Slovenia. A little European country wedged between Italy and Hungary. Some may know it for being part of former Yugoslavia, others for its ski resorts, or maybe more as the birth country of our current first lady. But it’s also home to the growing U.S. firearm brand Arex.
The company hit my radar a few months ago when FIME Group, the Las Vegas-based company that imports the brand to the U.S., invited me on a factory tour in Šentjernej, Slovenia. Honestly, before that I had little working knowledge of the brand.
A quick rundown though. Arex manufactures Rex handguns, which look like what would happen if Sig and CZ had a child. Although the brand has only been in the U.S. for three years, it has existed for more than 20 years and is one of only a handful of gun makers in Slovenia.
When I arrived to the Arex factory in late September, I found a sprawling facility comprised of a 26,000-square-foot manufacturing floor, 7,000 square feet of warehouse space, and 120 employees. Founded in 1994, Arex is no fledgling brand.
In addition to making guns, Arex produces parts for popular brands like FN, Browning, Fiocci, Seiler and Beloit. They have many military contracts and hold patents on military equipment used by some of the most elite units in Europe. Arex also currently manufactures dummy ammunition and other military equipment such as ballistic helmets and vests.
The Rex Firearms division currently produces around 5,000 handguns a month. Most of which are exported to the U.S. The current line available is the Rex 01, which comes in a full size, compact and tactical variations, and their competition gun, the Rex Alpha.
These hammer fired guns are made completely at the Arex factory, even the cold hammer forged barrels. They only things they don’t make are the springs, buttons and magazines. Each handgun is assembled and tested by hand. They are function tested at each stage of assembly. After that every handgun is test fired and zeroed with roughly 40 rounds fired. Meaning every single handgun that leaves Arex had faced intense testing and scrutiny.
However, for those who don’t like heavier hammer fired style guns will be happy to know that a new polymer framed striker fired handgun, the Rex Delta, will hit U.S. markets in late 2018 or early 2019.