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Steyr AUG
""AUG A1 508mm 04.jpg
Steyr AUG A1 with 508 mm (20.0 in) barrel
Type "Bullpup "assault rifle
"Light machine gun
"Squad Automatic Weapon
"Submachine gun
Place of origin Austria
Service history
In service 1978–present[1]
Used by See Users
Wars See Conflicts
Production history
Designer Horst Wesp
Karl Wagner
Karl Möser
Designed 1977
Manufacturer "Steyr Mannlicher
"Thales Australia, Lithgow Facility
"SME Ordnance
  • 1978–present (Standard)[1]
  • 1988–present (Para)[1]
  • 2004–present (A3)
  • 2007–present (A3 SF)
Variants See Variants
  • 3.6 kg (7.9 lb) (Standard)
  • 3.3 kg (7.3 lb) (Carbine)
  • 3.2 kg (7.1 lb) (Subcarbine)
  • 3.9 kg (8.6 lb) (HBAR)
  • 3.3 kg (7.3 lb) (Para)[1]
  • 790 mm (31.1 in) (Standard)[1]
  • 690 mm (27.2 in) (Carbine)
  • 630 mm (24.8 in) (Subcarbine)
  • 900 mm (35.4 in) (HBAR)
  • 665 mm (26.2 in) (Para)[1]
"Barrel length
  • 508 mm (20.0 in) (Standard)[1]
  • 407 mm (16.0 in) (Carbine)
  • 350 mm (13.8 in) (Subcarbine)
  • 621 mm (24.4 in) (HBAR)
  • 420 mm (16.5 in) (Para)[1]

"Action "Gas-operated, "rotating bolt
"Rate of fire 680–750 RPM[2]
"Muzzle velocity Standard rifle: 970 m/s (3,182 ft/s)
Effective firing range 300 metres (980 ft)
Maximum firing range 2,700 metres (8,900 ft)
Feed system
Sights Swarovski 1.5× "telescopic sight, emergency battle sights, and Picatinny rail for various optics

The Steyr AUG (Armee-Universal-Gewehr—"universal army rifle") is an Austrian "5.56×45mm NATO "bullpup "assault rifle, designed in the 1960s by "Steyr-Daimler-Puch and now manufactured by "Steyr Mannlicher GmbH & Co KG.

It was adopted by the "Austrian Army as the StG 77 (Sturmgewehr 77) in 1978,[3] where it replaced the "7.62×51mm "StG 58 "automatic rifle (a licence-built "FN FAL).[4] In production since 1978, it is the standard small arm of the Austrian Bundesheer and various national police units. Its variants have also been adopted by the armed forces of dozens of countries.


Design details[edit]

The Steyr AUG is a "selective-fire, "bullpup weapon with a conventional "gas-piston-operated action that fires from a "closed bolt.[5] It is designed as a "Modular Weapon System that could be quickly configured as a "rifle, a "carbine, a "sniper rifle, a "sub-machine gun and even an "open-bolt "squad automatic weapon. The AUG employs a very high level of advanced firearms technology and is made with the extensive use of polymers and aluminum components. It is chambered in "5.56×45mm NATO cartridge and has the standard 1:9 "rifling twist that will stabilize both SS109/M855 and M193 rounds. Some nations including Australia and New Zealand uses a version with a 1:7 twist optimized for the SS109 NATO round. The SMG versions are chambered for "9mm Parabellum. The AUG consists of six interchangeable assemblies: the "barrel, "receiver with integrated "telescopic sight or "Picatinny rail, "bolt carrier assembly, "trigger mechanism, "stock and "magazine.[5]

Operating mechanism[edit]

The AUG has a "rotating bolt that features 7 radial locking lugs and is unlocked by means of a pin on the bolt body and a recessed camming guide machined into the bolt carrier. The bolt carrier itself is guided by two guide rods brazed to it and these rods run inside steel bearings in the receiver. The guide rods are hollow and contain the return springs. The bolt also contains a claw extractor that forms the eighth locking lug and a spring-loaded "bump"-type casing ejector.

The gas cylinder is offset to the right side of the barrel and works with one of the two guide rods. The AUG uses a short-stroke piston system where the right guide rod serves as the action rod, transmitting the rearward motion of the gas-driven piston to the bolt carrier. The left-hand rod provides retracting handle pressure when connected by the forward assist and can also be utilized as a reamer to remove fouling in the gas cylinder. The firearm uses a 3-position gas valve. The first setting, marked with a small dot, is used for normal operation. The second setting, illustrated with a large dot, indicates fouled conditions. The third, "GR" closed position is used to launch "rifle grenades (of the non-bullet trap type).

The AUG is hammer-fired and the firing mechanism is contained in the rear of the stock, near the butt, covered by a synthetic rubber shoulder plate. The hammer group is made entirely of plastics except for the springs and pins and is contained in an open-topped plastic box which lies between the magazine and the buttplate. During firing the recoiling bolt group travels over the top of it, resetting the hammer. Since the trigger is located some distance away, it transmits its energy through a sear lever which passes by the side of the magazine. The firing pin is operated by a plastic hammer under pressure from a coil spring.

Steyr AUG with a German KCB-77 M1 bayonet.
Steyr AUG with a loaded 30-round magazine.
The Steyr AUG's telescopic sight picture. Note the backup iron sights on top of it.


The AUG comes standard with four magazines, a muzzle cap, spare bolt for left-handed shooters, blank-firing adaptor, cleaning kit, sling and either an American "M7 or German KCB-77 M1 bayonet.

Muzzle devices and barrel lengths[edit]

A three-pronged, open-type flash suppressors were used on the 350 mm (13.8 in), 407 mm (16.0 in) and 508 mm (20.0 in) length barrels, whereas the 621 mm (24.4 in) light machine gun barrel received a closed-type ported muzzle device (combination "flash suppressor and compensator) and an integral, lightweight folding "bipod. The flash suppressors are screwed to the muzzle and internally threaded to take a "blank-firing attachment.


The AUG features an "Spz-kr type "progressive trigger (pulling the trigger halfway produces semi-automatic fire, pulling the trigger all the way to the rear produces fully automatic fire) and a safety mechanism (cross-bolt, button type), located immediately above the hand grip.[5] In its "safe" position (white dot) the trigger is mechanically disabled; pressing the safety button to the left exposes a red dot and indicates the weapon is ready to fire. Some versions have an ALO or "automatic lockout", a small projection at the base of the trigger. This was first included on the Irish Defence Forces variant of the rifle, and soon after, the Australian Defence Forces variant. In the exposed position the ALO stops the trigger being squeezed past the semi-automatic position. If needed, the ALO can be pushed up to permit automatic fire.[6]

Ammunition feeding[edit]

The AUG is fed from a translucent, double-column "box magazines (molded from a high-strength polymer) with a 30-round capacity and an empty weight of 130 g (4.6 oz). The "light machine gun version of the AUG uses an extended 42-round magazine. An Argentine variant of the "FN FAL chambered in 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge and known as the FALMP III Type 2 also uses the same magazine.


The AUG has a 1.5× telescopic sight that is integrated with the receiver casting and is made by "Swarovski Optik.[5] It contains a simple black ring "reticle with a basic "rangefinder that is designed so that at 300 m (984.3 ft) a 180 cm (5.11 ft) tall man-size target will completely fill it, giving the shooter an accurate method of estimating range. The sight cannot be set to a specific range but can be adjusted for windage and elevation for an initial zero and is designed to be calibrated for 300 m. So when it is set, aiming at the center of a target will produce a hit at all ranges out to 300 m. It also has a back-up iron sight with a rear notch and front blade, cast into the top of the aluminium optical sight housing, used in case of failure or damage to the primary optical sight. The sight is also equipped with a set of three illuminated dots (one on the front blade and two at the rear) for use in low-level lighting conditions. In order to mount a wide range of optics and accessories, a receiver with a "NATO-standard "Picatinny rail and detachable carrying handle was also developed and introduced in December 1997.


"Austrian soldiers equipped with the standard-length Steyr AUG.
"Austrian soldiers train with the Steyr AUG A3 SF.

The quick-change barrel used in the AUG is cold hammer-forged by GFM-GmbH of "Steyr Austria for increased precision and durability, its bore, chamber and certain components of the gas system are "chrome-plated. The standard rifle-length barrel features 6 right-hand grooves and a rifling twist rate of 228 mm (1:9 in). An external sleeve is shrunk on to the barrel and carries the gas port and cylinder, gas valve and forward grip hinge jaw. There is a short cylinder which contains a piston and its associated return spring. The barrel locks into a steel insert inside the receiver through a system of eight lugs arranged around the chamber end and is equipped with a folding, vertical grip that helps to pivot and withdraw the barrel during barrel changes. The most compact of the barrels has a fixed vertical grip.

The receiver housing is a steel-reinforced aluminium extrusion finished with a baked enamel coating.[5] It holds the steel bearings for the barrel lugs and the guide rods. The non-reciprocating plastic cocking handle works in a slot on the left side of the receiver and is connected to the bolt carrier's left guide rod. The cocking handle has a "forward assist feature—alternatively called a "silent cocking device"—used for pushing the bolt shut without recocking the rifle.[5][7] A bolt hold-open device locks the bolt carrier assembly back after the last round has been fired.[7] The newer AUG A3s possess a bolt release button, prior to this development all AUGs and the USR required the cocking handle being retracted to release the bolt group after a new magazine has been inserted. Older versions of the AUG can be upgraded to use the newer A3 stock and in turn the button release; however, it requires they also upgrade other key parts as well including the hammer pack.

The rifle's stock is made from fiberglass-reinforced "polyamide 66. At the forward end is the pistol grip with an enlarged forward trigger guard completely enclosing the firing hand that allows the rifle to be operated with winter gloves.[5] The trigger is hung permanently on the pistol grip, together with its two operating rods which run in guides past the magazine housing. Behind that is the locking catch for the stock group. Pressing this to the right will separate the receiver and stock. The magazine catch is behind the housing, on the underside of the stock. Above the housing are the two ejector openings, one of which is always covered by a removable strip of plastic. The rear of the stock forms the actual shoulder rest which contains the hammer unit and the end of the bolt path. The butt is closed by an endplate which is held in place by the rear sling swivel. This swivel is attached to a pin which pushes in across the butt and secures the plate. There is a cavity under the buttplate that holds a cleaning kit.


Austrian versions[edit]

Steyr AUGs with green and black stocks, different type of Picatinny rail receivers and different sights.
Steyr AUG A1 with a 40 mm AG36 grenade launcher.
The Irish Army peacekeepers in Lebanon armed with the Steyr AUG fitted with bayonets.
The New Zealand Army with the F88 on a military live fire scenario exercise.


While the AUG is not fully ambidextrous, it can still be configured to be use for left- or right-handed operators by changing the bolt with one that has the extractor and ejector on the appropriate side, and moving the blanking plate to cover the ejection port not in use. However, there exists also a right-hand-only stock that allows for the use of M16 type "STANAG magazines.[8][9]


The AUG's receiver may also be changed from the standard model with a carrying handle and built-in 1.5× optical sight,[10] to the "T" model receiver which has a universal scope mount to allow for the use of a variety of scopes and sights.[10] The rifle also has several different types of receivers with "Picatinny rails.[11] It has proven to be an effective "sniper or "designated marksman rifle when configured with the 621 mm (24.4 in) "light machine gun barrel, the universal scope mount fitted with a Kahles ZF69 6×42 optical sight and the semi-auto-only trigger group.

Firing mechanism[edit]

The AUG's firing mechanism may also be changed at will, into a variety of configurations, including semi-auto and full-auto, semi-auto and three-round-burst, semi-auto-only, or any other combination that the user may desire.[10] It may also be converted into an open-bolt full-auto-only mode of fire, which allows for improved cooling and eliminates "cook off problems when the AUG is used as a "light machine gun or "squad automatic weapon.[10]


All AUGs are equipped with quick detachable barrels; including compact 350 mm (13.8 in) barrels, 407 mm (16.0 in) carbine barrels, 508 mm (20.0 in) standard rifle-length barrels and 621 mm (24.4 in) "light machine gun barrels.[5] Rifles equipped with 508 mm (20.0 in) pattern barrels produced for military purposes are also equipped with bayonet lugs. The 407 mm (16.0 in) and 508 mm (20.0 in) barrels are capable of launching NATO STANAG type 22 mm rifle grenades from their integral flash hiders without the use of an adapter. AUG barrels can also mount "40 mm "M203 or "AG36 "grenade launchers. Steyr also offers 508 mm (20.0 in) barrel configurations fitted with a fixed, post front-sight used on the standard rifle version with aperture "iron sights.

Irish Army upgrades[edit]

In 2014 the "Irish Army began issuing upgraded Steyr AUG bullpup assault rifles to its operational units. The modularity of the AUG allowed the Irish AUG A1 model rifles to be modernized without any gunsmithing, by replacing the original A1 housing/receiver group (with 1.5× optical sight) with an A3 housing/receiver group (with MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail on top and right side) allowing a modern optical sight to be fitted. The "Trijicon ACOG 4× sight was selected as the new optical sight. The upgraded rifles are called the Steyr AUG Mod 14.

Australian versions[edit]

The Australian's F88 version of the AUG was tested with a new grenade launcher specifically designed for it called the ML40AUS GLA (Grenade Launcher Assembly), one of the lightest underbarrel grenade launchers at less than 1 kg (2.2 lb) due to steel, aluminium, and synthetic parts. The GLA is mounted on the rifle's bottom accessory rail with the trigger moving through a removable plug in the trigger guard that allows for operation of the launcher inside of it, moving it further back than other launchers to maintain center of balance and improve handling. The ML40AUS differs from the M203 by having a side-opening breech to allow for longer grenade rounds, a cross-bolt safety, and a new quadrant sight that mounts to the top rail alongside the rifle's optics.[12] On 21 January 2014 however, Thales announced they had instead selected the Steyr SL40 grenade launcher due to "significant" engineering concerns with the ML40AUS. The SL40 is a derivative of the Steyr GL40 launcher designed specifically for the EF88. It weighs 1.025 kg (2.26 lb) and has a 180 mm (7.1 in) long barrel. Though marginally heavier than the ML40AUS, it has the same attachment, firing mechanism, and control layout.[13]

New Zealand Army adoption[edit]

The "New Zealand Army adopted the F88 Austeyr and made some modifications. It differs from the Australian version in several ways. One of the more notable is that it has three fire settings (off, single, auto), whereas the Australian version has two (off, and a single-auto setting depending on how far the trigger is pressed).[14]


Austrian versions[edit]

Assault rifle variants[edit]

A left-side view of the StG 77.
A left-side view of the Steyr AUG A1 with a 407 mm (16.0 in) barrel.
A right-side view of the Steyr AUG A2 with a 407 mm (16.0 in) barrel) and a Picatinny rail attached.
A left-side view of the Steyr AUG A3-CQC prototype with a Leupold CQ/T optic and Surefire M900 weaponlight foregrip.
A left-side view of the Steyr AUG Para.

The Steyr AUG is a "5.56×45mm NATO "bullpup "assault rifle.

Military upgrades[edit]

Submachine gun variants[edit]

Based on the AUG, Steyr developed the "9mm AUG "submachine gun variant. It is an automatic, "blowback-operated model that fires from a closed bolt, and is chambered in "9×19mm Parabellum cartridge. Unlike the rifle variants, it has a unique 420 mm (16.5 in) barrel with six right-hand grooves at a 250 mm (1:9.8 in) rifling twist rate, ended with a recoil compensator, a slightly different charging handle and a magazine well conversion insert enabling the use of standard 25-round box magazines from the Steyr "MPi 81 and "TMP submachine guns. A conversion kit used to transform any rifle variant into the submachine gun is also available. It consists of a barrel, bolt, adapter insert and magazine.

Light machine gun and sniper variants[edit]

The "light machine gun variant can be modified to fire from an "open bolt (called the AUG LMG in this configuration). To accomplish this, a modified bolt carrier, striker and trigger mechanism with sear are used.

Semi-automatic only variants[edit]

A semi-automatic version of the rifle known as the AUG P is available to the civilian and law enforcement markets. It features a shorter, 407 mm (16.0 in) barrel and a modified bolt, carrier and trigger assembly that will only allow semi-automatic fire. The rifle also has a slightly different optical sight that features a reticule with a fine dot in the centre of the aiming circle, allowing for more precise aiming.

Straight pull only variants[edit]

Australian versions[edit]

An Australian soldier with the F88A1 Austeyr bullpup assault rifle.
An Australian soldier from the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment with the F88SA1 Austeyr fitted with the standard issue and locally made 1.5× power sight.
An Australian soldier briefs a "U.S. Navy admiral on the F88 GLA Austeyr. Note: the grenade launcher has been removed and is being held by the Admiral.

The "Australian Army adopted the Steyr AUG A1 and made some modifications, and designated it as the F88 Austeyr.

1. Length of pull has been shortened by 15 mm. (The distance between the stock backplate and the grip; too long and it becomes difficult to handle on close quarters)
2. Longer top rail and a modular lower forend with side and bottom rails.
3. Floating barrel which increases accuracy.
4. Fluted Barrel which dissipates heat from automatic fire.
5. Folding charging handle.
6. Improved butt design which has increased strength and a recessed ejection port cover to improve reliability.
7. Bolt-together butt for easier disassembly.
8. Cyclic rate of fire of 850 rounds per minute (RPM).
9. Provision for electronic architecture to allow centralized control and power management of ancillary devices.
10. Primarily uses the side-loading grenade launcher (Steyr-Mannlicher SL40) which can fire all currently available 40 mm low velocity grenades.
11. Improved grenade launcher mount which improves the balance of the weapon.
12. Improved grenade launcher safety, the new KORD RIC (Rifle Input Control) electronic control system made by Thales will also be integrated into the rifle.[30][32][33]

AUG clones[edit]


The Steyr AUG has been used in the following conflicts:


Map of Steyr AUG operators.
The Argentinian Army with the Steyr AUG in 1986 in Puerto Deseado.
An officer of the Austrian counter-terrorism unit "EKO Cobra handling the Steyr AUG during an airborne operation.
A German "SEK policeman with the Steyr AUG in Bavaria.
An Irish soldier armed with the Steyr AUG.

Non-state actors[edit]

See also[edit]


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