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Stefans

A set of typical Stefans.

A Stefan (sometimes just referred to as homemade darts) are the most common type of custom darts. They were invented by Canadian Nerfer Stefan Mohr sometime around 2001.[1] They are used most commonly with modified and homemade blasters.

Details

Stefans are usually made from foam backer rod (also known as caulk saver) and a weight. Common weights include #6 washers, copper BB's, and 1/4" slingshot weights. The body of the dart is heated to straighten it, either in the sun, or with a clothes dryer or hair dryer. The top is then covered with a hot glue dome. The result is a straight flying, accurate, faster, longer range, and cheaper dart. However, there are downsides: they are slightly more painful, have poor durability in cold weather, and can crack or shatter when struck against a hard surface.

The most popular and well-organized Nerf wars require that their Stefans have a felt-tip or comparatively softer cover for safety purposes. Understandably, Stefans are one of the reasons why protective eyewear is always a must. With skill, someone can easily make hundreds of Stefans for a low cost.

Some blasters are unable to fire Stefans in their stock form. This is most likely due to an air restrictor peg which must be removed before Stefans can be used. Certain blasters which lack true barrels such as the SuperMAXX 350 and Air Tech 1000 are incapable of firing Stefans without a complete barrel swap.

Recently, the term "Stefan dart" has been used to describe short length darts, which has been widely accepted by the Nerf community to describe darts that are different than Streamline Darts, but it is not accurate in any way as the original Stefan design was full-length. The company Xplorer has been calling short darts Stefans since 2010, which may be due partially to the four different languages common to Singapore, and simply a misunderstanding.

References

  1. Nerf Online: Evolution of the Nerf Dart. WebArchive.org

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