2009 8:43 PM
    schizoid & warplord, don't be douche's and ruin everyone elses fun.
  • 1 Hide
    Shadow703793 , May 15, 2009 8:44 PM
    You guys/gals over at the Toms Guides have too much free time.
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