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    Dartplayer Dot Net :: View topic - Why isn't barrel length more important?
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    Why isn't barrel length more important?
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    Which concerns you most
    The shape of a dart?
    50%
     50%  [ 9 ]
    The weight of a dart?
    22%
     22%  [ 4 ]
    The length of a dart?
    27%
     27%  [ 5 ]
    Total Votes : 18

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    Taechon
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    PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:23 am    Post subject: Why isn't barrel length more important? Reply with quote

    What's up with barrel length?
    Why do we place so much emphasis on the weight of darts?

    Most of you know exactly what your darts weigh but how many of you know how long they are? After twenty years of throwing darts, I ran across a set about two years ago that just felt great. I never thought about their length. They were a custom dart made for some professional big wig that got set aside and as soon as I threw them I knew they were right for me.

    Now, two years later, I'm looking for a similar dart and of course nothing out there exists. And everything that does exist is too long. I discovered that the darts I throw best are between 43mm and 45mm long. Since I have about twenty sets of spare darts lying about, I went to a machinist and had a few sets cut down and retooled. Guess what, I love them all in the shorter lengths.

    My 23 gram 97% Bristow’s now weigh 21.8 grams and they throw great. My hand made darts 95% weigh in at 21.3 and are 100% better now that they are shorter. I shortened an old set of Harrows and they are flying well. Finally, I shortened by Soft Steel Voks with the heavy inserts and they now weigh 18.9 with flights and are really comfortable.

    Why are we so concerned with the weight of darts and so much less concerned with the length? I've found that if I am given a dart of similar length to the style I like, I can throw it with relative ease. Give me a longer or shorter dart and I have a greater time adjusting and never quite feel comfortable with it.

    If we look at the websites it becomes quite clear the manufacturers do not disclose the length of their darts on a regular basis. Why is this?

    How much consideration do you give to the length of the dart you are throwing? How much consideration do you give to the width, weight, or shape?
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    PMA
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    PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I have never really paid much attention to the length of the barrel, although I tend not to like a long dart. I did pay attention to the weight for a while, but I soon figured out that once I had used a set of darts for a while the weight really did not come into play much. Now when I am looking at darts, it is all about how they feel. How they feel in my hand and how they feel when I throw them.

    My barrels tend to be not to fat but not to skinny, not to short but definitely not long. The weight I have settled on is about 18 grams.
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    Erik
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    PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    All of the above.

    I prefer a longer dart in a mid weight (22-24 grams). Why? Grip.

    You see, my three fingered grip tends to lend itself to a longer barrel.

    Things to consider: How you throw and release a dart. This will determine whether a short barrel (more weight to the front of the whole dart), or a front weighted dart (even more weight to the front), or a long dart (mid weighted or even somewhat rearward weighted) will work for you.

    I surmise that something like the balance point darts will probably even be better for you becuase they tend to be shorter and weighted to the front.

    It really depends more on how you hold the dart and release it I think and the manufacturers make both long and short barrel types.

    Take the John Lowe dart made by Unicorn. It's very short.
    The Voks Soft/Steel Spirit. It's a medium length dart.
    The John Part or Bob Anderson Unicorns -- both long barrels.

    Each different dart has different characteristics so size, weight, shape and balance all can be important to each indivdual shooter.

    I tend to look at the shape because it tends to dictate the weight balance and feel. Shape also emcompasses length.

    Erik
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    Taechon
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    PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Yes, you make a good point. There are short darts out there; however, they tend to be bombs, bees, or in some way dumpy and round. The darts I have are quite regular looking and I have all four of my fingers one the dart. LOL, and I have quite regular sized hands. The little finger does move off the dart on the back stroke. So, realistically, I have a three finger grip as well.

    It just seems to me that your favorite dart should come in a variety of sizes. Small, medium, large and extra large. The length of a dart is amazingly important and I'm beginning to think that it is at least as important as the shape and weight.

    Actually, with the right shape and size, I am in complete agreement with PMA. The weight just dosn't matter that much.

    I really like the feel of the Phil Taylors. They are the perfect size and I will own a set soon. I tend to prefer a front loaded dart however. If I were to switch, I would use the Phil Taylors or one of my new cut down sets. The Bristow 97% darts are really quite good cut down.

    Why can't I just buy a set?

    Who comes up with these sizes and why? Is the public ignorant? Smart darts also come in the size I like; however, I do not like them. I have never seen a dart bounce out of a board so much.

    I've looked at those balance points. They just seem a bit strange. I'll just wait until someone offers me a free set or until I meet someone throwing with them. I spend enough money on darts I think I'm going to like. I'm sure it's a good dart but I'm gonna wait for the movie.

    In the end? Do we, as darters, pay enough attention to the length of our darts? Why not?
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    Dead_Eye
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    PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Hi SEWA-Darts & Taechon-

    You mentioned taking darts to a machinist and having them "retooled".
    Can you elaborate? I throw with shorter barrels too, and also have been disappointed by the limited options. When I take my darts to a machinist, what instructions do I give? My concern is the re-tapping (??) required on the freshly cut end... has this been a problem?

    FYI, I am in the San Diego area and throw in the Greater San Diego Darts Assoc Steel Tip League. Good group of guys... although at my level... it's a weekly spanking Smile

    I've been lurking a while, and joined today. You all have a fantastic forum, and for a newbie like me, I'm very appreciate of the info. Just reading through the archives is mind blowing.

    Many thanks Guys,

    Johnny
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    wsuxjer
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    PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I haven't done it to my darts but as long as they have the correct pitch and size of a tap, it shouldn't be an issue to cut it down and re-thread it.
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    Erik
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    PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Thanks for the kind words Smile It is our goal to provide a resource for anyone interested in darts while entertaining them too!

    Any competent maxchinest should bhe able to match the threads. So plan to have them cut shorter and re-threaded to the 2ba threads.

    I'd use a spare set of darts to do this until you found what you wanted.

    Another option is to design your own based on what you like and then have them make them for you.

    Erik
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    PMA
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    PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I have found that gunsmiths have the knowledge and ability to work on small precise items and to perform this type of work. The problem is gunsmiths tend to be on the expensive side for working on darts.

    In one of the forums there was a post about a company who would make you custom darts. If they can make custom darts they should be able to perform work on your current darts. If I can find the post again I will repost it here.
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    Biggy
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    PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    i go alot by the look of my dart. i dont like throwing an ugly dart. i throw every dart the same, i just have that kind of throw and release, im just lucky.
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    PMA
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    PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Does anybody else remember the thread that had a post with a hot link in it for some one who made custom darts?
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    SeaHag
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    PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    PMA wrote:
    Does anybody else remember the thread that had a post with a hot link in it for some one who made custom darts?


    It was a post by Zeeple linking to his blogspot where he has the business card and contact info for the guy who did his custom darts. If you do a member search and then search out all posts by Zeeple, it shouldn't take too long to run down.

    I'm curious as to how long the barrells are on my darts...over the years I've come to think they are too short for my grip. I have VERY BIG hands...my class ring size was 16 and by now I'd guess my ring finger size is a 17 or 18...so huge fingers, plus a palm that is usually about one finger wider than a normal mans hand. I just feel my three finger grip is crowded on the barrell.

    Phil Taylors darts look like they are longer in the barrell than mine, but as Taechon mentions, no-one is posting that information with the darts. Our local darts shops don't carry unicorn and I'm pretty set that my next set of darts will be a golden tungsten coated set of Unicorns...which ones I'm not sure of yet. I haven't had good luck changing darts and I'm hesitant to move on another set since I've ended up selling the last three sets of darts I got to replace the old faithfulls.

    Does anyone have a recommendation for me?
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    Erik
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    PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Taechon would know since he was involved in those posts for a while. Here and dartplayer.

    Personally, I'd check local machinests and see who might be interested.

    Erik
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    Taechon
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    PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    http://www.notn.co.uk/darts/
    Elven Darts

    Pacer Darts in California will also make custom darts... i think.

    Okay, here is what you do. Find a good machinist who can work with tungsten on a lathe. The darts should be cut on a lathe. I don't thing anything else is going to create as smooth of a cut.

    First, decide how much you want cut off. Look at the part of your dart shaft that goes in back of the barrel. Once the dart is cut, will it still fit in the barrel? If not, you will need to have the dart drilled.

    Carbide drills work fine. Drill the dart to a depth that will allow the flight to be inserted before you cut. This ends the centering problem. A regular drill press will do the job.

    The dart can also be drilled on the lathe. Even if the dart is cut first, the lathe can be used for centering before the dart is taken to the drill press.

    As for tapping, I did my own. I just took my set to the local hardware store and bought the tap. (I have worked with metal before.) It was not difficult. Nevertheless, any machinist will be able to tap the dart for you.

    You are not working from a billet; you are just cutting off a bit of the butt and re-drilling. It's quite simple. I had five sets done in 2 hours, including tapping. They all turned out great.
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    wsuxjer
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    PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Taechon, do you remember what size tap you used? I played around with it last night but I couldn't seem to find quite the right size tap.
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    mcvickj
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    PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Back in March I manged to snap an aluminum shaft off in the barrel. After drilling out the shaft I took a good shaft and went to the hardware store and digged through the nut bins until I found the perfect fit. Once I had that number I purchased the tap and handle. The size was 10-32.

    A-Z also sells a tap and handle. All they call it is a 2ba tap.

    As for having a set of darts made you should check out the person Zeeple used. He is located in Canada. He posted several pictures of his work.

    Here is a link to Zeeple's blog. http://zeeple.blogspot.com/2005/09/pickup-your-game.html
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    wsuxjer
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    PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    OK. That's the size I thought it was. It seemed like it might be a bit big though. I chased the threads in some old darts and after screwing in an old shaft, it didn't seem quite right. I may try it again though.
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    PMA
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    PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Dead-eye, there you go. Taechon posted the hot link for some one who make custom darts and also provided information on some one in California. Thanks everyone! Very Happy
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    Dead_Eye
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    PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Wow. This is great stuff Smile Many thanks, Johnny
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    Erik
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    PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Hmmm Zeeple's got a connection there! I might have to chat with the fello. I'm thinking of making a custom set like the Unicorn JP but want it slightly different. Better taper to the shaft, less rings up front and ringed all the way to the shaft.

    I'll EM this guy and see what he thinks.
    Erik
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    Taechon
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    PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    wsuxjer wrote:
    Taechon, do you remember what size tap you used? I played around with it last night but I couldn't seem to find quite the right size tap.


    Tap Size: As I said previously. Take the dart to the hardware store. They will measure it and find you the right tap. I'm looking at mine now and printed on the tap it says 3/16-32, SK5, STC, lL24

    I have no idea what any of that means. I bought two of them because I was working with Tungsten and I thought they would go dull quickly. I started with the first one and never switched. Just one tap did all 15 darts with no problems at all.
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    string
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    PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    What amazes me more than poor barrel length choice is the shafts that often come with the darts. Way too long with poor flight characteristics, and are usually dumped immediately by any serious dart thrower. What could the manufacturers be thinking? Most barrel configurations and lengths can be made comfortable and accurate to throw by judicious selection of the proper size and weight shaft for your throwing style and some fine tuning by flight selection and most flight characteristics can be really be improved, as you all know. So my question is "Can shaft length and weight make up for lack of barrel length choice?" Fortunately I live just over an hours drive from A-Z darts and they have a TREMENDOUS selection of darts to sample and throw. Very Happy So I got to play around a lot with different models and shafts and boy does the shaft length and weight make a difference, particularly on certain models! Who knows what you could come up with though if different barrel lengths were offered. Guess right now you have the insider knowledge on that track Tae.
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    Taechon
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    PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Quite frankly, I feel as if the dart industry has been doing a dog and pony show and we have been so amazed with the entertainment that no one has stopped to examine the props. They are false! I have quite honestly come to the conclusion that weight is one of the least important factors to worry about when choosing a dart. (Soft tip limits excluded.) Much more important are the shape of the dart, followed by the darts length.

    Now, unless we want to design our own darts, I completely understand the reliance on factories to design them for us. There are thousands of great dart designs to choose from and designing a dart is probably not an easy process. But why would I leave the length of the dart up to the factory?

    The next time you are messing around with sets of darts. Grab some with longer barrels, shorter barrels and medium barrels. Try to find darts that are similar and see which size feels best to you.


    I've got an old set of M3 darts that weigh 14 grams and have a barrel length of 45mm, (The maximum length I prefer) and I can throw these great. When I bought my set of 20 Gram M3 darts, they were delivered to me with 54mm barrels. I hate them. They were just cut down and I'm trying to get some replacement plugs.

    I'm seriously betting that a lot of you are throwing with darts that are the wrong length for you and you don't even know it. You have not been given a choice. They wave the weight of the dart in front of you as it it were important, and it's not. They wave different flights, shafts, and other accessories in front of us to keep us from focusing on what is actually important... The Length of the Dart.

    Just some late night thinking.
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    Taechon
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    PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I suggest to you that any and all dart shops should begin customizing the lengths of their darts upon request. Look at the back end of most darts. They look like they were made to be customized.
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    SeaHag
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    PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I measured the barrells on my darts today and they are only 1 5/8" long....Then I measured the distance my grip would cover while holding my dart, and my fingers cover an area 2 1/8"....so you can see how cramped my grip is. Confused

    I wouldn't be surpised if I own a set of Unicorn darts real soon.
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    PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I had not really given much thought to length on my darts barrels, but after reading this post I checked it out and found that my bottelson hammerheads are 2 inches long. I've owned them several years and that length is comfortable for me. When I purchased my darts I really didn't think about much other than how they felt when I threw them.
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