Thursday, October 31, 2019

League Match Against 'Hot Durts'

League was pretty decent last night!  I dropped a couple legs but on the whole I was well pleased with the results. We visited Hot Durts in Redmond last night and the match was a loss at 13-8, but given how many good players they have I feel as a team we did okay.

I dropped one of my two singles legs, and one of my three doubles legs, and of course we did not win the team game which we started the evening with.  However, I opened the team game with a clean ton and followed that up with a 70 in my next turn, so that was a nice way to start the evening.  I had one shot at a 58 out which I flubbed.  I missed low into the 4 leaving 54, then next dart I aimed at the 14, but missed low (again) into the 11 leaving 43.  At this point I mathed wrong, unforgivably, and aimed at the 9, hitting it square to leave 34.  Had I been mathing better I would have aimed for the 11.  After that the other team took out their out before I had another shot at it.

My first singles leg was a 401 against Graham, who downright schooled me. He hit nearly 320 in tonnage early in the game leaving it 39 to 262 in his favor.  I hit a ton to nearly catch up, and ended up giving myself a shot at the out before the end. With 98 remaining I hit a 36 with my first dart leaving 62, then I hit a 12 with my second dart leaving 50, and missed the inner bull by mere millimeters leaving 25.  It was a nice effort but it fell short.  Next round I cracked the 25 with a 9 but missed two darts at the 16.  Next round I missed 3 darts at the 16.  Then he took out an 11 for the win.  My finishing suffered.  That could have been a nice come from behind victory.

My next singles leg was Cricket against Dave.  I hit one 5M round in the game, had two completely dead rounds, and in the end hit a bull, double bull to win the game with an 84 point lead.  It was a much needed win as it boosted my morale after that initial loss.

Doubles 501 were both wins.  My first leg was with Cory.  It was not a spectacular game but in the end, Cory left me a 140.  I hit a 100 to leave him 40.  My next turn up we still had 40 remaining and I hit it square with my first dart and it felt like a good solid, confident throw. Like a pro would do. That was the only instance in the evening of quality finishing on my part.  My next 501 leg was with Chris. I hit only low numbers in this game and my finishing also suffered.  My partner left me 85 and I hit 25 to leave 60.  Then he left me 40 and I hit 20, leaving 20 and then missed two darts at the double 10. On my next turn up we still had 20 and I missed inside twice leaving 5!  Miserable. On my next turn up we still had 5 remaining. I cracked it with a 1, and missed two darts at the double 2. Next round up I finally manage to hit that Double 2, but it took me all three darts to do it.  It was a win but my finishing suffered very badly.

Doubles Cricket was good on the whole, but I did lose one of them.  The first leg was with Julia and we both stepped up (eventually). I opened the game with a dead round.  She followed with a single bull.  So here we were two rounds in with no numbers hit and I thought for sure it was going to be a blow out loss for us. But then we both started hitting our numbers.  I had several 3M rounds and one 7M round (which only counted as 6M), and then near the end I had another dead round and then followed that up with two single bulls to win the game.  Felt good.

My last Cricket doubles leg was with Dani.  We lost this one but not for lack of trying.  My third to last round was a 3 bull round, followed by a dead round, and then another bull-double-bull round but it was not enough to catch up and then they won after that.  Six bulls in three rounds is nothing to sneeze at though.  So I ended on a strongish note.  If I'd not had that dead round in between them I think we would have won!

Any way, it was a good outing.  Other than miserable finishing on my part I felt good about the evening.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Hot & Cold in Monday Singles

On Monday I attended a session of the Advanced Singles League.  There were eight of us present and the format was a Round Robin with 2 games of SIDO 501 for each round.  There was no "best of" component, we just all played 2 games against each other.  As such, I played 14 games total, and won half.  After an initial win to start off the evening, I lost 5 straight, and then won 6 straight, and then lost my last two.  Here is the match by match:

My first opponent was Cornfed (I keep meaning to ask him how he chose that nickname). The first game was strong.  I hot two tons and took out 20 for the win in short order.  The second game was lackluster and he out shot me but not by much.  I had one shot at an 80 out but blew it.

My second opponent was Brian. He was throwing some really nice looking Colonial reverse tapered darts.  I should have won both of these but my finishing suffered tremendously and his was spot on. In the first game I opened with a 140 and followed that with a 92.  My darts cooled down a bit after that and I ended up spending four rounds missing outs.  He won.  The second game was lackluster other than a single 118.  I had one shot at a 56 out but didn't hit it. He took out a 79 to win.

My third opponent was Jeff.  In these two games, which he won, I hit a serious slump. I hit only low scores and had over 200 points remaining in each game when he won. Very poor performance on my part.  While I gave myself a shot at the out in both of my games against Brian and Cornfed, I did not in these two.  They were almost demoralizing, but I kept my spirits up somehow.

My fourth opponent was Michael.  This was the start of my 6 game winning streak. These two games were both wins for me, but it took me 34 and 32 darts, respectively.  I hot a single ton between the two games and took out a 6, and then a 40 for the wins.

My fifth opponent was Tom.  These two were my best games of the night.  In the first game I went 85, 100, 81, 100, 71, and then spent 15 darts on finishing to eventually take out a 12. I felt strong.  In the second game I hit three tons and missed taking out 120 by one or two millimeters. Then I spent two rounds finishing and took out a 4 for the win.

My sixth opponent was Ronny. I had no tonnage but hit maybe three triples between the two games. I won them both, taking out 32 and 16 for the wins. 

My seventh (and last) opponent was Karim.  I did worse in these games than I did against Jeff.  I hit a single triple in each game and was otherwise a complete no-show.  I didn't put up any sort of respectable fight, and had 289 and 254 points left respectively.  Terrible way to end the evening.  Karim on the other hand was impressively dominant.  He threw an 18 darter and a 17 darter against me.  However, I have beaten him a couple times before so while I recognize that he is a high caliber player, I maintain some expectation that I will win when I play him.  All I have to do is hit my targets.

While my win-loss was 50% exactly, I feel like I had a decent evening.  I was throwing the 24 gram One80 Revenges exclusively.  I brought the Thunders with me but never broken them out.  In total, I hit 1058 points in tonnage.  Not bad!

Monday, October 28, 2019

A Fine Sunday Revenge

Yesterday I attended a drop in luck at my hosting pub and only three other darters showed up for it, so we had a singles round robin in which each match consisted of three legs.  It was not a best-of, but rather just a straight up three leg match of SIDO 501, Cricket, and "Corker's Choice".  Happily, and quite surprisedly, I did not drop a single leg, despite running up against Captain Tre, who is a fine darter and a formidable opponent.

There was only one tablet present so half the matches were conducted on good old fashion chalk boards (these of which have seen better days).  As such, I do not have turn by turn records of 6 of my 9 legs.  But I know I hit some good numbers and had some really fine visits during the evening, including back to back tons in one 501, a couple of 140's, one (or more) 120+'s, and one Cricket match that included a 7-Mark round and many more triples.

I wish I'd photoed those chalk boards post game.

I brought two sets of darts with me: my 26 gram Designa Thunderbolts, and my 24 gram One80 Revenge's, which are a part of their "Revolution" line:

I threw the Revenges for the first two matches, and the Thunderbolts for the last match against Tre.  I love both sets and they were flying quite well for me from the very get-go.  The Revenges have a very funny boing when they hit the board because their points are so thin.  Sort of like when an arrow hits a target in cartoons.  Even in warm up I was very hot on doubles and that carried through to the match as I had little problem finishing.  Here is a Double's Trick I hit during warm, up, as well as a Hat Trick:

My matches against Ryan and Ronny were pretty straight forward wins as I was throwing quite well, but my three legs against Tre were hard scrabble as he was throwing well too.  In the first 501 he opened with a 100 and then a 140, and maintained a 200 point lead on me through to near then end, but I eventually hit back to back tons to catch up and then took out 20 for the win.  Worth noting: I took out 20 at least three times during that shoot.  Seemed to be my number.  And then in our Cricket, I really do not see how I overcame his superlative shooting.  He was on fire, hit numerous triples, and made me fight hard for the win.  Hard hard.  I wish I had the DartsConnect turn-by-turn for that game.  In that leg I hit a 7-mark, and several other good rounds too, but in the end I think I won due to being hot on bulls.  The last leg of the match was 501, and while I do not remember what the rounds were like, I do know I won it.

At the end of the day I won first (having won all legs) which carried a $20 pot, and was enough to cover not just the $7 entry fee, but lunch as well!

Friday, October 18, 2019

Utterly Painful Evening

“I am a man more darted against than darting.”
- King Lear

A recent outing to the Monday night singles league resulted in a full roller coaster of emotions for me, as a darter, but in the end I went home mostly content.  As a dart player, historically speaking, I am used to winning most of the games I play. Not all, but most. Even if I am up against a quality player I walk into the match with a full expectation of winning. I am not sure where this confidence comes from.  Probably from 16 years of competitive play. I am no longer intimidated by swagger, a quality visit from my opponent, or even by a player who routinely beats me. In baseball they talk about “post season experience” as a way to describe a teams ability not just to rise to a higher level of play, but also their ability to not buckle in the face of a formidable opponent. I think I may have a little bit of this in darts even though I really have only ever been a league player. I am certainly not the best dart player in my league, not by a long shot, but at the very least I am not intimidated by anyone in it, and it has been years (probably more than a decade) since I have walked into a match expecting to lose.

My last visit to Monday Single League shook my confidence a little as a darter. It started out quite poor, very poor in fact, then reached a high crescendo in the space of two or three games, and then crashed down to the lowest I have felt in recent memory. I lost games I had no business losing, mostly because my finishing suffered tremendously. I spent literally dozens of darts missing doubles, including the Double 1, in several games. The silver lining is twofold:  first and foremost I never once lost my composure or showed any outwardly visible signs of dejection or distress. I remained as cool as a forest after a spring rain, which I think is a pillar of professionalism.  Secondly, and more importantly, one of the players I lost a best-of-three match too, and who is almost always at the shoots and almost always does poorly, was absolutely elated at his win. I have not seen him that happy ever. His smile was ear to ear and he was even shaking people hands (unusual for him). His elation was infectious, and I went home a happy, but defeated darter.

Here is how the evening went. The format was a Best-of-3 SIDO 501 Round Robin tournament. My first opponent was certainly the best player in not just our little league, but probably in the entire PNW. Despite this, I expected to win. I know I am capable of it, as I have beaten him before (tho rarely). However, in this case I most certainly did not.  We played two games and in both legs I had 262 remaining when he took out his double for the win.  Despite the identical results, my second leg was poorer than my first!  In the first leg I hit a solitary lonesome triple for a score of 68. In the second leg my highest round was 41, and I hit that score four times. A miserable way to start a shoot.

My second opponent was Cornfed. He seems a good guy and I think he might be the same species of dart geek as I.  He has a large collection of darts paraphernalia dangling from his belt (I might take a picture of it sometime), he has a "I've got this" confident swagger, and he throws a rare and expensive Target branded dart (which I also want to get a picture of).  My first leg against him started poorly: 25, 45, 26.  But then I hit a 125 and then followed that up with three rounds of 60.  The closest I came to an out shot was my last round.  I was sitting on 160, which would have been a spectacular out for me (but I have done it (once)) but I hit a 60 to leave 100, and he took out 53 in his next visit. Game over.  The next leg was worse.  My highest round was 85 and the rest were lower, and my one shot at the out was a 68. I started with a Triple 20, missed inside on the Double 4, then missed inside again on the Double 2, leaving bones.  He took out 40 in his next visit.  Game over.  At this point in the evening I have not won a single leg.

It is also worth noting that at this point I either never got to an out or I only had one shot at a multiple-dart out, so it is difficult to say that my "finishing suffered".  It will tho!

My third opponent was Karim.  This was scored the old fashioned way: on a chalkboard, so there is no DartConnect recap I can rely on to jog my memory.  All I really recall is that I lost in 2 games and scored a Ton-80 in the mix.  I was elated at the Maximum, of course, and it took the stink off an otherwise painful evening.

My fourth opponent was Tom, and I do not recall how this match went either.  My impression is that I did not win it.

My fifth opponent was Mike.  This was my only successful best-of-three match of the evening and I took it 2-1.  The first leg wasn't so bad. I opened with 83, and snuck in another Ton mid-game. In the end I had 70 remaining, hit a 52 to leave 18, and then hit the 18 with my first dart on the next visit. A nice win.  The second leg was quite middling until I had 152 left.  I hit a ton to leave 52, but then proceeded to spend 21 darts whittling it down to 2, and never managed to take it out.  Here was another instance of my finishing suffering greatly.  The third leg was another one I would describe, maybe generously, as fair-to-middling until I had 170 remaining.  I was hopeful, but then only scored an 80 to leave 90, and then spent 18 darts whittling it down to 12.  I did take it out though so while it was a win, I think it is fair to say that my finished still suffered.  This has been the theme of the evening, I think.

My sixth and last opponent of the evening was Ronny.  Normally I do well against him but not tonight.  The match was a 1-2 loss, and here is how it went.  I opened the first leg with a clean ton, but then settled into the middle range of scoring until I had 90 left.  Then, I a single 20 to leave 70, a triple 20 to leave 10, and then missed the double 5 outside.  Next visit I missed the double 5 outside with all three darts.  Next round I missed inside to leave 5, cracked that with a 1, and then missed the double 2 on the outside. On the next visit I finally hit the double 2 with my third dart.  In all that totals to 12 missed shots at the double ring so while it was a win, my finishing again suffered.  The second leg I also opened with a clean ton, then middled my way down to 155. I hit an 80 to leave 75, then, somehow flubbed my way into 40 to leave 35 (I do not believe any of those darts were aimed at the double ring).  Next visit, I hit a 3, and then missed the double 16 twice, once inside leaving 16. Next visit I missed inside three times leaving 2. Then I missed the double 1 for two more full rounds before I lost the leg. 11 darts that were aimed at, and missed, the double ring.  My finishing suffered.

My last leg against Ronny was more of the same.  I opened (very coincidentally) with another clean ton, and managed a 125 a few rounds later.  Then I middled again, and eventually spent 23 darts missing the double ring to an eventual loss.

So what is my take-away from all of this?  Finishing cannot suffer

Thursday, October 17, 2019

A Mostly Okay League Outing

We "visited" the other Kate's team last night.  They are all very nice people and last night was another refreshing instance where everyone was still sober by the end of the match.  Everyone there played their best and cared about the results.  This makes for a fun match, even if we did lose 14 - 7.

My performance was mostly okay.  The only thing I can really celebrate from the evening was two singles wins against their two best players.  Other than three Ton's on the night, everywhere else I was mostly a no-show.  At a high level, I won both my singles, but dropped two of my four doubles. The team game was a loss but I did hit two Ton's in that game, but because we are using DartConnect (which doesn't handle league play well), they do not count towards my overall stats for the season.

My first game was singles 401 against Joe, who is not only a good guy, but is a strong contributor to the league, occupying my old role on the board (Competition Secretary).  In that game he was playing better than I was in terms of three dart average, but I happened to hit my Double 8 before he could (and I have no doubt he would have, in short order).  I hit my last Ton of the evening in that game as well.

My second singles game was against Lyle, and it was Cricket.  I played quite strongly and I was proud of my performance in this game.  Lyle is a good shot and a strong competitor and I knew that going in, so I think this was one of those instances where a strong opponent served to raise my game a little.  The thing is tho, I didn't have anything better than a 4 Mark round in that game.  I threw a 2.1 to his 1.6, and I didn't have any dead rounds until we were down to bulls.  This was more of a steady slog through the numbers, ending 169 to 124 in my favor.

My first doubles 501 game was with Cory, and we dropped it to their best two players. Other than a couple of triple 20's during the game, I didn't hit any good numbers and I missed several shots at the out.  My second doubles 501 was with Chris.  We won, but I was little more than a warm body,  I didn't even hit any triples in that game and Chris took out the 35 for us to win.

My first doubles Cricket was with Dani and we lost, again to their two best players.  I hit two dead rounds in that game (including the opening round) but I balanced that with a 6M and a 5M.  They out-shot us however.  My second doubles Cricket was with Julia and we won this one!  Julia opened for us but when it was my turn I hit a Triple 20, missed the 19's, and picked off a single bull with the third dart.  I think that little maneuver gave us a mental edge for the game because we both stepped up.  I hit no dead round sin the game and in the last round I hit two clean single bulls for the win with fat darts.  That did feel good, and since it was my last two darts thrown in the evening, it took the stink off the rest of it :)

Last night I took the 24 gram Monsters I got in trade recently, and all brought along my 17 gram Super Alloy Bottelsen GT3's.  And I am glad I did.  They threw much better for me in the night than the Monsters did.  The Monsters were doing the thing where they landed in the board with a very salient rightward slant.  Annoying, especially because it ended up blocking the double 8 on me at least once.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Turning 50

Well, not really.  I am not 50 yet.  But I did hit my 50th Maximum the other night in the midst of one of the most painful outings I have had in recent memory.

Best part?  Instant gratification, of course!  The organizer of the event, who happens to be the President of the League was able to offer me the choice of a pin or a patch on the spot.  Being an Eagle Scout, of course I chose the patch.  I suddenly feel like I have earned the "Ton-80 Merit Badge".

This maximum came off the backs of my highly prized 24 gram Black Eagles by Laserdarts.  You can see they are wearing in-between length Fit Flight Stems and Standard Fit Flights.  One of the stems snapped before the end of the evening.

Friday, October 04, 2019

How to Play Fifty-One

"Fifty-One" is a fun game which my friends, teammates, leaguemates, and workmates have all enjoyed immensely over the years. I have seen this game described in various dart books and there are surprisingly few variations. Most older books call the game 'Fives' and the score is counted up to 50, not down from 51. Here I lay out the rules for the game as I know it.

51 is usually played with two players but since it is a race to 0 any number of players can play with no variation in the basic rules. Each player starts with 51 points. First person to achieve a score of 0 exactly wins. The trick is, in order to subtract points, your totaled score for the round must total to something divisible by 5, and all darts must contribute 1 or more points to that total. So if any one of your darts hits a non-scoreable area, that is a bust for the round. This rule also applies to the last round. When you win the game, all three of your darts must score. Once you have a total that is divisible by 5 (leaving an integer), you subtract the dividend from your score. An example:
  • I throw my three darts and hit a 20, 1, and 19. Totals to 40, divided by 5 is 8, so I subtract 8 from my score and now I drop from the initial 51 down to 43.
  • Next round I hit a 20, 1, and 57. Totals to 78 which is not evenly divisible by 5. Thus my score for the round is 0.
  • Next round I hit a 60, 5, and the third darts bounces out. All darts must score so that round is a bust.
And so on.

A nice finish in a quick (very quick) game of 51 at work. That 145 translates into 29 score-able points. The game below occurred on Dec 20, 2010. I have no idea anymore what I was throwing in that game. Might have been my old Co Stompe Matchsticks.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Its the Artist Not the Brush

Last night's league match was wonderful.  My team lost 12-9 but I had a great night out due not only to my darts flying right, but to the friendliness of the competition.  We visited the Three Lions pub in Bothell.  Like their sister bar in Redmond, they attract not only good dart players, but super friendly ones too.  And on top of everything it was a breath of fresh air for everyone on both teams to still be sober by the end of the evening!

Here is how the evening went: I played seven games total, two singles, four doubles and one team game. I won both the singles games and three of the four doubles matches, but in the team game we got flattened like pancakes by their dominating performance.  I threw rubbish, and everyone on the opposing team stepped up and delivered.  They finished the team game with a 70+ three dart average. Quality darters, those.

My first singles match was a 401 against Niko.  I didn't hit any big numbers in the game but I was solid, hitting a single triple, but averaged 54.7 for the game, and the best part, the happiest part, was that I hit my out with my very first dart at a double. It was a 22 dart game and I finished on double 8.

My second singles game was Cricket against their best player, Doug.  A fine chap and a great dart player, but in this one I got the best of him. I had one 5-mark round, no dead rounds, and finished with a 2.4 average.  I felt strong in that game.

My first doubles game was a 501 with new teammate Chris.  He is a good addition to the team as he takes darts seriously as a sport and is probably as big a dart geek as I am.  Another fine performance in which I did not put up any big numbers other than a couple of 80ish rounds, but took out a 44 for the win with single 12, double 16. Again, it was my first dart at the double and it hit.  That felt good.  To this point in the evening, I can honestly say that I did not miss any double that I threw at :) . The streak would not continue, however.

My second doubles game was a 501 with Julia. It was a good one.  I hit 100, 100, 85, and then 84 for my first four rounds, and then, with 23 left, I missed the big 7 into the big 19, leaving 4.  The I put two darts just outside the double 2 wire, leaving 4 for Julia.  She hit it with her first dart next round. Those were my only two tons on the evening, but it was such a good evening overall I do not mind :)

My next two doubles games were Cricket, first with Cory, then with John. The first was a win.  I didn't have any impressive rounds but I only had one dead round, and Cory finished the game for us with a clean dosser.  Good on him!  The second game was a loss but we fought like hell.  It was a high scoring game, 409-322, and while I didn't have any high rounds, I only had one dead round, but we couldn't hit enough bulls to catch up when it counted.  They got that one.

I covered the team game earlier.  We lost that one cleanly.  Here is the final score sheet:

One of my favorite dart stories to tell took place when I was living in Pittsburgh and playing league there.  one day I was at a blind luck shoot with a good number of people participating.  The place hosting it was a bowling alley that had a large dart room with at least a dozen steel tip dart boards hung (permanently, not just for the shoot).  All of them were in use, as I recall, and you couldn't see one end of the room from the other for the smoke. A guy came in to play in the shoot and ended up in the barrel.  He didn't have any darts with him so he grabbed three bar darts from behind the bar and used those.  They were all brass, and none of them matched.  It was basically three random brass darts, and that is what he used.  He did not drop a single leg and won the shoot.  I told him that I thought what he did was amazing, especially given the darts he was using.  He just smiled and said, "Its the artist, not the brush."

Last night I took brass darts with me. Not for any particular reason, but just because as a darter I have been feeling "brassy" lately and I wanted to give them their "solid night out".  I do love me some brass darts, no joke.  But I wasn't trying to make a point or show anyone up who had expensive darts or anything like that, I just liked the brass ones.  So I brought them and they fucking flew for me.  I think they cost about $2 when I got them (used). You can see them below dressed in medium nylon stems and standard poly flights.

I had the book with me because I needed to get my tires replaced before the match and I knew I'd need to hang out in the Les Schwab waiting room for a solid hour and a half.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Re-Stemming the GT's

Followers of this blog know that I have been a fan of the Bottelsen GT line of darts for a long time.  I have had several sets that predated their threading system and thus were limited to the push-in stem system that they produced for early version of the GT.  There is nothing wrong with that system, necessarily, but it is nice to have options, and sometimes the old push-in GT stems were seem a bit loose or wobbly.  Threading them was a brilliant idea on their part, and their new screw-in stem system is quite nice looking aesthetically, and feels solid when properly installed.

But I have always been a tinkerer.  Back in the day, I made several attempts to mod the GT to accommodate spinning flights, like this one, and this one. Recently I picked up a set of 23 gram smooth GT's on ebay which lacked the modern threading, and whose stems were a bit on the worn side.  Thus I started to wonder how I could improve the darts a bit :)

I started by rifling through my myriad of stems looking for anything I might cannibalize for this little project.  I came up with three possibilities:  a 2ba wire stem, a 2ba fiberglass stem ("Jet Stream" stem, maybe?),  and also a Voks stem designed for their GT-esque Javelin line of darts. The Jet Stream stem was too weak and too well glued together.  I completely crushed it trying to remove the thin stem from the plastic bits on the ends.  The wire stem, on the other hand, came apart more easily, especially with the help of a vice grips and a desk mounted vice. You can see in the pic below some of the pieces I was working with.  The thin metal piece by the ruler is the wire part of that stem extracted from its other bits.  However, neither the Voks stem nor the wire stem would fit into the end of the bottelsen dart with ease.  They both felt just a micron too wide to fit in there. So...

...I used a repointing tool to do the work.  Fortunately the Hammerhead points are 2ba as well so the point-end of the dart fits into the repointing tool backwards quite nicely, and then it was a simple matter of clamping down the new stem as if it were a point and using the impressive force of the repointing tool to "re-stem" the dart.

Same process for the Voks stems...

Below you can see a couple of pics of the three different stemmings side by side, unflighted. There is a little bit of Goldilocks, here, I think.  The original stem on the far right is too close to the barrel.  Too short.  And it is also aesthetically jarring with the black gasket and aluminum stem.  The middle stem (which was originally the 2ba wire stem) is a bit long for the barrel, and the plastic bit on the end is too big.  Aesthetically speaking it overpowers the dart it self.  The Voks stem, on the left is just about perfect.  The length is good, the color matches the theme of the dart, and the bit on the end is also quite sleek compared to the the other two.

In the end I decided to go with the Voks stems pushed into the barrels 4 mm.  It seems to be a good length and should take a smaller standard flight or a pear shape quite nicely.  How they perform over time remains to be seen.  It could be that the ever-so-slightly too-large stem diameter has stressed the tungsten barrel near to the breaking point, and an unlucky stem-first landing bounce out will cause the barrel to shatter.  Remains to be seen, but I am looking forward to putting this set of darts through their paces.  If they shatter they shatter and I will not lose any sleep over it.  The experiment was fun and rewarding already :)

I am hoping to be able to post pics of Ton-80's with these darts soon.  Stay posted :P