After months of teasers and rumors, Aero Precision is officially launching the EPC, or Enhanced Pistol Caliber series of AR-style carbines and large format pistols. The EPC is a family of blowback-operated ARs that will be available in two frame sizes.
The EPC-9 is Aero’s small-frame pattern which will work with 9mm Luger and .40 S&W while the EPC-10 is a large-frame pattern for 10mm Auto and .45 ACP. Both patterns use Glock and compatible magazines and feature a last round bolt hold open.
Aero plans on rolling out a full spread of complete firearms, complete uppers, assembled receivers and parts for the EPC. According to Aero many if not most of the components follow industry standards and should be compatible with third-party components, but of course, they recommend using Aero parts whenever possible.
Although the “E” in EPC stands for enhanced, these do not use Aero’s proprietary “Enhanced” barrel extension. These use standard barrel nuts and can be used with a wide variety of barrels, barrel nuts and handguards made for MIL-SPEC AR-15 upper receivers.
The upper receivers of the EPC house the last round bolt hold open and are compatible with standard and some aftermarket bolt levers, provided that they fit in the bolt hold channel. Otherwise the upper is fairly featureless in its design. It’s a slick-sided design with a large, flared ejection port and a flattop upper rail, and that’s it.
The uppers don’t use or have a provision for an ejection port cover, and the only thing on the left side besides the bolt hold lever is the standard charging handle retainer notch. The same goes for the lower receivers.
The lower receivers have a lot of nice enhancements but they remain simple and keep to an absolute minimum of parts. The lowers feature enlarged, flared magwells, integral oversized trigger guards and universal selector markings. The magazine release is on the right side only, but it is extended all the way to the trigger guard.
There are a couple of nice hidden features to the lowers, including a threaded takedown pin detent pin retainer as well as an upper tensioning set screw to remove any wiggle between the upper and lower receivers. These proprietary components are all included, even with stripped receivers.
As far as construction goes, well, the receivers are machined from 7075-T6 forgings, so it’s safe to say they’re well-built.
And while some users may want other features not included with the EPC, there’s no doubt that the demand for these will be off the charts no matter what. By keeping things simple, hopefully, Aero will be able to control pricing and availability, since a lot of people are going to want these.
Pricing will start at $269 for stripped receiver sets and $444 for complete upper receivers. Barrels will start around $114, bolts $169 and buffer kits $74. Everything is priced to move.
If you’ve been holding out on building or buying an AR-style pistol-caliber firearm for any reason, this might just be the time to start shopping. For more information visit Aero Precision online.