Accuracy International announced the end of the AE series of rifles today on their website. Production will continue to the end of 2013, then no more.
The AE began life in 2001 as a lower cost alternative to the AW. The rifle was an answer to law enforcement agencies who wanted the advantages of the Accuracy International without all of the features required on the AW.
The original AE was as a fixed stock, fixed comb rifle that used magazines totally different from the AW. The AE Mk II brought a redesign that included an adjustable cheek piece, folding stock option and new 5 and 10 round AICS magazines. This brought the AE closer in features to the AW. The final revision, the AE MkIII added the AW three position safety and bolt shroud. Functionally this left only a few differences between the AE and AW rifles.
Now that the AX series has dominated the Accuracy International lineup, could we see an AE/AX hybrid? Maybe a lower cost AX using the AE type round receiver? You can bet that AI will be our first stop at the 2014 SHOT Show to see what they have in store to replace the AE.
Regardless of what new offering Accuracy International has in store, they will still continue to support all versions of the AE as they have done with the AW.