John O’Shea – The Joker

Red Dragon Darts

MANY thought it an eye catching signing by Mission to bring in the then new PDC Tour Card holder John O’Shea – a player that had proven his worth within the amateur and semi-professional game, and now seemed set to take the leap into the professional darting scene.

This is the second iteration of John O’Shea darts I have reviewed, having covered his older Superdarts back in 2020, when I first took to product analysis. John was kind enough to speak to me back then about the design, and I’ll be calling back to that in this review, in an effort to better understand the thought process behind his newer Mission darts.

The darts themselves share a close resemblance to the barrels which earned him his greatest success, the Winmau World Masters. The darts in question are a set of Ted Hankey Onyx barrels, popular at the time with newer players owing to the darts being available from Argos, as well as directly from then manufacturer. 

John’s darts share the same bullet shape, with the barrel featuring a reverse taper towards the front, before a short, steeper taper down to the point. This provides John with a clear point in which to hold the dart, and the barrel shape allows him to push against the front of the dart, propelling it forward with minimal effort.

The shape itself helps to create the high angle John prefers, with the front being weighed down, and the lighter Cosmo Fit Flight setup keeping the balance of the dart firmly where John holds it.

The grip itself is a simple thinly cut ring grip. A no-frills grip that will stand the test of time, and provide consistency wherever the dart is held. The groves are equally spaced, with the grip feeling similar to a Purist style grip, popularised by the likes of Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson.

The barrels have been coated in a rainbow PVD coating, similar to that of the Mission Ryan Joyce darts. In fact, the Joyce darts and the O’Shea darts draw an awful lot of parallels – it seems at a glance only the barrel shape differs, with the grip and coating almost identical.

The darts are 90% tungsten, and come supplied with a 32mm standard black point – however if John’s Mission darts are like his Superdarts, they’re not designed to be used with them. John has always designed his darts with a longer point in mind, which affects the way the dart is balanced, and how the darts fly.

I personally repointed the darts when I tested them, equipping the tapered Mission Sniper points John was using at the time, and it was a vast improvement over the setup with the standard point. 

The rest of the supplied setup features a purple Mission Sabre shaft, and Mission John O’Shea flight. The darts are available in weights of 22g, 24g and 26g in steel-tip, and 20g in soft-tip. The steel-tip sets are all 50.8mm in length, however vastly differ in width depending on the weight.

The 22g’s are 7.05mm, the 24g’s are 7.4mm and the 26g’s are 7.9mm. The dimensions of the soft-tip set are 48mm in length, and 6.6mm in width – shorter, and thinner than their steel-tip counterparts.

Price wise, these will set you back £54.95, which I feel is more than fair for a coated, player branded dart. They are available from most reputable darts retailers. 


Words: Joe Reid

Grab the current print Issue 584 here  or a 50th Anniversary Darts World bundle 581 here 

The Darts World 50 limited edition dart set is available to order (Here) in your choice of pack.


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