First Look: Steyr AUG A3 M1

Steyr_AUG_A3_M1_FSteyr Arms has introduced its new, multi-configurable M1 variant of the AUG A3 bullpup rifle. The Steyr AUG A3 M1 incorporates an optics attachment platform similar to the one used on the Steyr AUG A2 and is available nationwide in three different models: a Short-Rail Version, a High-Rail Version and an Integrated-Optics Version with either a 1.5X or 3X scope. Steyr has already begun shipping the rifle to dealers and distributors.

The Integrated-Optics Version of the AUG A3 M1 most closely resembles the scoped special operations AUG SF model with its more traditional AUG scope tube modified with the addition of three Picatinny rail sections for accessories and optics. The top rail has 15 numbered slots in two segments as well as a set of backup dots at the rear of the rail, while the side rails have four slots. The rail segment on the right side also has numbered slots.

An axis of 1.945-inches above the stock provides for a solid cheekweld. Both the 1.5X- and 3X-optic models feature a new turret design that allows changes in elevation and windage to be made with a simple coin or a flat screwdriver. The 1.5X optic incorporates a medium crosshair with an empty, heavy range-finding circle, whereas the 3X optic is a medium crosshair, heavy circle with a thin internal crosshair.

The M1 High-Rail Version of the AUG A3 features a rail with 16 numbered slots and is designed to accommodate the widest range of optics. The user can mount anything from a high-magnification scope to a rear-mounted short-eye-relief scope to a holographic red-dot sight paired with a secondary multiplier. The High Rail extends 2.57 inches back behind the receiver and rests 0.820 inches above the stock comb.

With 11 slot positions, the Short-Rail Version of the AUG A3 M1 suits those who prefer to use only a forward-mounted reflex or long-eye-relief optic. The Short Rail ends at the back of the receiver.

All rail and optics platforms for the AUG A3 M1 are interchangeable using the three base screws that thread from the underside of the top of the receiver. The AUG A3 M1's receiver also features a VLTOR Quick-Disconnect Sling Swivel, allowing for quick and easy two-point sling attachment and removal. The front sling swivel can be removed for those using single-point slings.

Built at Steyr Arms' new Bessemer, Alabama headquarters and manufacturing facility, the Steyr AUG A3 M1 has a 16-inch heavy barrel and has an overall length of 28.15 inches. The bullpup rifle utilizes a short-stroke gas-piston operation and has dual gas-adjustment settings. As with other AUG rifles, the A3 M1 is fairly easy to disassemble and can be quickly converted to left-hand operation by swapping the ejection-port cover and replacing the standard bolt with an optional left-eject bolt.

The AUG A3 M1 includes a quick-change barrel and a collapsible fore-grip. It is available with the standard AUG stock that accepts AUG magazines, with the NATO stock that accepts commonly available STANAG magazines or with OD Green furniture as a third stock option. It also comes with one translucent polymer 30-round magazine, a cleaning kit that stores in the rifle's buttstock and an owner's manual. 10- and 42-round magazines are also available for the rifle.

The Short-Rail and Long-Rail Versions of the AUG A3 M1 are available for $2,099. The 1.5X Integrated-Optics Version is $2,499, while the 3X Version is available for $2,599.

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