When we think of sub-$500 pistols, a lot of boring, dull, cookie-cutter polymer striker fire guns come to mind – too many to name here. Typically, they feature very few, well, features. Nothing remarkable stands out about them.
But one sub-$500 pistol proves you can get a ton of great features normally found on pricier competitors. It’s the Arex Delta Gen 2, and in a world of mislabeled “game changers” that really aren’t all that different, this one is.
The Delta Gen 2 is aimed squarely at Glock buyers, with L, M, and X versions corresponding to the G17, G19, and G19X in size and capacity. It even works in some Glock holsters, but not all.
Arex sent me the M version, which is the middle of the road size- and capacity-wise.
First, the key stats:
· Length: 7.1”
· Height: 4.7”
· Width: 1.18”
· Barrel length: 4.0”
· Weight w/o magazine: 19.1 oz
· Weight w magazine: 21.6 oz
· Capacity: 15-round, 17-round magazines included
While these dimensions will remind you of the Glock 19, the Delta Gen 2 is a very different gun. For starters, it’s a little narrower, making it easier to conceal. There are plenty of other similarities, too, but rather than getting caught up in more comparison, let’s look at the Delta Gen 2 as its own gun.
My first impression of the overall look of the gun is that it would feel comfortable in the hands of anyone in Blade Runner, either version. Its futuristic lines and isosceles triangle slide serrations front and rear lend a sci-fi vibe while functioning exactly as expected.
Up front, there is a full Picatinny rail with three mounting points to accommodate typical lights and lasers.
The grip is outstanding, with a sandpaper texture reminiscent of skateboard tape – not too rough, not too smooth. Goldilocks would be proud. If you don’t like the original backstrap that ships on the gun, fret not: there are three more to choose from. Yep, that’s right, a sub-$500 gun comes with four easily interchangeable backstraps, no extra charge. Do you see what I meant in the second paragraph?
The slide includes several nice features. First, racking is easy, thanks to the aforementioned triangular serrations, and the recoil spring is lighter than many other guns in the same price range. A loaded chamber indicator sits on top, and a small red dot on the back tells you the cocked condition of the striker.
Your experience with lower-priced striker-fired guns likely tells you to lower your expectations when it comes to the trigger. Normally, they are sloppy, heavy, reset long, and are a generally unpleasant experience. Not this one.
The trigger on the Delta Gen 2 not only weighs in at around 5 pounds pull weight, but the action is also consistent, the reset is firm and audible, and the overall feel is excellent. In one of my testing sessions, I shot it side-by-side against a Springfield Hellcat Pro and couldn’t tell the difference. They were virtually identical in both feel and action.
Yes, the word “dots” is plural on purpose. It wasn’t a typo. While the Arex Delta Gen 2 can only accommodate one red dot at a time, just like other optic-ready pistols – it comes with baseplates for a multitude of name-brand dots, such as Vortex, Holosun, Leupold, and others. There are five baseplates in the box and a list of which ones go with which optic brand, making mounting super simple. They even tossed in a couple of fit screws to ensure your optic will tighten down correctly. Granted, these baseplates are plastic, so they aren’t as robust as a factory metal plate, but my Vortex Viper held firm throughout all my testing. No rattling, no loosening after almost 500 rounds of continuous use.
Despite the Arex Delta Gen 2 M’s laundry list of reasons to be a popular gun and the fact that it’s been out for a couple of years, aftermarket support is not just lacking. It’s practically non-existent. Good luck finding a Kydex holster for it. I’m not kidding. Sure, this gun is not as popular as many of its competitors, but you can typically find holsters for them. But not the Delta Gen 2. Some Glock 17 or 19 holsters work with it, but not all, especially the Kydex holsters with tight tolerance molds because the slide and trigger lines don’t quite match up. I spoke with a few holster makers who say Arex is not great about working with them. That may be true, but there has to be a way to get more Delta Gen 2 holsters into the marketplace. The Delta Gen 2 would be an excellent concealed carry gun if there were holsters for it.
Holster issues aside, the Arex Delta Gen 2 is an excellent pistol for the price. While the Arex’s target buyer is anyone considering a Glock, the Delta Gen 2 stands squarely on its own. It shoots well, operates cleanly, offers many red dot mounting options, and experienced zero issues during my testing. At around $400 out the door, the price can’t be beat for what you get. I will be adding this one to my collection. Now, if we can just get the aftermarket support up to speed….~ David
David is an avid gun guy and a contributing writer to several major gun publications. In addition to being an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor and RSO, David trains new shooters on basic handgun skills and CCW requirements and is a strong advocate for training as much as you possibly can. "Real life shootouts don't happen at a box range."