The new COP complete upper is a plug and play platform that allows you to completely customize your rail out of the box and utilizes a continuous one-piece upper.

In 1993, I was attending the local gun shows every month with my father and once in a while we would even rent a table to barter guns. At the time I was just 19 years old and I remember all of the prices tripled overnight because of the talk surrounding the pending Auto Weapons Ban (AWB), also known as the Brady Bill.

The same year as the AWB went into effect, Aero Precision was born as a manufacturer of jet engine components for Boeing right here in my backyard of Tacoma, Washington. A few years later while all of us regular Joes were wishing we had bought an AR-15, Aero decided to get into the AR-15 manufacturing business. “It’s the same type of core work, which is horizontal machining, said Scott Dover, co-founder”.

In 2004 when the AWB of 1994 was not renewed, the floodgates of AR goodness started flowing and Aero Precision had already made the transition into firearms manufacturing doing OEM work for other manufacturers such as Spikes Tactical, Surplus ammo and LMT. It is no secret and is all over the Internet that Aero is or was at one time a manufacturer for these companies and more, just Google it!

Aero eventually began selling and marketing their own brand of upper and lowers with great success and I was an early adopter of their products. Of the 200 or so AR’s I have built to date, I would say Aero was one of my favorite go to lowers because of the cost and quality, which was only second to MEGA Arms on my list.

Until recently, one of the things that eluded me most was acquiring Aero’s Continuous Optics Platform (COP) upper. I had only seen photos and never really got the chance to play with one until they recently announced the introduction of their newest COP upper, the complete COP Pistol/SBR version.

The new COP complete upper is a plug and play platform that allows you to completely customize your rail out of the box and utilizes a continuous one-piece upper. The user-customizable upper comes in 4 difference configurations:

    Option 1: Complete upper in black anodize with minimal custom configurable parts (MSRP $795)

    Option 2: Complete upper in custom Cerakote color (Burnt Bronze, Desert, Titanium, Tungsten) with minimal custom configurable parts (MSRP $875)

    Option 3: Complete upper in black anodize with all of the custom parts available (MSRP $910)

    Option 4: Complete upper in custom Cerakote color (Burnt Bronze, Desert, Titanium, Tungsten) with all of the custom parts available (MSRP $995)

I ordered the complete upper Cerakoted in Desert Tan and fully loaded with all the customizable parts. What is a fully loaded kit vs. the minimal kit?

The minimal kit comes with:

  • Complete Upper Receiver with BCG, Charging Handle, Forward Assist, Dust cover, Mounted Barrel and Compensator.
  • COP C4 – 2ea 1913 Rail
  • COP C4 – Flat Rail with QD
  • COP C4 – 2ea Quarter Panel
  • T25 Torx Driver
  • 20ea 8-32 x 3/8 Screws
  • Barrel Nut
  • Factory Installed Dust Cover and Fwd Assist
  • Aero Precision COP bag roll
  • The fully loaded kit comes with all-of-the above plus:

  • COP C4 – 2ea 1913 Half Rail
  • COP C4 – 1913 Rail with QD
  • COP C4 – 2ea Flat Rail
  • COP C4 – Flat Rail with QD
  • Barrel Nut Wrench
  • A2 Iron Sight Spacer
  • I personally love the extra parts so that I could customize the rail to my taste, as I like smooth rail sections rather than 1913 rail everywhere my hand touches.

    The entire kit came nicely rolled up in roll bag that had a place for each and every part, including the screws. In less than 10 minutes, I had chosen my configuration and installed the rail pieces I wanted and it was ready to pin to my matching Desert San Tan Tactical pistol lower.

    Here are the specs on the upper receiver and its accompanying parts:

  • 7.5? Barrel, 1 in 9 twist, 5.56 chamber
  • 8620 Bolt Carrier, 9310 Bolt, HPT/MPI
  • Kaw Valley Precision linear compensator, designed to direct muzzle noise away from shooter
  • Compatible with Mil – STD AR15 components
  • 7075-T6 forged aluminum construction
  • Extremely rigid user configured rail system
  • Dedicated thumb perch for improved ergonomics when gripping the magwell with the weak hand
  • All kit components made in the USA
  • If you’re not aware, all NFA laws apply, meaning you cannot pin this upper to a lower with a stock unless you live in a state that allows SBR’s and you have gone through the tax stamp process.

    At the Range

    I ran a couple hundred rounds through the upper without any FTE or FTF’s. The upper functioned flawlessly as expected and the KAW Valley Linear Comp did a great job at managing the gases and pushing the firearms back with each shot. I fully expected the rail to heat up and get hot but the aluminum and ventilation design did a great job of keeping things cool.

    Using 55-grain 556, I was able to shoot a fairly consistent 5” group at 25-yards and keep everything on target. Obviously with a 7.5” barrel on a CQB pistol, accuracy is not going to be it’s strong suit. Given enough training and time behind the gun, I am sure I could improve the results.

    I want to thank my good friend Ben over at for sharing the Aero story with me. If you are not following AR15news, be sure to tune in as they usually announce breaking AR15 related news before anyone else.

    Related links:


    1. I’ve had my COP mid-length upper (minimal) for a bit over a month now.
      I bought the minimal version because mid-length parts are VERY rare right now. I wish I had access to a couple of the smooth and half-railed sections, but there are no spare parts in the market as yet.
      The mid-length version is 37 Pic. slots long and covers up my CMMG 300 AAC barrel and about half of the Troy linier comp. quite nicely.
      The pistol with a KAK SB15 pistol buffer tube (2″ spacer for Sig wrist brace spacing) is 26-1/2″ long and exceedingly attractive with it’s continuous top rail and the integrated thumb perches that smooth the transition of the upper receiver area into the hand guard area SO0oo nicely.
      Damn, it’s what an almost perfect AR upper is all about.
      With the Mako folding grip and 15 rd. D&H mags it slips into a Diversion racquet bag as if they were made for each other.

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