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For competition shooting, you are limited to a 4 ft. barrel (with distance penalties assesed for longer, and no grace for shorter). For hunting (see previous posts), you want to take advantage of the internal ballistics, so longer is better. Cherokee use at least a 6 ft. barrel (River cane) with 17 in. hardwood splint darts. Indigenous Amazonian hunters use 9 ft to 20 ft. barrels, to shoot game up as high as 100 ft. in the forrest canopy overhead.

Here in the "modern" world, that is cumbersome. Until you can master a longer barrel in practice, I would suggest starting with a 4 ft. 0.50 cal. barrel and get real good at target shooting. (No sense wasting darts, or not getting a humane one-shot clean kill in the field) Then move up to a 0.625 (BigBore) at 4 ft. - repeat. Then go for a 5 ft or 6 ft. - repeat. Once you can consistently shoot (note - with greater than 4 ft. barrels, move back 1 ft for each inch over 48 in. lenght from the 33 ft. mark, so for a 6 ft. barrel, you've added 24 ft. - you'll be target shooting from 57 ft. (about 17.5 meters). Still aiming at a 6 cm bulls-eye. When you can consistenly score 180 points from that distance, you can safely hunt, knowing you'll get a first shot kill every time (well, if it doesn't move! )
 

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I have a 0.625 BigBore 6 ft., plus a 2 ft. extension. Using their bamboo skewer darts with their original plastic tailcones, target shooting from 20 meters - the tailcones are so aerodynamically flat, that they would fishtail (fun to watch), but eventually, they would slam sideways into the target. The commercial "hunting" darts provided by CS are way too heavy to be effective at the distances that you'll be hunting from. Try shooting with a metal coat hanger - that's about how bad they are.

I worked with one of their dart designers, who developed the new tailcone, and the Zytel broad head. That new tailcone was optimal, but the shaft was still too heavy. Tha balance was just not right. Went to the grocery store, got some 12 " long 1/4" diameter bamboo skewers. Mounted the Zytel broadhead tip on that, with the new tailcone - that would be the proper 0.625 hunting dart.

There is a fine line in blance and aerodynamics that would make a proper target dart, hunting dart, etc. for the 0.625 cal. barrel. or for non-standard homemade barrels. The wire used by CS is way too thick. You cannot just "proportionately size up" and expect it to work. But THAT is another topic.
 
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