A water gun (or water pistol, water blaster, or squirt gun) is a type of toy gun designed to shoot jets of water. Similar to water balloons, the primary purpose of the toy is to soak another person in a recreational game such as water fight.
Historically, water guns were made of metal and used rubber squeeze bulbs to load and propel water through a nozzle like a Pasteur pipette. While the oldest surviving example of a squirt gun dates to J.W. Wolff's June 30, 1896 patent, the oldest known reference to a squirt gun is dated thirty-one years prior, with General William T. Sherman's 1865 quote regarding the effort to quell secession: "Why, you might as well attempt to put out the flames of a burning house with a squirt-gun."For several years in the United States and Canada, import regulations and domestic laws have required squirt guns to be made of clear or tinted transparent plastic to make them harder to mistake for actual firearms.