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Stock Darts Cut In Half

Will They Increase Performance In Pistol-Type Blasters

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#1 The Dart Blaster

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 12:15 AM

I was thinking, dart length is one of the reasons streamlines/elites fishtail at long ranges, right? So would cutting off the bottom half of the dart and just using the half with the head on it increase performance in non-clipped blasters such as the crossfire, strongarm, or triad? If this is completely wrong, well, shows how little I know about how darts work. Thanks,

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#2 ooontrprzes

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 12:39 AM

I've had relative success with this strategy, but simply taking the stock heads off elite darts and capping off some FBR with it seems to work better, and they are slightly more durable. There is still a definite "terminal velocity" with the half-darts that is rather easy to attain. In addition, your fishtailing may become worse once you reach that point as darts are drag-stabilized, meaning they rely on that mass (or rather the friction it creates with the air) to keep the back of the dart at the rear of the flight path.

(edit) Also, I suppose if your gun still has it's ARs this could create a huge issue as the dart would not adequately trip the restrictors, in case you really are that new.

P.S., redmond huh? you better be at WANO II tomorrow! :)

new edit, 1040 pm: well than let us both play the fng edit game, as I am stuck in the same boat! I've found that my "butter zone" is a little more than an inch of foam left behind the head, I.E. remove about a third of the overall length of the blue foam. I just did a quick test and a dart I did up as such fired out of my little panther at 10 pumps with no fishtail.

Final edit, 10:51 pm: a more precise answer, cause you know, measuring-Posted Image

Edited by ooontrprzes, 25 August 2013 - 01:04 AM.

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#3 The Dart Blaster

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 12:47 AM

I've had relative success with this strategy, but simply taking the stock heads off elite darts and capping off some FBR with it seems to work better, and they are slightly more durable. There is still a definite "terminal velocity" with the half-darts that is rather easy to attain. In addition, your fishtailing may become worse once you reach that point as darts are drag-stabilized, meaning they rely on that mass (or rather the friction it creates with the air) to keep the back of the dart at the rear of the flight path.

So it does work? Is there a specific length of foam you should cut off the end to achieve the best performance?
I'll have to make any other replies by editing this post, until tommorrow.

EDIT: oontrprzes, thanks for the info. Regarding WANO II, I am still just getting into Nerf modification. As far as blasters all I have are a stock longshot, recon, and stampede, a minimized crossfire with AR removal and spring replacement, a longstrike with AR removal and OMW Stage 1 Kit, and a raider which I am currently moding. I won't be going to any official Nerf Wars just yet.

Edited by The Dart Blaster, 25 August 2013 - 01:08 AM.

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#4 2TAGS

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 08:11 AM

I cut my elite darts in half. They work amazing in 8" legth 1/2" petg barreled panther I have.
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#5 DartSlinger

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 09:21 AM

Be careful though, using shortened Elite darts as a substitute for more durable homemade ones such as slugs is not really advisable. When used in higher-power blasters, the foam around the hollow cavity in Elite darts will split, making your darts worthless. Basically, if you want durable, long-lasting darts, make slugs. They will last much longer, and will be much more accurate than any Elite dart ever will be.
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#6 azrael

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 12:28 PM

I was thinking, dart length is one of the reasons streamlines/elites fishtail at long ranges, right? So would cutting off the bottom half of the dart and just using the half with the head on it increase performance in non-clipped blasters such as the crossfire, strongarm, or triad? If this is completely wrong, well, shows how little I know about how darts work. Thanks,

The Dart Blaster

I'm pretty sure I'm still drunk but actually the main reason for unstable dart flight is that there isn't enough forward focused weight in elite dart. Dart length only contributes to drag, but if you have a dart with stock length, but with more weight in the tip, I'm pretty sure flight will be stable.
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#7 The Dart Blaster

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 01:32 PM

I understand that slugs are a better alternative, but unfortunately, being a teenager, I only have about 60 dollars, and I am going to need that to buy more blasters. I was asking about this because I wanted to get higher performance in my pistols. For clipped blasters, I will be sticking to stock streamlines (another thing I need to buy; elite darts) for a while. Thanks for the advice, though,

The Dart Blaster

EDIT: Azrael, I was replying to DartSlinger about the stefans. I will probably just try cutting some of my streamlines, since I am going to start converting to elites anyway, and see how much I like the results. I understand that the darts are stabilized by drag, so it makes sense it would be somewhat of a tradeoff, thanks for the advice, though.

Edited by The Dart Blaster, 25 August 2013 - 10:09 PM.

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#8 azrael

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 10:02 PM

It's not about making stefans, I'm saying that dart length is not the sole reason why a projectile gets increased performance. We use shorter darts because they have less drag, but they won't be more accurate. They may fly a bit further, though. It's a tradeoff, I would think, because darts are drag stabilized.
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#9 Daniel Beaver

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 09:17 AM

We use shorter darts because

Short darts require less FBR to make, are easier to handle, are easier to load, and you can fit more of them into a tube magazine. Homemade darts were originally the same length as stock darts, but over the years people have made them shorter and shorter as it has become clear that the extra length was not really contributing all that much to accuracy.

Edited by Daniel Beaver, 26 August 2013 - 09:21 AM.

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#10 azrael

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 11:41 AM

Short darts require less FBR to make, are easier to handle, are easier to load, and you can fit more of them into a tube magazine. Homemade darts were originally the same length as stock darts, but over the years people have made them shorter and shorter as it has become clear that the extra length was not really contributing all that much to accuracy.

Ah yes, capacity is another point, of course.

I think there's a reason why drag has become less of an issue, in that a dart head now is significantly a greater amount of mass compared to the dart itself, especially since it's shorter, so the forward vector is much more dominant than any other direction.
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#11 ooontrprzes

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 01:43 PM

http://en.wikipedia..../Drag_(physics) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friction http://en.wikipedia....rnal_ballistics There. Go forth and do science. As an added bonus, article 2 includes some of the dry and lubricated friction values of a few materials people like us actually use, though this is nowhere near as kinky as it sounds. Perhaps it will inspire someone to bust out the ol' TI-83 and find their own "perfect dart" (we all think we have one, I'm sure). Article 3 is a rather extensive assessment of external ballistics, and addresses some phenomenon we've all encountered whether we know it or not (poisson effect, anyone? Buehler?).

Edited by ooontrprzes, 26 August 2013 - 01:54 PM.

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#12 Daniel Beaver

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 03:23 PM

http://en.wikipedia....g_%28physics%29 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friction http://en.wikipedia....rnal_ballistics There. Go forth and do science. As an added bonus, article 2 includes some of the dry and lubricated friction values of a few materials people like us actually use, though this is nowhere near as kinky as it sounds. Perhaps it will inspire someone to bust out the ol' TI-83 and find their own "perfect dart" (we all think we have one, I'm sure). Article 3 is a rather extensive assessment of external ballistics, and addresses some phenomenon we've all encountered whether we know it or not (poisson effect, anyone? Buehler?).


We've already covered a lot of this ground and have a decent theoretical and experimental base for describing the aerodynamics that are influencing the homemade darts we use. Doom condensed some of these topics in his post here, as well as on his website. He had a paper about it hosted somewhere which went into a lot more detail. We usually stick to the IRC when we're talking about the nitty gritty, since it's a little bit beyond all but a handful of users on the site. We are limited by the small amount of experimental testing that we have done, so our current focus is on creating a nice set of experimental procedures which semi-sophisticated NIC members can follow and still generate usable data for our theoretical work.


We're getting off on a tangent. To respond to the OP of this thread: I'll try this out on my own elite darts and see what I think. I sort of think you're suffering from a little confirmation bias. What I don't get is this:

I've had relative success with this strategy, but simply taking the stock heads off elite darts and capping off some FBR with it seems to work better, and they are slightly more durable.

The heads are glued, how are you removing them without also ripping out a giant chunk of foam?

Edited by Daniel Beaver, 26 August 2013 - 03:25 PM.

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#13 ooontrprzes

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 03:55 PM

The heads are glued, how are you removing them without also ripping out a giant chunk of foam?

A lot of our darts blow up in the testing process of some of our home made and modified airguns(edit:stevensass' spring free faux bow blows them up too if he uses too much draw force, but its also a 200 foot+ affair with properly reinforced darts), we simply save the blown darts and harvest the tips. Reduce reuse recycle, my brother! when you get 6 or 7 people in a workshop making guns day in and out you sort of have a lot of scrap to work with and we commit ourselves to using as much as we can, like the noble Cherokee and the mighty buffalo. What, do you just throw away your shit darts? that's money in your pocket and non biodegradable rubber and foam in your trash! Use the dart shaft to kill deadspace! Use the tip for metal free stefans! We are a hobby born of improvisation and inspiration, and we must never forget that despite our (self)perceived "sophistication"

Edited by ooontrprzes, 26 August 2013 - 04:06 PM.

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#14 Doom

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 09:04 AM

The paper Beaver was referring to about dart range theory and experiments is available on NerfHaven.

Most external ballistics work is not really applicable to Nerf guns because real guns shoot supersonic bullets and real bullets are spin-stabilized. I derived what ballisticians call the "flat fire" approximation in the paper linked to above and that seems to be plenty accurate for our purposes if you want something theoretical.
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#15 DX-Robert

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 06:44 PM

but unfortunately, being a teenager, I only have about 60 dollars, and I am going to need that to buy more blasters. I was asking about this because I wanted to get higher performance in my pistols. For clipped blasters, I will be sticking to stock streamlines (another thing I need to buy; elite darts) for a while.


$60 will get you a high performance air blaster and hundreds of stefans. The ROI on that far exceeds what you'd be buying otherwise. Unless you're playing HvZ or stock style wars, there's no point in wasting the money on CS blasters and elite darts.
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#16 Draconis

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 07:23 PM

*dons his hip waders*

A lot of our darts blow up in the testing process of some of our home made and modified airguns


You're doing it wrong. Air blasters and very high powered springers were some of the driving forces behind the creation of homemade darts. The tube design is just too weak.

(edit:stevensass' spring free faux bow blows them up too if he uses too much draw force, but its also a 200 foot+ affair with properly reinforced darts)


Is your last name Cartaya?

...like the noble Cherokee and the mighty buffalo.



Oh jeez.

What, do you just throw away your shit darts? that's money in your pocket and non biodegradable rubber and foam in your trash!

All of the non-recyclable and non-compostable trash in my area goes to a local incinerator which produces the electricity I am using right now. I'm pretty okay with them burning polyethylene foam bits.

We are a hobby born of improvisation and inspiration, and we must never forget that despite our (self)perceived "sophistication"


Pretty happy I put on the waders.

You should look in to the real math behind this stuff. It's a little more complicated than you imply.
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#17 ooontrprzes

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 07:34 PM

In regards to the darts blowing up and us doing it wrong, I more mean the process of dialing in our pressures to be usable with stock ammo, which we still prefer to use when shooting each other around the house. Stefans flying around the living room is a bad idea. As for everything else, I never implied the math was simple, I merely provided an external resource for others to begin exploring this path if they wish, as they expressed an interest in doing so. At the same time, I shared my personal anecdotal data. I was asked questions, and I answered. This has now become an unproductive avenue of discussion, and I encourage people to use whatever method works for them while being open to experimentation. Good day.

Oh and no, no one here has the last name of which you speak. A photo of the person in question is somewhere on the modifications and paint jobs pictures thread, but it's not really that important.
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#18 The Dart Blaster

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 11:23 PM

Just to make sure this is clear, for the time being at least, I will only be doing modifications to stock blasters, I do not plan to make any homemades anytime in the near future. The original question was referring strictly to use of modified darts in non-clipped, modified Nerf blasters. Just thought I should make sure that was clear.
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