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Will Custom Darts Work in Stock Barrels?

Would like to know before I start making my own darts

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#1 Toast

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 11:18 PM

I'm about to venture into homemade darts because I've read, and been told, that they're going to be more accurate than stock Elites. However I've been reading around and I'm a little confused because it sounds like if I'm making my own darts, then it's absolutely necessary to use a custom barrel in my blaster. Is it true that DIY darts require custom barrels? At the moment my main concern is accuracy, followed with maintaining a good distance. But I'm not ready to mod out the barrel of my blasters. I'm just getting into this stuff :) I'm only considering making darts because I was unpleasantly surprised at the 3' spread my Elite Alpha Trooper CS-12 was spitting at just 25-35 feet.

Currently I have a modded Maverick (AR, compressed spring [stock], barrel extension); EAT12 (planned: 5kg spring, AR, lock removal). I'm probably going to also get a Strongarm and Retaliator.

So will DIY darts help accuracy in stock-barrel blasters (including clips)? I've read through several DIY dart articles but none specifically say if the former requires the latter.

Thank you!
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#2 evilbunnyo

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 11:32 PM

When you say custom darts are you referring to slugs/stefans or xplorer type put together darts? Either way yes you need different barrels to achieve better performance. The most common used barrel material is cvpc or petg. However since you only have nerf blaster and, it sounds like you lack the knowledge to rebarrel and breach the blasters, that won't be an option either. You might be able to rebarrel your maverick with minimal skills.
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#3 Funky Mutha Facko

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 08:58 AM

If you make full lenght homemade darts with a foam that is a little wider than stock foam you should see increased performance and accuracy without needing a rebarrel. I have fat slugs that I use in my pistols that have stock barrels and they work very well.
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#4 azrael

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 10:26 AM

^A very good point.
Foam like that will result in a tighter barrel fit for spring based blasters and thus have more even air delivery and a better air seal.


As for stefans being more accurate, I would say...it depends. Accuracy depends on a good amount of weight being forward loaded, around 1g.
I have had the best luck with 1.3g tips, as far as accuracy goes. Many types of stefans weigh 1g total, which IMO, is too light.
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#5 DartSlinger

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 11:52 AM

1. Is it true that DIY darts require custom barrels?

2. So will DIY darts help accuracy in stock-barrel blasters (including clips)?


1. No. The only thing that you have to do to use homemade darts with Nerf blasters is to remove the air restrictor (particularly the dart post).

2. Yes. But to use homemade darts that are less than the length of Nerf darts (Which you will want to do, because stefans are most accurate at lengths between 1" and 1.5".), you will need to modify your magazines to be stefan-compatible. This and this are excellent guides to making stefan-compatible magazines.

As for stefans being more accurate, I would say...it depends. Accuracy depends on a good amount of weight being forward loaded, around 1g.
I have had the best luck with 1.3g tips, as far as accuracy goes. Many types of stefans weigh 1g total, which IMO, is too light.

Slugs always shoot laser straight. I have heard that domes are not as accurate, but my slugs, which just use a #6 washer, always shoot perfectly straight.


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#6 azrael

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 12:07 PM

I think it depends on foam. The white foam I have from ben is light and less dense than MHA pink. Or maybe also the amount of hot glue used. Some people seem to use liquid nails, which allows for less gluing material. I just hoppered a BBBB, and that's my first hopper, and it works really well.
I'm using slugs with #8 washers, and they are pretty straight, but I haven't tested at long range, either. Right now MHA foam is a little tight for my PETG barrel, so I can't compare.

However, when using MHA foam and AMIOR style darts, I preferred my PAK D silicone tips with my 50mm dart length compared to normal or even 50mm AMIORs. When using my brassed bolt equipped EAT. Granted, the PAK D is a little thicker, but I dunno.
It could also be that springers and airguns work better with different kinds of dart tips.

I'm going off this thread, btw:
http://nerfhaven.com...=1
Some darts are coming in under a gram, and that's for total dart mass. I don't think that's enough.

Edited by azrael, 04 July 2013 - 12:07 PM.

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#7 Toast

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 02:05 PM

This is all great to know, sounds like using the stock barrel will work out fine, which is excellent at this stage for me. I'll probably start with stock length slugs, if that makes sense, just to get a feel for making the slugs. Then I'll graduate to shorter length and modify my EAT12's clip, etc. Besides, I'm still testing for accuracy and I think it make sense to introduce as few variables as possible at any given time.

I've read through Ryan's article before starting this thread. I assume it's still the quintessential 'how to', even with NES blasters and stock barrels?

Since I'm sticking with stock barrels, is there any general foam diameter I should use, or will it vary per blaster? I'm likely to stick with all N-Strike Elites right now (EAT12, then probably Retal, and Strongarm to start with). If the barrels vary, is there a particular formula to use when looking for foam thicknes? Like Inner Barrel Diameter - Xmm = foam diameter?

I appreciate your input, everyone. :)
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#8 StraXXuS

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 02:29 PM

In some experiments I've conducted in trying to find a better than stock dart, I've found that if you cut a stock elite dart right where the stem from the tip ends in the darts shaft, then take the little orange dome off of the tip and clean up the edges, then put the now semi-flat tip onto the other end of the elite dart, that it performs quite a bit better than stock elite darts. (man that was a run-on sentence.)The only issue I've had with that method is fastening the tips back on. Hot glue melted the foam, and epoxy didn't quite hold it. I think maybe silicon might work. So thats my method, feel free to adapt and/or alter it any way you want to suit your needs. Just thought it'd be useful to you seeing as how you want to keep the use of stock magazines and barrels.
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#9 Toast

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 02:16 PM

I just realized it seems the thickness of the dart -- at 0.5" -- seems to be pretty standard.

It seems like a good enough investment in an MHA Dartsmithing kit, I'll probably also pick up some 1/4" and 1/8" washers and a glue gun and experiment with the putty and washer slugs. @azreal mentioned liquid nails, which got me curious if Liquid Nails or a glue gun result in a more durable dart; or if either has any advantage over the other.
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#10 DartSlinger

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 02:17 PM

@azreal mentioned liquid nails, which got me curious if Liquid Nails or a glue gun result in a more durable dart; or if either has any advantage over the other.

In my opinion, hot glue is better because it's cheaper than goop. It is also what almost everyone uses to make Slug darts. As far as durability goes, I wouldn't know because I have never made darts with goop, but Ryan201821 says it's more durable. Here is his chart of pros and cons from the How to Make Homemade Nerf Darts Tutorial.


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Edited by DartSlinger, 07 July 2013 - 02:20 PM.

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