The Bullet himself has been a little subdued for a while now, it’s not surprising then, that the time has come for a refresh of his darts. Could this new version result in Stephen recapturing his best?
Product: Darts (Steel Tip)
Model: Stephen Bunting (Gen3)
Variation: 12g (90% Tungsten)
Marks: 7 – 9 /10 (overall 8/10)
First Impressions: After ‘The Bullet’ stuttered during 2017 & 18 he, and Target, seems to have gone back to basics here. Out goes the strawberry grip and the golden styling.
The Gen 3 is totally smooth but has a slight bulb toward the point (6.9mm widest). A flat smooth area lengthens the gradient from a narrower section to the curved nose area. A little like smooth Dennis Priestley darts. A lovely feeling dart that warms quickly and then is surprisingly grippy. At 48mm long it is much longer than most ultralight darts.
As Supplied: Fitted with short traditional points and set up with Pro Grip Target Stems, in medium length, and Bullet logo flights, black & red. All contained within the standard target packaging. A nice overall image and coordinated colour scheme is the result.
Testing Procedure: As usual, we used three players with different styles and skill levels. This time an elite player, a youth player and a decent amateur all were enthusiastic to try these highly unusual arrows. An initial practise session was used to adapt and then two more sessions were held over the next couple of weeks.
One of our players used these over a social darts evening with a group of friends. Another tried an open event in the Midlands. Overall the Gen 3 had well over 100 legs worth of use and were given a thorough work-out.
Results & Reactions:
- Elite: Struggled with the weight initially. These are ten grams lighter than his usual choice. After adapting, however, our elite player enjoyed using these in practice. Trying to use them in a competitive leg seems to prove too much.
- Strong Amateur: Our strong amateur player uses quite a light dart by choice and is quite wristy. This seemed to suit and it did not take long until our player was as effective with these as with his default arrows. He liked the smooth grip and the slight bulge made the dart feel more secure in his fingers. With time and practise he is sure these would become his new ‘weapon of choice’!
- Youth: Our youth player was perhaps the least impressed of our testers. The short barrel was not easy for him to get used too and no comfortable grip could be found. The desperate remedy of a social night out, mixed with alcohol, was used. Could a less focused environment help? Sadly, this was not much of a success, although others who attended the evening got on much better, with the Bunting darts, than our player. Including somone who had never played before!
A.I.M: “An excellent dart if you can persevere with getting used to such a light option with no apparent grip. Many will lose patience but those who didn’t may become permanent converts“. We notice that “players with less preconceptions are much more positive to these darts and perform well with them”.
“I loved these and may get myself some on payday. The little bulge makes all the difference from other lightweights I have tried. These feel much better” – Amateur 1.
“I liked these but could not translate practise into match form. Perhaps they would work as a practice aid?” – Elite Player.
Marks: The marks varied between a 7 from our youth player, generous because he saw others get on with them. and a nine from our strong amateur player. very light and smooth darts are always likely to polarise opinion. They do not obey convention and take time to master. But the overall 8/10 is pretty good for such a specialist dart.