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WO YEARS OF U.S.

SNIPER RIFLES
*INSIDE MILITARY SURPIJIS PRESENTS*

. ti ARY SURPLUS

I EITOP
CARTRIDGES
WITH MILITARY ROOTS

WHAT WENT
WRONG?
EARLY SMOKELESS
BOLT GUNS

SHOT TO PIECES,
-
B-26 BOMBER CREW'S -
TERRIFYING FLIGHT

STEYR'S LANDMARK BULLPLIP TURNS 40
FROM THE EDITORS OF WORLD OF FIREPOWER
WINTER 17/ SPRING113 • U.S. $9.99 • DISPLAY UNTIL:1/23/18
GREAT N WAR ON
89 SOURCES TERROR
AUTHENTIC WHY ELITE
LEATHER FOR UNITS ADOPTED
01506 2 III MILITARY SIDEARMS THE MR73
ENGAGED MEDIA INC
ON THE COVER
10 -
Steyr Arms offers new AUG A3 Ong
Rail and 40th Anniversary StG 77.
By Leroy Thompson

1:IEikTI.J141ES
18 WIDOWMAKER PILOT
With one engine shot to pieces and the other
failing, a B-26 pilot struggles to get his crew
home alive. By Steven Paul Barlow

28 SWEETER THAN WINE
The French Manurhin MR73 revolver: choice of
elite counterterrorist units. By Leroy Thompson

36 SURPLUS KIT
Find the deals on military gear to assemble your
affordable camping outfit. By Amelia Earl

42 SCRIBI3LES AND SWIRLS
Autograph hunting can be a rewarding journey
through the pages of history. By Ryan Lee Price

50 RAPID FIRE 5
The best submachine guns evolved through the
creativity and conflict of the 20th century. By
Chuck Taylor
LEGENDARY A
58 GOING SMOKELESS
Despite being obsolete after five years,
the1886 Kropatshek served Portugal's
colonies until the1960s. By Richard Venola

66 OLD WAR HORSES
Maintaining military bolt-action rifles
requires a bit of knowledge and a little
work. By Bob Campbell

74- BELEAGUERED BOLT
France's Mle1886 Lebel fell short despite
its landmark use of a smokeless powder
cartridge. By Mike Searson

82 IN THE CROSSHAIRS
From World War Ito Korea, U.S. sniping
rifles have come a long way. By Leroy Thompson

90 DESIGNED FOR WAR
The Luger was an innovative handgun
Wth a sinister reputation. By Ryan lee Price

98 LIKE THE ORIGINALS
Reproduction military leather can be the
best way to carry your old shooter. By Bob
Campbell

106 RISING THROUGH THE
RANKS
These eight military cartridges won
the hearts of American shooters and
74 sportsmen. By Brad Fitzpatrick

elm e
rim)

90 -

106
98 DEPARTMIENTS
6 IN MY SIGHTS
8 LOCK & LOAD
114 MARCHING ON
COVER PHOTO:40th Anniversary Steyr St° 77 (AUG)
PHOTOS BY: Mike Nischalke of Hunter Outdoor Communications
COVER OESIGN:Eric Knagg
SWIMANVCIN3031
STEYR ARMS' NEW AUG AS M1
LONG RAIL MAKES THIS
CLOSE QUARTERS BULLPUP
A LONG-RANGE THREAT
STORY ONO PHOTOS BY EROY THOMPSON

STEYR A RMSPHOTO
ometimes relatively small innovations
in classic weapons help adapt them to "WITH THE
S changed conditions.
For much of its four-decade history, the
Steyr AUG has been limited in range due to
its fixed 1.5X optical sight. It's always been a good
sight, with Swarovski glass and a black-ring reticle
LONG RAIL AUG
AND A GOOD
that is very fast for target acquisition. That reticle
may also be used for rudimentary range finding, as at
300 meters an average-sized man will fill the circle.
OPTIC, THAT
However, that same simple, effective1.5X reticle has
also limited the AUG.
Now Steyr is offering a new long-rail version with
CONFIDENT
two additional slots over the original flattop AUG A3
SA, while keeping the same overall rail height over
ENGAGEMENT
the stock comb. This allows a good cheek weld, and
alloA BUIS (Back-Up Iron Sights) to be mounted
along with an optic or a compact night vision device
DISTANCE CAN
with an optic.
The rail does not affect the compactness of the
BE PUSHED TO
AUG, which is 8 inches shorter overall than an M4
with similar barrel length and stock extended. Even
with the stock collapsed, the M416-inch barrel
400 OR 500
carbine is 4 inches longer. And, it is not necessary to
extend the AUG's stock to bring it into action. This
METERS."
makes the AUG especially useful in close spaces.
However, not all uses of this firearm can be expected
to be in close quarters.

Green has traditionally been
the color of military AUGs—in
this case, a Long Rail version.
stevr Arms Photo
An Austrian Panzergrenadier with a slung 20-inch
barreled AUG. He is firing an Hl( M320 Grenade Launcher
Module. Austrian Army Dhow

LONG-RANGE CAPABILITY
Ironically, Austrian troops equipped with the AUG
might see combat in the Alps where longer shots
across valleys or up peaks are likely. Early in the AUG's
service, the Austrian Army implemented a solution
of sorts, equipping infantry units with substantial
numbers of the outstanding Steyr SSG69 sniping rifle.
Serving as a de facto DMR (Designated Marksman
SOURCES
Rifle), it gave a longer-range engagement capability.
Steyr Arms About 20 years ago in 1997, an AUG receiver with
www.SteyrArms.com Picatinny rail was developed to allow mounting an
NightForce Optics array of other optics. AUGs with the MIL-STD-1913/
www.NightForceOptics.com Picatinny rail were designated the A3 model. There
was also an AUG A3 SF version that incorporated
Va.lclada Scopes
MIL-STD-1913 rails mounted on an integrated 1.5X
www.Valdada.com or 3X sight and the right side of the receiver for
Raytheon Optics illuminator/pointer.
www.Raytheon.com Based on my experience, the 3X sight on the SF
version adds 100 to 200 meters to the effective
A stevr AUG A3 SF with
suppressor mounted
ctp,l, Arm •.,tintn

engagement distance. With the standard 1.5X sight Another point I discovered
on the original AUG, I really only felt confident of my TEYR AUG A3 M2 while training a foreign dignitary
shots at 200 meters, but shot the 3X well to 300 ..ONG RAIL SPECS protection unit. They were using
meters. On a man target, on a good day, I can push Action: Semi-auto, short- the select-fire short-barreled
that to 400 to 500 meters. stroke, gas piston 13.8-inch versions, and I found
the AUG could be fired quite
Caliber:5.56x45mm NATO (1:9
CLOSE QUARTERS RH Twist) readily one-handed from within a
Steyr Arms has constantly upgraded the AUG to vehicle. This is also possible with
make it a more effective 21st century combat rifle. Overall Length:28.15 inches the 16-inch barreled semi-auto
Among these improvements are standardizing the Barrel Length:16.375 inches version. I've done some vehicle
16.375-inch barrel, which is much handier than the (chrome-lined) counter-ambush drills using the
original 20-inch barrel. Weight: 7.8 pounds empty AUG in this manner at close range
In fact, when testing the AUG for this article, I and it does work.
Magazine Capacity:30
did a lot of vehicle counter-ambush drills using the rounds (10-round and 42-round
AUG just to see if I could handle it quickly within mags also available) MORE FEATURES
the vehicle, while laying down fire when exiting the Other features of the basic AUG
Sights: 25-slot Picatinny rail A3 M1 include a VLTOR QD sling
vehicle, and while using the vehicle for cover. The allows mounting of an array
answer to all three: Yes, I can handle it well. And, with of sights swivel that allows use of a variety
the enhanced optics mountable on the long rail, it of tactical slings. Ergonomics have
can also serve as a counter-sniper weapon. MSRP:$2,099 always been a positive feature of
"...WHEN TESTING THE
AUG...I DID A LOT OF
VEHICLE COUNTER-
AMBUSH DRILLS...
TO SEE IF I AUG's vertical
foregrip is
comfortable to

COULD HANDLE use and folds
forward to form a
forearm When not

IT QUICKLY needed.

WITHIN THE
VEHICLE..."

Mud-colored the AUG and remain so. The pistol grip is comfortable, stripping the magazine with the support hand. The
AUGs, which and the balance point of the AUG allows it to be bolt release is just above the mag release, allowing
are similar to
FOE (Flat Dark
readily carried in the shooting hand without using the the thumb of the support hand to hit it after inserting
Earth) military support hand. a new magazine.
weapons, are Note, too, that the AUG allows a quick change of Gas adjustment settings allow regulation of gas
popular in Middle
Eastern countries sides for the ejection port and cocking handle for flow for operation in harsh conditions. This can include
and others with left-handed shooters. Shooting from the support fouling or ice. I often fire a couple of thousand rounds
barren terrain. side is possible without changing these parts, but between cleaning an AUG and have never faced the
SI eyr Armc phoin
it takes practice to avoid having hot brass hit the need to adjust the gas settings. However, I have not
shooter in the face. been using "dirty" ammunition. I do remember having
I have always used AUGs that take the standard a conversation with Austrian Gebirgsjager (Austrian
AUG magazines, which are high quality and durable: Alpine Troops) or Jagdkommando (Austrian Special
however, a conversion kit is available to allow use of Ops unit)-1 don't remember which it was, probably
STANAG (M16/AR-15) magazines. because we were sampling the new wine in Grinzing—
Other features that make the AUG very ergonomic about their gas adjustments in icy conditions.
are still present. For example, the squeeze lever I also am a fan of the folding fore-grip. I have found
magazine release is located just behind the magazine on select fire AUGs that it allows excellent control
well, allowing ease of magazine extraction. Normally, and also aids in firing the semi-auto version. For use
the magazine does not fall free, but with practice, of a rest, or as an ersatz hand guard, the fore-grip
the lever may be depressed by the thumb while may be readily folded forward.
"AT 300 METERS, I
FIRED A 6.25-INCH
FIVE-SHOT GROUP."

I've done a lot of shooting with the AUG and
have found the stock very comfortable. It comes
quickly to the shoulder and allows me to quickly
assume a cheek weld. The large trigger guard standing rest. At 300
combined with the good-sized trigger allows meters, I can keep some of
ready use of gloves in cold weather. It also the shots on a humanoid
offers a good handle for lifting an AUG out of a target. Firing Federal
vehicle's weapon's rack. American Eagle 62-grain
from the Long Rail AUG
PICK A COLOR with the NightForce, I fired
Although it is not a feature that really affects a five-shot 2.75-inch group
Thompson chose the NightForce 3-10X performance, the AUG A3 M1 is available in at 200 meters. At 300
scope to test the Long Rail AUG, as this
scope is excellent to 800 meters. Note, black, mud (FOE), olive drab green or white. meters, I fired a 6.25-inch
however, that the bolts on the mount These options are intended primarily for military five-shot group. With the
scraped the fingers when cocking the AUG.
users of the AUG, but I have to admit that I like the NightForce, the AUG was still
color options. I've been a traditionalist and my AUGs handy enough that I could use it
have either been green or black, but I really like the quickly with engagement drills at
look of the white and mud ones. 25 and 50 meters.
I also did some
SCOI3ING THE AUG counter-ambush drills and
Since I had the long-rail version available to test, I found that even with the scope
decided to use a scope with enough power to let me mounted, I could manipulate the
shoot at longer range than I normally do with an AUG. AUG well inside the vehicle and
As it transpired, I did not have the 3-10X NightForce during exit from the vehicle.
I usually have on a .308 sniper rifle mounted so
decided to try it on the AUG. ENHANCED RANGE
I did make the mistake of mounting the scope Most of my previous use of the
Good view of the Long Rail AUG's cocking
handle, which allows a sure grip, and the with the bolts for the rings on the same side as the AUG has been as a CQC carbine
front sling swivel. cocking handle for the AUG. Every time I operated the that I could shoot confidently
cocking handle I scraped my fingers. This is a problem to 200 meters. With the Long
easily fixed by switching the mount to the other side Rail AUG and a good optic, that
or using another mount, but since I plan to re-install confident engagement distance
the scope on a bolt-action rifle, I left it as it was can be pushed to 400 or 500
for my testing. meters. I do think it is important
For permanent use, I would choose a more not to impair the quick handling
compact scope, such as the IOR Valdada PITBULL capability of the AUG by putting
II, but the NightForce worked fine for testing the too much optic on it, but that is
AUG's accuracy. easily solved by choosing one of
the compact scopes that offers 4X
SHOOTING PERFORMANCE to 6X magnification. I mentioned
The lever magazine release behind the With the standard AUG 1.5X optic with circle reticle the PITBULL II. Another good
magazine well allows rapid magazine
changes, while the bolt release above aids at 200 meters, I can usually keep my shots on a choice would be the ELCAN
chambering a new round quickly. humanoid target if shooting from an improvised/ Specter DR in 4X. LA
\

This year Steyr has also introduced
a 40th Anniversary AUG that closely
resembles the original. Steyr Arm', rilOre

STEYR Ali 40TH
ANNIVERSARY EDITION 91677
To commemorate the original AUG, Austrian contact, At first, I wasn't sure fires full auto. I always had to remember
Steyr Arms is offering a "retro" StG whether I liked it, but I certainly found this feature when using a select-fire AUG.
77 (Sturmgewehr 77) in the original it interesting. Trigger pull has never been the AUG's
configuration with 20-inch barrel and 1.5 When the semi-auto AUGs became strong point!
carry handle/optical sight. available in the U.S., I bought one of the Original AUGs did not have the bolt
I still remember the first time I saw a green ones with a 20-inch barrel. The release now used on the AUG A3 Ml;
Steyr AUG. I was working in Vienna and morel shot it, the morel liked it. I was neither does the StG 77. The original
noticed members of the Austrian Federal training a lot of security details at the tulip-style muzzle brake is also used. The
Police's GEK Cobra, now known as EKO time and its ergonomics were well suited optic has built-in backup sights, as did
Cobra, deployed at OPEC Headquarters. to their needs. I later got one of the black the original. One improvement, though, is
Carlos the Jackal had attacked the 16-inch barrel AUGs imported into the in optical sight adjustment. The original
building a few years before, and security U.S. for LE sales. required a special toot that was easily
remained high. The operators had the When the 1989 assault rifle ban went lost—I always kept mine in the stock on
then-new Steyr AUG slung over their into effect, I stuck my AUGs in the safe a lanyard. The current version may be
shoulders. and only brought them out periodically adjusted with a coin.
It was green, had an optical sight to shoot, though I did still shoot AUGs Overall, though, the Anniversary
and a plastic magazine, and was a bull when training units that had them. Just Edition Stg 77, which is engraved
pup. That was radical stuff for the late as a note, here: Military select-fire AUGs "STG77 40th Anniversary" on the stock,
1970s. The rifles were the early Stg 77 don't have selector switches. Instead, resembles those I saw at OPEC on Obere
version with 20-inch barrels. I later got pulling the trigger halfway to the rear Donaustrasse all those years ago, and it
to examine one of the rifles issued to an fires semi, while a harder pull to the rear looks like my early U.S. import. I like it a lot.