Steyr Aug A3 M1 Review

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In This Steyr Aug Bullpup Rifle review we’ll be covering the Steyr Aug and its specifications. We’ll also check out how the Aug shapes up to other Bullpup “Assault Rifles” that are out there.

STEYR AUG A3 M1

STEYR AUG BACKGROUND

The Steyr AUG is the quintessential bullpup firearm.

The AUG rifle was developed in the 1960’s (that’s not a typo… Steyr developed the Aug in the 60’s!) and it was later adopted as the Austrian military rifle in 1978.

It was WAY ahead of its time.

In fact, it’s 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 80’s action movies like Robocop, Die Hard, and Commando.

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

STEYR AUG SPECS

Barrel Length

16

Caliber

5.56×45 NATO

Sights

Rail, 1.5/3x Optic

Action

Semi-Auto

Overall Length

28.15

The original trigger system is very novel – the military full-auto Steyr 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.

The Aug is a modular firearm and comes in many configurations to include 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 Bull-Pup 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. That might sound harsh, but let us justify it.

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.

Instead, if you’re looking for a bull-pup rifle with more modern features, we highly recommend the Tavor X95.

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

It is 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: The trigger is typical of most bull-pups: it is “ok” but leaves a lot to be desired (especially when compared to premium after-market triggers for AR-15-style rifles).

The gas vents out of a gas port just above the support hand grip 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.

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.

The 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.

The cross-bolt safety: sure, it works and you can get used to it but it is different than 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 up front 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

RELIABILITY

Extremely reliable!

A+
ACCURACY

Decently accurate for a battle-rifle

B
CUSTOMIZATION

Not much you can do here even though the barrel can be changed and the l/r configuration for the standard stock.

B-
ERGONOMICS

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

C
VALUE

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

C

FINAL GRADE : B-

When it comes to bullpup rifles, the Steyr Aug pretty much started it all. And if you want to put some respect on its name, you need to at least have the essentials. 

With the essentials taken care of, it’s time to personalize for Steyr for optimum performance.

Best SIGHT for the Steyr Aug

The Steyr Aug’s unique design allows for you to utilize a taller sight than most bullpups–especially since it’s sight rail sits so high. And trust me… you’re gonna want a sight for it. Oh, and if you’re gonna need a sight mount plate (depending on your model), check out Design Machine P90 Mounts.

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II

Our Editor’s Choice for the Steyr Aug is the Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II. This riflescope is ideally suited for close to medium range operations and comes with 10 different intensity levels. Not to mention, it’s O-ring sealed and Argon purged so your field of vision remains fog free.  CHECK IT OUT ON AMAZON 

Best SLING for the Steyr Aug

On the newer version of the Steyr Aug, they’ve installed a QD swivel sling attachment on the front of the gun. And it’s dying to have a decent sling attached. Here’s our top pick: 

Viking Sling Gun University

Viking Tactics Hybrid Padded Sling

Our Editor’s Choice for the Steyr Aug is the Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II. This riflescope is ideally suited for close to medium range operations and comes with 10 different intensity levels. Not to mention, it’s O-ring sealed and Argon purged so your field of vision remains fog free.  CHECK IT OUT ON AMAZON 

Other Bullpup Rifles 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.

TAvor x95 Gun University

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 being the lack of expensive specialty parts. But the Tavor does have its fair share of cost too…READ MORE

2.  FN PS90
FN PS90 Other Gun

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 on how to disassemble it for cleaning and maintenance. 

There’s a lot of nice reading available on the Steyr Aug. We recommend taking a look at the user’s manual and learning a bit about its unique history.

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