900 Global: Bullet Train

by Bob Johnson 0

53.5 Hook 15 Length 16 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “The new Bullet Train features the strongest 900 Global shell we have produced (S79), wrapped around our Combustion Core and finished at our (NEAT process) 2500-grit A finish,” says Eric Thomas of 900 Global. “The Bullet Train has a stronger shell than that of the Freight Train [August 2012]. To harness that energy, we lowered the differential quite a bit. This pairing will produce a very strong, controllable mid-lane reaction with plenty of continuation on a variety of conditions, including your typical house shot as well as longer and high-volume tournament conditions.”

Core Design: The modified symmetrical Combustion core has a 2.55 RG and a .040 differential. This lower-flaring core produced a conservative 4.5 inches of flare. The taller shape produced some early lane lope, with the revs picking up steam near the midlane and beyond.

Coverstock: 900 Global produces some of the stronger cover formulas available today. The S79 formula is the company’s strongest yet. The hybrid mix of plum and copper pearl is factory sanded with 2500 grit from the neAt system of sanding grits. Response time is quick off friction, and oil traction is slightly above average. The Ra is 5.5. The surface grit is 3400. (Ed. Note: You may notice we spell “neAt” with varying capitalization. 900 Global capitalizes the letter of the predominant sanding pad used from its NEAT system for a particular ball, so this ball has the “A” finish.)

Test Results: The earlier editions in the Train line (Train, February 2012, and Freight Train, August 2012) proved worthy of their premium price points. Both created above-average traction in oil and displayed very good continuation and pin carry. The Bullet Train expands the motion range shape with a longer and slightly more angular down-lane reaction. The 2500-grit hybrid cover clears the fronts and midlane more easily. Its quicker response off the friction improves the entry angle, which is needed as oil patterns break down. Our pin carry actually improved as we experienced more transition and chased the pattern inside. We saw only moderate sensitivity with over/under ball reaction.

When to Use: The Bullet Train matched up great on fresh medium-volume patterns and on heavier oil volumes after some breakdown had taken place. Speed-dominant types may prefer the Train or Freight Train, with the higher flaring cores they share, when facing heavier oil. The Bullet Train will complement them on lesser volumes and among the higher rev rate types. When polished, the Bullet Train took on the personality of a powerful skid/flip product, showcasing an added 3 feet of length.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.