Now That’s a Double Tap

Arsenal Firearms recently shook up the shooting world with the introduction of the “Second Century” pistol, the world’s first double-barreled M1911 pistol. The gun, made in Italy, is really two M1911s built on a common frame, with a shared slide assembly and a single wide hammer. It fires two synchronized rounds with every pull of the trigger—one from the right barrel and one from the left.

Shooting Illustrated Executive Editor Adam Hegganstaller and I had an exclusive preview, briefing and range session with the AF2011 and its co-inventor Nicola Bandini. I have known Nicola for many years and he is one of the best known and most respected of Italy’s gun writers. Now he has gone from merely writing about them to designing and making handguns. Nicola is in business with Arsenal Firearms President/Owner Dimitry Streshinskiy, the co-designer of the AF2011 and co-inventor of the Strike Pistol, which was recently awarded a Russian military contract.

Developing the gun was not simply a matter of machining two pistols and soldering them together. There were a number of tough engineering problems to be worked out, in particular the geometry of the barrel bushings and making two guns function as one reliably. And it is indeed reliable. We hit the range and, with every pull of the trigger(s), two .45 ACP cases spewed in opposite directions. In the hand it was not bad considering 460 grains of projectile goes downrange with each “shot.” It sounds worse than it is to actually fire, as the steel-framed AF2011 weighs more than 68 ounces with the tested 5-inch barrels. It is a big gun, but very manageable. Adam’s a big guy, but even in his hands, this is a big gun.

But is a gun that fires two rounds every time the trigger is pulled a machine gun? The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Firearms Technology Branch spent quite a lot of time testing and shooting the gun (I can’t blame them as it really is fun to shoot), eventually ruling that even though it fires twice with a single trigger pull, the completely separate barrels do not shoot “automatically.” The FTB approved the AF2011 for importation on Nov. 14, 2012. As far as I know, we were the first outsiders to shoot the gun, and you can find our exclusive video here. 

At the recent NASGW show, I stopped in to see Nicola and he showed me a half-scale version, a stainless gun and a longslide. Suggested retail, by the way, is to be around $5,000. This is not the only handgun to come from Arsenal, and as soon as we have a sample of the firm’s next design, you’ll see it here.

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67 Responses to Now That’s a Double Tap

Bruce Pierce wrote:
February 05, 2014

Oh well' it would make a cool prop in an action movie. Not for me, though.

Ken Lingenfelter wrote:
January 29, 2014

W H Y ?

Jeff wrote:
July 10, 2013

$5000.00 gimme a break

Coronado Ferrufino wrote:
March 29, 2013

I'd like ,looks cool but to much money, Absolutely ridiculous wow $5.000.00 It's a good colector Gun???

Ross wrote:
March 02, 2013

Wow, I can't wait to spend $5,000 on it.

Marty Austin wrote:
February 21, 2013

Its awesome, I have been wanting to put 2 Remington 1100 together a left handed and a right handed ?

Glen W wrote:
February 17, 2013

Why in the world would I want to shoot .45 ACP and .38 Super at the same time? I can't see that working. Looks cool, though. You would need high quality ammo. I can see jamming being a real issue if it happens.

Paul Vincent wrote:
January 31, 2013

I'm waiting for the superposed version.

Roy Adam wrote:
January 28, 2013

I'd like to try that at a Bowling pin shoot. Looks like fun.

Michael wrote:
January 27, 2013

So, if I have 2 ten round mags, only able to fire ten times, legal?

Mark Stephan wrote:
January 26, 2013

Hey Mark Keefe, what exactly is "hardball?" Pardon me, but I expected more from an editor in chief. As to the double barrel 1911 . . . why? And why would a police agency want different calibers in each barrel. Absolutely ridiculous!

Jerry Lapple wrote:
January 25, 2013

Most guys who need this can't hit anything anyway, why not three barrels, then you can really miss?

Craig baxter wrote:
January 24, 2013

Showing up at the range with that would be like pulling up in the parking lot in a Lamborghini....I WANT ONE!!!

BWAYNE wrote:
January 23, 2013

MAN UP. Join the NRA

tyronicus wrote:
January 23, 2013

Would the magazine be considered one or two? Meaning in the people's republic of new york would it be two seven round magazines or one 14 rd?

Doug E wrote:
January 22, 2013

The answer to a question no one asked. But, a cool gun.

ek wrote:
January 22, 2013

are you kidding $5000

Len Muscato wrote:
December 04, 2012

Poor John Moses Browning, he must be turning over in his grave!

David wrote:
December 02, 2012

Seems like a waste of extra ammo to me !!!!

John wrote:
December 02, 2012

Why: because people like to collect unusual pcs.

Patriot pete wrote:
December 02, 2012

Like has been said before, that's crazy, I WANT ONE! I don't know what I'd do with it but I want one, or two. You know I saw this a year ago and I thought that they had 2 models, one that had two triggers so that it could shoot individualy. I guess not

Robert W Johnson wrote:
December 02, 2012

What happens if you get a slight hang-fire on one side?

Jim S. wrote:
December 02, 2012

$5,000? You got to be crazy! I could buy lots and lots of ammo for my 92F. How would you carry that thing? It would be fun to play with but it's not practical.

chad crumpler wrote:
December 02, 2012

Besides the obvious carry and concealment prob,the recoil impact,andd the bulk and weight problems associated wt target shooting,looks like a fun weapon to own if for nothing else but a conversation piece!

D Kelly wrote:
December 02, 2012

I want one !!!

Mike wrote:
December 02, 2012

Only thing that make it great is if the 2 barrel had different bore like a 45 and 9mm that screw up the FBI every time on their anti self defense hunts

gargaryun wrote:
December 02, 2012

I'd like to see inherent accuraccy results, but if it's not shooting diverging paths, I want 1....(so, call Me stupid....)

ranger wrote:
December 02, 2012

where was the brass going! A second chance for failure to feed, especially using 2 different types of ammo

Mike wrote:
December 02, 2012

I don't think I could afford to practice with this very often.

Mark wrote:
December 02, 2012

I really wanted it, just because its different till I saw the price..... $5000!! I'm out.

Jd wrote:
December 02, 2012

I want one!

Irishman wrote:
December 02, 2012

You could buy 2 Glocks and still have plenty of money left over to buy ammo, holsters, all sorts of fun accessories. The G21 holds 13+1 and is a lot easier to carry and wield. The 1911 is a great design. I own several. I'd much rather carry my Glock, however.

gunnie1980 wrote:
December 02, 2012

little to pricey for me but hey i still love guns

David wrote:
December 02, 2012

anyone that shoots a lot can double tap faster then they can recover from all that recoil

anthony pizighelli wrote:
December 02, 2012

Good for collectors,but not practicle for concealed carry or daily use. Is it cool? Yeah! Practical? No.

Jacob berry wrote:
December 02, 2012

J.m. Browning is rolling over in his grave.

Red wrote:
December 02, 2012

Jon, I thought the same thing initially... the *cases* go in opposite directions. Other than that... this thing CRIES for a super-slow motion filming!

RDD wrote:
December 02, 2012

You were NOT the first outsiders to shoot the gun. ;-)

Sam wrote:
December 02, 2012

Nearly useless, completely impractical, expensive, silly, awkward looking, hardly manageable, and just downright goofy. I want one.

Timbo wrote:
December 02, 2012

Shot is shot, a person getting shot ain't going to care if its by one or two bullets. Maybe this gun was made for people who miss to the sides a lot.

Kingteddybear wrote:
December 02, 2012

Gee twice the fun, two jams in one! No thanks...

John wrote:
December 02, 2012

I'll take two one for each hand

Mark wrote:
December 02, 2012

I'd rather dual wield any day... Cool because I love my pistols but that's just retarded at the sametime

RC93 wrote:
December 02, 2012

Not practical by any means but just wild enough to be cool.It also solves the capacity "problem" all the 9mm lovers throw in the face of anybody who prefers a 45acp as a CC weapon.

Erik S wrote:
December 02, 2012

so is aiming not an issue? twice as hard to find spent shells. cool, but use? (okay I'll buy one, but i wont like it)

Daniel S> wrote:
December 02, 2012

When it is empty of rounds and still have a bad guy you could throw it. Kicks more than a Desert Eagle.

Joe wrote:
December 02, 2012

Arsenal products are garbage.

deathmetal44 wrote:
December 02, 2012

it's awesome,i want one. but 5000$ noway! 2500 tops and it needs to be set up to handle 45 super:). or make em in 10mm or 460 rowland

Bob wrote:
November 29, 2012

Talk about Shock and Awe! Look out Zombies

Black R. wrote:
November 28, 2012

WHY NOT? kinda like shoop said---this is STUPID (now where do i get it?)

shoop wrote:
November 28, 2012

This is crazy. Who in their right mind would want this? Where do I order one?

got2hokies wrote:
November 28, 2012

For the money, I'd buy 2 Les Baer's,all day long, without blinking and eye.

Windy wrote:
November 28, 2012

Ya gotta be pretty mad at someone to shoot 'em with this Baby....

Ralph wrote:
November 28, 2012

They should have called it the Flinchmaster.

Ghillisniper300 wrote:
November 28, 2012

Ah, I see where they supposedly approved it. I wonder if that means they'll give back all the old double barrel shotguns that they took because they fired with a pull through of the trigger? i doubt it.

JGR wrote:
November 28, 2012

Well, now I'm going to have to re-load twice as fast.

Ken Rihanek wrote:
November 28, 2012

Cool engineering and great for the next action movie. It kicks way too much. I see lots of regripping on every shot in the video. It's not going to be a commercial success.

John Ciccone wrote:
November 27, 2012

Aside from being a great prop for Doublemint Gum commercials, it has little practical value.

Jon Alexander wrote:
November 27, 2012

I'm sure the writer didn't actually mean 'spew out in opposite directions...' But anyway, holy cow! I'd need to have MUCH bigger hands to fire this puppy! :)

irright wrote:
November 27, 2012

I'm a bit fuzzy about how this pistol maintains lockup. With one slide, can it cycle with a dud on one side? If so, how does it handle one side being a slight hangfire? Could that hangfire become an out-of-battery discharge?

MNH wrote:
November 27, 2012

Begs the question, why? Interesting exercise in design and engineering, but I have to think that this is an almost perfect example of "just because a thing can be done, does not mean it should be done".

Fletcch wrote:
November 27, 2012

It seems kinda silly, but yet . . . I still want one.

john youngs wrote:
November 27, 2012

OOOOKAAAAAA - Now, how do you carry (concealed, that is...) something like this? Also, what parts are common with std. 1911's - or are they all pretty much proprietary to this new design? How about a Para-Ord "DOUBLE" P-14 hi-cap design?

Gary wrote:
November 27, 2012

heavy, awkward, useless...

Ed wrote:
November 27, 2012

Interesting concept. Any video of the rounds printing the target? I would have liked to see the hits as they occurred.

Doc wrote:
November 27, 2012


larry wrote:
November 27, 2012

show me the target results