The 10 Best Water Guns

video play icon

This wiki has been updated 29 times since it was first published in January of 2016. Water guns promote outdoor fun and encourage kids to run around in the fresh air, instead of staying hunched over their computers and phone screens all summer. If you want your youngsters to enjoy the warmer months the old-fashioned way, check out our selection of the coolest poolside and backyard toys today. We've also included several options that don't resemble actual weapons. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Nerf Fortnite TS-R

2. Nerf Rebelle Mini

3. Super Soaker Squall Surge

Editor's Notes

October 26, 2020:

For this update, we've added three new weapons for your next backyard water war. Nerf continues to dominate the category of armaments for children, and their Super Soaker Squall Surge joins three others on the list from the popular brand. The newcomer is great for extended battle sessions because you don't have to fill it as often as many other models. What it lacks in drenching power, it makes up for in longevity - and its reviews are top-notch.

We've also added the Zuru X-Shot Warfare Blaster for its awesome refill speed, which hovers around one second when dunked into a body of water. We've removed the Neliblu Party Pack, which had availability issues, and replaced it with the Prextex Party Pack, which offers 28 little guns at an affordable price if you're looking for party favors.

Finally, we've updated the information for several listings, including the Poolmaster Hot Shots and the Nerf Fortnite TS-R.

November 07, 2019:

It's hard to imagine a summertime activity more fun than a water gun fight. The toys we've picked out were chosen because of their visual appeal, squirting range, and ease of use. You'll notice that this list features multi-packs that are great for parties or households with multiple children, in addition to detailed pump-action "weapons" that can expel water at distances up to 20 yards. If you're interested in products that promote less raucous interactions between kids, there are plenty of pool toys on the market that fit that description, too.

The Nerf Fortnite TS-R, Nerf Rebelle Mini, and Saocool Super are new additions to this list. The Fortnite was awarded the first spot because of the game's overwhelming popularity among youngsters, while the Rebelle Mini got the second because of its unique, girl-friendly appearance. Because of its water capacity and appealing design, the Saocool Super won the third slot from the top. The Buzz Bee Stingray Blaster, Velocity Toys Summer Blast, and Super Soaker Switch Shot Blaster have been removed due to performance issues and availability concerns.

4. Zuru X-Shot Warfare Blaster

5. Kwik Tek Aqua Zooka

6. Prextex Party Pack

7. Poolmaster Hot Shots

8. Nerf Scatterblast

9. Stream Machine DB-1500 Double Barrel

10. Theo Klein Firefighter

5 Utilitarian Uses for A Water Gun

While it may seem odd to point a pistol at your kitten, the average water gun unloads as a thin stream, as opposed to a wide spray.

Who says water guns are just for kids? As a device, the water gun can be used for any number of things. Here are five tremendous uses for a water gun, each of which is unique, utilitarian, and fun:

1. The Garden Soaker: People with delicate plants often feel like they need to tiptoe around the garden with a hose. A Super Soaker (see above) is all you need to solve that problem. Watering your plants with a water rifle is an efficient way to save time and money and water.

2. The Sand Blaster: If you love the beach but hate the idea of having to wait in line to wash the sand off your feet, keep a high-powered water gun inside your bag. While everyone else is waiting to use a spigot, you could be on your way to the car.

3. The "Shot" Gun: Mix up a batch of your favorite cocktail, then fill an old-style water gun with that mixed drink (making sure the gun is either sanitized or new). Now you can squirt the shots directly into any party-goer's mouth.

4. The Oil Can: In many cases, the challenge of using a lubricant comes down to firing that liquid into a tiny crevice or hole. Rather than struggle with a squirt bottle (or an aerosol container), simply pour the contents into a water pistol. Now all you need to do is pull the trigger for oil.

5. The Lion Tamer: Spray bottles filled with water have long been used as an effective deterrent for training young cats. While it may seem odd to point a pistol at your kitten, the average water gun unloads as a thin stream, as opposed to a wide spray. This could be an efficient means of keeping your furniture from getting all wet.

How To Fix The 3 Most Common Water Gun Problems

Most water guns are known to experience a little dribbling from time to time. What's happening when this occurs is that a spring inside hasn't succeeded in pushing the trigger back into place. Either that or the trigger has somehow fallen off its groove. In either event, all it really takes to fix this problem is a few pumps or a quick pull on the trigger. More often than not, you can actually feel the difference when the trigger slips back in its groove.

If you own a water rifle and the pump gets jammed, the first thing you'll want to try is lubricating that pump with either silicone spray or Vaseline. Assuming that doesn't work, you may need to open the rifle by using a screwdriver. Once you've done that, check the screens inside for any clogs.

If a minor crack forms along any part of a water gun - or equivalent rifle - you can seal that crack up with a can of epoxy putty. Epoxy putty is water-proof, which is why it is consistently used in plumbing. It works more effectively on water guns than any other adhesive, and it also expands to provide a more solid hold.

A Brief History Of The Water Gun

Would you believe that the water gun can trace its roots all the way back to the Civil War? It's true. There is even a record of General William Tecumseh Sherman complaining that his armaments were such that he "might as well be putting out the flames of a burning house with a squirt gun."

It didn't take long for manufacturers to determine that the liquid pistol should be marketed to children.

The first-ever patent for a water gun was awarded to a man named Russell Parker in 1896. Parker called his invention The USA Liquid Pistol. This cast-iron handgun looked a lot like an antique derringer. It came with a leather holster, as well as a squeeze bulb and a tube (picture a squirting flower). Parker had initially tripped over his invention by accident. His expertise was in producing "rubber water syringes" for conducting enemas. Thus the squeeze bulb and the tube.

It didn't take long for manufacturers to determine that the liquid pistol should be marketed to children. As a result, the cast-iron mold was eventually replaced with shades of plastic. The squeeze bulb was redesigned to sit inside the pistol's handle. Newer guns were activated by a trigger. A hole was drilled into the hammer. That hammer took in water through a tube.

Water guns were only altered slightly from the 1930s up until the 1970s. In 1977 the first air-pressure-activated water rifle hit stores. This rifle's design revolutionized the industry, culminating with the introduction of Lonnie Johnson's Super Soaker in 1990. The Super Soaker was a rapid-fire water rifle that looked and behaved much like an M-16. The high-pressure action allowed for a long, unending stream that could hit targets at up to 30 feet away.

Today you can purchase water rifles from any number of manufacturers. Certain models come equipped with interchangeable magazines and rotating nozzles. You can even purchase water grenades, which are actually nothing more than army-green balloons ... that is, assuming you're hardcore.

Shilo Urban
Last updated by Shilo Urban

Shilo lives for adventures in far-away lands and reads books like it’s going out of style (which it is). Dogs are her co-pilots. She’s traveled to 60 countries and has lived in Austin (where she received a BA from the University of Texas), Maine, Paris, Seattle, New Zealand, Los Angeles, and now—Fort Worth. Before becoming a freelance writer over a decade ago, she had more than three dozen jobs, including high school teacher, record label manager, tour guide, and farmhand for endangered livestock breeds. She speaks fluent French and horribly mangled Spanish, which she is working every day to improve. Shilo geeks out over history and culture, and her areas of expertise include travel, art and design, music, pets, food, crafts, toys, and home furnishings. Current obsessions: Gobekli Tepe, tassels, and fresh lemonade.

Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For more information on our rankings, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.