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Quick Stefan Question


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#1 kingjulien

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 04:21 PM

So I have searched up on stefans and come to the conclusion that there are 2 main types of stefans. Normal stefan darts (with a hole bored out for a weight and hot glue to hold the weight) and slug darts (with a washer and a piece of foam glued to the tip). So, normal stefans work best but hurt because of the hot glue tip so Slug darts are a way to make it hurt less, right? Well why not just put a piece of foam on the end of a normal stefan? I guess I am confused somewhere along this so please help me better understand.
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#2 soloz1

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 04:38 PM

Actually, there are more than two types of stefans. Glue dome(traditional), Slugs (felt+washer), FoamSports, 3DBBQ, and more. If you want as little pain as possible, I would go with the 3DBBQ type dart.
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#3 Draconis

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 04:39 PM

Good glue-dome stefans take a little skill to make well and a LOT of skill to make consistent. Slugs were an effort to make darts easier to manufacture while simultaneously improving consistency and lowering the pain level.
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#4 tim3716

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 05:01 PM

Have you tried to put foam instead of a felt tip? I have tried it and found out it's head is prone to breaking.
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#5 utahnerf

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 05:54 PM

Yes, we have tried all different types of foam for covering the washers, but I prefer felt. For foam tips, I prefer craft foam. I use a punch to create uniform circles.
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#6 Kanashimi

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 10:00 PM

Note that at the 6th SPANO, we've found that craft foam tips are not very good. The craft foam compresses during dart creation, creating pretty hard tips. When I was at the war, I had actually mistaken craft foam darts as flattened colored hot glue tips.

-Kanashimi
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#7 kingjulien

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 11:24 PM

So why not just make darts that are like this: A weight inside a small hole in the tip, a little glue to hold it in, and a craft foam circle at the tip held on by glue. Simple, consistent (only changing factor is the small amount of glue holding in the weight), and less painful. It would have the benefit that every type possesses but all in one. 3DBBQ darts seem very cool but I assume they take forever to mass produce.
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#8 Demon Lord

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 11:44 PM

@kingjulien: That's just another form of a craft foam dart. Whether you use washers or rounds weights, craft foam is just not good padding at all as is does compress during the gluing process and absorb the adhesive. This will lead to the padding being harder than the foam body of the dart.
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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.

#9 kingjulien

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 11:52 PM

But it would still be better than a hot glue tip. And doesn't having the weight inside make it much safer than a slug?
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#10 shmmee

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 12:28 AM

I've tried tipping darts in foam, and had weights punch through the foam tip. Bad news. Dented the oak board I was aiming at. That was actually one of the trials that pushed me to develop gum drop darts.

Also by the time an adequate amount of felt is added to the tip, the center of gravity with the weight is pushed further back - causing instability in flight. Using a felt pad adds padding while keeping the center of gravity close to the tip.
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#11 Darksircam

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 02:01 AM

Hot glue domes hurt, but they're durable.
Felt-tipped slugs have the problem where the head falls off too often.
FBR-tipped slugs hurt. Far less than domes, not sure if it's less than felt. The FBR gets flat quickly.
FoamSports silicone tips hurt. Almost like hot glue domes.
Gumdrop tips are a step in the right direction. Harder to manufacture.
3DBBQ darts are the best pain-wise, but they seem rather... unstable. And longer than normal stefans.
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#12 Ryan201821

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 03:30 PM

Hot glue domes hurt, but they're durable.
Felt-tipped slugs have the problem where the head falls off too often.
FBR-tipped slugs hurt. Far less than domes, not sure if it's less than felt. The FBR gets flat quickly.
FoamSports silicone tips hurt. Almost like hot glue domes.
Gumdrop tips are a step in the right direction. Harder to manufacture.
3DBBQ darts are the best pain-wise, but they seem rather... unstable. And longer than normal stefans.

To add to that, the FoamSports, Gumdrop darts, and FBR-tipped slugs don't feed in hoppers.

All of these above other than the Gumdrop and Foamsports darts contain metal.

So, they all pretty much suck.
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#13 kingjulien

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 12:45 AM

Lol, so pretty much the best option is a streamline with a BB in it?
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#14 cheerios

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 12:48 AM

Lol, so pretty much the best option is a streamline with a BB in it?


No, the best option is Captain Slug's Felt and Washer darts.
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#15 Curly

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 11:30 AM

No, the best option is Captain Slug's Felt and Washer darts.

That depends on your point of view of the subject. Slugs are easiest to make, cheaper, and more uniform. Their Achilles heel is they aren't durable. This is fine in outdoor wars where darts are difficult to find, but indoors this spells problems. When darts get reused the tips begin to come off because felt doesn't stick to metal. This results in exposed metal in the front of the dart.

The large surface area of washers is the cause of the problem. I think the be all end all dart is normal round weights with felt tips, like Coop's darts. The felt must be secured with hotglue to ensure proper adhesion. The only problem I see with this is that it is slightly more expensive than slugs and requires Mcmaster, but the darts are much better without the washers.

Edited by Curly, 02 July 2011 - 12:24 PM.

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#16 Dayko

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 01:01 PM

Why is everyone saying that Slug style darts have do not have good durability? I have Slug darts that I made last year and they fly perfectly fine. Its all in how you make the darts. If your rushing them then yeah your going to have a dart that will have its head fall off after the first shot. As long as you completely cover the head of the FBR blank with hot glue and then put the washer on. That head is not coming off with out some serious force. I have fired Slugs like that out of my overhauled 3K against a tree about 10 away and the dart just bounced away and was fine. It all depends on how much time you invest into making your darts as to how they preform/longevity.
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#17 TantumBull

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 03:01 PM

In addition to what Dayko is saying, you can also burn a little concavity in the foam before applying the glue, it gives you a lot more surface area to bond to the foam, which is the weakest joint in slugs.
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#18 Curly

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 03:53 PM

Slugs can be made well. With hotglue applied generously, they last long enough to be lost. My beef is that not everybody makes them that way. Many newer members who haven't made thousands of darts to try their longevity will screw it up. Some people just use the sticky backing of the felt to stick to the washer. When they begin reusing their darts, problems start.

You cannot tell whether a slug has been well made or not, until the bare washer is flying at you. This is a liability to hosts who receive new blood on a regular basis. While the pain is not muffled, hotglue domes are easier to regulate. The less painful option is felt and round weight.

That's purely my opinion though.
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#19 Darksircam

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 09:35 PM

Slugs aren't that bad, really.
They won't insta-shred, but used on hard targets they will break apart fairly quickly.

I made slugs with about 1 cm of FBR on the tip, and they work well. Only problem is that the tip tends to separate dangerously after 10+ shots into a wall, the body breaks apart from the washer.

If you're just dabbing a bit of low-temp glue on, it'll fall off pretty quickly. I would say to add a gratuitous amount of low-temp hot glue onto the foam and stick washers on. Then switch to hi-temp glue for the dart heads.

Also, never use slugs in badly-cut brass (tubing cutters without reaming it back out). The washer is more likely to get caught on the inward edge of the brass, and... yeah.


Gumdrop darts with felt tips feed fine in hoppers. The main problem is that the tip is too grippy, and felt fixes that problem.

Edited by Darksircam, 02 July 2011 - 09:37 PM.

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#20 Curly

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 09:39 PM

But it's they they can be made wrong, and there's no way of knowing. Big Nerfers like Slug himself make good Slugs, but noobies don't always.
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#21 dizzyduck

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 04:06 PM

It's all in the adhesive you use.

I've been using Loctite "No Mess Stik-n-Seal". It's basically acrylic paste, but it holds firm, doesn't melt at high temperatures and is surprisingly impact resistant. I've shot the same dart out of my SWRTB at a close-range target at least a dozen times and the head hasn't come off. I think it's because the paste mats into the foam and forms a stronger bond than hot glue otherwise would.
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#22 Exo

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 04:47 PM

To add to that, the FoamSports, Gumdrop darts, and FBR-tipped slugs don't feed in hoppers.

All of these above other than the Gumdrop and Foamsports darts contain metal.

So, they all pretty much suck.


Well, if you use Airsoft pellets in the hotglue dome'd stefans, then it's plastic, not metal. Plus they're cheaper then washers or bb's, so they cost less. I use .20 gram AS pellets as weights in mine, and the only broblems with accuracy seem to be in how well the domes are made. And honestly, if you can't stand getting shot with the ammo used at a war, then wear thicker clothing. Or start your own war and say "Only stock Streamlines."
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#23 taerKitty

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 05:29 PM

Of course, the war organizer has final say. He's the one responsible for safety, and his rep is at stake, if nothing else.

The general trend Stateside is away from hard tipped darts, including glue domes. Metal-free isn't as common a goal, but many of us are at least experimenting with darts that are metal-free, in part to make the hobby more acceptable in the eyes of parents.

Don't get me wrong, an overpowered blaster can still push a stock dart through cardboard (which usually corresponds to welting), but at that point, it's up to the war organizer to have the sense to ban it on sight.

===

Back to the OP

Slugs are easier to make safely than glue domes. They're also easier to make work. I'll be honest - my BB glue domes suck. That's why I've been experimenting with so many other forms: bumper heads, nutheads, and collaborating with shmee on gumdrops.

This is not to say slugs are idiot-proof. An off-centered washer is still exposed metal. And, if the maker is in a hurry and doesn't make a divot in the foam, as others have noted, the head will shear off much easier.

As for feeding difficulties, I suspect that's only the case with ©hoppers, and RSCBs, with the inline dart path, may be less prone to them.
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#24 kingjulien

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 05:36 PM

I made some stefans 2 days ago that use pellets as weight and have a small piece of foam (maybe 3/8 inches) covering the weight. With 2 pumps on my 2k it left a large bruise on my leg that is still there. What are the most painless darts? My friends are even wimpier than me and I don't want to get yelled at by their parents.
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#25 Curly

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 05:43 PM

I made some stefans 2 days ago that use pellets as weight and have a small piece of foam (maybe 3/8 inches) covering the weight. With 2 pumps on my 2k it left a large bruise on my leg that is still there. What are the most painless darts? My friends are even wimpier than me and I don't want to get yelled at by their parents.

Foam sucks, it shrinks when glued. Felt in slugs is the best for impact absorption, but it seems the blasters you are using are too powerful for your engagement range. Try using weaker guns, that should lessen the injuries most.
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