The Steyr AUG is a legendary weapon, or at least it is to me. Growing up in a house that loved action films the movie Die Hard has been a Christmas tradition for a long time. That’s where I first saw what I assumed was a space gun, the Steyr AUG. Wielded by the European terrorist, Karl, to the disdain of great American hero John McClane. The Steyr AUG has had an illustrious movie career due to its eye catching and futuristic appearance. Outside of movies its a favorite in video games, and even the greatest mistake known to man, anime. Outside of being a pop culture icon, the Steyr AUG has a long career of service with military and police forces around the world.
The Steyr AUG In Service
The Steyr AUG is an Austrian rifle chambered in 5.56 and has served with military and police forces in Ireland, New Zealand Australia, Luxembourg, Italy, Germany, and even ICE used the weapon from 1987 to 2007. The gun has been used around the world, including the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Its service no doubt driven by it’s modularity. For a rifle that came to be in 1977 its surprisingly modular and forward thinking. The gun came with an integral scope in a time where scopes were isolated to marksman and sniper rifles. Nowadays show me a modern country that doesn’t issue an optic with every infantry fighting rifle.
The Steyr AUG wasn’t shy with using polymer to reduce both weight and cost of the rifle. The M16 started the trend of using lots of polymer, and the AUG was happy to follow suit. What Steyr did that was really fascinating at the time was a polymer magazine. Not just a polymer magazine, but a great polymer magazine that functioned and worked.
One of the biggest problems with bullpup rifles is left handed users. The shells ejected directly into the face of those wrong handed souls. Well Steyr had pity on them and designed the AUG to be easily swapped for lefties. Simply drop in a left hand bolt and move a plate to the other side. The particular model you are seeing here is the NATO version. It that takes AR magazines and surrenders that semi-ambidextrous feature. That being said, AR 15 magazines are more common and a lot cheaper.
The barrel on these rifles are extremely easy to swap. You can do it in about 5 seconds. Swapping the barrel allows the shooter to install a longer, shorter, or heavier barrel for different uses. This allows military forces to convert a standard AUG to a CQB rifle, a Marksman’s rifle, or a squad support weapon.
Speaking of squad support the AUG can be converted to an open bolt, full auto mode only with just a simple swap of the firing mechanism. Combine this open bolt mode, with a 20 inch, heavy barrel, a barrel bipod and you got a squad support weapon with the same controls as your standard infantry rifle. Oh, and it’s roughly the same size as an M4 carbine.
The AUG has continued to evolve and the current model available for civilian sales is the Steyr AUG A3 M1.
The Steyr AUG A3 M1
The A3 M1 model still incorporates a scope, but its easy to remove and replace. The scope can be 1.5x or 3x. The AUG incorporated picatinny rails on the optic, and on the receiver for some accessories. You don’t have AR levels of attachment and rail choices, but you have enough for your gunsticles.
The gun comes with a standard 16.375 inch barrel, and you can easily swap it for a longer barrel. The barrel has a 1:9 inch twist. The length of pull is a 15 inches, and the overall length is only 28.15 inches. The gun is a bit heavier than most, and comes in at 8.8 pounds with the optic.
You have a selection of colors that includes black, FDE, olive, and even white for you folks who have to deal with snow. The gun as always incorporates a folding forward grip that’s been a part of the AUG design for decades.
Stay Tuned For a Full Review, coming soon to the Arms Guide.