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Putty-wrap darts

Safe darts you can make in the car ride to the war

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#1 KaneTheMediocre

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 05:47 PM

These are my variation on BK201's technique posted in the pink foam giveaway thread (He called the stuff clay, but very importantly it does not harden). They will not normally feed well through a conventional wye hopper owing to their length, although Ryan's hoppered +bow shoots them perfectly without fail.

They look like this:
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Weight depends on how much putty you use, but all my darts were between 1.0g and 2.0g. They typically fly less straight than slugs, but nowhere near as bad as streamlines. They seem less slowed by air resistance, probably due to their weight. I assume that more symmetrically made darts are more accurate, but I've only really tested the darts I made with scissors.

These are pretty much the softest, safest darts imaginable, and they are astoundingly easy to make. This is why I think they're so great. Make no mistake--the performance is "good enough", not "good".

Materials:
Foam
Electrical tape (Use a special color if you want to mark your darts)
Non-hardening putty. I use MC #1049A31. Anything that is soft, heavy, and will stay soft and heavy over time works here. So far I've tried this "glazing rope" and ticky-tack (poster mounting gook), but other materials (such as silly putty) will probably work alright.

Start by cutting your blanks however you want. At least 2" is recommended-shorter lengths work better with hoppers, but longer lengths fly straighter. I expect that clean, straight cuts are extra important here because the cut edge is also the dart tip, but I have no testing to back that up.
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Twist the blank aggressively to make a permanent and symmetrical kink.
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Afterwards it should look something like this.
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Break off some putty. I use about 1/2" of 1/4" diameter cord.
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Wrap the putty around the dart, in the groove you made by twisting. Stretching and winding helps to do this symmetrically in my experience.
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It should look something like this now--mostly beneath the profile of the groove, so we don't have to use absurdly tight tape.
Posted Image
But I usually do anyways, because I want to be totally sure that there isn't any tape/putty sticking out
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Your darts will then look something like this:
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Edited by KaneTheMediocre, 22 August 2012 - 05:50 PM.

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#2 DudeRadster

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 09:02 PM

How is the performance compared to slugs? 20% worse? 10% worse?
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#3 Langley

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 10:03 PM

How is the performance compared to slugs? 20% worse? 10% worse?


They will not normally feed well through a conventional wye hopper...


100% worse, apparently.
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#4 Phree Agent

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 10:32 PM

There would also be an issue if you barrel material was a little tight on your darts and they required a twist in order to be loaded.

Also, does the tape stay wrapped well? Would the darts landing in dew covered grass (puddles/rain/ect) make them immediately unravel? Pending the darts are shot in ideal environments with no water, how many shots would you say you could get out of a dart before it becomes unusable?
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#5 KaneTheMediocre

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 12:24 AM

How is the performance compared to slugs? 20% worse? 10% worse?


Any single percentage assigned to describe the "performance" of the dart would fail to tell anything about the dart.

However, on a scale of streamline (0) to slug (100), these score about:

Hopperability: 50
Accuracy: 85
Range: 95

Even this breakdown is pretty much arbitrary bullshit. The range difference is entirely due to the larger mass, which give longer ultimate range and shorter flat range. The hopperability and accuracy varies with length, so this really only applies to the ~2" blanks I was using, and which I cut with scissors. They CAN be made to work with low power blasters in a hopper, but they aren't accurate enough to be worthwhile. 3" darts would be more accurate, but wouldn't feed through a hopper, even with ryan's +bow behind it.

edit for clarity: 2" darts work for a few wye hoppered blasters with pretty good accuracy. They are the length that I made them for the writeup, and they won't work with most blasters in a hopper. 1.5" darts are possible, and feed through wye-hoppers of normal and low powered blasters, but aren't accurate enough to be useful.

100% worse, apparently.


If you're looking to replace slugs this is pretty much dead on. Better build quality could certainly improve these a lot, but I these can't ever replace slugs as hopper food.

Edited by KaneTheMediocre, 14 September 2012 - 08:06 PM.

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#6 DudeRadster

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 08:53 AM

So, with a brass breech, could these replace streamlines in CS blasters with stock clips? If you cut them the right length, that is. I do understand that they don't do well with hoppers, and I don't really like that, but I'm just feeling out the waters here.
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#7 Daniel Beaver

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 10:25 AM

I'll see about making some and running them through my chrono. I actually sort of like this concept; it fulfills all the saftey requirements people have been clamoring about, and (more importantly) no lay person could reasonably describe them as dangerous.
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#8 BK201

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 10:49 AM

So, with a brass breech, could these replace streamlines in CS blasters with stock clips? If you cut them the right length, that is. I do understand that they don't do well with hoppers, and I don't really like that, but I'm just feeling out the waters here.

If your foam is as thick as stock dart foam then these will work in mostly stock blaster(with no pegs) even with clips, no breech necessary.

"There would also be an issue if you barrel material was a little tight on your darts and they required a twist in order to be loaded. "

That actually isn't really a problem as long as you make the taped part of the dart thin enough to enter your barrel easily. Whether or not the tape comes off easily would depend entirely upon what tape you use, I use duct tape and even when the darts get stepped on the tape is still containing the puddy/clay/whatever, and the taped portion of the dart just has to be rolled back and forth to make it usable again. As far as how long they last, I got pink foam from kane on august 6th and immediately made 50 or so darts. 5 local wars later all the darts I still have from that batch are indistinguishable from the darts I made more recently, except for the random felt pads on the front of the old darts, which are a little damp.

Edited by BK201, 23 August 2012 - 01:20 PM.

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#9 evilbunnyo

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 02:16 PM

Just to satisfy my curiosity what is that roll on the ground of all the pics? That's not the clay is it? I have never seen clay like that.

Edited by evilbunnyo, 23 August 2012 - 02:18 PM.

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#10 BK201

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 03:02 PM

Just to satisfy my curiosity what is that roll on the ground of all the pics? That's not the clay is it? I have never seen clay like that.

I believe that is weatherstripping like this http://www.homedepot...51#.UDaMGKk1bFI as he used that as a weight for these type of darts in his pink foam giveaway thread.
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#11 KaneTheMediocre

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 06:27 PM

Just to satisfy my curiosity what is that roll on the ground of all the pics? That's not the clay is it? I have never seen clay like that.


Non-hardening putty. I use MC #1049A31.


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#12 DX-Robert

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 07:20 PM

I'm assuming this putty stuff isn't dense enough to use as a weight under a felt bumper? Would it be possible to like, burn a hole like usual and coil it under the bumper? I hate side wrapped dart setups (remember zeros?), they rarely seem to work out.
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#13 KaneTheMediocre

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 08:53 PM

I'm assuming this putty stuff isn't dense enough to use as a weight under a felt bumper? Would it be possible to like, burn a hole like usual and coil it under the bumper? I hate side wrapped dart setups (remember zeros?), they rarely seem to work out.


It's definitely dense enough, the trouble will be getting it to stick and stay in the hole.
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#14 DX-Robert

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 01:12 AM

So it wouldn't even adhere to hot glue? I know you want to avoid using hot glue, but if the stuff is that soft, I couldn't see that hurting more than domes if it's under a bumper and the bumper flies off the dart. I guess it's more of a problem if it flies out with the bumper, but without the foam.
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#15 BK201

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 11:31 AM

I was messing around with different PVC setups to try and get longer darts to feed by gravity, when I remembered this post by Boot http://nerfhaven.com...90 His skewed RSCB would probably work for the 3" darts(being around the same size as stremelines) however I have no idea what type of pipe would work for that gradual bend. If a material that could bend like that could be found that could solve the lack of hopperability.

Edited by BK201, 25 August 2012 - 11:32 AM.

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#16 Zorns Lemma

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 12:11 PM

I was messing around with different PVC setups to try and get longer darts to feed by gravity, when I remembered this post by Boot http://nerfhaven.com...90 His skewed RSCB would probably work for the 3" darts(being around the same size as stremelines) however I have no idea what type of pipe would work for that gradual bend. If a material that could bend like that could be found that could solve the lack of hopperability.


There are pre-bent conduit PVC "elbows" meant for not kinking the wiring fed through them.

Edited by Zorn's Lemma, 25 August 2012 - 12:13 PM.

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#17 ShaNayNay

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 12:50 PM

I was messing around with different PVC setups to try and get longer darts to feed by gravity, when I remembered this post by Boot http://nerfhaven.com...90 His skewed RSCB would probably work for the 3" darts(being around the same size as stremelines) however I have no idea what type of pipe would work for that gradual bend. If a material that could bend like that could be found that could solve the lack of hopperability.

Just to note, using these 3" darts in a hopper or RSCB instead of 2" will be less efficient range-wise and capacity wise (either lose a 2 dart capacity per foot of hopper/RSCB, or increase length and lose range). I guess it is better than nothing though. Also, since the weighted area in these darts is more spread out and also a thinner diameter than the foam's, rather than being at the very tip and a .5" diameter like a slug's, do you think they could still seal in an RSCB properly?

It's definitely dense enough, the trouble will be getting it to stick and stay in the hole.


Thanks for the new sig quote. :)

Edited by ShaNayNay, 25 August 2012 - 12:56 PM.

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#18 KaneTheMediocre

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 03:26 PM

I was messing around with different PVC setups to try and get longer darts to feed by gravity, when I remembered this post by Boot http://nerfhaven.com...90 His skewed RSCB would probably work for the 3" darts(being around the same size as stremelines) however I have no idea what type of pipe would work for that gradual bend. If a material that could bend like that could be found that could solve the lack of hopperability.


That setup probably feeds fine with any dart of the right diameter. There are a few homemade wye setups that can do this (His looks to be the best of them), but none of them are easy to make, and many of them (his included) won't be pointing in the right direction if you just plug it into the front of a blaster as we can and do with wyes.


There are pre-bent conduit PVC "elbows" meant for not kinking the wiring fed through them.


They aren't barrel material fit, they are magazine fit. You can make a homemade wye or a grscb with them, but neither are really the same layout as boot's system.

Just to note, using these 3" darts in a hopper or RSCB instead of 2" will be less efficient range-wise and capacity wise (either lose a 2 dart capacity per foot of hopper/RSCB, or increase length and lose range). I guess it is better than nothing though. Also, since the weighted area in these darts is more spread out and also a thinner diameter than the foam's, rather than being at the very tip and a .5" diameter like a slug's, do you think they could still seal in an RSCB properly?


Probably yes. The tip is still 1/2". The thin segment is (hopefully) irrelevant, as the only non-cancelling force from the air pressure would come from behind the dart.
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#19 BK201

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 09:55 PM

The 3" versions of these won't feed through those electrical conduit elbows, the angle is still too steep. Even if they did you would have to set it up as (from right to left) magazine, PVC T, Conduit elbow, barrel material, and connect the bottom of the T to the gun via a 45 degree elbow. I've tried that setup with HAMPs, and it always feeds 2 or more darts, which is cool for a shotgun HAMP but not for a hopper style feed. These darts feed through a RSCB perfectly fine, by the way. They tend to slide in so the foam part of the dart past the tape sticks in. EDIT: Even darts made from super thick MHA foam still feed perfectly in an RSCB.

Edited by BK201, 25 August 2012 - 10:44 PM.

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#20 ferball

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 10:33 AM

A gravity hopper may work if you use the 3/4 conduit for your bend instead of the 1/2 inch. To eliminate double feeding you may have to play with where the dart tip picks up the barrel breach at the end of the curve.

I make my hoppers with 1/2 45 degreee bend pvc conduit fitting because I have no local source for WSE. Where I cut my air hole in the back side of the curve I use a slot that is narrower than the dart so darts slide right in to the preach eliminating jams. How far back you slide the breach in the curved fitting gives and adjustment to reduce double feeding.
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#21 BK201

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 04:36 PM

A gravity hopper may work if you use the 3/4 conduit for your bend instead of the 1/2 inch. To eliminate double feeding you may have to play with where the dart tip picks up the barrel breach at the end of the curve.

I make my hoppers with 1/2 45 degreee bend pvc conduit fitting because I have no local source for WSE. Where I cut my air hole in the back side of the curve I use a slot that is narrower than the dart so darts slide right in to the preach eliminating jams. How far back you slide the breach in the curved fitting gives and adjustment to reduce double feeding.


Can you post a picture of exactly what you mean, I think I understand what you are talking about as far as cutting the backside of a 45 degree conduit fitting and attaching the air source of your gun to the cut or hole in the 45 degree conduit, but I don't quite get what you mean by the placement eliminating double feeding.
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#22 Guitarzan

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 10:41 AM

How come you put the putty somewhat in the middle of the dart instead of closer to the end?
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#23 KaneTheMediocre

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 03:20 PM

How come you put the putty somewhat in the middle of the dart instead of closer to the end?


You need a short distance of foam (~1/4" minimum) to act as a pad. You do need the putty to be as far as possible towards the front for stability.
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#24 Guitarzan

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 05:14 PM

You need a short distance of foam (~1/4" minimum) to act as a pad. You do need the putty to be as far as possible towards the front for stability.

Is all that foam truly necessary though? It seems like it wouldn't hurt to chop some foam off the front and the back.
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#25 Ryan201821

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 05:17 PM

Is all that foam truly necessary though? It seems like it wouldn't hurt to chop some foam off the front and the back.

A quarter inch isn't really anything. Any less and you're getting hit with tape instead of foam, which defeats the purpose of these darts.

Chopping off foam from the back reduces stability and causes accuracy to suffer.

So yeah, it is necessary.
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