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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I don't usually do polymer combat style guns, but I've had my eye on the Strike One for a long time. They finally hit the market a few weeks ago, but I still planned to hold out till reviews came in. However, after Yankee Marshal's well-made first impressions video, I decided it looked worth the gamble. I was originally holding out for a gray/stainless combo, since I thought it had a cool 60s space gun look, but after YM's video, I decided I might not be a huge fan.I don't usually do tan/OD frames, but on this gun it keeps it interesting.

The Strike One is an Italian pistol that so far has made rumblings for its extremely low bore axis and non-tilting barrel, using the old Bergmann system. It's touted as the fastest shooting 9mm on the market. I haven't shot it yet, having just picked it up yesterday, but I hope to get out this weekend or this week and put 4-500 rounds through it. I'll report back.

Build quality seems good, but not at the top of the polymer game like an HK. The interior especially seems to have nicely produced components. The Arsenal Arms logo on the slide is kind of roughly done, though, and there are milling marks inside the slide.

Weight is 32.2oz unloaded.

Ergonomics are okay. The grip and beavertail feel good, allowing the gun to ride nice and low in the hand. The grip texture isn't overly grippy, though, and if your hand is wet, it doesn't feel exceptionally secure. The slide release is small and rounded, which makes it a bit hard to manipulate. The mag release is partially surrounded by a raised plastic portion of the grip, which makes hitting it a bit tricky. You have to consciously put your thumb right over the release and push down, because otherwise, that grip plastic keeps it from actuating fully. It's also a bit squishy feeling.

When cocked, there is a tactile indicator that protrudes out the back like some Walthers. It does not mean a round is chambered.

The bore axis is certainly impressively low. I wouldn't say it's a huge improvement over my Steyr M9A1, though, which also happens to look a little cooler.

The trigger is okay. Not terrible, but not good. Reset is extremely long, basically to the normal starting point of the trigger. Weight is a little over 6lbs, and the break isn't very crisp. I wouldn't say it's a highlight of the gun, for sure, although it might not affect shooting too much.

The sight radius is long, since the rear sight is mounted on the rear plane of the slide. It's a three-dot setup and seems adequate.

Takedown is very easy. Pull the trigger to make sure the gun is decocked. Remove the magazine. Draw the slide back a little, and push a pin out from the left side through the right. Push the slide off. Done.

Inside, you see a long metal rail system that should help with accuracy. As I mentioned, the interior components seems to be of good quality. You can actually see how the trigger system works, and I can imagine reducing the pull weight and improving the break could be easily done.

These have been officially available from a dealer in Oklahoma City now for a few weeks. Their price is $884 shipped to your FFL.

Overall, I'm on the fence about the gun. Like I said, I'm not a huge polymer combat pistol buff, so it had the decked stacked against it anyway. The trigger is also disappointing, but the gun definitely has potential. I'll have a more solid opinion once I've shot it and put its performance claims to the test.

Here's the executive summary. A 10 is a perfect rating.

Frame: Polymer
Slide: Steel
Unloaded Weight: 32.2oz
Price: $850-$1000
Action: Striker
Accuracy: TBD
Trigger: 4
Ergonomics: 7
Sights: 8
Finish: 7
Build Quality: 7
Ease of Locating: 9 - available now on Gunbroker, but only from one dealer

Trigger Break: 6lbs







EDIT - 11.23.14:
Here's the video review. Sorry about it being so long.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDlgYpuFxX8
 

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Looks like a mating of a CZ and a Glock in some ways. Grips frame gives me a CZish feeling. Might be a decent gun. Will have to see how it holds up. Locking system/block is very interesting. Cost seems a bit high.
 

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At that weight and price I think I'll stick with the FNH FNX in both .45 and 9mm. At any rate, I sure hope you get a lot of enjoyment out of it at the range this weekend. Let us know how she preforms.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Someone on another forum asked how the non-tilting barrel thing works, which is a great question and I think I'll post the answer here since I went through the trouble of making an animated GIF. ;)

When I was originally researching the gun none of the recoil system was clear at all. To help in my explanation, I made an animated GIF:



I removed the recoil spring to make it easier.

Basically, it goes like this: at the beginning, the barrel and slide are locked together by that piece with the kidney shaped hole. It goes around the barrel and won't let it move without the slide.

The field strip pin goes through that kidney bean shaped hole. After a couple millimeters of traveling together, that piece drops, following the contour of the hole.

Now that that piece has dropped, the barrel is released from the slide and stops moving. The slide continues rearward.

It's a unique and interesting system and is definitely a large part of the cool factor for me.

I'll make a review video in the next week or so and I'll go over it in detail.
 

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Reminds me a bit of the lock up on the old WWII era CZ/Vz-27 pistol in .32 ACP. It had a similar locking I think. Believe the barrel did not tilt on it either.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Range Report

I took the Strike One out today. It was accompanied by an MAB PAP F1, HK P9S SG3, and Manurhin MR73, which maybe wasn't exactly fair to the goofy looking polymer combat pistol for its first performance...

I put 430 rounds through the Strike One. Overall, it was very competent. Accuracy was good, easily on par with other guns of the genre. The slide release worked better with a loaded mag in the gun, and was much less stiff and hard to release today.

Reliability was perfect with Federal and Tula/Wolf, but it did not like WWB at all. It had some pretty severe lockups with WWB for some reason. Once cleared, it ran like a top again with Federal/Tula, so I'm attributing it to the ammo. To be fair to the gun, it includes a yellow sheet of paper with the "break in" instructions, and instructs you to clean it periodically up until 500 rounds until it's officially broken in. I'll clean it up and try it again with WWB next time I go out to see what's happening.

As to the much advertise recoil/muzzle flip reduction, it is present and noticeable, but it's nothing revolutionary. A Glock or Steyr M9A1 has very similar shooting characteristics, and, at least with the Steyr, the trigger is better. A competitor who goes all out rapid fire might get more from it than I do.

One thing that was annoying is the long trigger reset. There were a few times where I'd slowly let out the trigger, waiting for that *click*, which doesn't come until the trigger is nearly completely released. Basically, this isn't a gun that benefits from "riding the reset."

The mediocre trigger won't win any awards, but it didn't seem to hurt the shooting experience overall.

So far, after 430 rounds, my initial impression holds up. It's a good gun, but nothing overly special or great. I don't mind owning it just because I don't already have a load of polymer pistols, so I don't feel like it's too redundant.

EDIT: I also just re-measured the trigger and it's coming in consistently at 5.5lbs now, instead of the 6-6.5lbs I was getting before.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Last post here, just for some closure:

Range Report #2

I put another 250 rounds through the Strike One tonight. I wanted to clear up the WWB thing before making my video later this week. I cleaned it and lubed it last night, and I'm happy to report that it fired 200 rounds of WWB without a single problem. :cool:

Everything else is about the same: pleasant recoil, though nothing groundbreaking; good accuracy; eh trigger. Overall, a good gun, but nothing super exciting.
 

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Thanks for the report. I look forward to your video.

I read somewhere (Vickers?) that Arsenal was still tweaking the Strike One even as it comes to market. There's a Strike One "Speed" model coming soon for competition shooters, and a Strike One "Combat" due out next year.

Should be interesting....
 

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How does that backstrap feel close to the beavertail where it looks like that extra piece of polymer is sticking out? I saw that on other pictures of this pistol, and seems like it would be uncomfortable.
 

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Nice, thorough video review!

That balky trigger is disappointing, but good explanation of how the horizontal striker release mechanism causes it. Maybe a little polishing and lube might improve it...?

The Strike One makes a G17 look small! I do like a long grip, but 32 oz is hefty. I definitely want to handle one and see how it fits my hand.

I thought the snippet of one-handed shooting at the 15:40 mark was impressive. That looked like some seriously flat, straight-back recoil!

And who doesn't like +P+ ? :)
 

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Thanks for the report. I think I'll pass.

Walther, SIG-Sauer, HK is what I have had the best results with so I think I'll just stick with those.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I thought the snippet of one-handed shooting at the 15:40 mark was impressive. That looked like some seriously flat, straight-back recoil!
That part is a little misleading. I was awkwardly holding a camera with my left hand, while trying to look at the screen and stay in frame but also keep the gun pointed the right way, and with my bent right arm I was compensating for the recoil by "flinching" and forcing it a bit.

Hard to explain, but essentially, it was a very unnatural way of shooting and isn't quite representative of the real one-handed recoil. :)
 

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Here's a "companion review" from Yankee Marshall - he refers viewers to lifesizepotato's video for trigger function details, and just offers his overall take on the Strike One's performance.

He likes it a lot - including its "revolver-like" trigger...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_14PHWbtCyI&feature=youtu.be


I gotta admit, I'm looking forward to the .357 Sig version, maybe in Compact trim...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yeah, he did a good video. I'm not ever going to agree with him on the trigger (though I have no problem conceding that it may not disappoint some as much as me), but otherwise, we see eye to eye on the rest of the gun.

A gray/stainless compact in 357 Sig would be my next Strike One, if they come out with it.
 

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Here comes the Strike One "Speed" Model...

10 rounds in 1.41 seconds...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhsWROgEL_Y


More from Arsenal Firearms;

10% lighter slide for up to 20% faster cycle.
Fiber Optic adjustable back and front sights.
4 CeraKote colors of the slide and back plate.
SUS416 - 5.0 Inch Stainless Steel barrel.


The Strike One Speed comes with a notable number of sport accessories to compete in all IPSC and IDPA classes, such as;

Compensator-Brakes.
Extended Magazine Floorplates.
Magnum Magazine Catch.
Modified Trigger and Trigger Chain.
Modified Slide Stop.


Available from February 2015 in 9 mm Luger and 9x21 IMI, the Strike One Speed has already obtained Sport Pistol status from the IPSC and CIP Proof House European Classification networks...

I'm curious what the "modified trigger and trigger chain" means as far as travel, pull weight, reset, etc...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
That's a pretty intense video! I'm curious about the "trigger chain," too. As it stands, it looks like a better overall gun than the original, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out.
 
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