Officers armed with rifles save lives. When a person intent on mass murder begins a spree killing, an officer with a rifle is able to engage the subject with greater precision, from longer distances and defeat body armor. This is a fact that has been proven time and time again, yet many of the nation’s law enforcement officers do not have a patrol rifle as part of their normal duty gear.
Consider the 2005 case in Tyler, Texas, where a deranged man opened fire on his ex-wife and son in front of the courthouse. After killing her, wounding his son and killing a concealed-carry permit holder who attempted to intervene, the man engaged in a running gun battle and high-speed chase with law enforcement. The murderer, who was wearing a bullet-resistant vest, was stopped by a responding sergeant armed with an AR-15.
While the idea of equipping officers with rifles is dismaying to some people, the reality is that the rifle is a tool that can save lives. The rifle is also a tool that tends to be expensive and requires a significant investment of time and money to ensure officers are properly trained with it. Finding a tool that is easy to use, affordable and reliable is one of the key points for many departments having to justify the costs.
The AR-15 rifle is an easy-to-use system that has proven to be effective in all kinds of conditions and scenarios. With its modularity, it can easily be adapted to officers of all body sizes, while its low recoil does not scare off non-shooters in the agency. Finding the right AR-15 can be a challenge due to the sheer number of companies making the guns and the wide range of price points.
Enter Aero Precision
With a background in the aerospace industry, Aero Precision manufacturers a well-made, value-priced rifle called the AC-15. Following the standard AR pattern, the AC-15 offers a complete gun suitable for patrol work that does not cut corners in the manufacturing process. Police budgets are always scrutinized by short-term-thinking politicians who rarely understand the value of quality training and equipment. Too many times a department is only able to supply officers with rifles after a
tragic event. A low-cost but quality rifle can help a motivated agency head get budget approval for these lifesaving tools.
The AC-15 starts with a receiver set made of 7075-T6 aluminum and mil-spec-compatible parts. The rifle has a 16-inch, chrome-moly barrel with a 1-in-7-inch twist rate. The barrel has an M4 profile and a QPQ corrosion-resistant finish. At the end of the barrel, the company attaches an A2-style flash suppressor. The rifle uses a carbine-length gas system to keep running.
Aero Precision builds the bolt carrier group to mil-spec standards. The gas key is properly staked. Aero Precision uses a bolt that is made of Carpenter 158 steel and has been both high-pressure (HP) and magnetic-particle (MP) inspected.
I had no malfunctions with this rifle while shooting off the bench or off-hand. All of the ammo fed reliably, and the gun was flawless with the included Magpul PMAG. I also ran a number of other magazines, including those from Troy, Brownells and Hexmag. All of the magazines inserted, fed and dropped free consistently.
The AC-15 is a solid, reliable rifle with a very attractive price tag. Unlike some other companies trying to compete at the budget end of the market, Aero Precision did not delete features to save a few pennies on each unit. The company ships the rifle equipped with all of the parts buyers would consider standard, including a Magpul magazine and rear sight. This allows the AC-15 to be placed into immediate service.
Is the AC-15 right for your agency? It is worth investigating. My sample size of only one is too small to make any definite statements regarding long-term, heavy use of the guns. However, based on the performance of the test gun I had, I would happily add Aero Precision to the consideration process of any agency needing to equip its officers with patrol rifles.
- Caliber: 5.56mm NATO
- Barrel: 16 inches
- Stock: Collapsible
- OA Length: 32-36 inches
- Weight: 6.24 pounds (empty)
- Finish: Matte black
- Sights: A2 front, Magpul MBUS rear
- Action: Direct impingement semi-auto
- Capacity: 30+1
- MSRP: $699