If society collapsed tomorrow, what gun would you like to have by your side? The “survival rifle” is an attempt to solve that dilemma. Survival rifles aim to provide enough power for hunting and self-defense while remaining easy to carry. The TNW Aero Survival Rifle is a pistol caliber carbine designed to be easily transportable in a hiking bag, vehicle, or bug-out bag. Let’s take a look at why the TNW Aero Survival would make a perfect survival rifle.
The TNW Aero Survival rifle comes with a sixteen-inch barrel and a 1913 Picatinny rail on top. Even though the gun shoots pistol caliber rounds, the sixteen-inch barrel allows greater accuracy and a higher bullet velocity than a typical pistol. And if you want to further improve accuracy, I’d recommend attaching an optic like the Burris AR-332.
Pistol caliber carbines are meant to be accurate at short to medium range. And the TNW Aero is no exception. It can hit targets consistently at a hundred yards (with a fairly wide grouping), while being dead accurate up to fifty yards out. This gun is accurate while hitting harder than many other survival rifles on the market.
In a survival situation, you want to make sure that your gun works every time. The Aero didn’t live up to this standard (sort of). Out of the box, it had several jams, particularly with cheaper ammo. While many shooters haven’t had any problems, a few people experienced jams. It seems as though the Aero Survival needs more “breaking in” than the average gun.
Personally, I only experienced a couple of jams in the first 200 rounds, but after that, the gun worked flawlessly. In fact, many reported jams significantly decreased after the first fifty rounds were shot. While the Aero Survival will accept aftermarket Glock magazines, some of these have dubious quality and may contribute to jams with the gun. I would recommend using only official Glock magazines with this gun. The gun’s other controls worked flawlessly.
TNW designed the Aero Survival to be light, durable and easy to move. The ergonomics of the gun are a little wonky due to there being no forend to hold onto. This wasn’t a massive issue due to the front of the gun being very light. While the pistol grip is a familiar AR-15 grip, the controls are different. The Aero Survival has a small magazine release on the left side of the mag well. When depressed, the magazine drops away (not requiring it to be pulled out). The gun boasts a child safety lock on the right side above the trigger. This requires an Allen key to engage and disengage the lock. The Aero’s barrel can be removed by simply removing a pin and unscrewing it. The buttstock can then be collapsed and the gun can be put in your backpack, carry-case or firearm storage. Of the different survival rifles I’ve reviewed, this one was probably the easiest to pack in a survival or bug-out bag.
The Aero Survival’s trigger was a disappointment. The trigger pull was long and creepy. I measured the trigger pull at ten pounds. Ten pounds is what I would expect in a shotgun, but for a carbine, it’s too much. One reviewer used a Dremel tool to reduce the weight (he was able to get it down to four pounds in around five minutes). You’ll want to look into modifying or replacing this trigger.
Magazine & Reloading
The chambering available for this gun is where this weapon becomes truly interesting. TNW offers a variety of chamberings and barrels for the Aero Survival, allowing you to shoot almost any kind of pistol caliber ammo you want out of this gun. There are two versions. One shoots 9mm, .40 S&W, and .357 Sig. The other, (the version I tested), shoots 9mm, .357/.40/10 mm, and .45 ACP. TNW offers 5 different barrels, each chambered for a specific cartridge. Check out the Kris Vector Gen II for another pistol-caliber carbine with a unique twist. The Aero Survival accepts Glock magazines, which are plentiful and reliable.
Length & Weight
The Aero comes with a 16.5 inch barrel length, a total length of thirty-three inches, and weighs in a feathery 5.5 pounds. With the barrel removed, it’s only 17.25 inches.
The recoil on this gun was heavier than expected. Pistol-caliber carbines generally have almost no kick. Even though it was heavier than expected, it was still moderate and controllable.
The Aero Survival 45 ACP is a great truck gun, bug-out bag gun, and home defense weapon. Firing with greater velocity and accuracy than a pistol, the Aero Survival comes with lots of great features. It’s cheap, accurate and shoots almost every pistol-caliber round. Unfortunately, the iffy trigger and the frequent jamming make it a tough sell. If you like the concept of this gun and are willing to put the time in on the range to break it in, this one’s for you.
Richard Douglas is a firearms expert and educator. His work has appeared in large publications like The Armory Life, Daily Caller, American Shooting Journal, and more. In his free time, he reviews optics on his Scopes Field blog.
Image: TNW Firearms.