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Unplugged

Shoot down the summer heat with these five great water guns

Unplugged

Summer's finally here -- and it's already a hot one. Whether you're at the beach, by the pool, or just relaxing in the yard, there's nothing quite like a spontaneous water gun battle to liven up the afternoon and cool things down a bit.

These days, though, you won't have to worry about wearing out your trigger finger with a cheap, dime-store doohickey. Stock your armory with one or two of these high-powered aquatic weapons, and you're all but guaranteed to squirt victory right in the eye.

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Super Soaker Lightning Storm

Long a trusted name in the wonderful world of water guns, Super Soaker is now under new ownership: Hasbro, who've absorbed it into their Nerf range.

You probably associate that name more with foam darts than with high-powered water blasters, but that'll change when you get your hands on the awesome Lightning Storm, one of the company's new offerings for the 2012 water gun season. Rocking a hefty 37 oz. water reservoir and detachable stock, it's powered by four AA batteries, so you don't even need to pump. Hey, all's fair in water gun war.


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Water Warriors Colossus

The quirky lines of the Colossus conceal a very, very serious piece of kit. Holding some 84 ounces of water and with an air pressure-driven system capable of propelling a jet of said water over 40 feet, this beast of a blaster deserves considerable respect.

Don't recognize the Buzz Bees brand? Don't be put off. It's a company formed by a team of former Super Soaker engineers who quit after the Hasbro buyout. In other words, there's plenty of experience behind the name, and while the design might be a bit bright -- garish, even -- the tech is top-notch. Buy and soak with confidence.


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Xploderz Xbow 1500

Is it a water gun? Is it a paintball blaster? Truth be told, the Xbow 1500 is a little of both.

Take a handful of the superabsorbent, non-toxic polymer beads that it uses for ammo, soak them in water for a few hours, and watch as they grow to the size of paintballs. Then load them into the gun, and go to town. They don't hurt like a paintball, and they don't get you quite as wet as a traditional water gun, but they've got serious range -- up to 75 feet -- and under the right conditions, they're seriously accurate, too.

The only drawback? You can't reuse the beads, so budget for plenty of ammo if you expect an extended battle campaign.


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Nerf Super Soaker Hydro Cannon

While high-tech polymer ammo is undoubtedly cool, sometimes there's no substitute for a good, old-fashioned drenching. Leave it to Super Soaker to supply the goods. Here's the Hydro Cannon, a hulking bazooka-like contraption that shoots up to 35 feet.

While your foes are bound to see you coming -- you can't miss a great big thing like this -- the Cannon's included face shield should mean you can weather incoming fire as you hand out some aquatic justice. Fill the tank, pump it up to max, and the world is yours. At least, those bits of it within about ten yards or so.


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Banzai Aqua Tech Transmorpher

Do you go with an over-the-top, great big water gun, or an easily-concealed, itty-bitty water gun? It's a perennial question that faces all water-weaponry shoppers. Opt for the Transmorpher, though, and it's a decision you can dodge altogether.

One moment, it's a tiny-but-deadly pistol. Add the sniper scope, the long-range barrel, and the buttstock, however, and it's suddenly a high-precision sharpshooter's dream.  Nine other variously useful combinations of parts await wielders of this uber-customizable soaker, but watch out: the comparatively small reservoir will mean lots of trips back to the faucet.

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