“In May 2014, NRA staffers secretly tested the Armatix iP1, the so-called “smart gun” that at the time was causing a furor among both media and gun owners nationwide,” the NRA’s americas1stfreedom.org website reveals. “What we found was disappointing at best, and alarming at worst.” Wait. What? The NRA’s been sitting on their “smart gun” review for a year and a half? Obviously, the recent 60 Minutes piece on smart guns inspired Fairfax to dust-off their post and present it to the public. While the late-to-the-party review shows just how dire the technology is, Armatix may have sorted some of the issues in the meantime. That said . . .
maybe this is all the NRA could do, then and now. [NOTE: TTAG has repeatedly attempted to purchase an Armatix iP1 since it first reared its digital head – to no avail.] Anyway, the NRA reports that they found a number of “very serious problems” with the gun’s design and function.
Does the Armatix operate perfectly? Well, no; we found it to be troubling at best. NRA’s tests, conducted with staffers trained by Armatix, found a number of very serious problems:
- The Armatix pistol initially required a full 20 minutes to pair with the watch, even with the aid of an IT pro trained in its use. Without pairing, the Armatix functions like any other handgun, capable of being fired by anyone.
- Once paired, a “cold start” still requires a minimum of seven push-button commands and a duration of 12 seconds before the gun can be fired.
- While the gun holds a maximum of 11 rounds (10+1), the best our experts could manage was nine consecutive rounds without a failure to fire (and that only once). Three or four misfires per magazine were common, despite using various brands of ammunition.
- Although the Armatix has a decent single-action trigger, it has the worst double-action trigger we’ve ever tested, requiring more force than any other pistol we’ve fired.
- The pistol must be within 10 inches of the watch during “start up.” This slows and complicates the use of the pistol if one hand is injured or otherwise unavailable.
- The design of the Armatix’s hammer prevents it from being safely thumbed forward.
- All this malfunction comes at a high price: At $1,798 ($1,399 for the base pistol and another $399 for the enabling watch), the Armatix is a more than five times the cost of other common .22s, like Walther’s excellent P22 ($319) or Browning’s tried-and-true Buckmark ($349), and four and a half times that of Smith & Wesson’s M&P22 polymer semi-auto ($379) or Ruger’s SR22 ($379). It’s also more than three times the cost of pistols like Glocks and Smith & Wesson M&Ps made in true self-defense calibers
So, the Armatix iP1 isn’t the greatest gun in the world, ergonomically, functionally, strategically or financially.
Bottom line: as tested, the Armatix iP1 is a dog. Surprised?