Happy Birthday! 1977-2017 – Steyr AUG 40 years (Photo heavy)

It’s time to celebrate – the Steyr AUG has been in service in Austria since 1978.

The Steyr AUG (short for Army Universal Gun) is an Austrian firearm, made by Steyr Mannlicher.

In the Bundesheer (Austrian Armed Forces) it is referred to as the StG77.

I guess the name “77” is due to it being approved in 1977? It was taken into service in they year after, 1978.

I have shot both the 5,56 NATO and 9×19 mm version. Let’s say that shooting it from my weak shoulder (left side) was exciting, and best done with safety glasses to avoid getting hit by ejecting brass. It’s a very compact rifle, about the same size as a 10″ AR15.

Sturmgewehr 77 in 5,56×45 mm NATO.

Below you can follow the Steyr AUG’s life in various situations.

Jumping out of a helicopter

Steyr AUGs with Machine Gun support.

Note the ejecting brass and Glock pistol.

-“Look! A snake!”

The Austrian Armed Forces form the armed power of the Republic of Austria.

In times of peace, the Army comprises professional soldiers, further employees and conscripts.

The Austrian Armed Forces have a conscript service. In a vote in 2013 the Austrians voted to retain the compulsory military service. Nearly 60% voted to keep the draft, 40% favoured a professionalization of the forces.

After screening Austrian male citizens must serve six months in the army or nine months in civilian service. All military positions and roles are open to women as well.

The total force is around 47,000 people.

The bullp-up has a very characteristic look.

The Armed Forces of Austria are divided into the air force, land based and special forces.

50 meters up, with the AUG on the back.

Austrian Special Forces in action.

Conscripts getting their Steyr AUGs.

All pictures from the Bundesheer (Austrian Armed Forces): http://www.bundesheer.at/


Watch and learn more about the Steyr AUG with TFB TV – The Amazing AUG Bullpup

There’s also an unlisted video from the Austrian Army HERE.

Eric B

Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with an European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatic firearms, optics and sound suppressors. Owning the night would be nice too.


  • MeaCulpa

    How bout the Austrian navy huh, huh?

    I wouldn’t like to carry a AUG in active duty due to the difficulty in firing with the left side but by god I’d like to own one for fun.

    • FarmerB

      It’s currently having exercises with the Swiss navy.

      • MeaCulpa

        Battle of the Bodensee!

      • Oronzi

        Joined by Dutch Mountain troops…

    • Gordon Pasha

      The standard AR version can be reconfigured for left-handed use (though not the version that uses M16 STANAG magazines; not sure about the 9mm carbine).

      • FarmerB

        Sorry? How does that make sense?

        • ostiariusalpha

          And here I was just practicing ambidextrous shooting with my AR-15 an hour ago, and it worked fine with all of my mags, STANAG included. I had no idea that I needed to reconfigure it before I used my left side.

          • MeaCulpa


          • ostiariusalpha

            Yes, that’s much clearer now.

          • Pew pew

            AR=Armalite Rifle
            Not Assault Rifle or Automatic Rifle.

          • Neal Walker

            Uhhhh, no it doesn’t. AR stands for armalite rifle.

          • MeaCulpa

            In the context of AR-10/15/18 absolutely, in the context of other assault rifles, not so much.

        • MeaCulpa

          I’d imagine that when using the regular 5.56 AUG magazines it’s possible to convert the gun to a lefty friendly gun but not when using a STANAG compatible AUG or a 9mm AUG due to the fact(?) that the STANAG/9mm gun uses a stock without the necessary cutouts for right handed ejection of spent cases.

          • FarmerB

            Gotcha, thanks.

      • MeaCulpa

        Yes, reconfigured, but when doing MOUT/CQB that just isn’t practical unless VERY stationary.

        • Gordon Pasha

          Of course, in that case it‘s not very practical. I have to admit, I wasn‘t thinking about that, but more along the line that you either left handed or want/have to switch sides because your injured you right arm/hand. My bad.

          • iksnilol

            To be honest I doubt it’s much of an issue for soldiers (due to adrenaline and goggles)… But then again, a deflector for the AUG Ain’t expensive.

    • Corvus Defensio recently released a shell deflector that works beautifully for firing off the left shoulder.

  • PK

    Wow, it sure would be a good year to release the F90/Atrax for sale…

  • James Young

    Wow, these are some nice pictures

  • SP mclaughlin

    Aughhh or A-you-gee?

    • MeaCulpa

      “Aa Ooh Ghee”might be close enough.

    • .45

      I believe it is A-U-G, not Aww-Guh.

      One of my local gun shops has one that I have handled, but can’t quite justify the $1,000+ price tag. Neither can anyone else apparently, since it has been there for more than three years now. If I had money though… Well, who am I kidding, if I had money, I’d probably buy a third of their inventory.

      • .45

        And before the smart @$$s jump in, yes, the one I am talking about at the local gun shop is a semiauto civie version, whatever it is called. I remember something about it being an early model.

  • Bill

    I was able to shoot our qualification course one-handed with an AUG after suffering a fractured shoulder socket that took out my reactionary arm, though I couldn’t flop to prone with my typical grace and speed. It wasn’t pretty, but I’m not enough of a stud to have done it with a conventional rifle. I super regret not buying one back when they were more common.

  • john huscio

    The aug remained just beyond my reach 😭 …….so i got an LWRC instead…..

  • ProudAmerican

    Oooooooo… Pinzgauers and a G3…. Ooooooooo

  • USMC03Vet

    No pictures in prone.

    Not surprising…….

  • mrsatyre

    The only rifle that make a Tavor look beautiful by comparison.

  • Brett baker

    Think I’ll go Kel-Tec, being left-handed.

  • UWOTM8

    They’re probably in the same shape an 80s vintage M16A2 would be today.
    Spoiler alert: those things are wrecked….

  • int19h

    Austrians and Israelis are the only armed forces that I know of that don’t use any kind of camo for their uniforms. It’s just plain OD green.

    I wonder what their rationale for it is. I mean, in case of Austria, they are a formally neutral country, so you might say they’re just skimping. But IDF?

    • iksnilol

      Maybe OD green works better than expected?

      • int19h

        Maybe, but then why did pretty much everyone else go from OD green to camo back in the day?

        • iksnilol


    • tz

      Note that for some time IDF has been mostly angaged in urban combat or just carry out city patrols. So perhaps they just don’t feel the need to supply their troops with camo uniforms, since it wouldn’t make much of a difference in a city? Besides, they have complimentary military service, so maybe it’s just cheaper?

      Besides, from what I heard they issiue camos on certain occasions.

      • Docduracoat

        Camo does more than just hide you
        It also provides unit identification
        Just look at the United States Marines
        Israel is surrounded by many different enemies who all use different camo
        By using just olive drab it takes much less time to identify who is friend or foe
        Olive drab means friend
        Any camo pattern means enemy

    • Bernd

      It really does work quite good covers most Backgrounds there are in Austria except snow, but we have things for that :-).
      Back in time when i was a conscript we were shown how good:
      While we were to do something else, a few of us were placed at the first treeline of a wood. The first one standing up without helmet and without camo in the face. The second was kneeling with his helmet on, the third kneeling with camo in the face and helmet on, and the fourth was placed on the field in front of the trees but with hay on him and everything.
      Then we were told to approach the forrest from just around 200 meters away, and to report anyone of them we spot… As you would imagine the increasing camo was equal to less distance in spotting. But even with good eyesight, it took us too long to spot them. (even the guy without anything could easily have “worked” us up.
      And the guy in the hay… we all walked by him without noticing.

    • MeaCulpa

      The impact of camo Instead of green ain’t
      enormous on a man.

      • int19h

        It depends on what you consider to be impact. In terms of being able to spot someone, yeah, solid green works just fine to conceal in the woods etc. But camo is also supposed to make it harder to hit someone even if you can see them, by disrupting the recognizable outline of the human shape – so center mass shots are harder to make. The numbers that I’ve seen cited in various studies and patents (e.g. read the MARPAT patent, it’s very informative!) are not at all negligible. If we’re talking, say, 30% reduction in hits at 300m, it sounds very worthwhile.

        In general, the flip side of this question is, why did everyone else switch? Germans started their large-scale camo experiments during WW2 already, and apparently it was deemed worthwhile enough to continue even late in the war. Other countries picked up soon enough. If it’s all just a giant waste of time and money, surely more would have ditched it by now?

  • Megaman

    Using blanks? Even those of the 80’s work just fine with real stuff. AUG just does not with the old plastic blanks. Won’t cycle and eject properly. But they have now moved to brass-blanks.

    • FarmerB

      Blanks? Why would you use blanks? When these guys were working at a 2-man team in exercises and they were always calling “Hemmung” (JAM!) to their partner because their gun was down. Only a sample of 2, but for me from a knowledgeable and reputable source.

  • Love the AUG, really a very clever design that was very ahead of its time.

    -First combat rifle to come standard with optics, relegating irons to backup
    -First issue combat optic designed for speed / assault rifle use. The 1.5x donut of death was a tremendous departure from previous optics, which were more focused on DMR use with 3-4x settings and fine cross hairs.
    -First rifle designed from the factory to be a modular weapons system with quick change barrels, caliber conversions, and ability to convert to open bolt – all without tools.
    -First 5.56 rifle to embrace transparent polymer magazines, and only Western 5.56 to have a factory box magazine over 30rds.
    -Unique bolt arrangement that runs on two chrome lined rods, resulting in very little lubrication necessary (manual specifies 5 drops of oil for the whole gun.)

    • Iggy

      Actually the EM-2 takes the prize for first with standard optic, but it was also around for all of 5 minutes, so it didn’t get a chance to be influential.

      • Yeah I didn’t really count the EM-2 as it was more of a concept weapon then a mass issued rifle.

        • Iggy

          Fair enough, but I’d say official adoption puts it past concept, it would have been massed issued if not for the ammo disagreement with the US.

          • Per Wikipedia, there were 59 EM-2’s ever built. So more then a concept, but not what we would call a production run.

            The AUG remains the first mass-issued Assault Rifle to come standard with an optic – decades ahead of it’s time. And also, an optic that was specifically designed for the use of an Assault Rifle – designed for fast shooting under stress in QCB, while still allowing high hit probability out to 300m.

            Optics were not even standard issue in the US until after a few years after the 2nd Iraq War – and there were still debates on “optics vs irons” on the forum’s as late as 2006, if you can believe that.

  • stogieBill

    I purchased a new AUG back in 1987. It is easily the finest 5.56 I have ever owned. I had put about 2500 rounds through it, all jam free when California enacted their assault weapons registration law. After trying trying 3 times to comply with the law and being rejected for bad finger prints(?) all 3 times, I gave up and sold it to a dealer out of Michigan. Now that I’m no longer residing in the People’s Republic of Kalifornia, I dearly regret letting the AUG go.

  • Docduracoat

    I absolutely love my Steyr Aug !
    It is the only rifle I still shoot out of all my modern military rifles
    The price tag is equal to a high end AR 15
    And worth every penny!
    It is so easy to clean, and reliable
    It really shines when engaging multiple targets at different ranges
    I get about 2 inch, five shot groups at 100 yards from a rest using Wolf Gold ammo
    It’s only drawback is shooting off hand, and the Corvus defense shell deflector takes care of that problem

  • Young Freud

    Stery AUGust