BREAKING: Steyr And Rheinmetall Partner to Replace G36

Although the images above depict the previously announced STM556 from Steyr Mannlicher, the Austrian news site is announcing a new rifle – the RS556 – a possible contender to replace the G36 within the German “Bundeswehr” Armed Forces. In a partnership between the German corporation Rheinmetall Defense and the Austrian manufacturer Steyr Mannlicher, the RS556 will be submitted as a potential replacement for the embattled Heckler and Koch assault rifle.

With details slim at this point, it is unknown if the new rifle will actually resemble the STM556. However, the Kurier is reporting the RS556 will feature the following enhancements:

  • Tool-less barrel replacement
  • Three barrel length options
  • Configurable as an assault rifle, light machine gun or a machine gun carbine.
  • A “special surface coating” that allows the gun to work without gun oil

To date, neither the Steyr nor the Rheinmettall websites have been updated to include the RS556 or any details relating to the new partnership.

The announcement also includes languages that may absolve H&K from some financial liability surrounding the G36 to the German military.

Steyr Rheinmetall RS556

Steyr Mannlicher STM556

From the (rough translation from German to English):

Through a cooperation project with the German armament giant Rheinmetall Defense, the Austrian armorer Steyr Mannlicher from Kleinraming hopes to find the best chances for a military order of the German Bundeswehr. The Bundeswehr must exchange all storm guns.

The Upper Austrian arms manufacturers had already existed in Germany in 1994 because their legendary Steyr Universal Gun AUG (Sturmgewehr 77) had by far the best values in the tender. But the German manufacturer Heckler & Koch in Oberndorf for his Sturmgewehr G36 got the contract for 176,544 military guns.

Compensation for damages

How far politicians had their hands in play is currently the subject of political discussions in Germany. For example, it turned out five years ago that plastic parts of the G36 are deficient. The German Ministry of Defense accused Heckler & Koch of damages.

This day, however, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen had to accept a court ruling, according to which Heckler & Koch does not have to pay any damages. Not because the weapon is okay. The problem lay with the tender text. The Bundeswehr had received what it had ordered. But of the Leyen still holds fast to their decision: All 167,000 Sturmgewehre, which are still present, are exchanged. This year the invitation to tender will go ahead.

The Steyr-Mannlicher bosses Ernst Reichmayr and Gerhard Unterganschnigg already have a newly developed AUG successor “Gewehr bei Fuß”. This time with a strong partner, namely the German Rheinmetall Group based in Düsseldorf. Mannlich and Rheinmetall will bring the new Sturmgewehr RS556 together on the market. The German partner can refer to a value-added share of 60 percent in the case of a possible federal redundancy, which greatly increases the chances of Steyr Mannlicher against the first round of 1994.


The new RS556 looks like a US-American weapon, but is the further development of the Steyr-Sturmgewehr 77. The barrel can only be replaced with a handle and without tools. Three run lengths are available. Depending on the length, the weapon can be used as a storm gun, machine gun or as a light machine gun. Due to a special surface coating, the rifle also works without gun oil, which is a big advantage especially for desert inserts. The former Sturmgewehr 77 also took over the gas pressure device and the rotary head closure.

The mounting rail corresponds to the NATO standard and can, as desired different optics and night vision devices and laser light modules record. It is also possible to mount a grenade with a caliber of 40 millimeters. There is no information about prices. The weapons of 1994 cost about 1,000 euros per piece.


LE – Science – OSINT.
On a mission to make all of my guns as quiet as possible.
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  • Drew Coleman

    Has there ever been a rifle that can be swapped from assault rifle to LMG and actually work well? There’s a reason the US uses dedicated LMG’s.

    • Green Hell

      Well… AUG?

    • forrest1985

      Beat me to it! LSW/IAR, Rifle and Carbine made sense but LMG?!?!?

    • Ray

      Stoner 63?

    • Tom

      Closest would be the Stoner 63 which was hardly a commercial or technical success – it worked but was complex, expensive and hardly an improvment over using a separate assault rifle and LMG cofiguration. Whilst the Navt Seals used them they were dropped once the FN SAW/Minimi came into being.

      The problem with trying to be all things to all men is that you end up with something which is ether heavy for an assault rifle, or not as robust as a ‘proper’ LMG. Of course if your happy to accept a mag fed IAR type thing then simply putting a heavier barrel on the weapon its not a massive concern especially with modern materials.

      None the less your making the whole thing a lot more complex and expensive than ether a dedicated LMG or assault rifle needs to be.

    • Risky

      The M27 IAR has been accepted as a success by the USMC. They adopted it to replace the M249 in the squad as the automatic weapon and are now making moves to adopt it as a new service rifle, also.

      • Drew Coleman

        It was my understanding that the M27 was going to replacing the M249 for some units, but not all. The advantage the M27 has is that it can fire from an open bolt, not sure if the rifle in the article can.

        • John

          The M27 to my knowledge does not fire from an open bolt

          • Rob

            It fires from a closed bolt.

        • Sid Collins

          The M27, as fielded, fires from a closed bolt on semi and an open bolt on auto. This feature was meant to assist with cooling.

          • John

            That was the LWRC IAR candidate. M27 IAR should be closed bolt period. It was the only weapon in the trial that was just closed bolt

          • Stephen Paraski

            Avoid cook off.

      • Major Tom

        My understanding is they’ve quietly found it as an inadequate squad automatic weapon but rather than face a PR and political disaster they’re quietly trying to shoehorn it into other roles such as DMR or as a standard rifle.

        Otherwise, why would they keep all those 249’s? The M27 was supposed to replace it but they never got rid of em in the end.

        • Risky

          The M27 was never meant to completely phase out the M249, just replace it in the squad. Like the M240G, the M249 would still be accessible to use as needed to complete the mission, just not issued as an individual weapon.

          • Major Tom

            And that idea went down in flames (quietly) before the M27 finished its first deployment. The 249’s stayed at the squad level.

        • Jason Culligan

          The M27 was never intended to completely replace the M249. It was intended to complement it. The M249 would provide the volume of fire while the M27 would provide more accurate automatic fire while doubling as a standard or marksman rifle depending on the mission requirements.

      • Jambo

        That thing has around a 30rpm sustained rof, vs the M249’s 100rpm. I would stick with the 249. Don’t even get me started on the concept of box magazines for a SAW or firing from the closed bolt position.

        • Risky

          It is also significantly lighter, more reliable and more accurate than the M249. It is replacing the M249 in the squad, not the other roles that LMGs generally serve.

          • Major Tom

            The SAW role does not care about accuracy. Not in practice anyways. As a SAW gunner your job is to put rounds downrange as fast as you can as long as you can to keep their heads down and be suppressed or their bodies face down in the dirt riddled with holes. Whichever you can accomplish.

            That demands a weapon with a large capacity ideally belt-fed (which the M27 fails at), the ability to swap out hot barrels on the fly or have an active cooling system like the Pecheneg (which the M27 also fails at), and the ability to be set up on a bipod or tripod to allow for accurate sustained fire no matter the burst length (something the M27 doesn’t quite pass muster at either).

            It’s the same problem the RPK faced in Afghanistan over 30 years ago. Couldn’t put enough rounds downrange long enough, if it got too hot you had to wait (unacceptable when you have incoming), and it just couldn’t hold up the capacity needed for a high intensity firefight. Which is why in short order the PKM went from platoon/company level weapon usually mounted on vehicles or defensive emplacements to squad/platoon level throughout with the RPK as supplementary.

          • gunsandrockets

            The M27 is not a SAW.

            USMC preferred to keep existing rifle platoon/rifle squad/fire team organization rather than restructure it to fit the characteristics of the M249 SAW.

          • Major Tom

            “The M27 is not a SAW.”

            Then what was it, if not an allegedly organic base of automatic fire? It sure as sh*t wasn’t a DMR initially. The IAR means Infantry Automatic Rifle, as in automatic weapon for the infantry like how the BAR was used in the SAW role once upon a time.

            “USMC preferred to keep existing rifle platoon/rifle squad/fire team organization rather than restructure it to fit the characteristics of the M249 SAW.”

            There was no organization to change. The 249 was the squad and platoon level automatic weapon alongside the 240. The Marines haven’t had a weapon like the M27 in 50 years and there’s a big reason why they moved away from it in the end. The belt-fed was better. (As well as constant pressure from all sides politically to modernize away from the BAR.)

            Before the 249, Marines used the M60. Same deal as now back then.

          • gunsandrockets

            USMC assigned M60 to the HW platoon of the infantry company. Just as it assigns the M240 today.

            The M14 modified replaced the BAR as the USMC Fire-Team automatic weapon, and the M16a1 replaced the M14 in that role, not the M60. When the M16a2 came into service the USMC replaced the M16a1 with the M249 in the role of the Fire Team automatic weapon.

            More recently, the USMC conducted field experiments with different rifle platoon/squad organizations to exploit the characteristics of the M249. The result of those experiments was the IAR program to replace the M249 as the Fire Team automatic weapon.

            That history isn’t hard to find.


          • zmd

            Pretty sure the SAW doesn’t have quick change barrels either.

          • Major Tom

            The 249 does. As does the LSAT machine gun or whatever it’s called anymore.

            That crooked carry handle about midway on the receiver of the 249? That’s how you change barrels.

      • CommonSense23

        Which they don’t have the money for. And they have already pretty much gave up trying to use as a lmg.

      • Uniform223

        AGAIN… The M27 was NEVER intended to replace the SAW. It was/is an alternative supplement to the SAW. The SAW is still in USMC inventory and actively used at the platoon level.

        • Risky

          Never said it was. “to replace the M249 in the squad as the automatic weapon”


          • Uniform223

            Sorry for misreading your comment.

            In my experience and opinion, the M27 was bad idea.

            Before I ETSed I trained with marines who had brand new M27s. They didn’t see anything special with it and employed it like just another M16. For a weapon used for suppressing fire, it is a step in the WRONG direction as it cannot provide sustained fires like the SAW. Recently the USMC has tried to shoe horn it as a DMR. WHY do that when there are other more suitable weapons already in inventory and use (Mk12 SPR)?

          • gunsandrockets

            It’s all rather ironic.

            Since the Korean War, Army aped the USMC Fire-Team organization. Then the USMC adapted the Army M249 SAW, and tried to squeeze it into the existing Fire-Team organization and discovered the M249 was too heavy and clumsy to fit USMC doctrine.

            So after some field experiments, the USMC decided to keep their doctrine and instead replace the M249 as the Fire-Team automatic weapon. Leading to the USMC adapting the M27 IAR.

            And now we must suffer endless and ridiculous claims about how bad the M27 is for a SAW, even though the M27 was never intended for nor used as a SAW.

            The M27 is a Fire-Team weapon, not a Squad weapon.

          • CommonSense23

            My question is what does the M27 offer that my issued M4A1 does?

          • gunsandrockets

            Must be something, otherwise the HK wouldn’t have beat the Colt offering during the IAR competitive trials.

          • Uniform223

            *hurr durr durr… it’s piston driven and it’s H&K durr durr hurr

        • Just Sayin’

          So… they’re gonna’ rename it “PAW”??

          • gunsandrockets

            And that would make the M27 the “FAW”, Fireteam Automatic Weapon.

          • Michael Nootebos

            Or the FLAW, Fireteam Light Automatic Weapon

          • gunsandrockets

            Okay, that’s a good one!


    • The original AUG can be switched from a 16″ carbine to 20″ rifle to 24″ Heavy Barrel Automatic Rifle (HBAR) in a few seconds. Swapping the bolt and trigger pack converted it to an open bolt, magazine fed LMG, similar to the BREN gun but in 5.56.

    • n0truscotsman

      I would say no.

      There’s a bloody trail of failed projects that were brilliant in concept, but utter goat copulations in reality.

  • Green Hell

    It looks and sounds exactly like Ruger SR556 Takedown.

    • Barantos of ReCon

      exactly what I thought.

    • Tinkerer

      Out of curiosity, I googled “SR 556 takedown”, and the pics look like Ruger took… “inspiration” from the AUG’s gas system and barrel trunion lock.

      • JSmath

        No, Tinkerer. Just no.

    • MacK

      Never in the history of Ruger has anyone else “TAKEN” inspiration from Ruger. Now the other way around…………..

      • Twilight sparkle

        The Colt cowboy might be one example.

    • When the Ruger SR556 Takedown came out, I thought it sounded like the Steyr STM556 prototype from several years prior.

  • jay

    Rheinmetall makes some wicked weapons. If I worked at H&K, I’d be worried.

  • Avery

    It’s an AUG in AR format?!

    It would be hilarious if there was some parts commonality to the AUG with the RS/STG556.

  • MrBrassporkchop

    Remember that website a few years ago where a computer takes a very very simple 2d “car” design (think a box with 2 wheels kind of simple) and run it over rough terrain until it tips after which the program changes the car slightly. And this is done over and over again making a car better suited for that road?

    It’s almost like the AR platform is the end result had this been done with guns.

    • Green Hell

      Not untill it would become morally and politicaly accepable for NATO and other western countries to adopt AK pattern rifles.

    • randomswede

      A phenomenon commonly referred to as “evolution”, good “genes” live on while bad “genes” don’t, small incremental changes (mutations) and facing different trials (usually due to separation by geography) different “species” emerge.

      Human designs have the added perk of being able to cross “species” mate allowing leaps such as over barrel pistons or folding stocks to be entered into the AR-15 family tree time will tell if they live on in parallel or if only one lineage will persevere.

      • Tassiebush

        Or there’s convergent evolution where totally unrelated species develop the same characteristics independent of each other when encountering similar environmental pressures or exploiting similar niches. But yeah this totally looks like a hybrid.

        • randomswede

          Certainly, I just wanted to highlight how evolution in product development is radically different from evolution through genetic inheritance and natural selection.

          • Tassiebush

            Yeah fair point! Sorry I get a bit autism spectrum over stuff like that

          • randomswede

            It’s all good. Frankly I was more concerned with having to explain how evolution is both theory and law/fact.
            Let he who is completely off the autism spectrum throw the first pass.

    • iksnilol

      Yeah, I’ll believe that when it gets a good charging handle and a folding stock.

      • Twilight sparkle

        There are ways to give an ar a nice side charging handle and folding stock… But they usually won’t work together.

      • Stan Darsh

        True dat. I hope someone will breed the ZM LR300 with the Adcor B.E.A.R. rifle. A neat “long stroke” DI system with no buffer tube and a proper side-charging handle.

        • randomswede

          That’s available in the Faxon ARAK-21, it’s heavier than those two but it is G3 charging and buffer tube-less.

  • Konflict7993

    “Configurable as an assault rifle, light machine gun or a machine gun”. So belt-fed config coming soon?

    • JSmath

      Very, very unlikely. Rather, like the MG36, it will probably be feeding 50 to 100 rounds out of a C-mag.

  • sooooooooo is every country coming to the conclusion that the AR platform is amazing? i hate it cause i like variety. however, there is no denying that it is a one size fits all gun.

    • Malthrak

      Well, its a great gun for NATO or NATOish (in terms of having small professional and well trained armies) countries with high tech industries, and the US has basically ensures that it has so wide an array of aftermarket support and industrial base that its hard not to go for an AR design. That said, many other nations are not great fits for the AR and have gone with other designs in recent years.

      • Drew Coleman

        Not everyone needs to use the same exact rifle. What’s important is to standardize on magazines, ammunition, and mounting of things like optics.

        • randomswede

          How much has NATO actually been able to make use of the small arms standardization?
          The “STANAG”/AR-15 magazine is far from optimal but is the standard but it’s not standardized enough to where any magazine fits in any rifle (PMAG vs EMAG for a simple example)
          5.56×45 Is a good round for large military forces and the chamber is largely the same across the nations but there’s almost as many variations as there are rifles. So while you can load an M4 with Gewehrpatrone 90 for the Swiss Stgw 90 (1:7 vs 1:10 twist rate) the result isn’t the intended.
          Finally Picatinny/1913/2324 rail is a good idéa, so good it’s leaking into non military and non firearms related items.

          On the other hand in Soviet where there was “only one rifle” they had less of these issues.

          My opinion is that you either share research and resources (my preference) or you have a single standard i.e. a single rifle. If the goal is to save money and have compatibility that is.
          (We haven’t had WW3 (yet) that could change my opinion)

          • FarmerB

            Probably not the best example, since the Swiss aren’t in NATO so interoperability is not a goal – although the GP-90 works fine in 1-7″ rifles, but the magazines don’t work. But all the NATO produced ammunition should be marked with the NATO standard symbol and work across NATO standard rifles. And they do work on making that interoperability happen. Would be interesting job in Afghanistan getting a box or ten of ammo from all these countries and testing them all.

          • randomswede

            Didn’t even think about the fact that the Swiss aren’t in NATO, but then again, neither is Sweden, we are just _VERY_ NATO compatible, you know… in case Russia.

          • FarmerB

            Oh, absolutely makes sense – even for the Swiss (if you ask me). Additionally, the days of every country doing its own thing regarding rifles and pistols seems to be fading.

          • randomswede

            No, it seems the AR-15 pattern with some AR-18 bits (HK 416 and friends) is the present if not the future.
            If that is the case I wish they had changed the magwell to allow truly continuous curve magazines and used AR-18 style mainspring(s) while they were at it (like the SIG MCX) but it evidently gets the job done.

            The AK appears to have peaked, “improving” it further is to make it more AR like, aside from the side track of the AK like AEK lineage.

          • FarmerB

            Completely agree – which is why I have MCX and no AR-15s 🙂 The whole buffer tube system is a pain and the charging handle is also problematic (in my view). As you says, turning an AK into an ever closer copy of an AR in an effort for “diversity” really isn’t helping.

          • randomswede

            The AR charging handle is elegant in that it requires a very small opening in the receiver that is also covered by the handle itself.

            Personally I’m fond of the G3 style, the opening needed doesn’t lead into the action and ergonomically it suits me. The downsides being it’s not quite rail/attachment friendly or ambidextrous.

          • FarmerB

            Yeah – well, the charging handle is my least favorite attribute. And on an AR-10 version, just barely useful (using it from prone with 308W isn’t ergonomic). I’ve just bought an Enfield G3 – interesting to see how I like it (I have to go and pick it up).

          • randomswede

            That first inch or so where your arm is most extended and the action unlocks can be rough. What I was taught was to be firm but not violent and while it looks/feels cool to slap the charging handle it’s more an MP5 thing where the hook is smaller and the spring weaker.
            (Didn’t know there were any Enfield stamped G3s, you should learn something everyday kinda’ thing)

          • FarmerB

            I was talking about the AR charging handle being unergonomic, but I know the G3 will also be a beast to manipulate as well. Many of my friends have MP5 and they love the slap.

          • randomswede

            Your communication skills plus, mine ungood. ; )
            I was just eager to share that manual of arms tid bit on one of the two rifles I actually have formal training on.

            The saving grace for the ARs is of course the last-round-hold-open in concert with the bolt release, on a good day you only need the charging handle once.
            I’ve come to understand however that “a good day” and combat tend to be mutually exclusive.

          • FarmerB

            Agree that it’s not an issue if everything goes well. Seems to be ergonomic if you don’t need it 🙂 Recently, I’ve had a few issues with H&K MR308 (not really related to the rifle) and that charging handle is just a pain. But thanks for the tip on the G3 (it’s a G3A4).

          • randomswede

            That should be good fun, a neat practical size and if I’m not mistaken you can swap out stocks by just popping those the two pins.

          • noob
    • ExMachina1

      I just think that there’s a realization that small arms technology has peaked, and there’s really no gain to be made by making a “better” battle rifle. Instead, small innovations on an existing system make a lot of sense and save money to spend in the new technologies that ARE growing and changing.

  • Joshua

    Well that would make for an interesting time.

    I would love to see that happen just to watch heads explode across the world.

  • john huscio

    I’m guessing this will eventually replace the AUG in Austrian service….

  • Hamma Hamma

    Can anybody of the engineering vein tell me if there’s a practical point to new gun designs being more AR-esque (in particular the inclusion of a buffer tube rather than a shorter receiver) in this day and age taking center stage as the main rifles of many nations? This gun, the HK416 and I think a Turk or Iranian gun too?

    Is it just similarity to the AR-style as marketing thing?

    Or is the lack of a FOLDING stock less of an issue than just having a smoother recoil impulse in theory by extending the receiver out with a buffer tube and subsequently the BCG’s travel length?

    I’m legitimately curious. I’ve been told that for soldiers in the ME that the AR family’s buffer tube and its inability to be totally folded rather than just collapsed made it something of a pain in close quarters fighting, especially against body armor.

    • Flo

      I can’t tell you about the engineering side, but I can tell you that id much rather have ar15 based rifle instead of the g36 in. The folding stock isnt really that usefull. I’m a tall guy (195 cm) and the lengh of pull is good with body armor, but too short without. With average guys its the other way round. Furthermore, the dual optic isnt that good either. You dont have a cheek weld when using the reddot in top and the 3x scope has a very short eye relief and you cant really get close enogh to the lense, because your helmet bumps into the reddot. Maybe this has something to do with the lengh of pull. But the thing I hate most about the rifle are its mags. They are a pain to get in and out of the pouch and the coupling feature is pretty useless. The only positives are the fully ambi controlls, the reliability, and it doesn’t have a cheese grater handguard.

    • The collapsing stock seems to have proven wildly more useful than a folding unit, and folding stocks typically come with limited durability which isn’t ideal for a general issue rifle. Getting around this is possible, but adds weight and cost.

      The AR-15’s buffer system also is a significant advantage in a few areas. Buffer weights can be switched out, allowing weapons to be easily tuned for a specific configuration or purpose. Plus, the tubular extension is very rigid and strong, despite being lightweight. The big, large diameter spring also gives better life than a comparable small diameter spring, as well.

      I haven’t heard any complaints about a lack of folding stocks preventing use with body armor. I have heard A LOT of complaints that the M16A2 and A4 are a pain to use in close quarters with body armor because of their fixed, non-collapsible stocks.

      • iksnilol

        Whaaaat? I’d argue that a folding stock is more durable than a collapsing one.

        • CommonSense23

          The with a AKs and SCARs I have worked with would have to disagree.

          • iksnilol

            Eh, never had a problem with 100s AK folder or the triangle folder (I am particularily fond of that one).

            But to be honest, I do like the concept of a collapsing folding stock, but if I have to go with one or the other I am going folding. Besides, I’m a precision shooter more than a tactical shooter, I like rock solid stuff.

      • int19h

        Isn’t buffer tube attachment one of the known weak points of the AR system? I recall reading a lot about how that’s the most common place for the rifle to break when used in bayonet practice (basically just snap at the threads) when butt-stroking, and ostensibly that was part of the reason why it was discontinued.

        • Uniform223

          From personal experience, when I was later issued the M4, the buffer tube to be more durable than we originally thought.

    • randomswede

      Frontline soldiers when armed spend their time with their rifle in hand or very close and ready to fire.
      Much as for the casual shooter a collapsible stock makes more sense here, it’s easier and cheaper to make, the length is only an issue during storage and transport, not a big deal.

      For those soldiers who have to be armed but spend most of their time with the rifle slung it’s a major issue.
      They still need a collapsible stock for comfort but being able to shorten the rifle by a full stocks length and having a less than idél length of pull is a no brainer.
      (I was a conscript in the Swedish Army signals with the AK-5 (that folds) and I can’t list the number of things you can get caught in/on with that already short rifle. It’s the reason the P90 exists.)

      A folding adjustable stock is the expensive goldylocks.

      • some other joe

        SIG seemed to figure it out with the 556. That stock got transplanted to the 553 real quick.

        • FarmerB

          Hi Joe, I’m not so sure which 556 you are talking about – maybe a US version. The folding stock came from the 550 (StGw90) and it’s definitely on the 553 (I have both). But the folding/adjustable stock to me just isn’t so robust (I have a couple of them as well). I’m happy with just a folding model for a normal semi-auto – if you had body armour in the mix and/or need to use it as a DMR, then the trade-offs might be worth it.

  • GD Ajax

    So their planning to beat HK with an HK416 knock off? Good luck with that.

  • Ευστάθιος Παλαιολόγος

    From the bold part of the text, to me it sound like they will get the AUG operating mechanish and put it in a non bullpub AR like chassis. A rare twist as many time the opposite has been done (conventional to bullpub) but I don’t know any other case of this happening

    • lane

      Sounds like a good idea, if they can solve the water and suppression problems.
      Also the new Australian F90 is not a good fit for Germany as it’s a rifle that is built with conscription/insurgency in mind, a ‘one size fits all’ solution, why Israel and China also adopted a bullpup. Germany has the luxury of being alot more precise in their weaponry.

      • 2805662

        “Built with conscription/insurgency in mind” – source for that? Never heard of that…

        • lskdjd

          Just my own analysis. A bullpup excels at long and short distances, (ie indoors and out to 600) including in vehicles and in high density vegetation ie jungle, grassland. (guerrilla warfare). It is easier to conceal by civilians and due to superior balance is more easily wielded by children/women or weak people. (those suffering from undernutrition). But arming everyone is only an option for countries with a secure border ie islands with strong navy=Australia/U.K/Ireland or countries with very high nationalism ie China and Israel and slightly less so Austria, Slovenia, Singapore, Belgium, Croatia. All use bullpups.
          In this regard France and Germany not adopting bullpups might signal them not intending to do this, but on the other hand, both France and Germany have far higher military tradition than those other countries. So they have less need to make their rifles ‘idiot proof’, as there will always be some degree of competent military training available somewhere.

      • Jason Culligan

        Adopting bullpup rifles has nothing to do with conscription. A bullpup rifle is generally adopted by armies that expect significant urban conflict and/or rely heavily on mechanised vehicles. Germany expected to fight mainly in the open fields and forests of Germany so the disadvantages of bullpup rifles were not worth the advantages. In contrast Israel relies heavily on AFV’s and engages mostly on urban combat so there bullpup rifles make sense.

      • Tassiebush

        I don’t think that the ADF really factors in conscription into it’s plans. I’d actually argue that the AR15 based platforms particularly with collapsing/extending stock are a better match for a broad range of users. Similarly loading where you can see what you’re doing. Plus the unit cost is significantly lower on the AR15/M16 based rifles these days.
        It probably wouldn’t be the worst idea if we did have national service again whilst being mindful of past mistakes.

        • lansna

          Also forgot bullpup has no stock, much more rugged than collapsing and folding stock. Which is primary point of breakage for a rifle, a big deal if replacements aren’t handy.
          Also AR rifle is quite terrible weapon for long term use in insurgency. Weak stock and needs more maintenance and replacement parts. Israel ditched it for a much heavier Ak/Galil for these reasons, inspite of getting them for free from U.S.

          • Tassiebush

            I don’t believe the IDF have ditched the AR at all. They field a heap of different arms. The tendency to field their own designs as well could easily be just as much about maintaining their own arms industry as an autonomy measure.
            As far as the guerilla warfare use context goes I would have thought that if the stock of an AR15 broke you’d just drill out a wood blank to slide over the buffer tube. I also seriously doubt it would be a significant issue. Besides I don’t think the average insurgent would live long enough for wear to be a big issue. It’s a pretty well proven platform with quite low maintenance requirements. It excludes debris. It keeps going into high round counts without much care (never recommended on any gun) and guerilla forces don’t really have the ammo supply to fire large volumes like regular troops and so don’t really get the high round counts with training with their weapons. They also in general aren’t actually catered for to any significant extent. They just get what they’re supplied with or can get for themselves.

  • Flo

    I’ve Just read the original text in german, and it says that the rifle can be configured as an assault rifle, LMG or submachine gun (they probably mean sbr/carbine) and not machine gun. You might want to correctly that.

    • Richard

      It might be the same word for a couple types of guns.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Corrected. Thanks.

  • Twilight sparkle

    I feel like gun companies have forgotten the concept of sight radius

    • JSmath

      Rooty tooty pointy shooty.

    • iksnilol


      + I think that a short sight radius makes for quicker target aquisition, I done reckon they don’t really intend for irons to be used at farther distances like back in the day.

      • Twilight sparkle

        Maybe it’s just me but it just looks wrong if there’s rail space behind your rear or in front of your front iron.

        And a lot of gun companies seem to be putting the rear a few spots forward of the rear most position. I noticed it with the release of the saint earlier too

        • iksnilol

          Yeah, I completely agree, it looks so wrong.

          Regarding not putting it all the way to the rear, I done reckon it’s done like that to allow for putting a red dot as far back as possible (largest field of view then). I do get a STALKER vibe from it tho.

  • John

    I doubt it.

    Half the reason that France adopted the HK416 was political, in that Germany is now a dominant power behind the EU, so to speak. It wouldn’t do for them to adopt a Steyr rifle over Heckler and Koch now.

    HK will probably work with Steyr as a partner or a manufacturer or something.

  • User

    What a f**** waist of money.

  • The irony is that this is coming out the same year the both Lithgow and Corvus Defensio have updated the AUG to provide AR levels of railestate, Corvus has created a shell deflector that allows left shoulder firing, and Geissele is coming out with a match grade trigger pack.

    So basically all of the complaints about the AUG had been solved, just in time for Steyr to release an AR15-AUG that’s 8-10″ longer.


    • User

      Exactly. Also metal brass cases wont stay long anymore in the first world. Waisting millions over millions to get a rifle that just has a few ergonomic enhancements, is absolutly stupid. Because then were stucked with this junk maybe for decades.

      Replace the direct frontline Rifles, no problem, everything else is just dumb currently.

      • I’m still curious if the problems with the G36 accuracy are actually real. TFB tested one and it was fine, and I’ve read other reports saying that the fault was actually something to do with the thickness of the bullets jacket…

        There’s only 5,300 German troops in Afghanistan right now. Surely 6,000 of the 140K G36’s are capable of 2-3moa no?

        • Reef Blastbody

          Alex C didn’t put anywhere near enough rounds through his dealer sample to replicate the conditions that the Bundeswehr was experiencing in theater in Afghanistan/Iraq.

          The Germans were experiencing POI shifts from trunnion shift during extended firefights. That requires more than a few mag dumps.

          • Uniform223

            I think they only did mag dumps with two magazines.

          • n0truscotsman

            The POI shift issue also became known among the few American law enforcement agencies that began using them, which is why they were dropped like a scalding hot potato.

            Somethings fishy with that rifle for sure. Im not sure if it is a problem with *all* of them or just lots of rifles produced.

        • lamne

          If G36 had receivers embedded in plastic there would be poi shift no? We haven’t developed a sufficiently stable polymer to take that level of heat with no expansion. It’s commonsense.
          And this new rifle H&K dodge means the G36 problems were probably real.

        • User

          The thing is the ammo company made the steel insert to thick of the zink plated M855. The rifling gripped into the steel core which obviously created extrem heat and wear.

          Ofcourse the Barrel embedded in glassfiber reinforced polymer is a stupid idea. But actually HK had a second variant for use under extrem conditions for 5euro more per Rifle …. quess what rifle was choosed, the cheaper one. Also the barrel is rather thin. And now theyre doing 8 30round mag fullauto dumbs under extrem ambient heat, than try to shoot moa and complain its not perfect… Than the media smelled money and came up with the strangest and dumbest headlines ever, and some wannabe expert kids claim it shoots 2meter circles at 100m after 3 shots……. a bunch of retards.

    • Avery

      I was thinking that since Desert Tech is basically going to sit on the MDR, they could sell a license or rent the patent for their convertible forward-ejecting mechanism to Steyr so they can make a forward-ejecting AUG the last remaining problems for the rifle platform.

      • That would be very cool, but honestly just integrating the aftermarket shell deflector designed by Corvus into the stock would be adequate. With a decent eye relief optic (Red dot, 1-4x variable, ACOG TA33 or TA44) you can shoot just fine from the left shoulder with just a deflector. I’ve seen some folks online who just velcroed a little wooden wedge next to the ejection port and it worked fine as a deflector.

        For actual lefties, the AUG is a 5 minute bolt swap to convert to left side ejection.

        I personally think the left shoulder shooting aspect is more of a case of people throwing up obstacles to the bullpup (“they suck because you can’t shoot off your left shoulder”) then being a pressing issue necessitating an entire new ejection system.

        Of course, I would love to see one integrated, and am very excited for the MDR. But until then, a deflector works just fine.

  • User

    What year is it again? 1967?? Oh no, sh** its actually frigging 2016, and gun manufacturers have no bit innovation. Exept Textron AAI.

    • A bearded being from beyond ti

      What would be innovative then?

      • mig1nc

        I think he’s referring to the Textron AAI LSAT carbine. THAT is definitely innovative.

  • 2805662

    The gas plug on the AUG is one of the reasons why it is such a difficult platform to suppress effectively. Fantastic idea to add that design shortcoming to a “new” rifle /sarc/.

    • Jason Culligan

      Suppressors are essentially non-existent in Europe for civilians and widespread military use of them doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon. Seems like a moot point for those who will be purchasing and using this rifle.

      • iksnilol

        Whaaaat. suppressors are widespread amongst civilians in a good deal of Europe.

        It’s like saying US gun laws are strict cause Cali restrictions.

      • 2805662

        That may (or may not) be the case now – but what’s the anticipated service life of a rifle? Let’s say 10-20 years. Or maybe potential users include special operations forces/police tactical units…that currently use suppresssors.

        Either way, a lot can change over time – yet, the platform is disadvantaged from the outset in a key aspect of signature management (both flash and sound).

        • FarmerB

          Not sure I agree – the military role in some ways is changing fundamentally from universal national defence to small professional (pseudo-mercenary?) units working (mostly) on counter-terrorism. Maybe a classic nation v nation war will cause a re-evaluation some time in the future, but if not, I see the trend continue. More and more specialised, professional units, with almost no ties to the “home” nation state, basically working as an outsourced “defence system”. Highly trained, very highly equipped, but very small. Meanwhile, police forces grow to become more para-military (we’ve already gone some ways down that path) and at the same time, a nation state basically cannot defend itself as it did in the past. I couldn’t even imagine that most developed countries could implement a draft, train and equip a basic infantry unit in under 3 years these days. They wouldn’t even have enough rifles to equip 5% of them.

          • 2805662

            Sounds like you are agreeing – militaries (generally) are moving toward being smaller, better equipped, better trained. Equipment that was previously the preserve of special operations forces is bleeding across to conventional forces and tactical police unit. In the ABCA context, suppressors have been widespread in SOF (carbines & rifles) for more than two decades. So, imagine pitching a new rifle to these forces that has a design feature that inhibits the management of its visual and aural signature.

            (I’ve never said anything about conscription etc, I was asking another poster about where that fit inthe context of Australian adoption of the AUG as the F88)


          • FarmerB

            Well, the piece I wondered about was the “bleeding across to conventional forces” piece. Not sure there will be such a thing in the future for many advanced economies.
            I agree that suppressors will become integral and universal in the units/formations that remain 🙂

          • kweek

            Conscription armies have always been superior to professional armies. Always have been, always will be. Roman empire history 101. It’s even in the islamic and sikh bibles.
            Recent wars in Vietnam, Korea, Israel, Iraqi, Afghanistan, Syria, Russia in Ukraine. All winners had conscription armies

          • FarmerB

            Guess I don’t get your examples proving the point – I don’t see any victories in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria or even Ukraine any time soon. In fact, if you talk GW1 and 2, the opposite is true. In fact, if there’s a lesson in history, it’s that fully professional armies need to be watched very closely. Regarding the Roman Empire – I’ve only just started a book on that topic, but my understanding is that the Roman Legions could consist only of land holders, and only 1-2% of eligible males served (and were paid) – hardly universal conscription.

    • toms

      Its not that bad, I have an aug suppressed. IT works fine and handles the overpressure better than an ar15 in general. It is a little louder but that can be fixed in many ways. A integral barrel with the appropriate port size or a different plug would make it a non issue. they are literally like one dB louder than a similar ar so its not that big a deal. Cans are loud anyway. Cans will also go the way of the dod in favor of integral guns at some point. The gas pressure on guns set up for both is a problem in wear and reliability.

  • Felix

    My, my, that translation really is rough.

    If you don’t mind I could put in some effort to get a proper version up and running. I’ve read the actual article two days ago and it does contain a few proverbs and unique wordings that the English speaker might not understand.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Absolutely. Thanks. I’ll post it up if you email it to me.

  • codfilet

    What do the Germans need with an Army or rifles? They are surrendering their nation without a fight…

    • joe tusgadaro

      To who, the Dutch…

      • randomswede

        That’s politics and not my schtick but I think he’s talking about (mainly) Syrian refugees “taking over the country”.

  • n0truscotsman

    It seems like its a AR variant borrowing the AUGs gas system. It would lighten and simplify the rifle to go good ol’ fashioned ‘internal piston’/’DI’. And coatings dont mean that rifles can run without lubrication either. Hopefully they wont have to relearn that lesson american sports shooters have known for some time now. Both external and internal piston ARs need lubricated.

    That would be a rather humorous adoption, since all of us in the gun world have been relentlessly bombarded with claims that the G36 is somehow “far superior” to the AR.

    I forsee a 7.62 and PDW variant being developed, although the IAR/LMG variant will die like others have died before them.

  • Benjamin Reichardt

    I speak German and I have found that the original news article uses very similar wording and phrasing as have been used in describing the STM556.
    I assume the RS556 is essentially a variant of the STM produced in cooperation with Rheinmetall. It would also match the letters “STM” most likely meaning “Steyr Mannlicher”, which would mean the “RS” probably means “Rheinmetall-Steyr”

  • Vitor Roma

    I want to know what kind of finish they are using in the BCG.

  • ExMachina1

    You just wrote a whole lot without actually saying anything. There’s no obvious reason to think that the cartridge fed battle rifle is going to get significantly better than anything we have today. If you’re talking about an evolution beyond chemically propelled kinetic weapons then sure…but we’re not talking about that here. We’re talking about why it makes good sense to move toward the AR instead of trying to invent the next Tavor

    • roguetechie

      Actually what I’m saying is there’s literally PILES of stuff already invented that really is better in any of several ways. It’s a massive backlog.

  • Tassiebush

    So what was the model that should have been adopted? It sounds really good!?

    • roguetechie

      For any number of reasons I believe that the XM248 should’ve been adopted. Both the 248 and the dover devil LWHMG were light, strong, well built, and designed from the jump to be multi caliber capable.

      Not just that though… They were also designed in a way where you could pretty easily have swapped in heavier protective casings for use on RWS mounts and etc.

      They were the guns we needed to fight the wars of today and tomorrow not yesterday and the day before.

    • roguetechie


      It was the Rodman Labs / Philco Ford Xm235/XM248

      And yeah it was not only amazing but also cheap and it weighed less loaded slung and with a spares and toolkit pack than a BARE 249!

      By bare I mean no nutsack or even belt box hanger, nor tripod attachment hardware, and definitely no ammo bare 249!!

      The 248 also had a working and pretty thoroughly tested 7.62×51 conversion kit nearly ready for production too!!

      • Tassiebush

        Just started reading up on it. It sounds really interesting and good.

      • Tassiebush

        Mate that has been awesome to read about! The feed mechanism is brilliant!
        Thanks for giving me the heads up on it.

        • roguetechie

          No problem man… I actually have accrued a pretty substantial amount of in depth technical literature that would be needed to attempt a replication of any of the three designs, and am working constantly to acquire more such material for what I hope are eventual modernized and tweaked guns both in 5.56/7.62 convertible caliber belt fed gun or guns as well as maybe just maybe a modernized tweaked and refined 12.7×99 to 20mm interchangeable caliber HMG system

          • Tassiebush

            That’s a good project! I really like the concepts involved. It seems really likely that, that gun could bring great ideas to other designs.

  • Mazryonh

    I thought that H&K would instead have taken this opportunity to revive the XM8. The XM8’s modularity plus its proprietary PCAP system (said to allow accessories that were zeroed while attached to an XM8 via PCAP to not need rezeroing if removed and reattached) would still be attractive in the foreseeable future.

  • Dave D

    Bring on the uppers! Need more info, but you can put me down for one after its been proven to work.

  • Steven L

    Interesting to see that H&K always was noted for quality, accuracy, precision and price. I figured this company was the pride of Deutschland! Seeing the Germans move away from them is interesting and hopefully not just a way to leverage H&K!

    • Quest

      The thing is back in the day they did some interesting projects. But now the only thing they do is sitting on theyr piston AR clone (Hk416) and do nothing innovative. I spoke with them personally and theyr really arrogant. Theyr lack of innovation will be an extremly big problem in theyr future. But basicly they technically cant even sencefully do something it that area to be honest, because Textron AAI already has the main development, goverment funding, patents, etc etc, so it would be an incredible risk and waist of money to trying to compete. Ofcourse the XM25 is in development, but thats a CDTE’s not a Rifle, and even the XM25 from a technical perspective is quite a bit behind time.

      HK from my view absolutly wont play a part in the coming Rifle Market, and also will be overcome in the field of CDTE’s.
      But i think the factorys will still work, and produce Rifles for Germany, just not theyr own products. Because they have nothing to compete with, no patents, and could not get Germany to adopt a diffrent standart than NATO. (im speaking of the coming serval years and new polymer cased ammunition for use in tilting push trough chamber smallarms that result in new NATO standarts)

  • me ohmy

    so the vaunted german designers….steal an american rifle design…guess it’s only fair..we stole their ww2 eggheads and made nuclear weapons

  • Bronson

    “A “special surface coating” that allows the gun to work without gun oil”

    Haha we’ve heard that one before!

  • Seth Hill

    “The new RS556 looks like a US-American weapon”

    Ummmm….. what other kind of American is there? Is this PC logic?

  • Harold Littell

    The Lower looks like a LWRC, good one to copy.

  • Blue Centurion

    Now it’s like a pack of hyena circling the wounded HK G36 which we all know was nothing more than the victim of the German Left……what a scandal this has become.

  • CavScout

    The world is becoming a who’s-who of who won’t just straight up adopt the American M16/M4 series because ‘muh pride!’
    That thing looks HEAVY AS SIN. I bet they just gut the barrel profile to make it look good on paper.

  • Anon. E Maus

    Dammit, why do they have to make it a short-stroke rifle? It’s literally not necessary.