Steyr AUG A4 (ADI Austeyr F88 A4)

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Matt recently comment on this post about the Australian AUG A4 (ADI Austeyr F88 A4):

To clear up “125″ issues and confusion the A3 varient is to be upgraded to allow the firing of GLA and underslung shot gun attachment with the trigger finger. There is much speculation on INF 2012 weapon systems and the steyr will look marketly different. What is concrete is that what changes happen to the weapons system the it must have the same range or better and must not be any heavier than current weight with modifications. There is a photo around of an ugly australian modified A3, this is not the new rifle and was a test bed system and was a demo only. The ADF rumour mill is leaning more to the AUG A4 design as now Australia owns the rights of all world wide styer production and also pattened designs from Austria.

I had not idea that the A4 existed. I did some Googling and found some photos in a brochure from ADI, the Australian arms and ammunition manufacturer. They may be the “test” A4 that Matt mentioned in Matt’s comment.

Picture 4-17

Picture 5-12

I think it’s a pretty ugly design. It looks like someone attacked an AUG with a hacksaw, screwdriver and a few picatinny rails. Especially in contrast to the AUG A3 (from steyr-arms.at):

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Where is the grenade launcher trigger?

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I would be surprised if the Australians upgrade their A1/A2 AUGs to use the M203 when the M320 will go into production later this year (according to Wikipedia).

Xm320-M4
M4 with M320




Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • http://doubletapper.blogspot.com DoubleTapper
  • Jcamelo

    Two things: one, the steyr AUG is one of my least favourite gunsand two, where to F*** is the trigger on the genade launcher.STOOPID lolol

  • dan

    you stooopid f*** for reasons of patent they cant show it

  • dan

    the steyr is also one of the fastest weapons to correct a stopage

  • userx

    to those of u who think u know about the steyr – trust me u have no fXXXXXg idea!! i am intimate with the f88 austeyr and have trained many in it’s use as i have the M4 and it’s family members. this is SO different from the austrian version and makes the piece of crap called the M4 look like and perform like shite. kitted up with a rail, good sight, gla and a gen4+ NAD it is an exceptional weapon. I have fired thousands of rounds through these and have found them much more reliable than any of the m16/ ar / m2/m4 varients. The only exception to this would be the new HK varieties – these have real possibilities with their improved gas systems. In short, if it shoots when u want, hits what u want, and is easy to look after and maintain, then you have a good weapon. unfortunatley the M4 just does not add up.15 years ago it may have, but not today!

  • Bryn

    Will Australia be acquiring the new Steyr A3 or will they only be modifying the A1/A2’s with more rails and better optics and other mods in the near future?

  • Jim

    “to those of u who think u know about the steyr – trust me u have no fXXXXXg idea!! i am intimate with the f88 austeyr and have trained many in it’s use as i have the M4 and it’s family members. this is SO different from the austrian version and makes the piece of crap called the M4 look like and perform like shite. kitted up with a rail, good sight, gla and a gen4+ NAD it is an exceptional weapon. I have fired thousands of rounds through these and have found them much more reliable than any of the m16/ ar / m2/m4 varients. The only exception to this would be the new HK varieties – these have real possibilities with their improved gas systems. In short, if it shoots when u want, hits what u want, and is easy to look after and maintain, then you have a good weapon. unfortunatley the M4 just does not add up.15 years ago it may have, but not today!”

    If what your saying is true, then can you tell me why our special forces use the M4? They wouldn’t give up the reliability of the F-88 for more accessories would they? And if they would, will they be changing back to the new F-88 A4 now that it has more options for accessories? You tell me.

  • J3STR

    looks like a step in the right direction change the mag so that it will feed from a M16 style one (there are some great plastic versions of this available) and have a magzine hold open catch to assist in speedy mag changes and it will be very nice

  • RoninCP

    “If what your saying is true, then can you tell me why our special forces use the M4? They wouldn’t give up the reliability of the F-88 for more accessories would they? And if they would, will they be changing back to the new F-88 A4 now that it has more options for accessories? You tell me.”

    Easy… 2 reasons.

    1. Institutional incompentance…. Like it or not when a pup is in training he ends up in AWE of the NCO that is spewing forth the party line, whether said NCO knows his stuff is inconsequential…. This BASIC information is swallowed whole and never questioned… when another option is put forward if it feels different than the DRILLED routine, then it is deemed as CRAP…. Stoners design was widely disliked and for good reason when it first came on the scene. A generational evolution has provided the “black rifle” with a cult following now in the US. How far we devolve! (in this respect i am talking more about the US military’s dislike of all things bullpup)

    Sure the current iteration is the most reliable of the M4/16 family but it is still the same flawed rifle that does NOT address decades of want. In fact the decades of want have done a fantastic job of creating ways to overcome the flaws! (collapsable buttstocks, rail systems, vertical grips, special MAGIC lubes among the huge list)

    2. Chicks Dig It….. I know that this will upset LOADS of people… But typically SF types are NOT gun people. The GAT is just a TOOL for them to use. They get handed the tools taught how to wield them with a skill second to none and then off into the wide world they head. For the young SF pup all that matters is that they are carrying the same tools that all those other supercool SF types are carrying…. Once they are carrying it they get used to it and they learn to like it…. Other young pups see them carrying it and the circle continues….This is the most hard to swallow reason but it is none the less totally true!

    3. Logistics….. AUSSF are generally utilised in a US AO. This is the single BEST reason for SF to use an M4 type.

    So the bottom line is that SF will continue to use whatever is deemed COOL by the big teams.

    Look at the SR25! everyone got all gooey over them because they looked cool… but out in the real world they are wanting and a kitted up M14 walks all over it. M14 will fire MOA until the barrel starts to glow. SR25 will give up the ghost!

    Bullpup rifles are THE way to go.

    For the same overall length as the M4 that spits 2600fps pills that wont yaw properly an AUG with the same ammo is making the most of the anemic 5.56. The AUG handles better, is INFINITELY more reliable, does not have the steady diet of parts that the stoner design does and is a stronger design from the ground up. (Don’t fall with your M4 slung)

    I have heard throngs of disputes over the F88 vs M4/16.

    Magazine change… Get over it! Sure the M16 is a basic movement but Ya not meant to drop the mag on the ground! So when it comes down to it the speed difference for a proper change is VERY small and well made up for by the fact that the F88 WILL go bang afterward. As for it feeling “wrong” … Only if you were trained on the M4/16 first! I have seen lightning changes on the F88 by pups that never knew they shouldn’t be able to play them so fast!

    Trigger Pull…. Ah… it is a rifle designed for combat! Not for benchrest shooting. It is MORE than good enough to win marksmanship competitions with the standard trigger group. Is it as crisp as a good M4/16 nup… but that is like comparing a Glock trigger to a Hi Power or a 1911. Is the glock bad??? It is good enough to win comps. It is good enough to become the worlds premier pistol!

    Plastic Bits…. argh.. see the glock comment above and the Black Rifle comment at the top…. Tales of Mattel rifles in Vietnam… Too weak too PLASTIC… Run a M4/16 over with a MOG and see how it fares! Having said that.. the Steyr has some stupid pieces that i hope have been fixed in the A4….

    Side Eject… Yup! That is an issue. Still, having had hot brass smashed into my face while firing offside with an M4 I have to suggest that offside is not a perfect solution either and since the Steyr can be easily converted for lefties it is not really a big deal. Nothing that training cant take care of.

    Accoutrements….. Hmmm well thats the idea of the A4…. Not that i’m a HUGE fan of hanging EVERYTHING off at the same time.. Mission appropriate selection is the answer!

    The F88 stomps all over the Stoner profile everyday of the week and until i can get my hands on a Tavor it will likely remain my favorite rifle. ‘Cept for the damn calibre…. But thats another story… Bring on the 6.8SPC

    What makes SF special??? The sense of UNIT, thats what.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      RoninCP, thanks for your comment.

  • RoninCP

    Oh and that’s 3 reasons and the “incompetence” is mine because i didn’t check my spelling! Tired and late…. Apologies folks

  • Steve

    I spoke to a WO2 in the ADF awhile back who was familiar with the procurement of the M4, he said it was mainly because other SF units use it, and the ADF has to work with them.

    I don’t agree with a lot of the comments above, I’ve owned four AUGs and I never really took to them, you can’t get into a low prone position with an AUG like you can with an AR-15 and the trigger pull does make a difference. Plus mag changes are definitely quicker with the AR-15 than with any bullpup.

    ADF had a lot of problems with the cross-bolt safety as well, which the AR-15 doesn’t have.

    That WO2 told me also the Australian ammo uses a single-base powder and is not NATO spec in that regard, due to the fact Australia is hot and double-base powder breaks down more easily. So you need to put comments about reliability in that context.

  • David Weller

    RoninCP — I have an A3 now, would love to correspond more directly about some of the nuances of it. Would appreciate an email to dgweller at the yahoo daht com place. Thanks!

  • RoninsDad

    God knows what Ronin is raving on about..
    The answer as to why the M4 is used in preference of the Styer is a simple one…
    The Styer can ‘hyrdostatic’ lock when used in amphibious situations, whereas the M4 does not…
    Commandos and SAS Troopers are known to spend far more time in the drink then the regular infantry grunt and hence why this weapon has been chosen.

  • RoninsMum

    Correctness.

  • RoninCP

    Been away an dhave to keep it brief.

    Never had an issue getting low with the Steyr.

    Crossbolt safety issues are related to the full auto lockout to the best of my knowledge and the full auto lockout is waste of space.

    Yes trigger makes a difference. Still for a battle rifle it is fine. Never had a problem with it. As a side issue in somalia it was regarded as “the rifle that never misses”…. But that may be due to the superior skills of our digs… :)

    As i said. Yes AR is quicker on the change, but not by much… if you were introduced to rifles with a bullpup you’d never know the difference and it really is a technique thing… Shooting a few hundred rounds through one does not make for a good judgement…

    ADI ammo runs in both our m4 and aug. The aug is more reliable and cleaner.

    M4 wears out parts at a horrible rate.

    Old service augs can be loose and crappy and shoot nasty…

    Never had an issue with an aug in water borne not saying not possible, of course it is. Have had issue with M4 though they are not immune.

    Gotta go! Good to see my mum and dad here….

    Can we agree that the Tavor looks like a great piece?

  • Sapper

    I’ve been in the ADF all of 4 months now, and may i say, the F88 is my best mate. A week out of training basic I did a requalification shoot of 4, 5 round groups at 100 meters. Averaged 63.7 mm, best group 51.8mm. That was from a very comfortable prone unsupported position by the way. RoninCP made a good point when they mentioned that it comes down to what weapon you’ve been trained on. I remember when i picked my F88 back up from the armoury after a week of training on the F89 Minimi. It just felt so right in my hands. When the steyr first came out, no-one wanted to touch it. Lots of people were put off by the bullpup design, but then Australia gave it a go, took it to Timor, and found out just how versatile it is. Being a bullpup brings the muzzle back, shortening the overall length and increasing maneuverability, while maintaining range and accuracy. These characteristics made it a good choice for the semi-urban environment the ADF was operating in.

    Only issues i have with the girl is cleaning carbon out of the buttgroup, and the location and shape of the safety catch. Took a decent cut on the knuckle of my right index finger while doing bayonnet training, the corner of the safety catch keeps digging in.

    Oh, and I fully agree with the comments on reloading and clearing speed. Had many a stoppage using the new black blank rounds during the last exercise, but wasn’t too upset since all it really needed was mag-off and shake. Out of the fight for 10 seconds at MOST. Mag change is a breeze, as long as the ammo pouch is willing to co-operate…

  • Sapper

    Oh, and further to that. I’ve read on another thread about the New Zealand army using steyrs that they’ve had some issues with stoppages? Don’t know what they’re on about. I went through a whole range shoot with a chamber and mag housing full of dirt from a dust storm, didn’t miss a beat.

  • Yoshi King

    Hey,
    Actually to all of you asking where the trigger is on the grenade launcher on the third picture, Its a push button on the non revealed side.

    Yoshi

  • gustavo

    I had two mate that were water operators when SASR changed from F88 to M4.
    The water operators never used the F88 because it was to hard to swim underwater with it due to its weight and shape.Water ops stayed with the old M16A1.They then got issued the M4 package to make up for the old M16A1.
    Water ops got something new so all the others wanted one to and got it.
    Also the fact that at the time the F88 had no GLA didn’t help matters either.

    Its the same with multitools, issue Leatherman but then one group buys Gerber,then all of a sudden all operators need Gerber.

    NOTHING WRONG with F88.

  • subby

    The Australian A4 has all those rails WITHOUT increasing the weight of the rifle. In constrast Austria’s version looks heavy and looks like its competing in a beauty contest.

  • harry

    btw the grenade launcher trigger has a plastic casing over it for protection perposes… if you look closely you can see where it is covering the trigger.

  • Snapper

    I personally dont like the circle sights of the F88, i grew up on ironsights and have found it hard to adjust to F88, I would like to give the NZ styer rifle a go because it has crosshairs, anyone else had these issues, i group at around 100mm

  • Cadetguy

    In my view thef88 is a great rifle and even though I haven’t fired it I have used it in trainning for drill. It is quite light and very practical to use. Not only that due to me being short it is still Esau for me to have full control over the rifle.

  • JCitizen

    The one thing I liked about the Aug I tested was the removable barrel. It had decent accuracy for having such a feature. I imagine it is very handy being able to change barrels in a hot fire fight, but I dont’ really know about these new weapons being discussed here. This was nearly 20 years ago.

    Personally I would rather have a ROBARM M93 for a squad weapon and their XCR-L Mini for urban assignments. Not all Stoner designs were bad, just the one Eugene got rid of. His Stoner 63 weapons system is still one of the finest thought processes ever put to an engineer’s table.

    The M93 is a direct and improved version of it. Some SEALs use them even now.

  • Guest123

    Haha, I know the engineer from ADI that designed that, it was a mockup they put together that didn’t actually fire with some small period of time just because they had to show something off to the ADF…