Steyr Arms − headquartered in the town of Bessemer, Alabama − is the U.S. based subsidiary of the world-famous, Austrian-based Steyr Mannlicher GmbH & Co. KG gunmaking company.
Established to address to the peculiar needs and demands of the north American gun market, Steyr Arms progressed a lot throughout its history, acquiring significant manufacturing capabilities and know-how (its workforce is trained by master gunsmiths of the Austrian parent company!) to manufacture high quality products that found acceptance and appreciation by civilian, law enforcement and military customers in the United States of America and abroad.
Ever since the late 2000s, the Steyr Arms plant has also been manufacturing the Steyr AUG/A3-SA rifle − a highly-improved semi-automatic version of the latest incarnation of Steyr's flagship bull-pup assault rifle, offered on the commercial market as a civilian-grade hunting, sporting and defensive gun as well as to law enforcement agencies as a Police patrol rifle.
In October 2014, the line of Steyr AUG/A3-SA semi-automatic rifles was expanded with the launch of the Steyr AUG/A3-M1 variant − a commercial version of the AUG/A3-SF assault carbine that was conceived for special forces customers and indeed adopted by the Austrian Special Forces in 2007.
A 5.56x45mm (.223 Remington) caliber semi-automatic rifle, the Steyr AUG/A3-M1 bull-pup is 100% built at the Steyr Arms' plant in Alabama, and is one of the shortest rifles available to civilian customers today, sporting a 16-inches heavy-profile barrel on an overall 28.15-inches overall lenght − that's at least eight inches shorter of any 16-inch barreled AR15-type civilian-grade carbine on sale on the U.S. market today.
Just like the previous variants, the Steyr AUG/A3-M1 semi-automatic rifle is based on an extremely clean short-stroke gas piston that vents the exhaust gases out; the AUG's quintessential, parallel stainles steel op-rods affixed to the bolt carrier recoil smoothly into the receiver and provide unparalleled reliability. The gas system sports a two-position adjustment valve that ensures flawless operation even in adverse condition and/or when using dubious quality ammunition; the Steyr AUG/A3-M1 rifle also comes with two side-mounted rails for tactical accessories.
Sporting an olive drab or full black polymer stock assembly, the Steyr AUG/A3-M1 semi-automatic bull-pup rifle retains many other technical features that made the platform successful ever since 1977; the technical layout allows quick disassembly and simple conversion to left-hand operation − although this requires an aftermarket, optional left-eject bolt to be purchased to replace the factory-issued right-handed bolt, and the ejection port cover to be swapped from the left to the right side of the stock.
Just like other Steyr AUG variants, the 16-inches barrel of the AUG/A3-M1 rifle − featuring a proprietary Birdcage-style flash hider and an underfolding foregrip − can be detached and replaced quickly by operating a thumb-activated release notch.
The Steyr AUG/A3-M1 semi-automatic bull-pup rifle will feed from Steyr's standard translucent polymer magazines; alternatively, the rifle is also available with a NATO-compliant stock that will allow the use of STANAG 4179 magazines.
Two railed variants and two scoped varaints of the Steyr AUG/A3-M1 will be available to commercial customers in the United States.
With 16 numbered slots, the Steyr AUG/A3-M1 High-Rail version was designed to accommodate the widest range of optic choices, from a high-magnification scope to a short-eye-relief tactical scope mounted at the rear to a holographic red-dot sight coupled in tandem with a secondary multiplier. The High-Rail extends 2.57 inches back from the receiver and sits 0.820 inches over the stock comb.
The Steyr AUG/A3-M1 Short-Rail version was created for the minimalist, who requires no more than a forward-mounted reflex or longer eye-relief optic mounted on any of the 11 slot positions. The Short Rail ends at the back of the receiver, and its top is a mere 0.435 inches above the comb to employ whatever height mount that the user needs. MSRP is $2.099,00 for either railed version.
The Steyr AUG/A3-M1 Integrated Optics version is exceptionally bright and clear, and its axis is 1.945 inches over the stock comb for a solid cheekweld. The new turret design requires a simple coin or flat screwdriver to make windage and elevation changes. The 1.5X optic comprises of a medium crosshair with an empty, heavy range-finding circle, while the 3X optic is a medium crosshair, heavy circle with a thin internal crosshair. The 1.5X and 3X optics equipped versions are available with MSRPs of $2,499.00 and $2,599.00, respectively.