Russian Armed Forces adopting 9x19mm Strizh Pistol

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has announced that the Russian Armed Forces will be replacing the Makarov pistol with the Strizh Pistol chambered in 9x19mm.

Fully loaded Strizh Pistol in long range configuration.

Arsenal Firearms jumped from obscurity earlier this year when they unveiled the Strizh Pistol, or Strike One as it is branded in English, followed by the much talked about Arsenal Double Barrel 1911. Not much is know about the company which formed last year. The company was founded by Nicola Bandini, an Italian gun designer and writer, and Dimitry Streshinskiy, a Russian miniature gun designer. They do not explicitly say from which country they operated from, but it is my understanding they manufacture firearms in both Russia and Italy.

Infographic comparing the new Strizh with the Makarov (via. Russia’s official facebook page)

While the Strizh appears to be a decent modern pistol, I find it strange that the conservative Russian armed forces would adopt a pistol with a brand new design and absolutely no track record. The pistol has yet to be sold in the commercial market.

The adoption of the 9x19mm round is no surprise. Most of the pistols in recent years that were considered by the Russian military were chambered in it.

[ Many thanks to Halfbear for emailing us the link. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • L.Jefe

    Looking at the design, I see that this is a very good design. Low slung slide to reduce recoil, the slide and frame protrude enough to give better control under recoil, and they seem to have taken weight out of the slide where feasibly possible. That being said, the “long range configuration”, someone is going for troll of the year award.

    • Lemming

      You have to remember, these are the same people who manufactured that double barrel 1911, haha.

  • Xstang

    That Pierangelo Tendas guy isn’t gonna start posting here is he? The last thread about this was, um, pretty epic.

  • MAX

    What happened to the MP443?

  • Zach

    The hell? Grach was a perfectly good design.

    • Have you ever handled one? The Grach is extremely heavy (even with its polymer frame, the perceived weight is even higher than the Beretta 92’s, so to speak!), and has a very heavy trigger pull…

    • Grach / PYa can be best described as a poorly made equivalent of the CZ-75. It is heavy, has dubious ergonomics, rusts easily on inside, and, worst of all, manufacturing quality is mediocre at times.

      • W

        max, what do you know about the gsh18? especially when compared to other handguns recently developed in Russia?

      • Ivan

        You don’t know that. You have never even seen one in your life. Unless you are part of some elite Russian Military/LE unit which you are not.

      • W

        ivan, perhaps you havent been on max’s site? He is one of the very few sources of information regarding Russian small arms because most of them cannot be seen or accessed by westerners. He is a far better source of information that some foreign military blog…

      • Lance

        I agree the MPP-43 wasn’t the best choice. I also think Mararovs will be around as a back up pistol for sometime.

  • Jeremiah

    There have to be some greased palms behind this one.

  • Trev

    Somehow I don’t think this is the whole story.

    Good journalism doesn’t start or end with facebook.

    • Trev

      Considering the MP443, Gsh-18 and SPS have already been standard pistols for years, I think there is most likely something missing here. In addition, I don’t think the Strike One will safely chamber the 7N21 round.

      • Problem actually is that the Grach has left many unsatisfied as a general issue pistol, and has never been distributed in numbers large enough to make people think of it as a true replacement; as far as it concerns the GSh-18 and the Serdjukov SPS, they were never general-issue weapons, but actually more specifical service-oriented guns issued to particular personnel working in particular sectors of the Russian State…

      • from what I know, test samples of the 4th gen “Strizh” (Russian mande version) safely fired hundreds (if not thousands) of rounds of 7N21 without any sign of excessive wear or damage.
        In fact, Russian 9×19 version was designed with 7N21 and 7N31 in mind from the start.

  • strongarm

    It was rather obvious that this pistol being of “Pre-ordered” status.

    Non time-tested, rather different but granting no plus over known
    barrel locking systems with archaic SAO trigger and field stripping
    features. The pistol has not even a “Drop Safety” in common sense
    as surviving “Cocked” position against to accidental drop and impacts.

    Good features, low barrel axis for follow up shots and ease of
    installing silencer by cause of backward only straight barrel travel.

    Rather balanced good and bads, no atractive points for existing
    manufacturers and to be built completely in two separate countries.

    Goods for common understanding, bads for experts only.

    Looks like “Just fit” to a “Pre-order” configuration.

    • Kav

      It seems like you’re making an interesting point, I just really wish I could understand you completely.

      • strongarm

        I just make what you are doing. Commenting here.

  • It’s select-fire and weird looking. Why don’t they just start using the Beretta 93R?

    • Kent Christen

      Because Beretta sucks, dude.

      This is really nothing more than a GLOCK on a Steyr frame.

      • It actually is… NOT.

        The working system is totally different.

        The locking system is totally different.

        The trigger system is totally different.

        Even the FRAME is totally different…

      • W

        somebody’s been listening to too much beretta mythology, primarily perpetuated by soldiers that dont know their ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to a service pistol and lovers of the 1911.

        The M9 Beretta is fine for its job. It is a very reliable handgun that is accurate, fast to draw, and simple to maintain. In the fine dust near east environment, the lauded SIG everybody wanted to win the competition, performed little better. The only handgun I would say is measurably better for military service is the Glock, but thats just a opinion.

    • Jeff

      Because it’s an out of production machine pistol from the 70s?

      They already have a Stechkin APS

  • Steve,

    Strizh / Strike pistol is not YET adopted – it is still in tests / trials stage.

    This is direct from manufacturer.

    • Bravo, Max. Before making this kind of “definitive” statements, more informations should be sought after. I can ask with Mr. Nicola Bandini, the inventor of the “STRIKE One”, yet I think that the title of this article should be changed into «Russian Armed Forces MAY SOON BE adopting 9x19mm Strike One/Strizh Pistol»

  • Kav

    I really don’t think there’s enough information behind this story to publish it as truth and fact. The deputy prime minister declaring the pistol adopted doesn’t necessarily translate to an agreement on part of the military, either… and it also doesn’t mean the pistol will make it into the hands of Russian troops. Given a year or so, it’s likely the most plentiful handgun among Russian soldiers will still be the PM.

    It’s also worth noting that even if the Strizh comes to be used as the standard issue pistol for the Russian military, that doesn’t mean it would be used that often. Most Russian soldiers, at least when outfitted for combat do not typically carry sidearms.

  • Mr Mxyzptlk

    Can anyone see a selector switch on this thing? The infographic claims it can fire single shot or burst, but I can’t see anything on the pistol that supports this (apart from the possible compensator cuts either side of the front sight). Either the infographic is wrong, there will be another version, or they have gone for something really radical like on the AUG, where pulling the trigger further back will give a burst. My guess is that either way the regular gun won’t be able to fire bursts, as that really seems like it would be asking for trouble on a standard issue pistol.

  • Before making any kind of statement about the STRIKE ONE (or “Strizh”… the official denomination is “Strike One” though) being adopted by the Russian Armed Forces or whatever, further informations from Arsenal Firearms S.r.l. should be awaited.

    Besides, the weapon is no select-fire; it is simply very, VERY fast to shoot in semi-auto…

    • Mr Mxyzptlk

      Well, the thing from the official facebook page says it is capable of multi shot bursts, and I don’t see how it can be capable of firing any quicker than another pistol unless it has a really light trigger pull, which would not be very safe as this gun has no manual safety, trigger safety or decocker. I’m guessing this uses a Glock type half cocked striker which is going to make for Glock levels of trigger pull, somewhere in the 5-7 pound range, which is hardly conducive to accurate rapid fire ability. I’m inclined to think the infographic thing is a translation error and they meant to say it is capable of rapid follow up shots. However conventional SA/DA pistols will have a lighter pull for follow up shots, so I don’t get how they can sell this as a unique selling point if that is what they meant.

      • Komrad

        Maybe it has something to do with the low bore axis reducing muzzke flip.

    • Pierangelo, there IS a dedicated select-fire version of the Strizh (Russian-only version in 9×19, adapted for 7N21 and 7N31 +P+ AP ammo) with “da happy switch” on the frame 😉

      Another mod which is undergoing tests at the moment is a threaded barrel version that can accept quick-detach silencers.

      • bbmg

        Someone in the previous Lynx AMR post commented on the 50 BMG being an ancient cartridge, by comparison the 9x19mm is prehistoric.

        Good to know that this will at least be chambered for the Russian overpressure variants, presumably it can take the strain easily.

  • Foetus

    Oh look, I think there’s a pistol somewhere under these accessories ^^

  • Frank

    If it proves a solid pistol, hopefully we can get some examples imported into the US for sale. I don’t see why they wouldn’t if they had manufacturing in Italy. Even if most of the parts are made in Russia, I’m sure they could just put them together there and then it would be considered a made in Italy product and be able to be imported.

    • Lance

      I agree I dont think Makarovs will go away soon. And just like the many time the military here in the states made constant programs to dump the M-9 9mm pistol for a Glock or 1911, Well it hasn’t happend dispite all so much hype. Good comment ALTA 96

      By the way like I stated Maks make a good small back up gun Russian police use them, as a back up dispite more modern Glocks and Berettas being used by some Russian LE units.

      I cant help it I like my Makarov its a good pocket gun.

  • They’ve been announcing replacements for the Makarov for what, 10 years now?

    It’s like the US military announcing (again) that they’re looking to replace the AR-15 series of weapons. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • Esh325

    As much as I love the Makarov, it’s an outdated pistol and I think they made a good choice by choosing the Strike pistol. I don’t think it’s strange they chose an “unproven” design. Risks have to be taken some times. What I find interesting about the Strike is it’s one of the first pistols in many years to be a completely new design and not a rip off of the Browning Locking system.

  • Ivan

    A weapon with no track record? Mikhail Kalashnikov showed up at the trials for a new assault rifle and won.

    • Esh325

      He didn’t just show up at the trials and just “win”. He had many failures and set backs before he able to produce a successful rifle. And Kalashnikov did not design the AK by himself contrary to popular belief.

      • Ivan

        Of course Kalashnikov was set back and he and his team learned a lot from weapons like the Garand. But before his designs were seen by a few select people and were turned down. Hardly no one even knew about Kalashnikov’s designs during the assault rifle competion in the USSR and he was going up against some of the biggest competitors like Simonov and Tokarev.

  • by the way, I added some photos of the 4th generation Russian-made Strizh prototypes to my website, including silenced version with “da happy switch”

    • Lemming

      Awesome, great photos Max. The “Spetsnaz” version is especially interesting.

    • Pete

      Love your website! Keep up the good work.

    • strongarm

      Dear Max,

      As you know, Scmeisser/Bergman System has a breechbolt inside the
      barrel extention and a vertical lock piece slidably locks the breechbolt
      at bottom through only one recess. Similar Lahti differs locking place
      location being cut on the top.

      Walther P38 type has a barrel in the breechbolt or slide just being on
      Strike one and has two locking lugs at sides, just like again with Strike
      One. There is a vertical locking/unlocking separate piece on both types
      and ıt differs only, hinged construction at P38, but slided at Strike One.

      Which one is closer to Strike One, one locking recess at bottom of
      breechbolt, or twin locking lugs at sides engaged with slide. all being on
      verticaly moving separate lock piece.

      By the way, when will you change FN FiveSeven from Striker to Hammer
      fired. Your site is a serious reference and this confuses the most.

    • sansenoy

      Also, when are you planning on expanding your HS/Springfield XD page??? The XDm is at least deserving of a mention, even though it’s not a step in the right direction, personally…

  • Tony

    Very low bore axis, excellent design.

    • Jimflat6

      Only thing that looks problematic is the mag release button. It looks like it might be easy to engage accidently when holstered/unholstering or by body weight pressing against it.

      The trigger looks well shaped to keep the same trigger finger angle/compression from shot to shot. If it resets fast they have a real winner in the commercial market.

      • Tony

        I agree. It seems this pistol is designed for heavy gloved hands.

      • Chase

        If Chris Costa can put his name on an aftermarket mag release for the M&P that protrudes more, I’m sure they can make a lower-profile aftermarket mag release for this.

  • schizuki

    It looks like Kel-Tec up-calibered the PMR-30.

  • John Doe

    That’s a nice, slim looking pistol. I also like how the Russians are taking a leap of faith with this design. Not a Sig P226, not a Glock 17, not a Beretta 92FS. Something new.

    I hope they can release a 7.62 x 25mm variant for the American masses as well.

  • schizuki

    The name “Strike One” is clearly not aimed at the American market.

    It’s like marketing a pistol in Europe called the “Own Goal.”

  • irateblackguy

    Looks like a very smart and ergonomic design, also aesthetically pleasing to the eye. I would love to hold one. The grip pattern looks very useful also. Finally something different!!! I hope they design a pistol caliber carbine and export.

    • pete

      Agreed; remarkably clean looking in spite of the square slide and rail. The appearance at least hints at desirable handling characteristics. I hope we get ’em here.

  • Burst

    Just for kicks I’d like to see a version with no slide serrations, and a pair of
    “ears” like the ruger mkII.

    On the other hand, perhaps the Russian testers will appreciate the “emergency cheese grater” function.

  • noob

    Sorry to show my ignorance, but what kind of guns fall into the class of “Russian miniature gun”? small replicas of big guns? multibarrel rotary guns?

    The arsenal website keeps saying he’s a “gun minature master”, but I want to see examples because I have no idea what that means.

  • Lance

    In many wasy this is weird since it was in 1994 when the MP-43 Grach pistol was suppost to replace the Makarov and didn’t. I dont give a whole lot of confidence in some Russian mill blogs maybe is the key word. I know the Makaorv will be in CIS (Former Soviet States) serivce for many years to come.

    Spetz Naz units have been given new pistol over the last te years I do kow they still also have Maks in service so I doubt the Makarov will die off too fast.

  • Issac

    Russians adopt 2 handguns Pistolet Yarygina & GSh18.So how
    many more models they adopt & for what reason?
    Country of major BS.

  • mechamaster

    From the promotional video in Youtube and from slow motion movement, I see the barrel slightly straight-recoil like a Beretta M9 pistol. I imagine if this pistol mechanism is likely a falling locking block system descendant… Or Five Seven delayed blowback system in Glock-like aesthetic.

  • Netforce

    That first picture is just Wow. Can more equipments be added? That seems to be way overkilled.

  • Rob

    Just because Russia adopts something doesn’t mean they can scrounge up enough potatoes to actually pay for them. All that bolt on crap is hilarious.

    • pete

      the long pipe with rails does smack unpleasantly of tacti-coolness. But on the other hand, if they went with a full auto version, I’m no tactical weapons person, but conceivably it’d be a valid step toward a sub-machine gun variant, such as have existed for duty-size pistols before. And for the semi-auto person, scavenge velocity put the muzzle further away from the operator’s face and ears. If one wasn’t planning on ever carrying it on one’s person or else slung over the back, why not. It’s not like semi-autos with long barrels is a flooded market segment and continuously since the cartridge era there’ve been various revolvers with over 6″ barrels to indicate a demand/function.

      It wasn’t me that thumbs-downed the comment I’m replying to BTW, I’m neutral toward it.

      • SKSlover

        all it needs is a stock, foregrip, and underslung launcher and it’d be perfect!!!1! /sarc off.

  • salman ali

    russians are God father of in the guns world what ever they make from great ak 47 to strizh in simple words no boy can beat russia guns world i love russian guns they are the best

  • salman ali

    russians are God father of in the guns world what ever they make from great ak 47 to strizh i love there guns

  • In Soviet Russia, firearm disassemble YOU!

  • Looks like an improved Glock. I would have one if for no other reason than it looks a lot like the Russians made the Glock a bit more 1911ish, and stamped it Russian.

    • gary

      If a Glock 17 had sex with a Springfield XDM, this thing would be the offspring!