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Screw Cap (a.k.a. Snap Cap) Dart Heads

If you can't make a glue dome to save your 3 lives...

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#1 taerKitty

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:42 PM

Note: This process is not McMaster-free.

Can't make a dome to save your life? McMaster to the rescue!

#10 button head socket caps (http://www.mcmaster.com/#97697A610) are 7/16" in diameter, so they make great dart heads.

Unlike the image show, they are 1/8" tall. Even filled with hot glue, they're too light.

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However, a #6 washer almost fits perfectly inside.

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In fact, with the heat distorting it somewhat, it does fit.

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That's sticker paper from McMaster felt pads, but any sturdy sticker backing paper will work. Push it down so the glue escapes from the edges.

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When cool, peel it off the paper and use your nail to peel away the excess. From here, it's the usual grind: divot your foam, add some hot glue, center the head, and there you go!

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===

Pros:

- Performs as good as my bumper heads - 150' out of an SVT4B.

- Very easy to make.

- Heads are consistent and centered.

---

Cons:

- Screw caps are $0.07 each, and you still have to throw in a $0.01 washer.

- If glue domes are banned, these will be as well.

Edited by taerKitty, 19 September 2012 - 02:55 PM.

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#2 Pause

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:56 PM

So unlike your bumper heads, the caps are actually the dome part?
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#3 taerKitty

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 01:15 AM

That's correct - the screw cap is affixed to the dart, and that's what will be contacting the target.
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#4 sublimedom777

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:47 AM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but these are rigid plastic?
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#5 taerKitty

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:03 AM

Yes. They have more 'bounce' when dropped on a hard surface than a hot glue dome, but only slightly. Overall, I would guess they feel about the same when they hit.

Remember, this isn't a 'safety improvement', this is a 'manufacturing process improvement' - now more people can make glue-dome-esque darts.

Also, they can do so on crap foam as well - instead of trying to form the dome on the foam, you form it separately, let it cool, then glue it on. Forming the dome on the foam is difficult with halfway decent foam, and an exercise in melting foam with crap foam. With crap foam, you can let the hot glue cool a bit (assuming you don't have a low-temp gun) and then attach it.
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#6 Daniel Beaver

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:30 AM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but these are rigid plastic?

Hot glue domes are rigid plastic too.

Taer: I would be interested in doing some performance tests on a small batch of these. Would it be possible to ship me a few?
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#7 landstricker

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:51 AM

Are these hopper compatible?
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#8 Langley

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 10:02 AM

Pros:
- Performs as good as my bumper heads - 150' out of an SVT4B.


Least meaningful point of reference possible. Perhaps you could compare them to 'gumdrop heads' by firing them out of your 'absolver'.

I guess if you have a completely irrational hatred of slugs, but no particular problem with buying supplies from mcmaster, and waiting for them to be shipped, these almost make sense...
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#9 taerKitty

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:32 AM

@Daniel - Sure. PM me a shipping address, please.

@landstricker - Yep, they're hopper compatible. I'm in the middle of a move right now, so my only hoppered blaster is a 4B. However, as Langley points out below, 4Bs are not a representative blaster (read: test platform.) They tend to be the 'diesel' of Nerf - they'll take just about anything as input.

@Langley - Sorry, I actually don't have any gumdrop heads. For all that I've pushed to help dream them up, I still haven't made any.

===

Re: Slugs & McMaster, et. al.: I actually don't hate slugs. I just love experimenting with stuff. I -do- hate making glue domes - mine are total fails. I have about 1K slug heads waiting to be glued onto blanks and probably another two 500 rolls of felt discs waiting to be mated to #6 washers for the next batch.

Depending on where you are, McMaster shipping is pretty speedy. I've found that it is here two business days after I ship, Based on local prices for washers and felt discs, making slugs, making these, McMaster is a must - local washers are $0.03 each, and the felt discs are slightly more, plus they're approximately half the thickness.

In other words, if you're a serious slug-maker, chances are you already have a McMaster account. Or you are damned lucky in local sources (so please share! :) )

===

At current time these really don't make sense for the average Nerfer:

- Unless you're in Canuckistan, slugs are always accepted in any stefan-using war. These will be banned if glue-domes are banned, and the war organizer may ban them separately because they're not field-tested.

- A snap-cap head is 4x the cost of a slug head, if the materials are bought at McMaster: $0.08 for a snap-cap head vs. $0.02 for a slug head.

- These take more time. They probably take as much time as a dome (that's an assumption, seeing as I can't make a dome.) I'm guessing a minute a head, plus another 0:30 to glue the head on the blank.

- Slugs are brain-free. These take a certain amount of eyeballing to get the glue right. Sure, you can get the washer off-centered, but if you fail at slug-making... oy.

===

That said, here are what I think are possible reasons to try these:

- If you're a mad scientist, here's something new to try. That's me.

- If you are a range whore but fail at dome-making, here's an alternative. That's also me.

- Even if you're a so-so dome-maker, these are much more consistent. The shape will be constant and radially symmetric, and the weight will almost certainly be centered.

- If you're the only one using these at a war, which is likely right now, there'll be no question which dart is yours.

- Even if others use these at a war, these screw caps take to Sharpies much better than felt, so you can easily mark your heads.

- Thanks to an FB Nerfer (I think he's mysterio@NH, but am not sure), I've been referred to Ark-Plas. They have over 100 colours. I have an RFQ in to see if we can beat McM's pricing, too.

- Oh, and Ark-Plas does ship samples! http://www.ark-plas....il.php?UID=3614, then click on 'Sample Request'. You'll need to create an account, first.

- Finally (for now), as I said before, these may be easier to get a dome with crap foam.

===

Edit: Just got my RFQ response back from Ark-Plas: $20.80 (+S&H, I'm sure) for 1000. That brings the price down to 150% of a slug-head, well worth it for performance whores like me!

Edited by taerKitty, 18 April 2012 - 11:39 AM.

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#10 mysterio

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:54 AM

It was Korned or Robo, I believe.
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If two powerful is a problem then just go with one powerful. I guess this style of hopper will work even beyond three powerful..


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#11 Curly

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:26 PM

Hot glue isn't as much a rigid plastic, but it's still fairly solid. Why not use felt pads with slingshot weights to overcome the aerodynamic inefficiency?

I was talking to MIG further about how he gets 150' from a 4B. He re-tested using a person at the end of the tape and found his ranges to still be 140-150'. The difference is his darts, pictured in the pictured in the Baby Bottle Hopper thread. They are VERY round, like a chocolate egg. Most Canadians(such as myself) make domes that are actually fairly flat, and MIG tested felt-tipped darts with 3/0 weights like his domes and found his ranges to be about 110... a few feet below my pseudo-domes. Slingshots are heavier than 3/0s, so it's possible to match common domes with flat heads.

Using round weights with felt would only increase the cost by a cent or two depending on where you get the weights. 96455K52 1/4" steel balls cost $0.0128 each before shipping and taxes, so it's not much more than slugs. You could also go sans-mcmaster if you can find felt pads cheap. Anybody had luck with that?
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#12 taerKitty

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:41 PM

While it's arguably off-topic, I don't mind this thread becoming a general dartsmithing thread. Please keep in mind that NHadmins dislike theory threads, so it's probably best this be a show-n-tell thread, so I'll have to pass on my thoughts on your suggestion. (It's not that I'm dismissing them, I'm just going to hold off posting here.)

===

Back on topic, I earlier ordered 97697A510, which are #8 sized screw caps. Initially I judged them too small, but they are the same OD as McM #6 washers.

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I divoted my crap foam with the glue gun nozzle, leaving a fairly shallow and wide abscess. This allows me to sink the head in fully so the washer isn't visible, or at least the edge isn't exposed.

By adding a drop of glue to the pre-formed snap cap head, and then pressing it into the divot, I'm able to use crap foam pretty consistently (assuming I form the divot well.)
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#13 Swatsonia

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:52 PM

Here in Australia, we've used these for a while, but they were generally 13mm or 10mm wide, not that perfect size like Taer found.

Standard practice for these darts is a light washer attached to the cap, but these tend to welt extremely easily, even from mid-tier reverse plunger blasters. While that's not really an issue, safety-wise, they are on par with glue domes. They may be a tad safer, as the use of a washer instead of a weight reduces the risk of a rogue fishing weight flying out of a poorly made glue dome.
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#14 makeitgo

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:14 AM

I've tested very similar 'snap caps' myself after reading that the Aussie's were using them. I made them with no.6 washers and other various steel weights. I abandoned the use once I determined that although they offer phenomenal range performance, the safety factor was too risky.

Fired from my Octo into card board boxes, the snap caps would crack or split more than occasionally upon impact creating very jagged edges.
1 out of 3 would crack no matter what weight I used.

Have you found them same thing with yours?

Out of a 4B I could only imagine the damage... actually I know the damage.

I understand there are different manufacturers but all the snap caps that were available to me resulted in too frequent cracking. Glue domes can crack as well but not as often as the snap caps did for me. And definitely not from just a cardboard box.

The snap caps I tested could still easily fit in a hopper or barrel after they've cracked. This is of particular concern since a lot of people scavenge. In the heat of battle, it could be too easy to pick up a damaged 'snap cap' dart and drop it into a hopper.

Just my 2 cents. I hope you have better luck with yours.

Edited by makeitgo, 19 April 2012 - 10:15 AM.

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#15 taerKitty

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:22 PM

I've tested very similar 'snap caps' myself after reading that the Aussie's were using them. I made them with no.6 washers and other various steel weights. I abandoned the use once I determined that although they offer phenomenal range performance, the safety factor was too risky.


In the middle of an office move, so I cannot test. I did shoot them at a cardboard box - I had some head separation, which is a result of the cardboard 'grabbing' the foam after the head punches through. However, heads were intact.

Next week, I will do a destruction test against a concrete wall out of an SVT4B and see how many shots at 5' to destroy them. I figure an SVT4B and a concrete wall is a max worst case scenario.
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#16 Ice Nine

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:26 PM

...the safety factor was too risky.


You should realize your design is in trouble when Make It Go is the person telling you that your design has safety concerns.

Any war host that allows these is a bad war host who should feel bad. I say this unequivocally and will maintain this position no matter any data that Eazy-Beav uncovers.

As a final note I would like to tell you that without fail every dart design you have ever posted on this forum has been a disaster in terms of safety. You actively make the NIC a worse place. <wink>
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#17 Daniel Beaver

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:27 PM

You're such a diplomat.
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#18 taerKitty

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:15 PM

Off-topic:

I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.

Many of life's failures are men who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

Nearly every man who develops an idea works at it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then gets discouraged. That's not the place to become discouraged.

Show me a thoroughly satisfied man, and I will show you a failure.


Back on-topic, a PM discussion with an unnamed NICer lead to a possible mitigation - pop a felt pad on it. This has the following effects:

+ Adds padding to the tip for both pain and cracking.

+ Contains the detritus if it does crack.

+ Allows a #6 slug to approximate the mass of a #8 slug w/o concern of visible / exposed metal

~ May retain some of the aerodynamics and regular shaping thanks to the cap. (Needs testing)

- Adds another $0.01 to the product

===

That's all theory. As for actual data, I asked Clunk07@OzNerf, one of their admins about this. He shoots these out of a clipped Titan that hits well over 200' and reports no stress failures. Mind you, we are purchasing them from different suppliers, but his source, inf0rm3r@OzNerf has offered to supply us as well, so if Aussie snap caps are 'magical', we can buy them as well.

===

Edit: Clunk07 was kind enough to post a YouTube video of firing various snap caps darts at a steel door.

Edited by taerKitty, 19 April 2012 - 11:44 PM.

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#19 clunk07

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:59 PM

Been lurking here for ages...

Proven fact - "Snap Cap" branded screw caps are perfectly safe when the rest of the war regulations are up to scratch.

Most war hosts utilising these darts have minimum engagement distances, and suitable velocity/penetration tests on blaster's - not a maximum range. And PPE is mandatory, minimum requirement of impact rated safety glasses etc.

The 3 blaster's I've used (BBLS with 17kg spring combo, plugged 4B and plugged Titan) would be banned from most, if not all wars over here, except for certain
special events. If the caps aren't cracking from being fired in to a steel wall, then not much else is going to damage them.

Pro's include uniform dart heads, no jagged edges, increased production time (using tubular foam, I can't comment on using FBR), colour-coding caps for different weight darts etc etc.

I'm not saying they're the "be all, end all" of dart tips, but they are definitely a safe alternative to hot glue domes, which have virtually been banned from most "sanctioned events" here in Australia.

Cheers,
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#20 Daniel Beaver

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 07:11 AM

Most war hosts utilising these darts have minimum engagement distances, and suitable velocity/penetration tests on blaster's - not a maximum range.


Has that type of regulation really proven practical? Most people are not a terribly good judge of range, and even impacts from 30 or so feet away are fairly strong.
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#21 Zorns Lemma

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 07:47 AM

Has that type of regulation really proven practical? Most people are not a terribly good judge of range, and even impacts from 30 or so feet away are fairly strong.


Americans are just barbarians. Errant nerfers who don't obey the rules should all just be shipped off to their own island of nerf convicts.
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#22 Daniel Beaver

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 10:04 AM

Americans are just barbarians. Errant nerfers who don't obey the rules should all just be shipped off to their own island of nerf convicts.


My theory is that they're jaded due to the constant deadly animal attacks. Nerf just isn't exciting for them unless there is a little bit of mortal peril mixed in.

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Edited by Daniel Beaver, 20 April 2012 - 10:05 AM.

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#23 Super0dp

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 07:54 AM

What is the part number for the number 6 washer?

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Edited by Daniel Beaver, 15 August 2012 - 09:11 AM.

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#24 Daniel Beaver

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 09:08 AM

What is the part number for the number 6 washer?

91083A007. They come in boxes of 765 and cost $5.78. You can probably find them at your hardware store.


Normally I would yell at you for not searching for this on your own, but I see now that it's not very obvious how to find it on McMaster's site (they have a hell of a lot of washers). I will, however, yell at you for necroing a months-old post.
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#25 Super0dp

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:09 AM

thanks. Also I found a lead washer that fits perfectly inside the snap-cap and has no metal exposed. Because it is lead you have to paint it or seal it. With the finished head: you can push down really hard when putting the head on and it will sink and seat into the foam better. just throwing some ideas i tested out there.
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Edited by Zorn's Lemma, 19 September 2012 - 04:13 PM.

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