The author takes a closer look at the Arex Delta M Gen 2 Tactical, a promising polymer pistol from Slovenia.
While the Glock 19 might rule as one of the most popular midsize compact pistols on the market for self-defense, there are often pretenders to that throne. Most of these designs fall by the wayside or develop niche followers, but every now and then one company keeps improving on their designs and genuinely offers an improved product.
One of those companies: Arex Defense of Slovenia, with the Arex Delta M Gen 2 Tactical.
Five years ago, I was invited to Slovenia as part of a press junket to see a new firearm about to be released by Arex Defense. The trip included a factory tour and a range day to promote the original Arex Rex Delta, a polymer-framed, striker-fired 9mm handgun, roughly the size of a Glock 19.
While I might have been expecting a repurposed Cold War-era factory, I was pleasantly surprised to behold a state-of-the-art gunmaking facility with more than 120 highly motivated employees. I had been impressed with their all-metal handguns in the past, but these new polymer pistols were even more impressive.
This factory has a barrel-making mandrel used for making barrels for FN 2000s for the Slovenian military and here it was, turning out barrels for these new pistols. I witnessed everything take place under one roof, from manufacturing to assembly to proof testing and walked away impressed.
Over the years, Arex offered firearms for T&E, but a change in frame color or maybe the addition of a new optics plate doesn’t really rate a follow-up piece. However, the number of changes put into this new incarnation really make it worth writing about. So, I asked the folks at their U.S. importer, Global Ordnance, to send me one.
When asked for feedback on the original Rex Delta, I went for the obvious: optic plate, threaded barrel, higher sights, etc. I’m not saying they took all my ideas, but just about everything I wanted to see changed back then has since taken place. The slide sports excellent front and rear cocking serrations. Normally, I’m not a fan of front cocking serrations as they can ruin the classic lines of most pistols, but the serrations on the Arex Delta M Gen 2 Tacticals’ slides have a nice elliptical look to them.
Like the original, the Arex Delta M Gen 2 Tactical ships with four interchangeable backstraps to provide a custom fit for an individual shooter’s hand. While I tend to put the largest or second to largest of these on most handguns, I found the smallest one gave the impression of a single-stack pistol in spite of the fact that it takes either a flush-fit 15-round magazine or a slightly extended 17-round magazine with a nice base pad to blend it to the frame.
The barrel is threaded ½x28 for use with a silencer or compensator. Originally, I tried to dissuade them from going with a plate system for optics during a feedback session and urged them toward milling for a specific sight’s footprint. This came from witnessing a few MOS plate screws failing and sending sights flying downrange at the 5,000- to 7,000-round mark due to two sets of screws slowly backing out and the heads shearing off.
Yet, their new mounting plate system is interesting. It comes with five different sizes and are made of polymer. These plates come with two sets of steel threaded inserts to fit the mounting screws of the sight in question. I recommend using Loctite on each and every one of them.
However, the highlight of the Delta is the way it breaks down. You slightly pull the slide to the rear, push down the two front tabs, push the slide forward … and take it off. There’s no pulling the trigger or pushing down on an internal lever as one would do with a Glock or Smith & Wesson M&P, respectively.
To reassemble, simply place the slide on the frame and pull it rearward. There’s a provision to add a manual safety. However, the pistols don’t ship with one. This option is in anticipation of police departments or folks who live in states where a manual safety is required on semiautomatic handguns.
Another interesting feature in that vein is a red indicator in the middle of the slide’s rear plate that lets the shooter know the striker is cocked. It’s not necessarily a loaded chamber indicator, but you can tell at a glance if the pistol is ready to fire.
Controls are completely ambidextrous. The magazine release works from either side, as does the slide stop. Left-handed shooters will appreciate these features greatly. Lastly, the pistol is fitted with a three-slot rail to add a weapon-mounted light, laser or Mantis X training device.
With striker-fired handguns, we almost always have to come back to triggers. Arex greatly improved the feel of the trigger compared to the version I’ve shot previously. I measured this one with an RCBS trigger weight scale, and it broke consistently at 4.5 pounds. That’s not horrible, but it could always be better.
That said, it does have a very short reset. I’m hoping that a company like Apex Triggers gets sent a sample so they can work their magic on this pistol and turn it into a real performer.
Parts and Accessories
The pistol ships in a plastic hard case with two magazines, a flush-fitting 15-round and a 17-round with an extended baseplate. Also included are the five optic sight plates, four backstraps, cable lock and printed instruction manual. That last one is kind of a big deal as many manufacturers have done away with printed manuals, preferring to send customers to a website.
As with any new firearm designed for concealed carry, most shooters will be looking for holsters before ammo. FIME is working with some holster makers for specific holsters made for the Delta. However, I discovered that most holsters sized for the Glock 19 will accommodate the Rex Delta as well.
Spare magazines are available from Global Ordnance for about $25 to $30 a piece, and they’re quality mags manufactured by Mec-Gar. Global Ordnance will also source any other spare parts needed to service the Arex Delta.
The T&E pistol has an OD frame, but Arex offers this model in gray, black and FDE as well. Also, if you’re in a state that outlaws threaded barrels, a non-threaded version is available.
Some of us like to deck out our guns to make them easier to shoot. Some like to leave them in stock configuration. With all the possibilities that Arex put into this handgun, I sought to take full advantage.
For a red-dot sight, I chose mounting plate 1 for a Holosun 507C. Installation was quick and easy. The suppressor-height sights allowed for a nice co-witness with the red-dot. The dot was a little bigger than what I was used to, with an outer ring extending to 32 MOA and the center dot at 2 MOA. It reminded me of an EOTech.
Keeping with the Holosun theme, I chose their new P.ID weapon light, which features 1,000 lumens and 23,000 candela on high mode with up to 60 minutes of battery life on low mode. It’s powered by a flat top, 18350 battery (included) and can be recharged without removal using the included USB magnetic charging cable.
Lastly, I wasn’t going to throw a compensator on a 9mm. I opted instead for a Thunder Beast Arms Corp Fly-9. This is a modular and extremely lightweight pistol silencer. At 4.4 inches in length and weighing in at 5.9 ounces, this lightweight titanium can is especially quiet at under 140 dB.
I headed out to the range with 500 rounds of Belom 9mm ammunition, a few IPSC targets and my steel gong. The ammunition has recently become a favorite that’s clean and reliable. It’s imported from Serbia by Global Ordnance, who also imports the Arex pistols.
With my target at 50 feet, I was hitting low at first while still getting used to the new sight. After adjusting to the new sight picture and the sights themselves my best five-shot group with this ammunition was 2.43 inches.
To keep it interesting, I ran a few boxes of Winchester 147-grain JHP through it to check reliability—with no issues. The current trigger was much better than the one I test-fired initially five years ago, but it still has room for improvement.
With an MSRP of $479 and online prices often $20 to $50 cheaper than that, this one comes in much less expensive than the G19 MOS by around $200. It doesn’t take Glock magazines, or drop-in triggers and the like, but with Mec-Gar magazines more affordable than new Glock magazines, this pistol has the potential to outpace the Austrian Goliath amongst the civilian shooting public who want a pistol that’s accurate, reliable, affordable—and even tactical—to the nth degree.
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the April 2023 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.
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