View Full Version : Aero Precision Continuous Optics Platform (C.O.P.) Review

5 April 2010, 22:52
I recently had the opportunity to pick up Aero Precision's new "Monolithic Upper", which they have named the Continuous Optics Platform, or simply C.O.P. The C.O.P. is currently made out of forged 7075-T6 Aluminum in Carbine length with a flattop upper receiver with picatinny rail and laser engraved rail numbering. The Upper Receiver and Rail System are built together as one piece which allows you to have a continuous platform to mount your Sights/Scopes/Optics in one rigid location.

Upon opening the box I was pleasantly surprised to discover how professionally packaged the product was in individualized compartment foam packaging so all of the individual parts were not "banging around" in the box. It was also nice to see that Aero Precision took the extra step to include a T-25 Torx Screw Driver to aid in the installation of the Handguard Panels and Rail Inserts, instead of only placing in an Allen Wrench, or requiring that you have your own. Additionally, there are 20 Torx Drive Socket Head Cap Screws included, though only 18 are required for installation. For those of us who occasionally lose some small parts, this is a nice safety net to have.

The C.O.P. Kit contains the following parts:

- Carbine Upper Receiver
- Carbine Handguard Panel (x2)
- Carbine Blank Rail Insert (x2)
- Carbine Blank Rail Insert with QD Sling Socket
- Carbine Picatinny Rail Insert (x2)
- Carbine Picatinny Rail Insert with QD Sling Socket
- Carbine Half Picatinny / Half Blank Rail Insert (x2)
- C.O.P. Barrel Nut
- C.O.P. Extended Port Door Pin (installed)
- C.O.P. Barrel Wrench
- AR-15 Port Door (installed)
- Port Door Spring (installed)
- Forward Assist Assembly (installed)
- 8-32 x 3/8 Torx Drive Socket Head Cap Screws (x20)
- T-25 Torx Screw Driver

From the C.O.P. Assembly Manual

Applicability of C.O.P. Kits

Carbine kits can be used on most AR-15 Carbines with carbine length (6") gas systems. The Upper can be used with other barrel length and gas system length combination's, but there are few limiting factors to keep in mind. Only low-profile gas-blocks will fit under the handguard, thus a shorter than carbine gas system will require one. Gas piston system will not fit under the handguard. Aside from these two considerations, any caliber conversion or odd barrel combination that functions well on a standard flattop upper should work equally well on the C.O.P. Upper.

Tools Required (Not in Kit)

- C.O.P. Barrel Wrench (included)
- T-25 Torx Driver (included)
- Upper Receiver Vise Blocks
- Allen Wrenches
- 3/4" Wrench (For flash hider removal/installation)
- 1/8" Punch (Only needed for removal/installation of pinned front sight bases)
- G.I. Armorer's Wrench (Commercial) (Only needed for models with 2-piece handguards)
- Torque Wrench (Commercial) Aero Precision recommends that your Torque Wrench is calibrated to ensure accuracy and prevent over tightening.
- Strap Wrench (Commercial) (Only needed for models with free float handguards)
- Free Float Barrel Nut Wrench (this wrench may be specific to your handguard) (Only needed for models with free float handguards.)

My first impressions of the C.O.P. was noticing how extremely light weight all of the pieces seemed to be. Aero Precision has really taken the time to ensure they they stripped away all of the excess weight by creating skeleton "cut-outs" wherever they could, without compromising the structural integrity of the product. I was also shocked to see how many options that I had in choosing the interchangeable rail sections. The top rail section is at all times a complete Picatinny Rail, though both sides and the bottom rail section are interchangeable between a full Picatinny Rail Insert, a Blank Rail Insert, a Picatinny Rail Insert with a Quick Detach (QD) Sling Socket, a Blank Rail Insert with a QD Sling Socket, and/or a Half Picatinny/Half Blank Rail Insert. With this many options you can customize your rail system to fit your shooting style, not the shooting style the manufacturers think you need or want. The Blank or Half-Blank Rail Inserts are great for those of us who have a bunch of rubber rail cover's along the rifle to protect our hands. With the Blank Inserts there is no need for the rail covers, thus cutting down on the weight of your rifle even more. Additionally, with the lack of the rail in the Blank Inserts, it makes the handguard even smaller to fit in your hand.

Installation of the Handguard Panels and Rail Inserts can be completed by just about anyone who can turn a Screw Driver and can also ensure that they have torqued the Screws to 25 in-lbs. ***CAUTION: DO NOT TORQUE THE SCREWS ABOVE 40 IN-LBS. DOING SO MAY RESULT IN STRIPPING THE SCREW HOLES. Installation of the barrel, gas tube system, and gas block may need to be completed by a gunsmith or armorer, unless you are comfortable with the installation process yourself and you have the know-how to do a safe and complete job.

Per Aero Precision, the C.O.P. is expected to retail for approximately $500, though individual dealers may vary.

Surplus Ammo (https://www.surplusammoandarms.com/Home_Page.html) in Lakewood, WA currently has the C.O.P in stock and for sale.

As of the writing of this review, I have the C.O.P. being built into a fully functioning rifle. Once the build is complete I will add additional information on the performance of the C.O.P. on the range.

5 April 2010, 22:53




5 April 2010, 22:55








5 April 2010, 22:55
Carbine Handguard Panels


Carbine Blank Rail Inserts


Carbine Blank Rail Insert with QD Sling Socket


Carbine Picatinny Rail Inserts


Carbine Picatinny Rail Insert with QD Swing Socket




Carbine Half Picatinny / Half Blank Rail Inserts


C.O.P. Barrel Nut and Wrench


T-25 Torx Screw Driver and 8-32 x 3/8 Torx Drive Socket Head Cap Screws


8 April 2010, 08:34