Steyr Aug A3 M1 Review

by Dave Chesson

April 1, 2022



The Steyr AUG is an iconic firearm, especially in Hollywood, for the 80s and 90s era action movie bad guys. The AUG is so recognizable that it is often the first firearm that comes to mind when someone thinks of a bullpup-style rifle.

In this Steyr AUG review, we’re going to cover what we think about this rifle along with its specifications. We’ll also check out how the AUG compares to other Bullpup “Assault Rifles” that are out there.

Steyr Aug Specs

  • Barell Length 16″
  • Caliber 5.56×45 NATO
  • Sights Rail, 1.5/3x Optic
  • Action Semi-Auto
  • Overall Length 28.15

Steyr Aug Background

The Steyr AUG is the quintessential bullpup firearm, and it was way ahead of its time. The AUG was designed in the 1960s and has been in production ever since it was adopted by the Austrian Army in 1978.

It was WAY ahead of its time.

In fact, its appearance still looks like a rifle from the future, even though it was developed around the time of the M16 (which was adopted in 1964).

In America, the Steyr AUG was made famous as the “bad guy’s gun” (especially foreigners) in 80s action movies like Robocop, Die Hard, and Commando.

Despite it futuristic looks, and ahead of its time engineering, it has some older features/designs that could be a draw-back for some. We’ll explore those next.

The original trigger system is very novel. The military full-auto Steyr AUG does not have a selector switch like other similar firearms, where the shooter can choose between semi-auto (one round per trigger pull) and full-auto (many rounds per trigger pull). Instead, the AUG fires in semi-auto mode when the trigger is pulled part-way and in full-auto mode when it is pulled the whole way. Surely, this takes some training to get used to. Also, this may be why we don’t like the feel of the trigger.

The Aug is a modular firearm and comes in many configurations including those that fire in the open bolt position as light machine guns (for easier cooling).

Steyr Aug A3 M1 Features

1 Integrated Optic and Picatinny Rail

The elevated rail option includes a 1.5x optic by Swarovski

2 Two-Position Cross-Bolt Safety

Solid and reliable, however somewhat awkward to use.

3 Bullpup Design

Allows for size and handling of a short barreled rifle with the benefit of a full barrel length.

Steyr Aug A3 M1 Review – Our Take

The Steyr AUG should not be your first or only rifle.

I’m not saying that because we don’t like the AUG. In fact, we really like this rifle.

However, let me justify why I don’t think it’s the ONE rifle to have…

The Steyr Aug is one of the coolest, if not THE coolest, “assault rifle” out there. However, despite its futuristic shape and looks, it lacks some features that modern firearms have.

Also, because it is so unique in operation and design, there is not much cross-over in training/handling/use.

Instead, if you’re a gun-nut, this is an AWESOME gun to add to your collection. It has plenty of benefits, but just not for new shooters.

Without a doubt, this is a fun rifle to have and a really cool rifle to take to the range. However, it’s not really a “working” rifle in our opinion when there are better options out there.

Instead, if you’re looking for a bullpup rifle with more modern features, we highly recommend the Tavor X95. You can learn a bit more about why in our Best Bullpup Rifles and Shotguns article.

What we like: Compact design and sleek lines. This rifle just looks…. Sexy, right?

It’s a super handy and reliable rifle – if you’re looking for something for tight quarters that is reliable, this might be the rifle for you – especially if you don’t mind the things that we don’t like about the Steyr Aug rifle (next).

What we don’t like: 

Trigger: The trigger is typical of most bullpups: it is “ok” but leaves a lot to be desired (especially when compared to premium after-market triggers for AR-15-style rifles). Heck, even the factory trigger in the IWI X95 is a lot better than the AUG’s trigger.

Operating System: The gas vents out of a gas port just above the support handgrip on the right side of the rifle. This, depending on the ammo, can result in a decent flash/flame and will surely affect any fingers that happen to cover this area.

Mag Release: The mag release is behind the magazine – this makes mag changes much slower than a similarly trained/experienced shooter could conduct on an AR-style rifle or an IWI Tavor X95.

Magazines: you have to use special Steyr Aug magazines if you want the standard stock and the external bolt release. The Steyr AUG is available in a NATO configuration that allows you to use regular AR-15 magazines (we recommend this configuration) but you lose the external bolt catch/release. Ugh.

Safety: Sure, the cross-bolt safety works, and you can get used to it, but it is different from what most are used to. Also, the edges are quite sharp and can injure your fingers/knuckles after lots of use. Steyr recommends filing the edges down slightly if this is an issue for you.

Sling swivels: this newest version of the AUG now has nice Picatinny rail sections and a QD socket for a QD sling swivel upfront, but a standard sling swivel in the rear.

Steyr Aug A3 M1 Pros and Cons

  • Sleek Design
  • Short Length
  • Very Reliable
  • Modular
  • Cool-Factor
  • Lacks features of modern “assault rifles”
  • Trigger Leaves Room for Improvement
  • Cross-Bolt Safety Takes Getting Used To
  • Requires Special Mags (or loses features)
  • Rear Mag Release is Slower
  • Gas Port Vents Near Support Hand

Report Card


Easy to manage, but takes a bit of getting used to.


Extremely reliable.


The charging handle is in a good location but most of the Steyr Aug is lacking on modern ergonomic features.


Decently accurate for a battle-rifle.


This isn’t really a “value” gun. Instead, it is a cool-factor gun that is fun to add to your collection.


Our Grade


Reviewed by Dave Chesson

Reader’s Grade


Based on 15 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Gun? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

Steyr Aug A3 M1 Ammo

Black Hills 5.56 NATO TSX Ammo

Cost Per Round
Brownells $1.96

NORMA 62 GR FMJ 5.56X45

Cost Per Round
Palmetto State Armory $0.60

Steyr Aug A3 M1 Starter Pack

If you’ve decided to pick up the Steyr or found another firearm that suits your needs, there are some bare essentials you’re going to need to pick up in order to maximize its potential and your safety regardless of if it’s your first firearm or not.

  • Gun Cleaning Kit: Otis All Caliber Elite Range Box on Amazon, or build your own personalized cleaning kit with premium components.
  • Shooting Glasses: All it takes is one piece of rogue hot brass, and you’ll learn the importance of shooting glasses. But not all glasses are built the same. See our recommendations for the Best Shooting Glasses.
  • Hearing Protection: Firing a gun without wearing proper ear protection can be very dangerous and detrimental to your hearing. Find out the best hearing protection for you in our full-length review.
  • Storage: Check out our article on the Best Biometric Gun Safes
  • Targets – If you’re wanting a great resource for shooting practice or zeroing your optics on your optics rifle or pistol, download our FREE Sighting in Targets below.
  • MagazinesMagpul PMAG30 RD at Brownells

Upgrades and Accessories

Steyr Aug A3 M1 Accessories

Vortex Viper PST GEN II 1-6X
  • Versatile LPVO
  • MOA Reticle
  • 2nd Focal Plane
Check Price
Viking Tactics VTAC Padded Sling
  • Adaptable and Comfortable
  • Wide Shoulder Strap
Check Amazon
Decibullz Custom Molded Earplugs
  • Great In-Ear option
  • Custom molded – super easy and comfortable
  • NRR: 31
Check Amazon

Other Bullpups of its Class to Check Out

It’s hard to say that there’s a better option out there than the Steyr Aug.

Not because it isn’t true, but I just don’t want it to be.

Honestly, this gun is so much fun to shoot, and the “cool factor”…. It’s like owning a part of awesome history. But there definitely are some alternatives – especially if you’re only going to have one rifle.

#1 IWI Tavor X95

IWI Tavor X95

The Tavor X95 has by far earned the Best Overall Bullpup Award. You can see below why we made that decision.

Check Latest Price

  • Shootability A+
  • Reliability A+
  • Ergonomics A+
  • Accuracy A+
  • Value A

Our Grade


Reader’s Grade


Based on 56 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Gun? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

Topping our list of best bullpup rifles is the IWI Tavor X95. This is seriously a great rifle and has just about everything you could want out of a bullpup. We prefer it to the Steyr for a few reasons–one of which is the lack of expensive specialty parts. But the Tavor does have its fair share of cost too…READ MORE

#2 FN PS90


Sold at and Brownells

The first thing you need to know about the FN PS90 is it is a bullpup rifle. This is the popular, compact form of rifle which has found favor among certain parts of the firearms (and gaming) community.

Check Latest Price

  • Shootability B
  • Reliability A
  • Ergonomics B
  • Accuracy B
  • Value F

Our Grade


Reader’s Grade


Based on 22 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Gun? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

If you’re just in the market for a sweet-looking gun to take out to the range, you might want to consider the FN PS90. It’s an easily recognizable and unique-looking gun. Plus, it’s fun to shoot. While I wouldn’t recommend it as a home defense weapon, collectors are sure to find this a neat little gem…READ MORE

How to Care for Your Steyr Aug

Learning how to properly maintain your new Steyr should be one of the first things you should learn. Keeping your bullpup in tip-top shape will keep your AUG firing for years to come. Here’s a great video showing you step-by-step how to disassemble it for cleaning and maintenance.

With the Steyr AUG’s long history, there’s a lot of information out there about it.

We recommend taking a look at the user’s manual and learning a bit about its unique history.


Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.7 / 5. Vote count: 15

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

About Dave Chesson

Dave Chesson is prior Navy with a specialty in international arms dealing for the US government across multiple countries. Having traveled the world and abided by ATF and ITAR, Roy has a unique background in legal as well as practical capabilities of weapons deployment and use.

Recent Posts