The AUG is an Austrian bullpup 5.56mm assault rifle, designed in the early 1970s by Steyr Mannlicher GmbH & Co KG (formerly Steyr-Daimler-Puch). The AUG (Armee Universal Gewehr—"universal army rifle") was adopted by the Austrian Army as the StG 77 (Sturmgewehr 77) in 1977, where it replaced the 7.62mm StG 58 automatic rifle (a license-built FN FAL). In production since 1978, it is the standard small arm of the Austrian Bundesheer and various national police units.
The rifle has also been adopted by the armed forces of Argentina, Australia (accepted into service in 1985 and manufactured by Australian Defence Industries in Lithgow, this Austeyr model is also in use by New Zealand), Bolivia, Ecuador (since 1988), Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia (introduced in 1978), Pakistan, and (since 1988) U.S. Customs (now the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency).
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 center of the aiming circle, allowing for more precise aiming.
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.
Based on the AUG, Steyr developed the 9 mm AUG submachine gun that fires the 9x19mm Parabellum pistol cartridge. It is an automatic, blowback-operated model that fires from a closed bolt. Unlike the rifle variants, this SMG has a unique 420 mm (16.5 in) barrel with 6 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. Steyr AUG A1 (407 mm (16.0 in) barrel)Steyr AUG A2 (407 mm (16.0 in) barrel) with MIL-STD-1913 rail attachedSteyr AUG A3Steyr AUG 9 mm*AUG A1: Standard version introduced in 1977. Available with a choice of olive or black furniture.
- AUG A2: Similar to the AUG A1, but features a redesigned charging handle and a detachable telescopic sight which can be replaced with a MIL-STD-1913 rail.
- AUG A3: Similar to the AUG A2, but features a MIL-STD-1913 rail on top of the receiver, and an external bolt release.
- AUG A3 SF (also known as the AUG A2 Commando): Similar to the AUG A2, but features MIL-STD-1913 rails mounted on the telescopic sight and on the right side of the receiver, and includes an external bolt release. It was adopted by the Austrian Special Forces in late 2007.
- AUG A3 SA USA: Semi-automatic AUG A3 with a 407 mm (16.0 in) barrel, made available for the U.S. civilian market in April 2009.
- AUG P: Semi-automatic AUG A1 with a shorter, 407 mm (16.0 in) barrel.
- AUG P Special Receiver: Similar to the AUG P, but features a MIL-STD-1913 rail on top of the receiver.
- AUG 9mm (also known as the AUG SMG or AUG Para): Chambered in 9x19mm Parabellum differs from A1 model in barrel, bolt, magazine and a magazine well adapter, which allows the rifle to feed from Steyr MPi 69 magazines. This version operates as a blowback firearm, without use of the rifle's gas system. For some time a kit of the above components was available to convert any AUG into a 9mm variant.
- AUG A3 9mm XS: 9mm version of the AUG A3, similar to the AUG 9mm. Features a 325 mm (12.8 in) barrel and Picatinny rail system.
- AUG M203: An AUG modified for use with the M203 grenade launcher.
- AUG LSW (Light Support Weapon): A family of light support versions of the AUG.
- AUG HBAR (Heavy-Barreled Automatic Rifle): A longer, heavier-barreled version for use as a light machine gun.
- AUG LMG (Light machine gun): Based on the AUG HBAR, fires from an open bolt, has 4x rather than 1.5x optic of the base AUG.
- AUG LMG–T: Same as LMG, but has rail similar to the AUG P Special Receiver.
- AUG HBAR–T: A designated marksman rifle based on the HBAR with a universal scope mount cast into the receiver and fitted with a Kahles ZF69 6x42 optical sight.
- AUG Z: Semi-automatic version, somewhat similar to the A2, intended primarily for civilian use.
- AUG SA: Semi-automatic version of the A1 variant; built for civilian use and import to the US before being banned from importation in 1989.
- USR: An AUG A2 modified to meet U.S. BATF regulations, with modifications including a thumbhole grip. All rifles were imported by GSI.
American copies of the Steyr AUGEdit
- MSAR STG-556: Introduced at the 2007 SHOT Show, the MSAR STG-556 is manufactured by Microtech Small Arms Research Inc. (a subsidiary of Microtech Knives) and is an AUG A1 clone significantly re-engineered in its working system and principle as it features a bolt hold-open device as seen on the M16 rifle; otherwise the MSAR STG-556 retains the original AUG features, such as feeding from proprietary translucent plastic magazines and having the quick-change barrel option. The STG-556 rifle can be converted from either having a telescopic sight or a MIL-STD-1913 rail. It is available in either civilian (semi-automatic only) and military/law enforcement (selective fire) variants.
- TPD USA AXR: Revealed at the 2007 SHOT Show, manufactured by Tactical Products Design Inc. as an AUG A2 clone capable of semi-automatic only fire, aimed for both the civilian and law enforcement markets, and fed by STANAG magazines; the manufacturer sells clear plastic magazines which are STANAG 4179 compliant and will readily fit in any rifle with a compatible magazine catch. The rifle does not have the integral scope, allowing users to use any kind of scopes or laser sights on the Picatinny railing.
An Australian Army soldier from the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment conducts a foot patrol with an F88S Austeyr.*F88 Austeyr: The Australian Army's modified version of the Steyr AUG A1. Changes for the Australian version include a bayonet lug, a 1:7 in rifling pitch as found in the M16A2 rifle, optimized for the heavier 62-grain NATO-standard SS109/M855 round and an "automatic lockout" selector that can physically disable the fully automatic position of the 2-stage trigger mechanism found on the standard AUG. Contrary to popular belief the Australian issued F88 does not have the crosshair inside the "doughnut", however the New Zealand issued AUG does incorporate this feature. The AUG won a competition against the prototype of what would become the Bushmaster M17S. The components are built under license at the Australian Defence Industries factory in Lithgow, New South Wales (now known as Thales Australia).
- F88C Austeyr: A carbine version of the Austeyr F88 featuring a shorter, 407 mm (16.0 in) barrel. The F88C is generally used as a personal defensive weapon where maneuverability is an issue, such as in armoured vehicles.
- F88S Austeyr: A version of the Australian Austeyr F88 with an integrated Picatinny rail in place of the standard optical sight that allows the attachment of various other sighting devices (night vision scopes, magnified and non-magnified optics such as the ELCAN C79, Trijicon ACOG or Aimpoint).
- F88S-A1C: The Austeyr F88S-A1C is a compact variant of the F88 fitted with a Picatinny rail. The rifle has a 407 mm (16.0 in) barrel. Typically issued to front-line combat infantry units with room and weight constraints such as cavalry, reconnaissance, light horse, paratroopers and airfield defense guards (RAAF).
An Australian soldier briefs a U.S. NavyAdmiral on the F88S Austeyr.*F88 GLA: Australian Army version with an M203 grenade launcher. It features an Inter-bar (armourer attached) interface, an RM Equipment M203PI grenade launcher, and a Knight's Armament quadrant sight assembly to which a Firepoint red dot sight is attached. The bayonet lug and forward vertical grip are not present in this model.
- F88T: ADI has developed a .22-caliber training rifle for use by the Australian Army. The rifle provides an economical training alternative, with very low ammunition cost, which can be used in environmentally sensitive training areas and ranges where "overshooting" is an issue, and there is less of a chance to injure instructors and other persons. Also used by the Australian Defence Force Cadets.
- Austeyr F88A4: ADI's proposed F88A4 will incorporate multiple Picatinny rails for the fitting of legacy systems such as the M203P1 40 mm grenade launcher as well as both commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) and military off-the-shelf (MOTS) sighting and battle enhancement accessories. Also, it must be noted that the A4 has only been bought in limited numbers (reportedly only 10 units) for evaluation purposes.
- 'DSTO Advanced Individ'ual Combat Weapon: Experimental weapon combining the barrel, action and magazine of a Austeyr F88 with an enlarged receiver and stock/body that also incorporates a multiple-shot 40 mm grenade launcher.