Guns news in the last 12 months was interesting, 2017 wrapped up nicely and the firearms community had some good news and some bad news over the year, which was to be expected. When 2017 opened we were hoping to see a functional version of the pistol in our feature image, the Stryk B. As 2017 ended we found ourselves in the same position as last year when it comes to the Arsenal Firearms USA and the Stryk B. When I say same position, I mean almost exactly, right down to the recent announcement that was broke on Guns.Com, that the company formerly known as Arsenal USA Firearms has yet again changed it’s name.
Now just when I think I have seen it all, the universe shows me it has a few more tricks up it’s sleeve. The saga of the Stryk B reads like something that can only be described as a worst case scenario for a firearms enthusiast. When I sat down and read the article and press release at Guns.Com I was hit with the normal wave of emotions, frustration, anger, and pity, and I will explain why in a few moments. Lets look at the checkered history of this pistol who’s manufacturer has changed it’s names several times over the past few years, and why at the end of the day it’s the poor suckers who at the end of the day have ponied up cash and have a very real chance of never receiving a firearm.
The Name Game
To date as best as I can recall this pistol has been called the Strike One, and the Stryk A (full sized) and the Stryk B (compact size). The interesting thing about this is that the pistol has been marketed and was scheduled to be manufactured by the following companies at one time or another: Salient Arms International, Prime Group, Arsenal USA Firearms and now by a company called Archon. This timeline that I can accurately reference as far as names and models only goes back to 2013 as best as I can tell when the original pistol was being marketed to the Russian Federation for potential use by the Russian Military.
Details IF You Read Between The Lines
On the surface the rebranding was said to prevent any copyright infringement with the more well known Arsenal of Las Vegas, the one that makes Kalashnikov patterns rifles. The interesting thing about this story is that IF that was the case then why didn’t someone catch that little detail over a year ago when they rebranded from Prime Mfg/ Salient Arms International ? Any casual observer or person employed by almost any level of marketing firm should have thrown this red flag when the rebranding first came up. Something here doesn’t smell right, and is throws up a huge Red Flag that something not completely truthful is a foot.
When we placed our order for the pistol in September we were told that the first batch of roughly 35,000 pistols was in customs and awaiting final approval. Now this means the guns were 100% done and boxed, tested and shipped, and ready to be sent to distributors. Now when a person reads this quote from the Guns.Com article we see that those stories from September might also be a little stretch of the truth.
From Guns.Com Article:
“He went on to explain that due to ATF requirements, the renaming forces Archon to manufacture all new slides with updated markings. Archon is now eyeing a late spring launch for the Type B pistol.
“We apologize for the frustration this may cause some of the tens of thousands of customers who have placed pre-orders through their dealers,” Chavez said. “We wouldn’t exist without their patronage and we are doing everything we can to expedite the process. Type B samples have been in final field validation for a month now with a select group of firearms trainers and competitors, and based on their unanimously positive feedback, we are confident the wait will be worth the inconvenience.”
Interesting that the article says manufacture new slides, not retrofit or RE-Manufacture. Maybe this is me being overly critical of a company I have grown to distrust but choosing your words in a press release like this is very careful. Also if you read the whole article not once are the thousands of guns reportedly in the hands of ATF or Customs Agents being referenced. If I was a CEO of a company I would stress that the guns already produced and awaiting approval would be corrected first, or at the very least some reference to them. Yet here we have nothing, again something stinks in this whole drama around the Stryk B and Arsenal USA Firearms or whatever they are choosing to call themselves this week.
Anger, Frustration and Pity
At the end of the day I feel frustrated that a potentially great pistol that I had a chance to shoot at SHOT Show 2016 might never get the chance it deserves. Anger is the natural emotion for me to feel when I think of how incompetent people mismanage projects or situations. The fact that this gun has somehow been surrounded by a circus of incompetence is amazing to me. The last emotion I feel is Pity, I pity the distributors who hooked their financial wagon to this gun and this company. The distributors are left with angry clients who have paid money down for this pistol. They are the ones who have to look customers in the eye, not the circus clowns that are at the head of the marketing arm of Arsenal USA Firearms/Archon.
My only wish for this gun is that a large manufacturer does what Springfield Armory did to the HS2000, sweep in buy the rights and produce it under a different name in the same factory. There are some that might not know that the Springfield Xd was once known as the HS2000. Really that whole event is a text book example of how to buy someones idea, properly market it and watch everyone get rich. I’d like to hear from people who have been caught up in the fiasco of the Stryk pistol, You need a place to vent your rage and anger. All you have to do is drop us a line below and let off some steam.