Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My New Accudart 301's

These are some seriously sweet darts. I have been throwing them and from the get go they have been completely brilliant. The very first time I threw em I hit a double bull. (That happens to me often. I can count at least three other times in bars where I have picked up someone's darts and hit the dead center of the board. Uncanny.)

As you can see I have already configured them to my own sense of style and function. A shorter dart is better and a bigger flight for the heavier barrel. There are a couple of things I like about these darts. The first and foremost is that they were a gift from Mcvickj, with whom I trade darts occasionally. The second is that they are big thick barrels that have some real heft to em. I have been leaning toward more fuller bodied darts lately and these really fit that bill. Thirdly, take a look at the barrels. Tungsten up front Brass in the rear. That reminds me of a hair cut...

Business up front, party in the rear. Who can name that doo?

Another interesting aspect of these darts is that they are threaded 1/4" and so my stem selection is limited to what few of those I have. These black aluminum 1/4" stems work nicely however and so there is no need to fret on that one. I plan on using these in league this year. I have already hit some pretty good numbers with them in practice and the way I hold them really makes me point them at the board. I feel a little bit of the old spin creeping back into the throw too. Can't wait to see how that pans out.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

F136 Darts from Unicorn

These darts disappeared from the catalogs in 1971, and the 1970 catalog has them marked as 'deleted'. There are in the earliest catalogs too, so these darts could be anywhere from 55 to 35 years old, I'd say, or older.

The Barrels are interesting. They are hexagonal, which prevent the darts from "rolling" in your hand and enforces your grip to some small degree. Here is a closeup of the Barrels.

Once I get some new feather flights for them I'll comment on how they throw...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A Tiny Piece of History

These are my new 7 gram Unicorn Extralites. New to me that is, as I bought them off ebay and that disappear out of the Unicorn cataloges sometimes in the 60's. In fact in the Unicorn online Hertiage section you can look through a lot of the old catalogs and these are in the earliest four, from 1950 to 1965. After that they disappear. Even the 1950 catalog says they have been in demand for years so I would presume they were made in the 40's and maybe 30's as well.

They are a lot lot tinier than I imagined. When I saw them on ebay it was hard to gauge the size of them properly and I figured they much bigger than they are. The below pic shows a comparison shot of one of the Extralites next to a typical modern brass dart of 21 grams. Despite the small size of them though they seem to throw pretty well so I can see why the early catalogs said they were in great demand. I have hit some good numbers with them already, missing a maximum by a wire, and cleanly hitting lots of doubles as well. Like any light dart they have a tendency to drift in flight just a bit but not so much that it is debilitating. I think these darts will make an appearance at league!

They are definitely showing their age. The flights are in _superb_ condition despite being 50 years old. The points are a bit oxidized which I am sure will be plenty correctible with sand paper, and the front of the brass barrels show some tarnishing. I am tempted to research how to clean or restor brass so I can take care of that. I am not a finger licker so I am not concerned with an lead that may be in the darts. The stem was a bit hesitant to come out so I didn't try to hard. The last thing I wanna do is snap them off inside the barrels. At least not until I get some extras. The stem threading is very very small, at 3BA, which is quite a bit smaller than the standard of the day which is 2BA. When I finally start making my own darts I may aim for such a threading.

One of my favorite things about this dart is the flight. Here is a close up shot of the flight. The design of the old style plastic flights is terrific. A single molded piece of plastic. Nothing to robin hood, the flights do not crumble and separate from the mylar like modern flights, they are durable and always square. Could you ask for more? As you can see from the pic below (and don't forget you can click on the image for a bigger version) the fins are so thin they are nearly translucent and you can see swirls of the red in the plastic. Very cool. In some of the pictures the flights seem to come out pinkish, but they are red in real life. This may be a fault of my camera.

The box was nearly destroying in shipping but I doubt it was in that good a shape to be gin with. Here are some shots of the inside of it. I wish they had dated their old products somehow. When I start to make my own I will definitely date them somehow. So 50 years from now, or 100 years from now, people will say "See this little mark? That means these darts were made in 2007 by the Master Darts Craftsman Zeeple." Hahahaha. Maybe.