Designed in 1977, the AUG made its official debut in 1978 and was selected as the battle rifle of the Austrian military, which designated the rifle the Sturmgewehr 77. In keeping with the look and feel of the company's original StG. 77 model, the 40th anniversary model eliminates many of the developments and add-ons incorporated into later models of the Steyr AUG.
The StG. 77 SA is constructed with a 20-inch barrel, the first-ever U.S.-made AUG model to be equipped with one straight from the factory. In keeping with the original rifle, the barrels are cold-hammer-forged and feature a profile that matches the original 1977 specs exactly. The barrels are crowned with the company's tulip-style muzzle brake, along with the original hex-style check nut.
One of the standout features of the 40th anniversary StG. 77 SA is the integrated 1.5X built-in optic, which maintains the same profile as the original rifles did in 1977. Inside the optic, users will find the commonly used circle-dot reticle, and Steyr made one change to the external adjustment knobs. The original rifle required the use of a special tool for windage and elevation adjustment. On the limited-edition reboot, these adjustments can be made with a coin. Atop the scope housing, consumers will find three-dot backup iron sights.
In keeping with the design of the original AUG rifle, Steyr does not include any Picatinny rails on the anniversary-edition gun. However, those who wish can replace the included optic with one of five different Picatinny-rail options designed for the AUG A3 M1 rifle. The gun is also equipped with an A1 charging handle and does not include the bolt release found on modern-day iterations of the rifle. However, the internals of the gun reflect the improvements made to the design in the last 40 years.
The Steyr StG. 77 SA AUG rifle also keeps to tradition with its OD green polymer stock, which is compatible with Steyr's proprietary translucent magazines only. One 30-round magazine will ship with each rifle. Steyr will only produce these guns for the remainder of 2017. The suggested retail price is $2,625.