Lithgow Arms USA’s ATRAX is Like the AUG, Only Better

In the late ’60s the guys at Steyr gazed upon the firearms landscape and said, “You know what? Star Wars isn’t even going to be thought of for another decade, but let’s build a space gun anyway.” And they did. And it was good.

One of the first successful bullpups to be fielded by a modern army, the AUG or Armee Universal Gewehr to give it its full title, is surprisingly conventional beneath its attention-grabbing plastic exterior. Unlike the HK G11, there are no telescoped, caseless wunderpatrone fed by a Swiss-watch-like hyperburst mechanism.

Instead, a detachable box mag offers plain vanilla 5.56 NATO into a hammer-forged barrel, where they’re locked into place by a multi-lugged bolt popularized by Stoner’s system. A short-stroke gas system dating to the 1920s acts on a milled bolt carrier, which runs on twin guide rods vaguely reminiscent of an AR-18.

Placing the magazine well behind the trigger did confer a number of advantages, however, chief of which being a truncated OAL — useful if your main strategic threat lay on the other side of the Fulda gap and your infantry was destined for a short, active life, jumping in and out of armored fighting vehicles.






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