Some may wonder how exactly are range measurements determined for water blasters / water guns reviewed on iSoaker.com. The simple answer is with patience, markers, a tape measure, and a bunch of time.
The picture above shows the set-up used for the most recent tests done for the new 2013 water blasters from Hasbro Inc. and Buzz Bee Toys Inc. In the picture, you can see the plastic bin loaded with the filled blasters to be tested. From there, a sidewalk extends forward with plastic cups placed along the left-side of the walk at 10-foot (~3.048m) intervals. The blue cups are positioned at the 10', 20' and 30' marks while green cups are used for 40' and 50'. The line in the sidewalk seen crossing the Nerf Super Soaker Arctic Shock's reservoir is the start (0').
Each water blaster to be tested is pumped and primed full just before testing. This way, each water blaster should be performing its best for the test. A couple of test shots are also taken before doing any measuring to ensure all tubing is prepped with water and that the blaster is behaving as expected.
For actual testing, the blaster's nozzle is positioned directly over the start line and shot. Both level stream distances and angled (45-degree) distances are measured. Each nozzle setting is tested 3 times and the results are averaged. Distance to the end of the stream is determined by the position of the last drops to the nearest plastic cup. Of course, blasters are re-pumped in-between shots to maximize the power available to the stream.
The biggest challenge when doing range tests can be the wind. Thus, range testing is typically done on little to no-wind days. Furthermore, areas chosen for range testing are usually shielded from the wind in some way (while not obvious, the sidewalk used is actually flanked by buildings, sheltering the testing range.
In the end, though, the ranges measured at iSoaker.com are from an individual water blaster model in most cases. Since there is variability on how water blasters are manufactured, some may find their own water blaster behaving better or worse than what we find. However, these numbers should give a sense of what to expect and, in most cases, the variation in performance is not particularly significant. Of course, ultimately, the true extent of the power of a water blaster lies in its user.