Try to think of it this way, Fren: Your blaster stores, then releases a set amount of energy. The more mass the projectile has, the more energy goes into making up for the mass, and less goes into the acceleration of the projectile. When the mass hits something, it will transfer more energy over a smaller amount of time, because this large mass also happens to be really stiff (wood/foam combo)* compared to the smaller mass (foam). This means that the larger mass goes a smaller distance, but really hurts on impact. Wouldn't you rather have a smaller mass that goes a longer distance, and doesn't hurt as much on impact? I know I would.
Good to see you experimenting with different materials, though. Optimum for a dart is light, with some degree of length for straight flight, and minimum surface area (though surface area is a good thing in our consideration of our targets' health). Best of luck with your future experiments!
* I know the dowel has foam on the tip, but compression is usually distributed across the length of the projectile in these cases, so if a lot of that length is wood, which doesn't compress too happily, the dart's going to hurt like pokey fire compared to a fully foam/rubber dart.
[Thanks Boltmaster. I didn't find it very hard to understand.]
Edited by Zero Talent, 12 October 2004 - 07:21 PM.