Monday, January 17, 2011

Outside fun: Swarmfire + Speedload 6 battle tests

Our man in the field, Neil from the Canberra + Southern NSW Dart Tag crew, Photo courtesy of A.G
It's all very well that we're showing you the latest new and upcoming blasters, but how do they perform in "real" world situations? If you're wanting more than just info on what goes on in my apartment, you'll be happy to know that today's post is brought to you by the friendly folks at the Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag crew; Neil's very much the man in the know when it comes to organising outdoor wars and has graciously taken the time to write up his experiences with the upcoming Nerf Dart Tag Swarmfire and the Speedload 6. How does he fare? Check it after the jump.

Swarmfire + Speedload 6's. Neil's Haul
In the first 'Squad Deathmatch' game I decided to roll with the Swarmfire and a holstered Speedload 6 as back up. I - like many of you out there - tend to use modified blasters. In my case that's my much-loved LongStrike with all the usual mods and a custom spring....yes I thought I heard a gasp of horror from the LongShot enthusiasts out there...

So bearing in mind I was using stock blasters for the game it took me a little while to adjust to the difference in 'effective engagement distance'. In this case as I was outgunned by many of my opponents in distance and power, the Swarmfire became a 'suppression weapon' - or as I like to say: 'keeping people honest'. It was very much a case of once I was out of darts dropping the 'Swarmy' (gently-they still cost a bit!) and going straight to the 'Speedloader'.
Photo courtesy of A.G
For the other rounds of Squad Deathmatches, and the subsequent Elimination/Survivor rounds I dual-wielded 2 Speedload 6's. Yes, you CAN dual-wield - but first things first - performance! For 'straight-outta-da-box' blasters the performance is impressive. As I have mentioned here on the blog before, the dart is chambered right in the front of the barrel, thus cutting down the distance the dart has to travel internally. This gives the Speedloaders some nice 'punch' and range. I hate to think what its going to be like when someone modifies it ;-)

I carried an ammo pouch with me stuffed with Dart Tag darts, so reloading on the move is quite easy with the built-in magazine design of the blasters. And of course thanks to this feature it's actually a 7-shot rather than a 6-shot. Rack the slide to chamber a dart and you can slip another one into the load feeder no problems. Dual-wielding these bad boys is quite easy thanks to the design of the cocking slide. There is a depression and lip on the cocking slide which means you can rack the slide with your wrist whilst still holding onto both blasters without any problems. I have to say (and insert fanboy trolling here), stalking your opponent through the trees with 1 of these chunky muthas in each hand makes you feel seriously bad ass!

So to summarise:

The Swarmfire IS an impressive piece of kit. Rate of fire is as good as the Stampede and distances are similar. On the down side, your opponents can see your dart load due to the design, and as happened at the event your opponents wait until you're out of darts and move in. Personally, I think it would be a great blaster for Humans v Zombies games for thinning out the horde before you move to your secondary blaster. It's a tactic that is tried and tested with blasters like the Stampede and MagStrike. A note of caution though - many HvZ events held at universities and colleges don't allow you to use Dart Tag darts. It's a safety issue first and foremost. The darts are a little heavier and the velcro tips are very unfriendly to eyes! Switch to whisters or suctions and get stuck in!

The Speedload 6 is my new favourite blaster. The design, the performance and the look of it makes it a winner. It will fire whistlers and suction darts as well (bearing in mind my comments about HvZ and Dart Tag darts above), but whisters have a tendency to fall out of the barrel if they are anything *but* brand new. I had better luck with the painted 'camo' whistlers. As far as Nerf Wars are concerned, I think once these are released we will see a lot out there holstered up as 'secondaries'. And a word about holsters for these.......they need to be big! I'm using a small multi-purpose 'tent bag' which does the trick.
Until next time folks! Pic courtesy of A.G

Neil *out*.


  1. Can't wait to see those bad boys in Wagga on the 29th!!

  2. I was right. I knew it. The speedload is badass.

    Can't wait to get me one.

  3. What?were's the token hot half naked chick for this post? get your kit off neil :-P

  4. yeah the speedload does look pretty cool and yeah what he said before my stock longstrike gets 30 feet and my stock longshot gets 20 max


  5. These guns continue to look better and better. Any ideas on launch dates? ...any?

  6. how did you manage to get two speedload 6's
    and the ammo???? and and is it possible to show us the packaging it comes in?????????

  7. Unfortunately I didn't get mine with any packaging other than the darts and in some cases, a manual. I'd guess Neil would have been the same.

    To be honest, the blasters aren't hard to get, they're just expensive and not readily available in your local Target just yet. They do float around on eBay all the time; as exclusive as we'd like to be, we're not the only ones who have them. As with everything, if you want it bad enough, you can get it, just depends what you're willing to do to get it:)