Thursday, September 18, 2014

Blood Angel's "Stock" Dart Analysis

Many of you may remember this little gem, and now, Blood Angel is back, with even more data on more darts! Without further ado, scroll down after the break dear reader!

Stock Darts

General Weight Data:
Elite Streamline
Dart Weight – 1.03g

Tip Weight- 0.76g

=73.8% of weight in tip

Koosh Dart
Dart Weight – 1.16g

Tip Weight – 0.89g

=76.7% of weight in tip

Elite Suction Cup Dart
Dart Weight – 1.00g

Tip Weight – 0.69g

=69.0% of weight in tip

Cheap Knock-Off Dart
Dart Weight – 1.03g

Tip Weight – 0.72g

=69.9% of weight in tip

Dart Tag Dart
Dart Weight – 1.26g

Tip Weight – 1.00g

=79.4% of weight in tip

Whistler/Sonic Dart
Dart Weight – 1.60g

Tip Weight – 1.30g

=81.3% of weight in tip

Nerf Suction Cup Dart
Dart Weight – 1.36g

Tip Weight – 1.11g

=81.6% of weight in tip

Buzz Bee Suction Cup Dart
Dart Weight – 1.36g

Tip Weight – 0.96g

=70.6% of weight in tip

Buzz Bee Extreme Dart
Dart Weight – 1.64g

Tip Weight – 1.21g

=73.8% of weight in tip

Usage and Observation:

Elite Streamline – These are the default darts by which all others darts are compared; thereby, making their performance average. Their max effective range for an area target is about 50 feet (at best) and about 5-9 feet for point target. A good general muzzle velocity for these darts is about 75-85 fps. Any higher velocities and the consistency of these darts will noticeably drop. I see a lot of angled shots that get pretty close to target at farther range, but hitting an aware moving target is unlikely with a single shot.
Koosh Dart – The best performance for their cost. Out of all the streamline styled darts these dart have the best combination of cost, accuracy, consistency, on target velocity, weight distribution, and range. If you are using a stock blaster, then you will clearly notice the tighter groupings and a drop in range. Some have complained about the glue and construction quality of these darts; however, if you take into account that you can run through four koosh darts for every one Elite streamline, then it seems to balance out a little more. There are noticeable jamming problems running these darts with the Elite Alpha Trooper. The best use of these darts seems to be higher voltage flywheel blasters like the Stryfe and Rapidstrike. The max effective range for an area target is about 60-75 feet and 10-20 feet for point target. A good general muzzle velocity for these darts is 105-115 fps. Koosh darts start to have problems with tighter fit barrels (9/16 brass) at around 105 fps. The tip starts to bend back and the dart gets stuck in the barrel. The foam diameter is also slightly larger than standard nerf elite streamline darts.

Elite Suction Cup Dart – These are the most accurate and consistent of the streamline sized stock darts. The range drop is higher and the on target velocities are slower.  With practice can start to predict the drop rate these darts and they will start to fall right where you want them. They are expensive but you are getting a well glued, accurate, consistent, and clip compatible dart. The max effective range for an area target is about 55-65 feet and 15-20 feet for point target. A good general muzzle velocity for these darts is 115-130 fps. Like the koosh darts, these dart tips start to bend back at around 105-110 fps and get stuck in tighter fit barrels.

Cheap Knock-Off Dart – These darts are horrible. Do not buy these. Just don’t.

Dart Tag Dart – The rest of the following stock darts are meant more for half inch PVC barrels. Mostly used in blowguns and other homemade, these darts are typically heavier and carry heavier tips. The Dart Tag darts are reported to be the best balance between range, accuracy, consistency, and on target velocity. Some have been known to take the hook and loop system off the darts to improve performance. I, personally, have not done this and have neither data nor observations to support a performance increase due to hook and loop removal. Nerf still makes and sells Dart Tag darts at Toys R Us, but they are expensive. I have used a few of these and found them to have similar performance to whistler/sonic darts.

Whistler/Sonic Dart – These are the second heaviest stock darts, have the second heaviest foam to tip ratio, and have the heaviest overall dart tip. It can be said that the whistle slot cut out of the tip affects the overall consistency of these darts. People have said that the darts tend to slope or otherwise veer in the direction of those whistle slots. Personally, if you think that it is a large concern then try to align all of these darts with the whistle slot facing either up or down. From my personal observation, I find these darts to have the long maximum overall range. However their consistency and accuracy is questionable after 40-45 feet. Their on target velocity is the fastest I’ve seen, thus far, from stock darts fired from modified/homemade blasters (making them near impossible to dodge). I’m not sure if you can still find these off the shelf, but you can definitely find bulk orders of them on eBay.
Nerf Suction Cup Dart – These darts have a performance that falls in-between the Buzz Bee suction cup darts and the Buzz Bee Extreme darts. These darts are extremely consistent and can be very accurate at the 45-60 foot distances. The on target velocities are also relatively higher, compared to the other suction cup darts. I don’t think Nerf makes these darts anymore. I’m pretty sure you can still find them on eBay.

Buzz Bee Suction Cup Dart – These dart are very consistent. Their flight pattern is predictable, which makes for tight groupings. However, their drop rate is very high. You can see that around 45-60 feet these darts start to fall very quickly. Their on target velocity is very slow. The slow velocity and consistently predictable flight path makes them fairly easy to dodge at the darts extended ranges. These darts can be purchased in bulk at Toys R Us and will cost about $35 for 200 darts. Shop around online and you might find a better deal somewhere.

Buzz Bee Extreme Dart – These darts are drastically different than their non-extreme counter-part. The suction cup portion has a solid stem inside a denser foam body. I can tell you that removing the dart tip from the foam is not an easy task. The suction cup and stem are well glued inside the foam. These are the highest quality stock darts that you can buy off the shelf. The range of these darts is similar or near that of the whistler/sonic darts. The performance of these darts is similar or near that of the Nerf suction cup darts. It should be noted that I have had a few of these darts jam in my half inch PVC barrel. I am not sure why they jam, but my guess is that the suction cup tip is slightly larger than the regular Buzz Bee suction cup darts. They cost about $5 for 18 darts, which is pretty expensive but still less than the elite suction cup darts.

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