U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Part one of the Archon Type B review was certainly promising, but now it's time to put lead to steel and see how the pricy polymer pistol performs.
Well, it all starts when the shooter gets the fiber-optic front sight aligned with the target. You pull back on the trigger which is an interesting mix of flat and curved in its profile. The trigger has to travel a good distance before reaching the break. Once at the break there is a little bit of creep. After pulling the trigger, the reset is short and adequately tactile.
If there is one downfall of the Type B it is that the trigger feels a bit mushy and unresponsive when compared with competitors in its price range. With time, the shooter can learn to adjust to the Type B’s trigger and shoot with it proficiently. It’s just unfortunate that an otherwise top-notch handgun is stuck with a mediocre trigger until aftermarket options appear.
If the Archon Type B had a trigger similar to that of the Walther PPQ, I believe it would be the best polymer-framed handgun platform out there. Once you get past the trigger pull and adapt to it, the Archon is a very likable gun. It’s just plain fun to shoot. Of all the polymer-framed handguns that I have shot, the Archon has the most personality. It’s different in ways that matter, and you can feel that when you shoot it. The AF-Speedlock technology engineered into the Type B truly provides a more stable shooting experience than the prolific tilting barrel system found on the majority of modern defensive handguns.
The mix of low bore axis with the various recoil-reducing technologies incorporated into the pistol makes for a really unique shooting experience that will bring a smile to any shooter’s face. Fortunately, the Type B impresses in more categories than just smiles per trigger pull. I’m happy to report that the gun does maintain its mystical ability to keep the shooter planted on the target during strings of fire, making it an excellent choice for a defensive handgun.
Some may insist that the sheer amount of parts and odd technologies at work in the Type B should raise concerns over whether or not the firearm will be reliable long term. Scouring the internet for evidence of any kind of failure in the revised, new batch of Type B handguns has yet to yield any results. The gun feels very stable and is easy to shoot quickly without putting shots in a vertical line up the center of the target.
While the low bore axis does help to control recoil, especially vertical recoil, the Archon has felt recoil that is better than most other polymer-frame 9mm handguns, if only by a modest margin. It is when the shooter begins speeding up or increasing the number of rounds they shoot at a target that the Archon really shines.
On a shot-to-shot basis, the Archon does not feel all that different from its peers. But when the shooter begins shooting hammered pairs, failure to stop drills, or any other speed-oriented drill, the Archon begins to show how unique it really is. The gun almost begs the shooter to push themselves.
It coaxes the shooter to see how fast they can shoot without decreasing their accuracy. Even when I make the deliberate choice to shoot slowly with the Type B, the urge to speed up is always there. During a string of fire, the shooter has so little to adjust for in terms of muzzle rise that it can be hard to get used to. It is an odd phenomenon but a welcome one. In my opinion, the amount of control the shooter has over the Type B during a string of fire validates a large chunk of its price tag.
The Archon Type B is not inexpensive, especially when compared to other polymer-framed handguns. The issue when comparing these handguns to the Type B in terms of value is that it’s hard to find anything that’s really all that similar. The Type B comes with four 15 round metal magazines. The magazines sell for $42 apiece on the Archon Firearms website.
This is a few dollars below HK’s price for comparable magazines and roughly $14 more than the price of comparable magazines that Springfield sells. The fact that you get four magazines right off the bat makes the price tag more palatable. The gun also comes in a nice nylon pistol bag as opposed to a bulky hard case that will end up sitting on top of a gun safe or in the back of a closet. The bag is the perfect size to make it actually practical for transporting the Archon to and from the range.
When it comes to the value of the gun itself, it’s going to come down to the individual shooter. At $850, the Archon is about 300 bucks more than a new-in-box Gen 4 Glock 17. The Archon does come equipped with a fiber-optic front sight and blacked-out rear sights. The frame already has a great texture to it, so a shooter is unlikely to need custom stippling or framework. The slide has the distinctive step cut into it and both front and rear serrations out of the box. Where a standard guide rod and recoil spring are usually found in most stock handguns, the Type B has a three-stage recoil rod. This recoil rod also has an uncaptured mainspring for convenient cleaning and maintenance. The trigger, while not stellar, is decent with a good reset and comfortable profile.
A standard Picatinny rail resides at the front of the frame as opposed to a proprietary mounting system. The gun comes with four magazines which is plenty for most defensive applications, though some competitors may want to purchase more. All of this is to say that there are all kinds of things shooters can spend money on to upgrade a new firearm but the Archon really doesn’t need any of them. With the exception of a slide cut for optics, the Archon Type B delivers on all the features that most shooters look for in a defensive handgun. Reliability, durability, accuracy, and recoil control are all strong suits of the Type B.
It’s honestly a mystery to me how the Type B has not become more popular since its release. Simply put, the Archon Type B deserves attention. It truly is one of the most underrated handguns on the market. Out of the box, it’s packed with features that shooters want. Instead of buying a cheaper handgun and putting extra money into upgrading it, buy the Archon for $850. You’ll get a durable, high-quality competition-ready handgun with an impressive list of features and the lowest bore axis of any semi-automatic handgun on the market.
It’s about as different as a striker-fired, polymer-framed handgun can get. If you’re looking for a unique gun that doesn’t sacrifice functionality for cool-factor, the Archon has plenty of both in equal measure.
Sam is an NRA certified instructor and a videographer. His love for guns of all kinds started at a young age with an interest in military history. He began working with Renaissance Firearms Instruction while still in High School and continues to film videos for their channel to this day. He is currently pursuing a career in Law Enforcement in North Carolina. Sam is an avid shooter and is especially fond of handguns and braced firearms.