Steyr Arms announced today that it has begun shipping the new multi-configurable M1 variant of the AUG A3 bullpup rifle platform to dealers and distributors. Utilizing an optics attachment platform similar to the rare and much-sought-after AUG A2, the AUG A3 M1 will be available nationwide in a short-rail version, a high-rail version as well as an integrated-optic version with either a 1.5x or 3x scope.
The integrated-optics version is based on American desire for the scoped special operations AUG SF model. The new M1 optics version has a more traditional AUG scope tube, modernized with the addition of three Picatinny rail sections to accommodate accessories like a close-quarters holographic sight. The top rail has 15 numbered-slot positions in two segments and a pair of backup dots at the rearmost portion of the rail. The four-slot rail segment on the right side of the scope is also numbered.
The 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.
High rail version
With 16 numbered slots, the 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 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.
The rail and optics platforms on all three AUG A3 M1 versions are easily interchangeable via the three base screws that thread from the underside of the top of the receiver. The receiver was also updated to replace the permanently affixed front sling swivel with a Vltor Quick-Disconnect Sling Swivel, which makes two-point sling attachment or removal extremely fast and easy, and users of single-point slings can remove the front sling swivel entirely, if they so desire.
Short rail version
Whereas the original release of the AUG A3 offered just two choices with the full-length rail—a traditional Steyr AUG with the integral bolt release, which accepted the superior and virtually indestructible AUG magazines, and a NATO-stocked version that used thinner, yet commonly available STANAG magazines—the introduction of the AUG A3 M1 reintroduces the popular OD Green furniture as a third stock option.
The AUG A3 M1 is built by Steyr Mannlicher-trained gunsmiths in Steyr Arms' new Bessemer headquarters and manufacturing facility.
Being a bullpup, the AUG A3 M1 boasts overall length of just 28.15 inches, including its 16-inch heavy barrel, making it at least 8 inches shorter than an M4 carbine with a comparable-length barrel. So why register a Short Barreled Rifle (SBR)? The short-stroke gas-piston operation of the AUG runs exceptionally cleaner by nature because all of the operational exhaust gas vents out of the front of the rifle. The AUG's matching, yet opposed, stainless steel operation and guide rods affixed to the bolt carrier glide effortlessly inside the receiver for unparalleled smoothness in operation as well as exceptional reliability. Dual gas-adjustment settings ensure its operation even with the dirtiest ammunition and in adverse conditions.
The AUG A3 M1 has all the classic features and benefits that established it as the pinnacle of modern rifle design, including expedited disassembly as well as simple conversion to left-hand operation, which requires replacement of the standard bolt with the optional left-eject bolt and swapping the ejection-port cover. It also features a quick-change barrel with a collapsible forward grip.
The AUG A3 M1 includes one translucent polymer 30-round magazine, a cleaning kit that stores in the rifle's buttstock and an owner's manual. Also available are 10- and 42-round magazines. Suggested retail is $2,099 for either railed version. The 1.5x and 3x optics equipped versions are available with MSRPs of $2,499 and $2,599, respectively.