THE TUNGSTEN DARTS REVOLUTION
Packing a thumping density of 18grams per cubic centimeter, modern tungsten alloys are twice as heavy as brass and nearly 6 times heavier than aluminium. Never, in the sporting history of darts, have players been so well equipped to pepper the treble twenty with closely grouped metal and score that elusive 180.
Whilst tungsten’s massive weight to volume ratio make it unrivaled for close grouping on the dartboard, it’s space age characteristics mean that it’s hugely expensive to process. It melts at over 3000 degrees Celsius(hence it’s use in light bulbs) and, in the form of tungsten carbide, it is one of the hardest materials on earth,second only to diamond.
It was John Bluck, a maverick engineer at the Ford Motor Company,who addressed this issue in the mid1970’s and founded Red Dragon Darts.His entrepreneurial creation was built on his great passion for high efficiency manufacturing, and his singular innovation on tungsten has become the darts industry standard. That product, mass produced tungsten darts, changed the face of darting across the globe, making tungsten darts affordable to every workingman.
John’s timing was bang on. Just as he was perfecting the efficient mass production of tungsten alloys, Eric Bristow and Jocky Wilson hit the big time. Jim Bowen’s TV classic "Bullseye” was regularly attracting over 17 million viewers each weekend the global demand for low cost,precision engineered tungsten darts was born.
Darts was a difficult game to master and a difficult game for which to make technological improvements.Many innovations failed miserably after their market introduction, but those advancements that won over customers met the approval of the Elite player ranks.
Red Dragon was one of the handfuls of manufacturers able to carve a place for itself in the darts industry with innovative products that earned the confidence of dart players worldwide.
Red Dragon’s precision machined,mass produced tungsten darts were first launched in 1978. Not surprisingly, they rapidly became the darts of choice as tournament victories recorded by players throwing with tungsten soon racked up. RedDragon realised this fact and John made it his primary objective from the start of Red Dragon’s existence, and his pioneering work took hold.The early and mid-1980s brought Red Dragon to the fore in the darts industry, with its innovative and highly popular darts driving the company’s transformation from small upstart into a formidable competitor,underpinned by strong brand recognition.
The Tungsten Revolution caused a boom in darts brands and by the mid1980’s there were no less than 20main stream darts brands competing for a place in this growing and exciting tungsten market. But fast forward 30years and the vast majority of these other brands have disappeared,as globalisation and new industry standards dictate the direction of thedarts market.
Today, Red Dragon still loves to make Darts, ensuring that dart players toe the oche with the finest tungsten alloys available.