What is it with Eastern Europeans bursting into the U.S. firearms market over the last few years?
Yes, I know that they’ve been there for years, but there does seem to be a big increase over the last few years of European gun manufacturers finally getting distribution in the U.S. market. Maybe the way that Canik seemed to make such a stir with their TP9 Elite SC makes it stick in my mind, but there is a Slovenian pistol out, now, that, if you’re open to buying non-American-made firearms, might catch your interest, too.
The company is called AREX, and the pistol that they recently released to the U.S. market is their Zero S2. Word on the street is that this pistol was developed for bidding for Eastern European police forces and is, now, available on the civilian market. Dave Merrill gives us details:
The Arex Zero 2 is the next generation line. Though the Arex Zero 2 looks an awful lot like the Zero 1 — and both look like the P226 — there were some major overhauls and updates between the two pistols.
In fact, we’re told Arex started with a new, fresh sheet of paper. The Zero 2 has a thinner profile for both the slide and grip. All told, you’re looking at a 15-percent decrease in surface area on the grip itself.
The Zero 2 has deeper, more aggressive serrations on the fore and aft of the slide compared to the Zero 1, a great improvement, and is generally sleeker and more stylish.
If you’re wondering about the trigger (and who isn’t these days for concealed carry purposes?) and other carry details, Merrill has this to say about the trigger and capacity:
Our gauge measured the double-action trigger pull at 10.5 pounds, with single-action averaging just a hair over 4 pounds. Trigger snobs won’t be in love with it, as there’s some take-up and slack in either position, but those used to Mil-spec two-stage triggers will feel right at home with the predictable break.
The Zero 2S bumps up a capacity a bit, with 18+1 rounds being standard rather than the 17+1 of the Zero 1. Tactical models will ship with extended baseplates with higher capacities. You can safely look at the Arex Zero 2S magazines as a mashup between the same from the P226 and the CZ-75.
Merrill seemed to like this gun, but had some reservations, too. Merrill writes,
With an MSRP of $849, spare parts an ocean away, limited aftermarket support for the time being, and all of this without an optics cut … This is a gun you buy because you want it, not because it’s the most pragmatic — and since most reading this are in America, that’s damned good reason enough.
Fair enough, if you live in the U.S., chances are that you’re more likely to be able to afford that price tag than many people in other parts of the world, but that doesn’t mean that you want to spend that much on your next gun purchase.
If you’re like the majority of people reading this, you likely already have a perfectly good gun, and you may be interested in another one due to Gear Acquisition Syndrome kicking in. That’s perfectly fine as long as it fits the budget, but if this pistol fits your budget, it may be one to consider adding to the collection.