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.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Spike Spiraline

Here is a pic of my new "Spike" style Spiraline flights. The entire ensemble is as thus:

Flights: Spike Spiraline
Shafts: short Hacksaw
Barrels: 24 gram Powerpoint Dimplex

You can also see there my Unicorn wooden dart case. I seem to like the flights, I am not sure about the shafts, and the darts are not worth a dime. They are not very well weighted, and I could never quite find a shaft length or flight style combination to really make them fly true. If they wanted to improve them they'd either have to make them longer and thinner, or forward weight them.

As always, click the image for a larger picture.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Converting Soft to Steel

Although I don't really play soft tip anymore, I still like all my old soft tip darts, and it is hard to find good steel tip darts in the lighter weights. Thus conversion points is a very good option. O-rings will keep them tight, and you can even put hammerhead style tips on most soft tip darts. Although with hammerhead tips you will need to pick up some "blue" Lok-Tite at the hardware store.

As always, click the image for a larger picture.
More spininng flights. The product name is 'Spiraline' but most sites will just call the spinning flights. I have only ever seen a few criticisms of this flight style. One was that they create more drag causing the dart to fly slower. If that is true then it doesn't seem to be a problem for me. The other is that you cannot put flight protectors on them because they will not fit. As you can see from the photo, this is not true. In fact I'd say it is pretty essential to have the flight protectors on spiraline flights because they are more apt to split since they angle in to a "V" shape.

As always, click the image for a larger picture.

Spiraline Flights

I just recently got an order of spinning flights from They have a decent selection and there are few sites out there these days where you can get them. If you have never played around with these flights you definitely should. Their benefits are many. In-flight wobble reduction, greater accuracy. And plus they are just more fun to throw.

As always, click the image for a larger picture.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

12 gram Crown Jewels by Harrows with steel tips and Spiraline "spinning" flights. This is my preferred flight, but they are hard to find these days.

As always, click the image for a larger picture.
These flights are unlike any I have seen thus far and appear to be known as "Delta II" flights. They have good surface area. Not bad.

As always, click the image for a larger picture.
My first Hat Trick with my Hammerhead GT's.

As always, click the image for a larger picture.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

This is reportedly a Maverick made by FreeFlight. It is an old design and I am told it is no longer in production. If anyone has a set and is willing to sell it please let me know. I am also interested in broken darts or incomplete sets in this model dart. Thanks!

As always, click the image for a larger picture.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

I have recently been asked about the darts in the picture of the Hat Trick a few posts back. They are my 23 gram Warriors by Shooter's Edge. They are fixed point darts and I have never seen anything like them. The shaft they take is the top portion of the "Spinster Aluminum" shafts. It took a little while to learn how to throw them properly as the gripping is also different. The dip in the middle appears to be a finger placement but I do not use it as such (as I rarely, if ever, place a finger on the point when throwing). There are a few other designs and weights in this dart but this was the only one I could find when I discovered their existence and sought them out.

As always, click the image for a larger picture.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Among my dart friends we have a special feat we call the "Doubles Trick." It is like a Hat Trick but instead of all three darts in the bull, you need to hit all three of your marks during doubles practice (I guess it doesn't have to be practice, but if you aim all your darts at the double ring during a live game you are just goofing around...) Slop doesn't count of course. As you can see in this pic, I was doing doubles practice, clockwise, and hit my first three marks. Cheers.

As always, click the image for a larger picture.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

This is a pretty good close up of the wear on the blades of my Bandit. It is still a phenomenal board. It has a ton of life left in it. I took this shot a couple of weeks ago after hitting the trick with my Warriors. Click on the photo to get the full image and then make sure you are zoomed in. Most browsers will shrink an image to fit the window.

As always, click the image for a larger picture.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

2nd Lifetime Maximum

I recall the day I hit this Ton-80 very well. I'd had these Freaks for not very long just a few months and I recall thinking they should help me find the sweet spot better since they were so skinny. When this max popped out of the board I was quite happy since it was the first one I could take a picture of. I figured if I could repeat my first ton-80 that they would just start rolling off my fingers. I have 25 of them as of this writing, and I am hoping for more (I am back blogging this by more than three years).

Saturday, October 02, 2004

The top is a 15 Gram Red Dragon Featherlite. The bottom dart is a 27 Gram Harrows Axis. Both are fixed point and both fly well. The Featherlite could probably get away with a smaller flight but the Axis definitley needs a standard.

As always, click the image for a larger picture.

Friday, October 01, 2004

First Ton-80 Ever

I remember my first ton-80 like it was yesterday. I was at work and these were in the days that I had dartboard hung in my office. I nailed the maximum with my 28 gram GT's and I had two witnesses to boot.
These are 12 gram Harrows Crown Jewels. I don't really play soft tip anymore, but I put a set of conversion points on them and I do well throwing them. This is the lightest set of darts I own and they fly every bit as well as my 28 gram Widows. Go figure.

As always, click the image for a larger picture.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

These are the heavier ones: In order from left to right: 28g smooth Black Widows, 28g Hammerhead GT's, 25g Shooter's Edge Crossfires, 25g Bottelsen 9/32 Edge grip Great Whites, 24g Dart Freaks, 24g 20/20's 24g Harrows Powerpoint Dimplex, 23g Shooter's Edge Warriors. The Dart Freak and the 20/20's are known as Penetrators and Chunky Stubbys on some sites.

As always, click the image for a larger picture.
The full practice set, ranging from 28 gram to 12 gram. These are the darts I typically throw during practice. A wide range of weights and styles, although I definitely lean toward 24 gram, and I prefer standard dimplex flights on almost all of them.

As always, click the image for a larger picture.
These are the lighter darts in order from left to right: 24g Harrows Powerpoint Dimplex, 23g Shooter's Edge Warriors, 23g Harrows Rhinos, 22g Halex 80% Tungstens, 22g Voks Raptors, 20g Halex Nickel Silvers, 16g DMI Radarts, 17g Halex Nickel Silver, 12g Harrows Crown Jewels. The last three darts in this group were all soft tip when I bought them but I only throw steel tip now so they all wear conversion points. The 12 gram darts are amazingly accurate. The Voks are "soft-steel" which is their term for convertable, but they have tungsten inserts which makes them a bit heavier.

As always, click the image for a larger picture.

Monday, September 27, 2004


As always, click the image for a larger picture.

Display Case for showcasing nice sets of darts. This was put together by a friend of mine in Seattle (as evidenced by the Spaceneedle in the photo). The best part is that it is all magnetic based, so the platforms that hold the darts are adjustable. You can comfortably display up to 6 sets of darts. Posted by Hello

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Here is my backboard. It looks like it is hanging crooked but that is only the camera angle. I bought a 4x4 piece of half inch plywood from Home Depot, had them cut it down to 3x3, and then at home I made it a perfect octagon. (Each side ends up being 14 9/16ths inches.) I drilled a 1 1/2 inch wood screw through the exact center in the back, and "spun" the dartboard onto it until it was snug. This way i can rotate the board occasionally. The plywood is upholstered with blue carpet that I also bought at Home Depot. Posted by Hello

Being a former carpet layer, I made sure the whole backboard looked nice by gluing the carpet down on front, the sides, and for a few inches in back. I then used my gilly gun to upholster the corners. Posted by Hello

I mark the throw line on the floor with electrical tape. It comes up easy and any residue comes off very quickly with 409. Posted by Hello

I bought one of those inexpensive 5 foot matts at Home Depot to catch bounce outs. This protects the floor. Posted by Hello

Since I cannot pound massive nails into my rental unit's walls, I hung the entire thing with this "picture frame" hanger. It can support up to 50 pounds and the nails it comes with are quite small. Posted by Hello

Attached with chain and eyelet. Posted by Hello

Close up of Carpet used Posted by Hello

Backboard. A lot of people have written to ask me how much this board cost to make. Well, as it turns out I have not tossed the receipt yet so I can give you exact numbers. I bought everything at Home Depot:

4x4 1/2" plywood....15.95
3x5 floor mat........16.97
4x6 blue carpet......11.88
carpet glue...........3.97
total ................. 48.77

Now keep in mind that there was some stuff I already had, such as the wall hanger supplied by the landlord, the chain, the eyelets, the wood screw, and I have a saw and a staple gun that I used. You can conceivably put together a similar board for much cheaper if you are not particular aabout what you use for the carpet, or a floor mat. Find some old rug laying around and a sheet of wood and you're set. Borrow tools, etc. But no matter what materials you use. A floor mat and a backboard are completely essential. The last thing you want is a wall and floor peppered with tiny holes.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

20 / 20's Posted by Hello

Monday, September 20, 2004

Myestery Darts

Mystery Darts Posted by Hello