Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Review: Grey "Waffle" Darts

Back when K'nex launched their line of blasters, they also created a unique type of dart tip. This dart looked essentially like an Elite, however instead of having a hollow tip, it used a series of layers of rubber for cushioning. It wasn't too long before aftermarket copies of the K'nex dart started showing up. Shortly afterwards, darts started becoming available with tips similar in style to the K'nex dart, but with holes straight through the tip. This type of dart was dubbed the "Waffle" dart. A friend of mine gave me 30 grey Waffles to try out.

Lengthwise, a typical Waffle foam body is noticeably shorter than that of a Koosh. Since the Waffle head is a lot longer than a Koosh head, the overall length comes out around the same, about 7.2-7.3cm. However, several of my Waffles had an even shorter foam body, coming in at about 7cm long overall. The foam is quite thick and feels quite sturdy, so should last a fair amount of use before becoming significantly worn.
The holes through the tip allow compression of the tip upon impact, though it takes a fair amount of force to compress the tip fully.

Waffle darts are substantially heavier than Koosh darts, around 1.3g each where gen 3 Kooshes are typically only around 1g each (by my scale at least). This also puts Waffles around the same weight as FVJ5s.

Waffle dart tips have quite a long stem, which makes up a significant portion of the weight considering how hollow the tip is.

Since their overall tip shape is very similar to that of an Elite, Waffle and K'nex style darts are completely compatible with Nerf mags. Unlike Koosh, they are also compatible with long barrel blasters, such as brass breeched Longshots without suffering major damage, or causing major feeding issues. Due to their thickness however, you may find that the Waffles struggle to fire out of barrels that work fine with other dart types.

I tested my Waffle darts in a couple of blasters to see how they would compare to other dart types performance wise. I obtained a set of muzzle velocity readings from my chrono comparing these grey Waffles and some of my used, grey gen 3 Koosh. That data can be found in my Chrono Document. On top of that, I also did some approximate range/spread testing. Note that all Koosh results were obtained using used and worn Kooshes, as I used my last batch of new Koosh on the previous chrono session.

Blaster: Modulus Recon MkII (Aus-spec grey trigger)
Relevant mods: None
Koosh muzzle velocity: ~54fps
Koosh approx range: 8-12m
Koosh end range spread: 0.5m wide
Waffle muzzle velocity: ~48fps
Waffle approx range: 8-9m
Waffle end range spread: 0.5m wide

Blaster: Elite Alpha Trooper
Relevant mods: Hobbymods 7kg spring
Koosh muzzle velocity: ~78fps
Koosh approx range: 16-21m
Koosh end range spread: 1m wide
Waffle muzzle velocity: ~80fps
Waffle approx range: 18-20m
Waffle end range spread: 0.75m wide

Blaster: Elite Stryfe
Relevant mods: Blade 180s/-3240s, 2S LiPo
Koosh muzzle velocity: ~108fps (~124fps with new Koosh)
Koosh approx range: 17-22m
Koosh end range spread: 1m wide
Waffle muzzle velocity: ~107fps
Waffle approx range: 19-21m
Waffle end range spread: 0.75m wide

Blaster: Doomlands Desolator
Relevant mods: Black Pig 130s, Worker flywheels
Koosh muzzle velocity: ~135fps
Koosh approx range: 18-22m
Koosh end range spread: 1m wide
Waffle muzzle velocity: ~127fps
Waffle approx range: 20-22m
Waffle end range spread: 0.75m wide

In general, Koosh tended to achieve a higher max range, as well as higher muzzle velocity (with new Koosh at least, out of the flywheelers). Waffles tended to be a lot more consistent and had less horizontal spread. I was quite impressed at how consistent and accurate Waffles were, they were nearly as good as FVJs without having a solid tip, so are somewhat safer.

Overall I was quite impressed with the Waffle darts. They offer accuracy and consistency superior to Kooshes, without as much range loss as USCs. I am actually considering buying several hundred Waffles to supplement or replace my Kooshes for the improved accuracy and compatability. Furthermore, Waffles are also available at a significantly lower price than Kooshes.

That said however, there seems to be a significant variance in the quality of Waffle darts. This Reddit thread details a variety of issues that other people have had with Waffles, including poor tip gluing and inconsistent foam. I too have experienced somewhat sub-par tip gluing, with only the stem of the dart tips being securely fastened. I have yet to have any darts be decapitated by being fired however, and this is after running the same batch of darts through my Worker flywheel Desolator, and Artifact Bullpup RS several times each. Nevertheless, it's something to watch out for.

My friend used this eBay link to purchase the Waffles.

No comments:

Post a Comment