Armee Universal Gewehr
A very futuristic looking bullpup type rifle which was designed from scratch around the infantry soldier, with user installed bolt and quick change barrel, can be converted from 9mm SMG, to sub-compact/carbine/standard infantry/L.M.G.(inc. bipod) versions.
Unlike some bullpup rifles one could care to mention, it can be adjusted by an armourer or with late model versions by the infantryman using it to fire from the left shoulder by replacing the bolt head and an ejection-way cover which both can be done through normal field stripping. Absolutely ideal for the lefties out there! The FN F2000 is the only other Bullpup type rifle that is ambidextrous, ejecting its cases out the front on the right hand side.
It features a 1.5 times magnification scope/carry handle, with a ring reticle integral with the receiver. The idea of the reticle without a cross hairs is to stop the infantryman pausing and focusing on the centre of the hairs for that "sniper accurate shot", and to "get rounds off" rapid, hence winning fire superiority, it also doubles as being a "smart" reticle, ie. put a man standing in the ring at 300, 400, and even 500 meters and the rifle is automatically aligned with elevation at the target using NATO SS109 Ball ammunition. The receiver can also be changed for one with a picatinny rail for addition of lasers, lights, etc. The cocking handle is sensibly placed on the upper left of the receiver, and turns up to lock the bolt back H&K style, and has an integrated bolt close assist built in. So none of this silly reaching over with this piece! The rifle weighs a mere 3.6kg unloaded, is really well balanced to a point at the base of the pistol grip, and has a fully automatic rate of fire of 650-700rpm, using the same in-line design feature of Eugene Stoners M16 family - recoil comes straight back into the shoulder and the rifle is surprisingly easy to hold on target - full auto - to 100 meters!!! The rifle uses a short stroke gas piston with three gas plug positions, 1)Normal 2)Adverse, and 3)Grenade, It has a chrome lined bore too so hammering away on fully auto wont harm the bore. The rifle's are all issued with a cleaning kit which consists of oil bottle, pull through, phosphor bronze brush, nylon brush, patch loop, and flannelette, all of which fits neatly ino a compartment in the butt group. The Irish Army also equip their infantry sections with two Steyr AUG's fitted with a specifically designed Diemaco M203 type 40mm short barrel grenade launcher, using a side mounted ladder sight out to 400m and with Tritium inserts for 150m, the front barrel grip is removed to accomodate the launcher, and the bayonet lug turned upside down so it can be still used.
The Australian version, the F88/Steyr AUS, is locally manufactured and is reported to be of an inferior quality to Austrian made Steyrs.
- There is no fore end as such -- instead, there is a folding forward barrel grip which can be folded up or down according to the shooters preference, when in the kneeling position some infantrymen support the rifle by the front of the trigger guard, or "loop up" with the sling as support, the Cocking handle is non-reciprocating (The cocking handle doesn't move when firing) so you don't need to worry about that.
- The reticle is a cross hairs that meets in a ring. The idea behind this is that it allows the user to aim quickly and fire, and the bullet will strike the target, a similar idea to the U.S. Aimpoint type reflex sight. The rifle being sniper accurate in any configuration, (see above) can be fitted with various optics, recently (2008) a European Special Forces sniper team beat all other competing nations issue spotters rifles and most 7.62x51mm NATO sniper rifles with a Steyr AUG fitted with Schmidt and Bender PM2-2 scope!
- The barrel is quick detachable, and whilst this lends the rifle a modular construction (enabling different barrel lengths and/or calibres to be quickly substituted, for instance), it does raise the question of zero retention.
- The trigger fires a single shot for the first pull, and then full automatic on the second pull. Most Steyrs feature an A.L.O. (Irish & Australian) - Automatic Lock Out which limits the Steyr AUG to single shots. However this feature is easily changed, even quicker than HK, M16, Sig, Beretta, SA80A1/2 can be changed, the A.L.O. is on the bottom of the trigger and is easily changed by the middle (get stuffed!) finger.
- While the plastic construction seems unusual and deceptively flimsy to many, it is a remarkably sturdy weapon and difficult to break, even if a 22 ton Mowag 8x8 Piranha 3H A.P.C. is driven over it in good order, the rifle (if not too pleasing to behold) still functioned and was on target!!! The rifle is classed as soldier proof in the Irish Army, (which means it is as tough as coffin nails!!) It is extremely well made and very tough, even standing up to full salt water immersion! MRBF (mean rounds between failures) with this gun is in the thousands!!!
- The magazines are made of a translucent plastic that means you can visually check the number of rounds remaining, they even have increments of 10, 20, and 30 moulded on both sides, a very good idea, if not quite as flash as the rounds counter in Aliens.
...although there may be others.
It does make a great Science Fiction type firearm for those sci-fi programs that assumes you cant tell a modern firearm from a lee-enfield.