The Nifty Arsenal Strike One 9mm Review

Alex C.
by Alex C.

The Arsenal Strike One is a Russian with an Italian accent. That is to say, this unique pistol was designed in Russia but is produced in Italy and exported to the USA from Europe’s boot. The pistol features a remarkably low bore axis thanks to its unique (or rather, uncommon) locking system and a myriad of other very nice features that provide the triggerman with a very enjoyable experience.

Firearm Featured:
Arsenal Firearms Strike One 9mm

Thanks to our sponsors Ventura Munitions and Grizzly Targets.

UPDATE: Full transcript …

– Hey guys, it’s Alex C.

And some Irish midget.

Hey guys, it’s Alex C.

Are you gonna say Patrick R. or not? – Hey guys, Alex and Patrick out here at the range with the new Strike One pistol.

So, why don’t you tell us about it? – Well, this is pretty cool, actually.

We got the opportunity to test this from Sooner State Arsenal.

– Yep. Great folks.

– Yeah, it’s supposed to be a really unique firearm.

It’s kinda cool because it doesn’t use a Browning-style short recoil operating tilting barrel, which is refreshing.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a little burnt out on how every handgun nowadays either has blowback or uses the tilting barrel operation.

– Yeah, with the exception of the new Walther CCP, I think everything is the same old kinda flavor.

– Absolutely.

And it is refreshing because this uses a revived over 100-year-old system called the Bergmann system where there’s a wide lock that kinda delays the barrel as it comes back and locks it into the halfway point.

That allows the slide to unlock and come back.

It’s very unique.

There’s some advantages to this system that the people at Arsenal are claiming.

And also it has one of the lowest bore axises on the market, I almost think they wanna say it’s the lowest on the market.

– I believe that Arsenal does claim it is the lowest on the market, and I don’t think anybody has refuted that claim as of yet.

– So anyways, I guess the idea of that is the recoil’s more inline with your hands.

Since it’s lower, it doesn’t recoil as much, but I’d like to shoot it before we judge it.

– Yeah.

I’ve had a couple of mags through the gun before you showed up today.

– Okay.

– And I’ll have to say that even just picking it up it feels like no other handgun I’ve ever held.

I really enjoy how it kind of melts into your hand, and I know that sounds gimmicky and marketing languagey, but it really does.

It feels like an extension of my arm, it fits very well.

It’s very instinctive to point.

– Yeah, it is. It’s definitely unique.

I can tell you just by holding it it’s a very large pistol, however the grip’s quite slim, so it’s not too hard to grab onto.

– Right.

It almost sits down inside your hand, if that makes any sense to you guys.

That’s the best way I can put it.

– And it’s got a nice beaver tail on the back so there’s no way you’re really gonna get bit by the slide, which is nice.

Everything’s laid out in a good way.

I don’t wanna say it’s Glock-like, because aside from the polymer frame, it’s not.

It doesn’t operate like a Glock, it doesn’t feel like a Glock.

– The only thing it has in common with a Glock is…

– Striker fired.

– It’s striker fired.

The magazine capacity, and it’s black and plastic.

– Right.

– That’s about it.

– Well, without much further ado, I say we put it through its paces.

– Yeah.

– Let’s do it.

– All right, guys.

So I’m gonna go ahead and try to shoot this kinda quickly, I’m not Jerry Miculek or anything, on our Grizzly Target down there.

A couple things I wanna go ahead and touch on, as always I’m gonna go ahead and kinda cover the controls, and they’re really straightforward on this gun.

It’s got a standard trigger, it’s a very nice, wide trigger, it’s very comfortable.

But you don’t have any of the little safe action nonsense like you do on a Glock or an M&P.

It has the same mechanism in it, but you can’t tell.

Your mag release is right here.

Now, Ian McCollum noticed in one of his videos where they were reviewing this gun, that you can go ahead and press the mag release so hard that it’ll stay in and you no longer have a magazine that works.

That’s easily remedied by popping it back out, but it’s kind of a negative in my eyes.

So let’s go ahead and load up a mag of 17 rounds here.

And shoot it quickly, I guess.

(gun fires) (laughs) That’s pretty awesome.

While I may not be Jerry Miculek, I sure do feel like him right now.

I’m starting to fall in love with this little polymer Russian-Italian wonder nine thing.

(gun fires) – All right, guys, so now I get to shoot the Arsenal Strike One.

I’m pretty excited about this, I’ve never shot a pistol using the Bergmann system, So, let’s see what it’s all about.

(gun fires) I really like that.

I will say the bore axis and everything like that is not voodoo or a marketing gimmick, it really does direct a lot of the recoil straight back, reduces muzzle flip, at least it feels like to me.

Right before this I was actually shooting a Glock pistol, and this is something else.

I would recommend you shoot one if your local range actually rents these out.

But I’m gonna do a couple more mags, see if I find something else out about it.

All right, so I’m gonna see if the Strike One passes the limp wrist test, I’m not going to put hardly any pressure on the back of the gun.

Hopefully it cycles. If it does, great.

(gun fires) Ooh.

That was a genuine dud rather than a limp wrist dud.

(gun fires) Not bad.

You know, I did that with a VP9 a while back, and it was very susceptible to limp-wristing.

This was not, so there you go.

(gun fires) – Man, this is a pretty damn sweet shooter.

(beep) Miles! Hey, what’s up, man? – Hey.

– I didn’t know you were here.

– Yeah, just came down from Indiana.

– Cool.

– What’s this new thing? – Got the Arsenal Strike One out here.

Makes a pretty shot.

– Heard a lot about it, yeah.

– Yeah, man, I don’t have any more ammo.

Where the hell did you get that? – Don’t tell anyone.

– All right.

(gun fires) – Hey, Patrick, does anyone know you have this? – [Patrick] Yeah, Sooner State Arsenal sent it to me.

– Okay. They won’t mind if I walk away with it, right? – [Patrick] I will.

– Okay, okay. Just making sure.

Just wanna be on the same page.

– [Patrick] Okay.

(gun fires) – All right, guys, so we just finished our range day with the Strike One pistol from Arsenal Firearms.

We’re gonna go ahead and extend a special thank you to Lori at Sooner State Arsenal for sending us this pistol for review.

I have to say, she really did me a favor because I’ve been itching to fire one of these things for a while.

– Yeah, you have.

– Yeah, you’ve seen me getting on the internet and looking at them like, “Ah, do I really wanna go ahead and take that plunge.” I can’t recall the MSRP offhand, so I’m gonna have it annotated right here.

But it is a little bit steep for a polymer frame pistol that’s striker fired.

It’s kind of a negative in my opinion.

– Of course. I mean, you’re paying a lot.

It is a striker fired gun, however it is very unique.

There’s no other pistol on the market right now I know of that uses the Bergmann locking system.

– No.

– As we saw today, the bore axis does…

I think it shoots fantastic.

– Yeah, it’s a wonderful shooter.

– My only pick personally would be the trigger, it’s a little mushy.

It doesn’t quite stack like maybe a Glock or something.

I could see myself getting used to that, though.

– You know, you mentioned that, but I think it’s more like a double-action revolver.

– It’s like a very light double-action revolver.

– Like when I had my MR73.

When I turned it all the way back as far as the main spring pressure, it was a lot like that.

– It’s unusual to describe how that works in a semi-automatic handgun.

This is not to say the trigger’s bad, I’d like to say that.

It’s just unusual, and it would take me some time to get used to it.

– And I picked it up, and after two mags I had got the trigger finger down well enough to go ahead and be quick on target.

When you’re dealing with pistols, shooting quickly and accurately, you’re talking about a torso-sized target at fifteen yards, and you’re doing pretty good.

And I’m not the greatest pistol shot in the world, but I was able to do that with this gun after a couple mags.

– Yeah, absolutely.

Now, like Patrick said, it is a premium priced handgun, but it’s a premium handgun.

– It really is.

When people think polymer frame handguns, they don’t think, “That’s a premium handgun right there.” But to put it in perspective, I purchased a Spinx SDP compact a while back after we reviewed it, because I fell in love with it.

I’m gonna be doing the same thing with this gun, because I am in love with the gun.

– That’s a wise choice.

I think it’d make a great asset to your collection, and a lot of people who maybe just are interested in a non tilting barrel gun.

– Yeah.

Now, I have heard some criticisms of this gun when I was looking at some of the other reviews before I got out to the range.

I was a little bit excited, wanted to see what other people thought about it.

And they said that the trigger was too light for a defensive handgun, and we need to remember that it’s not a defensive handgun.

This was intended to be a military firearm.

– That’s true.

– So, I mean, as a military firearm, I think it’s a great gun.

It’s awesome.

It’s not a concealed carry piece, it’s not something that you would do anything other than, you know, going to war with.

– Right.

– It makes a fantastic race gun, like for competition.

And I’m gonna go ahead and sign myself up for the next IPS, IPC, whatever…

– SIG? – Yeah, those guys.

Whatever alphabet soup that comes out here to my range and throws matches, I’m gonna go ahead and sign myself up for one of those and run this gun in it, and see how well it does.

– I think that’s a great idea.

There’s no better way to prove what a pistol can do than actually entering it in competitions.

Patrick, I don’t think you’ve had much experience in competitions, so that might be really cool to see how this performs, especially from someone who has a lot of experience shooting but not necessarily with a timer behind their head.

– Right.

I have literally no experience with a timer behind my head, and I think if I were to go ahead and run something like a Glock 17, and then this back to back, that might be pretty telling.

– Yeah, I think so.

That would be a really cool test.

Anyways, I think we had a great range day with this thing.

I enjoyed it.

– It’s awesome.

– Yeah. Anyways, guys, this is Alex C.

– And Patrick R., and Miles back here.

– We’d like to thank Miles behind the camera, actually, also Ventura Munitions provided the ammunition for this gun today.

And Grizzly Target provided the steel that we were ringing with this gun.

So we’d like to thank those guys, as always.

Also, if you wanna drop a comment, maybe the like button, or subscribe, which would be really cool.

– Even if you wanted to go ahead and hit the thumbs down button because you don’t like my stupid Irish face.

– That would be okay, too, I guess.

But I guess until next time, guys, this is TFB TV, and we’ll see you next time.

Alex C.
Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.

More by Alex C.

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2 of 73 comments
  • Scaatylobo Scaatylobo on Sep 26, 2015

    Irish midget ?,the least you could do was hit him in his balls to remind him that you cant dance = IF you got no ball room.
    Being a shorter guy who was a cop,I get to prove myself often.
    LOVE to show loud asshats that their "glamourous height" aint impressing me.
    As to the gun,for that price I will keep my Glocks.
    But was impressive as to very little recoil.

  • SgtSquarepants SgtSquarepants on Oct 15, 2015

    I just received my Arsenal Firearms Strike One chambered in 9mm. I've been waiting nearly a year. Took it to the range yesterday and both magazines would fall out after every shot. Do I have a defective weapon or is there a quick fix here? Any help is greatly appreciated.