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Posted: 12/7/2009 7:15:18 PM EDT
Let me start by saying that I'm fairly new to the AUG scene.  I've not owned one until recently but I have spent a decent amount of time on a dept. owned select-fire rifle.  I enjoyed shooting the full-auto but never really seriously considered buying an AUG due to price.

As we all know, prices on much of the "assault rifle" market have come down dramatically in the last few months and I managed to trade off an old Colt Sporter Lightweight for a used AUG A1.  Of course I had to fork out some $$$ but I think I came out okay.  I have been shooting my pre-ban AUG (Honeymoon cruise, so to speak) and decided it was too nice a gun to really shoot the crap out of.

With all the above in mind, I started looking for a deal on a new E4.  I like the AUG magazines but I've already got a couple boxes of M16 magazines so the choice of the E4 seemed like a logical one.  I started keeping an eye on gunbroker.com and recently won an auction for a green MSAR with the AUG-alike 1.5x optic.  

My dealer called this afternoon to tell me the Microtech had arrived and I picked the new rifle up after work.  My initial reaction was kind of, "Yuck!"  The cast parts (receiver, bolt carrier, gas block) are not as nice as the parts of my original Steyr.  The textured surface on the MSAR stock is different and it does have some kind of sharp parts.   I see what some say about the barrel takedown latch.  But the MSAR latch is metal and the Steyr part is plastic.  Also, I don't care for the way the MSAR cocking handle folds up flat against the receiver.  It's hard to flip it up into the notch in the receiver and lock the bolt back.  This is another point mentioned by many owners so I'm not alone in this.

Now that I've got the rifle home and have had a chance to field strip it and play with it a little, it has grown on me.  The actual machined parts (gas parts, bolt, extractor, etc.) are very nice and look as nice as the real deal.  From my initial playing, it looks like bolts and many other parts will interchange but not all of them.  Some look like they could easily be fit by a good AUG gunsmith and others are too different.  An example is the barrel.  The MSAR barrel will fit on my AUG but not the other way around.  The gas blocks are located in a slightly different spot.  Also, the tips on the MSAR thrust pieces are a little bigger than the real deal and this keeps the MSAR bolt carrier from seating into the A1 cocking handle.  Maybe the later Steyr guns were this way too?  

The stocks will interchange.  I took the US stock and put it on my Steyr and everything lined up and went together properly.  I didn't test fire it, of course, but I don't see why it wouldn't work.  The MSAR receiver fit very tightly into the Austrian stock but it did fit.  Unfortunately the stock latch was very tight once latched and I had to tap the latch over to get the receiver out of the stock.  I dinged my stock latch just a little.  Nobody will ever notice but me, I guess.

Mags in the US rifle don't drop free.  I guess that's not a serious deal but I liked the "speed reload" on the AUG.  I'm sure I'll figure an alternative out.

Overall, it seems like a decent representation of an old classic.  I'd say it's like comparing a Colt to a Springfield––maybe a Llama?––in that they are more similar than dissimilar.  If it shoots and functions well, it should be a keeper.

Don't tell my wife but I think I'll need a TPD and a new A3.  Will it ever end???

PS––range report and pics soon.

Link Posted: 12/7/2009 7:39:24 PM EDT

Skip the TPD. Get an RFB....He He He...or Ho Ho Ho

Oh, and I don't know about firing a co-mingled A1/STG you may end up with a no gun from 2 guns. IMO

Link Posted: 12/7/2009 11:02:24 PM EDT
MSAR and Steyr stocks are interchangeable as long as the MSAR has the square lock.  Works fine.

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=6&f=43&t=293172



Link Posted: 12/8/2009 12:12:28 PM EDT
I fired ninety rounds through my new rifle this morning.  Magazines used were Brownell's aluminum, older windowed PMAG, and one of the green plastic magazines that came with the gun.  I used some Winchester 64gr factory soft points, some M193 equivalent reloads and a few rounds of Speer Gold Dot.  There were no malfunctions of any kind.

I started at 25 yards and shot for group and adjusted the scope until I was good for windage.  I'm happy to report that I was shooting nickel-sized groups at this distance.  From there, I moved back to 50 yards––the limit of the range I was on––and zeroed the rifle to shoot at 1.5" low.  I'm hoping this will put me down-on at 300.  

I wanted to move out to the 100yd range this afternoon but the wind is howling something fierce and has made sight-in pretty much wishful thinking.  Still, I'm pleased with what little time I spent on the range this morning and I'm hoping to get some additional range time in later on in the week.


Still no pics.  Maybe later this evening.
Link Posted: 12/8/2009 1:07:04 PM EDT

Looking forward to your 100 yard results.
Link Posted: 12/8/2009 1:30:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/8/2009 1:31:59 PM EDT by Melvin_Johnson]

Link Posted: 12/8/2009 1:57:27 PM EDT
These photos illustrate one of the minor gripes I have with MSAR.  Why or why couldn't they have made the green more like the Steyr green and less "bright".  I'd be overjoyed if it had a little FDE mixed in.  A color that would look greenish in a green environment, brownish in more brown, would have been great.  The Glock OD green does that.
Link Posted: 12/8/2009 4:28:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Dorsai:
These photos illustrate one of the minor gripes I have with MSAR.  Why or why couldn't they have made the green more like the Steyr green and less "bright".  I'd be overjoyed if it had a little FDE mixed in.  A color that would look greenish in a green environment, brownish in more brown, would have been great.  The Glock OD green does that.


The color's pretty close but not exact.  A green safety, trigger and butt plate would also help the STG look more like the Austrian original.

My initial reaction was to dislike the texturing and the A2 grip but they're not so bad in actual use.  The texturing behind the ejection port hides the scuffs caused by brass.
Link Posted: 12/8/2009 4:47:56 PM EDT
thanks for the write up
Link Posted: 12/8/2009 4:55:56 PM EDT
My next project will be to pull both rifles apart and get some good pictures of the similarities and differences in the two.
Link Posted: 12/8/2009 5:57:03 PM EDT
Of the preban's and the MSAR's that I've handled, I like the receiver quality on the MSAR better.  Maybe the prebans were dinged up real bad and refinished...I've only held like 3 of them.

Of course, neither compare to the AXR receiver.

I'd like to see more detailed pics of the receivers!  That looks like a nice preban.
Link Posted: 12/9/2009 3:58:47 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Spart:


I'd like to see more detailed pics of the receivers!  That looks like a nice preban.


It is a nice pre-ban.  I like it so much that I bought the E4 with the hope of keeping the real AUG as clean as possible.

I'll try to get some good pictures of the various parts this weekend.

Link Posted: 12/13/2009 8:04:46 AM EDT
Bad news on two fronts.  The batteries are dead in my camera so no side-by-side pictures.

The 2nd piece of bad news is that my little factory MSAR optic has something loose inside and won't hold zero.  No biggy, as I'm sure MSAR will take of it.  I wanted the factory optic to keep the E4 looking and feeling like my pre-ban AUG.  Again, not a big concern and I'll probably replace the scope with a rail and mount a small red dot or some other type of low-powered optic.

On the plus side, I've got about 300 rounds of various ammo (to include a little WOLF) through my new E4 with no mechanical issues.
Link Posted: 12/13/2009 8:53:47 AM EDT
The texturing behind the ejection port hides the scuffs caused by brass.


Get some velcro (fuzzy side) with sticky stuff on one side. Apply to the texturing behind the port the length of a empty cartridge. No brass scuffs.

Link Posted: 12/14/2009 12:20:10 PM EDT
Howdy!

I've been in contact with Dave about my rattling scope and he says he's got me all taken care of.  He even contacted me a short time later with a tracking number!

Good show so far. I hope the rest of my MSAR dealings are as pleasant.
Link Posted: 12/19/2009 12:58:40 PM EDT
Merry Christmas!

I ran out into the hills east of town this morning to give my E4 with Insight Tech MRDS a try.  The gun ran fine and I've got somewhere around 500 rounds through the gun at this point.  Ammo used was re-manufactured M193, Federal 62gr factory soft points, WOLF 75gr steel and a few rounds of hand loads with a 55gr Hornady V-Max bullet.  There were no malfunctions of any kind and I'm figuring out where to keep my face so that I don't interfere with the bolt release lever.

Most of my shooting was done from the bench at 100 yards getting the MRDS dialed in.  I like the way the little sight looks on top of the E4 but it might not be the best choice for a primary sight.  The dot isn't very clear and it's kind of egg shaped.  The sight has five settings (low 1, low 2, high 1, high 2 and auto adjust) and could use some additional settings.  I couldn't see the sight in the sunlight unless it was on high 2 and that was a little too bright for general target shooting and sight-in.  Still,  I fired a number of groups that were three inches or better.

I did perform one mag dump and also fired a few rounds in urban, rollover and SBU prone.  I also fired half a dozen rounds in kind of the "Vietnam over the head" position.  I have found that this position will induce a malfunction sometimes when the rifle isn't braced well and is allowed to kind of rock back with the cycling of the bolt.  Again, there were no malfunctions of any kind.

I also fired a few rounds at some bowling pins at 200 and 300 yards.  I didn't have too much difficulty knocking the pins over at 200 yards but couldn't make a hit at 300.  The dot's just not precise enough for such a small target at this range.  

Overall, a nice relaxing morning.  This little gun continues to grow on me!

I don't know yet what I'll replace the MRDS with but I'm really toying with the idea of getting something like a 3x ACOG.  

Pics of the current set-up:

Link Posted: 12/19/2009 1:20:12 PM EDT
Darn, that's too bad about the MRDS I was thinking of purchase one for my PS90.
Link Posted: 12/19/2009 1:50:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SilentType:
Darn, that's too bad about the MRDS I was thinking of purchase one for my PS90.


I've got a Trijicon RMR (tritium/fiber optics, 9moa dot) on the wife's PS90 and it's surprisingly good! If the dot was smaller I might consider it for my STG's.
Tomac

Link Posted: 12/19/2009 1:53:51 PM EDT
What did you get for MV's?  SD's?
Link Posted: 12/19/2009 2:16:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SilentType:
Darn, that's too bad about the MRDS I was thinking of purchase one for my PS90.


The MRDS is probably a very sturdy little unit but I don't think it really is the best choice as a primary sight.  In Insight's defense, it was made to bolt onto the top of an ACOG.  

The Aimpoint Micro is probably a better unit if you're after a little red dot.
Link Posted: 12/19/2009 2:23:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/22/2009 9:28:16 AM EDT by Melvin_Johnson]
Originally Posted By sgtlmj:
What did you get for MV's?  SD's?


I don't have the chrono here with me at the computer to review the data so I'm going from memory.

The V-MAX stuff was loaded with 24.5 gr of AA 2015BR.  This stuff shot pretty well but was only rolling along about 2800 fps.  I wouldn't mind seeing the velocity up around 3K but I guess the local jack rabbits won't care one way or the other.

The M193 reman ammo ran just a tad over 3000 and was fairly consistent.  Out of 20 rounds over the chrono, my extreme spread was something like 100 fps.  There were one or two slower rounds which skewed the data.  

The Federal stuff was pretty consistent but also pretty darned slow.  Average velocities were somewhere in the 2750 fps range.

Surprisingly, the WOLF ammo ran about 2750.
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