Brunswick LT-48 Ball Review
By Tina Marie Caouette
Before I get into the heart of my review please take a moment to look over my Drill Sheet as well as the picture of the layout. I use these sheets for my records. If you have any questions please feel free to post them below and I will try to answer them as soon as I can. Also, keep in mind that what works for me may not necessarily work for you. Please consult a qualified Pro Shop or Coach to help customize a layout for your game. Initial test was done on a typical house shot, however I did throw a few on a longer modified house shot as well and will additionally add my thoughts.
My personal specs:
PAP: 4 ¾” over 1/8” up.
Speed: 18-19 MPH
Rev Rate: 325-350 (Tweener)
Dual Angle Drilling: 45 x 3 ¾ x 35
When I decided to drill this LT-48 it was for a charity event on wood lanes. Knowing how dry they were last year I felt this ball would be clean through the front and not over read the backend.
The LT-48 was released February 6, 2194 and is a modern version of the old, yet reliable classic. If you grew up in the 80’s you had one of these in your bag! However, gone are your grandfathers full rollers and with today’s game this remake has made it once again to being a staple to have in your bag.
Now for all that technically stuff! This was an average pin about 2 1/2” so we were able to do what I wanted to do with the drilling angles. The numbers for the drill are 45 x 3 ¾ x 35. This got the pin up and at about a 45 to my ring finger; a very similar position to by Burgundy Ringer, which I love! The ball has 3/4” side and zero finger/thumb weight. I tested the ball before drilling a weight hole to see which quadrant we wanted the hole. Now keep in mind my PAP is 4 ¾” over and a 1/8” up. We used a 7/8 size bit for a weight hole on the VAL but dropped it down ½ inches that got the ball to go a touch earlier yet kept the overall shape.
The reason for this layout, which is an aggressive layout for this ball, was based on a few conversations with other staffers who threw this ball up at the Nationals and loved it.
I will say that I was amazed at how much this ball hooked even on a house shot with the Ice Oil. In fact, a few people who did throw it up at the Nationals actually said it did hook a bit much with a slower ball speed. Now this layout did give me a very consistent roll and look to the pocket even with my higher ball speed. It allowed me to stay in front of it and play down the boards, which with most high-end equipment was a no-no. Although this is ranked on hook potential as 120 out of 250, I would say with this layout it reacted more in the 160 range. Again, a slower ball speed might find this number go up if you play outside the track area into the higher friction on a typical house shot.
The cover is a classic Black Solid with the new 3C reactive coverstock. Brunswick describes it as a special low friction coverstock formulation, which I agree with if it finds oil but on a lower volume or on a slightly walled house shot this ball will surprise you on the over hook potential. I agree that this 3C reactive coverstock produces enhanced control, consistency and carry on a variety of lane conditions. It is not jerky off the end of the pattern as you sometimes see with a weaker cover. If you do roll it slow, it might go earlier than you would think and if you are a high rev player, I will say you might still play deeper than you would think with this ball. Those that are tweeters might find they will require attention to the layout as on a typical house shot, they might find a bit of over/under early but this is a great ball to pull out when the transition hits, especially up front.
I first tried the ball on a typical house shot and was surprised. What I was surprised at was not how clean it was up front thanks to the Royal Shine Finish, but how it opened the back part of the lane. Normally when you try to make a ball clean up front, you get inconstant reads at the break point. This ball actually created area at the break point and the amount of kinetic energy stored and expressed when it connected with the pins was unexpected from such a weaker ball. I did find that this ball allowed me (lefty) to move my feet left and actually play right down the five board. Again, this was on a typical house shot with Ice oil.
Now, the reason for this ball as mention above was for a wood house with a much drier pattern. I have to say I was very surprised at how well this ball worked on a really, really dry wood shot. I thought it might burn up early or hook early and hit very flat. I was actually able to come around it and open up the shot even with a fried front end. It never lost an ounce of power and was extremely clean through the front even as it made a huge break off the end of the pattern. I might add though players with high rev rates and slower ball speeds might have found even this ball too much. Again, it is much stronger than it looks. I would say drilling it with a weaker layout would help.
The second time I tried this ball was on a much flatter pattern with a bit more volume. Now my ball speed was a factor here and the ball went a lot longer. A higher rev player should be able to play a bit straighter even on the right side. Those with speed or lack of rev might find as the volume of oil goes up or the length gets farther down the lane this ball needs to go back into the bag. I did try a bunch of surfaces on the ball from 4000 down to 180 Abralon. I would highly recommend not going down with surface past 1500 even on a heavier pattern. The ball seemed to jump early but finished flat. The best look I had on dry to medium patterns was 1500 and up as well as keeping the Royal Shine on the cover.
If you were a fan of the old LT-48 you will be a fan of the new one. Just remember this ball is for Typical House Shots playing the track and out as well as short or lighter volume patterns. High rev players will like this later as the transition hits as it will allow them to stay in the track area longer. Slower ball speed bowlers will like the length as well as how well this ball maintains energy for the backend. Overall, I am glad I have this in the bag as I now use it as a base line for most house shots.
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