Reviews Aero Precision Solus: Raising The Bar For Precision Rifles David Lane September 27, 2023 Join the Conversation THE NEW RIFLE TO BEAT I don’t remember when I first heard about the Solus, but the first time I got to shoot one was at CANCON: Georgia in 2022. Aero had a booth there with its, at the time, unreleased rifle plinking out to 500 yards with ease. After shooting it, I remember telling one of my fellow RECOIL editors that if the production Solus was that good and at that price, there might be a new king of bolt action rifles for the common man. After a lot of rounds and a lot of time with a production Solus, I’m extremely excited to say, I think Aero did it. In most ways, for many people, Remington died in 2012. Their place in the market would be filled by Howa, Tikka, and Bergara, with the Bergara B-14 HMR taking most of the crown for a decent-priced, great-shooting, do-all rifle. Maybe I’m the first to say it, maybe not, but I think Aero Precision’s Solus will prove to be a major contender. AERO PRECISION SOLUS SPECS Made In America? Yes Action Body Material: 416 Stainless Steel Footprint: Remington 700 SA Barrel Contour: Sendero Scope Base: Integral 1913 w/ 20 MOA Bias Action Length: Short Action Caliber 6.5 Creedmoor Barrel Length: 22″ Thread Pitch: 5/8×24 Threaded Magazine Cut: AICS, AIAW Weight: 11.08 lbs QUICK AND DIRTY Now that you know the base specs, I’ll run you through what I’ve added to the rifle. For an optic, I went with a Bushnell Match Pro ED to start with. That only lived on this rifle for a few weeks because I was waiting for something sexy to arrive in the mail – the Vortex Razor Gen 3. The least expensive entry into “Alpha” glass on the market, the Razor has a lot going for it. While we’ll have a full review on it soon, for now, let me just say that the hype is real, and this scope is pretty amazing. Other than the scope, the only change to the rifle I’ve made is adding an Area 419 Hellfire Match muzzle brake. ON THE BENCH As a package, the Solus is an outstanding rifle. The chassis, the action, the barrel, the price – all of it is pretty amazing. Let’s go one step at a time to really get the details. ACTION The action is the heart and soul of any rifle, and the Solus action ticks a lot of boxes. Remington 700 footprint, integral 20 MOA rail, integral recoil lug, magnum-sized ejection port, and compatible with AICS or AIAW magazines. The bolt is a 60-degree throw, 3-lug bolt head that can be changed out, with dual ejectors, and all of it is made from stainless steel. Maybe best of all, the action accepts either Savage small shank barrels or shouldered Zermatt Origin pre-fit barrels. So what does all of that mean? Basically, it’s a long list of features that are really nice to have and are normally only found on custom actions. R700 footprint means it fits the most common style of everything. For chassis and triggers, this gives you endless options. The integral 20 MOA rail is really nice because it gives you more elevation adjustment in your scope, and it’s one major point of failure that has been eliminated. Screw-on rails are pretty normal, but one that is integral is a lot stronger. Integral recoil lugs are a lot more common these days, but again they are very strong and a nice feature. Magnum-sized ejection port is uncommon and kind of nice to see. While .308 Win and 6.5 Creedmoor are by far the most common short-action calibers right now, having the larger ejection port keeps your options open down the road, especially because the Solus bolt head is swappable. While Aero doesn’t have other bolt heads out right now, these are coming in the future and will open even more caliber options. Dual ejectors make for a much stronger ejection, and a 60-degree throw keeps your hand from hitting your scope when you’re moving fast. Bottomline – this is a great action. CHASSIS I really dig the Solus Competition chassis. My favorite chassis is the MDT ACC, and the Solus feels like a Lite version of the ACC to me. Tool-free adjustable LOP and cheek riser, 17 inches of ARCA rail on the forend, included bag rider, a decent-sized barricade stop in front of the magazine well, and an adjustable thumb rest. That really hits all of the big features I want in a chassis. But it isn’t all roses. While the Solus chassis gets the features right, many of the parts are plastic instead of metal, as you would get with a higher-priced chassis. That’s understandable since this is a pretty inexpensive chassis, but as a blessing or a curse, this does mean you lose a lot of weight. Being a “competition” chassis, weight is your friend. If you want to get a real gamer, a 22-plus-pound rifle shooting 6mm is what you want for PRS. This is more like a 15-to-17-ish pound rifle (with scope) shooting .308, 6.5 Creedmoor, or 6mm Creedmoor. And unfortunately, extra weights aren’t available yet. While I wish there were a way to add more weight, for the vast majority of shooters, this isn’t going to be a real negative. The chassis has the features you need and will keep you in the game for a long time to come. Overall, I’m very impressed with this chassis, and I really enjoy shooting it. TRIGGER For the full rifle, Aero uses a TriggerTech Single Stage Trigger. This isn’t the TT Diamond, but it’s one level lower and really nice. Mine tested to a very consistent 2.5 pounds. It’s crisp, has zero creep, and feels great. It is exactly what you should expect from a TT trigger. If you haven’t used a TT trigger yet, you’re in for a real treat when you do. If you want to save yourself money in the long run, never shoot a TT Diamond trigger. Once you do, you’ll buy nothing else for your rifles. BARRELS & GROUPS Barrels are made by Ballistic Advantage, Aero’s sister brand. This is the part that I was most worried about before getting hands-on with the Solus. While I like BA barrels in my AR, none of them have blown me away for accuracy. And when it comes to bolt rifles, accuracy is king. I don’t shoot 3-round groups, they lie to you. I don’t care if a rifle is sub-MOA with 3 shots because everything can be sub-MOA with a sample size that small. When I test for accuracy, I test with three 5-shot groups. Hornady 140gr ELDM factory ammo, I got 0.96 MOA. Handloads I built for my main match rifle using Alpha brass and 140 ELDM bullets, 0.87 MOA. 105 yards, 6.5 Creedmoor handloads, 6 shots because I miscounted Even with my crummy bulk ammo reloads that I throw together between innings while I watch the Dodgers clown on teams, 1.30 MOA using Hornady brass and factory second 140gr HPBTs from the Aero Solus. Vortex Razor Gen 3 Vortex Optics was nice enough to loan me a Razor Gen 3 for this review. Before getting it in hand and getting to spend real time with it, I was on the fence about whether it was worth the money or not based on the limited time I’ve shot with one at demos. After a couple of months of use, I love it. For me and my wallet, I’m still not sure I’ll bite the bullet and upgrade soon – but I do appreciate the insanely clear glass, wonderful features, and just the sexiness of the scope. Full MSRP is a little crazy, but these normally have a street price much lower than the MSRP. If you’re looking for alpha glass that is more affordable than ZCO or TT, the Razor Gen 3 is a killer deal. ON THE RANGE This rifle does everything I hoped it would do and then some. Everything about the Solus punches way above the price. The action is glassy, the magazines fit tightly but drop-free, the trigger is crisp, and every inch of it feels like a high-quality rifle. Plinking at medium ranges out to 600 yards is point-and-click. Part of that is the nature of 6.5 Creedmoor, but most of that is a testament to the quality of the Solus barrel. It just works. Taking the Solus out to 1,000 yards and the story really doesn’t change. Discounting environmental factors, the rifle just hammers. This is almost boring to talk about because there is nothing to report, it simply works. Shooting off props gets a little harder with the balance of the rifle not being exactly where I would like it to be, but finding some weights that fit the Solus chassis will solve that in the long run. Even without it being perfect, it’s not hard to control, it shoots outstandingly well, and I honestly can’t find anything to really gripe about. I am exceedingly happy with this rifle. BUILD OR BUY The Solus isn’t only offered in package rifles, you can also get stripped actions or barreled actions for a great price. If you want a DIY build or want a semi-custom combo of parts, the stripped actions are a great price and, I think, a killer base to build off of. Something a little easier to get into will be the barreled action. While options are more limited, this is a one-stop-shop way of putting your favorite chassis on the rifle without breaking the bank. Personally, the Solus in the KRG Bravo chassis doesn’t really speak to me. I don’t care much for the KRG Bravo, it is an older design that is missing features and is kind of overpriced if you want to add features that really should be standard these days. The Solus Competition chassis is outstanding. Highly recommend it even if you want just a standalone chassis. For the money, this is pretty baller. Personally, I’m looking to pick up another Solus action so I can throw together a hunting rifle based on it. Aero now offers a lightweight hunting version, but I want to flex some DIY. DISLIKES? There is a lot to love about the Solus, but there is one thing that gives me a head shake – the cheek rest is a 1/4-inch too big. Rumor has it that the Solus will eventually be offered with a folding stock, so maybe the cheek rest was designed with that in mind. But for whatever reason, you can’t really get the bolt out with the cheek rest where almost anyone will normally have it. Instead, you need to move it up or down and then try to kind of sneak and finagle the bolt out. It isn’t a “problem,” but it is just kind of… annoying. A hack saw, a file, and 10 minutes of cutting the cheek rest will solve the issue, but that almost makes it more perplexing why this is what it is in the first place. Other than this fairly small annoyance, I really can’t find anything that I dislike about the Solus. PACKAGES Aero is rolling out a ton of options for the Solus. Soon after I got this rifle they rolled out 6mm Creedmoor with a 26″ barrel. Then came the hunting rifles with fluted barrels and lightweight stocks in .308 Win and 6.5 Creedmoor. Just recently they came out with .478 and .540 bolt faces and factory rifles in 6.5 PRC. Replacement bolt heads are pretty cheap at $140 MSRP. I'm told at SHOT 2024 they'll have the long action Solus on display plus more new options. For accessories, they have action wrenches, barrel vises, spigots, NVG mounts, and more already on the site. Aero Precision has gone hard into the bolt action game. And it doesn't look like they'll be letting off the gas anytime soon. LOOSE ROUNDS The Aero Solus is a factory rifle with a factory price, but the features and quality are neck and neck with custom rifles. My main PRS rifle is well over $4,000. The complete Aero Solus is only $2,150. Roughly half the cost for, I would say, 90 percent or more of the performance. It’s not often that a new rifle comes across my bench that makes me rethink my shooting life, but the Solus is one of those rifles. For long-range plinking or getting a start in PRS, I think the Aero Precision Solus Competition is the rifle to beat. Aero Precision has raised the bar for long-range factory rifles. And they raised it high. Explore RECOILweb:Ruger Adds Magnum Ruger Precision RiflesCaracal ReduxOffroad 101: Bug-Out Vehicle BasicsBushnell Match Pro ED: Best Competition Scope Under $1,000? NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOILFor years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. 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