Slugs And Domes And Taggers, Oh My! What's in YOUR dart bin?
Posted 07 February 2011 - 10:59 PM
Don't ban darts, ban behaviors.
Posted 07 February 2011 - 11:07 PM
I'd be in favor of limiting the weight behind a hot glue dome or completely changing to felt pads being mandatory. In the end, each Nerfing group will do what they want. It's up to the host of the war. If you don't like the rules, don't attend the war.
Posted 07 February 2011 - 11:41 PM
FBR tipped micro slugs I tried for a while, and they are very disappointing. If you use brass and the barrels are too tight at the end, the washers may begin to clip the rim and come loose. Same issue with hopper clips, and some just fall apart over time.
Mega darts, on the other hand, are surprisingly durable and accurate, even with FBR tips. I have never had any fall apart, while 10% of my micros die after each war. They are also accurate and significantly easier to find due to being larger.
Marshmallow ammo is impractical indoors, but pretty fun in a park. The sizes are so unregulated that you end up shotgunning marshmallows, especially with a feed-assist hopper barrel. And because they are so soft, stock blasters can rarely use marshmallows. Super cool with SNAPs and whatnot though.
One thing I would like to try is using BB weights and foam tips. Obviously, there would be a layer of hot glue between the head and the body, but foam on foam might last longer than foam on metal. Basically padding the hot glue dome with foam. There's just the problem of getting copper bbs... I've tried this with 3/0 size weights and Megas, and performance is the same as with washers.
This post has been edited by Darksircam: 07 February 2011 - 11:47 PM
Posted 08 February 2011 - 12:16 AM
Slug/BB/Slingshot dart testing
That being said, it is up to the war host to determine what's allowed and what isn't. At the couple of MN wars I've been to the only darts used where slugs and stock, as a result no gun bans were needed. I got hit from close range with singled Titans and Jobar/Cobras and came back with no broken skin, just a minor irritation from where I got hit. Don't get me wrong, I felt the hits, but I didn't get any permanent damage, unlike at Chano 3. There I got hit in the funny bone with a slingshot dart and lost use of my left hand for several minutes and complete feeling for several hours. That could have been permanent damage had it been at a slightly different spot.
Posted 08 February 2011 - 12:27 AM
I started making Slugs since 2008, and I definitely noticed a change in quality with the McMaster felt tips between then and now (at least for our purposes). To echo utafnerf, the current white tips unravels too easily. Green or black will do, I suppose, but still unravels too easily for my taste.
An alternative option is actually making tips with craft foam in conjunction with Plumber's Goop and washers or BBs, as demonstrated here:
Packets of craft foam sheets are available for cheap at Michaels, Walmart, etc. The most basic (and labor-intensive) way of making it work is to simply take a 1/2 brass pipe and "drill" (or cut) away at the foam sheet.
This method takes A LOT of time. However, I've actually found a 1/2" hole puncher at Onestopsquare.com in my possession that could potentially change all that.
All this fundamentally comes down to finding a balance between the desire to shoot darts really far (modification of blasters, heavier weights) and safety (whatever that means; we all have different definitions). It also comes down to monitoring human behaviors (common sense) and protecting against human instincts (at the heat of the moment, you're more likely to pull the trigger rather than barrel-tapping; nothing douche-y about it). I'm not sure if such balance exists. It ultimately comes down to the local communities (or whoever is hosting in most places) to come to a consensus on how all this will work out.
"Stiff. With an 'F'."
Posted 08 February 2011 - 12:32 AM
I hate slugs. You can pick up a sling that's been sitting in a park for over a year, and fire it, but a slug will be rusty and falling apart inside of a month. The weight frequently pops off when they hit a solid object like a tree, and I have to wait for (and pay for) shipping from mcmaster to get them. Most of all, I resent being told I have to use purposefully poorly performing ammo because everyone else has a homemade $120 hellcannon when I was keeping up just fine with slings in my crossbow. Also, after a trip to Canada, I can say that I was more covered in welts than I've ever been after a war, but I didn't mind one bit.
Felt tips are sort of like gun hits. If you let people ignore gun hits, or darts that catch on their clothes without hitting them, or anything else that stops the dart but maybe doesn't seem like it should count as a hit, there would be a problem. People would fudge the rules, or get confused, or argue on the field about whether the hit should count. But instead the rule is simple: if you do anything to stop the dart in any way, it counts as a hit. Felt tips are the same way. If you let someone use BB darts, or shorter barrels, or shittier guns, then you end up having to bargain with everyone who comes on the field about the rules, and you have no consistent, easy to understand, easy to enforce rule you can apply. With slugs you can just look at the dart and know it's safe to use.
There was a time when few in NJ put in the extra effort to make domes, and no one used slingshot ammo. Your darts were flat and they either had BBs or at best 'Size BB' lead fishing weights. If we could go back to that we probably wouldn't have a problem. In fact if someone made a dart with a copper bb on it and stuck some felt on there I bet no one would notice. But the fact is that domed slingshot darts go farther in these new homemades, they hit harder, and they hurt more. In fact, at the aforementioned Canadian war, I unintentionally hit another nerfer in the throat with a domed slingshot dart, and it brought tears to her eyes. She took it pretty well, but she was understandably out of commission for the next round, and that is a fucking problem.
So in spite of my reservations about them, my ammo bag is full of slug darts, because that's what's required at most NJ nerf wars, and it's a rule that makes some sense, if only for consistency and safety's sake. I'm all for making it easier and cheaper to make darts, and breaking the dependency on McMaster, but for now, slug darts work.
Posted 08 February 2011 - 12:46 AM
Posted 08 February 2011 - 12:54 AM
Zomg someone's opinion on the internet is WRONG! I must correct them!
Kruger and Dunning (1999)
Posted 08 February 2011 - 01:04 AM
As for the pain aspect, I have had no issues with the impact of glue domes.
Yes, they do hurt about 30% (in my opinion) more than felt tips, but ultimately if you're going to attend a war where glue domes are in play, then that is what you have to face.
If you're not happy with glue domes, just don't attend the war.
As for the safety aspect, I feel that slug darts have a higher tendency of losing their 'head' when launched out of a powerful blaster. This becomes potentially much more dangerous than getting a welt from a glue domed dart. Sure, even if you're an excellent dartsmith, the life expectancy of slug darts are still much lower than glue domes (in my opinion). Combined with the use of hopper clips, their 'heads' just won't last as long.
I think the bottom line is that everyone attending the war have a consensus on what darts can or cannot be used and if you're not satisfied with the ruling, then simply don't attend.
Posted 08 February 2011 - 02:14 AM
I've found experimenting that you can weight these pretty much however you want, you're making a sup-par glue dome and then sticking more fbr on top to seal the whole thing off and cushion. Even with slingshots, it hurts far less than a regular glue dome, and you can still get decent ranges out of it.
Personally, I prefer using glue domes, especially for spring/fall, b/c I can wear a bunch of clothes to keep warm and at the same time feel all the shots that hit me. But it's not like slugs make this any less fun.
Posted 08 February 2011 - 05:39 AM
Whatever kind of ammo you want/have to use; take the time and learn to make it well. I've found that well made slug darts are extremely durable, fast to make, and usually cheaper than their domed alternatives. They don't shoot as far, I know. I just don't care.
My wars mandate slug darts. We generally take nerf way too seriously, and no one shows up with anything that wouldn't be competitive anywhere in the hobby. Slug darts are the easiest way to ensure that 90% of blasters need not be banned in order to ensure the type of playstyle we enjoy.
Your war, your rules.
Posted 08 February 2011 - 06:04 AM
I think VACC, Langley and Demon Lord made a lot of sense of the debate. The fact of the matter is that we, as war hosts, can't monitor and regulate all behaviors at these events. We can however, limit one of the most important factors leading to those behaviors and that's the ammunition.
Furthermore(and to echo VACC's sentiments), I'm yet to have one of my slugs self-destruct at a war. Not a single one. Like all things in life, practice leads to a better product. Blowing through 500 dart blanks, washers and felt dots in the span of a couple hours a good dart doesn't make. Learn some best practices from the folks who are good at it, apply them to your process and quit crying about how hard they are to make.
Posted 08 February 2011 - 06:18 AM
FBR is a common and constant cost. A dart will cost the same minute amount as far as FBR goes, domed, slug, or whatever.
However, a domed BB dart costs less than a penny each, often much less. It may take more hot glue, but that is the whole of your price per dart.
A McMaster slug costs $0.02 per for base materials, and, if you're only ordering 500 washers and 500 pads, I'll add $0.01 for their S&H. However, as said before, not everyone can order from them. Parental concerns, credit limits, or lack of time may be reasons. I'd love to hear more.
If you're one of those who cannot order from McMasters, then you're looking at almost $0.09 per dart, which is a substantial cost at the number of darts a serious Nerfer makes.
On an aside, McMasters somehow manages to deliver to me in Seattle the very next day, and for only $6. While this is no way close to going to the local Big 5 or Sports Authority, it's still not that big a lag. For those who have ordered, how long does it take for your stuff to get to you, and how much?
Posted 08 February 2011 - 07:07 AM
- Exposed metal, there is a line between taking a welt and getting cut
That's why i use #6's, no problem with those, only with #8's.
Zomg someone's opinion on the internet is WRONG! I must correct them!
Was the sarcasm really necessary? Funny, yes, but necessary? This goes beyond the internet and into our local parks and other places of nerf. Words on the internet that stay on the internet are all but meaningless, but when this stuff goes IRL, shit gets real.
As to my personal opinion on all this: At smaller wars (10>people) it seems to me it would be better to let people use what they want as long as their ammo is safe and make adjustments on a person-by-person basis. At larger wars (BritNerf-sized LOL) I can understand how this isn't possible, but something should be done to prepare for those who don't make/can't make slugs. If a few of the people proficient in making slugs could make a large number for the war, anyone who can't make slugs can buy from them. The problem that arises here is people trying to make a profit, there's nothing wrong with making a profit, but if you ban all other darts and charge 3x the cost to make the dart it can be pretty costly for people who can't make them themselves. It's not a matter of it being hard, just that not everyone can get a hold of all the materials. I, personally, have never ordered from McMaster, although I have been planning to do so anyway for parts to make homemades (already have the polycarb, thanks Split!), so things are working out pretty well for me; I just add a few extra items to my cart, others aren't so lucky. Basically, since the war is still a ways off, it would be nice if preparations could be made in advance to make a bulk number of slugs to be sold at about at-cost (a little extra to cover the beer you'll inevitable drink while making the slugs LOL) to those who can't get a hold of them otherwise. Granted, it could be difficult to keep this from turning into a "take advantage of cheap prices" thing, but if a user could work it out beforehand with the dart maker, it could work.
It's going to take some work getting everyone to just universally switch to slugs, just making them mandatory won't do it for new people who are trying to get into the hobby, or even for some older members who just can't make slugs for one reason or another. I'm not against using slugs, but something needs to be done for those that can't.