Range report (of sorts) F88 Austeyr and F89 minimi


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Bluey
March 11, 2006, 07:46 PM
Well, I've just finished basic training for the Army, marched out on the 10th of March, and the platoon proceeded to get kicked out of every single pub in town. But that's not really relevent to this forum anyway.
I thought some of you might be interested in my impressions of these two firearms, although I didn't actually have much experience with the Minimi (one live familierisation shoot), I basicly had my hands on the Steyr for most of the training.
Starting with the Minimi, mainly because I don't have a lot to say about it:

It's really neat, I basicly fell in love with the design. Not exactly sure what did it for me (probably that I didn't have to carry it), but it just seemed to fit naturally.
It struck me there was a looooonnng way to pull the trigger before anything went bang, but that did seem to help in controlling the bursts.
Overall it was very reliable for the guys who did carry it, except for some trouble using blanks, but I was told that that's expected when we had the demonstration shoot.


The F88 Austeyr:

Yes, it does look like a plastic toy. That was pretty much the first thing I thought when I got issued mine.
Nice and light, I found it easy to carry on the pack marches we did. Slinging it was a pain at times, and could be uncomfortable, but generally it was comfortable ergonomicly. For me anyway.
Although the ones we used were 13+ years old they were quite reliable, even with the dodgy maintainence some of use recruits gave them. Most of the failures and stoppages were generally due to ammunition, a buildup of carbon in the gas system, or faults that needed an armorer.
Stripping the weapon, cleaning, and putting it back together were simple and easy. Most of us got it pretty quickly (there was one guy who, about a week after we were taught to strip and assemble it, field stripped it, assembled it, and carried out the funtion test in just over 2 minutes), the only point that was a real pain to clean was the face of the gas piston. Lots of cloth, oil and elbow grease to get that in inspection order. For the field though you could get away with a fair bit of carbon buildup, but as with the minimi, blanks could get to be a real pain in the arse.
I didn't see or hear about any of the plastic parts melting from sunscreen or anything like that, and the rifles held up under the abuse from us recruits. No one broke the stock or anything else, not even when we did the bayonet training, although a few people broke bayonets.
Shooting it I found it to be very accurate (rifles must shoot under a inch out of the factory), very little recoil, comfortable to shoot, and easy to reload. I did have a little trouble getting a good sight picture, but that was mainly my glasses getting in the way or riding up so I couldn't see through them. The actually optics I didn't have a problem with, and I made accurate shots (think COM) consistently out to 300M. In the demonstration shoot there was a guy knocking over 600M targets with the steyr with about half his shots, so I suspect it's fairly capable even beyond the stated ranges.
Trigger...well, it was awfull. First trigger pressure had a couple of notchy bits before firing, was chunky and heavy (millitary rifle though, I guess it's to be expected). Second trigger pressure was fun but I didn't really get an impression of it. Bit busy at the time.
Carrying it at the patrol I found the magazine would sit just nicly on my webbing, which was nice up till I had to go to ground and it'd get caught in the straps. Which is really my fault :neener:
Overall, I found it to be reliable, very accurate, easy to maintain, comfortable to use, and at less than 80CM long, compact.


I've left a few things out because I'm not actually sure I'm allowed to talk about it. Figure it's better safe than sorry, but most of it is technical data most of you know already or could find out in a snap, so I don't think you'd be missing out on anything. Bear in mind these are my impressions from my 45 day course, so it's not necessarily going to be accurate, it's just what I found to be true there. Feel free to ask me questions, I'll do my best to answer.
I have to say though, shooting the Minimi was a blast :D

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