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Slugs And Domes And Taggers, Oh My!

What's in YOUR dart bin?

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Poll: Slugs vs. Domes vs. Everyone Else (114 member(s) have cast votes)

What Kind of Darts do You (Prefer to) Use?

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#1 taerKitty

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 10:32 PM

Rather than crap all over BrokenSVT, BritNerf and Kid_Flash's 'Revolution' thread, I'd like to move the discussion here.

Domes? Slugs? Something else? Discuss.

I'll start - I shoot stock ammo in the office, but make slugs and washer/glue domes (my 'bumper head' darts), and, on the field, I shoot whatever fits - BBs, 3/0s, 1/4" slingshots. Gleaners can't be choosers.

Why stock ammo in the office? Because they're officemates w/Nerf blasters, not Nerfers. They're not here to play by the rules, to make 'reach out and touch someone' shots, etc. They shoot at each other to relieve stress, and, frankly, pain adds to stress.

Why slugs? They're easy.

Why Bumper Heads? Because my BB domes suck. I started out with cheap foam, the kind that wilts at the sight of a glue gun. Bumper Heads give me the range of a glue dome, but w/o having to cuss at my crap foam.

Why shoot whatever I can sweep on the field? Because being out of ammo sucks.

Edited by taerKitty, 07 February 2011 - 10:37 PM.

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#2 boisie

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 10:51 PM

Straight out of the thread. I guess nerf will soon become regulated just like paintball and airsoft, but instead of the government doing it, our fellow players are.

Dome darts are as safe, or safer, than the average slug when made correctly. A hole is burned into the foam, creating a well. You should then add some glue to the bottom, drop in your weight, then glue to the top of the hole, then create your dome. This not only covers the weight, but secures it into the foam. The only way I've ever seen a BB come out of a dart is after being fired from a BBBB into a brick wall at the 2009 Winter Columbus War.

As for felt dots, has it ever occurred that not everyone has a source? Not all people can order things willy nilly online, and my local arts stores don't supply felt dots. Another drawback of the slugs, they cannot be weighted correctly for some people. The closest washer I have found around my area was an sixteenth of an inch too wide on each side. The next closest was a sixteenth of an inch too narrow on each side. The first wouldn't fit into my barrels. The second fishtailed out of my AR removed raider. Neither gave me any reason to use slugs. A third reason, not everyone has the most powerful blasters. I myself prefer to run around with an Eliminator as my primary, and a Longshot as my secondary. I don't believe an eliminator has ever hurt anyone, and my Longshot barely hits 80' on a good day.

Slugs are not an equalizer, but cause decrease in range from almost any weapon. This may be fine with +bows, rainbows, and other high powered blasters, but it leaves those of us who prefer to be unique and use what you most likely consider "less common" blasters to be taken out first, unless they are extremely good at dodging high speed darts being launched from out of their blaster's range.


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#3 sputnik

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 11:04 PM

To be honest, I agree with boisie.
Not everyone has access to the materials required for Slug darts, it doesn't even out the field, and it doesn't make anything safer.

Get over the fact that it might hurt.
This is an impact based hobby, its gonna have some sting to it.
Don't mandate a kind of dart that less than half the field can make.
That will cut as many people out as the "scary" dome darts would turn away.

Just my (irritated) 2 cents.
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#4 Kid Flash

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 11:05 PM

I personally think people should suck it up and use the darts that the war tells them to. People should stop bitching and get with the times.
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#5 flamincows

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 11:09 PM

^^ Yep. Also I've seen some pretty poorly made slug darts out there that stand more of a chance of hurting people than a shittily made dome dart. They really don't hurt that bad.
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#6 FoamMaster

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 11:09 PM

I like slugs the best probably, because they fly decently far and don't break stuff indoors (which is where I normally play). They also work in breeches (unlike stock darts) and don't make as much noise upon impact as glue dome stefans do.

Sadly, I don't have a good foam source (All I have is the squishy Frost King stuff), so I just use stock darts mainly. Outdoors though, I use whatever is part of the community dart bin or what I find on the ground usually.
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#7 k9turrent

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 11:32 PM

Copyapasta from the other forums:


WHY HEAVY WEIGHTED STEFANS ARE RECOMMENDED: (3/0 and 1/4" weights are the same mass)
- More accurate/consistent
- You know that you hit.
- Less likely that the darts will hook up and nail you in the face
- "Man up, girly-man"

WHY MARSHMALLOWS ARE DISCOURAGED:
- lack of re-usability
- Crusty ass barrels
- Too many would be eaten


To sum up vast majority of the opinion of the Canadian nerf scene.

WHY SLUGS ARE DISCOURAGED:
"90% of the Slugs that have appeared North of the border, have all sucked ass. So it's easier to ban them all than weed out the good ones"

WHY Glue Domes w/washers ARE DISCOURAGED:
- Exposed metal, there is a line between taking a welt and getting cut




At Massacre (a 175ft by 80ft gym) All the darts that were used were 3/0 and 1/4". We had fun, we had children at this war and we took our shots like a champ.
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#8 Wes7143

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 11:32 PM

I think people from different areas are definitely going to have different perspectives on the kind of darts used. Where I nerf, we have very few participants, so when a derp shows up with dome darts that are pretty much death darts, we just make them use our darts. People who nerf in areas with too many participants to handle the amount of stupidity that naturally shows up at a war might favor some regulation. Slug darts aren't the worst things ever, and neither are properly made dome darts.
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#9 boisie

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 11:38 PM

I personally think people should suck it up and use the darts that the war tells them to. People should stop bitching and get with the times.

Are you saying that I should also stop using couplers, breeches, and RSCBs in favor of a hopper because they are the newest thing? Let us come back to one of my main arguments: Not everyone has a source.

The only major change in darts that has occurred in the past 15 years that I've read about seems to be refining the original method of creating stefans, and moving down from megas to micros. Slug came up with his darts as a personal alternative, not a replacement for all darts. He never says they are the only thing people should be using. I'll take a twenty foot shot from a BBBB with a dome covered dart any day.
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#10 VelveetaAvenger

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 11:39 PM

You don't need expensive felt tips or washers to make padded darts. If you can make glue dome darts you can make padded ones as well, I made a post about it in the dartsmithing thread a while back.

I'd just like to say that I had the same amount of fun after Minnesota switched over to slugs only, and I also stopped coming home with bruises and the occasional cut.

Also, Mini-marshmellows (and those giant marshmellows) make excellent ammo until it gets below zero and they freeze solid, as we discovered at the last MN "war".

Edited by VelveetaAvenger, 07 February 2011 - 11:43 PM.

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#11 taerKitty

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 11:43 PM

I personally think people should suck it up and use the darts that the war tells them to. People should stop bitching and get with the times.


Just a reminder - this is what would -you- use? Yes, of course, the war organizer's word is fiat. If it's an 'official' war (such as a church basement or school gym) then the war organizer's ass is on the line. If it's a 'unofficial' war (no formal paperwork), the war organizer's rep is still on the line - if people have fun, then it's all good.

I'm saying, if you were the war organizer, or, if you had a open-minded war organizer (hi, Dayko!) who let's anything up to and including a 1/4" slingshot dart, what is your preference(s) and why?

Oh, and another question: how sure are you that you can tell if you were nailed by a slug, dome, whatnot? Me, when I'm out there, adrenaline is up and I'm amped, I just know if I'm hit or not (and sometimes, I've had other Nerfers call the hit, which I of course take, because I'm so excited I probably didn't feel it). I'd say, even if I was doing a 'taste test', I'd have at best a 10% chance of determining what sort of dart pegged me.

Edited by taerKitty, 07 February 2011 - 11:47 PM.

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#12 Kid Flash

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 11:54 PM

I personally think people should suck it up and use the darts that the war tells them to. People should stop bitching and get with the times.


Just a reminder - this is what would -you- use? Yes, of course, the war organizer's word is fiat. If it's an 'official' war (such as a church basement or school gym) then the war organizer's ass is on the line. If it's a 'unofficial' war (no formal paperwork), the war organizer's rep is still on the line - if people have fun, then it's all good.

I'm saying, if you were the war organizer, or, if you had a open-minded war organizer (hi, Dayko!) who let's anything up to and including a 1/4" slingshot dart, what is your preference(s) and why?

Oh, and another question: how sure are you that you can tell if you were nailed by a slug, dome, whatnot? Me, when I'm out there, adrenaline is up and I'm amped, I just know if I'm hit or not (and sometimes, I've had other Nerfers call the hit, which I of course take, because I'm so excited I probably didn't feel it). I'd say, even if I was doing a 'taste test', I'd have at best a 10% chance of determining what sort of dart pegged me.


Personally, I prefer glue domes. I always have. That's what I joined this hobby using. HOWEVER, people need to stop complaining if a host does not allow them. It is safer to use slugs. If I get hit by a slingshot weighted dart, I know it, and it can hurt. If I get hit by a glue dome, I know it, and it could hurt, but it's not as likely. If I get hit by a slug dart, I know it, and it does not hurt at all.
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#13 shmmee

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 11:56 PM

Any thoughts on Pom-pom tips over a washer? They're poofier and absorb impact very well when glued together with amazing goop (blue tube not black. it's a contact rubber cement) That's what I've made in the past,Though they are difficult to get full washer coverage. I am open to suggestions. I also don't have to order them online...

I would also like to echo HasreadCoC's question (from the 3rd page of the Ohio Revolution thread) as to the durability of different colors of felt discs from McMaster. (it was mentioned that the green and black felt doesn't unravel as quickly as white) Does anyone have experience to back this up? I have to wonder which dart would have more life, the dart that unravels, but is noticable and easy to recover, or the dart that holds together, but disappears the moment it touches grass.

Thanks TaerKitty for starting a new thread, I was watching the Ohio thread / dart discussion with interest but didn't feel it was appropriate to post because I wouldn't be attending. (Wow that sounds like an awesome war though!)
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#14 utahnerf

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 12:21 AM

I would also like to echo HasreadCoC's question (from the 3rd page of the Ohio Revolution thread) as to the durability of different colors of felt discs from McMaster. (it was mentioned that the green and black felt doesn't unravel as quickly as white) Does anyone have experience to back this up? I have to wonder which dart would have more life, the dart that unravels, but is noticable and easy to recover, or the dart that holds together, but disappears the moment it touches grass.
appropriate to post because I wouldn't be attending. (Wow that sounds like an awesome war though!)


I find the white felt to be annoying as hell, it unravels like crazy. I have found green to be the best. White only has an advantage when being used with dark foam, so they are easier to find. I use McMaster grey foam, and easily find them in grass and on the ground. You can also paint the backs of your darts, I know of many nerfers who do.
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#15 taerKitty

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 01:41 AM

Sorry for not having more options - polls are limited to only 10 choices.

Another stefan I've made uses 1/4 of FBR as the padding behind the washer.

You cut the foam into blanks, straighten them in the dryer, as normal. Then you glue a washer between each blank, so you get a long rope of foam again. next, you cut the blank 1/4 from one side of the washer, leaving you 1/4" of fbr above the washer, and your normal blank, less 1/4", below.

My take on pom-pom darts is mixed:

Pros:

I suspect they'll be quite soft, so more likely to encourage non-hardcore Nerfers to join in.

They're available at art supply stores, so no need to order online.

I suspect they're also amazingly easy to find.



Cons:

I don't know if they'll fly as far.

At least at my Michael's Art Supply, they were about $0.05 each, which is still much more than McMaster's felt discs at $0.01 each. (I seem to get charged $6 for shipping, so if I were to be horribly inefficient and only order a roll of 500 fetlt discs, it'd still only be $0.02 each.)

There isn't a sure way to know you're gluing the 'core' as opposed to some of the poof, so I wouldn't be sure that it's covering the washer. (This is just repeating what you said, above, if I am reading it correctly. If I'm not, then please pardon.)
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#16 sublimedom777

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 01:59 AM

1/4" Slingshots, because that's what my primaries demand. BBs and slugs are too light, and since I'm not a doucher, I almost never shoot at people when It's dangerously close.

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#17 Coop

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 02:07 AM

For the people that have been around for a while and started with hot glue domes, you can't really compare current Nerf with what you started with. People were not using blasters that fired over 120' as often as they are now. In Ohio wars, nearly everyone's primary can hit 100+ feet, I'm sure that's over the average range from "15 years ago". Also, in all the text sources I've read about stefan making in the past, they've mentioned lighter weights such as copper BB's. These darts are significantly lighter than the current weight alternatives. It's MUCH different getting shot with a BB weighted dart compared to a 1/4" slingshot weighted dart with hot glue domes. When even ONE person is using slingshot weights, it will destroy the flow of the game because they can out-range everyone on the field assuming their blaster is near the power of the others'. The people with lighter darts may also hesitate when rushing the people with Big Blasts and slingshot weights. I, for one, do not want to be concerned about my personal safety when playing with Nerf blasters. I'd like to be able to rush someone and not have to think about that. Hot glue domes, especially weighted by slingshot weights, will inflict a lot of pain at close range when striking bare skin. Do you play Nerf to eliminate people or inflict pain on them? If it's the latter, join the military, REALLY inflict pain on the others, and GTFO this hobby.

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.
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#18 Darksircam

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 02:41 AM

I mainly use stock darts because everybody else in the area does. Also because people will whine about getting hit by anything hard, and some trigger-happy airsofter will headshot someone. And yes, streamlines are my main ammo due to the fact that everyone else uses stock blasters. Streamlines also make Super Soakers war-legal. With a CPVC barrel and 30 pumps, an Arctic Strike barely outranges my SNAPistol.

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.

Edited by Darksircam, 08 February 2011 - 02:47 AM.

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#19 Demon Lord

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 03:16 AM

I'm going to direct people to a post that convinced most of the Midwest crowd to switch over to slug darts:
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.
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#20 Aquinas

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 03:27 AM

Regarding the difference in quality between McMaster felt pads:

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:

http://nerfhaven.com...topic=20149&hl=

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.
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#21 Langley

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 03:32 AM

Devil's advocate:
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.

HOWEVER:
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.
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#22 Demon Lord

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 03:46 AM

I want to point out that my slugs last for wars, as almost everyone in the Midwest who as used them can attest to. The trick is to burn a hole below the washer, then place the washer over that lake of glue and then apply the weight and felt pad. As for the felt pad, "kiss" it with flame lightly to melt the felt slightly. This will greatly increase the lifespan of the felt pad.
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QUOTE(VACC @ Mar 7 2011, 09:03 AM) View Post

Don't worry so much about what other people will allow. Throw your own wars and kick your friends' asses until they all want one.

#23 Zorns Lemma

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 03:54 AM

My way of nerfing is better than your way of nerfing!

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#24 ahtanie

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 04:04 AM

I personally prefer 3/0s and 1/4'' with hot glue domes simply because they fly further.

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.
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#25 Buffdaddy

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 05:14 AM

If I might add something, as a healthy "alternative", this is Flashflint's method that the larger HvZ groups use for homemade ammo: LINK

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.
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