Winmau Sniper, 23 gram – a mid-to-rear gripper’s review
Introduction
This is my first review for the forum, so I hope this will be useful for you guys and I hope my writing is clear and understandable. I was hoping to post it a little bit earlier, but I fell ill, so with a bit of delay, let’s get started! I know Darren has already reviewed these, but he is a front gripper and I am a mid-to-rear gripper, so I think my insight might be slightly different. I will not go into detail with regard to measurements and weight, a Darren has already shown these topics very clearly, so if you want to know more about measurements and weight, please visit his review.
I decided to review one of my latest set of darts; Winmau Sniper 23 gram. These darts have an unusual shape, with a scallop near the shaft entry point of the barrel, and some ring/shark type grip at the front of the barrel. As I will explain in the next section, I feel that, even though I have thrown many other darts the last few months, this is a natural progression from my first ever tungsten dart, the Red Dragon Scorpion (23 gram).
The Winmau Sniper range comes in three weights; 21, 22 and 23 gram. The 21 gram version is a more front weighted barrel like the Dennis Priestley darts, but with a lot more grip. The 22 gram version also has a scallop, like the 23 gram version, but the scallop is kind of elongated, so more stretched out, and feels very smooth (which is why I sold my old 22 gram set). The 23 gram version is very grippy and has a smaller scallop, which I like personally. I bought these darts at MCdarts, in the Netherlands, for slightly over 35 Euro including sending cost. I used their 10% World Championship discount code.

Perspective
My go to dart in the past year has been the 23 gram version of the Red Dragon Scorpion darts. They worked extremely well for me, I hit my first few 180’s with them and I have basically learned to throw darts with these. My problem was that I prefer gripping slightly more to the back, but the balance point of the Scorpions is more towards the transition point in the middle. I could not consistently grip the dart in the same place and I felt that the balance was sometimes different even though I felt like I gripped it the same way. The scallop of the Snipers will hopefully prevent that from happening, and enable me to grip the darts more near the rear in a consistent manner.

[Image: 87ccb6d14453edd9423b4d0bbd221a4a.jpg]

Packaging
The packaging is standard for most Winmau darts, you have the plastic box with a small window showing the darts, shafts, flights, point protector and half of the storage box. Also they have included a check-out card. Personally I find the plastic storage box to be a bit cheap and useless, I prefer foldable wallets that fit in my pocket. Anyway, the main thing are the darts, so let’s move on and not waste too much time on this topic.

[Image: 825f59e72dbd8bbc1286ba2c37c41b14.jpg]

The darts
The darts have various types of grip all over the barrel, the most important one being the scallop itself. Close to the shaft side of the barrel, we can find some kind of micro-grip, which is very sharp and highly grippy. Front of the scallop, there is a wider type of ring grip which is very sharp as well, followed by a smooth section, a wide shark type grip, another smooth section and another ring grip. The front of the tapered barrel is also smooth. The entrance point of the point seems to be a possible flight shredder, personally I use tridents with these darts. Even though the darts are meant to be gripped at the scallop, the grip is high enough anywhere to enable players to grip it in non-conventional positions.

[Image: 6be785e9579d6aaf292b95c0a6a24ad5.jpg]

Balance point
I was very curious to see where the balance point was, because this will determine whether I will grip the dart exactly on the scallop, or slightly at the front of the scallop. The balance point with and without shaft/flights are presented in the figure below and indicate that I would prefer throwing these darts by gripping them slightly more in the front of the scallop, because I like to stay close to the balance point with my grip, so I have more control.

[Image: d1c2eae2734b146a35678b5a5f9108e5.jpg]

My grip
Personally, I have obtained the best results with these darts when gripping them slightly at the front of the scallop, feeling the ring grip with index finger and thumb, and resting my middle finger on the most front grip. I am ensured of a consistent grip every time I hold them like this.

[Image: ed2f87cc499b15df5892169a62e93629.jpg]

Throwing & grouping the darts
I hit my last 180 of the year 2016 with these darts, after testing them for 10 minute. So I do know there is a lot of potential in them. Of course this is not the only thing that matters. Their fat design near the scallop worried me about the possibility of tightly grouping them, but as you can see in the pictures, the tapered front makes sure the darts can be easily grouped point on point. The doubling also went quite well for me with these, and I am starting to understand the name sniper. My first 10 double attempts were all fairly close to the double, or actually in. Also throwing on the bull was fairly consistent, so I do think this dart can improve my game and help me with some of the issues I have had with other sets.

[Image: 4d9a5495a520df3a7bae2f3e922b9225.jpg]


Conclusions
For me this is a wonderful dart with which I can get a highly consistent grip, good grouping around the trebble, good doubling and mostly, a lot of fun! The only improvement point for this dart would be a more consistent grip on the front of the dart, the randomly placed different types of grip do not make a lot of sense to me. There are many ways to use the scallop, it is more versatile than one might expect. As I said, I hold it more in the front near the ring grip closest to the scallop, but you can also hold it fully on the scallop, or even just use the top of your thumb to proper the dart from the scallop. Even though the dart is quite fat at its widest point, the tapered design enables tight grouping. Personally I would recommend anyone who is struggling with consistent gripping to try a scalloped dart, whether it is one small scallop like the new Whitlock darts have, or multiple scallops like the Winmau Mervyn King darts.
 
Match Darts: Target Phil Taylor gen 3, 22 g
Best 501:
19 darts
180s (2017):
 91/60

180s (2018): 87
180s (2019): 7

Reply
Very nice!

Great to see the darts from another point of view, have a +1 Smile
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[Image: 87L1RR5.png]
Reply
Well presented review Whiskey, nice! :thumbup:
Reply
Very nice review, WP. I love my set too, but the only improvement I would like to make to the dart is having more grip immediately next to the end of the barrel where it meets the points
Reply
Nice WP take 1+ from me- I really like your presentation !
Reply
(01-06-2017, 08:30 PM)*Saber* Wrote: Nice WP take 1+ from me- I really like your presentation !
Thank you Saber!
(01-06-2017, 02:25 PM)Getagrip Wrote: Very nice!

Great to see the darts from another point of view, have a +1 Smile

Thanks Darren, next time I can review your fav. front grip dart and totally trash it in a review Wink

(01-06-2017, 03:00 PM)Great White North Wrote: Well presented review Whiskey, nice!
Thanks Brad!

(01-06-2017, 08:27 PM)Jefferz Wrote: Very nice review, WP. I love my set too, but the only improvement I would like to make to the dart is having more grip immediately next to the end of the barrel where it meets the points
Good point Jefferz. In general I would like the grip to be a bit more all over the taper, and evenly spread. I think the current choice was a bit random and maybe more a design choice than one to make the grip useful.
Match Darts: Target Phil Taylor gen 3, 22 g
Best 501:
19 darts
180s (2017):
 91/60

180s (2018): 87
180s (2019): 7

Reply
(01-06-2017, 11:56 PM)WhiskyPops Wrote:
(01-06-2017, 08:27 PM)Jefferz Wrote: Very nice review, WP. I love my set too, but the only improvement I would like to make to the dart is having more grip immediately next to the end of the barrel where it meets the points
Good point Jefferz. In general I would like the grip to be a bit more all over the taper, and evenly spread. I think the current choice was a bit random and maybe more a design choice than one to make the grip useful.

I'm wanting that too. Maybe you will end up adjusting your technique to fit the dart.

I'm desperately having a David vs Goliath(my conscience) fight with my conscience over buying a new set of darts because I don't want to open the floodgates to yet more purchases, and I really don't *need* any more. But I had been lazily looking at similar looking darts with a tapered barrel that has grip all the way to the end, with a barrel that's less than 7mm wide and longer than 48mm and, lately, also with a scallop in a similar place.

While I haven't found any so far that exactly matches that criteria, these are some close matches that you may click with:
Red Dragon Jeff de Graaf (grip doesn't look aggressive enough)
https://www.reddragondarts.com/jeff-de-g...-gram.html
Harrows Wolfram (ditto)
http://www.harrowsdarts.com/steeltip-ran...7-tungsten
Target Carrera C3 (too expensive)
http://www.target-darts.co.uk/steel-tip/...c3-91.html
Target Perfect Storm (ditto)
http://www.target-darts.co.uk/steel-tip/...-1125.html

Ideally I would like to have a shark grip like Red Dragon Scorpions, but that's too wide.
Reply
(01-07-2017, 12:57 AM)Jefferz Wrote:
(01-06-2017, 11:56 PM)WhiskyPops Wrote:
(01-06-2017, 08:27 PM)Jefferz Wrote: Very nice review, WP. I love my set too, but the only improvement I would like to make to the dart is having more grip immediately next to the end of the barrel where it meets the points
Good point Jefferz. In general I would like the grip to be a bit more all over the taper, and evenly spread. I think the current choice was a bit random and maybe more a design choice than one to make the grip useful.

I'm wanting that too. Maybe you will end up adjusting your technique to fit the dart.

I'm desperately having a David vs Goliath(my conscience) fight with my conscience over buying a new set of darts because I don't want to open the floodgates to yet more purchases, and I really don't *need* any more. But I had been lazily looking at similar looking darts with a tapered barrel that has grip all the way to the end, and lately also with a scallop in a similar place.

While I haven't found any so far that exactly matches that criteria, these are some close matches that you may click with:
Red Dragon Jeff de Graaf (grip doesn't look aggressive enough)
https://www.reddragondarts.com/jeff-de-g...-gram.html
Harrows Wolfram (ditto)
http://www.harrowsdarts.com/steeltip-ran...7-tungsten
Target Carrera C3 (too expensive)
http://www.target-darts.co.uk/steel-tip/...c3-91.html
Target Perfect Storm (ditto)
http://www.target-darts.co.uk/steel-tip/...-1125.html
Cool choices. When seeing this profile my first thought is RD amberjacks, 23 gram. VERY cheap. My buddy has these, love the shape and balance, but way too low grip. But if you could somehow get the grip cheaply adjusted/increased...
Match Darts: Target Phil Taylor gen 3, 22 g
Best 501:
19 darts
180s (2017):
 91/60

180s (2018): 87
180s (2019): 7

Reply
We need more (affordable!) custom dart services.
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Nice work WhiskyPops, great review. They're a shorter dart than I expected, and I see what you mean now about where you grip. I fancied a tapered dart, the grouping improvement really attracted me but I struggle to grip them. I really need to try more to see how I get on.

Good work anyhow! I'd +1 you if I could from tapatalk
First 180: 19/3/2015
Best leg 501: 12 darts (11/4/16)
Back after a hiatus, getting over dartitis 
Reply


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