As a Pacific Northwest native, I am amazed at how many quality firearms and parts manufactures reside here. One such company, Aero Precision, is located in Tacoma, Washington. Aero has been making black rifles and their parts for some time now. They also do a lot of OEM work as well, so you probably have some of their parts in your inventory and don’t even know it.
The back-up sights are made from 7075 aluminum, black hard coat anodized and appear to be fairly robust. No, they aren’t the most low-profile flip up sights on the market, however they aren’t overly large either. The front sight is 2.29 inches long and .6 inches tall folded. The rear sight is 2.28 inches long and .72 inches tall folded. Both the front and the rear sight flip up via spring tension once the left side button is depressed. These sights do not lock in the up position, rather they are held in place by the spring tension. Personally, I like this approach as the sights cannot get bent, lose zero or snap off if impacted. Rather, if hit, they fold back down and then pop back up. It would be nice if the sights could be activated from both the left AND right sides of the sights, but maybe in the next version.
The front sight features an HK style hood that protects the front sight post. The post is a standard A2 type that can be adjusted for elevation with a common front sight tool. This also means that it will accept aftermarket sight posts that are compatible with the A2 style. The rear sight is adjustable for windage using a knurled knob on the left site of the sight and features a large and small flip peep sight. Both sights will fit a standard 1913 compatible rail found on flat top uppers and most black rifle rails these days.
The Aero Ambidextrous Charging handle is also made from 7057 aerospace grade aluminum. The standard left hand latch is activated by either left or right hand operation. The wings have an outstanding aggressive texture for sure grip and manipulation. The charging handle also features the Aero logo laser engraved in front of the wings.
I put both the sights and charging handle in the new Primary Weapon Systems MK107 Mod2 Upper receiver. This little upper is the evolution of the older mod 1 which I wrote about previously. The upper features some upgrades to the older system which were originally debuted at SHOT Show 2016. The MK107 features a little 7.75 inch barrel and uses their outstanding long stroke piston system. The upper is forged and is lighter than its previous variant thanks to the reduction in material in the upper. The same goes for their lowers which I did not have in hand at the time of this writing. The finish is fantastic and the fitment of the upper, rail, and barrel is tight. There are subtle details found on the upper like the PWS logo machined into the rail trunnion. The rail is a unique design that is lovingly called the PICMOD. The PICMOD gives the user the ability to attach accessories using either KeyMod or clamp type 1913 railed systems. The PICMOD rail has the KeyMod points machined into the 1913 rails and it works very well. For my use, I removed the CQB Muzzle device and installed a Crux flash suppressor that works as a host device for my .30 cal Nemesis sound suppressor.
During my previous experience with the Mod1 variant of the upper I found the little blaster to be exceptionally fun and LOUD!! Thanks to the adjustable gas block, this upper begs to be shot suppressed. I turned the setting to level 3 and installed the Nemesis can. The Crux suppressor tamed the muzzle blast exceptionally well and I am sure the other folks at the range appreciated that.
Using the Aero sights as my primary sighting system (for now) I zeroed the upper at 50 yards. Using Aguila 5.56 62 grain ammo I was achieving a two to three inch spread after a continuous 20 round grouping shot within 60 seconds. At that range the sight post covered most of the target. Between that, the speed in which the shots were taken and the short barrel I found the results acceptable.
The Aero sights were easy to adjust and get on target and after 200 rounds on the upper they appeared to hold their zero just fine. The rear sight worked just as well and no issues were experienced during the session. Even though the PWS uses a long stroke piston and a unique bold carrier group with attached op rod and hinged floating piston head, the charging handle worked flawlessly. The op rod and piston head connection is easily separated which allows for easy swapping of charging handles.
Over all I am very pleased with the PWS, Aero and Crux combination. It makes for an accurate, reliable and compact package. The way the upper was configured isn’t cheap, but it is well worth the money in my opinion. You can expect to drop $1,350 for the upper, $140 for the sights, $79 for the charging handle and $1,200 for the Crux Suppressor. This is an outstanding combination for a AR pistol or Short Barrel Rifle (SBR) project.
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