In an era of "Glock Clones" it's been amazing to see what other companies have come up with when starting with the Gen 3 Glock format. So far we've tried the PSA Dagger and found it to be rather un-Glock like, but very affordable and build to be so. It was time to try something on the higher end and see what another company could do with the format.
Our Patrons had long-requested a BUL Armory gun, and with their support we were able to order one. Prices range across the different variations of the Axe C (Glock 19-sized) but we were able to find a deal and so jumped on the premium Tomahawk variant.
What Do You Get? The Bul Armory Axe C Tomahawk comes nicely appointed in a quality bag that features plenty of elastic bands for spare magazines (three included) and velcro straps for retaining the pistol in the spacious case. The owner's manual is written well enough for new and experienced shooters alike to appreciate, brushes included for cleaning, and some cool stickers should want to show others that you've chosen a pistol of a finer tier. The kit feels like more than simply purchasing a pistol, it feels like becoming a member of a club.
What's the Build Like? Have you ever handled a high-end custom 1911 and been impressed with how it feels? The materials are similar or the same to any other 1911, but this one feels special, you can feel the attention that went into constructing it. The Bul Armory Axe C Tomahawk is like that, a rarity in the polymer-framed, striker-fired world. Aesthetically it's very stylish, but the more you handle it the more you notice that the lines, textures, and cuts are all very deliberate. Similar to admiring a supercar and realizing that every aspect of the shape, thought great to look at, was done to enhance performance.
The frame has texture everywhere, and in each place it's the right texture for what the hand needs to do there. The front and backstrap use angled squares similar to the Archon Type B, pathways for thumb and trigger finger allow safe passage, but resist rotation of the pistol under recoil. The trigger guard is sculpted as a resting point for those who index there, while forward of the takedown lever is scalloped and textured for both firing finger index and to serve as an additional point of control with the support-hand thumb. Even the trigger is ornately textured in a way that holds your finger.
Slide serrations are positive and effective, while also presumably shaving weight from the stainless steel. The window on the top of the slide shows off a fluted barrel and also reduces slide weight. Reducing slide weight reduces total reciprocating mass. The heavier a slide is the more it take to stop its movement. This is felt by the shooter in recoil, and by how the nose of the gun settles after cycling. The lighter the slide the less felt recoil and flatter a gun feels in cycling. For comparison the BUL Armory Axe C Tomahawk slide weighs 10.4oz (minus barrel) and a factory Gen 3 Glock slide weighs 12.19 oz (minus barrel). The Axe C Tomahawk is 15% lighter!
Pricing as of 16OCT22 (Cleaver model with closed slide, less aggressive serrations included for comparison)
Specifications from the manufacturer website:
USA MSRP : $960
Barrel length: 102mm/4.02 inch
Slide: Tomahawk serrations with a weight reduction cut
Steel 3-Dot sights (glock dovetail)
Optic ready: Trijicon RMR footprint
Magazine capacity: 15 rounds X3
Weight without magazine: 560g
3.5 - 4.0 LB trigger pull
Available colors: Silver (Natural finish)
Integrated flared magwell with side cuts
High grip beavertail
Trigger Guard with a high Double Undercut
Reversible magazine release
Extended Slide Lock Lever (stainless steel)
Ambidextrous integrated thumb rest
Flat face trigger shoe
1913 Picatinny rail
Aluminum guide rod
Dimpled stainless steel pin kit
Show or Go? To see how the BUL Armory Axe C Tomahawk performed we hit the range for our standard battery of experiences. Teya, as often, didn't even tough the gun until we were on the range.
Ammunition seen in our Shooting Impressions video was made possible by our Patrons and supporters of our ammunition savings account through Ammo Squared. Additional, on-demand ammunition through True Shot Gun Club.
Of some note was the multi-mag test. The magazines we use aren't brand new, and a sample size of one, so it may be time to replace a few of them as the Axe C Tomahawk was pickier than expected. The included BUL Armory factory magazines were great, and the factory Glock magazine worked, but the aftermarket magazines we tried all seemed to through a fit one way or another. It could be our samples are old, could be that the Axe C Tomahawk is manufactured to tighter standards than the third-party magazines could accept.
Other than that the pistol was an incredible shooting experience, and yet another reminder of how far Glock didn't take their platform. Once again I don't think this pistol can be called a "Glock clone" because although the platform's essential design is similar to a Glock 19, the shooter experience is completely different. In our eyes this is a performance pistol with a carry-appropriate trigger (easy enough to alter with aftermarket parts), dedicated to neither role, but just as ready for them. The rail invites defensive use, and looks will attract attention in a safe or on the range. In this way the higher price tag makes sense, the Axe C Tomahawk costs more than many others because it can easily replace two or three others of lesser price.
We thank our Patrons for recommending we try one, and for making this review possible.