A while back we covered the mysterious Arsenal Strike One and it's alternate-universe Archon Type B. Both firearms use the same fascinating internal design and both disappeared from the US market almost as quickly as they appeared. I loved the action type and thought there was great potential, but "poof" they were gone.
Understandably, the Italian company, "Arsenal Firearms" was met with some resistance when it first appeared in the US where at least one other company was already doing business with "Arsenal" as a name. Fast forward a couple of years and the Strike One models are back on the US market thanks to a company by the name of American Precision Firearms.
The Strike One Speed is a slightly tuned-up version of the original Strike One. Since I bought my original model second-hand I thought it might be nice to try the SPEED model brand new. The tune-ups include a different trigger, slide cuts, and best of all, a fiber-optic front sight and adjustable, blacked-out rear sight. Get a closer look in the tabletop video below.
The action type is both unique and amazing. As you saw in the tabletop video the barrel does not have to tilt, or even move much at all. Like other non-Bronwing actions we've covered this equates to less mass shifting in your hand; effectively reducing felt recoil. Additionally this both permits and requires the barrel to sit lower, which also reduces felt recoil as the recoiling energy has less moment (physics term, not time) to act against your wrist. Two recoil-reducing factors from simply not using a tilting barrel. This is also what gives the Strike One such "snout" appearance as the slide sits relatively low on a long frame.
You'll have to forgive my sepcifications chart as I was unable to find official specifications on the product page, Arsenal Firearms Italy, or in the user manual.
As a fan of the pistol's concept, I was eager to get to the range with a fresh model and all the upgrades the Strike One SPEED offers over the original. I was also curious to see if the different is worth the extra cash. As always, to be fair the Strike One SPEED would go through the GBGuns standard battery of experiences before making a judgement.
Cold Shots: Truly our first rounds through the gun.
Full Mag +1: Oddly not all firearms function well this way. It's a function of the ammunition chosen and magazine design.
What's For Dinner™: A test to see what ammunition the gun will eat. Does the gun feed the round from slide lock, will it cycle and feed another round of the same type, does the slide lock to the rear on empty, and is there any notable point of impact change with different loads.
50gr Liberty Ammuition Civil Defense +p $31.99/20 at Optics Planet
100gr Hornady Critical Defense Lite $23.89 / 20 at Global Ordnance
115gr Blazer Aluminum Case $17.59 / 50 at Optics Planet
115gr Wolf Steel Case $13.77 / 50 at Sportsman's Guide
115gr PPU Defense Line JHP $20.11 /50 at Global Ordnance
147gr Winchester Dender JHP $22.99 / 20 at Global Ordnance
147gr Federal Syntech Training Match $20.99 /50 at Palmetto State Armory
147gr Federal HST JHP $26.99 /20 at Palmetto State Armory
150gr Federal Syntech Action Pistol $21.05 /50 at Palmetto State Armory
158gr PPU Subsonic FMJ $25.70 /50 at Global Ordnance
Sights & Trigger Control: on a 6" spinner target at a distance of 12 yards. We got this from Titan Great Outdoors and use it to gauge how learnable the trigger is and usable the sights are for forced, timed, precise shots.
Practical Accuracy: Five shots from a distance of seven yards at a one inch target. This isn't so much about printing a tight group as it is a culmination of our shooting experience and time for us to collect thoughts prior to making a conclusions
After Shots: Final impressions and reflections from the range session.
You can watch the process in the video below.
I didn't have the greatest range experience while filming. A few nitpicks got in my way of enjoying right out of the box such as the sights being slightly off and the fiber-optic coming loose so quickly. Adjusting the sights is no big deal, and fiber optic front sights come loose as part of their nature, it was just disheartening to have it happen so quickly.
The trigger, although different, didn't blow me away as vastly different than the original Strike One trigger, and as we saw in the tabletop the slide cuts didn't seem to change the slide's weight much after adding the different sights. So was it worth it? Yes and no. I think a competitive shooter looking to get the most out of a striker-fired gun might prefer the Strike One SPEED over teh Strike One, but as a defensive and leisure shooter I think the original Strike One will do just fine. As a self-proclaimed nerd for guns that are different I'm happy to see these on the US market again. Accuracy was superb and recoil slatter than many compensated pistols I've shot. For the causal shooter looking for a new experience that is likely also a collector piece, I highly recommend checking out an American Precision Firearms Strike One.