Bottle Blasters – Worth the Punch?

A lot of times, I make some purchases with the idea of writing an article, but not all of the time. One of those times, I bought a pack of these things called Bottle Blasters, and I figured it would be a fun way to enjoy shooting. I like reactive targets, and I still enjoy shooting just to shoot. Thus, a 10-dollar bag of Bottle Blasters came home from Academy with me. You might wonder, why exactly am I writing this article if I didn’t purchase these to write an article? Well, consider this article more of a warning. 

What’s are Bottle Blasters? 

Bottle Blasters are tiny caps you can add to a water bottle to inflate it with air. You can use a standard air pump to add some air to your bottle. The caps have soft plastic tops that allow you to poke the needle through them, and they’re designed to reseal when you remove the inflation needle. Pump it up with air, shoot it, and it explodes! You can add water or powder to the bottle to make a big splash when it is hit. 

The idea is simple, and it’s a flame-free, safe, and dynamic reactive target. It’s safer than Tannerite and claims to be able to use nearly any bottle. The Bottle Blasters list themselves as a binary explosive replacement. The little caps have lanyard loops, so you can hang them and shoot them for fun. 

The idea is sound. Each package comes with five caps, an inflation needle, and a mesh carry bag—not bad for ten bucks, at least that’s what I thought. 

Problems Arise 

The first problem I had was that I couldn’t find a bottle that they attached to. They didn’t work on soda bottles or most water bottles. They simply wouldn’t thread on the bottles. The bottle blasters finally attached to some old water bottles I had at home. These bottles had a tiny little lip of threading. So once I found bottles that worked, I grabbed my air pump and started pumping up the bottles, and they were roughly half full of water. 

A little too much air and the tops would pop off. I started counting my pumps as I worked the bottle and was able to hit a sweet spot of inflation. With two bottles of water in hand, I went to the range with high hopes. All you need is 700 FPS or so. That’s easy to achieve, and no fast-moving rifle round is required. 

Throwing Lead 

I filled those targets with as much air as I possibly could and used a 115-grain 9mm round from a 4.5-inch barrel, and the target did nothing. They acted no differently than any other water bottle I’ve ever shot. They didn’t jump, bounce, or explode, with water flying everywhere. The bottles did nothing. 

I was disappointed but not undeterred. One of the caps survived the volley of fire, so I grabbed it to reuse. I’m glad I grabbed it because the other three Bottle Blasters didn’t work. They didn’t reseal after the pump punctured them. This meant all the air I pumped into the bottle flowed outward after removing the needle. 

They were useless. With my remaining bottle blaster, I grabbed one more bottle and emptied it. I filled it with flour since the device says that powder works, too. I figured this left more room for more air, so I pumped and pumped until it seemed like the bottle would burst at the seams. I set it back up, and this time, I used a .357 Magnum and sent a round through the bottle. Once more, nothing happened. There was no explosion of powder, not even a snap. 

Just Say No 

Either I’m an idiot, or the bottle blasters don’t work. I tried my hardest, followed the instructions, and couldn’t figure it out. Since three bottle blasters were a bust, I really had a couple of chances to try them. Overall, it’s a neat idea, but I think it needs to go back to the lab. For now, just say no to bottle blasters. 

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.