The iSoaker.com water blaster / water gun database has over 300 unique records on various water blasters and water warfare equipment. Most of those have been tested, at least to some extent, here over the past 14 years (wow, it's been awhile)!
With this decent-size sample, I decided to look a little deeper at the various statistics measured over the years to see if there are any notable trends or correlations between various water blaster attributes and their measured performance. I also wanted to know if the numbers would show if there are simpler ways in which water blasters could be grouped together in order for more meaningful comparisons to be done.
The Full Article Series
- Diving into water blaster statistics (2012): The Beginning
- Diving into water blaster statistics (2012): Part 2 – Lengths
- Diving into water blaster statistics (2012): Part 3 – Weights
- Diving into water blaster statistics (2012): Part 4 – Statistical Relationships
- Diving into water blaster statistics (2012): Part 5 – Soaking through the Years
The current comparison system relies on somewhat subjective criteria (e.g. I think blaster X is closer in size to blaster Y than blaster Z, thus I'll compare it with blaster Y and then say whether blaster X's performance is relatively equal, better, or worse). While there are a number of "classic" blasters which could be used for reference purpose, these models are older, unavailable, and losing relevance to the newer generation. Telling someone, "Oh, that blaster works just as well as the XP70 (released in 1998)" both dates you as well as isn't meaningful to those who may not know what the XP70 is (or may even be younger than it). Moreover, I wish to get away from using a particular model or brand for reference purposes, trying to be as objective as possible.
The first thing I opted to look at was the weight distribution of water blasters in the iSoaker.com database.
The chart above shows the relative distribution of measured water blaster dry weights from the iSoaker.com Database (2012) (Click for the full size image). I chose to first look at weight since I already had the sense that water blaster length would be less informative, especially with some blasters being long, but slender while others being shorter, but chunkier (an XP110 is nearly as long as a CPS1000, but significantly lighter and less bulky).
From personal experience, I inherently felt that the Super Soaker XP240 would be a good reference blaster as the largest of the small-sized blasters while the Super Soaker CPS2100 would fall into the smallest of the truly large blasters. What the weight chart showed is that there seems to be a good, simple, and rational way to group water blasters that makes sense: blasters less than 400g can be grouped (light weight); those heavier than 1000g can be grouped (heavy weight); and those between 400g-1000g can be mostly grouped (mid-weight), though there are some blasters in the mid-weight range that would be grouped either with the light or heavy weight groups based on their size/styling. As the chart shows, the Storm 750 is just a touch heavier than the 400g cutoff while the Super Soaker CPS2100 falls right on the 1000g line. Some may argue that 500g (the weight of the Super Soaker XP270) might make a better cutoff, but considering I tend to use blasters like the Super Soaker XP270 with two hands while using the XP240 mostly single-handedly, the 400g cutoff makes more sense to me.
While not perfect due to the outliers, the 400g and 1000g cut-offs seem to provide a good rule-of-thumb framework for grouping water blasters for subsequent comparisons in terms of capacity, output, and range. Water blasters in each of these classes would then be expected to perform to a certain level with those under or over-performing duly noted in their eventual rating.
For those curious, here is the chart of water blaster lengths from the iSoaker.com database.
While there is a definite grouping of blasters in the upper part of the length chart, the rest of the water blasters seem to fall into a fairly smooth gradient with blasters of varying known outputs and ranges mixed up in a non-obvious manner.