Saturday, November 16, 2019

Paul Schwindamann Signature Darts "The Recluse"

Pronounced like the classic bicycle company Schwinn, with a  Da-Menn on the end ...Schwin=da-menn 

Speaking of Da Mann, Paul is reguarded as "The Man" because he is the No.1 Darts player in  Kansas City. With all his wins, tournament results and level of play, that fact is self evident, and would be hard to argue against. He is a true national class player, no doubt about that.

As follows every national class player has his own signature dart, which brings me to reviewing LaserDarts, "Recluse" (Brown Recluse Spider) designed by Paul Schwindamann.

It's called "The Recluse" because it pairs well with LaserDarts flagship dart the "Black Widow". It's also called the "Recluse" because may say it pairs with his personality, but how can he be a "Recluse" and go to so many tournaments and perform at a national class level? I see his personality as they say, "No Filler, All Killer". There is no window dressing, it's straight to the point and no B.S.. 

I'm reviewing both the Steel tip version (23 gram) and Soft-Tip version (18 gram). Unlike most dart companies LaserDarts come in function dart cases with clips. 

Paul plays both Steel-Tip and Soft-Tip ...a lot. So the darts trajectory characteristics have to be very similar. Paul spec'd the groove pattern where he grips the dart (at the back), lengths, and diameters. Then it was up to LaserDarts to determine the front of the darts and work out the drill depth (balance) to make going back and forth between a 23 gram dart and a 18 gram dart virtually seamless.

I have to say this is the best matched signature dart set I have ever seen and thrown. Most company's soft-tip version of their fixed point steel-tip bare a vague resemblance.

Some companies go with 'convertible points", but the weight difference between steel and plastic throws off the balance a bit. Rather than one dart with convertible points, they went Professional  and developed two darts from the ground up ....or from the hand up? I hear Paul in my brain saying, "Just get to the point Shope". ....Alright then to the point we go ...or is that the tip? Bwaaaaaa! 

Steel-Tip: 23 grams (46mm long x 7.3mm Dia). 
It's not a long/skinny dart. A lot of people will tell you a long/skinny dart is the way to go for  flatter trajectory and tighter grouping. 

I find if I don't release a long dart right, it tends to flop in the air. 

I find with the "Fatter Darts" you have more grip and control. 

When is the last time you lost a match and thought "Gee if my darts just grouped a little tighter"? ...odds are you cussed the missed double. As the say, "Triples for Show, Doubles for Dough". Go for control. 

Soft-Tip: 18 grams (42mm long x 7.0mm Dia). 
Who machines darts with such precision they groove the back of the dart above the shaft threads? LaserDarts! 

When the first "Taylor" groove came out I found it to be too "Grippy". They would stick to my hand. The grooves were too deep. 

This is a hybrid groove pattern sharp square grooves, not too deep; with deeper round grooves for a sure grip and easy release. The grip is a parody of a Brown Recluse bite By definition the bite of a Brown Recluse spider often goes unnoticed initially because they are usually painless bites, but bite none the less. 

The grooves at the front of the dart are the selling point to me. The band works as a point of distinction. You don"t feel it on your thumb; but in front of your thumb, giving you all the grooves to grip. Usually the band is external and not recessed making this dart design unique with functional purpose. Not just for the sake of, "We did it to be different". 

My new Soft-Tip setup. with L-Stlye Flights and Shafts. 

Sunday, October 13, 2019

My New Darts: Laserdarts, Laser-Bitz

Laserdarts, Laser-Bitz

After shooting with LaserDarts, Silver Eagles for 3 years I changed my darts. To....LaserDarts, LaserBitz. 

It's a modular dart, for lack of better words. Each section screws into each other. There are many different sections to choose from.

This is my Steel-Tip setup (Top).
This is my soft-tip setup (Bottom).

This is my Steel-Tip setup (Top).
This is my soft-tip setup (Bottom).

 All the Pieces




This section is the key section to this dart. The raised rings are actually gear shaped so the fingers can engage and dis-engage with the dart for a clean release. 



I took machine tool classes for 2 years. I've got to say these are incredibly well machined parts. When you have them screwed together tight, you would think the barrel was just one piece. All the pieces are consistent.

When I first saw the LaserBitz with my OCD, ADD, and/or whatever acronym I thought it would be hard to narrow down a combination but it wasn't. Everyone holds a dart different. They are like finger prints. With that said with each unique grip, there is a unique dart.

Checkout their website for all the different shapes and sizes available.

Visit Horizon Darts and try them out.
2415 S 50th St, 
Kansas City, KS 66106
Phone: (913) 236-9111

Horizon Darts:

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Some darts I had, that I wish I still had

Some darts I had, that I wish I still had.

Laserdarts, Blackwidow, 23 Gram
These are the original ...well OK Laserdarts used to be an English company called Fansteel, but was then bought and then became a USA/Kansas brand called Laserdarts. These are the original Blackwidows. They were originally made by bonding a 90% front and a 90% back, to a 100% tungsten billet. (If you look close you can see the lines when they were bonded). Yes, they were very short, and they only came smooth because you can not knurl/machine 100% tungsten without great expense ...and they were $170 back in the 80's/90's. 

Bottlesen, GT, 24 Gram
I think they still make them. It's a smooth dart, but it's easy to find your place. If you feel the dart is too fat, you're too far forward; if it feels too thin, you're too far back. I got them well used, after they have been used they get dented and develop a kind of texture, or what they say about a nice cast iron skillet "Seasoned". 

Harrows, PowerPoint, Jerry Umberger 24g
 As they say; once you start a dart collection, the tendency is to push it as far as it will go.  They stopped making them mid to late 90's. Another smooth dart, but also has that distinctive grip point in the middle. It's so called "Front loaded", but any weight that come from the front's larger diameter is countered the amount of material that is removed to accommodate the movable point.

Roger Carter signature dart 24 gram
These were not the production darts, these were all hand made ...demo darts so to speak I got from Roger himself back in the 90's

 Bottelsen, Tony Payne Signature darts, 26gram
As I said before,  once you start a dart collection, the tendency is to push it as far as it will go. These were the first real set of steel tip darts I bought. These were discontinued as Tony Payne, but continued under the name "Precision Grip". A lot of these barrels broke where it gets thin, so it's rare to find a set. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Laserdarts "Matt Chornyak" signature darts review

Laserdarts "Matt Chornyak" Signature Darts

Chornyak? Who is Matt Chornyak? 

1. When Did you start playing darts?
Matt: "1999 early 2000"

2. Where Did you start playing darts?
Matt: "At a bar called Smack Daddies that was in Olathe, KS. Won my first tournament there".

3. Why did you start playing darts?
Matt: "Because I like meeting new people. There was a board in the bar that me and a bunch of my friends would play on for fun. They had a tournament one night and we all decided to play. I won and I have been hooked ever since".

4. What was your most memorable moment playing darts?
Matt:  "First one was turning pro in Omaha with Jason Tomlinson. I had wanted to accomplish that for a long time. The second was watching Abby make it to the Final at TOC. The third was being asked to be a part of team Monstah and Horizon".

5. Where did the idea for this dart come from?
Matt: "I used to throw an old back grip dart and when Horizon Darts came out the lazerbitz I saw a grip I like and decided to add it to a dart that I throw already or incorporate it".

Alright, Alright ...He's a proper darts player, Lets see the darts ?

The Full Barrel
Like I said the barrel has a lot of distinctive features about it. First off it's the longest soft-tip barrel I know of at 51mm for a 18 gram dart and it's not "Skinny" really either. I don't throw a skinny. I find I get more control with a fatter dart. I know some people swear by the skinny dart to leave more room in the target, but whats a dart without control?

The Full Barrel Another Perspective
Here you can get a good look at the different groove profiles. A lot of precision work went into making these.

The Back Scallop 
Its a subtle scallop with a "raised box cutout". It gives you fingers good traction without being overly sticky.

The Mid-Section and Front
There you have it. The famous Laserdarts back-cut grooves. Plus that one distinctive groove in the middle. That was a great idea. It's not to give your fingers traction, but rather a distinctive feature to let you know you have the dart gripped right. Then the front are stand grooves with every other spacing.


The key to playing darts is consistency. consistent stance, consistent grip helps lead to a consistant throw. The design of this dart lends its way into that formula very well. Most signature darts are designed for one particular grip, and if you don't grip it that way, it seem awkward. Matt's dart can accommodate a lot of different grips because it has a lot of distinctive grip points. I like it so much so I'll be getting a couple sets when they come out in a few weeks. Both Soft-Tip and Steel-Tip

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Thursday Night Results and Up Coming Tournaments

Your Governor's Cup Team
Paul Schwindamann Jeff Johnson Tressa King
Ric Smith          Jim R Yates Diana Rutherford
Michael Walters Steve Shope Jo Ann Anderson
Chris Mccowan Tim King Terri Stevenson

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Midtown Steel Tip Darts Summer Update

Yes I'm still alive and well. Got busy and had computer problems
 ....but I'm back non the less. So lets ketchup with the Midotwn Thursday Night Steel Tip League.

Check back soon I've got a few dart reviews, as well as player interviews to come.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Midtown Thursday Night Finals

Midtown Thursday Night Finals.

The Finals came down to Colonial Club's, "Hoho & the Merry Elves vs. Chez Charlies infamous, "DirtBaggers". 

HoHo & His Merry Elves: 
Gary "Ho Ho" Holland,
Steve "Shopey"Shope.
Dave "Diamnond Dave" Whitney,
Danny "Book'm Dano" Bribiesca
Bert Lane
Bill "Billy Boy" Pittman

Jim "Dirt Bagger" Dietrich,
Tim "Sasquatch" Kessler,
Pete "Uncle Pete" Codrington,
Dick "The Hammer" CooperSmith,
Dave "Davey" Ryan

After sprinting ahead to the 3-0 lead you would think victory was only a matter of time for Hoho & his merry elves, but that was not be be as Tim Kessler took out 61 for the Dirtbaggers to take the championship and end the Midtown Winter season.

It was a good season, like they always are. With 8 teams (Teams are 4 or 5 people) in the league, I can say pretty confidently we all get along we pretty much recognize them as a proverbial Brother or Sisters. The league ranges in skill levels from beginners to seasoned tournament players who are always willing to help or answer questions.

I'd like to thank our sponsor and home bar. Colonial Club. Come for the Darts and Food, Come for the Food and Darts. It's all good. Very good quality; Pizza, Cheese Steaks, Italian Sausage Sandwiches, Chicken Wings, ....

Colonial Club
Shorty's Pizza
322 6th Street
Kansas City, Kansas 66101
(913) 291-0251

Special Thanks to "Moe" Mauzey for all he does. Without him there would be no steel-tip darts in Kansas City.

If you are interested in the Midtown league, or just a night out playing steel tip darts; Come on down to the Blarney Stone for a blind draw this Thursday (5-30-2019)

Blarney Stone
3801 Broadway
Kansas City, Missouri 64111
(816) 753-4949

...and if you go to Horizon Darts, please use my code and receive 15% off
Horizon Darts
2415 South 50th Street
Kansas City, Kansas 66106