Posted on July 17th, 2013 by ar15news
A while back I talked to the guys at AERO Precision about purchasing one of their COP (Continuous Optics Platform) Uppers. They actually were very interested in having me do a detailed installation review with lots of pictures and instructions. So here it is. Just a warning…there are lots of pics. As with all weapons, be careful and make sure it is unloaded prior to handling.
The AERO Precision COP Upper is a modular kit that comes in a big white flat box. Inside the box is pretty much everything you will need to assemble the upper with the exception of a few torque wrenches.
The actual upper receiver itself features a monolithic modular rail system which is where it gets the name COP or Continuous Optics Platform. The COP is different than most other “monolithic” systems in that the top 50% of the rail area is monolithic while the lower 50% of is modular as you can see in the pictures below. It also comes complete with Forward Assist and Dust Cover already installed.
If you flip the receiver upside down you’ll see that there are screw holes which is how you mount the different sections to the upper receiver.
Inside of the box you’ll find a proprietary barrel nut, barrel nut wrench, a spacer for your gas block, T-25 Torx Screwdriver and a bunch of Torx Screws. Go ahead and pull these out and set aside where you can get to them easily since you will need them throughout the installation.
Now we get to the fun part. As I already mentioned, the COP is modular so that means it comes with a bunch of different parts for different configurations. The first thing you’ll need to do is grab the wider sections that are the framework of the lower 50% of the rail (pictured below). You now have to choose what type of rail system you want.
As you’ll see in the next few pictures you will choose a bottom section (piece with the rounded tab on one end) and the two side sections. Your choices are 1913 Picatinny, Combination (part Picatinny and part Smooth) or Smooth. You can choose to do them all the same or mix them up. So for instance, if you wanted the combination sections on the side but all smooth on the lower section, you can do that. They also can go on either side so you can put the QD cup on the side you will use.
For this installation I chose to go with all Picatinny sections. I’ve laid all of the parts out on the table so you can see what all you should have now. The Upper, the 2 frame pieces, 3 rail sections (1 bottom and 2 sides) a bag of screws, the barrel nut and wrench.
At this point you will install the barrel. AERO Precision recommends greasing the threads of the receiver prior to installing the barrel and barrel nut. The next step is to slide the barrel nut, threads first, over the muzzle and down to the receiver end of the barrel. You are now ready to insert the barrel into the receiver and finger tighten the barrel nut. Now attach the supplied barrel nut wrench to a torque wrench and tighten to 55 ft-lb. The nice part is the barrel nut does not have to be indexed to clear the gas tube. NOTE: the barrel wrench must be fully seated on the barrel nut lugs, failure to do so can, in rare cases, result in wrench breakage!
You are now ready to install the gas block and gas tube. I will assume you have already assembled the gas block and gas tube. Slide the gas block over the barrel and insert the gas tube into the receiver. You can use the supplied gas block spacer if you choose to for barrels that previously had a handguard cap on them. Tighten the gas block and you’re done.
Now grab the lower rail section you chose and the two frame sections. You will also need the T-25 Torx Screw Driver and 4 screws.
You need to set the three sections together to form the lower half of the rail. Insert the screws and tighten. You should now have something similar to the images below.
Now take the lower half and mate it to the upper that you’ve previously assembled.
Now if you flip the upper belly up you’ll be able to insert the side rail sections and screw it all together. Don’t forget to install the screw on the side just in front of the pivot pin. Now go through and make sure all of these screws are tightened down to 25 in-lbs. Don’t torque them over 40 in-lbs. as it could strip the screw holes.
You have now completed the installation/assembly of your AERO Precision COP Upper. I’ve included a few pictures below of the completed product.
Overall, this was a very easy installation. I honestly couldn’t be happier with the quality of the product that AERO Precision is putting out. Of all of the guns I’ve put together, this is one of my all time favorites. If you noticed in the picture above, the monolithic design allows me to mount my optic further forward without worrying about loss of zero as the rail heats up. The upper and lower are both AERO Precision and match perfectly. This definitely wont be my last all AERO build. They just started offering Cerakoted Receivers in FDE and OD Green so you know whats coming. If you are getting ready for another build, this is one setup I would recommend checking out. For more information or to purchase a COP Upper for yourself, head on over to AEROPrecisionUSA.com.
If you have any questions or comments regarding this build, feel free to email me HERE.