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In this stylistic, almost dreamlike video, Polenar Tactical gives us a first look into the manufacturing and QA of “the first pistol ever to be produced entirely in Slovenia,” the Rex Zero 1 made by a company called Arex. I must say, this a delightful break from the typical, fake operator operating operationally gun promo, and what it shows looks highly impressive. On the other hand, I can’t help but think. . .

That if I wanted a SIG SAUER, I’d just buy one from SIG. Of course, no idea yet if the Rex Zero 1 intends to create what appears to be a SIG clone and beat SIG on price. And/or try to beat SIG on quality, refinement, or features. Actually, it looks like it may have a little Walther P88 or Zastava 99 DNA mixed into it as well.

A T&E sample has been requested, as apparently we’ll begin to see them in the U.S. very soon via importer/distributor FIME Group. Stay tuned.

[h/t LostLamb]

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  1. Hmm. Well perhaps the decocker lever on the Zero 1 doesn’t gouge the side of the frame when used.

    Like the one on my $1k+ P226 Elite Stainless.

    Or perhaps the decocker lever doesn’t snap your thumb off of it on the way back up after use.

    Like the one on my $1k+ P220 Elite Stainless.

    • I had 2 brand new Sigs fail right out the box. Both went back to the factory. Both came back with the same issues. Both are no longer in my collection. No more Sigs for this guy.

    • I own 4 Sigs, (P220, P250, P320 and P226 Tacops) and I’ve never had an issue with any of them. I’ve owned the P220 for over 20 years. I’m surprised you’re having issues with high end Sig products.

      • Last couple of years I have been hearing more reports of malfunctioning Sigs. Seems quality is slowly degrading. I know people that, like you, really like Sigs and have used them for a long time. I have not yet had any problems.

  2. What a refreshing video. I kind of want one now, just to support the folks who put out such a lovely piece. Guns as art; I’d like to see others follow suit with their adverts.
    Can’t wait for the review, too. I really hope it’s another great value, a la the Canick. More guns like that would only be good for all of us.

    • ” I really hope it’s another great value, a la the Canick.”

      I really hope it’s not another Caracal…

  3. Getting old. Can new gun makers not create something with its own clear visual designs instead of constantly ripping off existing companies? Has it really hit rock bottom with new ideas?

    • How many ways are ther , fundamentally, to stick a tube on top of a handle?

      I guess you could put the tube on the bottom, but outside of an old Sci-Fi series whose name escapes me, it wouldn’t seem very practical for aiming.

      • It has nothing to do with how the firearm works, but rather the “shell” that goes around it. I find it hard to believe that in our world they are simply out of ideas to make something visually new. No instead I believe the truth is much simipler; can cut the R&D or Artist budget down if you rip off the visual queues of an existing firearm.

      • “How many ways are ther , fundamentally, to stick a tube on top of a handle?”

        Reminds me of something someone once said over 100 years ago (Later proven to be an urban legend):

        To the effect of – ‘Everything that can be invented has been invented’…

        Why even bother to make a better gun?

        • We are pretty well at are limit with traditional manufacturing techniques. The next revolution in manufacturing and design will come from 3D printed designs. Smith and Wesson is already heavily investing in it based on the job listing I saw a month or two ago. With 3D printed designs we’ll have access to organic shapes and materials. For example, grips that are custom printed to fit our hands, and titanium slides. In addition, we’ll have access to Topology and Unit Cell Optimization that can impart new and exotic properties into the components. For example, a negative Poisson’s ratio.

          The technology exists now, but the barrier for entry is still too high for most. I doubt we’ll see anything in this regard for the next decade or so. But the revolution is coming, and when it gets here, we’ll be in a new age of gun design. Until then, I do

    • With the way established brands like Glock and Sig are screwing the QC pooch, its occasionally a better investment nowadays to buy the knockoff.
      Unlike the Big Boys selling on byegone quality and reputation , the knockoff brand either puts out good product or goes under.

    • At first I thought it was a rip off of a sig. But bfter watching two of their promotional videos, it looks to me that this one is a little different. As mentioned above, the decock lever also acts as a slide stop, which is pretty cool.

      The real question is this: how big is the market for a new hammer-fired DA/SA pistol? I happen to love DA/SA but the overwhelming trend is to striker fired.

      • I love them, the problem is that you don’t find many that are made without polymer. The ones you do, are grossly overpriced.

    • Quite a bit of the design aspect involves the cost, availability and run time of the machines during the manufacturing process. Sometimes in manufacturing a VERY small change can cost HUGE $$$. Some of that cost can come from needing custom machinery and tooling or labor cost increases from needing to hand fit parts that the available machinery can’t do.

      Another reason the designs are so similar(I believe) is to tap into the typical user market for firearms who value function, precision and price above appearance. Glock brand Glocks are shaped like bricks with handles but the astronomical number sold shows that looks aren’t the most important factor when you’re looking to sell quantity.

      • Michael, the “Browning” BDA was a SIG P220 with Browning markings. Browning wanted a DA pistol for the US market – mostly – and wasn’t ready to tool up to make one. So, they went to SIG and had them make the P220 for the US market. A good friend had several SIG P220 pistols in the calibers available, .30 Luger, 9mm .38 Super (rare) and .45 ACP. His pistols were imported in a small batch and only available for a short time. They were what I would call grey market – legal, but not widely available. They were fine guns.

        When the gun shop I worked at got our first “Browning” BDA, I saw how similar it was to the SIG P220. Both my friend’s SIG marked guns and the dual-marked SIG/Browning guns had heel-catch mag releases, which probably hurt them in the US market, as did the unfamiliar decocking lever and absence of an external safety.

        There are limits to what can be produced in an economical manner and what the market will accept in sufficient numbers to make a full redesign profitable. Several really good designs failed to get enough traction in the commercial market to make money or didn’t get military contracts large enough to make the design profitable. Some just cost way too much, like the STEYR AUG, which I like a great deal or the H&K P7M8 and M13 or the Tavor, both of which I like. Or going back further, the Merwin Hulbert revolver, one of the most innovative revolver designs to come out of the 19th century.

  4. Video could use some editing but the pistol looks attractive. Waiting on your review. As if California will see fit to allow sales.

    • Arex has been in business over 20 years and have an ISO 9001 certification. They are not new to firearms.

  5. You GO, Slovenia! Slovenia produces some great mopeds and scooters, so why not some quality semiauto handguns, also?

  6. I think the point of the video is to show they are not being made on an open forge in a thatched hut using an old shovel for raw material.

  7. Very respectable video, it’s especially important to see the attention to quality control and tolerance testing for a ‘new’ product.

  8. I like what I see, if it uses SIG mags I could see adding one to my collection. Carry a P226 Cocked and Locked OR decocked? Yes please. It looks like the CZ75 and the P226 had a baby.

  9. “…That if I wanted a SIG SAUER, I’d just buy one from SIG.”

    What a terrible attitude to have. I generally like your reviews and videos, as a guy who’s tested like 86 muzzle devices (I appreciate that btw) I’d think you’d be interested to see a new product.

    Nothing against SIG, I’ve owned a couple, but their slide stop location is stupid. This appears to have a stop/decocker combined in one, which is smart. Also appears to have an ambidextrous manual safety for Condition One carry AND ambidextrous mag release.

    Looking forward to a review.

    • A bit of hyperbole. As a guy who likes CZs but also owns a Tanfoglio, and positively reviewed a Canik (effectively a Walther clone in this case) and a “Glock” that had zero factory glock parts in it, etc, I certainly have no issue with quality guns borrowing from proven designs. But I do think if they’re going to be successful vs the name brand they need to distinguish themselves in some way, like price, quality, features, etc…

      • Zastava 99 / and EZ40 are not SIG clones. They do have de-cock/slide-stop features, like the beaver-ish tail framing, but can be tempermental.
        Long story short, applaude everyone out there building the better rock, but believe (even if/when we buy) we demand continous quality improvement, or else we flood the market with disposable bic lighter firearms.

      • From a manufacturing standpoint it makes sense to wade into the market slowly and carve out a piece of a proven market. That way you have a better chance to recover startup expenses as well as building faith in your brand before introducing something different or revolutionary in the field. Once the business is profitable you can devote some of that income to exploring the cool stuff and allocating machine time for small batch test runs without as much risk.

      • I’m just giving you a hard time, I know actual judgements will be reserved for the review. I liked the 0% Glock project, good mix between legitimate product review and expert troll piece.

        I’m hoping this comes to market at a reasonable price, anything to stir the pot and drive innovation among the big manufacturers. I personally swore off DA/SA awhile back but I’d be open to at least testing one that had a manual safety.

      • Diamondback could be accused of the same stuff, many of their products, even now, rival early Kel-tec equipment. Kel-Tec, however, has since made some interesting and innovative products and most have shown to be of surprising quality.

  10. Looks a lot like a Sig 226, but I definitely enjoyed the video. I’m looking forward to independent tests.

  11. I’m generally immune to advertising or promotional materials.

    That said, they’ve got me – lock , stock and barrel.

  12. Cool-what’s wrong with a cheaper knock-off that costs less? I am all about how good it works-does Slovenia have other gun makers?

    • “does Slovenia have other gun makers?”

      Remember this… Italy is responsible for the Ferrari but they are also responsible for the Fiat Panda.

      Don’t judge a book by the Slovenian ink they used to print it.

  13. If this gun is as good as a Skorpion titanium motorcycle exhaust they should sell well. I’d certainly look at one if I was in the market for a service sized 9mm pistol.

  14. Am i the only one who really like the look of raw machining. I would like it with no coating at all but maybe a clear coat. I like the tool path marks.

    • IDK how you’d keep that from rusting, Mike. Especially if it was a carry gun that was exposed to sweat.

      If you like tool marks, get a Mosin Nagant that was manufactured between 1942 and 1943 – those receivers are ROUGH (cheap and fun to shoot though). In fact, it would be pretty easy to strip the bluing off one and clear coat it.

      • Well aluminum frame, which I think this is, would be okay left bare and then if they went with a stainless steel slide and other parts it’d be all gravy. There are definitely tons of bare stainless steel firearms on the market… zillions of 1911s, some CZ 75 models, revolvers, bolt- and lever-action rifles, etc… even polymer-framed pistols with bare stainless slides…

  15. As a big fan (I own 15 of their handguns and yes 5 of them are p250s,my favorite to shoot by the way) I have 18,000 in money invested in sigs. No regrets,but would like to try this bad boy. I have finished my 8 gun walther gun buy craze now. It’s time to try something else. I love ds/sa guns and will always pick one over a striker. I have no issue with striker guns,I just love the romantic feel of the da/sa trigger.

  16. I just bought one. Certainly lives up to the hype. This is now my personal favorite. I have Kimbers, Springfield Armory’s etc…. Right out of the box it’s perfect. 14 magazines today alone and not one failure. I’m definitely happy.

    • Cool feedback Ryan – hope you continue to enjoy it forever. I was interested in a Sig Legion, but now I think I’d rather try this one instead. I have 2 Sigs (P238 and 1911) and like them very much, but the quality and value of the AREX (I’m referring to Jeremy S.’s 2 March 2016 review of this weapon) looks hard to pass up.

      • Thanks Chris. Fit and finish are pretty darn good. I’ve put maybe 600 rnds through it so far and had one jam (reloaded bulk cheap ammo, I’m chalking it up to the ammo). If you would like I can write more on it before you buy it. Let me know. It really is a great pistol and my favorite at the range.

  17. “In this stylistic, almost dreamlike video, …”

    Remember how Infinity spent a year releasing zen-like ads for a car you couldn’t see? Seems to have worked out pretty well.

    Waiting to see all the reviews on the web; waiting for the compact version.

    But maybe not. Slovenia is a former commie country waiting to be assimilated back into the Borg…I mean mother country.

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