AERO M5 Loadout Two

We added some more magnification for our second loadout and made minor changes. While the EXPS 3-0 is one of our favorites, magnified optics are ideal for large-frame rifles. We chose the EOTECH Vudu 1-10 in a Geissele 34mm scope mount. This optic setup performed well on our SCAR 17, so we figured we’d give it a shot on this rifle.

This 1-10 Vudu has the SR-5 MRAD reticle, which provides an EOTECH-like reticle at 1x but still has a fine aiming point at the highest magnification. Since this optic is First Focal Plane (FFP), the reticle subtensions are the same throughout the magnification range. This makes holds simpler and easier to learn than higher-power second focal plane scopes.

In addition to our new optic, we switched over to a set of offset irons. We usually prefer offset dots, but since we’ll be running that setup later, we wanted to try the Magpul PRO Offsets. With that being said, this MBUS Pro setup weighs 3.8 ounces, whereas an RMR on our offset weighs around 3.6 ounces in its heaviest configuration.

We also swapped out the basic Magpul MOE grip with this BCM Mod 3. It may seem like a small change, but it can be beneficial as it offers a better texture and sits at a more shallow angle, allowing the shooter’s wrist to rest in a more natural position. The BCM Mod 3 isn’t the only grip that does this, but it is one of our preferred options.

We swapped out the Harris bipod in favor of an Atlas bipod. This bipod is sturdier than the Harris and allows the legs to sit at both 90-degree and 45-degree positions. This Atlas bipod came with an ADM QD mount, so all we needed to add was a Picatinny section to the bottom of our M-LOK handguard. This method is slightly bulkier but is a more solid option that is quick to attach. Using a longer Picatinny section also allows us to push the bipod forward or backward, allowing for more adjustability.

On the second day, we had a mixed bag of issues. The threaded pin for the bolt catch worked its way loose, as pictured above. While this didn’t completely fail, if we hadn’t caught the issue quickly, we could’ve lost the pin, which may have prevented the bolt from locking back or caused some other type of malfunction. Once we returned to the armory, we applied blue threadlocker to the pin and reinstalled it. However, for a factory-built gun, this is something we’d like to see already completed upon arrival.

The mag that caused us problems on the previous day also caused another failure to feed, so we separated that mag from the rest and will no longer use it. We also had one case where the bolt failed to close on a round. But since it only happened once, we can’t be sure of the cause.

We shot just over 800 rounds for the second range day, bringing us past the 1500-round mark. At the end of the day, we returned to the armory to prepare the rifle for its next loadout.