The Arex Delta X OR – Gen. 2: Presumptions and Assumptions

I’d never heard of Arex Defense when my editor informed me one was on its way to me for test and evaluation. I immediately acknowledged, “Uh, okay. Sure.” then immediately moved to consult the errornet to learn more about it.  To be honest, the Arex Delta X appeared to be angular and blocky, and to me, didn’t look as though it was going to be very comfortable in the hand at all.

Truth to tell, I didn’t much care for it initially based on the photos I saw, but I was more than happy to put it through its paces and see what it was like “in person” – how better to put presumption and assumption aside? 

Plus, Workman was more than impressed with his Delta Gen 2 M, so why not? Let’s give it a go.

The Arex Delta X on a log in the woods.
The Arex Delta X in the wilderness. It would make a great hiking companion in the wilds.

Upon picking the Arex Delta X up at the gunshop and opening the case, I still didn’t know what to think, It looked blocky and angular and I was betting it wouldn’t be comfortable in the hand at all. I mean, how could it be?

Arex Delta X in case with accessories.
The Delta X in its storage case, complete with various sizes of backstraps. No, the cylindrical tube isn’t a suppressor, it’s a cleaning kit.

Judging from outward appearances, the pistol sort of struck me as a vague copy of the Glock family.

After doing some research, it appears that I’m behind the times. There are other reviews out there on the Arex pistols and people have some good things to say about them. That’s one of the things about being a gun writer that I try to separate; regardless of what others say, I try to reserve judgement for my own experiences before considering what others have to say.

First Impressions

Feel

Initially, I gripped the pistol and was in for my first surprise—it actually feels really comfortable in my hand! What sorcery is this? How’d they do that? The front strap is straight, similar to the move that Glock made when they moved back to their grips without the finger grooves.

Arex Delta X in hand.
I am surprised at how comfortable the pistol feels in hand. The different-sized backstraps address all hand sizes.

Moving right along, the back strap has a palm swell that actually locks the grip into the user’s hand very nicely. Speaking of back strap grips, this pistol comes with four of them: Small, Medium, Large, and X-L. To change them out, you just have to punch out a roll pin at the base of the backstrap. The pistol arrives with the Medium backstrap installed, and to my medium-sized hands, it feels petty good just how it is. I’m not sure that I’ll mess with it at all, except maybe to play around and see how the smaller one feels.

Pistol with spare magazine.
Everything about the grip allows for a high grip. The undercut trigger guard and beavertail really help.

Most of the grip is covered in stippling which gives a good purchase that is not likely to allow the user’s hand to slip. It’s all over the front strap, back strap, and sides of the grip. Overall, the grip feels similar to that of most Glocks. It allows a very high grip at the beaver tail, which allows a very low bore axis (like Glock), which will cut down a lot on the recoil.

The magazine well is slightly flared and assists in inserting the magazines quickly, which is a nice touch. All in all, the feel aspect of the pistol surprised me profoundly, in that it is very ergonomic.

The frame of my pistol came in what Arex refers to as “Gun Smoke Gray” color, a nice departure from the plain black that so many manufacturers choose nowadays. They do have grips in black, and also Flat Dark Earth for those who enjoy variety.

Trigger

The trigger is very Glock-like as well, in that it has the safety lever that Glock is so fond of sticking out from the face of the trigger. The trigger face has two angles; the first comes straight down, and then it angles forward. It’s not a bad affair, and feels okay on the finger, so no complaints there.

As with many pistols these days, the trigger has a safety lever on it like the Glock. Note the stippling on the grip.

As for the trigger pull, it is…and I’m not trying to wear the phrase or comparison out…very Glock-like. First, there’s a take-up, followed by a wall, and then a break. The take-up is very gritty, and I’m wondering if that will smooth out over time. It doesn’t impede the trigger pull, but rather just feels like they should have taken the time to clean it up a bit. (Update: As I dry fire the pistol more, the trigger is quickly smoothing out).

Once you hit the wall, it takes a fair amount of pressure to overcome it, but once you do, the release is crisp. The trigger reset is very short and positive, and it is easy to hear when you hit it because of the click. This part of the trigger is very nice.

As an aside, there is a loaded chamber indicator on the top of the slide that sticks up when there is a round in the chamber. The Delta X will fire without the magazine inserted, which I consider a plus.

Arex Delta X OR Tech Specs

The overall length of the pistol is 7.7 inches, with a height of 5.5 inches. The width is 1.18 inches and the barrel length is 4 inches, so this is not a tiny pistol, but rather one of service size. Weight (without a magazine) is 19.9 ounces.

Glock 19X and Arex Delta X.
The Delta X next to a Glock 19X. They’re very similar in size, as well as other features.

Overall, it seems to be roughly the same size as the Glock 17, to give you a frame of reference that he or she might be more familiar with. These firearms are made in Slovenia, and this is a double-action striker-fired pistol.

The Optics-Ready Slide 

The slide is finished with a flat black Nitride finish that appears to be durable. The front and rear cocking serrations are interesting; I’d describe them as being like diamond scallops cut into the frame, and they work effectively. The front serrations are useful for performing press checks. I find the matte finish on the slide to be attractive.

side profile of Arex Delta X pistol
The Arex Delta X OR has both rear and forward slide serrations. Note the stippling on the grip, which is excellent for providing a solid purchase for the shooter.

The edges of the frame are not rounded but are chamfered and angular (although there are no sharp edges). The front of the slide has angular cuts that would seem to make holstering a little easier, and the fame has some angular cuts that appear to do the same.

Inside the slide reveals no machine marks.
Looking inside the slide reveals that there are no machining marks.

A cutout milled into the top of the frame can be used to mount optics, such as red dot sights. In fact, the pistol arrives with a half dozen mounting plates so the user can easily mount any of these plates in order to mount the optic of his/her choice.

Optic mounting plate on top of the pistol's frame.
The Delta X comes with numerous plates that are easily changed for mounting a variety of optics. There is also a loaded chamber indicator on the top of the slide.

Arex states that the following optics will fit the various plates:

Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Type 4 Type 5
Noblex [Doctor Sight} Trijicon [RMR, SRO] Leupold [DeltaPoint Pro] C-More [RTS2, STS2] Shield [RMS, SMS]
Eotech and Insight [MRDS] Holosun [407C, 507C, 508T]   Delta Optical Dot HD 24 Holosun [407K, 507K]
Meopta [MeoSight] Vector Optics [Frenzy 1x22x26 MOS]   Vortex [Razor] SwampFox Sentinel 1.16
Vortex [Viper, Venom] SwampFox [Justice 1×27, Liberty 1×22, Kingslayer 1×22]   J-Point [MRD]  
Burris [FastFire]        

These plates are held in place by hex screws, and a driver comes with the pistol so you can easily and quickly switch out the plates. As you can see, there’s a plethora of optics that can be affixed to the slide.

A look inside of the slide reveals no machining marks, so the quality seems to be very high with these pistols.

Frame

I already talked about the feel of the frame on the Delta X. It’s constructed of Polymer (In this case, Gray) and seems every bit as sturdy and durable as every other pistol out there these days with a similar frame. Metal rails are embedded into the Polymer frame just like…forgive me…the Glock. In fact, inside, the pistol looks very similar to the Glock system.

Inside the pistol's frame.
The metal rails are embedded in the Polymer frame. The entire trigger assembly can be seen here.

One odd nuance of disassembling the pistol is that, when the takedown levers are depressed (they are exactly the same as on the Glock, same location, and function the same), the slide goes rearward slightly, and then just kind of lifts off the frame! Unlike the Glock, which has rail cutouts in the rear of the frame, this pistol has none. The frame just sort of accepts the slide, the rails slip into the rail cutouts in the slide, and the frame locks back in. It feels very odd the first couple of times doing it. However, I quickly became used to it.

Delta X field stripped.
Field stripping is straightforward and similar to every other pistol on the market.
The Delta X barrel.
The barrel of the Delta X is high quality. The Crown is recessed.
Recoil spring.
The captured recoil spring does a great job dampening the recoil of the pistol.

On the Delta X, the trigger does not need to be depressed in order to field strip the pistol.

The magazine releases are ambidextrous. Push in on either side and the magazine is ejected. That’s a pretty neat function that you don’t see very often these days. The mag releases are flush fit and I have to tell you that you need to put considerable pressure on them to get them to function. I have to shift my grip on the pistol and push in pretty far to eject the magazine. Be aware of this!

Controls on the pistol are well placed.
Controls are located for maximum efficiency. The ambidextrous magazine release takes a firm press to release the magazine.

Slide releases are also ambidextrous. Unfortunately, they are extremely small, which seems to be the trend these days on pistols. Regardless, I normally release the slide by gripping it over the top, so it’s not much of an issue.

The dust cover forward of the trigger guard has a Picatinny style rail that will accept various lights.

The Fenix weapon light fits perfectly on the Delta X.
This Fenix GL-19R weapon light transferred from my Glock 19X right onto the Arex Delta X within seconds.

The trigger guard is very generously cut and has cutouts for gripping underneath and on the front. If the user is wearing gloves, they will have no problem getting a gloved finger into the trigger guard.

Sights

Well, there’s good news and bad news. The good is that they are all metal and appear to be super durable.

The black rear sight.
Steel sights are supremely durable. Unfortunately, there are no dots on the rear sight. What were they thinking? In low light, the rear sight is extremely difficult to see.

The bad news is that the rear sight is all black, with no dots or other aiming points. The white dot in the front sight helps a lot, but why in the world they’d make a blacked-out rear sight is beyond me! In low light, there might as well not even be a sight in place at all.

Front sight with white dot.
At least the steel front sight has a dot, giving the user at least a small chance at aiming the pistol in low light.

Holsters

I’m told that this pistol will fit in the same holsters that the Glock 19 will. I tried a few that I have. The Kydex holster that fits my Glock 19X also accepts the Delta X but was ever so slightly loose. It would probably work, but the fit isn’t perfect. I have a leather holster from DeSantis for a Glock 19X that the Delta X does fit perfectly in.

The Arex fits the DeSantis leather holster.
The leather DeSantis Speed Scabbard Glock 19 holster fits the Arex Delta X well.
Chamfered slide and frame ease holstering.
Chamfering on the front of the slide and frame makes holstering easier.

Magazines

The pistol arrived with two magazines; one 17-round mag and one 19-round magazine. The body is metal, the baseplates are Polymer, and the followers are bright orange Polymer. Overall, they’re pretty nice! GunMag Warehouse sells these same magazines for $25.99 at the time of this writing, which is a stellar price. We can see that the magazine capacity of the Delta X is more than adequate, giving us 19+1 rounds.

Witness holes in the back of the magazines.
The Delta X comes with a 17-round magazine and an extended 19-round magazine. Both mags have witness holes on the rear side.
The two magazines that come with the Delta X.
The extended magazine has a thicker base plate to accept the additional rounds.

Arex Delta X at The Range

Accuracy

Another target at the range.
When I took my time, the Delta X was quite accurate offhand.

Accuracy was not bad with the Arex Delta X. I got decent groups at ten yards easily, five-round groups went into around two inches, and one was at the inch mark. I was able to keep all the rounds in a silhouette offhand at 30 yards, but the groups weren’t great (that was my fault, not the gun’s fault). Off an impromptu rest at 30 yards, I could easily keep the rounds in an eight-inch circle, so the pistol certainly is accurate enough. In fact, I think this pistol will be as accurate as you need it to be. It will outshoot me, I can tell you that much.

A target group at the range.
The group was fired more rapidly from offhand but was still tight.
Perforated zombie target.
At 25 yards, the Arex Delta X was able to perform well from the offhand position. No groups were fired from a bench rest.

Reliability

Everything ran 100% in the reliability department. I was using a new kind of 9mm ammo that I’d never used before, a brand called Igman (made in Bosnia). These rounds perform well and I have no complaints. I also ran some Remington Range ammo through it and that did well too. Both were 124-grain FMJ rounds. I did not lube the pistol before the range session, instead opting to fire it exactly as it came from the factory.

The Delta X at the range.
Remington Range Ammo and Igman Ammo ran 100% in the Delta X.

Feel

How did the Arex Delta X feel? It shot very similar to a Glock and was relatively smooth in the action. Recoil was very tame, given the pistol’s full size and good recoil system. In fact, it felt precisely how I expected it to feel.

The trigger takeup was very gritty, which did not help with accuracy one bit. Once I hit the wall, the break was a bit heavy, although it was crisp. Thankfully, the trigger reset was short and very crisp, so that was a pleasant aspect of the trigger. I’d just like to see them give the initial takeup some more attention and get it smoother. I feel that, with a better trigger, the pistol would be easier to shoot more accurately.

Price

The current price for the Delta X, at the time of writing, seems to be around $419 street price. MSRP will, of course, be higher. For what you get, that’s a very reasonable price and is competitive with other pistols on the market in this category.

Overall

Arex Delta X and Condor Bushlore knife.
The Arex Delta X makes a good companion with the Condor Bushlore knife for outings in the wilderness.

Basically, the Arex Delta X acquitted itself well in the grand scheme of things. It’s accurate and reliable, as well as comfortable in the hand. The recoil is not bad at all, and follow-up shots and rapid fire are no problem for this pistol.

The ability to tailor it to a user’s comfort with the interchangeable back straps allows this pistol to appeal to a large cross-section of shooters.  The fact that it has numerous plates to mount optics included and that they can be easily switched out will appeal to many shooters as red dot sights are gaining in popularity. That it comes with all ambidextrous controls, including the magazine release, doesn’t hurt either. 

It seems durable enough to last over the long haul. That, coupled with the reasonable price point, makes it a very good buy.

I started out not knowing if I’d like this pistol, given its space-age look. In the end, though, it has a lot of good features and it would be fair to say that I do like this pistol.

Arex seems to be doing something right with its line of pistols. You may want to take a look.

Jim Davis served in the PA Dept. of Corrections for 16 ½ years as a corrections officer in the State Correctional Institute at Graterford and later at SCI Phoenix. He served on the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT), several of those years as a sniper, and also the Fire Emergency Response Team (FERT). For 25 years, he was a professional instructor, teaching topics including Defensive Tactics, Riot Control and Tactical Operations, Immediate Responder, and cognitive programs as an adjunct instructor at the DOC Training Academy. He was then promoted to the title of corrections counselor, where he ran a caseload and facilitated cognitive therapy classes to inmates. His total service time was close to 29 years. He was involved in many violent encounters on duty, including incidents of fatalities.

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