Hammer Gauntlet Fury Bowling Ball Review

The Gauntlet Unleashes Some Fury…

Hammer Gauntlet Fury Bowling Ball

First Impressions
I was hoping the Fury is a step up from the Black Widow Gold. We’ve come to really enjoy the Semtex cover so this was all coming down the the core. What I can say definitively is that the Gauntlet core offers a unique shape to the Gold offering a nice compliment. For some, it will be much more, for some similar strength. More on that later.

Our Testers:
Tamer Elbaga (Lefty)
RPM: 380 rpm
PAP: 5 & 3/8 up
Average Speed: 18 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: low
Axis rotation: medium
Test Equipment: 14 Pounds
Layout: 55 x 5 x 70
Intent: Medium/slower roll with a slower transition at the breakpoint

CJ Costa (Righty)
Style: Rev Dominant
RPM: 450 rpm
PAP 4 7/8 & 5/8 up
Average Speed: 18 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: low
Axis rotation: medium
Layout: 15 x 5 x 65
Test Equipment: 15 Pounds
Intent: Quick roll and slower transition

Sean Jensen (Righty)
Style: Power player
RPM: 475 rpm
PAP: 4 3/4; 3/8 up
Average Speed: 19 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: low
Axis rotation: medium
Test Equipment: 14 Pounds
Layout: 55 x 5 x 80
Intent: Medium/long roll with a medium transition at the breakpoint

Bryan Hoffman (Righty)
Style: Higher Tilt Stroker
RPM: 280 rpm
PAP: 4 1/4 & 1/8 down
Average Speed: 17.5 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: high
Axis rotation: medium
Test Equipment: 14 Pounds

Thanks to Greg Bickta and Perfect Aim Pro Shop for drilling our equipment.
Thanks to Limerick Bowl in Limerick, PA.

Buy the Hammer Gauntlet Fury at PerfactAimBowling.com.

“Keep in mind that coverstock accounts for 70% of ball reaction, but the core creates the dynamic shape of the reaction. Your driller will alter the shape to suit your game.”

Test Pattern:
THS: 40ft, 26ml
Sport: 46ft, 24.5 ml, 3:1 ratio

Value: B
The Hammer Gauntlet Fury is a high end piece and I think balancing what we saw with it’s cost yields a decent value score. It will be pretty usable on medium conditions.

Specs
The Hammer Gauntlet Fury uses the Gauntlet asymmetric core inside the Semtex Pearl CFI reactive coverstock.
15 pound = RG of 2.50, diff of .050, Int Diff of .012
14 pound = RG of 2.51, diff of .053, Int Diff of .012

Overall
THS: B
Sport: B-

On paper, the Hammer Gauntlet Fury should be really close to the Black Widow Gold. Hammer claims a small cover advantage on the Fury and a small core advantage on the Black Widow Gold. Since the covers are virtually identical between the 2 balls, we can solely focus on core dynamics and shape to affect ball motion.
The Gauntlet Fury is clean as you would expect from this cover, no surprises there. But the perceived length is a little different between the Fury and Black Widow Gold. Fury core seems to have a quicker transition at the hook phase showing its asymmetric motion earlier so it looks like it stands up more and earlier than the Gold. The Gold goes through a smoother transition and doesn’t really appear to have its asymmetric setting motion until much closer to the pins. These are finer points but really where I see the differentiation between the 2 balls.

I’m up first and it was pretty easy to toss this rock on the house shot. The Fury’s pearl coverstock allows it to hold somewhat from in and make it back from out. Since it sets a bit earlier than the Gold, you can see some variations of pocket entry. The Gold blends the pocket entry a little more, again due to its smooth booming hook phase and later core “set” or stand up. They covered the same amount of boards for me so it will really depend on the look I want.

CJ is next and the Fury looked great for him. Honestly, the Fury made what is a heavier volume pattern look almost light. He has a higher rev rate and the Fury transitioned much quicker and more aggressively for him. He found himself playing between 5th and 6th arrow to hold pocket and his entry was very consistent with a driving continuous motion. The flip was very aggressive so he had to make sure he got the ball out as misses in really had zero chance to hold. And before you get too hung up about layout, remember that layout within this range are really likely to affect 5% or less of ball reaction so just about fine tuning. The ball motion is the ball motion. Comparatively, his Black Widow was so smooth it looked lazy off the spot compared to how aggressive his Gauntlet Fury was. His Gold has been well used so less board coverage and angularity is expected but even if you checked out the original video, you will see that the Gold was never this aggressive for him. Much clearer differentiation for CJ than I saw.
CJ also tested on the burn and honestly, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference. He’s playing an area that most bowlers aren’t using but the built in friction in the track means he could miss out even further and still have the ball come back where misses in still have no chance of holding. That tells me that the ball would hold up for CJ for many games in a session and still be quite effective.

Sean’s next and he didn’t have a lot of trouble making a pearl asym work. It’s starting to sound like a broken record. He starts out with a weaker release to go up the boards and the ball shapes nicely. It makes a later but smooth transition. Once he used a stronger release and moved in, he saw some over/under. Sometimes the ball just too easily glides through the oil, leaking to the outside without recovery. Sometimes it bites strong. You also see the hook set motion of the asym. Some surface would probably cure these ills.

Bryan was next and realizing he needed to get pretty square with such a clean ball, he had no trouble getting to the pocket. He had a pretty good look to the pocket going quite direct. At times he had some deflection which isn’t surprising when you match up a pearl asym with Bryan’s game on a heavier pattern but he still struck. This would probably be better suited as a stepdown ball or less volumes where Bryan can see more shape out of the ball. By contrast, on the same line the Black Widow Gold went through the face so Bryan saw more motion out of the Gold.

On to the 46ft Sport pattern, I really didn’t have much trouble getting to the pocket. The clean pearl cover really didn’t make the reaction as over/under as I would have expected for me. The ball is of course clean and this length of pattern allowed the ball to get further downlane and still have good punch off the end of the pattern. Compared to the original Gauntlet, as you would guess the original controls the midlane much more which ultimately is beneficial on a longer pattern. On the same line, the Fury is more snappy going through the heart.

Sean was next. Again, he preferred the simplicity of being able to go up the boards with a weaker hand position. It offered good control taking advantage of the clean cover and downlane movement of the Fury. He also moved in with stronger hand but the ball was really too clean for him and it just wanted to push through the mids too much. A touch of surface would probably cure these ills.

Finally Bryan tests the Gauntlet Fury on the 46ft sport shot. He also found quite an easy line to the pocket but from further in, there isn’t enough friction so the ball does deflect a bit through the pins. Bryan is accurate enough to get it working but for his style, less volume or a shorter pattern would be a better match up. Again to contrast against the Black Widow Gold on the same line, you can see how much harder it drove through the pins for him.

Final Thoughts
We saw varying motion from the Gauntlet Fury depending on the tester. CJ saw a really strong ball with a very strong flip down lane and much stronger ball than his Black Widow Gold. I saw a moderately strong pearl asym which is pretty close to my Black Widow Gold but a different shape. Bryan our stroker saw a very clean motion needing more friction to be effective while seeing more motion from his Gold. In the end, this is an interesting piece that seems to offer varying reaction to different style bowlers and not just “relative” reaction based on the rev rate. Personally, I like the motion and see it as a compliment to the Black Widow Gold when I feel like I want to see a variation in ball motion but same board coverage.

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