One of the most surprising handguns I’ve ever encountered was the Rex Zero 1 by AREX Defense. AREX is a Slovenian company that has been in the firearms business since 1994, and they are world renowned, although you’ll rarely hear about the company in the United States. Since 2004, AREX has been making parts for several companies that you may have heard of, including FN, Browning and Fiocchi, among others. They hold several military patents in Europe and their handguns are carried by some of the most elite military units in the world.
Their quality control at AREX Defense is bar none some of the best I have ever heard of. Every single handgun manufactured by AREX is hand assembled, and they don’t fire a single round from each pistol before shipping it off like pretty much everyone else. They fire two complete magazines through each firearm, guaranteeing that the gun is functioning properly before it heads out of the door.
This video does a great job of introducing you to the various pistols offered by AREX, so definitely check it out, and then we’ll dive into the guns a bit.
First up is the Rex Delta. The Delta is AREX Defense’s first polymer framed striker-fired offering, and it definitely hits it out of the park. The Rex Delta is a fantastic option for a carry weapon, as it’s light (19.06 oz. unloaded) and sized for concealment. The overall length of the gun is 7 inches, the barrel length is 4 inches, and the height is 5 inches. This isn’t a big gun, but it has a big capacity. It comes with two 9mm magazines, one 15 round and one 17 round, ensuring that you have enough rounds to put on target no matter what situation you’re in. Low bore axis and clever weight distribution enables even a moderately trained operator to shoot fast follow-up shots with precision not common to other compact pistols.
The Delta uses a proprietary Striker Double Action trigger system that brings you a double action trigger safety with a very noticeable wall (the point where the trigger action first engages the resistance of the sear) that you normally don’t find on double action triggers. The trigger has a short 2mm reset so that you can quickly engage with follow-up shots. The Delta can be carried safely without a manual safety engaged and with the chamber loaded because when the gun is charged the striker is only partially cocked. Pulling the trigger finishes the cocking action before the striker is released. An automatic triple layer passive drop safety system helps prevent accidental discharges in mishaps when a loaded pistol is dropped on a hard surface or struck.
The Delta features fully functioning ambidextrous on the slide lock and magazine release. It has steel sights, and a textured grip to help maintain control of the firearm at all times. The Rex Delta comes with four interchangeable back straps so that you can customize your grip, two magazines (15/17 round), a polymer case, and a cable lock.
You get all of this at a price that is unheard of. Check out the Rex Delta here: https://www.k-var.com/arex-rex-delta-9mm-pistol-poly-frame
Next, let’s talk about the Rex Zero 1. There’s a lot to unpack here, because this is an exquisite example of a firearm built right. Here’s a quick video showing how the Zero 1 is made. It’s worth watching, so check it out if you have a few minutes.
There are multiple models of the Zero 1 available, including the CP (compact), the S (standard), the TC (tactical compact), and the T (tactical full-sized) models. If you watched the video at the beginning of this article then you saw the difference in sizes, and if you didn’t, you can follow the link at the bottom of this section to check out the various models yourself. I’m going to go over the features that all of the Rex Zero 1s share.
The Zero 1s feature a hard anodized T7075 aluminum frame, a nitrocarburized steel slide made from solid bar stock and a one piece cold hammer forged barrel also made from solid bar stock. This is a sturdy, well built weapon. They are a hammer-fired handgun that can be fired either “cocked and locked” or de-cocked using the de-cocker (which also serves as a slide stop) and then fired in double action/single action. The ambidextrous external safety functions for either configuration.
All Zero 1s are 9mm and the CP carries 10 rounds, the S carries 17 rounds, and the T carries a whopping 20 rounds of ammo.
The Rex Zero 1 is an incredibly reliable handgun, which is why it used as a service weapon by many European militaries and special operators. The pistols comply with strict military standards for reliability and have passed extreme temperature, hostile environment, and drop tests. The expected service life for the pistols exceeds 30,000 rounds.
But don’t take my word for it. Tim over at the Military Arms Channel conducted a series of brutal torture tests, pitting the Rex Zero 1 against the Sig P226 Legion and the results even surprised the hell out of him. Spoiler alert: The Zero 1 clobbered the Sig. It wasn’t even a contest. A handgun that costs less than half the price of the Sig P226 performed light years better. This video is the reason that I bought a Zero 1, and after watching it, you’re going to want one too.
Tim also fired 1,000 rounds through the same Rex Zero 1 in 14 minutes without a single failure in another video. You don’t see this kind of quality in a pistol at this price. Ever.
Now after watching those, tell me that you aren’t excited about the idea of owning one of these beasts. Head over to this link and check out the various models and color options available. The price is going to blow you away. https://www.k-var.com/firearms-handguns?specs=manufacturer:arex!!460!!
Finally, we come to the AREX Rex Alpha. The Rex Alpha is a direct descendant of the Zero 1, but it is built to competition standards. It includes the same features as the Zero 1, and adds an all-steel frame, a vastly superior reengineered grip that enables a higher hand position, and an extended beavertail. It has a 5 inch barrel and the slide features lightening cuts to significantly cut the weight and allow faster cycling when firing quickly. The action is incredibly smooth and the added weight of the gun makes recoil negligible.
The Alpha features an oversized teardrop shaped frame mounted safety, which is ambidextrous, as is the magazine release. It has a Picatinny railed dust cover and an extended trigger guard.
It has a skeletonized hammer and a reduced single-action trigger pull (3.3lbs), that is very crisp with an extremely short reset, allowing you to quickly utilize follow-up shots. It has a flared magazine well for ultra-quick reloads. It includes competition adjustable rear sites which allow you to adjust for elevation and windage and red fiber optic front sites.
The Alpha is competition ready out of the box, and you will not find another competition ready handgun at the price point for which you can buy this gun. This handgun is designed to compete with other competition guns such as the CZ Shadow, and it performs just as well if not better than anything it is put up against.
Watch the Military Arms Channel review of the AREX Rex Alpha below. Everyone who uses it is blown away.
The Rex Alpha uses the same 9mm magazines as the Zero 1 and comes with three 17-round mags. You can also purchase extended 20-round magazines.
Go check out the Rex Alpha and get yours from here: https://www.k-var.com/arex-rex-alpha-9-9mm-pistol
No matter which handgun you choose from the AREX Rex line, you can be sure that you are getting incredible reliability for an unbelievable price. Make a Rex the next handgun that you purchase. You won’t be sorry.
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Fantastic article! I appreciate the videos to back up what you’re saying. I’m set on a Zero1 now, possibly in nickel.
Eric Johnson says
You can’t go wrong with the Zero 1. I’m eyeballing the Alpha right now. I don’t have any competition-level handguns and I’m thinking it’s time to remedy that.
I saw the MAC channel test of the REX a while ago. I’d looked at it as an alternative to SIG at that time. Then I found an outstanding deal on a MK25, which I’d wanted forever, and later a 226 Xtreme. Both too good to pass up. So my SIG -like pistol hunger is satisfied… for now. I’d like to shoot the REX though just for comparison for myself. If it were light years better I’d probably still get one.
Eric Johnson says
I was dead set on getting a Sig P226, but then I came across the MAC torture test video and jumped on a Zero 1. I haven’t regretted it since. It’s an excellent firearm, and one of my favorites to take to the range.