After over a year of waiting it has finally arrived! The Archon Type B has been a long awaited handgun for many in the firearms community. It may even look familiar to some because the predecessor of the Type B is the Arsenal Firearms Strike One. After many changes were made we get to finally see this modern looking handgun with some interesting features.
To start it is visually clear that the Type B has a low bore axis in comparison to many handguns on the market. For those who may be newer to this terminology, the bore axis is simply the relationship of how low the bore of the handgun sits in your hand. Typically a lower bore axis leads to more of the firearm's recoil transferring into your grip and body versus up and over which makes recoil control slightly harder. Some act as if bore axis is the most important factor in handgun as of late; however, we must remember that a well formed grip is just as important if not more so. After extensive shooting of the Type B, I can tell everyone that the recoil management feels slightly easier than the popular options such as Glock or the CZ P10-C. According to Archon, the bore axis is around 25% lower than the previously mentioned contenders. The way that Archon accomplishes this low bore axis set up is by using their AF Speedlock. The speedlock is a floating locking block that allows the barrel to stay mostly fixed while shooting.
The low bore axis has certainly been the most appealing aspect of the Type B since it was announced back in 2017, but there are few more features that need to be mentioned. Most of the gun is similar to many other striker fired polymer handguns, but it's how it was executed that matters. The trigger for example, is so smooth that there is hardly, if any, wall present. Imagine a double action revolver trigger, but being so smooth and light that it's almost too easy. That is the Type B trigger. To be specific the trigger is approximately 4.5lbs of pull, but being so smooth and having a flat-faced trigger shoe makes it feel much lighter.
Gripping the firearm will reveal how aggressive the grip and slide serrations are for the user. After prolonged shooting it may irritate your hand slightly, but if you shoot often then it will go unnoticed. For those who enjoy or utilize forward serrations, they are included and grip so well to your hand that they soon collect your skin from manipulation of the firearm.
Other aspects that need mentioned include the fact that the Type B includes a front fiber optic sight paired with a Glock dovetailed rear sight. Your box will also include four magazines with fifteen round capacity. Most modern handguns are only provided with two or three factory magazines; however the Type B has four which is a great start. To release your magazines the release is slightly oversized and is easily switched for a right or left handed shooter. Simply insert an empty magazine backwards and you will be able to slide the magazine release out and insert it through the opposing side to work for left handed shooters. Reloading is made slightly easier by the flared magwell. All features combined gives a shooter a great setup from the factory. It could easily fit the needs of a competition gun if desired.
When taking the Type B to the range I had a great experience shooting it. Well over a thousand rounds in and I have no complaints about the functionality of the handgun. Early reports were complaining of light primer strikes and the metal trigger becoming hot to the touch with prolonged shooting. I did not experience either of these issues. From my understanding Archon quickly fixed whatever issues were present. When shooting, having the gun sit low in the hand made it easy to transition from targets and simply point and shoot. Overall, the shooting experience was comfortable and made everything I tried easy.
As with any firearm, maintenance and ease of cleaning is important. Taking apart the firearm is simple with the removal of a pin that is easy to line back up, so there is nothing to worry about there. The engineering behind the low bore axis does not make maintenance become a hassle on the user. Parts may look slightly different than everyone is used to from many other striker fired designs, but once you have taken the Type B apart a few times it all becomes easy.
The only negatives I can think of is that the availability of parts will be limited and the price. Archon is fairly new and not at the level or widespread popularity that many companies are at. Therefore, parts and aftermarket accessories will be limited for some time. Custom work is already available through distributors such as Rain6 if you are eager to upgrade the firearm even more. Furthermore, we all know the saying "you get what you pay for". The Type B being a little bit on the expensive side for many does scare away a large audience in the firearms community; however, you truly get a quality gun for what you are paying. To get many other popular handguns to its level would take copious amount of money that would total greater than the initial cost of the Type B. If you weigh the costs and understand what you are getting then it is easy to see why the gun is in a higher price range.
The Type B is a gun that we took out of the box and immediately had it ringing steel from 25 to 100 yards with ease. Shooting the Type B surely made all of us seem like better shooters than we truly are because the ergonomics allow it to fit into your hand and utilize the already incredible trigger. The ergonomics seemed to almost force your hands to properly grip the gun- no complaints there! There was less adjusting to this new platform and it could be picked up like any other handgun we were all used to and perform at peak levels. Varying types of ammunition did not seem to cause any problems for the Type B as well. Having seen issues with light primer strikes from others, I was happy and relieved to never experience any.
In the end, I do not think I will make this gun one of my carry guns, simply because the trigger is much too light for my liking on a defensive gun. Does this mean the gun is bad and cannot be used in this fashion? Absolutely not! Everyone has their own personal preferences. I can say that each time I shoot the Type B, I enjoy it even more as my preferred range gun to simply have fun with at the range and target shoot.