The AUG («Armee Universal Gewehr» - universal army rifle) was developed by Steyr-Mannlicher, Austria in the early 1970s and production began in 1978. It was immediately adopted by the Austrian army as Stg.77 («Sturmgewehr 77» - assault rifle 77), and later by the Australian, New Zealandian, Malaysian, Saudi Arabian, Irish and other armed forces, as well as by the US coastal guard and several other law enforcement agencies. The AUG was designed with versatility in mind, its key features are interchangeable barrels of different lenghts and an ambidextrous design (with partial disassembly of the weapon). It has a very distinctive silhouette; a bullpup action with the chamber and magazine behind the trigger, a trigger guard so big that the whole hand fits into it and a back-raked carrying handle with a built-in 1.5 x low-magnification scope, which allows easier sight engagement since front and rear sights do not have to be aligned. The AUG uses a conventional gas-powered action with a rotating bolt. The hammer group is located in the buttstock and made almost entirely out of polymers, including the hammer itself. The barrel may be removed and re-installed within seconds, even when hot, as the front grip can be used as a barrel handle, factory-produced barrels from 35-60 cm are available, 20 cm is standard (Dmg. 5d-2 for 35 cm, 5d-i for 40 cm, 5d+i, Acc. 11, HO -6 for the 60 cm barrel). Military AUGs may be fired in single-shot or in fully-automatic modes with different trigger pulls - a short pull results in a single shot, while a long pull results in fully-automatic fire. The safety is located above the triggerguard. A modification of the AUG, the AUG A2, was introduced in 1997, featuring a redesigned cocking handle and a new sight rail that allows quick removal of the standard sight and installation of any STANAG-compatible sight mounts. A 42-round magazine is available for all variants.




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