Darts Buddy

WhiskyPops' darts journey (17 July '17)
Inspired by many of you, I decided to write down my journey through all the dart sets that I have owned and currently own. I will try to give a rating to the darts (from 0 to 10) and explain why I gave the rating. Keep in mind I am a mid-to-rear gripper (depending on the dart and its shape/balance), so the ratings should be seen in that perspective. 

The post will be slowly updated, and may be updated further in the future, but I am currently converging to a few good sets that are working for me, so my collection will hopefully stabalize soon (lol..). 

Feel free to comment and share your experiences with these or similar darts, it may help other nutz finding new sets that could up their game, or just satisfy their urge to own every dart in the world. 

Finally, keep in mind that my philosophy is mostly "if I can't throw it well, and it also doesn't look good, SELL IT", so most of these sets have already been sold or traded. 

Cheers and enjoy!
WP

[29 Jan. '17] First sets listed.
[30 Jan. '17] More sets added, these are all I own or have owned until now. Feel free to point out spelling mistakes or other constructive comments for the reviews.
[8 Feb. '17] Update on Taylor Phase 6, added black version info. Added the Target Keith Deller darts. Soon a couple more updates.
[23 Feb '17] Added quite a few new sets, some rare ones such as Datadart King, Alan Tabern stone and O'Shea black stone.
[18 Mar '17] Added Target Adrian Lewis zirconium stone 25 gram and Target Taylor gen 3 26 gram.
[13 May '17] Added Target Haruki Muramatsu 22 gram and Unicorn Andy Hamilton Gold 25 gram.
[22 June '17] Added Winmau Hankey atomized 14 gram and Taylor Phase 5 Rosso.
[17 July '17] Added Target Distinction Capricorn and Monster Jelle Klaasen.
Match Darts: Target Phil Taylor gen 3, 22 g
Best 501:
19 darts
180s (2017):
 91/60

180s (2018): 87
180s (2019): 7

Reply
Harrows Club Brass Knurled (23 gram)
My first love! As most of you, I started my darting 'carreer' with cheap and fat brass darts. These are the weight that I still prefer most of the time, and for me as rear gripper the back of the dart is nice to hold and push against, whereas the knurl offers high grip to prevent slipping. 

Balance: 8
Grip: 9
Looks: 5
Overall: 8

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Red Dragon Scorpions (23 gram)
My first tungsten love! By accident I stumbled accross Darren's review channel, and this was the first review I saw (and hereby discovered Red Dragon). I loved the way these darts looked and started realizing that these darts may fit my throw. After some weeks hit my first 180 with these. I will never sell these darts, and for me they have a great balance and super grip (perhaps too high...). I can use the front part to push against to propel them into the board. 

Balance: 8
Grip: 9
Looks: 8
Overall: 8

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Unicorn Sigma Pro Gold 950 (26 gram)
Bought off of ebay when these darts were not for sale anymore in this weight. I wanted to get a dart which resembled what Taylor throws. Very very cool dart, I got the slikstik and flights to work for me, but the grip was not right for me, so I traded these. 

Balance: 8
Grip: 6
Looks: 4
Overall: 6

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Target Adrian Lewis gen 2 (25 gram)
Wanted to try a straight dart with good grip for some nice trebbling. I felt these darts were working quite well with rear grip even though they flipped and wobbled a bit too much. Easy to group, but ultimately not the right weight (they sounded like they smahed into the board). The grip felt sometimes a tad slippy. Oh, and they have quite short points I believe. 

Balance: 7
Grip: 5
Looks: 7
Overall: 6

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Target Phil Taylor gen 2 (22 & 26 gram)
For me the most beautiful dart I have seen; the blue pixels, blue scallops, the titanium power shafts and flights. Great display piece. I a really loved the pixel grip. The scallops are in the right place for me, but cannot get them to work easily because the balance is not right for me. Keep in mind that the lighter versions of this dart are drilled out quite significantly!

Balance: 5
Grip: 8
Looks: 10
Overall: 7

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Winmau Ted Hankey silver (21 gram)
Purely a curiosity buy and weight test. Had problems correcting these on the doubles. The grip is quite high for a smooth dart. I felt like I could get 20 of these in the trebble if I had the skill. Surprisingly fun dart to throw, but I prefer staying above this weight.

Balance: 7
Grip: 7
Looks: 6
Overall: 6

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Unicorn Raymond van Barneveld Phase 5 two-tone (23 & 25 gram)
So-so, and worse once the coating goes off, which is quite soon after using them. For me, these are too front loaded, weirdly balanced and the smooth section at the front bugs me and the grip is quite bad in my opinion. Also, I was throwing lighter darts then so that did not help with getting used to these RVB P5. Overall one of the worst darts I have owned.

Balance: 4
Grip: 3
Looks: 5
Overall: 4

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Target Carrera C9 (21 gram)
Quite an incredible range, the carrera's. I like the sharp highly grippy pixels on these, but the smooth section is in the wrong place for me. Balance is okish and again I had trouble correcting these in the doubles. Good for trebbling though, and of course should work for rear grippers who do not need grip elsewhere on the dart.

Balance: 7
Grip: 7
Looks: 8
Overall: 7

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Unicorn Phil Taylor Phase 6 Natural & Black (25 gram)
One of the worst darts I have thrown. Very sharp grip, but too sharp for my liking. The balance is horrible. They may be nice for collectors, but they are not nice looking for a display case even... Avoid these darts is my advice. I have never seen Taylor throw these, so I am sure he also did not like them. One addition about the black version is that the black paint made the dart feel slippery all over.

Balance: 2
Grip: 4
Looks: 4
Overall: 3

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Winmau Sniper 22 gram model (22 gram)
For me a very interesting darts range, I really like the scallop darts! That's why I was disappointed in these, the scallop is just too slippery for my liking. Also, the grip in the front is quite low so my balance finger was slipping. Nice balance though. Fun to play with still.

Balance: 8
Grip: 5
Looks: 7
Overall: 7

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Winmau Simon Whitlock (22 gram)
I really like these darts, you can really use the shallow scallop to propel the dart, or use it as a guide where to hold the darts consistently. I like the grip at the back of the scallop, the front part could have some more grip for me. I have the gold edition now (looks awesome!), but also owned a few sets of the silver edition. The dart could be a bit more rear balanced for me, right in the scallop. Courtesy to lovejoy for trading these with me.

Balance: 8
Grip: 7
Looks: 9 (gold edition)
Overall: 8

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Grand Slam Jelle Klaasen (23 gram)
A nicely balanced dart, I would consider it a classic almost, quite popular here. The rear grip is nice and I like the balance and looks, but the whole smooth front I dislike. I have traded these with esteemed forum member Great White North.

Balance: 7
Grip: 5
Looks: 8
Overall: 7

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Target Adrian Lewis gen 1 (23 gram)
One of my favorite straight barrels, better grip than the gen 2 in my opinion, good balance and good for grouping. The grip in the front is quite unique, but I really dislike the smooth part with Adeys name, I grip around there and it can get quite slippy. These darts have led to me buying a set of custom darts, which I will describe in the next section.

Balance: 8
Grip: 7
Looks: 8
Overall: 8

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RV1 Customs (22.5 gram)
A slim straight dart, with grip where I like it and how I like it. The rear micro ring grip is a guide to where I should grip. The front ring grip has double grooves that makes it feel unique and a but sticky, but not too sticky. These darts are great for grouping, and have a great balance.

Balance: 8
Grip: 9
Looks: 9
Overall: 9

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Unicorn Gary Anderson Phase 3 (23 & 25 gram)
One of the most popular modern darts I think, making it a modern classic. They have a quite nice grip, slightly lower than the purist grip, and the balance is also nice. I am not a big fan of most straight darts, so I could not get them to work for me. I have received the 25 gram version from a trade with Great White North.

Balance: 7
Grip: 8
Looks: 6
Overall: 7

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Unicorn Phil Taylor Phase 2 (24 gram)
What is left to be said about this dart? Wonderful grip all over the dart, wonderful balance, they seem quite long but are quite similar to the Gando phase 3. Again, I am not a big fan of straight darts but these are really wonderful and I think this is a great dart to have in any darts collection. Good weight to start with also. I can get these to land flat like Taylor does with standard flights and medium shafts.

Balance: 8
Grip: 9
Looks: 8
Overall: 8

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Red Dragon Javelin (22 gram)
The best value for money dart I have ever bought. At slightly over 10 pound, you get a really nice set of dart, with insanely high grip, slim design and they even include a little wallet. I scored a 180 with these after throwing for 10 minutes and I felt I could almost use the grip rings as scallop. Still, I could not get used to them, they do not have reference point for me to grip at.

Balance: 7
Grip: 9
Looks: 6
Overall: 7

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Target Phil Taylor gen 3 (24 gram & 26 gram)
I believe this dart will become one of the iconic Taylor darts after he will retire. I could not get thile 24 gram dart to work for me with standard flights, kites were kind of okay, Taylor flights worked so so (but mostly not). I cut some home-made flights from kites and they also worked kind of okay. The 26 gram dart seemed better balanced and worked faster, so I think the 26 gram version is the only right one to use. Overall, the balance and grip are not so great to me, but I like the looks a lot.

Balance 24g: 4
Balance 26g: 6
Grip: 6
Looks: 9
Overall 24g: 6
Overall 26g: 7

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Target Stephen Bunting gen 1 (21 gram)
I am a mid-to-rear gripper, and these darts are for front grippers and perhaps slightly too light for me. Surprisingly, they felt really well balanced and I could manage throwing them consistently. The biggest problem for me is the fine grip. It keeps slipping from my hands, so the flew out of my fingers too early.

Balance: 9
Grip: 4
Looks: 6
Overall: 6

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Winmau Mervyn King black PVD (22 gram)
This is the first dart I threw with which I scored two 180s in 5 minutes. The rear scallop combined with the balance really work well for me. Sadly, I miss grip on that rear scallop, otherwise this would maybe be my go to dart still. I really like the black PVD coating.

Balance: 8
Grip: 5
Looks: 8
Overall: 7

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Match Darts: Target Phil Taylor gen 3, 22 g
Best 501:
19 darts
180s (2017):
 91/60

180s (2018): 87
180s (2019): 7

Reply
Dartsclearance 22 gram (22 gram)
The famous dartsclearance set that a lot of forum members have or had. Perfect budget dart to start with, good grip all over and should work well for both front and rear grip. Not my type of dart, but value for money in today's modern world.

Balance: 7
Grip: 8
Looks: 6
Overall: 7

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Winmau Jeff Smith (23 gram)
I won these in the GSOD competiton on the forum. A quite nice looking dart, straight, simple, and it seems to be desgined for a front gripper. I did not like the front grip, too slippery and rounded. The small grip parts more in the back are more aggressive, but I really dislike the placement of the smooth parts.

Balance: 7
Grip: 5
Looks: 8
Overall: 7

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Winmau Sniper 23 gram version (23 gram)
I have reviewed this dart on the forum, will provide a link below. All I can say is, I love the location and size of the scallop, and they fly very well for me. This is one of my go to darts if I want stable scoring and doubling.

Balance: 9
Grip: 9
Looks: 9
Overall: 9

My more extensive review for this dart:
https://www.dartsnutz.net/forum/showthre...?tid=24392

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Unicorn Raymond van Barneveld Phase 1 (23 gram)
As said by many before, perhaps the most versatile dart ever? Another timeless classic with really great balance, good grip and just a general easy to throw feeling. If these had a bit of a Fitton type shape, they'd score even higher for me. You cannot go wrong with thia dart!

Balance: 10
Grip: 9
Looks: 7
Overall: 9

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Grand Slam Raymond van Barneveld Triple B (24 gram)
These have found a home where they belong, with our RVB fan lovejoy. I have tested them briefly and the balance was okay. I just did not like the grip, too little where there was grip and there is a smooth section where I want to hold them.

Balance: 7
Grip: 4
Looks: 7
Overall: 6

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Unicorn Andy Hamilton Silver & Gold (25 gram)
I was doubting whether to get this dart in this weight, because I throw lighter darts usually. In the end, my gamble worked out very well. For me the grip is awesome; I read the grip is not so high, but it is perfect in my opinion. Not too high, not too low. And it covers most of the barrel, especially near the back where I grip it, which I like. Also the balance and thickness of this dart are nice. Really the only negative thing about this dart is that it can be a flight shredder, but this is partially solved with tridents. Will be hanging onto this one tightly, and perhaps look to buy a 23 gram version one day. The gold version looks quite great imo.

Balance: 9
Grip: 9
Looks: 8 (9 for the gold!)
Overall: 9

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Red Dragon Peter Wright Snakebite 3 (22 gram)
Together with the Taylor phase 6, one of the worst darts I have ever thrown. They are very tiny, the grip is so-so (like a thin shallow Taylor purist grip), horrible balance. I had no space to grip these properly (my fingers are quite long, so that might be part of this problem). Definitely not recommended by me. Also, the black wears quite easily, making the dart look bad.

Balance: 3
Grip: 5
Looks: 5
Overall: 4

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Target Keith Deller (23 gram)
I bought these from Walker. A simple bullet shaped darts with extra grip exactly where I want it to be. The grip is high-medium but the location of the grip makes this a 10 for me with regard to grip. Right before the rear grip it feels like there is a bulgy transition, a scallop if you like. The center of gravity is exactly there with my setup, so I can throw and group these very consistently. An awesome dart for me.

Balance: 9
Grip: 10
Looks: 8
Overall: 9

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Target Alan Tabern Stone (25 gram)
These darts have been discontinued I believe. They have quite awesome grip, but are kind of ugly in my opinion. I did not feel the stone grip but the ring grip was more than sufficient. The balance felt odd, the darts went in at quite steep angles for me. So for me, the best feature is the grip.

Balance: 5
Grip: 9
Looks: 6
Overall: 7

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Unicorn Terry Jenkins Gold (25 gram)
Apart from being pleasing to the eye, these darts have a pretty good balance. I felt like these can work for front, mid and rear grippers. The smooth grip was sometimes ok, but sometimes not. For me, the grip feeling really depends on the circumstances like how warm/cold or dry/moist my hands are, which made it hard for me to be consistent. They are easy to group though. I would recommend the old Winmau Hankey darts though if you want a dart with smooth grip.

Balance: 9
Grip: 4
Looks: 9
Overall: 7

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Target Precision Aviator (22 gram)
This is clearly a rear grip dart, which should suit me, but I'm quite disappointed in them. They are similar to the Target Carrera C9, at least the shape and grip locations. The darts were very wobbly, hard to control and seemed heavier than they are. They landed in a quite steep angle, which is not how I usually like them. They are also not that pretty.

Balance: 4
Grip: 7
Looks: 4
Overall: 5

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Unicorn Gripper 2 (24 gram)
These darts have awesomeeee grip! I really like it, it is not too low and not too high, and feels quite comfortable. These are front weighted darts, when I throw them from the rear they land with a steep angle for me, but they feel stable and consistent. Not a bad dart even if they are not my preferred shape and balance. And they are pretty nice looking also. I dislike the grip points by the way, and they are hard to group in the trebble.

Balance: 6
Grip: 9
Looks: 8
Overall: 8

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Target Tony O'Shea Black Stone (22 gram)
These darts have been discontinued I believe, so are quite rare nowadays. These darts have wonderful grip, however the smooth part is in the wrong place for me, which ruins it a bit. I love the full black coating with the stone grip, it matches quite well. These are surprisingly nice for someone who throws mostly non straight darts. They have a nice balance for any type gripper.

Balance: 8
Grip: 8
Looks: 9
Overall: 8

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Datadart Mervyn King 180 series (24 gram)
I think these darts are hard to come by nowadays. They have a similar shape and balance to the Winmau King's, so my thoughts on these are similar. Too bad the scallops are fully smooth, sometimes they slip a bit. However, once you get them to work for you, they land where they should. I like these old style darts, and I like that the King is deeply etched into the side, it will be hard to wear it out.

Balance: 8
Grip: 5
Looks: 8
Overall: 7

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Winmau Simon Whitlock 1047 (22 gram)
I wanted to try these out of curiosity, they seemed mostly front weighted but the scallop interested me. I was surprised about them because they seem to work well from any grip position. I do like the ring grip, but I'd want more of it, too many smooth parts. Once I started middle gripping them exactly at the scallop with grip, they started working for me. I almost hit 3 bullseyes! Nice dart overall with some improvement points.

Balance: 9
Grip: 6
Looks: 8
Overall: 8

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Unicorn Wez Newton Gold & Natural (22 gram)
When I first saw these darts I found them immediately quite pretty (except for the ugly Unicorn logo). They have a fantastic grip, highly consistent and all over, no annoying smooth parts. The grip is similar to but a tiny bit higher than the Unicorn Andy Hamilton's. They have great balance, I can throw them from anywhere, but prefer rear grip. I never expected to like these so much... Positively surprised! The natural version seemed a bit less nice to grip, but I am not sure if I am imagining this.

Balance: 9
Grip: 9
Looks: 9
Overall: 9

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Target Adrian Lewis Zirconium Stone (25 gram)
To be brief, I prefer the normal version of this dart. The stone grip does not do a lot and it seems purely for show. The zirconium coloring is quite ok.

Balance: 8
Grip: 7
Looks: 7
Overall: 7

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Target Haruki Muramatsu (22 gram)
Bought these from RubennnV, great deal! These are one of the best looking sets of darts I have owned. High quality set, with an interesting grip, similar scallop as my Winmau Snipers. Once they fly well, I hit everything with these and group them tightly.

Balance: 9
Grip: 8
Looks: 10
Overall: 9

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Winmau Ted Hankey Atomized (14 gram)
I feel like these 14 gram Hankey darts deserve their own review. The atomized grip is a bit odd, I prefer the non atomized ones. Also, they look less nice i.m.o. However, they work well for me, which is why I gave them an 8 out of 10. Once they start going in it is quite easy to get them all in the treble. I had to make my throw more loopy for these 14 gram darts, but they are well balanced and fly well with a mid and front grip. This is a dart I'd recommend to anyone, you may end up liking the lightweights and improve your technique!

Balance: 9
Grip: 7
Looks: 6
Overall: 8

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Unicorn Phil Taylor Phase 5 Rosso (26 gram)
The dart of darts..! I can just look at these classically colored darts for a while and remimisce the glory days of Taylor... The balance is superb, they don't feel like 26 gram and throw well, for me they work with any flights and stems. Sadly the costing does not hold and I doubt the grip will. Also, I understand why they released an LP version; some the extra grip at the back would really complement the balance.

Balance: 9
Grip: 7
Looks: 9
Overall: 8

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Match Darts: Target Phil Taylor gen 3, 22 g
Best 501:
19 darts
180s (2017):
 91/60

180s (2018): 87
180s (2019): 7

Reply
Target Distinction Capricorn Pixel (24 gram)
A dart with awesome grip both at the front and back, and of course a very pretty dart as well. The balance is a bit 'general', middle weighted. I feel this dart could have had a more front bias, because I personally love the grip at the front most. A top product by Target again, but sadly the price is quite high also, and there are many nice straight darts with good grip for less available. So if you want to buy these, you really should want the pixel grip or a stunning looking dart with gold/black/silver colours.

Balance: 7
Grip: 8
Looks: 9
Overall: 8

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Monster Jelle Klaasen (20.5 gram)
An extremely well machined dart with a cool shape. The grip is a bit irregular and hard to describe, and when you compare where the grip is compared to balance point I feel it is a total mismatch. The dart will not slip, but it they flipped a lot for me when I grip them where it felt most natural. They are nicest on display in my opinion, and take a very particular grip and throw to be consistent with.

Balance: 6
Grip: 7
Looks: 9
Overall: 7

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Match Darts: Target Phil Taylor gen 3, 22 g
Best 501:
19 darts
180s (2017):
 91/60

180s (2018): 87
180s (2019): 7

Reply
Reserved 4
Match Darts: Target Phil Taylor gen 3, 22 g
Best 501:
19 darts
180s (2017):
 91/60

180s (2018): 87
180s (2019): 7

Reply
Nice one Pops! Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
Subscribe to Darts Review Channel here: Darts Review Channel on Youtube

Click to visit Darts Review Channel website

My darts collection:
Flickr Album

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Great collection Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
TITAN
Darts: Target Carrera C4 22g Black
High Out: 158 (T20-T20-D19)
Reply
Thank you gentlemen! Hope it will be useful. For now this is it I believe, all darts I own or have owned. Will be adding one more set soon, and after that will see.
Match Darts: Target Phil Taylor gen 3, 22 g
Best 501:
19 darts
180s (2017):
 91/60

180s (2018): 87
180s (2019): 7

Reply
Nice stuffs!!! Good to see this kinda journey! Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images. +1

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Very cool! Thanks for sharing your journey WP! I really enjoyed reading that - it's great to hear and learn from different people's reasons for choosing the darts and setups that they have.

I wouldn't mind doing something like this sometime.

(01-29-2017, 09:29 PM)WhiskyPops Wrote: Still, I could not get used to them, they do not have a reference point for me to grip at.
I wanted to mention about this about straight darts because I have a similar problem and you've put into words what I wanted to say about the reference point. Everyone seems to love straight darts, but for me, as you say, there's no reference point or point of leverage for me. I've found that I need to have a taper(like on the Winmau Snipers and Winmau Simon Whitlocks) at the front otherwise they feel awkward in my full barrel length 3 fingered grip.
I believe that your ideal darts are similar to mine
Reply
(01-30-2017, 05:06 PM)Jefferz Wrote: Very cool! Thanks for sharing your journey WP! I really enjoyed reading that - it's great to hear and learn from different people's reasons for choosing the darts and setups that they have.

I wouldn't mind doing something like this sometime.

(01-29-2017, 09:29 PM)WhiskyPops Wrote: Still, I could not get used to them, they do not have a reference point for me to grip at.
I wanted to mention about this about straight darts because I have a similar problem and you've put into words what I wanted to say about the reference point. Everyone seems to love straight darts, but for me, as you say, there's no reference point or point of leverage for me. I've found that I need to have a taper(like on the Winmau Snipers and Winmau Simon Whitlocks) at the front otherwise they feel awkward.
I believe that your ideal darts are similar to mine
Thanks Jefferz. I do find that we are a minority, so let us stick together! Haha.

I was hoping the Taylor gen 2 would be very suitable also but I really have trouble with balance and consistency. I do notice that, now I get better at playing, darts like Fitton style (or Hamiltons as described above) are working very well for me. They do not have a pronounced scallop, but I can launch them from right before the chubby part for good grouping.

Anyway, you can see from my review scores that most of the 9s are keepers (except the RVB phase 1s, a friend wanted to have those). Some straight darts could work, but I hate not having at least one reference point or having too manybsmooth parts...
Match Darts: Target Phil Taylor gen 3, 22 g
Best 501:
19 darts
180s (2017):
 91/60

180s (2018): 87
180s (2019): 7

Reply
Well done WhiskeyPops, look forward to the continuing "saga". Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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(01-30-2017, 05:18 PM)Great White North Wrote: Well done WhiskeyPops, look forward to the continuing "saga". Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
Thanks mate Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images. my wallet is not looking foreward to it! Damn you nutz...
Match Darts: Target Phil Taylor gen 3, 22 g
Best 501:
19 darts
180s (2017):
 91/60

180s (2018): 87
180s (2019): 7

Reply
Nice collection, well done.
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Fantastic thread +1
Currently throwing 20g Wades badly at an Eclipse Pro




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