Aero Precision has unveiled a new, factory-suppressed AR-10-pattern upper receiver system. A joint effort between Aero, Ballistic Advantage and SilencerCo, the carbine-length suppressed .308 Winchester upper is specially tuned to run full-time with the bundled SilencerCo Omega while providing exceptional accuracy.
Called the M5E1-SD, it’s a carbine-length upper with a custom 16-inch Hanson-profile barrel by Ballistic Advantage built using Aero’s M5E1 in-house receiver. The receiver extends under the handguard and provides a direct mount for the free-floating rail, which, at 15 inches, runs right out to the back of the suppressor.
It’s a complete package including the can, and with a list prices starting at $1,549, it would be hard–practically impossible—to build a similar upper for less. While it looks steep at first blush, when you start pricing out component parts this upper’s value starts to really stand out.
Especially since the SilencerCo Omega has an $1,100 MSRP by itself. The Omega is SilencerCo’s flagship suppressor, introduced earlier this year, rated up to .300 Winchester Magnum. It’s good to go with just about any .30-caliber or smaller centerfire cartridge from the heavy magnums down to FN 5.7x28mm. It’s a modular suppressor that can accept different endcaps and mount via multiple adapters.
The base upper isn’t NFA-regulated. The suppressor is detachable and can be used on a wide variety of other guns. Constructed from titanium, steel and other alloys, it weighs a surprising 14 ounces and ships with a flat endcap and direct-thread mount. The can, on the other hand, does require a tax stamp and as such the combo can only be shipped to dealers that handle NFA-regulated firearms.
Of course the can isn’t the only premium component going into this build. The Hanson pattern barrel combines a long, heavy taper from the chamber to the gas block with a light profile from the block out to the muzzle. They’re 416R stainless steel with a matte, bead-blasted finish, a mid-length gas system and a standard 1-in-10 twist rate.
Unlike regular AR-type barrels, Hanson barrels are made to be free-floated and have only a small shoulder for low-profile gas blocks. Combined with their smooth tapers and round cuts they have superior barrel harmonics and a sub-MOA accuracy guarantee. Thanks to the barrel’s heat-absorbing mass at the chamber end, that accuracy will stay predictable for longer strings of fire.
Aero Precision offers the M5E1-SD with dealer’s choice of KeyMod or M-Lok handguards. It’s sold with a standard black hard-anodized finish or with a flat dark earth Cerakote finish for an extra $20.
With the mid-length gas system and the suppressor the M5E1 promises to shoot as soft as an AR-15 and punch cloverleafs all day at 100 yards. The only thing it doesn’t do is include a charging handle or bolt carrier group, which can run upwards of $200. Still, those are pretty personal components, and it’s probably better off that Aero doesn’t burden buyers with a higher price for parts they don’t want.
If it keeps things simple they do sell black nitride, phosphate and nickel-boron .308 bolt carrier groups and AR-10 charging handles at hugely-competitive prices.
The M5E1-SD is pretty unmatched when it comes to suppressor-ready uppers, not only because it includes the suppressor. Aero went out of the way to deliver a top-shelf assembled upper at an incredible price—to the point where if you were considering a SilencerCo Omega, it might as well come with the M5E1-SD attached.