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If you’re not that into Modern Sporting Rifles, you may have never heard of Aero Precision. And as you might guess by the name, there’s more to the story here than just guns. The company has a background in aerospace engineering, and the parts and complete lower and upper receivers they manufacture for gas-operated guns like the AR-15 and AR-10 are highly respected. But even if you are into MSRs, you still may not yet have heard about Aero Precision’s new bolt-action SOLUS Hunter Rifle. I hadn’t until just a few months ago.
So, I called Aero Precision, ordered one, and then spent several days shooting and testing it. What I found was a very smooth-operating rifle that shot a smaller five-shot group than every other rifle in our 2023 rifle test. That was a pretty good start, but let’s take a closer look SOLUS Hunter, top to bottom.
Aero Precision SOLUS Hunter Rifle Overview
The SOLUS Hunter’s push-feed action has the same footprint as a short-action Remington 700, but instead of being drilled and tapped for scope bases, there’s a 15-slot, 20-MOA optics rail that’s integral to the action. This means there are no scope bases to ever work lose. The bolt has a three-lug head that features a 90-degree extractor and dual plunger ejectors. But the bolt head is also swappable. No, this is not a takedown rifle, but you could change the barrel and swap the bolt head, making the rifle compatible with one of the larger-diameter short-magnum cartridges. The bolt also has an easy to see “cocked” indicator, is easily field stripped, and the bolt handle/knob is interchangeable.
A fluted, 20-inch, light Sendero-profile barrel with a 1-in-10 twist is fitted to the action, and the muzzle is threaded at 5/8-24 to allow for installation of a muzzle device or suppressor. A thread protector comes with the rifle. Like the action, the barrel has a Cerakote finish, and the bore has been honed and lapped. It’s a brilliant shining circle when you look through it. This rifle also comes standard with a Trigger Tech single-stage trigger that’s adjustable.
All of this is housed in a synthetic Adjustable Hunter stock that’s manufactured by AG Composites, which is the same company that makes the stock for the very lightweight Wilson Combat NULA Model 20 and a number of other factory rifles. It’s 100-percent carbon fiber, pillar bedded, and has an adjustable comb. However, this is not a quick-adjust comb. You set it where you want it and lock it in place with a hex-head screw. Very smartly, there’s a notch cut in the forward end of the comb to allow bolt removal even if the comb is positioned above bore line. The rifle has 13.6-inch length of pull and comes with one rear and two forward sling swivel studs. The stock is also available in three camo options, features detachable box bottom metal that’s compatible with AICS magazines, and the rifle ships with one Magpul PMAG. All in all, it has an impressive array of smart and useful features.
Aero Precision Solus Hunter Rifle Specs
- Length: 39.75 inches
- Weight: 8 pounds, 10.1 ounces, with empty magazine installed (actual)
- Barrel: 20-inch, fluted, Sendero light profile, 1 in 10 RH twist, threaded at 5/8 – 24
- Action: Bolt action with interchangeable three-lug bolt head and 60-degree throw
- Trigger: Trigger Tech single-stage (3.0 pounds as tested)
- Capacity: 5+1 (AICS compatible)
- Finish: Cerakote
- Stock: AG Composites carbon fiber Adjustable Hunter stock, with adjustable comb
- Chambering: 308 Winchester (tested) 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC
- Price: $2499
Aero Precision Solus Hunter Rifle Test Results
For testing, I mounted a Maven RS 1, 2.5-15X 44mm riflescope to the integral 20 MOA rail with Leupold Mark 4 steel rings. To test for precision, I fired multiple five-shot groups, using three different loads, from a sandbag rest at 100 yards. The average for all groups fired was 1.20 inches, and the smallest group measured less than a half-inch. The adjustable comb helped with snuggling in comfortably behind the rifle and allowed me to perfectly align my eye with the centerline of the riflescope while maintaining a good cheek weld. Here are the full results from the bench-rest testing.
Ballistics and Precision Breakdown
The AG Composites stock has a very straight grip, and that’s something that’s becoming more popular on hunting rifles. It’s very comfortable when shooting from prone or the bench, but I prefer a more open grip on a hunting rifle, especially one I might use in stalking or snap-shooting situations. The trigger was exceptional and so was how smoothly the rifle operated. The bolt glides back and forth inside the action, and the rifle fed every load I tried very smoothly. So smoothly, in fact, that at first I was double checking after every bolt cycle to make sure a cartridge fed into the chamber. But there was no need; it worked flawlessly. Thanks to the dual ejectors, ejection was also positive and forceful, and I did not experience any sort of stoppage or malfunction with this rifle.
An adjustable length-of-pull would have complimented the adjustable comb, and a three- as opposed to a two-position safety that locks the bolt in the safe position would have been nice too. But that’s quibbling a little. At 8.63 pounds, I’d rate this as a heavy rifle because once you add rings and a riflescope—especially a riflescope to compliment the rifle’s configuration—you’re pushing 10 pounds or more. It would be great from a shoot house or for those who don’t mind carrying that much weight around. I wouldn’t want to head into the backcountry with it, but I wouldn’t hesitate to carry this rifle shorter distances, given how good it is otherwise.
Final Thoughts on the New Aero Precision Solus Hunter
- Good trigger
- Ultra-smooth action
- Adjustable comb
- Very good accuracy
I took this and another rifle to Texas on a whitetail, feral hog, and coyote hunt. I rotated the rifles each day, and as luck would have it, when I had the SOLUS all the critters completely ignored me. The outfitter did have a nice 500-yard range that I got to spend some time on, and it was nothing to repeatedly ring 12-inch gongs out to 500 yards with the SOLUS. This is fine-shooting rifle, but it is a bit heavy for my taste as a hunting rifle. Aero Precision does offer the SOLUS Hunter chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5 PRC. Both come with a 24-inch barrel, and both should weigh slightly more than the 20-inch barreled 308 Winchester I tested.
At right about $2,500, the SOLUS Hunter is walking the line between factory and custom rifle prices, and there are a lot of new rifles that resemble the SOLUS Hunter and its hunting/precision crossover configuration. This seems to be the sort of precision hunting rifle all the cool kids want these days, and the SOLUS Hunter I tested delivered in that department, at least with two of the loads tested. Of course, I’ll not be guaranteeing that if you purchase a SOLUS Hunter rifle, it will shoot just as well. But Aero Precision will, as each SOLUS Hunter rifle comes with a sub MOA precision guarantee.