I expected to find this unusual crossbow at some point under the "Huntsman" branding, but while wandering the toy section at Walmart, I found it with other "The Corps!" toys. For $10. Why not buy it for science?
Preparing the Swiftstrike is easy. First, the bow arms are on a rotating piece. Line that up correctly.
Then, press these buttons in, and you can extend the arms to their firing position. The arms actually have more room to move, but there isn't a third hole for the metal pins to rest in.
And you're ready to go! Notice that there is no trigger - this is a pull and release blaster. Although I imagine it wouldn't be very difficult to add some sort of trigger.
The dart sits in a tiny barrel, with a very loose fit. These plastic weighted darts can go about 50 ft max using a stock blaster. Angled, of course; shooting level was pretty disappointing.
Performance? Nothing to write home about. Normal Nerf and Buzz Bee darts performed WORSE - they fit too tight into the launcher/on the peg, so the friction at their point of maximum velocity hurts the ranges. Imagine trying to launch a water balloon catapault, but the balloon is overfilled to the point of being wedged into the cradle. The catapault will fire, but the extra force required to actually separate the projectile from its cradle has to come from somewhere.
Ideally, I can see replacing the current barrel with a very loose barrel material (and about 2.5" of it) to accommodate most darts, and to launch them all properly. The elastic band powering this is decent, but it should be easy to add a bungee or three. Finally, the elastic could be BEHIND the dart launcher. That would allow a longer acceleration time by an inch or so, since the launcher has to be pulled back that much more.
Ultimately, this all depends on the durability of the plastic. We'll see!