Adam Smith-Neale 'Big Dog' Smooth Performance Darts 24g review
Here is a review of the Adam Smith-Neale Performance Darts (in the following 'ASN darts') in 24 grams.

You can buy them directly at Dart Performance Center (https://dartsperformancecentre.com/shop/...ance-darts) or your preferred retailer for just under 32£ (approx. 37€, 42$)
Strange, not a single German dart shop seems to sells Performance Center Darts.

The darts are available in 22 and 24 grams weight.
In general the ASN darts are a slim straight and smooth barrel made from 90% tungsten.
The barrels are coated in black titanium nitride.

Deviating from completely smooth darts, there are 2 grooves at the back to give you a reference point.
The nose is perfectly rounded and has no sharp edges.
Normal 25mm black standard points are installed.

[Image: nak8YuU.jpg]



Why these darts?
I fell in love with the darts at first sight.
However, I was very skeptical if I would be able to cope with smooth darts.
A big plus were the grooves at the back as a reference point and maybe as a grip aid.



Package
The darts come in a plastic clamshell pack contained in a small hard plastic case with point holders.

The content is straightforward:
1 set of ASN dart Barrels
1 set of ringed intermediate dart stems (standard nylon)
1 set of Big Dog 75 micron dart flights

Only generic company information is provided on the rear side. So overall the content and package is identical to other Performance Center darts and therefore maybe a little bit underwhelming for player darts.

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Optics
The coating and the grooves as strong accents make a boring smooth barrel something special; the laser logo peps the whole thing up again.
The designer was really good. He managed to turn a "give me a smooth dart" wish of Adam Smith-Neale with minimal touches into a really sexy looking dart.
For me the Barrels are pieces of art that call "buy me" (and I couldn't resist)

[Image: LXstakx.jpg]
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Color/Coating
On a color scale the titanium nitride coating corresponds to about 90% black. I didn't find a single flaw in the coating, just perfect. (On the pictures you will find dust grains)
To see the color of the barrels better, here are 3 pictures with different light conditions and printed black hues as background.

[Image: fvdinnl.jpg]
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Dimensions
22g   48mm x 6.41mm
24g   48mm x 6.44mm

The ASN darts are the shortest and thinnest darts in the 24g weight class.
All other available 24g darts are either longer or thicker. Prove me wrong ;-)

The data of 48mm length and 6.44 mm thickness are correct; my ancient mechanical caliper says the same.
The barrels are drilled out about 8 mm.
The black points have a 25 mm length and are very thin and needle-sharp.
My kitchen scale says exactly 24g; but the thing can only measure in whole grams.
Since these are smooth darts I expect almost no weight differences, all darts are equally deep drilled.

In reality, the darts are a lot slimmer than they appear on the product photos.
When you pick them up, they feel much, much denser and heavier than you'd expect at first glance.

Here is a comparison with 22g RD Javelins (6,35mm thick). Hard to believe the ASN darts are 2 grams heavier.

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BALANCE
As expected, the barrel is very exactly centerweighted.
Here are a few photos of how the center of gravity shifts with the corresponding shafts.

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GRIP
I bet most of you never had a smooth dart in your hand, let alone one with a titanium nitride coating.
So I will put a lot of effort into it and try to express the tactile feeling in words.

The ASN Darts are feeling very slip-resistant through the titanium nitride coating.
I use the term slip-resistant because it's more of an effect like holding rubber than a ribbed tool.
Hard rubber like a black army boot sole really matches the feeling.

At the same time the ASN Darts feel like hard, cold, and very heavy metal in your hands, but prevent slipping due to a higher adhesion. This triggers the rubber effect in perception.

The grip is based exclusively on the adhesion (or perhaps more precisely the coefficient of friction) than on a mechanical effect.

In order to be able to visualize this a little more, here is an attempt at a grip scale for smooth surfaces.

Level 0: wet ice cube - impossible to hold, not even MVG hits the board
Level 2: chrome plated brass dart - slippery as hell
Level 3: nylon stem - you can hold it, but it's difficult
Level 4: polished tungsten - the known smooth parts in darts. Press it a little bit harder and you can hold the dart quite well
Level 5: old faded tungsten – hold it a little tighter or with a lot of contact area and your grip is secure
Level 9: black titanium nitride coated Tungsten - Surprising, several levels more grip

That was the list for dry fingers.
If you lick or wet your fingertips a little before throwing, the grip becomes insane.
It feels like the barrels are glued to your wet fingers. The reason is not your spit (yuck).  Here another physical effect has to come into play, the only thing I can think about is the Van der Waals force used by geckos?

I have not noticed any difference between warm and cold darts; I suspect that this effect is also caused by the fingers starting to sweat.

The thinly cut rings at the end are a very subtle help to find the same spot.  They do not strengthen the grip level; there is simply no need for it. But these little grooves help to defeat the first aversion to a smooth dart.

Once used to it, the dart sits extremely secure between the fingers and nothing pinches or squeezes. ;-)
No deep grooves or sharp edges can stick to the fingers or cut in your skin.

After spending a few hours playing with the darts, I really wonder why my other darts have grooves, rings, scallops or whatever. The ASN darts are more secure and comfortable in my fingers than any other dart I've ever thrown.

I had to try some grip variations again: Only fingertips, almost complete finger, rear, middle, front grip. No matter, the darts have a perfect grip, I don't miss anything.

The grooves at the end can be omitted completely; the coating in combination with a smooth barrel is simply amazing, always just the right grip.

There is one great disadvantage (for some certainly fatal): The darts feel pretty damn weird in your fingers.
I have sometimes caught myself looking at my fingers after a throw or rubbing them together as if a sticky layer had stuck to them. Your sense of touch tells you something different than your eye and your knowledge. This can be terribly confusing. I predict this grip is a Love or Hate thing, there is nothing in between.



Throwing
The length of the barrel under 50mm is perfect suited for me when throwing.

The slim barrels bring a small mental advantage; my brain is completely convinced that even 9 darts can fit into a treble field.

For me the ASN darts fly very straight and true and the balance is perfect.
The release is superb, nothing exists which can stick to your fingers.

No matter how you grab the darts, the ASN darts will fit if you prefer a centerbalanced straight dart.

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Grouping
This is where the advantage of the smooth design and the round nose comes into play.
The thrown dart can touch the flights of the other darts and nothing happens.
The dart simply glides on without being diverted; no deep grooves or bulges can stick to the flights or damage the flight edges.

[Image: SWiZNzr.jpg]
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Setup
The included setup works very fine, but is not for me. I just need short stems and love Velos Flights.
For me the ASN Darts fly perfectly in these combinations.

[Image: PcdCAo1.jpg]



Summary ratings

Looks - 10 - sexy glossy black beauties
Grip – Strange but perfect; see above, a number is unsuitable
Weight Match - 10 - Perfect
Quality - 10 - 90% Tungsten, perfect coating
Value - 10 - inexpensive price for coated named player darts.
Suitability for me - 10 – I emptied my wish list for other darts



BUT I NEED MORE GRIP
(Ignore this rant if you love beautiful darts with shiny facets and geometric arranged patterns for you collection or you have a fetish for medieval torturing instruments)

How often you read: This dart doesn't have enough grip.

Meanwhile, this is so perverted that a cheese grater is more pleasant to touch than some darts with a freshly invented new grip.
I don’t need a dart to peel apples and file fingernails with.

A dart should not slip through your finger, that’s it, nothing more.

Try the ASN darts and be extremely surprised.  Big Grin
If you then throw them in the corner, it's not because they don't have enough grip, but because your sense of touch goes crazy.


Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it!


Update: 30 days later

I keep enjoying these darts and use them exclusively.
I once had the impression that the grip was getting weaker. After a cleaning with dish soap it was like new again. If the darts become greasy, clean them for a refreshed grip.

The coating is amazing durable. Every other dart had more scratches and small dents after 4 weeks of heavy use. The ASN darts barrels are still nearly perfect, only some small dents on the heavy battered noses are visible to normal eye sight if you search for them; the rest of the barrel is flawless.
Here’s a close-up picture (a 180  Big Grin )
[Image: QEECpxS.jpg]


Update: Weight

Just weighed them with a newly arrived fine scale. The darts weigh between 24.00 and 24.07 grams.
That's perfect. The negligible 0.07 grams difference can be caused by wear or dirt by now; throwing them daily.
Reply
Nice review! +1
Reply
Great review and thanks especially for going into detail on the grip Smile
B: 25g   S: Short   F: Shape   180s: 7/25
Reply
Nice review Cat! I think with smooth darts it really depends on the individuals skin,sweat,oils,temperature etc so its one of them grips that will be good for some and terrible for others but I think its also one of them kind of grips that we should try at least once to see if we like it, nice way to describe it though! +1 Smile
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Reply
Good for you .-) It sounds like you've found your holy grail darts.

I owned Unicorn Terry Jenkins darts and I don't have any doubts about how grippy the smooth darts are, even though I had the natural tungsten darts and not the black ones. A mate of mine has just tried those Jenkins recently and ordered himself a set of Andy Smith darts. I think these ASN darts are a good choice if someone is after the black coated darts.

BTW, the Andy Smith's darts are very similar to these Adam Smith-Neale's darts. Not only they have similar names, their darts look similar as well :-)
https://www.dartscorner.co.uk/product_in...s_id=74560
Reply
Nice job! Added to index of reviewed darts...
Reply
(03-27-2019, 02:12 PM)RobJon Wrote: Nice review! +1
Thank you!

(03-27-2019, 02:18 PM)jt4527 Wrote: Great review and thanks especially for going into detail on the grip Smile
Thank you, the grip section was hard to write.

(03-27-2019, 02:23 PM)Getagrip Wrote: Nice review Cat! I think with smooth darts it really depends on the individuals skin,sweat,oils,temperature etc so its one of them grips that will be good for some and terrible for others but I think its also one of them kind of grips that we should try at least once to see if we like it, nice way to describe it though! +1 Smile
Thank you!

(03-27-2019, 02:29 PM)elevendarter Wrote: Good for you .-) It sounds like you've found your holy grail darts.

I owned Unicorn Terry Jenkins darts and I don't have any doubts about how grippy the smooth darts are, even though I had the natural tungsten darts and not the black ones. A mate of mine has just tried those Jenkins recently and ordered himself a set of Andy Smith darts. I think these ASN darts are a good choice if someone is after the black coated darts.

BTW, the Andy Smith's darts are very similar to these Adam Smith-Neale's darts. Not only they have similar names, their darts look similar as well :-)
https://www.dartscorner.co.uk/product_in...s_id=74560
Thank you, to say holy grail is a little early, hope so.
The Pieman darts have been in my wish list. :-)
Reply
Good review, just know i couldn't throw them even tho they are nice looking darts
Reply
(03-27-2019, 02:48 PM)Crusher17 Wrote: Good review, just know i couldn't throw them even tho they are nice looking darts

Thanks, may i ask why you couldn't throw them?
Reply
(03-27-2019, 03:01 PM)Cateye Wrote:
(03-27-2019, 02:48 PM)Crusher17 Wrote: Good review, just know i couldn't throw them even tho they are nice looking darts

Thanks, may i ask why you couldn't throw them?

I can't throw smooth darts
Reply
(03-27-2019, 03:02 PM)Crusher17 Wrote:
(03-27-2019, 03:01 PM)Cateye Wrote:
(03-27-2019, 02:48 PM)Crusher17 Wrote: Good review, just know i couldn't throw them even tho they are nice looking darts

Thanks, may i ask why you couldn't throw them?

I can't throw smooth darts

Can you throw rubber darts? Smile
Seriously, these things are unique.
Reply
Very nice review! I think i might want to give these a try. I just picked up some original hankeys which are smooth, and it sounds like these would have more grip and those darts warm are nice to throw. They look great. Again, good job on the review. Very detailed
Match darts - 22g Customs
Best 501 - 11 Darts
Reply
Many thanks for the great review! Really thinking of trying these...

+1 from me Smile
Reply
Can't fault the review, can't fault the dart as a whole! Maybe the best looking dart released so far this year.
+1 here.
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(03-28-2019, 12:02 AM)John_B Wrote: Very nice review! I think i might want to give these a try. I just picked up some original hankeys which are smooth, and it sounds like these would have more grip and those darts warm are nice to throw. They look great. Again, good job on the review. Very detailed
Thank you. Try them, you will get MUCH more grip.

(03-28-2019, 12:17 AM)italNZ Wrote: Many thanks for the great review! Really thinking of trying these...

+1 from me Smile
Thank you.

(03-28-2019, 01:03 AM)sjmattitude1982 Wrote: Can't fault the review, can't fault the dart as a whole! Maybe the best looking dart released so far this year.
+1 here.
Thank you. These beauties are hard to resist :-)
Reply


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