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  • The Phantom 4 gripper

    For those who have interest in the subject ( deserves its own thread) , all details are on this link:

    http://www.gripboard.com/index.php?s...414&hl=phantom

    " Interesting data. The only grippers available in 1991 from Ironmind were the 1,2,3. ...A much harder,larger similar looking item to the 3.. What would you have "called it"?. Remember the official #4 was not available until several years later. Of the 41 grippers PDA randomly tested for me (John Syzmanski) doing all calibrations of mine and others that day. It seemed like a well thought out digital device that held the grippers straight and tested in inch pounds the closing force to shut the gripper on the end of the handle. The Phantom was randomly checked 11 times that day and never varied but a few inch pounds. Several number #4 "of the day" were tested with lower readings. Grip stalwarts Rich and Tex the only 3.5 official certified gripmen I know say(without knowing what it was) the Phantom is tougher than the 3.5 s they have felt or closed. I did purchase a Calibration device from Chris Rice and asked him first to check that it was functioning properly. I tested a few recent #3s and they were very uniform right at the 150 mark. (We checked the weights used in the calibration as well) My old 527#3 I first certed on was in the low 160's and the Phantom around 186 as I recall but I didn't bother to retest it. The #4 we have here which just scares everyone away (even Rich and Tex was a very high number of 224) I did the testing to gain some personal knowlege no more no less. I would be glad for Chris to come by any time and re check my findings as I know him to be a fair and just man. I am very pleased with the fit finish and accuracy of grippers today they are a fine tool. The grippers I shut are real, the standard of what was available at the time and are a part of the evolution of grip history.Thanks for everyone's thoughtful insight . RS "

  • #2
    Originally posted by Sam Scott View Post
    For those who have interest in the subject ( deserves its own thread) , all details are on this link:

    http://www.gripboard.com/index.php?s...414&hl=phantom

    " Interesting data. The only grippers available in 1991 from Ironmind were the 1,2,3. ...A much harder,larger similar looking item to the 3.. What would you have "called it"?. Remember the official #4 was not available until several years later. Of the 41 grippers PDA randomly tested for me (John Syzmanski) doing all calibrations of mine and others that day. It seemed like a well thought out digital device that held the grippers straight and tested in inch pounds the closing force to shut the gripper on the end of the handle. The Phantom was randomly checked 11 times that day and never varied but a few inch pounds. Several number #4 "of the day" were tested with lower readings. Grip stalwarts Rich and Tex the only 3.5 official certified gripmen I know say(without knowing what it was) the Phantom is tougher than the 3.5 s they have felt or closed. I did purchase a Calibration device from Chris Rice and asked him first to check that it was functioning properly. I tested a few recent #3s and they were very uniform right at the 150 mark. (We checked the weights used in the calibration as well) My old 527#3 I first certed on was in the low 160's and the Phantom around 186 as I recall but I didn't bother to retest it. The #4 we have here which just scares everyone away (even Rich and Tex was a very high number of 224) I did the testing to gain some personal knowlege no more no less. I would be glad for Chris to come by any time and re check my findings as I know him to be a fair and just man. I am very pleased with the fit finish and accuracy of grippers today they are a fine tool. The grippers I shut are real, the standard of what was available at the time and are a part of the evolution of grip history.Thanks for everyone's thoughtful insight . RS "

    All -

    I'd like to remind everyone that I support the guiding principle voiced by Bill and Matt on the Gripboard of not taking a (heated) discussion from one board and bringing it to another—my primary concern about this is that I think the principals should always engage directly if possible, rather than sniping from behind their favorite bushes.

    Clearly, there is a lot of information about how the strength of the so-called Phantom 4 gripper has been grossly exaggerated and it's also true that while IronMind always believed Richard Sorin when he told me that he'd closed it, we never received any supporting evidence, so I can see why (especially given the attention paid to Joe Kinney's certification on the Captains of Crush No. 4 gripper) this topic has such interest to grip history–performance buffs.

    So, if this discussion can take place without violating the principle mentioned above, I'd say have at it, but otherwise, please pursue it over on the Gripboard.

    Comment


    • #3
      Sam,

      If we are to believe the test results reported by sorin, (you really shouldn't) we are faced with the following:

      Sorin claims his Fantasy 4 gripper tested out @ 186 lbs.
      Sorin claims his fantasy gripper rated higher than all the CoC #4 grippers tested. Bull$#!+
      Sorin claims all the CoC #4s rated 185# or less. More bull$#!
      Sorin claims “My old 527#3 I first certed on was in the low 160's ...” = A Coc #3 @ 160+ lbs.
      Sorin claims to have a CoC #4 that tests out @ 224 lbs.

      Using the numbers provided by sorin, he claims to have a CoC #4 gripper that tests out to be approximately 17.5% stronger than other CoC #4 grippers. (224 for his #4, vs the 185 or less for other #4s “of the day”). Carrying this claimed variation over into the real world, would translate into there being a variation of 17.5% to be found among the CoC grippers available to the rest of us (the mortals). Don't count on it. Remember; we're dealing with fantasy vs. reality, here.

      A CoC #4 advertized at 365 lbs. (IM rating) could, according to sorin, vary as much as 17.5%. This means a CoC #4 should also be available that would test out to be 64 lbs. weaker than the standard. Has anyone ever encountered a CoC #4 that was more than 20 lbs weaker than a CoC 3.5 (301 lbs.)? If such a situation existed, people would be certifying on CoC #4s and bypassing the CoC 3.5, because the 3.5 , going by what sorin's claims, is a very noticeable 20 lbs. stronger than a CoC #4. That's right; it just doesn't make sense.

      Maybe it works better the other way. Has anyone encountered a CoC#3 that was 17.5% stronger than it ought to be? That is to say; a CoC #3 that would test out to be 330 lbs. (tougher than a CoC 3.5) Again, if any of this was true, people would simply bypass the #3, and certify on the easier CoC 3.5, instead.

      The way sorin has this figured is that, everybody else's #4 grippers are weaker than his Fantasy gripper (the other “#4s "of the day” claim). It seems odd to me that the test worked out this way. At the same time, he just happens to have a Coc #4 that “...scares everyone away...”. This 'scary' #4 is claimed to be at least 40 lbs stronger than everybody else's #4. In reality, of course, it's not.

      Part 2 to follow....
      Last edited by Joe Kinney; 08-05-2019, 07:53 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Part 2

        Thirty-three CoC #4 grippers were tested at:
        http://www.gripmonsters.fi/news.php?...tart_from&ucat

        The full range of CoC grippers tested, even including some that were conspicuously identified as “old”, still yielded a variation of less than half of what sorin claims to have witnessed. Notably, six of the CoC #4s tested were stronger than sorin's really scary one. Indeed, a reading of 233.44 lbs. was recorded for one. Eleven CoC 3.5s were tested, as well. None of these were as strong as the weakest #4 tested. sorin claims his Fantasy gripper has the same diameter spring as a 3.5 (of course, his spring is tougher), and that it checked out @ 186 lbs. Well, visit the link posted above. There are Coc 3.5s that came in at more than 186 lbs. and, more importantly, there are no CoC #4s that tested at less than 200 lbs. This idea that sorin's Fantasy gripper is equal to, or tougher than, a CoC #4, simply is not correct.

        The Fantasy 4 is just that – a figment of someone's imagination. It was not designated by its manufacturer as a #4. Nor was it designated by its distributor, IronMind Ent., as a #4. Its strength is on par with the average CoC 3.5, as shown at the link posted above. Despite sorin's claim that he witnessed “several” CoC #4s test weaker than his Fantasy (185#, or less), the test results reflected at the link posted above involve more than 600 grippers, and no such anomalies were discovered, among the 33 CoC #4s grippers tested. Sorin's claim that his fantasy gripper is equal to, or tougher than, a CoC #4 is pure bull$#!+.

        I know a little bit about grippers, and accept the fact that some small variations are to be expected. However, the variations are not so great as to span the differences between the whole numbered CoC grippers. Indeed, looking at the link posted above, showed me that there's not enough variation to even span the gap between the CoC 3.5 and even the oldest, worn-out CoC #4s. Taking the entire evolution of CoC grippers into account, from early models to present day, I still don't believe you'll find a CoC #3, or a CoC 3.5, that's tougher than a CoC #4. That is to say; there are no CoC #4s out there that are weaker than a CoC #3.5. Nor are there any CoC #4s that are weaker than sorin's fantasy gripper. Sorin's gripper, despite its slightly larger than #3 size spring (claimed to be .295”), is not stronger than a CoC#4, and several people have closed CoC #4 grippers. Slim chance any of these #4s would check out at less than 200 lbs. What does this do to sorin's claim that his fantasy gripper is the toughest gripper ever closed? It proves his claim to be false, that's what it does.

        In summary, sorin's fantasy gripper, while interesting and odd, fits squarely into the category of its like-sized cousins, the 3.5s (if the claim of 186# is correct). It's not a #4 or any sort. Nor is it the toughest gripper that's ever been closed.*

        *Then, there's the matter of his witnesses, pictures, and / or video. Without any evidence that sorin ever closed his fantasy gripper, the entire discussion is moot. Interesting, but moot. I find it both amusing, and astonishing, that some people still believe this fantasy 4 fairytale.
        Last edited by Joe Kinney; 04-23-2020, 07:35 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would just say that the slick handles that Mr. Tetting used back then, made it very hard...even with lots of chalk... to get a good set. Makes it hard to take a guess at it's toughness...like some have by comparison. It's a nice gripper that Richard has there, that's for certain.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Robert artmont View Post
            I would just say that the slick handles that Mr. Tetting used back then, made it very hard...even with lots of chalk... to get a good set. Makes it hard to take a guess at it's toughness...like some have by comparison. It's a nice gripper that Richard has there, that's for certain.
            No doubt.
            Last edited by Joe Kinney; 09-16-2014, 06:23 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Robert artmont View Post
              I would just say that the slick handles that Mr. Tetting used back then, made it very hard...even with lots of chalk... to get a good set. Makes it hard to take a guess at it's toughness...like some have by comparison. It's a nice gripper that Richard has there, that's for certain.
              Robert,

              There's no doubt slick handles will make a gripper feel different than one with knurled handles. Remember; I'm the guy who used to put a layer of slick black electrical tape on one handle during training to alleviate the problem of overcoming the friction caused by knurling. I've written before about this on the GOPD thread, at post # 2452:

              “The other factor worthy of our consideration is the resistance presented by the knurling found on the CoC handles. The friction from this knurling, with approximately 365 lbs of pressure being applied by the spring, can be difficult to overcome regardless of how strong the grip man is. Even getting super strong by training on a Monster Gripper does nothing to alleviate the problem of overcoming the friction caused by this knurling. This factor works in favor of your argument, but not nearly enough to give you a win. Not by a long shot.

              It appears to me that this second factor, overcoming the knurling under pressure, is something the 'deep set' crew has figured out. I've watched some videos of 'deep set' closes, and overcoming the knurling, by completely eliminating that part of the challenge, is one of the benefits these guys gain. Of course, I don't think it's proper to eliminate any part of the challenge. To do so damages the sport for others.”

              So, at least in my experience, the aforementioned friction is a factor working against the grip guy when closing heavy grippers. We should now look at this situation from the other side, however, because this subject is about a gripper without knurling. Not being able to quantify the amount of resistance knurling adds to the equation, leaves us without a means of calculating the disadvantage it presents. However, a slick handle at the fingers is most assuredly an advantage, and must be subtracted from the difficulty of grippers such as Sorin's slick handled prototype when making an analysis of its “feel”. At the same time, the lack of knurling on the handle that rests in the heel of the hand presents a disadvantage. I have no way of knowing the ratio at which these two opposing factors offset each other. However, these are things that I consider to be real world advantages and disadvantages one encounters when playing with heavy grippers.

              The ideal situation, in my mind, is sharp knurling on one handle, and the other handle left smooth. To me, such a gripper would be squirrely when held one way, and very secure when held the other way. This is what you get when taping one handle. A grip guy with very well developed thumb pads (and thumb strength) can keep a taped handle, or a slick handle, in place more effectively than folks with 'flat' hands.

              Is the advantage of a smooth handle at the fingers enough to offset the disadvantage of a smooth handle in the heel of the hand? I don't know the answer to this, but I'm certain that the smooth handle at the fingers offers some degree of real world advantage.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Joe Kinney View Post
                Robert, There's no doubt slick handles will make a gripper feel different than one with knurled handles. Remember; I'm the guy who used to put a layer of slick black electrical tape on one handle during training to alleviate the problem of overcoming the friction caused by knurling. I've written before about this on the GOPD thread, at post # 2452: “The other factor worthy of our consideration is the resistance presented by the knurling found on the CoC handles. The friction from this knurling, with approximately 365 lbs of pressure being applied by the spring, can be difficult to overcome regardless of how strong the grip man is. Even getting super strong by training on a Monster Gripper does nothing to alleviate the problem of overcoming the friction caused by this knurling. This factor works in favor of your argument, but not nearly enough to give you a win. Not by a long shot. It appears to me that this second factor, overcoming the knurling under pressure, is something the 'deep set' crew has figured out. I've watched some videos of 'deep set' closes, and overcoming the knurling, by completely eliminating that part of the challenge, is one of the benefits these guys gain. Of course, I don't think it's proper to eliminate any part of the challenge. To do so damages the sport for others.” So, at least in my experience, the aforementioned friction is a factor working against the grip guy when closing heavy grippers. We should now look at this situation from the other side, however, because this subject is about a gripper without knurling. Not being able to quantify the amount of resistance knurling adds to the equation, leaves us without a means of calculating the disadvantage it presents. However, a slick handle at the fingers is most assuredly an advantage, and must be subtracted from the difficulty of grippers such as Sorin's slick handled prototype when making an analysis of its “feel”. At the same time, the lack of knurling on the handle that rests in the heel of the hand presents a disadvantage. I have no way of knowing the ratio at which these two opposing factors offset each other. However, these are things that I consider to be real world advantages and disadvantages one encounters when playing with heavy grippers. The ideal situation, in my mind, is sharp knurling on one handle, and the other handle left smooth. To me, such a gripper would be squirrely when held one way, and very secure when held the other way. This is what you get when taping one handle. A grip guy with very well developed thumb pads (and thumb strength) can keep a taped handle, or a slick handle, in place more effectively than folks with 'flat' hands. Is the advantage of a smooth handle at the fingers enough to offset the disadvantage of a smooth handle in the heel of the hand? I don't know the answer to this, but I'm certain that the smooth handle at the fingers offers some degree of real world advantage.
                Joe- I had those Silver Crush, just like the phantom... and you're correct about slick finger side being an advantage; I always ended up with my fingers sliding around the handle, and getting an advantage over the close... As long as I could keep that palm side solid. IMO, like yours, slick fingers = smooth ride. But, black tape on those old Silver Crush handles, would had been an improvement. I think that's why workout gloves became popular with those old slick chrome plated dumbbells they used to have... Not because of callouses- they were just too slick! Haha

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Robert artmont View Post
                  Joe- I had those Silver Crush, just like the phantom... and you're correct about slick finger side being an advantage; I always ended up with my fingers sliding around the handle, and getting an advantage over the close... As long as I could keep that palm side solid. IMO, like yours, slick fingers = smooth ride. But, black tape on those old Silver Crush handles, would had been an improvement. I think that's why workout gloves became popular with those old slick chrome plated dumbbells they used to have... Not because of callouses- they were just too slick! Haha
                  Hey Robert,

                  It turns out sorin's fantasy gripper has knurled handles after all. Looks like about a 3” spread, too. That’s not the sharpest knurling I've ever seen, but the CoC grippers from the 1990s had dull knurling too, and we all lived through it. So, this thing is essentially the equivalent of a CoC 3.5 with a dopey rating tag tied to it. This is quite a disappointment after all the hype. I don’t believe he ever closed the thing anyway, but I did expect the gripper to be something special.

                  Despite what some might say (or write), this gripper, which sorin claims rates at 186#, with its 3” spread, and knurled handles, is certainly NOT the toughest gripper ever closed.
                  Last edited by Joe Kinney; 08-16-2019, 10:32 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Joe Kinney View Post

                    Hey Robert,

                    It turns out the fantasy gripper has knurled handles after all. Looks like about a 3” spread, too. That’s not the sharpest knurling I've ever seen, but the CoC grippers from the 1990s had dull knurling too, and we all lived through it. So, this thing is essentially the equivalent of a CoC 3.5 with a dopey rating tag tied to it. This is quite a disappointment after all the hype. I don’t believe he ever closed the thing anyway, but I did expect the gripper to be something special.

                    Despite what some might say (or write), this gripper, which sorin claims rates at 186#, with its 3” spread, and knurled handles, is certainly NOT the toughest gripper ever closed.
                    Joe- is there any pictures of Richard closing that gripper? Even on his recertification video I couldn’t see the card set. Did he really do it? Not sure to be honest.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Forgot to quote Robert A. Oops

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Robert artmont View Post

                        Joe- is there any pictures of Richard closing that gripper? Even on his recertification video I couldn’t see the card set. Did he really do it? Not sure to be honest.

                        That video seems to be unavailable these days. I wonder why that is? I’ve seen it before, albeit on a small screen (cell phone). As I recall, the video didn’t show the card setting or a clear view of the handles in the closed position. I’d rather have a grainy video that shows something happening than a nice clear one where the viewer isn't allowed to see anything that matters. They may as well have posted a video of the two of them going into a building, and coming again a few minutes later.
                        If you can find that supposed re-cert video online, please post the link here.

                        Dr. Strossen wrote about the card setting debacle at a few different places on this forum. It’s very amusing stuff. Reading about sorin pushing for an ex post facto amendment to the certification rules made me chuckle. On the GOPD thread, Dr. Strossen, wrote the following:

                        at post #2816

                        “On his recertification attempt, Richard was not able to close the gripper until his referee placed the card for him.”

                        and at post #3146

                        “… … Richard wanted to recertify on the Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper, but then when he could only close it when someone else held the card, he got criticized (on the the Gripboard), panicked and tried to claim that I had told him he could do this [] unfortunately for Richard, he got caught red-handed on that one, but it gives you an idea of how desperate he gets when he feels his status in the grip(per) world is threatened.”

                        and at post #3167

                        “Yes—he kept trying and missing and finally his referee placed the card for him and then he was able to close the gripper,… …” followed by “When Richard was doing a meltdown about the pressure he was facing on the Gripboard, calling IronMind in a panic, I was struck by how preoccupied he was with his little world … …”

                        So, yeah; all in all, sorin’s supposed re-cert is not without its flaws. I still think the guy who placed the card for the king should be awarded half a point for the assist.
                        Last edited by Joe Kinney; 08-04-2019, 10:01 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Robert artmont View Post

                          Joe- is there any pictures of Richard closing that gripper? Even on his recertification video I couldn’t see the card set. Did he really do it? Not sure to be honest.
                          As to whether or not any pictures exist of sorin closing his fantasy gripper, I can tell you this:

                          I was tempted to just write “Of course not!!!”, but this question deserves a more substantive answer.

                          Dr. Strossen has stated on several occasions that sorin never sent any such pictures to IronMind. It gets worse, though. IronMind never received any pictures of sorin’s putative #3 certification, either. So we have this guy, sorin, who supposedly was the first man to close a #3 gripper, but there isn’t even a single photograph of this epic event. Added to the foregoing, sorin also claims to have closed his fantasy gripper. Of course, there aren’t any pictures of that epic event either. What about pictures of sorin supposedly closing #3 with two fingers? Nope - not a single picture. Pathetic.

                          There was a guy, a long time ago, who did really well on grippers. He didn’t own a business. He wasn’t financially well off. Still, he managed to send IronMind a vast array of pictures for his #3 certification, his #4 certification, and closing a #3 with only two fingers – with either hand. It’s just stunning how this guy, a man of little means, could provide more photographic evidence than a king could come up with.
                          Last edited by Joe Kinney; 08-04-2019, 09:32 PM. Reason: Spelling

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Joe Kinney View Post

                            As to whether or not any pictures exist of sorin closing his fantasy gripper, I can tell you this:

                            I was tempted to just write “Of course not!!!”, but this question deserves a more substantive answer.

                            Dr. Strossen has stated on several occasions that sorin never sent any such pictures to IronMind. It gets worse, though. IronMind never received any pictures of sorin’s putative #3 certification, either. So we have this guy, sorin, who supposedly was the first man to close a #3 gripper, but there isn’t even a single photograph of this epic event. Added to the foregoing, sorin also claims to have closed his fantasy gripper. Of course, there aren’t any pictures of that epic event either. What about pictures of sorin supposedly closing #3 with two fingers? Nope - not a single picture. Pathetic.

                            There was a guy, a long time ago, who did really well on grippers. He didn’t own a business. He wasn’t financially well off. Still, he managed to send IronMind a vast array of pictures for his #3 certification, his #4 certification, and closing a #3 with only two finger – with either hand. It’s just stunning how this guy, a man of little means, could provide more photographic evidence than a king could come up with.
                            Well, certainly don’t want to beat a dead horse here....just wondering. I mean, the guy who has come at you, Joe...certainly should be without any questionable closes himself.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Robert artmont View Post

                              Well, certainly don’t want to beat a dead horse here....just wondering. I mean, the guy who has come at you, Joe...certainly should be without any questionable closes himself.

                              No problem. You're quite right that this guy should be unquestionable - above reproach, really. However, that doesn't seem to be the case.
                              The fact that he has so many believers reminds me of a something I heard told to someone years ago. It went something like this:

                              "Boy, it ain't not knowing that's hurtin' ya. It's knowing so much that just ain't so."
                              Last edited by Joe Kinney; 08-03-2019, 11:44 PM.

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