Hammer Arson

by Bob Johnson 0

50 Hook 14 Length 15 Breakpoint Shape

Core Design: The Sauce symmetric core shape has a medium RG of 2.50 and a 5” flaring Diff value of .045. This all-purpose design incorporates a smooth midlane with continuation downlane.

Coverstock: The Max Hook Hybrid reactive coverstock is finished with 800, 1k and 2k Abralon. Colors are a manly mix of reds, black and silver. Response time off drier boards was moderate, and oil traction came in at slightly above average.
Manufacturer’s Intent: Jeff Ussery, Hammer Brand Manager, said this: “The Arson uses our new Max-Hook hybrid coverstock in combination with our Hot Sauce Pearl core to create our biggest hooking mid-price ball since the Raw Hammer Jacked. Arson gives the bowler strong mid-lane with big continuation on heavy oil.”
Test Results: Here’s yet another benchmark ball design this month. The hybrid cover formula is always a plus as it tends to clear the fronts easily while creating a friendlier read through carrydown. In fact, the Arson handled carrydown very well as the oil pattern broke down, forcing us to play deeper inside angles. We were pleasantly surprised the Arson was able to make the corner on many of the test patterns, despite its even roll characteristics. All in all, we felt the Arson was not very condition specific, and the core/cover match-up seemed perfect. Lower grits (500-1000) created an earlier motion and good downlane continuation. High polishing created moderate skid/flip tendencies and worked best on the lighter oil patterns only.

When to Use: With box 2000 grit, the Arson matches up fine on most medium to medium-heavy oil. The ball can handle multiple angles of attack if given the hand action required to create such a look. Lower rev players may prefer pins located above the fingers to help quicken the reaction off drier areas. Higher rev rates can use either pin location. Our favorite all-purpose layout had the pin just above the ring finger at 4.5” from the PAP. The Arson is a great choice to stabilize one’s arsenal; it will tell you quite a bit about an oil pattern’s shape and volume.

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.