Aero’s M5E1 complete upper receiver and a compact 12.5-inch .308 barre. (Photo: Aero)
This weekend only Aero Precision is offering the flat dark earth 16-inch carbine .308 Winchester upper receivers for $100 off the regular price. These are already one of the nicer deals out there in the .308 AR market and for a short time, they’re even better.
For this weekend only the FDE M5E1 upper receiver assembly is listed at $530. It’s an assembled upper including the 13-inch free-floating KeyMod handguard, 16-inch stainless steel target barrel, A2-style birdcage flash hider, ejection port cover and forward assist. The deal doesn’t cover a bolt carrier group, leaving that decision up to you.
Realistically speaking that means if you keep your eyes peeled for other deals you could pretty easily build a complete .308 Win. AR for around $1,000 or less with this upper. Aero offers complete lowers starting at $325 and bolt carrier groups for $205, for a total — not including irons or optics and shipping — of just $1,060.
That’s for solid kit, too. Aero is well-known for their standards and quality. You could easily come in under $1,000 if you pick up a lower and bolt carrier group from an alternate source, although you might not get quite as nice a product.
Aero Precision is also bringing out a new .308 Win. barrel, a short 12.5-incher for AR-10-style pistols and short-barreled rifles. These are also being offered at a low introductory price of $216.
This short barrel is something of a niche product. It could be used to build a big-bore personal defense weapon for short range use or as a dedicated subsonic platform. The barrel has a 1-in-10 twist which is aggressive enough for a good number of subsonic loads while still offering good stability with lighter bullets.
The new barrel is 4150 chromoly steel with a rich QPQ nitride finish. It has a long taper for hard use, a pistol-length gas system and standard 5/8×24 threads for muzzle brakes, and, although less likely, flash hiders. (Photo: Aero)
Those are good, practical reasons to build a .308 rifle or pistol with a 12.5-inch barrel. But it’s probably the least practical reason that’s going to be the most popular: as ruler of all the fireballs. This is for when someone at the range pulls out a snub-nosed .44 Magnum to startle the people in the lanes to either side.
We got in two of our best-selling Turkish imports from Landor Arms – the AR-style LND-117 shotgun and the bullpup BPX 902 – to give them a whirl on the range and see if the reliability could be paired with the affordable price.
Marlin once claimed their Model 39 as the eldest continually produced, shoulder-fired rifle of all time. Though that record ended when the Marlin brand was parted-off to Ruger, the rimfire world is anticipating a return of this classic.