We all need a refresher course on things we like and the excitement of something new and interesting.
My friend Darrel keeps me interested as he runs a reputable and busy shop, and somehow manages to find the most interesting pistols.
He has some things he won’t sell and others that are run of the mill.
The Arsenal Strike One, however, was by far his most intriguing notion for a few words in a long, long time.
He reminds me he only sold this one because he owns another!
The pistol is now branded Archon, as the original name gave the buyer some confusion with another company with a similar name.
The Archon pistols are a little different from the Strike One, but the operating mechanism is the same.
Arsenal Strike One Features
The pistol is unconventional to say the least, but the Strike One is manufactured using proven manufacturing skill that results in a very well made firearm.
The slide is machined from a solid block of steel and the frame is covered with a grippy material that invites the shooter to keep a firm hold during the firing string.
An advantage of the design is a very low bore axis. The bore axis is the height of the midline of the bore above the hand.
The lower the bore axis, the less of an angle for recoil to cause muzzle flip. A high grip tang helps in this regard.
There simply isn’t much leverage for the muzzle to rise.
In this case, the pistol exhibits modest recoil and recovery between shots is excellent — there really isn’t anything faster to an accurate shot string in my experience.
The 9mm Luger is a powerful cartridge, but offers excellent control.
Accuracy at long handgun range is excellent.
The trigger action is a GLOCK type in most ways, striker-fired and easily controlled. The slide lock and magazine lock are conventional in design.
The magazine well is properly scalloped for rapid magazine changes. The magazines are sturdy all-steel units that hold 17 rounds.
In contrast to common modern pistols, the magazines were not difficult to load to full capacity.
The sights are actually part of the striker cover, the front sight a standard post. The newer Archon version features upgraded sights.
Function and Operation
Close attention to detail indicates the Strike One is not a conventional locked-breech pistol.
The pistol uses a type of geometric ring lockup that is a rarity in combat pistols.
The ring travels with the barrel during the first stages of recoil, moving straight to the rear without any tilt, producing a different recoil impulse.
This results in a pistol that is reliable with a wide range of ammunition and controllable.
The trigger action breaks clean and crisp in both pistols I have tested, averaging 5.5 pounds, the same as the average Gen 4 GLOCK pistol.
To cut to the chase, the pistol is a soft shooter and gets on target quickly and delivers solid hits.
A trained marksman may do amazing things with such a handgun.
Since this is a different type of operating mechanism than most, I wanted to be certain that the pistol is reliable with a wide range of ammunition.
I have tested gas-delayed and blowback 9mm pistols that run well with some loads and choke on others.
While they may run with full-power 9mm 124-grain loads, we choose other loads sometimes based on personal preference.
I tested the Arsenal Strike One with the following loads. The modern Archon was tested with only one load due to time constraints.
Here are the loads tested.
- Hornady 115-Grain XTP Titegroup Powder: 1,123 fps
- Hornady 115-Grain XTP Titegroup Powder: 1,229 fps
- Hornady 124-Grain FMJ Herco Powder: 1,090 fps
- Hornady 124-Grain XTP Unique Powder: 1,145 fps
- Hornady 147-Grain XTP Titegroup Powder: 888 fps
- Hornady 147-Grain XTP Titegroup Powder: 960 fps
- Hornady 115-Grain Critical Defense: 1,120 fps
- Federal 147-Grain HST +P: 1,030 fps
- Winchester 115-Grain Silvertip: 1,204 fps
Accuracy and Reliability
In all cases the pistol never failed to feed, chamber, fire or eject, firing a magazine of each load during combat practice.
Overall performance is good to excellent. Absolute accuracy is always interesting.
Firing from a solid benchrest, it wasn’t difficult to place five shots into a group of two inches or less at 25 yards.
This is a very interesting combination. A billet steel frame set in a polymer shell makes a lot of sense, and the operating mechanism is an innovation.
I like the Strike One, but would prefer to find the modern Archon pistol for all-around use.
The Arsenal Strike One and Archon are not for everyone, but the pistols are excellent performers.
Barrel Length: 5″
Overall Length: 8.27″
Weight: 26.5 oz