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Review - Classic Army Steyr-Mannlicher AUG A1 (Part 1&2) (Note: 56K Death)



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Old May 8th, 2006, 23:28   #1
Captain Tenneal
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Review - Classic Army Steyr-Mannlicher AUG A1 (Part 1&2) (Note: 56K Death)

After finally crumbling to buying a primary (after trying to buy at least eight, and failing to jump at the right time...), and waiting for Yick Fung International Ltd. to produce AUG A2's, I settled and managed to wrangle down one of the first two Classic Army AUG's in Canada.

Introduction: Say Hello To The New AUG

The AUG, or Armee Universal Gewehr is one of the first modern bullpup assault rifles rifle. First produced in 1977 by Steyr-Mannlichter of Austria, it is currently in use by countries around the world such as Australia (as the F88 Austeyr) and Austria (as the StG-77).

For those not in the know; the classic design of the bullpup places the magazine behind the trigger, allowing the maximum amount of barrel in the shortest space. In the AUG A1 they manage to cram a 510mm (M16-length) 6.08mm barrel into a gun roughly the size of a M4.

The design of the gun is a classic example of the bullpup assault rifle, whereby the magazine is loaded behind the grip, allowing the maximum barrel length into the smallest space. With the AUG, a 510mm barrel (M16 equivalent) is put into a gun that is about as long as a M4. Admittedly, loading and going prone with it is a bit awkward, but Toastmaster (the owner of the other AUG) and I have found it decently comfortable.

Actual Specifications:
Length: 805mm
Weight: 3300 g (Note: TMs AUG A1 is 3400 g)
Barrel Length: 510 x 6.08mm Brass Barrel
Magazine Capacity: 330 Rd Hi-Cap (CA/TM), 80 Rd Lo-Cap (TM), BE/Elephant Mags have been confirmed to fit.
Scope: 1.5x Magnification, Crosshair Recticle
Mechbox: Version 3-Type? 7mm Oily Gear Metal Gearbox

Rumours and Speculation:
Before the release, there were a number of rumours spreading about concerning the rifle, amongst the chief rumours were:

-The A1 would be actually made out of the same composite materiel as the real gun.
-The A1 would feature actual Steyr-Mannlichter trademarks.
-The A1 would entirely fix the hopup/loading nozzle problems.
-The A1 would feature a reinforced front foregrip/handle.
-The A1 would be able to fit a large size battery.

To clairify: The AUG A1 is not made out of the same composite materiel as the real gun; for evident price reasons it is made out of fibreglass with internal plastic components. It does feature trademarks (procured through ASG of Sweden), and the majority of the loading nozzle problems have been fixed (see below). From what I have read of the TM foregrip, the CA is a bit better, yet will probably still break with useage, and the battery problem is still an issue (see below).

What's In The Box?
When I recieved the gun from a group order, it was packed firmly into a styrofoam case with nothing much more than the highcap (loaded into the gun already), the sight adjustment tool (more on that later), and a barrel cleaner. Plus some pamphlets and the Volume 5 CA Catalogue. Nothing really out of the ordinary, but for those who are thinking of obtaining lowcaps; the lack of a loading rod may cause problems.

What does it look like?
The rifle itself is fairly attractive to those who dont suffer from bullpup-phobia, and while it is rough along the mould lines (no mould lines present, but the sanding job is a bit rough), the upper receiver could do with some work as there is a considerable amount of rough patches and unsanded mould lines. Two areas were still left somewhat unfinished on our guns; the gas regulator and a c-shaped washer on the flash hider both were left chrome. Overall nothing too distracting, more of a minor nitpick.

There are only a few markings on the rifle itself; the Steyr-Mannlichter trademark symbol (licence from the ASG in Sweden) on the right-side is sort of embossed on a slightly raised area, and a non-unique serial number is very faintly stamped onto the right-side chamber cover. Further back near the sling point a CLASSIC ARMY MADE IN HONG KONG AUG embossment is done almost exactly like the Tokyo Marui version.

The finish is actually quite nice, more of a dull matte OD/Olive green, and the black is a matte black with a somewhat gritty feel to it. After seeing the shiny apperanance of a used TM AUG, Im somewhat pleased to own the CA.

How it feels...
The AUG itself is a very well balanced rifle, almost all of the weight when held horizontally is over the trigger hand, which makes for somewhat awkward use of the front foregrip. Very easy to shoulder, and although the sling points are in somewhat poor locations, I find the easiest way to sling the rifle is a simple two point.

After handling various rifles, shotguns, SMGs and handguns, the AUG is a godsend for solidity. There are no creaks or rattles, and the cocking handle does make a satisfying noise (although sometimes it gets caught on the backwards pull).

The foregrip is made out of the same materiel as the rest of the AUG, and has a metal (stronger than TM) pin inside. At the beginning there was very little play from side to side, although now that it gets used a bunch more, there is more play in all directions. Not loose, but a bit wobbly, its still strong enough to lift by the front carry handle. And again; it still makes the familiar twang noise when its set in a position and the diagonal position is very loose (although were still contemplating what the diagonal position is for).

One of the grips I have with the rifle (no fault to CA) is the low profile of the sight that basically makes the 1.5x magnification scope totally impossible to use with my paintball goggles on. Toastmaster who uses a mesh type can see decently well, but doesnt use the scope that much. On top of the scope is a set of rudimentary pistol-style sights offset to the right because of the odd placement of a third diagonal knob that serves no purpose on the scope (the other two adjust the scope).

The rifle is comfortable enough to hold, and surprisingly works well when moving prone, although reloading while prone is a bit more awkward than those used to M4/M16s, but the same goes for reloading while standing or crouched; it just takes some getting used to.

Takedown of the rifle is fairly simple; simply remove the magazine (ensuring that no bbs are still in the loading nozzle as it may damage it) push the takedown button until it clicks in the open position and pull the entire receiver and barrel assembly out. Locking the charging handle in the rearward position and pushing down on the barrel takedown lever allows the barrel assembly to twist slightly, and then releases forwards. Be careful when doing this as I have snapped the hopup unit in this process.

In the beginning, the rifles takedown button was hard to push in (strangely hard), but now that Ive oiled it slightly, and reversed the direction it needs to go, I have no problems in taking down the rifle. Its not easy; but its not overly difficult.

To takedown the barrel unit itself (something that a bunch of rumours failed to note) is quite simple. Remove the pin that the foregrip slides up and down on, making sure that you have your hand on the bottom of it, and allow the spring to release. First time I did this I spent half an hour trying to find the spring from the grip as it flew off into the corner of my room. Underneath this assembly is a screw (the same that holds the flash suppressor on) that will allow the barrel unit to just pull out.

Another few things to note are that the covers (butt plate and extraction port cover) are made of some durable rubber. They can be switched (along with the sling points reportedly) from side to side allowing for maximum ambidexterity and flexibility.

Edit: 08/20/06 - I'm going to be taking better photographs of the AUG.

Next Up:
Rumours and Speculation...
And the Flaws...
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Old May 10th, 2006, 21:01   #2
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cant wait for the cevil version ill definitly get one
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Old May 10th, 2006, 22:34   #3
nice review! :cheers:
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Old May 18th, 2006, 16:08   #4
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the TM aug pin is made of metal as well; although that metal is quite bad...
to get rid of the twang, fill the inside of the foregrip with tissue paper

TM aug also has that aluminum tube inside the barrel; I assume it is to reduce the inner barrel bouncing around the body of the outer
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Old May 18th, 2006, 18:44   #5
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can'T wait to see how this gun performs ! looks like a heck of a nice gun to have.

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Old May 18th, 2006, 22:22   #6
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The upper receiver is also rough on the TM model mil version.

I used foam from my gun case to get rid of the 'twang'.

From this review I don't see any difference from the TM model except the 7mm bushings and trades on the side.

Think they bought the molds from TM?
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Old May 19th, 2006, 01:19   #7
Captain Tenneal
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Actually I really wouldn't put it past them to buy the moulds for their gun. TM could probably make a shitload on the mil-version that they don't want to produce anymore... Now that I look at TM vs. CA pics, the text on the rear stock looks almost identical, except the big part of being Hong Kong, not Tokyo

Hmmm. Well, maybe this isn't the best way to advert this gun, as it seems it's very much like the marui. But extremely loud. I'll have a lot more to report after an op here in Manitoba next next weekend.
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 08:26   #8
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The non replaceable scope.. is it made of metal or what? Interested in buying one of these, but not to fond of integrated plastic scopes..
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 10:38   #9
Captain Tenneal
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It's a full metal reciever, the scope and all controls are made of metal. Has a bit of a rough feel to it, but it's not plastic, the lenses on the other hand I'm probably gonna have to get back to you on those.
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 11:02   #10
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Augs tend to seem a lot lounder to the shooter than to those on the reciving end since the design places all the moving parts right by the shooter's ear
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 16:11   #11
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To begin; the AUG A1 cannot, I repeat CANNOT take anything really larger than a 600 mah mini Ni-Cad or a 1100 Mah NIMH mini battery. Some people report being able to take the mechplate cover off and allowing the installation of a new larger battery; I highly recommend against it as the mechbox cover ACTUALLY holds the mechbox in place. I loaded mine with a 1100 mah NIMH provided by BB Bastard (mad props to them as they are currently replacing my charger!) and slipped it in the back. Another thing is that the A1 doesnt have a large connector (just like the TM) and still has mini connectors for its wiring.

Loading a magazine I noted that the CAs highcap fits in decently well with a little bit of play from side to side, but TM lowcaps fit arguably the best with little to no movement inside the magazine well. Another thing to note is that the feed nozzle is not in fact metal; which was a rumour going around, but it is NOT spring loaded like TMs feed nozzle. CAs feed nozzle does not traverse upwards, but simply just rotates around in its little well.

However right from the get go I managed to have a misfed nozzle. Somehow in loading my mags and testing the rifle out I managed to dent the feed nozzle slightly basically not allowing the bbs to travel up into the firing chamber. Five seconds with a pencil fixed that though and I havent seen a problem since.

As far as accuracy tests go; the AUGs failed from the start. Out at the outdoor fields Toastmaster and I noticed very poor range compared to even stock TM AEGs. BBs (AE .2s) were travelling fairly short distances before falling to the ground. Dissasembling our hopup units discovered that the hopup spacer that pushes down on the bucking was too soft and deformed even when applied on full pressure. Replacing these with a slightly harder materiel did fix the problem and the AUGs now have decent range (I fire mine on .25s and Toast fires his on .2s), but I must admit that I am a piss poor range estimator and I will have to get back with figures on the AEG.

Rate of fire is adequate, Id personally have to say not quite a FAMAS but decent enough; the AUG uses a relatively nice trigger system with no selector switch. Pull the trigger back up to 4mm and it will trigger only the semi automatic rate of fire, but pull it back to 7mm and more it will switch over to full auto. This eliminates the sometimes awkward switching from semi to full on other AEGs.

One annoyance about the AUG is its tendancy to whine. As with other CA AEGs (Toastmaster can apperantly distinguish between stock AEGs just by their motor pitch), the AUG A1 suffers by its loud motor. It is loud enough that if you put the stock flush to your ear and pull the trigger, it will ring for seconds. This is somewhat aggravated by the fact you spend a lot of time with your ear near the gearbox and motor. I can imagine that replacing the motor with perhaps a TM stock motor, that it will be easily remedied.

So far, thankfully there have been few. One is the front handle seems to be either A: Wearing down or B: The holes that the foregrip slots itself into are getting larger. This is probably natural and I am most likely going to have to order the Guarder steel pin in the next little while.

Next issue relates to Toast's AUG, where one of the connectors inside seemed to have shorted out, and would only fire on full auto, ignoring the 3mm bit in between semi and full. Toast managed to reconnect the circuit and it seems to be doing fine.

Design flaws are minimal, however they are significant. TM's gearbox apperantly just pops out of the back of the AEG once the gearbox plate is removed. The CA is an insane piece of crap to wrench out. At first me and Toast thought it was nearly impossible to get out because it seems that the gearbox (which is a good deal larger than the TM) cannot get over the fake inset screw of the main body. It is possible, however it requires a good deal of effort and moving several different parts to squeeze it out of the box.

Another thing to note: When Toast finally got his gearbox out of the gun, he noticed the strange sort of setup that the trigger assembly is set up with:

When you pull the trigger of the AUG, it pushes a long set of spring connected rods back which push onto a trigger-shaped item that at first pushes a series of levers which connects the semi automatic circuit. Pushing the trigger further back allows a connector on the back of the trigger shaped item to connect with another circuit allowing full auto. When the circuits are completed however, it generates a decent sized spark. The result of this is that the AUG's do eventually get a noticable 'burning' odour from within, and the possible lasting effects may be hazardous to the AEG.

Further Rumours and Speculations:
Rumours that CA will be releasing the Nextgen version of the AUG , the A3 eventually still remain unfounded as nothing seems to have come from it. Then again; the A2 still hasnt been released much to my dismay, as I find the scope on the A1 nearly unuseable with my facemask on.

Cosmetic upgrades for the AUG are fairly rare to come by. Three main ones are the Phantom Kits (which are fully confirmed to work, thank you kong), the M203 Attachments (which should work, but I despise) and the new ACTION RIS units which cannot work with the CA AUG since they lack the civ-rail to attach onto.

The TM AUG Civilian Reciever, does not seem to work on the CA AUG as there are slight build/scaling differences which make the body very loose inside the dimensionally slightly larger CA.

More on the AUG later...
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Old July 16th, 2006, 13:51   #12
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hey im reallllllly likin the looks of the aug, and finally found a good review on it (thanks). But for a first time N00B would you recomend this gun??? I paintball ALOT so im used to having to take crap apart and tweak the small things, but i understand softing is alot different but neways is it a good first gun? thanks
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Old July 20th, 2006, 19:23   #13
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Your Profile says your 16, and you have to be 18 to buy a gun.
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Old July 21st, 2006, 02:15   #14
Captain Tenneal
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First time noob? Probably not. I'm a noob, but I think that the M4/M16/M15 platform seems a lot safer route since so many people own them, and can repair any possible problem/diagnose them at a moment's notice.

Not to mention: AUG isn't an accessory gun. VERY few things cosmetically can be done to this rifle. Most noob's want a gun they can attach every bloody thing to. Which can be fun, but then can be a hassle when you have to figure why your rifle's off balance because of your M203 and your ANPEQ-2...
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Old July 21st, 2006, 19:57   #15
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Here's where the AUG failed from the getgo. I found (me and Toastmaster) that the AUG's hopup was strangely weak, as if even with .2's that they were traversing a much shorter distance than even a stock TM AEG which had less power and this was on full hopup. Dissasembling the hopup unit, we discovered that the spacer itself was too soft, and so we replaced ours and solved that problem easilly enough. Not such a problem, but something to note.
I think that's a fairly universal CA problem. Luckily a little less than $10 will get you new hop-up rubber that'll fix it.
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