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Length Of Stefan?


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#1 Reverse x

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 10:13 PM

I looked up the stefan length thread, and, well, it's like 2 months old. I wanted to know, if 1.5-2in was the best stefan length, then why do the 1 inch ones seem to fly SO much farther than the ~1.5 in ones (in my NF and firefly) with superior accuracy?
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#2 Ubermensch

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 10:16 PM

My darts are all 1-1.5 in., so that should work fine. In my experience, 2 in. Is way too long, and even 1.5" is a bit on the long side.
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#3 Icespartan 1114

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 10:19 PM

I usually make mine 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 long.

EDIT: Agreed with analogkid, try some different foam out and some different barrel materials.

Edited by Icespartan_1114, 03 November 2008 - 10:31 PM.

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#4 TantumBull

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 10:21 PM

Wait a sec, 1" - 1.5" stefans perform best?! Damnit, my stefans are all 2". I understand how shorter stefans would fly farther, but wouldn't longer stefans be more accurate because they would be less affected by drag, kinda like how megas have superior accuracy to micross?
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#5 analogkid

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 10:22 PM

Yeah, but all my darts are ~2", and they work fine. I think different lengths work for different weapons with different barrel materials for different people. Play with it a little, see what you can find out for yourself. If it works, don't ask questions.
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#6 Ubermensch

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 10:39 PM

I forgot to add that the main reason I use short darts is that it is easier to shotgun load them in barrels, and you can make more Stefans out of less foam.
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#7 Reverse x

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 10:46 PM

Yeah, i usually like to save as much FBR as possible: I like saving my money. and thanks, I'll try 1.5 in stefans on my next batch (if my m-d brand consistency is good) :ph34r:
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#8 CaptainSlug

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 11:01 PM

In my experience, 2 in. Is way too long

In my experience 2 inches works fine. Depends on the quality of the foam.
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#9 Mr Tubb

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 12:57 AM

I personally use a different type of dart altogether in my blowgun. It consists of a piece of felt (cut out from a 8.5x11" piece of felt bought for ~a quarter at craft stores) wrapped/hot glued around the end of a plastic straw. Then I glue a ~.6x.6" piece onto the end, and cut off the excess. The result is a dart that is about six inches long (much easier to find) that I don't even bother to test (because they never fish tail if made right.) All of the weight is actually at the dart's head, with about 5.5" of plastic straw sticking out the back sort of a 'tail.'
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#10 Shadowblade

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 09:00 AM

I personally use a different type of dart altogether in my blowgun. It consists of a piece of felt (cut out from a 8.5x11" piece of felt bought for ~a quarter at craft stores) wrapped/hot glued around the end of a plastic straw. Then I glue a ~.6x.6" piece onto the end, and cut off the excess. The result is a dart that is about six inches long (much easier to find) that I don't even bother to test (because they never fish tail if made right.) All of the weight is actually at the dart's head, with about 5.5" of plastic straw sticking out the back sort of a 'tail.'


Um...that didn't even answer his question about stefan lengths...

Back on topic: I personally use 1-1.5" darts for the same reason as Ubermensch but those who mentioned the barrel material are right. I found that my 1/2in cpvc worked well with 1" stefans. You'll have to experiment to see what works for you.
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#11 s3an967

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 03:00 PM

I make mine 1 1/2 inch long
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#12 Reverse x

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 06:53 PM

ah. 1.5 inches seems to be the most popular. and what brands would be considered "good quality?"
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#13 123caviler

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 08:15 PM

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#14 Guest_fadinglight4_*

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 08:45 PM

I just use 1 1/2 inchers and they work great.
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#15 TAiLsChaser

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 12:11 AM

Just read my topic that I posted about a year ago and that should clarify why the shorter ones work better.

Here's the link.
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#16 CaptainSlug

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 04:51 PM

Just read my topic that I posted about a year ago and that should clarify why the shorter ones work better.

Here's the link.

Your thread doesn't really touch on the reason we bother to have foam in the first place.

The foam on a dart is really only there for two reasons
1. To provide a sealing surface against the inner wall of the barrel. Each projectile has its own sabot attached to the weight so that optimally no pneumatic energy is allowed to escape.
2. To provide aerodynamic stability. The foam being behind the center of rotation on the projectile makes it inherently stable.

The longer the foam section behind the center of rotation is (up to a certain amount) the more stable it is. But the longer the foam is the more friction it will have against the walls of the barrel.

But the above assumes you have a barrel material that fits your foam well, that the dart has an effective amount of weight, and that the tip of the dart has a uniform aerodynamic profile.

The original reason I started using felt discs was to protect the target from the surface of the steel washer. But as I've been evaluating the performance of the darts I make with them the felt also seems to greatly improve the uniformity of the aerodynamic profile of the dart tip. If you do not make your dart tips consistently, then it can be very hard to accurately test the performance of different foam lengths.

So ideally you shouldn't have any foam forward of the center of rotation, unless it improves the aerodynamic profile of the tip.

Edited by CaptainSlug, 05 November 2008 - 04:53 PM.

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#17 Lynx

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 11:49 PM

A translation for the others:

Your thread doesn't really touch on the reason we bother to have foam in the first place.

Good job, you just failed by posting something that doesn't help.



The foam on a dart is really only there for two reasons
1. To provide a sealing surface against the inner wall of the barrel. Each projectile has its own sabot attached to the weight so that optimally no pneumatic energy is allowed to escape.

The foam is on the dart to prevent air from going past the dart. It's there to act as wadding (aka: sabot)

2. To provide aerodynamic stability. The foam being behind the center of rotation on the projectile makes it inherently stable.

The foam shouldn't be too short or the rotation will make the dart spin-out.

The longer the foam section behind the center of rotation is (up to a certain amount) the more stable it is. But the longer the foam is the more friction it will have against the walls of the barrel.

The foam shouldn't be too long or the friction will stop the darts from ever leaving the barrel.

But the above assumes you have a barrel material that fits your foam well, that the dart has an effective amount of weight, and that the tip of the dart has a uniform aerodynamic profile.
The original reason I started using felt discs was to protect the target from the surface of the steel washer. But as I've been evaluating the performance of the darts I make with them the felt also seems to greatly improve the uniformity of the aerodynamic profile of the dart tip. If you do not make your dart tips consistently, then it can be very hard to accurately test the performance of different foam lengths.


The felt discs CaptainSlug uses makes the darts impact hurt less, makes a consistent tip on every dart and makes it easier to travel through the air. The darts the rest of us make (hot glue tip/dome) are inconsistent and therefore not adequate for testing another variable. Since the tip isn't the same, you can't test other things on the dart.


Edited by Lynx, 05 November 2008 - 11:50 PM.

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