With so much attention paid to Arsenal’s double-barreled 1911, a much less novel and much more practical pistol may be getting overlooked. Also by Arsenal, the Стриж — Strike One for the Western market (actual translation is “swift” after the bird) — is a very interesting new striker-fired gun from Russia, and a joint Russian and Italian design.
The Strike One is being developed in two sizes, full and compact, in four calibers, 9mm Parabellum, 9x21mm IMI, .357 SIG and .40 S&W, and in two different frame materials, polymer and 7075 aluminum (Ergal by its trade name).
The frame material is largely a matter of preference, as the Strike One uses a single steel frame insert, like Caracal pistols or the Rock River Arms Poly. This single-piece insert is both the rails and the fire control group housing. The grip is just a shell that houses it and the magazine. The length of the rails is very impressive; they run two-thirds of the length of the handgun and ride millimeters above the tang of the Strike One.
It has an extremely-low bore axis. Video shows so little muzzle flip it almost looks like airsoft. In order to accomplish this, the barrel assembly is very different from the Browning-style cam lock used in so many self-loading handguns. The barrel assembly uses a separate locking lug that disconnects from the barrel during the cycle of operations.
The locking system is being touted as the fastest-cycling operation of any handgun. Given the amount of slide-lightening done at the factory, we’ll at the very least admit that it looks pretty fast.