Concealed Carry

The Arsenal Strike One: World’s Best Combat 9mm?

Arsenal Strike One

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.

Archon Type B
The Archon Type B is a futuristic handgun.

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.

With a safe full of CZ, GLOCK and SIG pistols, I am able to state authoritatively none is as controllable in rapid-fire with such accuracy as the Strike 1.


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.

Arsenal Strike One lockup mechanism
The lockup of the Arsenal Strike One is simple and sturdy.

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

Factory Loads

  • Hornady 115-Grain Critical Defense: 1,120 fps
  • Federal 147-Grain HST +P: 1,030 fps
  • Winchester 115-Grain Silvertip: 1,204 fps
Arsenal Strike One firing components
The Strike One’s operating mechanism is very different than any other handgun in current manufacture.

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.


Caliber: 9×19
Capacity: 17+1
Barrel Length: 5″
Overall Length: 8.27″
Height: 5.63″
Width: 1.3″
Weight: 26.5 oz

What do you think of the Arsenal Strike One and Archon pistols? Let us know in the comments below!

About the Author:

Wilburn Roberts

When Wilburn Roberts was a young peace officer, he adopted his present pen name at the suggestion of his chief, as some of the brass was leery of what he might write. This was also adopted out of respect for families of both victims and criminals. The pen name is the same and the man remains an outspoken proponent of using enough gun for the job.

He has been on the hit list of a well-known hate group, traveled in a dozen countries and written on many subjects, including investigating hate crimes and adopting the patrol carbine. He graduated second in his class with a degree in Police Science. It took him 20 years to work himself from Lieutenant to Sergeant and he calls it as he sees it.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (2)

  1. I have had a Strike One for about 6yrs. I did a trigger upgrade and went to fiber optic sights. I have been very happy with it since I bought it. Sadly all of my friends that I have let try it were not able to buy one during the transition, and are jealous of mine. i have found it to be an exceptional part of my regular shooting collection. I shoot with both hands left and right with equal accuracy.

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