Test: Arsenal Firearms Strike One

The broad-looking slide when viewed in cross-section is not the only conspicuous feature of the Arsenal Firearms Strike One. In fact, everything looks different to what you would expect: unlike the almost ubiquitous Browning-Petter-SIG system (BPS) otherwise found in the polymer pistols frequently maligned as ‘Tupperware guns’, the locking block featured here has a barrel that doesn’t tilt. Moreover, Arsenal Firearms has integrated a novel  trigger safety and a patented ambidextrous magazine release.

The locking block is the centrepiece of the Strike One

The barrel moves just four millimetres straight back during release. In fact, the entire superstructure only travels a relatively short path. 

This mechanism draws on a fork-shaped block moving perpendicularly up and down while slotting from below into a circumferential gap in the breech ring. Two locking surfaces are fitted to the fork’s ‘prongs’, arranged at 90 degrees. They stand form-fitting in front of the rail when the slide is locked. 

Like in the BPS, a retaining pin reaches into a control cam running straight through the foot of the fork. But in this system the barrel does not tilt when the slide moves backwards; instead the locking block moves downward, providing the slide with clear passage through the lowered mechanism. 

The block rises again when the slide moves forward, and its locking surfaces return to their flush position in front of the slide rails. The benefits of this principle: non-tilting, in-line barrels are considered more accurate, as quite logically the exit angle of the discharged projectile does not change. 

Further, the weight of the barrel need not be moved when the slide travels forward and back, which hopefully makes for a less pronounced recoil. The design also does away with the space needed for the barrel to move up and down, enabling its arrangement as far down as possible within the slide – which comes with the benefit of the lowest barrel centre line over hand grip: a great feature for sighting that also makes sure the shells move at a flat angle from the magazine into the chamber. 

Additionally, the Arsenal Firearms design cuts the number of components and therefore the costs. So how does it perform?

Test: Arsenal Firearms Strike One in 9 mm Luger
Arsenal Strike One: The barrel below the slide with the fork piece fitted in front of the locking block and the closed control cam situated at the fork’s lower end. Above it the recoil spring and the frame

The Arsenal Firearms Strike One test

In view of the above, the trigger-frame design can be considered a success. 

There is also a frame end piece on the lower side of the slide that protects the skin against sharp edges. But a feature to adjust the frame is missing (-1 point). 

The handling elements were only fitted on one side of the models we tested (-1 point); the sights are not height-adjustable (-1 point), but the sight image is clear. 

Test: Arsenal Firearms Strike One in 9 mm Luger
Testing the Arsenal Strike One: the rear sight is an extension of the cover plate. The weapon is cocked if a pin is visible
Test: Arsenal Firearms Strike One in 9 mm Luger
Arsenal Strike One: The post front sight with lateral drift comes with a white twilight dot

The trigger with its new safety and its just over 2300 grams of pull discharged well, but with a slight creep (-1 point). 

The more than just acceptable fit between the slide and the frame was a convincing feature of the finishing, but there were a few ‘forgotten’ machining traces on the inside (-1 point). 

The Strike One performed well in terms of accuracy, scoring a best value of 60 millimetres (-11 points), but in terms of chambering/safety did produce one  ejection malfunction and failed to discharge a few rounds (-2 points).

Summary of the Arsenal Firearms Strike One

A smart, sophisticated enrichment to the handgun market. There are a number of versions now available: for instance, Arsenal Firearms presented the sport model Speed with lighter slide at the SHOT Show and the IWA 2015.

Score for the Arsenal Firearms Strike One in 9 mm Luger

Score Points
Precision (max. 50 points)
38 points 
Chambering/safety (max. 10 points)
8 points 
Trigger characteristics (max. 10 points)
9 points
Trigger-frame design (max. 5 points)
4 points  
Handling elements (max. 10 points)
9 points
Sights (max. 5 points)
4 points  
Finishing (max. 10 points)
9 points 
Total score (max. 100 points)
82 points
Test grade
5 out of 6 

Shooting test: Arsenal Firearms Strike One

No.Factory cartridgeGroup sizeV2E2
1.124 grs GECO FMJ SX70 mm365 m/s451 J
2.124 grs GECO Hexagon83 mm335 m/s443 J
3.124 grs Sellier & Bellot FMJ60 mm328 m/s414 J
4.124 grs MEN NATO Ball FMJ78 mm366 m/s538 J
5.147 grs Winchester FMJ65 mm289 m/s

398 J

Note: group size = 5-shot groups, fired at a distance of 25 metres from a sandbag support, stated in millimetres, measured from bullet hole centre to bullet hole centre. V2 = bullet velocity two metres in front of the muzzle, stated in metres per second. E2 = bullet energy two metres in front of the muzzle. FMJ = Full Metal Jacket, SX = SINTOX®, low toxicity

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Arsenal Firearms Strike One

Test: Arsenal Firearms Strike One in 9 mm Luger

€ 700,00
ManufacturerArsenal Firearms
ModelStrike One
Typesemiautomatic pistol
Caliber9x19 mm / 9x21mm IMI - others to follow (including .40 Smith & Wesson and .357 SIG)
ActionSemi-automatic, short-recoil operated, in-line barrel, patented geometric locking block system
Trigger systemSingle action only, patented part pivoting - part sliding transfer bar
SafetiesNone manual; single arc trigger safety, automatic firing pin safety
Capacity17 rounds (15 in some jurisdictions) of 9mm ammunition in double-stack, staggered magazine
Barrel128mm / 5.03"; conventional rifling, six RH grooves, 1 pitch in 10"
SightsFixed, with white-dot inlays
Overall length210mm / 8.26"
Weight (empty)750 grams / 26.45 oz.
Materials/FinishePatented-blend reinforced polymer frame, machined stainless steel slide
NotesComes in Negrini padded carry case with integral safety lock; issued with two magazines, cleaning kit, optional ambidextrous magazine release catch, lubricant bottle and basic cleaning kit
Price€700.00 - incl. VAT