Many American firearm consumers may not have heard of Arex Defense, but the Slovenian company started as a tool-and-die manufacturer in 1994 that gradually shifted to the defense sector. It has retained its heritage by producing precision tooling and dies for the firearms that it produces. The firm’s guns are currently being imported into the country by Global Ordnance.
Arex paid close attention to user feedback from its initial line of polymer-frame Delta pistols and incorporated several improvements into the design when a second generation of the guns was released a few years ago. Updates include bilateral controls, new grip texturing, a flared magazine well and an optics-ready variant. Arex does not advertise the Delta series as revolutionary: rather, the Delta Gen.2 represents an interpretation of best-in-class features from other designs combined into a single platform.
Our sample was the carry-oriented M variant chambered in 9 mm Luger. This model has a 4" hammer-forged and nitrocarburized barrel with a flush-fit 15-round magazine. A second magazine included in the case features a two-round extension, bringing its capacity to 17 rounds. The test gun was also the optics-ready version, and Arex includes five polymer adapter plates and associated screws that cover the four main micro-red-dot optic footprints.
The pistol is a scant 1.18" wide, 4.7" tall and 7.1" long, with an unloaded weight of 19 ozs. Combined with its native 15-round capacity, the Delta Gen.2 M is an excellent candidate for concealment. The nitrocarburized and CNC-cut steel slide features gentle serrations that were both comfortable and effective. The replaceable metal sights are serrated and feature a simple white dot in front and no markings on the rear.
The slide features a tactile loaded-chamber indicator on top, as well as a cocking indicator at the backplate. The cocking indicator extends rearward with a trigger pull, which we found to be a helpful safety feature. Resting the strong-hand thumb on the slide’s backplate allows for tactile confirmation as to whether the trigger moves rearward at all during re-holstering.
Our sample did not have a manual safety. The polymer frame features sandpaper-like stippling on all contact surfaces, as well as a small shelf above the trigger guard. We found this texture to be sufficiently grippy without becoming uncomfortable to the hands. The serialized portion of the pistol is not actually the frame, it is the internal metal receiver module. Grip frames are user-replaceable with no additional administrative paperwork and come in Standard Black, Gun Smoke Gray and Flat Dark Earth.
The Delta Gen.2 M comes with a medium-size backstrap pre-installed. Arex included three additional backstraps of different sizes and shapes, including a beavertail strap that increases the length of pull. Both the magazine release and slide stop are bilateral. In use, we found the magazine release to function positively, but the button requires a deep press into the frame to affect release.
A safety blade protrudes through the middle of the polymer trigger’s angular face. Arex lists the trigger weight at 5 lbs., 8 ozs., but we found our sample to break closer to 6 lbs., 8 ozs., with a Timney trigger gauge. Out of the box, the trigger pull itself was somewhat gritty, with a noticeable hump at the start, but over the course of the testing, we found the trigger beginning to “wear in” slightly. The positive reset was confidence-inspiring.
Fieldstripping works similarly to that of other popular polymer, striker-fired pistols by pulling the slide slightly to the rear and pushing downward on disassembly latches on each side of the frame. Unlike some other pistols, the trigger does not need to be pressed to remove the slide. Of note, the slide comes off the frame by moving slightly forward and then lifts away upward rather than sliding all the way forward.
We fired 250 rounds of various 9 mm ammunition through the Delta Gen.2 M without any malfunctions. For defensive loads, the pistol flawlessly shot Browning 147-grain BXPs, Federal 124-grain Punches, Hornady 135-grain Critical Duties and Hornady 115-grain American Gunner XTPs. We found that the lightweight and narrow form factor of the pistol does make recoil feel snappy, but controllable.
For accuracy, we tested the Arex Delta Gen.2 M at 15 yards using the Browning, Federal and Hornady American Gunner loads—the latter producing the best group average at 1.58" center to center. The smallest group of the day measured 1.05" from Federal’s 124-grain Punch.
In all, we found the Arex Delta Gen.2 M to be a worthy option for concealed-carry use. Its potent combination of small size, light weight and capacity impressed us. And the addition of full bilateral controls and modularity for both grip size and optics mounts presents added value for an already budget-friendly handgun.