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?
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.
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
|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|
|Rating||5 out of 6 |
Shooting test: Arsenal Firearms Strike One
|No.||Factory cartridge||Group size||V2||E2|
|1.||124 grs GECO FMJ SX||70 mm||365 m/s||451 J|
|2.||124 grs GECO Hexagon||83 mm||335 m/s||443 J|
|3.||124 grs Sellier & Bellot FMJ||60 mm||328 m/s||414 J|
|4.||124 grs MEN NATO Ball FMJ||78 mm||366 m/s||538 J|
|5.||147 grs Winchester FMJ||65 mm||289 m/s|
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