Arex entered the firearms market a few of years ago with a single model in hand. Sometimes, when your product is good enough, one is all you need. Arex quickly followed its initial success with compact and suppressor-ready tactical versions. Next came a target model, but in today’s market, your line is incomplete without a lightweight polymer model for concealed carry or duty use. Introducing the Arex Rex Delta.
Last year, I received an invite to Slovenia to get a firsthand look at Arex’s manufacturing facility. Slovenia is not normally the first that comes to mind when you think of precision manufacturing. However, I can assure you, many of the machines used by your favorite manufacturers were designed and built at the Arex factory.
Building on the success of Arex’s first offering, the Arex Rex zero 1S, the company quickly followed with compact and tactical models. During my visit last year, we were treated to the Arex Alpha. The Alpha is an out-of-the-box target-ready pistol with a street price of less than $1,000.
While we loved the ultra-tough, solid, well-built zero 1, the 800-pound gorilla in the room still remained: When would Arex come out with a polymer version? The design and marketing teams both smiled and advised, “Perhaps it is in the works.” Knowing that, it was not a big surprise when I returned to Slovenia a couple of weeks ago for Arex’s new introduction—the Delta.
We were invited to a sneak peek test of the prototypes of the Delta. Arex had already noted a change or two that would be incorporated into the final production version. The Delta is a polymer-frame, striker-fired handgun chambered in 9mm. By comparison, I would roughly equate the size to my Smith & Wesson Shield.
Arex offerings thus far did not seek to create new technologies. Instead, the company looked for the best features across the industry, combined them into a single pistol, and then looked for ways to make improvements. The result has been nothing short of stellar.
I do not want to get too far into the details because the units we tested were prototypes. That being said, the Delta is a shooter. You can imagine what happened when they let a handful of writers loose on the range with a new gun and free ammunition…. Prototype or not, we started hammering the steel targets and making a lot of brass. As quickly as one writer would set down a gun, someone else would grab it and repeat the abuse to the steel targets.
What We Do Know
The Delta will feature steel battle sights, so you can rack the slide one-handed using a tactical vest, belt, pocket, etc. The trigger pull may change, but the prototypes were at about 6 pounds and felt similar to a two-stage with some slack before the wall. They broke cleanly with a short reset, which will provide fast follow-up shots.
The grip is modular with changeable inserts. We had several sizes, but the choices will likely be narrowed to three or four by the time the final version is ready for market. The grip texture was aggressive enough to offer good hand purchase without feeling like 80-grit sandpaper.
All controls are ambidextrous. The initial version will ship without a manual safety. However, understanding that market forces or individual department requirements may require a manual safety, Arex designed the Delta with the safety. That gives Arex the ability to either upgrade shipped models or ship Deltas with the safety in the future.
During the testing, a quick competition was held among the writers. The gun with the medium-grip module seemed to fit my hand the best and by chance had the thumb safety. Over the course of about 400 rounds or so plinking and shooting for speed in the competition, I never had a problem manipulating the safety. Neither did I engage it by accident.
When the smoke had cleared, the writers had fired several thousand rounds through the four or five prototypes, both under relaxed and stress (competition) conditions. There was never a failure to feed, fire, or eject from any of the prototypes. Given the history of Arex’s previous offering, this was not a surprise.
Estimates for the initial MSRP of the Delta are in the $450 range. That should leave it with a street price around $???—your guess is as good as mine. Would I trust my safety to the Delta? Given the results I have seen in the prototypes, I have already placed my order….
Arex is planning to finalize the design and hopes to have production models in the U.S. in December and on the street after the Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in January 2019. Check back to read a full review.