Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Fancy Conversion Points

If you don't like moving points all that much, and think most conversion points are ugly, then try these points on your darts. They are some kind of alloy and they are hard to get on the darts since they have no hole in the base of them, nor do they have key slots. Nice looking points though. Because of that sudden widening half way up the point it seems like these points would do a lot of damage to a bristle board over time.

As always, click the image for a larger picture.

Monday, December 20, 2004

3rd: Ton80 with KC's

I hit a Ton80 tonight so I thought I'd celebrate with a blog entry. The darts:

barrels: 24 gram smooth fixed point Laserdart KC's
shafts: short black nylon with stem rings
flights: standard Unicorn

As always, click the image for a larger picture.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

A Christmas Recommendation

Quick Coffee Blog: Coffee Blog? You figure it out. It's Saturday morning here. Are you thinking about buying some expensive darts for someone for Christmas? Here is my recommendation in the "80 dollars or more" range:

These are the 28 gram Smooth Black Hammerhead GT's that I'd mentioned a few posts back. I said then that I wish I'd never bought them, but I'd now like to soften that up a bit with: "I wish I'd waited to buy them." Waited for what? Read on to find out.

This was one of the first sets of darts I ever bought with hard earned cash that couldn't be picked up at Fred Meyer's for less than 20 bucks. My first major darts purchase. So I didn't know then what I know now. And that is: I prefer fixed point over movable point (but I do throw MP from time to time), and 28 grams is too heavy for me, I need something between 22 and 24 grams to throw consistently and comfortably.

I also wish I'd waited until some of the features of the GT's had been ironed out, and some of them still aren't. One they have improved is the threading in the base of the barrel where you screw in the shaft. I bought them, fortunately, during the first year that they started threading the inside of the barrel. Unfortunately they still weren't threading deeply enough. I guess they'd determined they'd like to have a screw on shaft at some point and were experimenting. Model's earlier than mine were smooth inside and you just shoved in a little rubber gasket that held the shaft on. Later, when they finally released the screw on shaft, I bought a set (they are pictured below) but the tinly little screw that you have to screw into the back of the darts was too long, and I had to have a friend take a grinder to it so it would fit in my darts. otherwise there was a small gap between the shaft and the barrel and it was unsightly.

Another aspect of the GT's is that they are MP only. And if you like movable point darts then these are EXTREMELY good darts for you to purchase and worth every penny because they have many good features. But for my money, I will not purchase another set of them until they release a fixed point version. Afterall, I am patient, I have plenty of other darts to throw in the meantime, and it isn't as if Bottelsen is morally opposed to the FP. They have other lines which are fixed point. So I am confident they will do the right thing and make a fixed version of the GT's some day. This begs the question: why don't you just put a set of conversion points on them? I have tried that, but then the darts just look goofy and that goes against my darting aesthetics.

[NOTE: re-reading this over a year later I laugh at my predictions. Since I have written this I have bought three (yes, three!!) additional sets of GT's in various weights. That is how good of a dart they are.]

Another thing they need to improve is the coating they put on the "black" GT's. It wears off almost immediately. Look at my darts below and you can see what I mean. Laserdarts does something similar with their Black Widows and their system seems to be better. I throw my widows all the time and the coating has not worn off yet. So this is another feature Bottelsen needs to improve.

So what do I like about the GT's? Many things. On the whole they are extremely well made darts in terms of throwing. They have a nearly perfect taper, which is by far the best taper in the business. This makes for a very good front loading of the dart. And front loaded darts have the tendency to correct for sloppy mechanics, or flawed mechanics to some degree because the majority of the dart follows that mass of weight in the front of the barrel. A thin, straight barrel does not sport this advantage (but they have different advantages). Also note that heavily tapered darts such as the GT encourages a gripping style in which the middle finger is placed on the point of the dart, just in front of the thickest part of the barrel. This means that you are grabbing the dart around its center of gravity. This is why there is no need for knurling, rings, grooves or any of that other gripping texture common to other barrel types.

So in short, I recommend these to throwers who appreciate movable points who also like front loaded or tapered barrels, an absence of gripping texture, a smooth throw, and excellent styling. Buy whatever you buy your darting friend for Christmas, good luck and happy holidays!


As always, click the image for a larger picture.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Practice Ring Howto

I have a gotten a couple emails regarding this practice ring so I thought I'd do a blog entry on it. They are easy to make, obviously, and there are a couple of tricks I use to make them more convenient than just a ring on a string.

The first thing you need is a three ply string with loops on both ends. The reason I make mine three ply is to guard against losing the ring due to nailing the string with a dart, which has happened to me twice. This way, if you nail a string and break it you have a couple more to keep your ring from clattering to the floor. To make the 3-ply string: start with an excessively long length of normal sewing thread, fold it into thirds, and then, before tying your overhand knot in the end, fold over all three of the threads once more. With the end of your 3-ply string completely doubled over tie your overhand knot, this ensures that your triple redundancy exists in the loops as well as the length between the ring and the needle.

The ring itself is a simple keychain ring. The diameter of the bull is 1.25 inches. Unfortunately I could not find a keychain ring the exact same diameter, but I did find one slightly smaller at 1.125 inches. Good enough for me.

The part that sticks in the board: I tried several different ideas, all of which had failings. I started with a simple pin (such as one finds in brand new button down shirts), but this had the problem of the loop in the thread slipping off too frequently when you nick the ring with your dart and it goes flailing about. So I then tried using a normal thumb tack, and tightening the string around it so it would not slip off the end of it but this had problems too. The thumb tack is too big and I would frequently hit it. Either destroying it ot knocking it out of the board. Then I decided to try the approach I now use. Use some wire cutters to snip off the needle and spring of a cloths pin. Then thread the loop in the string into the spring of the clothspin and you have a near perfect system.

The string will not slip off either the ring or the pin holding it to the board and the string is triple redundant. Furthermore, it is easily move to any part of the board. if you feel you need practice with the other triples (as I definitely do!).

Good Darts,

As always, click the image for a larger picture.

Friday, December 10, 2004

First Hat Trick with Bombs

Just a quick entry today. This is my first hat trick with my new darts. Configured as thus:

Barrels: 24g FP Smooth Bombs
Shafts: Black Aluminum In-Between
Flights: Red Broken Glass Spiraline

As always, click the image for a larger picture.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Mystery Darts Re-Posted

I need help identifying these darts and obtaining at least one more of them, so that I can complete my set. Currently I have only two. I would like to get at least one more of the same style and weight.

Here is their story. I played on a B League team in Seattle a few years ago. And at that time there was a good team who had never been beaten. Well we beat them that night, by a slim margin, and we were the first team to ever do so, in any season. We later met them in the final Play-off match and beat them again for first place.

The first night we beat that team, one of their guys broke a point, and abandoned his darts. I kept them as a keepsake to remember our fine victory, but alas, I did not know then that points can be replaced, and so I didn't keep the broken one!

But they are fine darts. Slim yet heavy (25 grams), with a good feel when you throw them. Thus, I am trying to complete the set, yet, I do not know what company made them. Anyone who recognizes the pattern, please let me know!

UPDATE: I have two solid leads on these darts. One source says they may be Freeflight Mavericks, and a poster over at has the exact set and says they are made by a now defunct (or at least very hard to find) company called Wise, out of GB.

UPDATE: I am reposting this blog entry for the benefit of the Cleveland Darter Club, who has graciously agreed to post a link on their site at: (Thanks guys!)

As always, click the image for a larger picture.
Here is something I have been doing lately during practice. I found a key ring that is almost the diameter of the bull and I suspended it over the T20 using a pin and a length of thread. If you zoom in on the picture you can make out both the pin and the thread. I think this is helping me with T20 practice but I am not sure yet. The idea is that when throwing at the bull I reasonably expect to hit it. I have a lot of confidence and decent grouping when I am doing bull practice, but my T20 throwing suffers quite a bit. So I decided to try to simulate the bull throwing mentality a bit for the T20. The picture below is an actual practice round. A good one for me. The third dart was so far off though, that it could not be included in the picture. Now when I practice T20's, I go for the ring and ignore the actual triple.

As always, click the image for a larger picture.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

I am very excited about my new purchase. These are Hi Tec Bomb's which I bought from . I have been experimenting pretty heavily with different flight and shaft combinations but I have not yet determined the best way to build these darts. The way they are in the picture below, though, is as thus: 24 gram smooth fixed point Bomb barrels, short blue Electro shafts and standard dark blue dimplex flights. I bought these because I felt I needed a tapered barrel with a fixed point. I like the Hammerhead GT's pretty well for their strong taper, but the moving points make them overall poor darts. Not to mention I bought them far too heavy (28 g). So I will stick with these for a month or so and see if I can learn how to throw them!

As always, click the image for a larger picture.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

The Alpha-Omega dart case. Also a good case as you can carry the darts fully assembled, but I don't like this one as much since larger flights are a tight fit. This includes Spiraline flights.

As always, click the image for a larger picture.
Dartmaster Solo. IMHO, the best case made for darts. The design even allows for spiraline flights without "flattening" their curvature which is a bonus for me. Also, if you wanted to keep your stuff with you at all times (say you are in a seedy bar on league night), you can just carry around the insert which easily fits in your back pocket.

As always, click the image for a larger picture.
This is the closest I have ever come to a deadeye. 5 count in the bulls is nothing to spit at though. The darts: 24 gram Dart Freaks, short aluminum shafts and broken glass heart shaped spiraline flights with standard aluminum flight protectors. Maybe next time.

As always, click the image for a larger picture.