Arsenal Firearms (not to be confused with Arsenal Inc, makers of the AK-style firearms imported into the US) is probably best known for their double-barreled 1911 they came out with a couple years ago. And while we’ve pretty much written that off as a gimmicky publicity stunt, they were back at IWA this year showing off their brand new Strike One handguns. And when I say “new,” I mean “new to the US market” . . .
The Strike One has been out since 2012, and it’s seen as the top choice for the next service handgun of the Russian armed forces. Heck, it’s even featured in that insane video Robert posted a couple days ago. And there’s a good reason: the ergonomics are better than a Glock. The gun isn’t exactly tiny, but the svelte styling and extremely low bore axis makes it an appealing option for those looking to take multiple shots very quickly. And thanks to the fairly unique locking system I’ve been informed that the accuracy and reliability should be superb.
On this handgun, the barrel doesn’t tilt. The gun uses a separate locking mechanism that slides down to allow the barrel and slide to unlock, and while the barrel still moves backwards a bit there’s no vertical movement. That allows Arsenal to design a feeding system where the next round glides cleanly into the chamber instead of being manhandled up a feed ramp and possibly jamming along the way. According to Arsenal, the bullet is already far enough inside the chamber by the time it clears the feed lips on the magazine that malfunctions are practically nonexistent.
The low bore axis permitted by this system means that there’s less felt recoil and it will be faster to get back on target after firing a round, something highly prized by competition shooters.
The only downside at the moment is the trigger. It’s nice and crisp, but a touch heavy and lacking a good solid reset. The guys at the booth said that the guns they had were R&D versions, and the finished products will be much improved. Rest assured we’ve been promised a couple guns to test and confirm these claims as soon as they clear customs.
While the gun is only available in the black polymer in Russia, the guns being designed for the US market include an all-aluminum frame version (the blue one above) as well as other colors and materials. They’re marketing these guns specifically to compete against Glock and other competition handguns, and if all of their claims are accurate then they might give the Plastic Fantastic a run for its money.
I like the way it feels. But the proof will be in the way it runs. Stay tuned.