Friday, June 3, 2016

Blood Angel's Dart/Ammo Analysis - May 2016

It's back with even more ammo to analyze!!!!
Blood Angel's Stock Darts Analysis – May 2016
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- Universal Suction 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 Micro Suction 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

Air Zone Xtreme Darts /
Primetime Toys Superdarts
Dart Weight – 0.90g
Tip Weight – 0.60g
=66.7% of weight in tip

Fasports Full Vinyl Jackets
Dart Weight – 1.30g
Tip Weight – 1.00g
=81.3% of weight in tip

Knock-off Micro Suction Dart
Dart Weight – 1.26g
Tip Weight – 1.00g
=79.3% of weight in tip

Dart Weight – 2.58g
Tip Weight – 2.01g
=77.9% of weight in tip

Voberry Dart
Dart Weight – 1.39g
Tip Weight –1.05 g
=75.5% of weight in tip

Universal Suction Clone
Dart Weight – 1.26g
Tip Weight – 0.90g
=71.4% of weight in tip

K’nex K-Force Dart
Dart Weight – 1.07g
Tip Weight – 0.79g
=73.8% of weight in tip

BoomCo Smart Stick dart
Dart Weight – 1.49g
Tip Weight – 0.51g
=34.2% of weight in tip

Buzz Bee Long Distance Dart
Dart Weight – 1.15g
Tip Weight – 0.86g
=74.8% of weight in tip

Buzz Bee XL Distance Dart
Dart Weight – 2.51g
Tip Weight – 1.83g
=72.9% of weight in tip

ACC Nipple Dart
Dart Weight – 1.19g
Tip Weight – 0.82g
=68.9% of weight in tip

VelocityTag .50cal
Dart Weight – 1.50g
Tip Weight – 1.16g
=77.3% of weight in tip

V2 X-Tips
Dart Weight – 1.09g
Tip Weight – 0.77g
=70.6% of weight in tip

High Impact Rounds
Ball Weight Low – 1.67g
Ball Weight High – 2.20g
=0.53 difference in weight

V3 X-Tips
Dart Weight – 1.29g
Tip Weight – 0.98g
=76% of weight in tip

Knock-Off HIRs
Ball Weight Low – 0.61g
Ball Weight High – 0.73g
=0.12 difference in weight

Vinyl Tipped Nipple (VTN)
Dart Weight – 1.16g
Tip Weight – 0.88g
=76% of weight in tip

Knock-Off Mega
Dart Weight –2.67g
Tip Weight – 2.25g
=84.3% of weight in tip

Usage, Observations, and Opinions:

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 30 feet (at best). A good general muzzle velocity for these darts is about 55-75 fps. Higher velocities destabilize the darts and the consistency just drops to nothing. I see a lot of angled shots that get pretty close to target at farther range, but hitting an aware moving target is very 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, on target velocity, weight distribution, range, and consistency. 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 has been newer improved glue for the tips by seller BW12. Reports have been that the tips are better, but the foam is noticeably weaker. The best use of these darts seems to be higher voltage flywheel blasters. The max effective range for an area target is about 70-85 feet. A good general muzzle velocity for these darts is about 80-95 fps; however, reports have been coming back saying that velocities of 115-155 fps are still very combat effective with great on target velocities (making them difficult to dodge). 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. Comparatively, if you shoot 96.9fps with an Elite Streamline you will get about 86.5fps with Koosh darts.

Elite- Universal Suction 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, you 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 60-80 feet. The range report is deceptive though, as the velocities past that range make the dart very easy to dodge. 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. Comparatively, if you shoot 96.9fps with an Elite Streamline you will get about 103.8fps with Elite Suction Cup Darts.

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

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. Comparatively, if you shoot 207.8fps with a Nerf Suction cup dart you will get about 232.8fps with Nerf Taggers.

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. Comparatively, if you shoot 207.8fps with a Nerf Suction cup dart you will get about 215.6fps with Whistler/Sonic Darts.
Nerf Micro Suction Dart – These are the dart standard by which I will base all my micro dart data off of. 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. Comparatively, if you shoot 207.8fps with a Nerf Suction cup dart you will get about 237.6fps with Buzz Bee Suction Cup Darts.

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 performances of these darts were 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. The higher cost is clearly put into the awesome quality of these darts, but do you really need that much quality in a dart you might end up losing or destroying? Comparatively, if you shoot 207.8fps with a Nerf Suction cup dart you will get about 234.6fps with Buzz Bee Extreme Darts.

Air Zone Xtreme Darts /
Primetime Toys Superdarts – I didn’t see much difference between these darts and the nerf elite darts. Their accuracy might be a little better, but not enough to justify the price of getting these over elite darts, koosh darts, FVJs, or the newer voberry darts. The velocities and ranges are about the same as elites darts. The foam was pretty close as well. Comparatively, if you shoot 96.9fps with an Elite Streamline you will get about 102.7fps with Superdarts.

Fasports Full Vinyl Jackets (FVJs) – The foam tends to vary with each batch you buy. The tip is made of a hard plastic or rubber that most feel is unsafe for stock class games and HvZ games. The heavy weight and heavy tip make this darts ideal for modded blasters. Velocities between 130fps – 150fps make these very consistent darts and the loss of range is not too bad. I would highly suggest these darts for super stock/SAMBO games. They are super cheap and glued very well. By comparison the .50cal VelocityTag dart tips I have weigh 1.15g and are made from a squishier rubber than the 1g hard plastic FVJ darts. These darts work very well in 17/32 and 9/16 brass barrel air blasters.  They would be my overall choice darts for a cheap alternative to Elite streamline darts. They are not as consistent as koosh darts, but the tips are glued on much better and will overall require less dart maintenance.  Comparatively, if you shoot 96.9fps with an Elite Streamline you will get about 85.3fps with FVJs.

Knock-off Micro Suction Dart – That isn’t much to say about these darts. They are just like all the other suction cup darts I use. I got them because they were cheaper than all the other suction cup darts I was using and I feel the purple color would stand out during the games. At first I was worried about the overall weight being 10g lower than the other darts, but the tip weighed in at a full 1g, so the balance is there. The range is just about the same as the other suction cup darts give or take 5 to 10 feet. And the velocities are similar as well. Comparatively, if you shoot 207.8fps with a Nerf Suction cup dart you will get about 209.8fps with these purple knock-off darts.

Nerf MEGA – The giant mega darts. These are pretty scary at times. The velocities average 70fps to 75fps that my nerf magnus puts out is nothing special. But considering that the kinetic energy behind that MEGA darts is 2.5 times that of an elite dart is something to think about. They are not the most consistent darts out there. I find that they are just as erratic elite streamlines and have a slight balance issue. They also do not do well at higher velocities. Anything past 100 fps is just a waste. They are expensive, they deform quickly, and so far there are no cheap alternatives for this caliber of dart.

Voberry – Mmmmmm, berries. These darts have a lot of weight behind them, but I feel they that the weight distribution is off. I was excited when I weighed them to find a hefty tip and higher weighted dart. However the performance of these darts becomes pretty useless after about 30 ft. I would say they preform excellent at close range, but no better or worse than stock elite streamlines after 40 feet. This is pretty good, considering they are much cheaper. The stems of the tip were glued on very well; however, the rim of the tip seemed to have no glue on it what so ever. But don’t let that worry you. The stem is glued on so well, that the dart will break apart the foam before the tip separates. Comparatively, if you shoot 96.9fps with an Elite Streamline you will get about 84.0fps with Voberry Darts.

Universal Suction Clone – These are very consistent and have very similar performance to USDs. The range drop is still pretty high and the on target velocities are still slower, but they are near the cheapest darts on the market.  With practice can start to predict the drop rate these darts and they will start to fall right where you want them. They are cheap, have a well glued long stem tip, they are accurate, very consistent, and clip compatible dart. These are a great alternative for the Elite- Universal Suction Darts. I would say that if you want accuracy and consistency for a great price, then these are your darts. If you want “ok” accuracy and consistency, but higher on target velocities then you are better off with koosh darts.

K’nex K-Force Darts – There was a lot of hype when these darts were first announced, but all of that hype seemed to just fade away. There is a good reason for that lack of interest in these darts. These darts are very expensive and hard to find. In my observations and testing, I found these darts to be slightly more consistent than koosh darts (BW2012); but not by much. In an APAT it wasn’t even significant in overall performance compared to koosh or even FVJs. Not only that, but there is a drop in overall range in comparison. The difference in cost to performance increase doesn’t justify the bulk purchase of these darts. Testing was with a kit Elite Alpha Trooper, by the way. The modded EAT was averaging 82.1fps with elite streamlines and 87.9fps with K’nex K-Force darts.

BoomCo Smart Stick darts – Look at those stats. 1.49g is a lot of mass for a dart that is 20% smaller than your average elite streamline. These darts are very consistent, but that weight puts the overall range very close with stock BoomCo blasters. What about SAMBO/superstock? Well, I put this dart through a loose 15/32 brass barrel powered by my bow and hit an average velocity of 219fps, compared to a 9/16 brass barrel shooting elite streamlines at 238fps. These darts do have a semi consistency to them. I would be able to hit 1 out 3 three shots at 75 feet on a half silhouette target. The advantages these darts do have, over my more consistent micro suction cup darts, are that they have an unreal on target velocity. They might be slower out of the muzzle, but they do not lose much velocity. Also, the smaller size makes them harder to see they are flying at higher velocities. I would say that even at distances of 75-100 feet that they would be very difficult to see and dodge. If I could find a way to make them more consistent, able to reliably fire them through brass barrels, keep their tips from smashing in, and keep their muzzle velocity around 200fps I would quickly switch to these darts. But I have yet to find a way, so I’m sticking with what I have.

Buzz Bee Long Distance darts – These darts have comparable performance to the Nerf brand USDs.  I would even say they perform better. They are heavier, have more weight up front, a solid plastic stem, similar velocities to USDs, and cost less than the Nerf brand USDs.  I highly recommend these darts, if price is not a heavy concern and consistency is of the utmost importance. There is really nothing bad I can say about these darts. There is a slight drop in overall range, but the consistency in your effective range far outweighs the drop in maximum range.

Buzz Bee XL Distance darts – Buzz Bee’s step into the mega sized ammo is a step in to right direction. They might not weigh as much as the Nerf brand Mega darts, but they have around the same maximum distance as nerf brand megas. Their flight is also more stable and much more consistent.  The muzzle velocities are similar to Nerf brand Mega darts, at least out of the Nerf Cycloneshock.

ACC Accurate Nipple dart – My experiences and opinions will differ than others on this dart. I would not recommend these darts. Everyone agrees that the stem is too short and that the light gluing will lead to tips coming off. I consider it worse than gen 1 and gen 2 koosh dart glued tips. Others say it is not that bad. Other than that, I found their performance to be average. Others say that their performance is well above average. There is also a discrepancy between flywheel performances. I and a few others have reported the darts not firing properly out of flywheels. However, others have reported good performance under combat conditions. So, there you have it. My advice is that for the price you pay for these darts you can get FVJs, koosh, or USCs; and be decently satisfied with their performance. Or you can roll the dice with these darts, knowing that tips will come of some, and you might get slightly better performance.

VelocityTag .50cal darts – Wow, we have some stefans on here now. I’ve had these darts for a long time now. For those who don’t know VelocityTag is old-school. Sometimes known as inf0rmer darts, these darts are not made anymore. They have since been replaced with “silly” tip darts. As you can see, 1.16g for a tip is really heavy for a dart tip. Given that most people play with stefans at 1.25inches or 3cm, you are now talking about 85% of the weight up front. The tip does have a long stem and it is made of pretty hard rubber. I would say it has more given than FVJs, but not by much.  

XplorerSG Version 2 X-Tip darts – These are becoming somewhat of a standard in certain stefan using circles. You still have your south east slugs and your uber domes, but these are the easy DIY stefans from XplorerSG. It has become the go to ammo for certain precision shooters, like Chris Cartaya. I found them to be pretty good, but not as good as the VelocityTag darts. But for the price and the price of the foam, it is a much better deal.  They are also available and easier to order off of the XplorerSG website, whereas finding VelocityTag darts are a little harder these days.

Nerf Rival High-Impact Rounds (HIRs) – The Rival line hit the ground running with this new line of ammo. BFU is so impressed with the combat performance of this new ammo that, after using it for only 2 games, he has full invested into this new eco system. I am less impressed with it. To be fair, it is everything that Nerf claimed it to be. It is very accurate and shot placement is easy to compensate for. The ammo itself is very inconsistent, in terms of weight. The mass can very up to 25% of its total weight. Blaster Labs reported a 33% weight fluctuation. Is that a big deal? No. All it really does is change the hop-up point where the HIR starts to peak and drop. So, your shots will be consistent along the left and right axis (the X-axis). However, I expected a lot more from the ammo itself. It seems that the maximum optimal velocity ceiling for this ammo type is about 130 fps. I shot a few HIR at about 150 fps and it started acted wonky. The HIR are difficult to find after fired and seem to have an effective range of about 40 feet. I would say it is a great super stock/SAMBO ammo type if you wish to stay at around 130 fps. If you want more accuracy, high velocity, and a higher return rate on ammo that has already been fire; then you should stick to darts.

XplorerSG Version 3 X-Tip darts – These new version darts have these indentations in them. I guess the point was to impart spin, but it does not. I marked the side of the dart and shot it a bunch of times and hardly saw any spin. Defiantly not enough spin to stabilize a dart at super-stock velocities. Other than that, they behave and perform much like the version 2 darts. Which is surprising considering the weight difference. As a bottom line, I would say these are as good as the version 2 darts from XplorerSG. I have no preference for one over the other.

Knock-Off HIRs – These popped up on Amazon when the Nerf Rival series first came out. These were supposed to be our answer to bulk ammo question for the Rival series. As it turns out, these are not the answer, and I would not recommend these over the stock ammo (even for the price). They average a velocity more than 10 fps slower than the stock HIRs. I clocked them with an average of 90 fps compared to the stock HIRs at 100 fps using a Nerf Apollo. The lighter weight impairs performance as well. They seem to travel about 25 to 30 feet before drastically stopping or being carried off by the slightest breeze. Unless all of your nerf shooting takes place in spaces less than 35 feet, I would not recommend this ammo.

Vinyl Tipped Nipple (VTN) darts – These are and perform much like their FVJ counterpart. They happen to be about 10 fps lower in velocity. I averaged them at about 90 fps out of a modded stryfe where I was putting out 100 fps with standard elite darts. I can’t say whether or not they are better than FVJs, but my gut tells me that FVJs are better. Honestly, between the two darts they are both good choices for nerf. Bob-O-Bob seems to think that they are more accurate but have less potential range. He has used them more than I have, but I have not seen that in my observations.

Knock-Off Mega darts – These darts are terrible. The form is very thin and feels weak, compared to the stock mega darts it is very noticeable. Using a stock Big Shock I got velocities averaging at 37.23 fps. That is very bad compared to the stock Mega darts which averaged 54.6 fps. Not only that, when fired the darts are horribly inaccurate. As you can see from the picture there are slots where the whistle holes are supposed to be cut, but they are not. I don’t think that the whistle holes help make the stock Mega darts more consistent, but these knock-off Mega darts do not have the whistle holes and they suck.


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