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A Brief History of Squirt Gun Technology

CmdrTaco posted more than 14 years ago | from the essential-technology dept.

Technology 189

ectospasm writes "This article in the Los Angeles Times is a brief history of the squirt gun, with it's main focus on Super Soaker, the undisputed champion of the water arms race. Interesting because the original Super Soaker idea was the brainchild of a Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineer. I especially like what they say about a forth-coming product line aimed at college-aged children. ;-) " I need a big honkin, uber efficient squirt gun for sniping these kids that keep ringing my doorbell and running.

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189 comments

Re:flame throwers (1)

gonzocanuck (44989) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776359)

Wouldn't you worry about melting the plastic? :-)
ROFL my backwoods uncle could probably make such a thing. Lord knows there's enough old pipes on his farm, not to mention rubber hose, wire, that sort of thing.....personally, I'd never run the risk of losing my eyebrows!

Propellants (2)

dattaway (3088) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776360)

This got me thinking of ways to make a more powerful jet through chemical means. Use vinegar and baking soda for the propellant; however, this would not be cool around people, since vinegar is kind of unpleasant. This also made me think about spud guns, aka potato launchers. Perhaps one could put a disc in a barrel to act like a piston and power it with hair spray just like a spud gun.

Pre-super soaker weaponry. Snake like water gun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1776361)

Anyone remember this water gun that resembled a snake. You SCREW it on your host and it fills up the snake's body (which was just a really thick rubber baloon), then to fire it, you just squeeze the plastic snake head. 30-40 feet was possible with this goodie (until the baloon exploded one day). :) Good education. Real guns can explode in your face if you don't take care of 'em as well!

Money-making (3)

MrEd (60684) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776372)

First off, a water gun too heavy for an eleven-year-old to pick up.... More importantly, note that the range on nearly all super soakers is less than 40 feet. If anyone could come up with a human-powered water gun that could break that to any extent, they'd be rich. Kids will always like guns, and parents will buy them a water gun before they get 'em an air rifle.

By the way, for all of you who like water guns, I suggest renting a power washer from your local hardware store. Just don't point it at people, wooden fences, or anything else that can't take 1300 PSI. ;)

Hardcore toy hazard, though.. (3)

db (3944) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776373)

When I was 10 (back in '91) I bought the first model of the SS50, which, for its size, was by far the farthest advance in water-propelling technology I had ever seen or cared to imagine. I douched everybody when we went at it in the summer time. Then my friend got a 100. Damn him.

However, I discovered an interesting way to make my old SS50 (and second SS50 -- the first had a design flaw that busted some sort of seal if you filled it up too much) actually propel the tank off the gun at a staggering speed, and with a much farther range than the actual water stream. The tank would shoot roughly 50 ft. at a 90 degree angle to the ground... aiming this at lower trajectories ended up worrying my neighbors because they'd see, in essence, a rocket-propelled tank of water rifle across the street. Needless to say, my parents took it away.

The trick is, fill the tank about 1/4 full (or 3/4 empty for all you pessimists) with water, and screw the tank on to create a seal, but not to torque the bottle on so that it cant be quickly unscrewed. Then, begin pumping. Pump the thing until you are either physically exhausted from pumping or the gun refuses to pump any more, which ever comes first (at 10, it was usually the former). Then, with great haste, aim the gun at your target (At *WAIST* level, you could probably put an eye out doing this near your shoulders) and quickly unscrew the water-containment bottle. After about 1/2 to 3/4 a turn, it will rocket off the gun fixture at an incredible speed and for an amazing distance -- something usually not comprehended for something so small.

TECHNICAL NOTES:

TO acheive maximum distance, use a higher-modelled gun with a tank from a smaller model that will still screw onto the water-pressure valve. This allows even more air to be compressed and to fill a smaller volume. Normally this tends to increase distance significantly more than it does speed, though I'm sure the two are related. The last valid combination i tested was an SS50 bottle screwed onto an SS100 gun...

Watch out, neighbor-kids, here I come...

--
Dave Brooks (db@amorphous.org)
http://www.amorphous.org

Ever play Canadian paintball? Freeze + Fire = PAIN (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776374)

Never, EVER, play paintball after August!

Memories of a teen-age water terrorist... (1)

Anonymous Commando (6326) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776375)

I also had an electric MAC-10 water gun - spare clip, matte black finish, almost a precise replica (except for an annoying water leak). I really wanted the UZI, though...

My high-school room-mate (boarding school) and I went out driving around our small town one night in my Firebird (what, me, spoiled rich kid? yep!) with my MAC-10. My room-mate ("Dynomite" Dave) was a somewhat scary looking fellow - long-ish hair, wild eyes, and almost always wearing a Metallica T-Shirt. I drove, he had the water gun, and we instituted a reign (rain? sorry for the pun) of wet terror on the town that night. I remember two incidents in particular:

  • Two people on bikes. Hit them once, circled the block, hit them again. Circled the block - they must have turned off somewhere.
  • 10-year-old kid at a phone booth. Room-mate leaned out the window, pointed water gun at kid, shouted "I'm gonna get you!". Kid looked like he wet himself right there and then.
The really scary part of this? We were both stone-cold sober... :=]

Nowadays, a couple guys pulling a stunt like this would have been sent for psychological evaluation and court-mandated therapy - provided that the police don't shoot them dead on the spot. Those were the days, all right...
________________________

Re:Propellants (1)

Mountaineer (72209) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776376)

You know, there are potato cannons similar to my idea that shoot potatoes at almost the speed of sound and can blow up some fruit pretty mean... You might give it a second thought... or some reaction slightly faster than vinegar + baking soda... Perhaps nitrous or a hydrogen mix.

Re:Lasers and supersoakers (1)

georgeha (43752) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776377)

Damark sells green laser pointers

Re:flame throwers (1)

JerkBoB (7130) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776378)

I've always been tempted to fill one with gas and try to use it as a flame thrower.

Do that. Have someone take picures from far away, though. Post said pictures on the 'net somewhere and let us know about 'em.

heh.

--
A host is a host from coast to coast...

I don't think Larami is anything to support... (1)

Hobbex (41473) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776379)

Here is an example of a virtual monopoly (90% of the market) that vigorously
protects itself by means of litigation giddy lawyers. It is not something that
we should be supporting people.

At least Microsoft isn't suing based on a bunch of bogus patents... yet...

The most fun I had (2)

webslacker (15723) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776380)

A friend of mine back in junior high had a water shotgun. It didn't shoot far at all, held barely enough water for 5 or six shots, but man... people started running when he started pumping it. There was something about the blast of water that made our friends freak out that a water stream could never do. I've been looking for this at every Toys R Us and Walmart I've been to, but I've never been able to find it.

squirt gun as a sniping weapon? (1)

klm20 (39056) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776383)

Rob writes:

I need a big honkin, uber efficient squirt gun for sniping these kids that keep ringing my doorbell and running.

No, what you need for that particular case is a paintball gun.

--
I gave my boss a reality check. It bounced.

Re:first post? (1)

schporto (20516) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776384)

I really have to like the irony of a post of
> Soak me
being moderated to Flamebait....
-cpd

annoying kids (0)

theaphila (56090) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776387)

"I need a big honkin, uber efficient squirt gun for sniping these kids that keep ringing my doorbell and running."

They're just jealous 'cause you get all the techno-talking babes.

"This is my rifle! This is my gun!" (2)

Disco Stu (13103) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776388)

"This is for fight, and this is for fun!"

Ok, repeat after me:
"This is my supersoaker. There may be others like it, but this one is mine. Without me, my supersoaker is useless. Without my supersoaker, I am useless."

Ah.. the memories (1)

Gestahl (64158) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776391)

First... shut up first-post lamers.

Second.. I remember the first Super Soakers. I actually busted mine because I pumped it too full :-) Those things got even better if you pumped them under water... Just as much pressure w/ increased water capacity. I love those, I wonder if there is a water-gun club at my college I am going to? I have to say though that some of the guns recently are just plain ridiculous in terms of size. In a real fight they are too cumbersome and for the small increase in distance it is not that efficient. Furthermore, the smaller streams sting more. My ideal gun would be like a double barreled one, one big and one small for selective snipping. In case you can't tell, I take my water guns seriously :-)

oh boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1776393)

did you catch the part at the bottom about a squirt gun so big that an eleven year old probibly couldn't pick it up...ROCK

How things have changed... (2)

Kerosene (18371) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776395)

Ahhh.... The good ol days of the super soaker 50... It was feared by every kid in the neighborhood. A few weeks ago i got the opportunity to play with the newer models... IT HAD A SHOULDER STRAP!!!!!! It was too heavy for me just to keep holding... I wonder how they'll market these "too heavy for 11 year olds" guns? I havent had a real waterfight in years because they just stopped losing their novelty... It'll be interesting.

The **ULTIMATE** Water Gun... (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1776396)

...was this personal forest fire fighting rig we had. A 5 gallon metal tank backpack, with a 1/2" hose leading into a pump nozzle assembly that sorta looked like an old inline telescopic bicycle tire pump - but bigger.

Shot a 1/2" diameter stream of water about 75'. It was used during forest fire season to put out spot fires, and it weighed 65lbs full (50lbs of that was water!)

When you pack one of these babies, you win whatever water fight you get into - although it's hard to run in when full.

Ahhh, memories...

Water gun havok! (2)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776397)

When I was about 15 or so I was at a youth group retreat. The girls came ot our cabin at about 5 am and woke us up by screaming and throwing confetti. Well, a few nights later we got bakc at them.

'round about 4:30 in the am I had one of the younger guys wake me up. I got about 5 or so of the teenage guys up and we got our water guns ready. I guess I was the Sarge' so I got A water balloon too. We crept to the girls cabin and we concentrated on the back room where the age 13+ girls slept. I slowly opened the window while another group went to chekc the front door.

The frond door was locked so the others came around back too. Just as the window was almost completely open one of those morons come running aound the cabin and says, like we're in a crowded room, DID YOU GET IT OPEN YET? He didn't wake them up. We all got ready. I bit the ends off of my "grenade" and lobbed it in.(the next morning I found out that my I woke up somone by hitting her in the face with that grenade) We opened fire with abut 8 water guns through this open window. For about 30 seconds all I could hear was our laughter and the screams of startled half-asleep chicks on the other side of the window. After we were out of ammo, we told them why and warned them against ever waking us up like that again.

Since the majority of "adults" on this retreat were women and were awakened by our activities we got in trouble while the girls did not, but I refused to accept any punishment as long as the girls went unpunished. (that is another story though)

Also when I was younger than that I got this battery operated water gun that sprayed a continuous stream of water (not like the broken stream of enter-tech type water guns), my best friend and I tood turns hiding in the bushes in front of his house and spraying water into the open windows of any vehicle that drove up the road.

This huge monster truck looking thing came up te road and I was so excited that I started shooting early, the headlights of the truck illuminated the stream from my gun like a silver ribbon that lead straight back to me. The driver of the truck hit his breaks and started to creep back in reverse, I must have army crawled 40 feet in 2 seconds to get the hell out of there.

Anyway, that stuff was extremely fun and I'm just happy that I never got my butt kicked for any of the stuff that I did when I was a youngster. The thing that sucks most about growing up is that I can't do things like that anymore.

LK

Water weenie rules! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1776398)

Get a few feet of surgical tubing, tie a knot in one end, and fill it with water like a water-balloon. Instant high-volume water gun!

Re:flame throwers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1776399)

We used to attach flammable items to our bicycle handlebars and ride around spraying aerosol can into the flame. Made a nice bike flame thrower, even though it was a dangerous, stupid idea.

Re:Remember Entertech? (2)

Jburkholder (28127) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776400)

Yep, I remember being introduced to one of the M-16 models at my college graduation party in '86. My best friend was hosting this party and his snotty little brother was taking pot-shots at us from various vantage points. We were so hammered it took a while to figure out where the water was coming from. Little bastard was doing things like belly-crawling under a picnic bench and releasing a few quick bursts before retreating to refill.

God that thing was cool once we busted him and confiscated it. It looked like the real thing from far enough away and in the twlight lighting. I can see why cops didn't want punks running around with these, they looked real as hell. You could put a pretty good bead of water where you wanted it too, nothing like the volume that you can dispense from a supersoaker, tho. But for stealthy, accurate sniping, this was the sh*t.

Remember water-weenies? (1)

as6o (62436) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776401)

They were just long rubber tubes (supposidly intended for medicinal purposes) tied at one end and attached to the lower half of a ball point pen casing on the other. You could get really long tubes, fill them with water and then wrap it around your body. The elasticity of the rubber would provide pretty serious water pressure. Only annoying thing was that you had to keep your finger over the nozzle, no trigger mechanism. But they were devestating in a water fight, like super soakers are today.

Microsoft (2)

drwiii (434) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776402)

Well, it's not exactly a squirt gun, but it's close [min.net] ..

Re:Lasers and supersoakers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1776403)

Would it be possible to embed a laser _inside_ the gun for a sort of fiber-optic illuminated water-stream effect? Now _that_ would be cool. :)

I had one of these (1)

Otto (17870) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776404)

Basically it was just a rubber bladder that had a hose attachment on it.. you screw it on, fill 'er up, let go of the little plastic clamp to close it, turn off the water..

Then to fire, you pushed the clamp, it released the pressure and bammo! 30 feet easy..

I too had the ballon explode in my face, and cause me a pretty good injury (cut my chin when the clamp hit me).. nothing serious, but painful nonetheless.. I do believe that's why you can't find them anymore. :-)

Still, great fun, and cheap too.

Re:Hardcore toy hazard, though.. (1)

Rob Parkhill (1444) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776405)

Sounds like a make-shift water rocket to me! I love water rockets, but it pretty hard to find good ones anymore. Someone must have passed a law limiting the range, so most of the new ones suck. Either that, or they are just trying to save some money by using crappy parts.

Of course, firing one of these things while in a crowd is always fun. That sucker comes screaming back down to Earth pretty fast!

Of course, for real fun, build yourself a water rocket using liquid notrogen. The original page at SGI is gone (which described using a water-cooler bottle for the rocket body!), but here is a good replacement [rocket.tc] that can get you started.

Re:squirt gun as a sniping weapon? (1)

zuvembi (30889) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776416)

I always thought it would be fun to take a bottle of 'Pure Capsicum Oil' Available at your finer specialty food markets and mix it with water or oil (whichever works better) and spray people with it.

Re:The most fun I had (1)

JerkBoB (7130) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776417)

A friend of mine back in junior high had a water shotgun.

YES!! I had one, too. Also had a 9mm. The slide would cock it for a one-shot bolt of water. I loved those things. I can't remember which company it was that made them, though.

Wonder if they're still in the attic somewhere at the folks' place? They didn't have the same firepower as supersoakers, but they were damn cool.

--
A host is a host from coast to coast...

Re:Huge Syringe-type water cannon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1776418)

That's called a dipstick, at least the one I used was. Kicks the crap out of any supersoaker. We used one to plaster smokers outside our dormitory when the smoke drifted in and they didn't listen to politer requests to move somewhere else.

Re:Huge Syringe-type water cannon (1)

zuvembi (30889) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776419)

And don't forget those 3-man-crew water-balloon slingshots -- 250 foot range!

Ahh, many is the time we would get onto the roof of my friends three-story house and launch balloons, fruit, tennis balls, and cake in any and all directions. Though I do believe we got significantly more range out of it than 250 ft. Balloons filled with a little water soluble paint were fun.

Sniff, sniff, that was more fun than a bag of kittens and a hammer :)

(yes that is a joke about the kittens)

Re:flame throwers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1776420)

I filled a 50' with gasoline and don't recommend that approach. It works well until the first little bit of air comes out of the barrel as you start running out of water. End result is the fuel inside catches on fire and you end up with a broken super soaker good thing we were testing on a dock...

Laser sights and small woodland creatures (1)

apirkle (40268) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776421)

Are there any laser sights out there that can be seen in broad daylight? I have a Daisy laser sight that I tried on my paintball gun, but during the daytime you can only see it up to a few feet away. Laser pointers are the same if not worse.

Anyone ever try skeet shooting with a frisbee and a super soaker? It's very fun...plus, with all that practice, you could move on up to other moving targets, like, say, squirrels.

Someone please make a video of a squirrel getting taken down by a Super Soaker and put it on the web. It could join the ranks of classics like the sheep running into the wall.
My Boot: Movies [myboot.com] has that classic bit of cinematography and some other gems, too.

Re:Remember water-weenies? (1)

Vertigo1 (5415) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776422)

Those things rule! I had so many of those things. I remeber if they broke all you had to do was cut the tube and stick the pentop thing back in and zip-tie it on.. Then fill-er up.. a little shorter but still worked..

Re:flame throwers (HOWTO) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1776423)

One way to get closer to your kids is to share a fun project with them. Here is how to have a ``gas'' with the rugrats: Family Flame Thrower Fun [totse.com]

rockets (1)

Kyobu (12511) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776424)

When I was in middle school, my friend Eli claimed that he and another kid, Chris, had built a rocket launcher using PVC tubing and Estes rocket engines. Frankly, I was inclined to believe him. They were that kind of guys.

Re:first post? (1)

cdlu (65838) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776425)

Who's the twit that changed it to troll? :)

Re:Historic Squirt Gun Control Bill (1)

ectospasm (5186) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776436)

This should have been posted on segfault.

are these guns open source? (1)

jackmott (71631) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776437)

god I have to stop doing this...

haha

Hose the buggers. (1)

EXpunk (66988) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776438)

"I need a big honkin, uber efficient squirt gun for sniping these kids that keep ringing my doorbell and running."

The hell with that. Get the biggest, baddest of those Super Soakers and fill the bad MF with BLEACH, then hose the bastards. That'll learn em.

(all said with tongue placed firmly in cheek. A redneck I may be, but I'm not /cruel/)

Don't emulate the Nazis! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1776439)

First of all, this "uber" thing is bogus. You mean "über". The umlaut is mandatory. If you have no umlaut, you may write it "ueber" instead. But "uber" is always the mark of an illiterate.

More importantly, the use of that term invokes the horrid imagery of the most famous use of it, Friedrich Nietzsche's Übermenschen, which was later adopted by the Nazis as official party terminology. It means "superhumans", if you would, and was used to justify the eugenics experiments, torture, and the Holocaust. Every time you use the prefix, you summon up the ghosts of millions and millions and millions of Russians, Jews, Gays, Gypsies, and everyone else whom the Third Reich murdered. Shame on you, each and every one of you!

Re:Ah.. the memories (1)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776440)

:-)

I used to have a pair of waterguns with electric pumps -- full autos. Eeeeeeevil. They were still pretty accurate out to 20-30' or so... it's a darn shame that the corrosion got to 'em.

I've also played paintball a couple of times. If I really, really wanted to indulge myself, and didn't mind paying through the nose, I'd probably look for a fine paintball gun.

* Semi-auto, at least. The ultimate would be switch-selectable (semi/fully), but dunno if those even exist for PB. Figure it'd play the role of an SMG. If the thing could take a clip or some other kind of quick loading mechanism, so much the better.

* Preferably "stealthy". That is, quiet as possible, minimal reflectivity (especially specular), meaning as much black matte finish as possible I guess... {evil grin}

* Not too heavy, or alternately, perhaps a lightweight folding stock.

Dunno if that's all possible at a remotely nice price, 'tho. That, and I don't play nearly enough to justify a purchase... heh.

The Problem (1)

gatech (61342) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776441)

The problem with water guns is you can't use them around computers. They tend to cause some expensive damage. :)

Rich

Re:Ueber, Ueber, Ueber (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1776442)

Yes, ueber is still used. But what's wrong with super? For a nonnative speaker to use ueber is to much the mark of an Uebermensch who wants to be ueber Alles.

Re:Entertech (1)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776443)

YES! That's the company that made my pair of automatics, me think! Hehehehehehehehehehehe.

{recalls evil^H^H^H^Hfun memories}

Re:flame throwers (1)

Jake96 (69645) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776444)

Back in high school, the neighbor kid and I used to take one of those backyardyard insecticide sprayers and fill it with gasoline to make a flame thrower. The device was a 5-gallon drum with a hand-operated pump on top to pressurize the liquid and a short tube connecting to a metal wand about 1' long with a garden-hose-style trigger on it to release the liquid. We'd fill up the drum, pump for pressure, squirt a bit to get a slow drip going on the end to light, then write our names in the grass by his house.


Oddly enough, I never died a fiery death.

=============

Was it orange? (1)

Thag (8436) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776445)

I have an orange pump-action water shotgun with a yellow detachable "banana clip" reservoir that I got maybe 10 years ago.

They ARE fun, though the range is nothing like a super soaker's.

Jon

Spudguns, Airguns, psi.. oh, my! (1)

ToyKeeper (17042) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776446)

There are lots of designs online for pneumatic guns, usually spudguns. These things are great fun! I've built a couple myself, and I can shoot pretty much anything that fits in the barrel (including thick shotgun-like bursts of water).

Of course, these are a hell of a lot more dangerous than Super Soakers, and even more dangerous than paintball guns. But they're great fun if you don't hurt living creatures with them! :)

Shameless plug: My mini-spudgun page [colostate.edu]

I've got a really small version that would work wonders in a food fight, too... It goes "poot" when it fires. :)

Ueber, Ueber, Ueber (1)

gatech (61342) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776447)

The word ueber was around before the Nazis. To say that we should not use something because they used it is totally backward. The swastika was a religious symbol a long time before the Nazi party began using it, so does that mean an entire religion should stop using one of their symbols? NO!!!

The Nazis did _alot_ of bad and evil things to _alot_ of people but that does not mean that we need to stop using everything they used because of the fact that they used it also.

By the way, did you know the Nazis also used early computers? Should we stop using those also?

Rich

Re:Huge Syringe-type water cannon (1)

Kintanon (65528) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776448)

I prefered my modified version using a large PVC pipe as a frame with the surgical tubing. A good tripod built onto it too. Only needed one person, drop the balloon in the sling, pull back the slide, it clicks into place, pull the lever and PHHHOOOOM! Great range because I could winch it back farther than It would go with me and my friends pulling it... Course, that meant a 10ft long PVC pipe...


Valis

Re:Lasers and supersoakers (1)

Jethro (14165) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776449)

> Damark sells green laser pointers

Where/Who/What is Demark?

Odd Similarities (1)

Phil Gregory (1042) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776450)

The article had some interesting sections. It mentions that Larami holds 90% of the $215 million per year industry and later says

Getting consumers to keep trading up for more powerful guns is a key component to Larami's strategy. The New Jersey-based company covers nearly every price point, from a few dollars for the cheapest model to the $39.95 price tag on the CPS 3000.

But Larami, which was acquired by toy giant Hasbro Inc. for about $100 million five years ago, has also maintained its stranglehold through constant innovation, gaining nearly 20 patents over the last decade and suing every other toy maker that comes near its designs.

Sound familiar?


--Phil (They are fun to play with, though. I still have my Super Soaker 50.)

Super Soaker 400 (1)

MouseR (3264) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776451)

I turned 29 in june. One of my present was a Super Soaker 400 (the beige+brown+orange model).

This thing has a garden hose attachment with valve. When you need to fill up the fun, you just press the gun's nozzle down the garden hose attachment, and it fills up in about 4 seconds. Holding the "shooting button" (whatever that's called in english) actually helps filling faster (about 3 seconds).

A small pressure valve ensures you dont blow the thing apart.

This thing was the most fun since a friend of mine bought the first Larami soakers back a few years, to his son.

That original soaker (still available--I've seen it in store) has it's tank on top, bottom facing forward. The nice thing about it is that the tank's fillets match those used on garden hoses. So, 1+1=me acutally using the gun without the tank, directly attached to the garden hose. That could reach 150 feet. Well, until the gun started tearing apart.

For this reason, I've been waiting the the ultimate water gun. Entirely aluminum-based.

Re:Factoid + mini-rant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1776452)

Welcome... to the wild and wacky world of "positive dscrimination"?

Re:Lasers and supersoakers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1776453)

Isn't Demark that Scandihoovian country just above Sweeten?

Re:Entertech (1)

Andrew Lockhart (4470) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776454)

Yeah, I even remember them having some sort of bazooka model. I think it was like one of those water pressure power rockets you see in supermarkets in the toy aisle, only it looked like a bazooka.

Water Weenie!!!!! (2)

goten (36521) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776465)

Actually you can still make these, just get then end of a ball point pen, about 3 feet of surgical tubing (any drug store has it, no prescription) that is 5/8" diameter. Tie one end of the tubing shut and then put the pen end in the other side of the tube. Then get the cap from a 2 liter pop bottle, drill a hole in the middle of it and attach it to the hose. Push the pen cap into the hole in the bottle cap and turn on the water. Fills it right up, and you get a nice stream that isn't very thick, but it shoots a good 30 feet or more.

Re:gods... (1)

TonyBologna (73084) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776466)

Come on now, you know which model you have. Is it the 3000 or the 2500. I bet you're a closet Super-Soaker professional. You probably even own Ricky Martin's new CD!

Pigeon Deterrant! (1)

Tekmage (17375) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776467)

That's what I use mine for. Bought an XP70 to soak any pigeon that sets a foot on our balcony.

It's even more fun now that they watch for movement. I have to sneak up from the side or crawl along the floor, slowly creep the patio door open, then ping them off, one by one. :-)

Oodles of fun!

Re:Ah.. the memories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1776468)

Sounds like you want is a... Shocker.. or an Angel... both "Electro-pnuematic" paintball markers... both expensive as hell (~$1000) but both VERRY nice... I haven't played in about a year, so my info might be a wee outdated, but the angels I had a chance to play with was DAMNED nice...

Re:"This is my rifle! This is my gun!" (1)

Disco Stu (13103) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776469)

You're probably right. I couldn't remember which it was, and I was too lazy to check. =)

Re:super soaker terrorism (1)

zaw (40348) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776470)

That's happened with old fashion watergun in city that I live in alerdy. Some psyco kid fill up the watergun with some liquid LSD and Start spraying at every one.. it was crazy, Peoples running all wild and some kids enjoyed.

I've made them (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1776472)

Standard super-soaker, I've done 'em in 2 configurations. 1, where I led a rubber hose into a gas tank on the ground, and 2, where I actually filled up the super-soaker with actual gas (plain old gas you can get at the local gas-station). There are some safeguards you need to keep in mind, Only fire in short, blasts.. and then pump again, because you dont want the pressure going down and the fire snaking it's way back to the soaker.

To avoid the plastic from being melted what I did was find a __/ shaped piece of wood, and duct-taped one end to the soaker, and wrapped the other end in some spare cloth. I soaked the cloth in gas, and lit it with a lighter, and pumped and fired. It was FUCKING SWEEEET, the flame went out at least 8 feet in front of you.

Of course, all the necessariy precautions need to be taken, and if you let the flame snake back into the gas tank, especially when the gas-tank is half-full and the other half is full of vapors, you're toast, but that's not hard to avoid if you actually have a brain. I never used more than 2-second blasts.. longer than that, and you're leaving yourself open.

Fire is fun :)

AC Boy

Re:Ah.. the memories (1)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776474)

Yeah. I'm not about to toss that kind of cash at a merely occasional diversion. But maybe eventually. Heh.

Do you remember... (1)

Shads (4567) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776482)

The super soaker water cannon with the backpack that shot a stream of water about the size of your index finger aobut 60ft? that thing rocked the house... armed with that and a few water baloons your set for a full scale invasion... it also helps if you put red food coloring in the tank.... but that tends to piss the parents off abit... =) Shadus

Re:"This is my rifle! This is my gun!" (1)

-=albert (67747) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776483)

"This is for fight, and this is for fun!"

I do believe it's: "This is for shooting...", but then again I could be wrong.

super soaker terrorism (1)

drenehtsral (29789) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776484)

Does anybody else remember when they were going to ban super-soakers because various young hooligans (mostly kids in poor neighborhoods) were filling them with bleach and blinding rich kids?
I used to love playing with supersoakers, although i never sprayed anything _that_ evil out of them...

Easy. (1)

pete@unb (70285) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776485)

easy pal.
the topic is water guns.
you don't come out with all this hard-core-$hit about first post etiquite.

don't be a bummer.
it's summer.

--==+
water, water, all around...and ner' a drop to shoot...
+==--

Re:first post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1776486)

Quick, call the gaurds, there is an imposter in the house!

Entertech (1)

Dr Drew (15165) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776488)

I really don't get it. These new guns do nothing for me. I'll grant they have power, range, and volume on their side, but "look and feel" issues are what bother me. I remember good old entertech, the company that made ALL of the waterguns for a while, back in the day. They looked like guns, felt like guns, and some even sounded like guns. They even had a "water grenade" kit, that was a really cool take on water baloons. Nowadays, you can't wage war with a super soaker, they are more of a fun joke than anything else. I'm not saying I don't appreciate them at all, they just don't have the "love" that the old entertech guns had.

I was disappointed... (1)

schon (31600) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776491)

I read the article, and there was no mention of my KG-9,Mac-10, and Browning 9mm electric-pump replicas.. (they were even made by Laramie!)... Sure, they aren't as powerful as the super-soaker, but in the late 80's, they were the ultimate water-gun.. I would put them up against a first-generation super-soaker any day...

Anyone else remember these things? *sigh* those were the days...

gods... (1)

Vorx (876) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776493)

I've got one of those shoulder-strap super-soakers (I think it's the 3000? or 2500?, whicheverone doesn't have the backpack) -- talk about portable cannon! Forget little squirt guns, you load up the chamber on that puppy and you can wash your fscking car with it! Takes a person from bone-dry to we-took-a-shower-with-our-clothes-on-again-didn't- we wet in 1 sec or so... Truly useful when annoyances come knocking at your front door... Amazingly, I don't get too many door-to-door annoyances anymore... I just open the door with that bastage in hand -- annoyances leave quickly, heheh....

Super Soakers vs. Motorized water guns (1)

Octal (310) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776495)

I remember, before supersoakers came out, that my brother bought a motorized water gun, so that when you pushed the button, a motorized water pump went on and it fired. Next year, supersoakers came out, and we got a 50 I think it was, the classic size with the one tank on top, and it kicked the motorized squirt gun back to the stone age.

Hmmmmm... :) (3)

tgd (2822) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776497)

Ah yeah, the joys of super soakers.

I still think they need to make one you can snap CO2 cartridges into. Too inefficient to have to stop and pump it up in the heat of a battle.

Laser sights are nice. For a couple years I've had a 5mw laser module thats migrated around my various weapons of choice. Useful on the waterguns when you can't hit someone directly, but want to splatter the stream off something over their head.

Also very useful on the suction-cup dart guns they used to make. (The ones that would leave welts, not the new toned down ones) With a laser site on my circa 1994 six-shot SuperSoaker dart gun, and specially reinforced darts (the new darts aren't strong enough for the old guns), I can raise a welt from fifty feet away with dead-on accuracy!

Re:I don't think Larami is anything to support... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1776502)

Here here!

I most specificially liked this comment:

We have an engineering staff that works on developing new guns all the time," said Al Davis, a co-founder and executive vice president of Larami. "If other companies step on our patents, we don't hesitate going after them.

Re:Ah.. the memories (1)

Audent (35893) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776503)

The best water pistol (as the rest of the world calls them) I ever saw was called The Saturator. Kind of like a pistol-grip shotgun with a banana clip magazine underneath - it was about 2ft long with a pump action that would load the barrel completely full with water. Firing it loosed the whole lot out to about 15ft max, but it was so powerful it had recoil that was surprising and you had to be careful not to aim for the head.
It was beautiful... Mmmmmm, Saturatooooorrrrr!

Re:Ah.. the memories (1)

Audent (35893) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776504)

The best water pistol (as the rest of the world calls them) I ever saw was called The Saturator. Kind of like a pistol-grip shotgun with a banana clip magazine underneath - it was about 2ft long with a pump action that would load the barrel completely full with water. Firing it loosed the whole lot out to about 15ft max, but it was so powerful it had recoil that was surprising and you had to be careful not to aim for the head.
It was beautiful... Mmmmmm, Saturatooooorrrrr! If anyone knows where to get one (last seen late 80s) I'd be droolingly grateful for the info.

Re:Don't emulate the Nazis! (1)

ODiV (51631) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776505)

The Nazis completely ruined the prefix 'super' in the German language?!

I find that a little hard to believe... but then again, I'm no historian/linguist/or whatever.

Factoid + mini-rant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1776506)

The inventor (Lonnie Johson) is African-American.

Mini-rant: Why doesn't Slashdot post more stories about the tech accomplishments of women & minorities? (Besides Linus, that is). Example: Compaq getting a male CEO was news, while Hewlett-Packard getting a female CEO wasn't.

--Isaac-Lew, employed now but working with NT :(

Um, did you just say...? (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776508)

>I douched everybody when we went at it in the summer time.

WHAT?!?!?!?!

LK

Fond memories (2)

longspur (1853) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776509)

I remember when I got a Super Soaker XP-Something or another and gained a new appreciation for the work that Laramie had put into their products. I squirted everybody that I could, and became a proficient sprinter at the same time. I became dissatisfied with the performance of the weapon after a short while, and proceeded to modify it. It turns out, that on this particular model there was a two-part nozzle that had a little cone-shaped piece of plastic in the middle that forced the water out at greater pressures. I decided to remove this and see what happened. Needless to say, the distance on my shots decreased from about 35' to 15', and my endurance in water battles was greatly diminished, but there's nothing better than jumping out of some bushes at someone and emptying your whole tank of water on them in under 5 seconds. Kind of like the "Sawed-off shotgun" approach to water battles...

Re:Factoid + mini-rant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1776511)

They don't post stories of minorities because they're Uebermenschen.

The best watergun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1776514)


The best watertoy in my opinion is this old thing I used to have. I don't remember the name, but it was basically a ~3 foot long piece of PVC tube that was about ~3.5 inches in diameter, with this plunger at the holders end, and dramatically reduced nossle. You could drench someone very fast with it, and generate ALOT of force, at pretty good range. Really best for the element of suprise, and what fun is it to hit someone if you catch them aware? ;)

FallLine @ work

flame throwers (2)

Raindog (13847) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776521)

I've always been tempted to fill one with gas and try to use it as a flame thrower.....but better sense has always gotten the better of me. OK, its a horrible little idea, but have any of the little pyros tried it?

Pop Bottles (1)

Mountaineer (72209) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776522)

Get a big 2 liter soda bottle, makes a great air tank.

What about a HUGE piece of PVC, and an air compressor (personal model, the mini-tanks at the auto shop, experimental, think the hugest compressor you can get at HQ, or your university lab). Pump the air into a high pressure storage tank that can release it all at once, have a shutter built in to release the water & air simultaneously (don't want the air pressure to break the assembly, so don't pressurize the actual gun). Flow water down into the barrel with the air just behind. Like a big thick water bullet. You'll want a wide nozzle so it doesn't all turn to mist right away. Might be fun as long as you don't shoot the darn thing at people!

Re:I was disappointed... (2)

tgd (2822) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776523)

I had one of those battery-powered 9mm water guns probably ten or twelve years ago. I loved that thing, before the days of super soakers, that bad boy was da bomb! :)

The newer supersoakers can't easily be hidden either. In hind sight, that old one looked an awful lot like a real gun. I'm probably lucky I didn't get shot by a cop.

Burned the thing out when I added a strap on battery pack that doubled the speed it shot at. Didn't make it through the summer, I seem to recall.

The true history of the squirt gun. (5)

Shoeboy (16224) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776524)

37 b.c. Roman General Semper Cuni Linctus develops Squirtus Maximus, an ox bladder filled with water, that is operated by a legionaire jumping up and down on top of it. The device is used to dampen the resistence of the Gauls in what is now Southern France.

800 a.d. Danish barbarian modify the Squirtus by adding a nozzle. The weapon is used by chieftan Unferth the Hairy during his invasion of Ireland. Marks the first and last time in history that an Irishman is known to have showered.

1200 a.d. Improved squirtgun consisting of a large water reservoir and a modified billows is used by Islamic forces attempting to lift the crusader siege of Acre. Entire christian army is rusted solid and subsequently slaughtered.

1345 a.d. Rebelious Flemish peasants route a French army by using water filled gourds that smash on impact. Considered by historians to be the first appearance of the water balloon.

1356 a.d. Pope Pius IX bans the use of water based weaponry in a papal edict arguing that it is a "mockery of god who has dominion over the waters of the earth."

1803 a.d. Steel tubes with a nozzle on one end and a piston on the other are used by Portugese guerillas to expel fluids in the general direction of french occupation forces. Weapons are prone to rust and less than effective against muskets.

1939 a.d. Rust proof stainless steel squirt guns used by Nazi forces occupying Norway. The weapon is found to be non-functional during the norwegian winters.

1958 a.d. Soviet scientists develop first plastic squirt gun. Eisenhower warns nation of a "squirt gap" School children accross the country engage in squirting drills where they crawl under their desks and cover their heads.

1959 a.d. U.S. scientist in the secret "Vaudeville Project" develop the squirting flower.

1983 a.d. President reagan accused off selling squirt guns to Iran in exchange for freedom of US hostages.

1999 a.d. Timeline joke has grown stale. Shoeboy decides to stop and submit his post.

--Shoeboy

SuperSoaker 30 (1)

wynlyndd (5732) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776525)

Fits in briefcase and is easy to smuggle into a theater.

'Nuff said ;)

Huge Syringe-type water cannon (2)

Waffle_House_guy (73417) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776526)

I don't have a SuperSoaker, but I do have this thing that is like a humongous syringe (w/o needle of course) and a pistol grip on the end of the plunger. The whole thing is about 3 ft. long when empty, ~ 6 ft. long loaded full. No batteries, easy to fill -- just stick the business end in a bucket, full sink, swimming pool, river, etc. and draw back on the plunger handle...

They were originally designed to pump the bilge water out of canoes and kyacks, but they pump a *fat* stream of H20 when used in reverse, baby!

I use mine to hunt/snipe the large racoon population that inhabit my apt complex.

My uncle gave me mine as a gift, but I think you can find them through outfitters that specialize in whitewater rafting, canoeing, etc.

And don't forget those 3-man-crew water-balloon slingshots -- 250 foot range!


"Women love me, 'Coons fear me!"

Re:squirt gun as a sniping weapon? (1)

falconer16 (18752) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776527)

No no no

Rob needs to do what the head of my local LUG did as a child. Find a good squirt gun and fill that bad boy up with freon(sp?).

paintball (1)

ranton (36917) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776528)

I still say that a good painball gun is better than any water gun. The only problem is that they are very expensive and you cant hit your brother in the face with one.

Lasers and supersoakers (2)

dattaway (3088) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776529)

Laser pointers and your supersoaker would be a great combination at the evening pool parties. Lasers really light up mists of water. I know mine shines a bright, spectacular beam in the fog. Imagine the display you could have with a bright red jet from the end of your gun!

Do they make laser diodes of different colors besides red yet?

Re:squirt gun as a sniping weapon? (1)

Jonny Angel (73416) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776530)

Either that or spend a weekend dumster diving behind the local F.D. and buy a spanner wrench from Home Depot... lil' buggers won't know what hit them. Works great for crowd control too!

Jonny Angel

The Battle of Waterloo was won .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1776543)

If the Battle of Waterloo was on on the playing fields of Eaton, was Battle of the Balkans was won on the water soaked pavement of Elm Street?

Re:I was disappointed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1776544)

I had an UZI from this school of water guns. It wasn't electric but it was made by Laramie and I remember it being the first water gun to really impress me. It was 89-90 when I bought it from an older kid and there was nothing like it in the stores (at least in my area).

Re:Entertech (1)

jcrosby (42052) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776545)

The AK Centerfire was great! But, like all other electronic toys and appliances in my house (sorry Mom) I had to take it apart and eventually used the electrical pump for another project. I wanted to connect it to a water filled backpack so I could soak my friends all day. I think a lot of tech oriented people probably destroyed appliances in a similar manner when they were young(er). Almost all of my colleagues have admitted to such a thing. (Heck, I'm still tearing things up to figure them out)

Remember Entertech? (2)

isaac (2852) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776546)

Ten years ago, the squirt gun market was still largely the province of 29-cent plastic pistols that could barely douse an insect. Squirt guns weren't even tracked as a separate category by toy industry analysts. Today it is a $215-million-a-year business in the United States, and Larami owns 90% of it.

Err, as I remember it, 10 years ago Entertech was winning the watergun arms-race with a line of battery-powered auto-firing squirt guns; I miss those things! OK, the clips were too damn small and hard to fill, the guns tended to leak, and the electronics tended to rust and/or short out after a year or two, but man were they cool! I had their Tek-9 look-alike (a step above their handgun-style models) but what I really wanted were the M-16 or RPG monsters; couldn't afford them, though, on my middle school lunch money. The quick-fill "grenade" water-balloon pump that looked like a plunger-style detonation trigger was pretty cool, too.

Less than a year later, though, new laws required the barrels of gun-shaped toys to be brightly and unrealistically coloured (IIRC, this was after a several kids were gunned down by cops who apparently couldn't distinguish their water/Lazer Tag(TM) guns were the real deal), and the realistic Entertech weapons lost much of their appeal with bright red barrels.

Super-soakers arrived a year later and made waterguns fun again. Also, they worked better.

-Isaac

Re:flame throwers (1)

drenehtsral (29789) | more than 14 years ago | (#1776547)

My friend Sean in high school did that with the oil pump from an old oild furnace, but with a new and improved motor attatched to the pump. That worked well because that had a dodad to keep it from burning back, wheras a super soaker does not. I think that would probably be a good way to burn the hell out of your hand. Sort of like charging a butane lighter with a mix of butane and nitrous oxide (a pretty good oxidizing agent...)
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