First impressions of Aero’s new SOLUS Competition rifle SHOT Show 2023

I’ve been slowly chronicling my experiences at the 2023 SHOT Show and there’s one piece of new hardware that I really wanted to highlight. While at industry day at the range, I had the opportunity to try out and shoot all kinds of new as well as old firearms. Overall, the experience was wonderful and I’m revisiting the day to discuss one of Aero Precision’s new firearms. While the rifle they just released at SHOT was available in other variants in the past, 2023 saw the introduction of the Aero Precision Bolt Action SOLUS Competition Model.


I’m not a big rifle guy. That’s not to say that I don’t like them or enjoy shooting them. Geographically rifles are not something one would hunt with where I live and grew up in New Jersey, and after being on the rifle team at Massachusetts Maritime Academy many moons ago, maybe I punched my card and just called it good on rifles for a while. Perhaps the Fudd in me is overpowering as I’m drawn to the excitement of dynamic targets and shotgun sports? I spend most of my days hand-gunning and or attempting to dust clays. When I walked past the Aero canopy at industry day at the range, I popped in to visit with some friends who were there, and it was then I saw the bolt action rifle which piqued my interest. I thought to myself Aero and bolt actions? Now that’s kinda neat.

Like many people, when I hear about or think of Aero Precision, I’m thinking about AR variant firearms. As a matter of fact, I may or may not be sitting on some Aero receivers to turn into a build one day when I can fully furnish any potential rifle with the correct and super offensive hardware as a big “F U” to New Jersey, when their so-called assault weapons ban is overturned by the courts. A bolt action firearm is not something I’d generally associate with the manufacturer, and that’s why I wanted to spend the extra time asking the Aero reps both at industry day at the range, and subsequently at the Aero booth at SHOT Show proper, some questions.

The SOLUS Competition Model is an improvement upon the former iterations of the SOLUS rifle. So this is not Aero’s first foray into the world of bolt actions, but I’m going to guess their former success made them realize there’s a market for these rifles built by them. Why wouldn’t there be? After all Aero is a trusted and high-quality manufacturer of firearms, firearm parts, and everything that goes bang.


After chatting with the representative for a bit about the rifle, he handed me a loaded box magazine and I bellied up to the bench where the SOLUS Competition rifle was sitting. The rifle comes in different chamberings with the one at industry day in 6.5 Creedmoor. The rifles are based on the Remington 700 short action footprint and are configured to accommodate AICS/AIAW magazines. The model was also outfitted with one of Aero’s new suppressors, a Lahar-30.

I cycled through some rounds and was pleasantly surprised by the low recoil. Granted the rifle was seated on the bench on the bipod it was mounted to, was suppressed, and weighs in around 11 pounds, none-the-less I was still impressed with the minimal movement post break of the trigger. Everything felt natural and I did not find the rifle to be clunky at all. Being a competition model, the weight is a near non-issue, only adding to the stability of the arm, and nearly every element of the stock is adjustable to allow a custom fit for individual shooters. 

The only thing that I found to be offensive when shooting the rifle was the trigger. That’s actually kind of a big deal, I know. For a precision competition rifle such as the SOLUS, I expected the force required to be much lighter than it was. I’d compare the trigger pull to that of a shotgun, so not really fit for competition shooting in that configuration in my humble opinion.

I was told that the rifles are outfitted with TriggerTech single stage triggers and they are adjustable. When talking with Kirk Foreman from Aero, who was intimately involved in the design of the rifle, he told me they set the weights on the triggers much higher on the industry day at the range guns as to leave less room for negligent discharges. Given that information and how the triggers are adjustable, it’d be up to the individual shooter to determine how they’d want theirs set. Going on faith, I’m sure the triggers would be crisp and clean breaking if not set as high as the one I tried. I was told they could be set to have “hair triggers”.


In talking with Foreman at the Aero booth, I asked about the rifle and system. Foreman told me that the system is designed so there’s plenty of room for customization. Consumers can purchase barrelled actions or if they would rather, a turnkey rifle fully built. Foreman said:

The SOLUS bolt action rifle system was designed to provide an open source solution for people who either wanted to do the custom build experience at home without the barriers to entry as traditionally associated with custom bolt action rifle builds, as well as barreled actions and complete rifles for those looking for a turnkey solution.

The competition model, the chassis has to be configured to a number of different use cases, really shines within the competition setting based on the feature set that it has. And altogether it comes in at a price point with an MSRP that goes well below the cutoff for production class…so it’s a really good option for those looking to kind of compete in that space.

I’m always interested in companies that are daring and innovative. Seeing this kind of offering from Aero proves to me that the company is still willing to take risks and embark into the unknown. When dealing with companies that are associated with quality manufacturing and have a reputation to protect, such moves could be detrimental to their reputations. I don’t think the Aero SOLUS Competition rifle is going to end up being the company’s “New Coke”, but will rather continue to make an impression on all that give it a shot.

For full specifications and more information on the rifle and platform, visit the SOLUS Competition rifle page online.


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