My Quest for the Arsenal Firearms AF2011 Dueller Prismatic

As collectors, there are certain guns that for whatever reason catch our imagination. The reasons can vary from popular cultural impact, to looks or aesthetics, to historical significance, to unique innovation, to rarity. Such reasons will often drive collections in particular directions. I have close friends who almost exclusively collect historical firearms, I know completists that have every gun put out by a particular manufacturer, and one that only collects revolvers (and another that only collects Colt revolvers).

In my case, I honestly view firearms first and foremost as tools. As such, though I have many firearms, my core defensive weapons are relatively pedestrian (the Glock 17, Remington 870, and the Smith and Wesson M&P-15). However, I am also a collector at heart, and as such my natural tendency to collect has extended into firearms over the years. Though I do tend to collect, my collections are almost always eclectic, driven by many of the factors listed above and rarely have a clear theme.

Dueller .45 ACP with passport and foreign currency
From first sight, I was intrigued by the Arsenal Firearms AF2011 Dueller in .45 ACP. However, after seeing it in the 2015 James Bond film “Spectre,” my hunt began in earnest.

I first became aware of the Arsenal Firearms Dueller around 2013 when images started to appear that, at the time, looked like the Glock revolver and were similarly thought to be fakes. Having always been a fan of the 1911 design and history I did enough research to find out that the gun had been designed and was available, though limited.

Shortly after learning of its existence, I got the opportunity to hold one a standard model, but at the time decided not to ‘pull the trigger’ on the high price tag. The first couple of reasons I will often add a firearm to the collection, history (based on the 1911) and novelty (simultaneous barrels) were there, but I was yet to be completely infatuated. Fast forward to the James Bond film “Spectre” in 2015 where Dave Bautista wielded the Dueller Prismatic as the SPECTRE professional killer, Mr. Hinx. As I got my first look at the AF2011 Dueller Prismatic with its 6.5” compensated barrels I was hooked. I added aesthetics and pop cultural impact to my reasons to collect this gun and was now devoted to adding a Dueller Prismatic to my collection.

The Arsenal Firearms Dueller Prismatic in Spectre, Sony Pictures
I was already feeling the pull towards this iconic-looking gun prior to seeing it in action in the 007 movie “Spectre,” but seeing it used by Mr. Hinx sealed the proverbial deal. (Photo Credit: Sony Pictures)

For the next two years I ‘hunted’ this elusive firearm (adding rarity to my list of reasons to obtain one). I likely could have obtained one if I had been willing to ‘pay anything.’ But, at an already very steep price, I was unwilling to go over the suggested retail. I had a couple almost in my grasp, but each time either missed out, or it was bought by someone willing to pay more than me. During this time, I had the gun stores I regularly frequent on the lookout for one, and in early 2017 was informed that a store had managed to snag a new one from a distributor auction (they had only gotten three of them). Thus, in May of 2017, I was able to add a brand-new Arsenal Firearms Dueller Prismatic to my collection.

The Arsenal Firearms Dueller in Media

The Dueller definitely has a presence to it, and it has appeared in more films than just “Spectre.” In 2016 the gun was extensively featured in the movie “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.” Though the last film in the original Resident Evil film franchise starring Milla Jovovich, the movies were more recently rebooted with 2021’s “Resident Evil: Welcome to Racoon City.” “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” features a pair of Dueller Prismatics used by multiple characters in the film. Though the “Resident Evil” movies are in no way high art, I have enjoyed them as popcorn fare and have seen each one in the theater. So, this became the second movie to taunt me with the Dueller before I finally acquired one.

Resident Evil
Alice, the main character in the original “Resident Evil” film series can be seen wielding two Arsenal Dueller Prismatics in the final movie of the series: “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.” (Photo Credit: Sony Pictures)

The next appearance was in “Deadpool II” in 2018. By this time I had managed to acquire my own so this was the first movie that I got to see the gun I now had in use. Though the main character primarily uses Desert Eagles, the Dueller in its standard configuration is seen being used by Deadpool’s sidekick Weasel (Played by T.J. Miller). Although the Dueller has also been seen in television (“Gotham Season 3”) and video games (Counter Strike Online 2 and Killing Floor 2) it has yet to make a return to the big screen since 2018.

Weasel in Deadpool with Arsenal Firearms Dueller Prismatic
The most recent appearance of the Arsenal Dueller was in 2018’s “Deadpool II” used by the character Weasel. (Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

The Dueller in the Real World

I don’t own any safe queens (guns collected but never fired/used). Although I keep my firearms well cared for and cleaned they all get used, though admittedly some much more than others. My Arsenal Dueller Prismatic was no exception and through the years since buying it in 2017, it has fired just under 500 rounds (it is a popular range toy request amongst my friends). I also brought it out for a bowling pins match, shooting in the Heavy Metal category once. So how does it shoot? Well, in short, I am never planning on ever carrying one.

Its size and weight alone relegate this gun to movies and fun range use. It is also fairly ammo sensitive as it needs both rounds to have very similar ballistics and for this reason, I have only shot Colt Match Grade .45 ACP ammo through it. You do need to provide a very firm grip and stance to give the double slide something stable to work off of with each semi-automatic double round fired and cycled. With the right ammo and solid grip and stance, it reliably runs with no issues, landing both rounds within about ½” out to 25 yards. The double punch worked exceedingly well against bowling pins, but the overall run took longer than similar larger-bore pistols.

The biggest practical limitation is the size of the grip and double trigger area. I am above average in both height at 6’ 2”, and have large hands even for my frame. That said, my hands are still smaller than what this gun optimally needs. A lot of my friends have to fully sacrifice their standard grip to engage the rear grip safety and fully press the double-connected trigger. This unfortunately can result in an insufficient grip to manage the recoil of cycling, creating a greater chance of jamming.

Arsenal Firearms Dueller
A great shot of the dual barrel construction of this unique pistol. (Photo Credit Arsenal Firearms)

All of that said, if you can get a good grip, the gun shoots remarkably reliably and accurately. Due to the increased size, it recoils similarly to a single-barrel 1911. No one that has shot mine has been disappointed, though some have been frustrated trying to figure out how to mechanically operate such a large gun. I doubt I will ever get rid of this gun as it is still one of the stars of my collection. As it is chambered in .45 ACP I am much more willing to let friends try it out at the range (due to ammo shortages there was more than a year I no longer let people shoot my Desert Eagles unless they provided the ammo). Now I just have to make sure my son appreciates the need to hold on to this once the collection passes to him.

Joel Nadler is the Training Director at Indy Arms Company in Indianapolis and co-owner of Tactical Training Associates.  He writes for several gun-focused publications and is an avid supporter of the right to self-sufficiency, including self-defense. Formerly a full professor, he has a Ph.D. in Psychology and now works as a senior consultant living on a horse ranch in rural Indiana.  Feel free to follow him on Instagram @TacticalPhD.

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