Arex REX Zero1
We followed closely the development of this handgun ever since its first prototypes were showcased in Paris at the 2014 EUROSATORY. The REX Zero1 is built in Slovenia by a company called Arex, with a vast experience in defense and aerospace manufacturing; it features a SA/DA trigger with an exposed hammer and a more than casual, very close resemblance with the popular SIG Sauer pistols layout – as well as the same manufacturing quality, albeit at a fraction of the cost. Built around a machined aluminum alloy frame and stainless steel slide, the REX Zero1 is a 9x19mm caliber pistol holding 15, 18 or 20 rounds in its double-stack magazine.
Heckler & Koch SFP9
The SFP9 is the European version of the VP9 – Heckler & Koch's first semi-automatic striker-fired, polymer-frame pistol ever since the legendary VP70 was phased out of production in the late 1980s. Some of the features of the SFP9 include a very easy to handle slide, thanks to its front and rear slide serrations and to the peculiar rear tangs; an extremely low bore axis, which in turns provides the lowest recoil and muzzle climb level in all the Heckler & Koch's pistols series; and a polymer frame with a MIL-STD-1913 “Picatinny” accessory rail and an ergonomically-shaped grip with interchangeable front, rear and side panels. The SFP9 is chambered for the 9mm caliber, and feeds through the same 15-rounds double-stack magazines used by the Heckler & Koch P30 pistol.
The P26 blowback operated, semi-automatic pistol manufactured by the Swiss-based B&T AG company, was first showcased at the 2015 edition of the IWA expo in Nuremberg (Germany), and is now available Europe-wide to civilian commercial sales. Built around a polymer-enshrouded metal frame and a machined metal upper portion with a full-lenght top MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail for optical sights and three Picatinny rail portions around the handguard, the B&T P26 also comes with a sidefolding polymer buttstock and fixed low-profile iron sights. Chambered for the 9x19mm caliber, the B&T P26 can feed through 15-rounds, 25-rounds or 30-rounds magazines, and offers the captivating look and feel of the “assault pistols” design so popular in the United States during the 1980s.
Another interesting product first introduced during the 2015 trade shows season, the UMAREX M712 4,5mm/.177 caliber air pistol powered through a commercial 12g CO² canister hosted in the same detachable magazine that holds up to eighteen pellets. The original controls configuration and the blowback effect of the M712 “Schnellfeuer” machine-pistol – a select-fire version of the Mauser C.96 pistol, of which the UMAREX M712 is a faithful replica – have been retained, and so was the full metal construction; only the grip panels are fake wood. The UMAREX M712 air pistol sports a fixed front sight and a rear sight adjustable for elevation, is 12-inches long overall, features a 5.½-inches barrel and weighs 1,4kg unloaded; it is capable to fire in a semi-automatic variant or in burst. A true must-have for collectors.
Yet another 1911 pistol variant manufactured in Italy, this time by a new kid in the block − the Brixia Shotguns S.r.l. company − was first showcased at the 2016 HIT Show. Sporting a classic .45 ACP chambering and feeding through single-stack 7-shots magazines (a 9mm variant will be available later on during the year), the Brixia 1911 semi-automatic pistol offers a short and crisp single-action trigger, a skeletonized trigger and hammer, an extended beavertail and a fully adjustable rear sight; available finishes include black, stainless, and several versions of Cerakote. What's striking is the manufacturing quality: the Brixia Shotguns company produces its 1911 pistol entirely in-house out of 100% Made in Italy materials and components, with extremely tight tolerances for maximum performance and accuracy right out of the box. It's definitely an uncommon 1911 under many points of view, despite the pretty much popular MSRP (approximately €1000− maybe not low by U.S. standards but definitely not too high by European canons).