When we reivewed the BUL Armory Axe C Tomahawk many commented that this pistol was a bit expensive and they didn't like the ligthening cut/window on the slide. Next we reviewed the BUL Armory Axe C Cleaver as a more budget-friendly options which, as part of the means of reducing price featured considerably less slide machining. Viewers commented that although they liked the Axe C Cleaver, they wanted a more affordable pistols because they were sving funds to put a red dot on the gun; something the Axe C Cleaver did not have a mounting solution for.
Now we have the middle ground in the form of the Axe C Hatchet. Optics ready and a closed slide.
What Is it: The Axe C Hatchet is a striker-fired compact 9mm handgun based on the Glock Gen 3 design. Unlike it's design roots, the Axe pistols are guns for the 21st century and truly show the advancements and developments made over the last few decades both in shooter interface (trigger and ergonomics) and in build quality. In 2023 it's not just police officers who qualify once per year buying pistols. Modern guns need to be ready for enthusiast owners who have developed tastes, the option to pick something else, and might burn a case of ammo in a weekend of training rather than decade of duty.
BUL Armory takes pride in their pistols and it shows not only in the pistol, but also in the packaging and presentation. See the video below for a closer look.
This video compares the three models of Axe C pistols not only against themselves, but against a Gen 3 Glock 19 for slide mass and recoil assembly. Interesting results. I suppose it's logical, but I was impressed with how the dimple-style slide texturing both reduced slide mass (tends to reduce felt recoil) and provicded traction. Why haven't we seen more manufacturers take this approach?
Another difference with the Axe C Hatchet is the new grip texture. To find out if that makes much of a difference though we'll first need to hit the range.
Barrel length: 102mm/4.02 inch
Slide: Hatchet serrations.
Steel 3-Dot sights (glock dovetail)
Magazine capacity: 15 rounds .
Optic ready: Trijicon RMR footprint.
Weight without magazine: 587g / 1.2lbs
3.5 - 4.0 LB trigger pull.
Integrated flared magwell with side cuts.
High grip beavertail.
Trigger guard with a high double undercut.
Reversible magazine release.
Extended slide lock lever.
Ambidextrous integrated thumb rest.
Flat face trigger shoe.
1913 Picatinny rail.
Stainless steel guide rod.
Dimpled stainless steel pin kit.
What is included in the box:
Fabric range bag.
Bore brush kit: Nylon, Brass & steel.
For the range experience I of course used our standardized format including:
Cold Shots: Truly the first rounds through the gun.
Full Magazine +1: Suprisingly some modern guns still struggle with this. It's a test of how much play is in the magazine as well as how the slide cycles with pressure. This is also when I do my best to learn the trigger.
Multi-Mag: When a guns takes a common magazine pattern such as a Glock magazine I like to test for fitment, cycling, and drop-free with aftermarket magazines. With this pistol Tork Mag, ETS, Jagermann, KCI, factory Glock, Extar, UltiMag, and AC Unity.
What's For Dinner™: A test to see what ammunition the gun will eat. Does the gun feed the round from slide lock, will it cycle and feed another round of the same type, does the slide lock to the rear on empty, and is there any notable point of impact change with different loads.
For this gun we used the following ammunition:
Priced and linked where found at the time this article was written
90gr 1776 USA Lead-Free Sporting $14.79 / 50 at GrabaGun
100gr Hornady Critical Defense Lite $23.89 / 20 at Global Ordnance
100gr S&B Non-Tox
115gr Blazer Aluminum Case $17.59 / 50 at Optics Planet
130gr Federal PCC
138gr Federal SCHP $19.59 / 20 at Optics Planet
140gr S&B Subsonic
147gr Federal Syntech Training Match $19.76 / 50 at Global Ordnance
147gr Federal HST $38.99 / 20 at Optics Planet
158gr PPU Subsonic $23.74 / 50 at Sportsman's Guide
Sights & Trigger Control: on a 6" spinner target at a distance of 12 yards. We got this from Titan Great Outdoors and use it to gauge how learnable the trigger is and usable the sights are for forced, timed, precise shots.
Practical Accuracy: Five shots from a distance of seven yards at a one inch target. This isn't so much about printing a tight group as it is a culmination of our shooting experience and time for us to collect thoughts prior to making a conclusion.
After Shots: Final impressions and reflections from the range session.
The entire process can be seen in the SHooting Impressions video below.
I think BUL Armory hit the nail on the head for those looking for a middle ground Axe model. This was also the first we in the US are seeing of the new grip texture which does an excellent job. All the features one could possibly want on a Glock 19 sized pistol available at a price that's hard to argue with. Once again we're shown what Glock could have done if they had interest beyond simply satisfying large department orders and instead had entertained the consumer market some.
Teya later gave the gun a try after mounting a Viridian RFX35. Her impressions can be seen in the video below:
The Viridian RFX35 mounts directly to the Axe C Hatchet. Pricing for a Viridian RFX35 as of 11FEB24, click the links to see current pricing:
My only real complaint about the Aex C Hatchet while shooting comes from the size, or perhaps I should say my hand size. As with most pistols in this size class I end up with my pinky being pinched between the frame and magazine floor plate. On other guns that's been remedied with a flared magazine well. If you don't wear XXL gloves chances are this will fit your hand perfectly. As we saw in the tabletop video this pistol is lightweight, that makes for easier carry, but can also make for a little more felt recoil. Not a problem if your hand fits well.