Bowler Ratings

PatternStTwCr
Oily:999
Medium:887
Dry:NANANA
Sport:777

Bowler ratings are from 1 to 10 in order of Stroker (ST), Tweener (TW), Cranker (CR)

General Info

Coverstock Specs
Name:N-Forcer
Type:Reactive Pearl
Box Finish:500 SiaAir / Crown Factory Compound
Color:Black / Orange / Light Blue Pearl
Empty
Core Specs
Name:Hitman Low RG Asymmetric
Type:Asymmetrical
RG:2.524
Diff:0.050
Int. Diff:0.020

The Hitman is the latest high performance release from DV8 and, unlike the Pitbull and Pitbull Growl that came before it at this price point, it features a pearlized coverstock. The N-Forcer cover comes out of the box at a 500 SiaAir with Crown Factory Compound finish that easily pushes it farther down the lane than any DV8 high performance release since the Grudge Pearl. On the inside, this ball features the new Hitman Low RG Asymmetric core design that gives it an RG of 2.524″, a total differential of 0.050″, and an intermediate differential of 0.020″. Thanks in part to its pearlized coverstock, our testers all agreed that the Hitman had more length and more back end motion than both the original Pitbull and the Pitbull Growl.

Even though it clears the front of the lane easier than the Pitbull releases, the Hitman is still strong enough to handle heavier volume patterns. All three of our testers enjoyed their reactions on our fresh heavy oil test pattern. Their angles were tighter through the front of the lane, but they all saw a sharper motion off the breakpoint because of the Hitman’s pearlized cover with Crown Factory Compound box finish. While the Pitbull and the Growl provided more traction through the oil, the Hitman gave us more hold in the center of the lane. This ball’s amount of total hook is still plenty for lower rev testers, even on heavier patterns. Stroker was able to play up the oil line around the 12 board, allowing the back end of the Hitman to get it back to the pocket. Tweener played a few boards left of Stroker with his feet, but fed his ball to the same spot at the end of the pattern. Cranker was crossing just right of the middle arrow and getting his ball out to the 10 board at the breakpoint. Bowlers looking for a stronger change of direction at the breakpoint would want to start with the Hitman over the Pitbulls, or ball down into the Hitman when the Pitbulls start to burn up too early. We had enough traction from the Hitman to leave it at its box finish for the entire testing session on this pattern.

Our medium test pattern was best for Stroker and Tweener with the box finish. Their lower rev rates allowed them to see plenty of skid before their balls broke to the pocket. The amount of hold they saw compared to the duller-finished Grudges and both Pitbull releases was even more noticeable on this pattern. Tweener played just inside the third arrow, with Stroker four boards to the right. They both wanted to keep their balls just inside the range finder downlane for the best entry angle into the pocket. When they started to creep high as the lane transitioned, they could make small 1-and-1 moves left with their feet to get their balls back in the hole. Cranker saw much more total hook and had to get much farther left on the fresh. He found the Hitman to be more useable on this pattern than either of the Pitbulls, but he still had to cover a lot of boards on the fresh. He actually preferred the Vandal Strike on this pattern because of his higher rev rate. He ended up adding Crown Factory Polish to his ball to take out some of the overall hook and was able to improve his reaction to what Stroker and Tweener had.

The Hitman is a viable option on medium volume sport patterns, like the one we test on. The box finish allowed all three testers to stay straighter through the front of the lane and closer to the outside boards. With the smooth compounded box finish, they had to be careful not to leak their balls too far right and hit the out of bounds area that the Pitbulls were dull enough to still recover from. As the pattern transitioned and the Pitbulls started to burn up because of their dull box finishes, the Hitman retained more angle for the back of the lane and had better pin carry.

Performance Ratings

NameValueComments
Torque7.5
The Hitman is more angular than the two Pitbulls that came before it. The new core and core make the Hitman closer at the breakpoint to the Grudge line than the Pitbulls.
Length14
The 500 SiaAir with Crown Factory Compound box finish gives the Hitman more length than either Pitbull. This extra length allows the Hitman to retain more energy for the breakpoint.
Back End17.5
The Hitman provides more recovery than either Pitbull in the DV8 high performance line. With the Grudge series being discontinued, the Hitman fills the gap for bowlers looking for more back end reaction.
Total Hook54
While the Hitman will have a sharper hook off the dry than the Pitbulls, it will not cover as many total boards. When the Pitbull series is too early, too smooth, or has too much hook, the Hitman is ready to take care of business.

Strengths

The new pearlized N-Forcer cover provides a combination of traction and angularity. We liked how much better this ball retained energy on the heavy and medium patterns compared to the Pitbull releases.

Weaknesses

This ball will struggle on short low volume patterns. We had the best reaction when there was oil in the front of the lane to push the Hitman easily to the breakpoint.

Overall Summary

The Hitman will be the ball that replaces the Grudge series in motion. This ball uses a new cover and a new core to be more responsive at the friction than both the Pitbull and the Pitbull Growl.

Additional DV8 Hitman Resources

Click here to visit DV8's website to read the manufacturer-supplied information on this ball. Also, see below for the manufacturer-produced promotional video for this ball.

Please remember that our reviews are solely based on our own test results and that you may sometimes find discrepancies between our comments / ratings and the manufacturer's claims. Links to these manufacturer resources are provided here strictly for convenience purposes.

The BTM Ball Testing Team

About The BTM Ball Testing Team

The BTM Ball Testing Team is led by Eric Martinez. Our team of three testers has thrown and reviewed hundreds of bowling balls for Bowling This Month. When not testing balls for BTM, Eric owns and operates University Pro Shop in San Antonio, TX and he is an avid competitive bowler. Click here to learn more about how we test and review bowling balls.