“Hey man, you got a package from Aero here.” With those words, my friend and local gun store owner granted me a massive smile. My EPC was in. I received a full AR15 kit courtesy of Aero Precision and knew whatever else I had planned for the day was canceled. I had a gun to build and shoot, and enjoy, and now write about.
Putting The EPC Together
I received everything in pieces and needed to build out both the upper and lower. This turned out to be a simpler build than most. Everything about the EPC is simple. The upper doesn’t have a forward assist or dust cover, and the proprietary last round bolt hold open is installed already. The lower has the magazine release installed, and the trigger guard is integrated.
The lower also features a threaded bolt catch roll pin and a threaded takedown pin detent recess. This eliminates those feisty roll pins and makes installing your parts very simple. Aero’s Atlas rail system took no time to install and is rock solid. A torque wrench, and a few punches, and some Allen wrenches were all I needed.
That being said, I lost my automatic center punch, so I haven’t staked the castle nut just yet. However, it’s on nice and tight, and my automatic center punch is en route now.
One interesting feature is of the lower parts kit is the reinforced trigger pins. Direct blowback guns pour pressure into the gun, and these reinforced trigger pins allow it to stand up to the extra stress.
Range Time Pain Time
With the way ammo prices are right now, I’ve been shooting a lot of 9mm, so my long gun shooting has been shotguns and PCCs. Aero’s EPC came at the right time for me. Ammo wise, I stacked up some classic Winchester white Box, some Tulammo, Winchester Forged, and even a mag’s worth of 124-grain JHP SIG ammunition.
Since the EPC takes Glock mags we gotta have a lineup of the various Glock magazines on the market. I have some classic Glock OEM, ETS, Magpul, and KCI magazines to see what functions and what does not. Once we were loaded up, I needed to zero my Swampfox Blade 1x prism to the gun. It was a quick and easy 25-yard zero that would carry me out to 50 yards and even out to 100 yards with the reticle’s design.
Accuracy with the EPC was rather impressive. When zeroing, I had a supported position, and my groups were nice and tight. Mil-spec trigger seems to be a spectrum these days. I’ve had lots of rifles assign the mil-spec moniker to their triggers, and they all vary from each other. Aero’s is nice and short with zero slack. You got a stiff wall that’s smooth to overcome before you get the bang.
In the standing, my groups at 25 yards were consistent and small. At 25, I made my small 4-inch gong spin around the beam with a few successive shots. Back to 50 yards, I landed enough dings fast enough to sing a song on the 6, 8, and 10-inch gongs. I also scored successful headshots on my VTAC target, all from the standing. In a good supported kneeling position, I rang the 4-inch gong consistently enough to stroke my ego.
At 100 yards, we are really wringing out the majority of practical range we can get from a 9mm. Using the bottom stadia of my chevron reticle, I hit the 10-inch gong and 25% IPSC target from a supported position most of the time. Man-sized targets got an unhealthy dose of lead poisoning in the chest and torso area without much difficulty.
As a blowback 9mm AR, there is some recoil to be expected. Not an absurd amount, and from a 16-inch barrel, it’s less than a 5.56 in a comparable platform. At the end of my barrel is a VG6 Gamma 9mm that also takes some bite out of the recoil. The same goes for muzzle rise.
Firing a 9mm through a 16-inch barrel is a rather pleasant experience with minimal muzzle rise as is. With the VG6 Gamma 9mm, there is basically zero muzzle rise. There is just a little movement when you shoot. When you start slinging lead at an accelerated rate, you won’t have issues controlling the EPC.
Ergonomically my setup is quite light for a rifle. A lot of weight is shaved in the front via the Atlas rail system. It’s skeletonized to a near extreme degree. It’s M-LOK compatible with a full-length top rail. As a blowback 9mm, you are dealing with a hefty buffer, 7.7 ounces, to be correct. This situates a good bit of weight to the rear and makes everything nice and balanced.
Ensuring you can properly reload was clearly a priority with the EPC. The magazine release is big and massive and designed to function with Glock-type magazines without changing the AR 15 style ergonomics. Add in the flared mag well, and popping magazines in and out becomes rapid and easy. Lastly, the big appeal to the EPC is a last-round bolt hold open compatible with Glock mags.
A sub-three-second reload takes hardly any skill, and getting closer to two seconds isn’t tough either. The bolt release is exactly where it’s supposed to be and with the massive Aero Breach charging handle manipulations are rapid.
How’s It Eat
The Aero Precision EPC has turned out to be both reliable among different brands and types of ammo and magazines. My first day was a mere 100 rounds, but then the weekend hit, and I hit back. Enough, so my neighbor complained. Keep in mind my nearest neighbor is a mile away.
I let loose a symphony of 9mm pills of various weights and qualities. Fun fact, 147 grain 9mm is almost quiet from a 16-inch barrel. It went through everything without tapping out from steel cased, hard primered Tula to filthy and dry Winchester Forged. Say what you will about blowback actions, but they aren’t very picky. This includes some reloaded stuff in blister packs that I don’t ever remember buying.
In my mind, I heard ka-ching ka-ching with every shot and magazine’s worth of ammunition. Yet, it was still worth it. I had one failure to feed—a round of Tula whose projectile had sunk into the case. With the price per round being the way it is, I couldn’t believe the audacity of this Eastern European garbage.
Another ‘failure’ came from KCI magazines. The follower failed to rise with Winchester Forged a few times. The ammo is crap, and the magazines are cheap, so I won’t complain much.
Ping Pow Pew with the EPC
The Aero EPC proved to be quite the fun little PCC. Mine is the full-sized USPSA ready version, but uppers with shorter barrels exist for pistol and SBR options. Aero Precision might have taken their time getting the EPC to market, but that time taken has proven to be well worth it. Give the EPC a peek if you’re looking for a refined but affordable and easily customized AR 9mm platform.