The Airsoft Steyr - A Futuristic Gun Today
The Austrian city of Steyr has been manufacturing firearms and weapons for a sizeable 600 years, an industry which really took off in the 17th century, making tonnes of pistols and muskets for the Imperial Army. Jumping forward to the 20th century, the Steyr pistol M.1912 brought Steyr Mannlicher from making average guns to producing an amazing pistol, which has led the way for countless other automatic loading pistols, and brought into practice principles which are still applied in gun production today.
Then the first world war came along, and due to huge demand for guns, the relatively small company was now employing 15,000 workers, and turning out over 4000 weapons daily, but just five years later, legal issues meant that weapon production in Steyr was almost banned, so in order to survive, production was switched to motor cars instead. However, this never really took off, and Steyr may have been one of the few organisations to have benefited from World War 2, as it meant they could restart their weapon production, bouncing the firm back to its former glory.
Since then they have gone from strength to strength and continue to produce weapons today from the same location as was used over 600 years ago.
However, their public image was severely blemished in 2005, when the little known company shot into public view in news across the globe. Steyr Mannlicher has sold HS .50 long range sniper rifles to Iran, 800 of them. On paper, the sale was made to the Iranian police, in order to help them crack down on drug smugglers, perhaps a strange choice of weapon for the cause.
The problem came with the worry that the guns had got into the hands of coalition forces in Iraq and be used against the British and the US. Less than 2 months after the sale, the first American soldier was killed by a weapon which was exactly the same as one of the batch exported by Steyr Mannlicher, but the company said in a statement that serial numbers on the guns used didn't match those that had sold to Iran.
There aren't many Steyr replica guns available, but the ones that you can get are definitely worth having. One of the best is the Steyr Aug, which is produced to a high standard by no less than four airsoft manufacturers. Tokyo Marui's Steyr model is done in great detail, but the real benefit is its sturdiness and weight, making it great for an intense skirmish.