Contact Us

TNW Firearms Aero Survival Semiautomatic Tactical Rifle

$600.00

10mm
RXCPLT0010BK
Semi-Automatic
$699.99
Barrel Length
16″
Hand
Right
Finish
Black
Stock Color
Black
Round Capacity
30+1
Gun Weight
6 lbs.

Category:

DESCRIPTION
Aiming for a versatile survival rifle for your next deep woods camping, bush flying, or kayaking trip? Designed to accept standard Glock magazines, the TNW Firearms™ Aero Survival Semiautomatic Tactical Rifle is highly versatile and reliable. The removable barrel allows for easy take-down for easy cleaning and compact storage. Convenient right- or left-side ejection makes the Aero truly ambidextrous. The anodized aircraft-aluminum upper receiver features 1913 Picatinny rails for optics mounting, and M-Lok™ slots for accessories. The AR-style grip and collapsible buttstock offer improved ergonomics and shouldering for accuracy and control. Plus, easy-to-install caliber conversion kits (caliber-specific barrel and internals) and offer a variety of applications in one firearm, making this compact rifle the ideal survivalist weapon.

Aircraft-aluminum upper and lower receivers
Ambidextrous, interchangeable ejection port and controls
AR-style grip and collapsible buttstock
Compatible with a variety of easy-to-install caliber conversion kits (not included)
REVIEW:TNW Aero Survival Rifle Review
Emilia Kush from gunsdiscreetsupplies.com

The concept of a lightweight blowback-operated pistol-caliber centerfire carbine for use in survival situations isn’t new. Feather Industries and Kel-Tec cracked that nut a long time ago. In 2012, TNW Firearms of Oregon released its own version: the 5.5 lb. Aero-Survival rifle(“ASR”).

Overview
The TNW ASR is notable for its removable barrel and easily convertible caliber changes. It takes the basic design concept of a German MP-18 or the British Sten (i.e. a tubular receiver, blowback-operated pistol-caliber carbine) and modernizes it to include quick change barrels, multi-caliber options, Picatinny rails, and AR collapsible stocks.
In a smart move, the ASR uses readily available and utterly reliable GLOCK magazines. Unlike the military submachine gun designs on which it’s based, the ASR’s upper and lower receivers are made out of aircraft aluminum for reduced weight. Unlike its military forefathers, the ASR fires from the closed bolt. So equipped, it’s intended for home defense, remote-country travel/backpacking, boating and back-country flying.
Unlike an AR, the ASR’s “upper” is the serial numbered “receiver,” which is the regulated firearm. Conversely, the “lower” is merely a “trigger housing.” Pistol versions (i.e., no buttstock, 8-inch barrel) are also available. With its removable barrel, the ASR is a great candidate for SBR treatment.
The ASR can be ordered two sizes. The 9x19mm version is the most common version. It can be converted to shoot .40 S&W and .357 SIG. It uses GLOCK 17 magazines (The other version will shoot 10mm, and .45 ACP). You can buy barrels in all different calibers, as well as their corresponding bolt heads and magazines, to ensure the ultimate in ammo flexibility.
TNW is currently developing conversion kits for .22 LR, .22 MAG, and .17 HMR. Our two test samples were chambered in 9x19mm — my first choice of the available calibers. The impressive 10mm offering is my second favored option. With its 16-inch barrel, the ASR reportedly pushes 180-grain Buffalo Bore ammo out at an impressive 1,725 fps.

There are different schools of thought on the best caliber for survival rifles. Shotguns can be a great option due to ammunition flexibility, including signal rounds such as Dragon’s Breath. They’re also useful on waterfowl and other avian species, which can be some of the most available survival food available. Unfortunately, truly compact lightweight shotguns are difficult to find and usually require a tax stamp.
Conversely, takedown .22LR rifles are common, lightweight and will dispatch most of the smaller game one might pursue in a survival situation, firing ammo that’s both lightweight and (until recently) ubiquitous. On the other hand, .22LR does not serve well in a self defense role against larger predators, esp. those of the bipedal variety.
Larger pistol calibers serve better in a self defense role. They can also be used for hunting. Case in point: TNW’s CEO used an ASR in .40 S&W to take a cougar. Pistol-caliber JHPs are not ideal against small game, however, because they can damage too much meat. That said, 9mm FMJ could be used in situations where meat damage is a concern (small mammals, etc).
A multi-caliber platform that allows you to alternate between 9mm and .22LR provides flexibility; just the ticket to bridge the gap. The ASR fits that bill quite nicely.

Exterior Finish
The TNW ASR is available in a standard hard black anodized finish, OD green, tan and two variegated finishes (pink and green). Based on these colors and patterns, it’s clear that TNW expects a fair number of these guns will simply be used as range plinkers. The tricked-out colors actually look pretty rad, IMHO.
Overall, the quality of the machining is first class. Tool marks on the aluminum exterior are nonexistent, and the finish is smooth and even.

Operator Controls
The operator controls on the ASR are small simple and utilitarian in nature. Given that this is a survival rifle, not a 3-Gun rifle, you should not expect to see oversized controls and tacticool stuff like Magpul Bad Levers. In fact, quite the opposite.
Light weight and compactness are the most important attributes for this type of rifle; if the weapon is bulky and not discreetly packable it will be left behind. Ideally the weapon should be weatherproof so you can leave it in your boat, your rig or your bug-out bag.
The magazine release is a rounded circular button located on the left side of the mag well. It’s not intuitive for those of us with AR muscle memory, but it works well once you get used to its location. Similarly, the safety is a simple cross-bolt design that’s not difficult to locate or operate.
The charging handle is well designed and comfortable. The bolt doesn’t lock open when the last shot in a magazine is fired. Nonetheless, like an HK MP5 or Sten, the bolt handle can be pulled back and tipped up into a notch in the receiver to lock the bolt in the open position.
Newer versions of the ASR come equipped with an integral child safety lock located on the right side above the trigger. An Allen key is required to engage and disengage the lock. Turning the screw counter clockwise three turns will result in the trigger being blocked.

Barrel Attachment
The barrel screws into the receiver, held in place by a ratchet. It features a groove to ensure that it indexes consistently with the receiver. It works, but I found the retention system to be a bit “light” for my liking. When Chris first test-fired the carbine, he reported that the barrel nut was too loose. If we’d read the manual (who does that?) we would have discovered that there’s a small allen screw that can be used to adjust the ratchet’s tension. Derp. Pro tip: It works!
A detachable barrel that has true “return to zero” capability is an absolute “must have” requirement for any true multi-caliber survival rifle, and the ASR performs well in this regard. This type of rifle will usually be packed away in luggage or a bug-out bag; the ability to pack this carbine away discretely is of the utmost importance.

Upper Receiver and Trigger Housing Interface.
The way that the upper receiver interfaces with the trigger housing is also innovative. In the photo above, notice two male pins protruding out of the bottom of the upper. These pins align with and insert into the lower, where they are held in place with two crosspins.
The male pins can be screwed up and down in order to adjust the tension with the cross pins. It takes a bit of trial and error to get the hang of how it works, but once you understand the physics of the system, you can adjust how tightly the upper and lower match up.

The Trigger
I guess I’d call the ASR’s trigger a two-stage trigger. It has a long creepy uneven stage, and then it hits a slight wall. Pulling through the wall breaks the shot. According to my Lyman gauge, the pull weight was around 10 lbs. It’s a lawyer trigger for sure. In short, the factory sear really needs some gunsmith work.
Fortunately, it’s easy to take apart and work on. A few minutes with a Dremel tool and you can vastly improve the trigger. If you happen to screw it up, a new sear will cost you a couple of bucks. I took mine over to the factory (I’m local) and they got mine down to 4 lbs. in only five minutes. It’s not Geisselle good, but its good enough that it’s not a problem.
If you’re in a survival situation, you may only get one opportunity to take down whatever game happens to enter your kill zone. The difference between a meal or going hungry for days on end could very well depend on how well you squeeze that trigger. So a crappy trigger is a no go.
Having said that, if you are just thinking about this gun as a range plinker, the factory trigger is probably good enough. I had no trouble hitting the paddles of a dueling tree at 25 yards even with the standard trigger.
The trigger is cut from a sheet by a CNC machine and is not rounded at all. It’s set back about a ½ inch too far than my liking; it’s difficult to get proper thumb placement on the trigger. The removable polymer pistol grip is of the AR-15 variety. But replacing it with a thicker Magpul MAIG grip might help mitigate the problem.
I had a “Roite pull”device laying around. With a little bit of bubba-Dremel action, I was able to make it fit. I like it a lot better now. Even so, I still managed to shoot pretty well with the ASR even without my bubby-mod. Again, I think the design is intended to place compactness over ergonomics, and I agree that the former should be paramount in this type of rifle.

Disassembly

Disassembly is simple. After making sure the carbine is unloaded, you first remove the magazine. Unscrew the barrel and remove it from the receiver. Next, remove the lower receiver by tapping out two non-captured retaining pins. Move the bolt carrier to the index point so that the charging handle can be removed.
The bolt then slides out the front of the receiver. The bolt cab be disassembled by removing the pin located on the other side of the bolt charging handle and the bolt, firing pin and retaining spring come apart from the bolt carrier. No further disassembly is required.
In the photo below, you can see how the ejector can be moved from the left to the right, in order to change the direction for shell ejection. The carbine is set up at the factory to eject to the right. You change it to left-handed ejection by removing two roll pins in the lower receiver. Basically, you’re just swapping out the location of the ejector and the bolt stop.

In the photo above, you can also see where the sides of the hammer have been peened a bit. This happened because I pulled the trigger without the upper in place. Pro-tip: Don’t do that!
Sights/Scope
The ASR I tested came equipped with a Chinese-made 4×32 compact scope by AIM Sport. Not to sound like a scope snob, but I found the scope to be completely worthless. In one case, it wouldn’t even index to the point of impact: The scope was dialed all the way to the left and was still aimed a foot to the right of the bullet strike at 100 yards.
When I turned the scope’s adjustment to the right, bullet strike was three to four feet to the left of the scope’s crosshairs. I tried to wrench on it a bit and ended up breaking the scope. We replaced it with an inexpensive Bushnell TRS-25 red dot and didn’t look back.
Thankfully, TNW decided to drop the scope as an accessory. TNW now ships the ASR without any sights or a scope. Any AR–15 sights with a Picatinny interface will work.

Accuracy
In a true survival situation, a carbine will likely be used on smaller deer species, Rodentia (rats, beaver, squirrels, nutria, capybara, etc.), Lagomorpha (rabbits, pika, etc), Suids (pigs, javalina, etc) avian species (seagulls, boobies, upland birds, turkey, ducks, herons, etc.), or small reptiles (lizards, snakes, caiman, etc.).
In my experience, typical engagement ranges are under 50 yards, and often 20-30 yards. Shots up to 100 yards are theoretically possible, but bullet drop makes these longer shots more difficult with pistol-calibers. A 9mm will have a good 9 to 10 inches of drop 100 yards. Ideally, a survival carbine needs to be able to shoot consistent 2-3 MOA groups or better.
The TNW ASR easily meets that requirement.
With typical cheap “target/plinking” grade ammo, accuracy was typically in the 2-3 MOA range at 50 yards, and 3-4 MOA at 100 yards. As expected, groups tightened up a bit when I used more expensive defense-grade hollowpoints such as Hornady Critical Duty, Federal Hydro-shok or Remington Golden Saber 147 grain.

A “typical” 50-yard group is shown above. Like many 9mm carbines, the TNW ASR does have its preferences. Not surprisingly, it preferred more expensive ammo with higher velocities. In fact, my best 3-shot, 50-yard group came courtesy of Cor-Bon 115 Grain +P:
Make no mistake: I don’t think that type of “cloverleaf” accuracy is typical for the ASR. You do need to get the trigger upgrade to get close to this level of performance. Nonetheless, with the trigger upgrade and some careful ammo selection, you can get 1 MOA performance at 50 yards.
Testing the return-to-zero capability of the rifle I was pleasantly surprised with the results. POI shift was about a half-inch or so at 50 yards after a barrel change. As you might expect, changes in ammunition had a much greater effect on accuracy, and in many cases, the rifle’s zero needed to be adjusted.

In addition to the guns I tested during our factory tour, I tested two samples. The green T&E sample shown in the photos started out a bit rough. My buddy (and former TTAG writer) Chris Dumm is a big fan of all things cheap, so he shoots lots of cheap-ass Russian steel case stuff such as Tula. So Chris fired 200+ rounds of Tula through the ASR and experienced frequent jams. Having a low tolerance for malfunctions, he soured on it pretty quickly.
I tend to take a longer view. Over the next five months, I took it to the range on five occasions. On my first two outings, I was mainly just plinking at rocks, in a “get to know you” fashion, as opposed to serious accuracy work. I mainly wanted to see if the barrel nut would stay tight, the gun functioned reliably, and maintained zero. I was also hopeful that the trigger might smooth out a bit with time.
I shot roughly 500 rounds, mostly a mix of factory brass ammo and gun-show reloads. I experienced an occasional jam during this phase of my testing. However, to my delight, the jams decreased as the gun broke in.
On my fifth and last range trip, I loaded up eight 32-round GLOCK mags with UMC 115-grain Ball and proceeded to empty them in over a period of about 10 minutes in fairly rapid fashion. I experienced no hiccups. Since then, I’ve fired another 2,000 rounds through this carbine with only one jam. I even ran 150 rounds of steel-case Winchester through it with good results. I’ve heard other guys tell me that their ASRs worked perfectly right out of the box. So my takeaway is that you may get one that needs a 500-round break-in period. And while in an ideal world it would right out of the box every time, but I’m gonna break in any gun before I rely on it for a hunt or a “save my life” situation anyway. I do know that TNW test fires each sample before it leaves the factory.

TNW ASR Pack
If you’re going to get a TNW Aero Survival Rifle, it makes sense to get the kit that includes the matching backpack. This pack is intended to be used both as a survival pack and the transport bag for the ASR. The bag is designed with separate compartments to hold three 16-inch ASR barrels as well as separate bolt heads for the various calibers supported by your system. The bag retails for $99, and I think it’s a well worth the extra Benjamin.

In the photo below, you can see how the disassembled rifle is stored in the backpack, along with room for three extra barrels:
Bolt heads supporting caliber conversions and extra magazines are stored in the outside pouch.

The backpack is designed to allow the rifle to be carried with the barrel installed. So employed, the barrel pokes out the bottom of the backpack via a hole for that purpose. There are pros and cons to this arrangement, but if you decide to carry the carbine in this manner, it is important to keep some sort of cap on the muzzle to prevent snow or dirt from getting lodged in the barrel. A Velcro flap closes off the hole when not in use.

When testing this set up, I added some of the equipment I normally keep in a bug-out bag, including a tarp, bivy sack, hatchet, bush craft knife, sharpener, flashlight, saw compass, first aid kit, aluminum foil, contractor grade garbage bags, Lifestraw, two small Pelican 100 boxes filled with items for fire-starting, water purification, signaling and a few snivel items. Overall, the pack works well for this purpose.

Conclusion
When I first test-fired the TNW shop foreman’s privately-owned ASR samples in December of 2014 (see photo above), I really liked these handy little carbines and pistols. Of course, those guns were tuned and ready to go. When we got our T&E samples for the review, things were not as perfect, and it took us a while to warm up to them.
The long trigger initially led to lackluster accuracy. Frequent jams in one of the two samples – combined with the other sample’s scope debacle – initially lowered my confidence in the platform. However, rather than give up on the gun we soldiered on, tinkered with the barrel racket adjustment screw and scopes, and eventually got them both running pretty well.
Now that I have the kinks worked out and have accessorized the carbine, I’m really digging the ASR. The genius in the design: its simplicity and flexibility. Chief designer (and TNW owner) Tim Bero has serious talent as a gun designer. Whether you’re looking for a fun plinker that shoots cheap ball 9mm or a serious hunting rig in 10mm, the ASR has you covered.
The ASR’s take-down capability makes it a winner for its intended role as a “truck gun” or aircraft survival carbine. The ASR has earned a spot in my bug-out bag for that wilderness survival situation that I hope never happens.

TNW Aero Survival Rifle Review
RELIABILITY
Duncan Jones from gunsdiscreetsupplies.com

I became familiar with TNW many years ago. It was known for specialty items like its semi-auto MG-34 and semi-auto Browning 1919 belt-feds, as well as a modernization up-grade kit for semi- or full-auto 1919s called the M230. I ended up buying the M230 kit for my full-auto 1919 and nicknamed it “the Poor-Man’s M240.”
When TNW introduced the Aero Survival Rifle, I became interested, as the survivalist in me really takes a liking to anything that is multi-caliber capable, semi-auto, and has take-down features—the Aero has all three. The Aero is also available in a pistol version, and since, once again, we can place arm braces against our shoulders for stability, these would be great as a self-defense gun.

Let’s talk about survival for a bit. This issue of Firearms News is about hunting with MSRs, and hunting is something that any prepper or survivalist needs to have in his or hers quiver of skills. Can a pistol-caliber carbine feed your family in an emergency or only provide a snack for one? Well, Firearms News put the TNW Aero Survival Rifle to the test, and I picked the best guy I knew for the job: my son Matthew. He is a terrific hunter and has been shooting since he was about three or four years old.
One thing you will notice about the Aero is that the lower receiver, specifically around the trigger guard, is a bit similar to an AR-15, but scaled down a bit. I’m not sure of the reason for this, but it does contribute to the firearm’s compact design as a take-down. When I sent my son in the woods with the Aero, he was 13 years old, and the scaled-down size fit him better even though he has had no issues with his AR-15 (and has been shooting that since he was about five years old). I chose the 10mm, as I wanted a cartridge that would take a deer but not something that would take my son out of the hunt like a .45-70.

You see, we are in Ohio, and straight-walled rifle cartridges were just approved in 2014, for deer; before that it was shotgun slug only for a long arm. Matthew already had a few seasons with a .410-chambered AR-15 (see Scot Loveland’s article on the ATI Omni .410 AR-15 in this issue) and wanted to try something other than a shotshell slug. For the first couple of years of the new straight-walled-rifle cartridge law, the regulations cited specific cartridges only and many were rare, uncommon, almost obsolete, and mostly lever-action and/or single-shot calibers such as: .357 Maximum, .375 Super Magnum, .38-55, .45-110, .50-70, .50-110, etc. Sure, there were more common cartridges listed, like the .45 Long Colt, .44 Magnum, and .45-70, but I was looking for something in semi-auto and/or something that wouldn’t break either of my sons’ shoulders.

The part of Ohio that we hunt is near the West Virginia border and is hilly and heavily wooded, not only with trees, but also with thickets. Most shots are at 40 yards or less—a fast follow-up shot is really necessary in most cases, as deer can start to disappear just by running 10 feet deeper into the woods. The .45 Winchester Magnum was also on this early list, but there were no semi-auto rifles for this caliber, with the exception of M-1 Carbine conversions from the 1980s, and if these conversions were not done on a GI receiver or a quality commercial receiver, the result was breaking, catastrophic failure, and damaged rifles.
There is one company making an AR-15 in this caliber, and I almost went in this direction, but then the law changed (after complaints from many hunters, including myself), and Ohio deer season was opened up to any straight-walled rifle cartridges from .357 Magnum to .50 for use in a rifle. Glad that was over.

My other option before the specific-cartridge law was changed was an AR-15 pistol, as handguns can be in any caliber, as long as they are straight walled, and I was looking hard at this, with a cornucopia of calibers considered such as: .50 Beowulf, .50 AE, .45 Super, .460 Rowland, and others. The problem was that, at that time, the officials at ATF’s technology branch decided to change their minds and not allow the use of arm braces against the shoulder, so that dream was shattered (thankfully, the decision was later reversed). Anyway, I decided to go with the Aero rifle in 10mm as a short-distance, low-recoil, deer killer that my boys and I could use to fill the freezer. Before I tell you about my son’s deer hunt, let’s take a look at the rifle.
The TNW Aero Survival Rifle is a multi-caliber, blowback, semi-auto carbine with a quick-change barrel. It is available in .22 LR, 9mm, .357 SIG, .40, .45 ACP, and 10mm, and there is an export version available in 9x21mm for those shooters in countries that do not allow military calibers for civilians (the Aero line will soon be available in .22 Magnum and .17 HMR). All TNW Aero rifles can be converted to any available caliber by changing the bolt, barrel, and lower grip assembly, so if you live in a state with firearm registration, you can change calibers without legal grief and without having to buy a whole new rifle and registering it.

The trigger guard is a bit small, and someone with large hands may have an issue if using gloves. The trigger is spongy-feeling to me and breaks at about five pounds—it also has some sharp edges, but nothing that can’t be fixed with a Dremel tool. There are two ejection ports to allow for right- or left-handed ejection, and the video directions for this conversion are straight-forward, but this conversion is something that should be done on the work bench and not in the field, as tapping out very tight-fitting roll pins that hold the ejector in place is involved.

The pistol magazine release is located on the left side of the magazine well, and the Aero uses all Glock magazines for centerfire cartridges. The magazine-release button uses a strong spring—I don’t have weak hands, but if you do, this may be a bit annoying. The good thing is that the release button is positioned in front of the mag well so that you can use your thumb to depress it while grabbing the magazine with your other four fingers. The 10mm Glock-type magazines drop free without a hitch if you choose to do so, but you will have to hold the rifle steady with your shooting hand or cradle the opposite side of the magazine well to overcome the stiff magazine-release button spring. Its safety is a simple cross-bolt design set to Western (or right-handed) standards—push left for fire and right for safe.

The removable barrel at the receiver makes this a true take-down rifle. The rifle measured 295⁄8 inches (with stock collapsed) and only 17¾ inches with the barrel removed. All barrels are threaded in the common pitch for its particular caliber, and all come with a thread protector. There is a “Ma Deuce”-style barrel shroud, which also is the barrel nut, and this shroud does come in handy when things heat up, so it’s not just for looks.

I became familiar with TNW many years ago. It was known for specialty items like its semi-auto MG-34 and semi-auto Browning 1919 belt-feds, as well as a modernization up-grade kit for semi- or full-auto 1919s called the M230. I ended up buying the M230 kit for my full-auto 1919 and nicknamed it “the Poor-Man’s M240.”
When TNW introduced the Aero Survival Rifle, I became interested, as the survivalist in me really takes a liking to anything that is multi-caliber capable, semi-auto, and has take-down features—the Aero has all three. The Aero is also available in a pistol version, and since, once again, we can place arm braces against our shoulders for stability, these would be great as a self-defense gun.

Let’s talk about survival for a bit. This issue of Firearms News is about hunting with MSRs, and hunting is something that any prepper or survivalist needs to have in his or hers quiver of skills. Can a pistol-caliber carbine feed your family in an emergency or only provide a snack for one? Well, Firearms News put the TNW Aero Survival Rifle to the test, and I picked the best guy I knew for the job: my son Matthew. He is a terrific hunter and has been shooting since he was about three or four years old.

One thing you will notice about the Aero is that the lower receiver, specifically around the trigger guard, is a bit similar to an AR-15, but scaled down a bit. I’m not sure of the reason for this, but it does contribute to the firearm’s compact design as a take-down. When I sent my son in the woods with the Aero, he was 13 years old, and the scaled-down size fit him better even though he has had no issues with his AR-15 (and has been shooting that since he was about five years old). I chose the 10mm, as I wanted a cartridge that would take a deer but not something that would take my son out of the hunt like a .45-70.TNW Aero Survival Rifle

My other option before the specific-cartridge law was changed was an AR-15 pistol, as handguns can be in any caliber, as long as they are straight walled, and I was looking hard at this, with a cornucopia of calibers considered such as: .50 Beowulf, .50 AE, .45 Super, .460 Rowland, and others. The problem was that, at that time, the officials at ATF’s technology branch decided to change their minds and not allow the use of arm braces against the shoulder, so that dream was shattered (thankfully, the decision was later reversed). Anyway, I decided to go with the Aero rifle in 10mm as a short-distance, low-recoil, deer killer that my boys and I could use to fill the freezer. Before I tell you about my son’s deer hunt, let’s take a look at the rifle.

All TNW Aero Survival Carbines come with threaded barrels with the common thread pitch and size for the chambered caliber.
The TNW Aero Survival Rifle is a multi-caliber, blowback, semi-auto carbine with a quick-change barrel. It is available in .22 LR, 9mm, .357 SIG, .40, .45 ACP, and 10mm, and there is an export version available in 9x21mm for those shooters in countries that do not allow military calibers for civilians (the Aero line will soon be available in .22 Magnum and .17 HMR). All TNW Aero rifles can be converted to any available caliber by changing the bolt, barrel, and lower grip assembly, so if you live in a state with firearm registration, you can change calibers without legal grief and without having to buy a whole new rifle and registering it.TNW Aero Survival Rifle

The pistol magazine release is located on the left side of the magazine well, and the Aero uses all Glock magazines for centerfire cartridges. The magazine-release button uses a strong spring—I don’t have weak hands, but if you do, this may be a bit annoying. The good thing is that the release button is positioned in front of the mag well so that you can use your thumb to depress it while grabbing the magazine with your other four fingers. The 10mm Glock-type magazines drop free without a hitch if you choose to do so, but you will have to hold the rifle steady with your shooting hand or cradle the opposite side of the magazine well to overcome the stiff magazine-release button spring. Its safety is a simple cross-bolt design set to Western (or right-handed) standards—push left for fire and right for safe.

The removable barrel at the receiver makes this a true take-down rifle. The rifle measured 295⁄8 inches (with stock collapsed) and only 17¾ inches with the barrel removed. All barrels are threaded in the common pitch for its particular caliber, and all come with a thread protector. There is a “Ma Deuce”-style barrel shroud, which also is the barrel nut, and this shroud does come in handy when things heat up, so it’s not just for looks.

It features an AR-15 buffer tube, which is put to use with its long bolt-carrier design, so the rifle cannot have a folding stock, but any AR-15 stock can be attached, and the one it comes with is a six-position collapsible with a nice rubberized pad. It also sports a TAPCO, FAL-style storage grip, which is perfect for spare survival items, spare parts for the gun, extra rounds, ear plugs, etc.TNW Aero Survival Rifle

A 9½-inch Picatinney rail is included on top of the upper receiver, and there are holes drilled at the three-o’clock, six-o’clock, and nine-o’clock positions in the fore-end area to accommodate additional P-rails, if one so desires. I didn’t bother to mount the ones provided, as I didn’t need the rails for a hunting article. However, if you are blasting coyotes, you may want to add a rail for a light. The finish on our test sample is an OD green anodized aluminum, and you can also get the Aero in black, dark earth, pink, silver, and some custom colors and designs. No sights are included. At around six pounds, the rifle is very packable.

One thing is noticeable when first loading the Aero. The bolt is not the easiest to charge, but with usage, it does lighten up quite a lot; this is a straight blowback 10mm.
At the range, I set up targets at 50 yards and began my testing sand-bag rested on a shooting bench. The optic I chose is a simple Weaver 2.5x-7x 28mm scope, which worked out perfectly. In the “old days,” back in the 1970s and 1980s, I usually picked 3x-9x variable-type scopes with simple crosshairs (holdover was a lifestyle) for almost everything I shot (bolt actions, AR-15s, M-1 Carbines, AKs, Mini-14s, UZI Carbines, etc.—not much available in optics then like there is today), so I felt right at home with Weaver. This scope is a great hunting choice.TNW Aero Survival Rifle

I used Remington 180-grain FMJ as my “plinking” load, and with an average of 1.9 inches, it is a great range round for this caliber. Hornady’s Critical Duty 175-grain Flex Lock produced the best groups at 1.47 inches, and Federal’s Trophy Bonded 180-grain JSP was on its heels with a 1.63-inch group. Most groups were in the 1.5- to 3.75-inch range, so accuracy is definitely there for larger game. You won’t have any issues shooting rabbits or coyotes either. With a 16-inch barrel, 10mm ammunition ranges from 600–1,000 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle, which is enough stopping power for small- to medium-sized deer at around 50 yards. Recoil was not bad, and I didn’t experience any malfunctions—the Aero ate all 10mm ammo without a hitch.
So, how did my son do? Well, he took the TNW Aero out for the 2017 youth-only deer gun hunting gun season, which is two days in November here in Ohio. Ohio only allows three rounds total for any firearm for deer, so I blocked the 10mm Glock magazine to hold only two rounds. About 10 minutes before sunset, on the last day, I heard a shot and started heading toward the hollow, which is his favorite hunting spot. He had watched and followed a small pack of four deer, which emerged from the hollow out onto a two-acre field. After hitting the deer with a shot between the flank and ribs area at about 35 yards, we pursued the deer about 75 yards into the woods, and with one more hit, it became 36 pounds of Venison Marsala and deer tacos for the freezer. Unfortunately, we are not sure which rounds it was struck with, so it’s a toss-up between the Hornady Critical Duty and the Federal Trophy Bonded, as those are the ones we chose for the hunt. Possibly it was both.

Now to the .22 LR conversion. One of the great things about this firearm is the ability to convert it to .22 LR. Not only is this great economical practice if you use the Aero for self-defense or hunting chambered in one of the more expensive calibers like .357 SIG or 10mm, it’s great for just fun plinking on a Saturday afternoon or for hunting small game.TNW Aero Survival Rifle

A few things to note before we look at converting the rifle from 10mm to .22 LR. Remington model 597 30-round magazines, which are made of plastic, were very tight-fitting. So tight that I had to get out sandpaper and take off quite a lot of material from both sides of the upper magazine body, as well as polish up a bit of the inside of the mag well. After this, things went more smoothly, but not to the point where the plastic magazine would drop free, as that would take more work. I had no problems with the included 10-round 597 metal magazine —it drops free and fits perfectly in the TAPCO storage grip so you can always have an “emergency mag.” Pro-Mag also makes 22-round “banana” magazines, as well as a 70-round drum in the 597 configuration, but I did not have an opportunity to try either of those. Unlike the centerfire lower receiver, the magazine release is ambidextrous for the .22 LR version, with easily reachable magazine-release buttons on the left and right side that can be reached with a trigger finger.

Switching Calibers —10mm To .22 LR (Deer To Squirrels)
This is just a quick rundown to give you an idea of how the conversion takes place (the way I did it), so refer to TNW instructional videos on its website.

STEP 1: Be sure that the Aero is unloaded. Push the two retaining pins in the bottom of the lower receiver, and “jiggle” the lower free. The two pins are not captive, but have a spring-type c-clip to prevent them from walking out—both need to be fully removed.
STEP 2: Unscrew and remove 10mm barrel. You will notice that the bolt handle and bolt carrier will move forward, and this will allow you to remove the handle through the rounded portion of the channel that the bolt handle rides in on the right side of the upper receiver. Remove the bolt handle and allow the 10mm bolt to come forward, then remove it. The buffer and buffer spring will move forward, and these are not to be removed. (NOTE: They cannot be removed through the front of the receiver.) TNW Aero Survival Rifle

STEP 3: Insert the .22 LR bolt assembly through the front of the upper receiver. Be sure to tilt the receiver downward a bit, as the firing pin will fall out of the back of the bolt, as it is not retained until the bolt handle is inserted. Push the bolt assembly to the rear of the receiver until its recoil spring begins to push against the centerfire buffer and buffer spring. Be sure that the firing pin is forward in the bolt, otherwise the bolt handle will not fully engage its hole. Insert bolt handle.
STEP 4: Insert barrel with the longest of the three channels, which rides along a hex-head bolt near the front of the upper receiver, at the chamber area, at the 12 o’clock position. Then, tighten the locking shroud all the way until you view a portion of the barrel in the front part of the ejection port (see photo). This is important, otherwise the ejector will not properly line up with the bolt when the lower receiver is installed.
STEP 5: Cock the hammer back to the firing position. Align two lugs on the upper receiver with the holes in the lower receiver/grip assembly. You will also need to align the ejector (shown sticking out of the grip assembly above the magazine release) with the channel in the bottom of the bolt. NOTE: You will also need to align the buffer ring with the roll pin, which protrudes out of the rear of the grip assembly.TNW Aero Survival Rifle

As stated earlier, I really like the capability of switching calibers in a firearm, so I was very excited to see how the Aero would perform in .22 LR. I set the distance at 100 feet for a multitude of reasons, one of which being that this is a common distance for squirrel hunting in my over 40 years of experience in tagging these little animals. Before I got started on the shooting bench, I did some plinking and noticed something right away. The firing pin makes a small round footprint on brass instead of the typical “chisel” mark made by most .22 LR firing pins. This did seem to cause some issues with Winchester “white box” ammunition, resulting in many rounds not firing. Other ammunition didn’t seem to have this much of an issue, as the Winchester “white box” ammo did. When I rechambered the unfired “white box” ammo in other .22 LR firearms, it usually did fire.

This gun likes Federal copper-plated 36-grain HP rounds, as it ate them up when using the 10-round or 30-round Remington 597 magazines. The extractor works just fine IF the round goes off, but when I had a “dead” round, I had to lock the bolt back and manually remove it from the chamber. The trigger is a bit stiff and odd but was adequate for plinking. TNW Aero Survival Rifle

With practice, I got used to the trigger and was able to quarter the bullseye dot on the Caldwell Orange Peel target with the Weaver scope set at 7x and hold it steady throughout the trigger pull, but this took some effort. The .22 LR trigger is much different from the “spongey” feel of the 10mm trigger and starts off a bit stiff and then drops to a first “stage” at about 50% of the travel distance as if it were a set trigger. Then, with about 75% of the effort and travel as the first pull, the hammer finally drops. I was able to get used to this and hold on target, but this is not the ideal trigger I would want to hunt or target shoot with. As they say, “you can get used to anything,” but I would look for other trigger upgrade options (or get out a Dremel tool) if this was my go-to small-game gun.TNW Aero Survival Rifle

For the accuracy test, I decided on three five-shot groups for each ammunition type. I started with ELEY High Velocity 36-grain hollow point, which, as expected, shot accurately, with its best group at 1.16 inches. All of these rounds had perfect ignition, but for some reason, I had a failure to fully eject on the last round every time using the Remington 597 10-shot magazine. Next up was what the Aero liked to eat: Federal Copper-plated 36-grain hollow point. All rounds fed and fired perfectly, with the best group at .94 of an inch. Not only does the Aero like this round to eat, it also spits them out with great accuracy. TNW Aero Survival Rifle

Third in line was the bulk ammo/plinking load: Remington Thunderbolt 40-grain lead round nose. This one was the surprise of the group, as I did not expect the accuracy I got. Later, I ended up shooting some extra groups to see what kind of voodoo Remington is stuffing these little shells with, as my best group was .87 of an inch!

The Remington functioned very well in the Aero, with the exception of a couple of failed ignitions, similar to the Winchester white box ammo. I feel that the small, round firing pin footprint is part of the issue here, along with a weak hammer strike on the firing pin. The other culprit is mass-produced rimfire rounds, which don’t always have a complete primer circle at the bottom of the brass. ELEY is known for the most precise rimfire primer process in the industry, and that is probably why ignition was no issue when it was chambered in the Aero. TNW Aero Survival Rifle

It was time for ELEY again, with its sub-sonic 38-grain hollow point. This ammo was very accurate, with the best group at .88 of an inch, but I experienced many failure-to-feed malfunctions. This is not ELEY’s fault, nor the fault of TNW, as the Aero is designed for high-velocity .22 LR ammunition, and this is a lower-velocity load made for suppressor use. If you want to shoot this load from an Aero, I feel that it can be done with some simple recoil-spring modifications. Bottom line, this rifle in .22 LR can hunt small game with no issues, as far as accuracy is concerned.

All in all, the TNW Aero Survival Rifle can be a great hunting, survival, home-defense, or plinking gun. The concept is very good, and with a few small improvements, the Aero would be a fantastic addition to anyone’s gun collection for any shooting purpose, limited only by the caliber of choice.

TNW Firearms Aero Survival Semiautomatic Tactical Rifle
$600.00

Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “TNW Firearms Aero Survival Semiautomatic Tactical Rifle”

Your email address will not be published.

Shopping Cart