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#1 KaneTheMediocre

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 04:36 PM

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Artifact Blaster Modworks has been making short rubber domed darts which I have recently discovered.  If you are familiar with the black, full length ACC darts, these are basically a short and more colorful version of them.  They have been sold in a few color schemes, my favorite is the all-pink, of which I just received 4k.
 
Q3jT9PL.jpg
 
These are special because they are by far the cheapest dart EVER mass produced to be visible, safe, and fly reasonably straight at high speeds.  A few similar products have existed in the past, but were generally much more expensive and often had tips so hard that they might as well be made of concrete.
 
Weight:
 1.1g.  Seems to be very consistent.
 
Length:
36mm
 
Tip:
SOFT rubber semi-ellipse.  This is the softest tip I have ever felt for any mass manufactured dart other than stock darts.  It does have high friction and takes a bit of tweaking to work with hoppers if you don't make your blasters for varmint hunting.
 
Fit: 
Stock-ish.  Tighter than grey mcmaster or ace foam, but looser than (most) of the beige stuff that gets around.  Still usually will slide through sch80 1/2" pipe without resistance, but like stock foam, not quite 100% of the time.
 
Color: 
sub-optimal pink cheese all over, ofc.
 
Range: 
 Depends on the blaster, duh.  Seems basically the same as my sillydomes, but I didn't have both for comparative testing when I had the opportunity to shoot yesterday.  
I tested ~12 darts with a pullSCRT (Basically a toned-down +bow without the face diddle) with a 2-stage barrel (100mm CPVC+300mm sch80) and modified hopper.
 Flat +-3 degrees:  37m +-3m
12+-3 degrees: 60m +- 5m
(Yes, ranges were actually measured and actually took place on level ground.  Darts landed on pavement, roll/tumble distance was estimated as 4m.)
 
Stability:  
Good, but not great.  If you've fired other solid rubber domes before, you probably have seen how they squiggle in flight sometimes without the total chaos seen with stock darts.  As usual, higher velocity blasters will generally fare worse, and barrel setup can make a big difference.  I expected the squiggle threshhold to be higher than my sillydomes due to the extra mass, but they seem about the same.  Dramatically better than stock darts and good enough to be useful 30m out, but not precise at that range by any means.
 
Condition:
Darts SEEM to have a dye on their tip that can sometimes rub off on your fingers if you rub the tips, which is puzzling because the rubber tips are not just red on the surface, but through the entire inside of the dart head.  Red marks on white walls have been reported.  This may just be an issue of needing to air out the darts to let them finish setting, but I don't know yet, I just got these this week and havent opened more than a few bags.
 
Darts come a little bit smushed from the way they are packed tightly into bags.  Not usually bent, but often a bit flattened and dented once in a while.  Use and handling tend to fix or at least smooth over this problem.  In an ideal world these would be packed perfectly orthogonally in a magic cartridge that dissolves when you open the box, but I'm inclined to forgive Artifact for doing this the cheap and easy way because holy cow they pass on the savings.
 
Price:  
~$0.10 in the USA
If you pick them up yourself from the factory in China, they're about $.03 if you buy at least 1000 (Not much by China manufacturing standards).  Ordering them through a Taobao agent and getting them to the USA will at least double the price and take a few weeks.  Guys like me who went through that and are redistributing will want at least $0.10 each, but that's still two and a half times cheaper than my own domestically made domes, and dramatically cheaper than any comparable product AFAIK.  
 
Hoppers:
In most cases, a standard wye hopper will need to be slightly modified to work, as the darts tend to nosedive hard and get stuck on the bottom even more than other rubber domes.  Some high power or at least high volume applications can overcome this without wye modding, but I got it working on basic homemade springers by just glueing a halfpipe of CPVC in the bottom.  Some form of Zorn'​s "optimal wye" is probably the best/most elegant solution, the "brithop" format would be more difficult to carve out the necessary roof chamfer for clearance with these.
 
Update:  A CPVC variant of the optimal wye feeds 100%, but poops sometimes and makes the darts fly funny.  The CPVC glued to the bottom seems to work better.  The optimal wye  CPVC is centered with a significant gap (~1.5mm) between it and the inside bottom of the wye, so it may be that the darts need more room to drop than the optimal wye, but less than an unmodded wye.  
 
Taobao
 

Edited by KaneTheMediocre, 08 May 2016 - 12:30 PM.

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#2 ArcAngelXVI

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 10:43 PM

Exactly how soft are these darts in comparison to commonly available (and not so common anymore) alternatives? I'm not asking for any hard numbers, just a qualitative description a little more specific than "softest non OEM dart tip". If you have had experience with them - how do they compare to Pak-D's old stuff? Are they that much softer?

Also, would you be able to post a picture of the dart head without foam? The weight is similar to Pak-D, but I'm curious about the stem length since we all know that the overly long stem of streamline darts made them god awful.


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#3 Birch

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 09:18 AM

These do look pretty "sub-optimal" lol love the word censorship ^ ^. I have been loving my ACC darts, how does the foam on these compare to those? The foam on ACC darts was fairly rigid and not very forgiving to squishing. Are these the same way? 


Edited by Birch, 08 May 2016 - 09:20 AM.

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#4 KaneTheMediocre

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 10:54 AM

Exactly how soft are these darts in comparison to commonly available (and not so common anymore) alternatives? I'm not asking for any hard numbers, just a qualitative description a little more specific than "softest non OEM dart tip". If you have had experience with them - how do they compare to Pak-D's old stuff? Are they that much softer?  

Also, would you be able to post a picture of the dart head without foam? The weight is similar to Pak-D, but I'm curious about the stem length since we all know that the overly long stem of streamline darts made them god awful.

The head is about 10X softer than a Pak-D tip in my estimation, maybe 2-3x softer than a Koosh tip and 1/2 as soft as a stock elite (hollow) tip.

No picture right now, but the stem is about the same length as the head, 8mm-ish, or about the same as the stock elite darts.

 

These do look pretty "sub-optimal" lol love the word censorship ^ ^. I have been loving my ACC darts, how does the foam on these compare to those? The foam on ACC darts was fairly rigid and not very forgiving to squishing. Are these the same way? 

 

As far as I can tell, length and color are the only difference between these and the ACC darts. Darts flattened in packing seem to easily roll out to round again, but dents are more persistent.


Edited by KaneTheMediocre, 08 May 2016 - 10:56 AM.

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#5 TheNerfZilla

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 02:26 PM

Is the consistency of the head glue better than that of the ACCs? As in, do any of them leak air/require re-gluing?
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#6 The2ndBluesBro

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 03:44 PM

Is the consistency of the head glue better than that of the ACCs? As in, do any of them leak air/require re-gluing?


I can't speak for the artifact darts but the ACC darts since gen 2 have had much better glue. I ripped one apart and it took real force to do. Also the stem is slightly shorter than gen 1 leading to better weight distribution and better performance.
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#7 Zorns Lemma

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 08:05 PM

I just received 1000 of these, white foam with red tips (which is one of the color options on the newest iteration of the TaoBao page). They come in packs of 50, which is pretty nifty for redistributing (I don't plan to do so with any of these I picked up), plus I got an extra bonus dart in the package
 
Though I could've ordered directly through TaoBao, it appears their international shipping gets aggregated on the 3rd week of every month, so to make sure I could get these darts in a reasonable time, I went through a TaoBao agent (BuyChina in this case).
 
Timeline:
Jun-16 Order placed and finalized / paid
Jun-20 Taobao agent receives the shipment from Artifact domestically (China)
Jun-21 Shipped from Shanghai on DHL
Jun-26 Arrives in USA via Germany
Jul-1 Arrived on my doorstep

Cost was $42 shipped for these, whereas it would've been around $36 directly with Taobao, so $6 overhead for going through an agent (well worth it if you can't navigate taobao either with Chinese literacy or general ecommerce UI knowledge + google translate).

I've already started doing some testing, although preliminary results seem to indicate shortcomings in the quality of my measuring equipment/methodology than in the darts
 
Some mass variance results:
https://docs.google....dit?usp=sharing

 

I did this testing in two chunks separated by a break and it looks like something happened with the humidity in my place (opened some windows, it was raining). Unscientific analysis estimates mass to be between 1.12 and 1.13g (my scale apparently refuses to display 1.13) with 99.97% of darts falling between 1.1 and 1.15g


Edited by Zorns Lemma, 06 July 2016 - 08:11 PM.

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#8 KaneTheMediocre

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 06:47 PM

I just received 1000 of these, white foam with red tips (which is one of the color options on the newest iteration of the TaoBao page). They come in packs of 50, which is pretty nifty for redistributing (I don't plan to do so with any of these I picked up), plus I got an extra bonus dart in the package

I'm curious if they perform any differently than the pink-bodied ones.  I've had lots of success getting them to hopper (variations on your Optimal Y seem to work best, cornstarch not at all) but not so much getting them to fly straight at high speeds.  Still hoping for a miracle or design improvement on Artifact's end,  this is the closest the community has ever come to a legit source of darts


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#9 Pineapplepies

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 07:25 PM

 Still hoping for a miracle or design improvement on Artifact's end,  this is the closest the community has ever come to a legit source of darts

Can't agree with you more that a lot of potentially amazing darts have gotten so close to being created then just dropped. Artifact himself came on here and posted about new darts that would of if the design worked and the darts were cheap they would be the best and most bought of darts on the market. But then he kinda just went silent and the prototype new ACCS turned out to be not as rubbery as ACCS and sadly about as pricy as the original. I am wondering if you could try to find a way to weigh them down more by using some magical fairy dust or something non metal to fix the not flying straight at high speeds.
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#10 Zorns Lemma

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Posted 21 July 2016 - 04:15 PM

ACCs fly better when they do fly, while these darts hopper well and fly like streamlines. Hoping a better barrel combination solves this.


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#11 Zorns Lemma

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Posted 13 August 2016 - 02:58 PM

Quick update: Ran through these at APOC. Despite about a week's worth of testing, I alternated between shooting lasers and shooting cheetos.

 

Based on anecdotal evidence when I was trying to fire them rapidly with pump action no only was my aim off more, but the darts also tended to fishtail. It may be because when I'm aiming I aim up and so there's better initial stabilization thanks to drag forces and gravity.

 

Also they need a slightly special wye to shoot well, will post that when I get a chance.

 

 

However if you're short on time and OK with B/B- dart performance, these can't be beat. Men-gun darts are 25% more expensive ($10 more per 1k), much harder to get to feed, and have to be cut down. Hopefully artifact releases his new version of darts so I can see if stubbier head profiles have better weight distrubtion and flight.


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#12 Ryan201821

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 08:34 PM

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**DANGER**

 

I ordered 2000 of these through the same link Kane and Zorn used.. I chose BuyChina.com as my Taobao agent, and I'm very disappointed. The price was definitely excellent, and it was very easy to order, but they shipped me something completely different than what I thought I purchased:

 

IMG_20160815_202623344.jpg

 

These would probably be better than the Artifacts that the above mentioned received, but they are straight up ROCK MODE. These are basically hot glue domes.

 

I've tried contacting my BuyChina agents but they haven't responded so I've filed a dispute on PayPal as of a few minutes ago. I guess I'll see what happens and keep people updated.


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#13 DX-Robert

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 02:43 PM

^ Those are FVJs.  There is actually a risk of receiving FVJs from almost any seller of 3rd party China darts.  Always always drop a note during purchase making sure they are sending you the dart type in the picture, unless you know the seller from previous good buys.


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#14 Ryan201821

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 06:12 AM

Quick update:

I guess my bitching was effective. I received a full refund last night, which BuyChina said this:

"We have checked ,it was bought correctly .For the colors ,if no special requirement ,then it will be sent randomly . And I noticed you are our new customer,we'd like to provide good service for you in future.Thanks."

I'm not sure they understood why I'm upset with the darts, which I could careless what color they were. Oh well, at least I have my money back to get some more men darts.
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#15 Draconis

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 10:52 AM

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I'm not sure they understood why I'm upset with the darts, which I could careless what color they were. Oh well, at least I have my money back to get some more men darts.

 

You could always sell them to the Canadians or Australians.  They are happy to punch holes in each other.


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#16 The Manta

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Posted 19 August 2016 - 10:36 PM

Oh well, at least I have my money back to get some more men darts.

By men darts, do you mean those KNEX knockoffs that Slug uses? If so how do they hopper/fly for you? I got some and they are kinda shoddy in both those departments.


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#17 KaneTheMediocre

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 02:28 AM

^ Those are FVJs.  There is actually a risk of receiving FVJs from almost any seller of 3rd party China darts.  Always always drop a note during purchase making sure they are sending you the dart type in the picture, unless you know the seller from previous good buys.

I used the same taobao link, but instead of going through buychina, I used https://www.taobaoring.com/ .  They operate a little differently from buychina and it probably helps a lot for cases like this.

 

First, you place your order, and pay the cost of the items and local shipping from factory to Taobaoring HQ.  Then, they open up your order and take a picture of its contents.  You then view the picture, and confirm that it looks OK before they move forward with the transaction and charge China to USA shipping.  If something looks wrong and you reject the order from the picture, I don't think you will always get your initial payment back, I think it depends on what taobaoring negotiates with the supplier, but in any case it's better than paying the full amount and not knowing it's all fucked up until you get the package a month later. 

This is, of course, somewhat hypothetical to me as each of my 2 orders through taobaoring went smoothly, but I did in fact approve a photo in both cases. 

I did pay more through taobaoring, but I did feel a lot more secure that I was getting the correct product, and I did in fact receive the correct product.


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#18 shardbearer

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 07:18 PM

Does anyone know what's up with the new color options? It just says Package A, Package B, Package C, and A price, and they're 80, 95, 150, and 0.22 Yuan respectively. Are they different quantities?


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