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Old August 14, 2008, 08:02 AM   #1
Tomac
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Range Report: MSAR STG-556

Just received my STG-566 ($1,499 shipped, could barely swing it after selling my PS90's to help out my son but fortunately there was just enouigh left over...). Based on the listed pic it looked like I was getting an older version (tulip FH, no BHO fence, fewer QD sling positions) but when it arrived I was very pleased to see the new style FH (which I prefer) and the BHO fence. While I would have preferred green I must say the black version is *very* good-looking, the epitome of EBR.

For the optic I decided on the Aimpoint CompM4, not only because it uses the same AA batteries as the rest of my kit but also the included QRP2 mount can be reversed so the QD knob is on the right (instead of the left) so it won't interfere w/the STG-556's left-side charging handle. It's mounted far forward to minimize the Aimpoint body's perceived size while aiming and to leave space on the rail for an upcoming experiment: LaRue Po Boy Special w/the Heinstoldt 2.5x magnifier. I added a 3" rail (from Promoted Pawn who advertises here, an excellent piece of gear for a great price: http://www.microtalk.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=201 ) for attaching a Streamlight TLR-2 combo taclight/laser w/remote tapeswitch held in place by Ranger Bands and a Gear Sector Gen.II ASP single point sling adapter (I'm not using any of the STG-556's QD sling swivels at this time). With the TLR-2 far back on the rail there is some bbl shadow at 10 o'clock but it's not severe and is pretty well filled-in w/scatter. An advantage to having it far back on the rail is that both the constant-on rocker & mode switches can be reached w/the trigger finger w/o changing my firing grip (and moving the TLR-2 further forward doesn't improve the 10 o'clock bbl shadow).

As w/all new firearms, first thing I did was strip it down for a good cleaning/lubing. As forewarned, I found the disassembly latch was extremely tight the first time but is improving w/usage. Takedown was quick & easy (except for the aforementioned tight takedown latch) w/relatively few parts & a bolt assy that's *much* simpler than the FS2K's bolt assy (my biggest complaint about the FS2K is the complexity of the bolt assy). Cleaning/lubing took little time (much less than the AR's I used to own) and it went back together easily (yep, RTFM!)

Anywho, headed out to the range w/the STG-556 and a friend's FS2000 so I could do a side-by-side comparison. Ammo used was Wolf poly 55gr, Silver Bear 62gr & Prvi Partizan 55gr.
I initially sighted in the STG-556 w/the Silver Bear to get me on paper then finished sighting in w/the PP 55gr. Lo and behold, an interesting development!: the SB's POI is exactly 3" to the left of the PP's POI at 100yds! (Someone suggested this is due to barrel harmonics but while I've experienced vertical dispersion of POI's caused by bbl harmonics this is the first time I've ever experienced horizontal dispersion of POI's!)

The trigger pull of the STG-556 is horrible for precision aiming! I'm hoping this will improve a bit w/time or discover a safe method for improving it but as-is it's just fine for the CQB tactical shooting I do (in fact, I prefer it to the FS2K's trigger for that kind of shooting).

Handling: This is a pretty subjective area but I find the STG-556 just plain handles better for me (YMMV). It's faster on-target and doubletaps are faster/easier as well when compared to the FS2K. Mag removals aren't bad but I'm obviously going to have to practice or learn a new technique if I want faster reloads! The forward assist and bolt hold-open don't bother me in the least, in fact I usually don't know they're there.
I ran a couple of tactical drills as well as some informal bouncing of several empty milk jugs. While the FS2K handled better than any of the AK's/AR's I've used in the past it still didn't handle as well or as quickly as the STG-556 (this could be due to a number of reasons that are directly shooter-related as well as obvious possibilities like the FS2K not having a vertical foregrip like the STG-556).

Functioning of the STG-556 was 100% for the couple of hundred rds fired except for the first time I tried the 42rd mag when I got several FTF's. This I attribute to operator error while loading as loading it more carefully resulted in no more problems (and 0 problems from the 2nd 42rd mag I tried), the 30rd mags were all 100%. Btw, I really like the design & quality of the MSAR mags, not only are they shaped well for handling but rugged as well (I accidentally dropped a fully loaded 42rd mag onto concrete and all it did was spit out the first 2 rds).

My biggest complaint about the STG-556 is the charging handle. While more rugged than the FS2K's (which have been know to occasionally break) it's also more difficult to use. Not only due to the shape which requires turning the offhand palm up and engaging the charging handle w/the little finger but the springs are stronger as well requiring more effort to manually cycle the action.

Overall I much prefer the STG-556 over the FS2K for my needs (YMMV) but so far both have been 100%.
Tomac
STG-556 Right Side:

STG-556 Left Side:

Aimpoint M4 Setup to Clear Charging Handle:

3" Rail for Taclight Attachment:

Gear Sector ASP Single Point Sling:

STG-556 & FN FS2000:
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Old August 14, 2008, 12:30 PM   #2
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I held one of these at the Louisville NRA Show. They are cool.
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Old August 14, 2008, 01:31 PM   #3
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How come people pay so much money for those things and yet, every time I hear a review for one, it is always, without fail, 100% except?

I have heard maybe ten or twelve reviews on those things and not one of them can apparently run 100% without some excuse.
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Old August 14, 2008, 02:18 PM   #4
chrisp0410
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I had one of these for a very short time. I agree, the pointbility of the MSAR is far superior to the AR ploatform that I am most familiar with. I also had the Aimpont CompM4 dot mounted and found the combination to be lightning quick in acquiring targets. Even with a heavy Trijicon TA55 ACOG, the rifle still pointed well but was a little top-heavy. The Aimpoint was a perfect marriage to this rifle.

I did have some problems, though. First, I bought mine a few months ago and could not find magazines at a reasonable price. I didn't much feel like paying $50.00 - $100.00 per mag and many of the mags on Gunbroker or ebay were actually Steyr mags which MSAR explicitly states will not work. So I was left with the 30 rd and 10 rd that came with it.

The 10 rounder FTF every round, completely defective. After trying three different brands of ammo, I relegted that magazine back to storage in the shipping carton. The 30 rounder was better, it did function with the Black Hills stuff but not with any of the inexpensive surplus ammo I kept around for the Y2K crisis (hehe).

I ended up trading it to my local dealer to pay for an SVI Infinity I found on Gunbroker. The CompM4 is back on my AA .50 Beowulf AWS.

After the sale, I did read that many folks have had luck by putting the gas port on the High setting until the rifle was broken in. For me, that knowledge came a little late and I am not certain of its validity.

Best of luck with yours. With 20+ years on the AR platform, I am back to what I know and love.

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Old August 14, 2008, 06:47 PM   #5
Tomac
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Quote:
How come people pay so much money for those things and yet, every time I hear a review for one, it is always, without fail, 100% except?

I have heard maybe ten or twelve reviews on those things and not one of them can apparently run 100% without some excuse.
There's a difference between "reason" and "excuse". If I were unsatisfied w/the reliability of the STG-556 then I would be the very first one to say so and would sell it immediately. However, I was completely honest about my experiences instead of the all-too-often "I just won't mention that one little problem I had" type of range report. Please notice I have not experienced any functioning problems whatsoever since that single episode w/the 42rd mag (and even that's been 100% since then). In light of its total reliability record I believe it's honest to state that the failure I experienced was entirely due to operator error (me).
Tomac
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Old August 15, 2008, 02:56 AM   #6
MTMilitiaman
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Quote:
There's a difference between "reason" and "excuse". If I were unsatisfied w/the reliability of the STG-556 then I would be the very first one to say so and would sell it immediately. However, I was completely honest about my experiences instead of the all-too-often "I just won't mention that one little problem I had" type of range report. Please notice I have not experienced any functioning problems whatsoever since that single episode w/the 42rd mag (and even that's been 100% since then). In light of its total reliability record I believe it's honest to state that the failure I experienced was entirely due to operator error (me).
I understand the difference. Believe me, I do. I have an M1A. The two malfunctions it has had have been from a single Taiwanese Type-57 mag, which I labeled and set aside. I love the rifle and trust it completely. That is a reason.

I followed the build up and release of the Microtech on AR-15.com. I read through easily 20 pages of eager anticipation for the rifle's release as people dumped thousands on what could very easily become vaporware. Even as the release date was pushed back, people maintained hope. The first rifles eventually started coming in, and people were optimistic, even favorable about the rifle's quality. But everyone, without fail, of the first range reports I read included some level of failures with one or more of the included magazines. Rifles were sent back. It appears that any modifications to the gun and/or magazines weren't all that successful. The last two reports I've heard, including yours, about late model rifles, have been exactly like yours. Mag related failures.

And really, what excuse does Microtech have? See, an M1A or an AR-15 has mag related failures and there is a reasonable justification simply because there are so many mags on the market made by so many different companies that the rifle manufacture can't be expected to accommodate minute differences between all of them. I am not unreasonable. I can understand that. But Microtech? They manufacture their own proprietary magazines from their own rifle in house. No other magazine fits their rifle. What excuse can they have, really?

So, a "reason" differs in this context from an "excuse" because it is reasonable. A reason can not typify or define the performance, or lack thereof, of a design. Mag related failures seem to be not only "a" defining feature of the Microtech, but "the" defining feature. And this is not reasonable given the price Microtech charges and the fact that they have complete control over every aspect of the rifle and its feeding devices--a luxury most other rifle manufactures don't have, even though they still manage to turn out high-quality, reliable rifles, often at a fraction of the price. The word you're looking for is "excuse."
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Old August 15, 2008, 06:12 AM   #7
Billy Sparks
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I don't remember totally what my review of the STG-556 said but the only failure I had was a real Steyr magazine that had been converted to see if it would work in it. With the factory mags I do not remember having a problem.
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Old August 15, 2008, 06:30 AM   #8
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MTMilitiaman,

I too was an early adapter for the STG556. I purchased the limited edition version with all the goodies for 2100. I had a few issues with bad finishes on the parts and some parts not being serial numbered to the rifle as they were supposed to be. MSAR fixed everything at their expense. Then the rifle was recalled before I even shot it. When I finally took it to the range, I had failures to extract after failure to extract. It didn't matter which ammo brand, which mags, clean chamber or not. In all, I had 21 failures to extract. I was lucky if I could get three rounds to fire without a failure. MSAR refunded my purchase price minus shipping and FFL fees. So I basically paid $90 to test fire their rifle.

With that said, the rounds I did fire were nicely grouped. And the customer service was suberb. I am sure their products are better now.
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Old March 14, 2009, 11:36 PM   #9
nvy
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I am not happy with my MSAR STG556

I bought newer version of MSAR STG556, the one w/o forward assist and accepting both MSAR and Steyr magazines, last year. With optics. It was right after Barrack Obama's election in November.

Now I curse myself for following "herd instincts" and falling into "panic buying" with the rest.

It was absolutely brand-spanking-out-of-the-box new, unpacked right in front of me.
I noticed rough finish and small dents on the scope, but clearly it was during manufacturing process. This fact did not make me a happy guy, especially considering that I paid the "panic-inflated" price of $2475 for it, tax included.
But I intended it to be a truck rifle, so wear and tear were to be expected anyway. I did not buy the rifle to be a "safe queen".

It proved to be a disappointment.
First of, - accuracy is poor. To begin with, the crude two stage plastic trigger is difficult to master by itself. But in addition, there was something wrong with the scope too. If I shaked the rifle I had to zero it again. Given dents on the scope - I made a conclusion that the scope was damaged.

Secondly, - FTFs with Wolf ammo. I put gas settings on "H" - same thing.
I shot about 200 rounds of Wolf ammo through it initially - it managed to do full cycle and feed new cartridge only 2 times. The rest of the time - ejected the cartridge but did not feed the new one, with exception of several cases of stove-piping.

I know some manufacturers do not recommend using Wolf ammo.
But I also have in .223 - AK, AR15, and SIG556. All of them operated just fine on the same batch of Wolf ammo I initially tested MSAR STG556 with.

I sent rifle to MSAR for the first time. They said they will look into FTFs, and will replace the scope. When I got rifle back it was all fouled. They test-shot it but did not clean before sending back to me. More importantly - the scope was not replaced as they promised! I thoroughly cleaned the rifle, including doing full bolt dissasembly. When I started assembling bolt after cleaning - I saw there was no rubber gasket under extractor. I went crazy looking for it as I thought I lost it. Turns out they replaced the original extractor with a new one, not requiring that rubber gasket. They also replaced guide rods and springs - alas, to no avail. Still complete FTFs with Wolf ammo.

I sent the rifle back, the second time, to replace the scope.
All shipping at my expense, both times.

Got it back.
Scope finish is rough. They promised me their "best scope".
If that's their best scope, - I am not impressed.
Need to take it to the range and test the scope.

Regardless, at this time the rifle has been through 500 rounds, and could have been called broken-in, had any broke-in period been required or mentioned in the manual.

It does not work with Wolf 55 gr ammo, period, - even when absolutely clean and on "H" gas setting. Relatively reliable with Remington, Hornady, and Winchester 55 gr ammo. Had couple of cases of stove piping though.

Also, receiver, initially very tight and snug inside the plastic housing started showing some play. Very unpleasant.

To sum it up...

My personal subjective conclusion - it is a very good design in itself, but the concrete implementation by MSAR is not so good.

I am waiting for Sabre Defence Steyr AUG to become available. See if it's any better. If it is, - I will trade or sell MSAR STG556 and buy Sabre Steyr AUG.

Just my $0.02.
Cheers.

Last edited by nvy; March 15, 2009 at 12:09 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old March 15, 2009, 06:07 PM   #10
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Thank you for this thread. The Steyr AUG has been one of those dream guns since I was a little kid when I thought the same of a Tec 9, through the years learning about guns and tactics and finding through handling the ergos and sighting and handling to be flat out perfect for me, the ideal .223. I am awaiting a large amount of money following taking a buyout from my employer and am about to purchase my ideal firearm collection. The MSAR pref. in Coyote, 20", and original doughnut of death 1.5x optic was a possible purchase in contention against a 6.5 Robinson XCR and Sig 556 set up right. The perfect .223 can handle a lot of rifle/carbine/other work, and finally an affordable (right now, in my case) version of the sleek, sexy AUG popped up from a top-grade switchblade maker. It's been a seductive idea, but I can't have a crapshoot where it comes to reliability even when it comes down to particular mags. Not for that kind of money, in the least.
Really, thanks. I'll never have this opportunity again and need hardware that will go bang every time even with garbage ammo and as a bonus take AR mags. I knew the trigger sucks in all bullpups (though the linear, non-pivoting movement a +) and there were plenty of reports of malfunctions, but this thread and hitting it off big time with the 556 Classic yesterday made my mind up. Glad you're happy with yours but some of the replies and inability to test fire made me not want to gamble. Kinda like the Vltor Bren 10 coming out, creamed at the pics but won't be in line for the first one, I'll let a Witness EM scratch that itch

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Old March 15, 2009, 11:18 PM   #11
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Sig 556 Classic is awesome. The AUG is really just ugly compared to the Classic. I can own a PS90, AUG, or an FS2000, but I cannot own a Sig 556. Go figure. Connecticut, the only place where the 7.62x39 AK is considered way more deadly than the .223 AK or the AK-74.
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Old March 17, 2009, 07:41 AM   #12
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There are now 4 STG's sitting in my gunsafe (one was given to my son and one I promised to sell one to his best friend). My 2nd STG had FTE's from the get-go but MSAR was quick to fix that. I now have appx 3,500rds of Silver Bear steel-cased & Prvi Partizan brass-cased ammo through them and am well-pleased w/the relaibility. If you don't like the proprietary mags of the earlier versions, MSAR is coming out w/their new E4 that takes std AR mags.
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Old March 20, 2009, 11:38 AM   #13
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I've got a 4th Generation and am awaiting the E4 model (which takes AR-15 mags). No problems and it shoots like a house afire. Much more comfortable to shoot than any of my M-4 types. I have heard of having trouble with the Silver Bear ammo and tearing the rims off every 50 rds or so. I personally reserve my Wolf and Bear ammo for my M-4s -- I don't want to put any of that cheap ammo through my STG-556. That would be like letting my sister date the town scumbag. MSAR recommends setting the gas system to "H" when shooting less than premium ammo. The only trouble I had was that their instruction manual showing disassembly and reassembly had little dinky pictures and was very vague (since then I have found tutorials on You-Tube which helped). No mag problems but I have heard that some mags need to go through a "break-in" period before they're perfect. I mounted an EOTech 557 on mine and was very pleased with accuracy and the trigger is lightening up the more I shoot it. Overall, I'm a happy camper and much prefer the rifle over any of my M-4 types.
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Old April 22, 2009, 02:36 PM   #14
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I'm gettin my EOTech 557 this weekend. Hoping to get the x4 fts to match soon.

I've shot about 100 rounds, no problems with the gun. Its a newer release ( no forward assist & mag issue resolved ). Hey, if the serial shows 600-P, does that mean 6th gen ? Does anyone have a 700-P ?

Oh and one more thing. I noticed MSAR removed from their accessories section the bi-pod that was available. Can anyone toss me a link or two or provide the "model number" so i can search google for it?

= 1st post.. hoorah =
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Old April 22, 2009, 03:07 PM   #15
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I think it is safe to say that you will have failures with ANY product. The guy loves his STG. Why the need to come in and troll his thread?

The extractor broke on mine in the first few thousand shots. I'm not making an excuse for it. It happens. MSAR sent me two replacements and told me not to put the oring back in with it.

I have never shot Wolf with mine. PMC Bronze shoots flawless. The 10 round mag seems pretty iffy but the 42s feed flawless.

The biggest error i see with it is with the charging handle. its tough and if you even ride it a bit it will misload.
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Old April 25, 2009, 10:10 AM   #16
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And if you need magazines you can order them direct from MSAR or Rat Worx for reasonable prices. No need to go to Gunbroker for mags. I have heard of fit problems when using the AUG mags in the MSAR. The E-4 model will be out in late May and it will use standard AR-15/M-16 mags.
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Old April 25, 2009, 10:34 AM   #17
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Got one question...

What's the point of having a bullpup 5.56 if you're going to slap a 16" barrel on it? You lose all of the advantage in having a bullpup design when you chop the barrel down like that. They should at least offer a 20" model, I can't find one on their website.
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Old April 26, 2009, 10:51 PM   #18
stg'd_up
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RE: ABOVE - MSAR does offer a 20" barrel as well as 24" HB I believe. Just because it's not on their website doesnt mean it doesnt exist ( like their bi-pod accessory that I mentioned above ). Type in " stg-556 20" " in google and you'll see.

UPDATE: When to a beautiful outdoor range today and capped off another 100 rounds of PMC Bronze 55g ammo... uhg, pause for saliva wiping... oh yeah, so everything was nice a smooth as far as my eotech reflex went. An ex-marine dude ( who btw had TWO awsome mil-spec AR-15's with the full-auto ) told me these puppys have an effective range of about 400 yards. Does that sound about right? I know that they can handle 100.. either way I will for sure need a zoom scope. I can't tell where the bullets hit even at 50 yards away!
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Old April 29, 2009, 02:52 AM   #19
stg'd_up
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another question

OK, so in the stg-556's manual, it states the gun has a barrel twist of 1:8 for a 16" barrel. that means the bullet makes 2 complete revolutions before ejecting. So if its firing a .223 remmington bullet, how does it achieve this since everywhere I go shows a 1:12 barrel twist for that ammunition type...
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Old April 29, 2009, 03:00 AM   #20
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NM, I answered my own question:

"Barrels intended for long, small-diameter bullets, such as the ultra-low-drag, 80-grain 0.224 inch bullets (5.2 g, 5.56 mm), use twist rates of 1 turn in 8 inches (20 cm) or faster"

Because this gun is, by default, suppose to use 5.56, with an 80gr it should give you your 1:8 twist ! I was calculating it with an average .223 bullet. This makes sense because a 5.56 has ??? higher pressure and is the only difference between a .223... ???
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Old April 29, 2009, 06:58 AM   #21
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GSUeagle1089: A 16" bbl is the shortest I would use for .223 (YMMV), but it enhances manuverability in tight quarters since the STG w/16" bbl has an OAL of only 27". To achieve the same OAL with, say, an AR you'd have to SBR it and use a much shorter bbl w/the commensurate loss of performance. As stg'd_up mentioned, longer bbls are available if you wish but I view the STG as a CQB platform and am very happy w/the 16" bbl. Even w/the STG's typical bullpup trigger I find the 200m gong very easy to hit offhand and the 300m gong doable if I do my part.
With its 1:8 twist rate the STG should be able to handle anything 75gr or lighter (I leave out 80gr because IIRC it's an ultra-long match bullet that has to be loaded singly since OAL is too long to feed from mags).
Tomac
One of my STG's w/Aimpoint M4S, 9" accessory rail & Fenix TK11 R2 taclight:
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Old May 24, 2009, 09:34 AM   #22
lilguy
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So, as of mid May 2009 should one wait for the E4, buy a gen IV from stock, guy a used Austrian AUG or wait for a second generation AUG 3? I have read more complaints than raves and I am wondering which road to take.
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Old May 26, 2009, 11:27 AM   #23
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STG-556 & Carbine Course

My best friend is visiting for a week so I treated us both to a local 2-day carbine course using my STG's & crappy Brown Bear 55gr. Both rifles were slightly dirty from sighting in their Eotechs the previous week and I deliberately decided to run them through the course dirty & w/o any cleaning or additional lube as a reliability test. Gas systems were set to "heavy" as per Dave's advice.
First day was a little classroom work to cover the fundamentals along w/some highly educational in-house exercises on proper pie-ing (?) techniques. The afternoon was spent at the range confirming zero, proper sight picture, trigger technique, footwork, posture, etc. Altogether appx 400rds were fired per rifle that day w/the only problem being a single double-feed in the STG I was using.
Second day was the fun stuff! Moving targets, shoot/no-shoot drills, stop drills, shooting on the move, transitions, single hand manipulations (man, was *that* interesting w/the STG!), team drills, hostage exercises, lateral-move shots, low-crawl to shooting position, multiple-height barricade shots (my friend took a couple of empties to the teeth when firing from the roll-over support side prone position, all I got was a hot casing to the back of the neck...), room clearing and other very practical and realistic exercises.
Their range wasn't complete but what they managed to accomplish w/improvisation was simply amazing. My favorite was a carboard box wearing a tee-shirt and suspended on a coat hanger by an inflated balloon (representing the heart COM) inside the box. While this target was moving you had to hit the small & unseen balloon inside the target to get it to "drop". Lots of fun!
Anywho, my friend's STG completed the course w/100% reliability (which pleasantly surprised me a little since he was using my "problem child" STG that had initial FTE's right out of the box, I guess Dave done fixed it right!)
However, almost at the very end of the 2nd day I started having stuck casings w/resultant FTE's (not surprising w/steel-cased ammo, especially the cheap Brown Bear I was using) w/one so severe it locked up the bolt and took a major effort to free. Rather than mess with it I just dropped in a spare bolt and finished the course w/o further difficulty.
I detail-stripped the bolt and discovered that the extractor claw was chewed up rather badly (but not broken), I believe this to be from trying to forcefully trying to extract that one badly-stuck casing. It only took a couple of minutes to drop in a new extractor and it's good to go again.
The environment was very unfriendly to mechanisms; a very fine dirt (evident in the pics) that coated and got into *everything* (even the toilet paper in the outhouse, that's one memory I'm going to try very hard to forget...). Even though I had to drop our chest rigs into the washing machine to get them clean, the STG's cleaned up very quickly and easily w/only the gas pistons requiring any real cleaning effort even after nearly 1,000rds each of the crappy Brown Bear.
Btw, the Eotech 512's we used were absolutely great for this kind of shooting. From unconventional positions I found the big circle much quicker/easier to acquire than a small single dot and at close ranges the bottom of the circle made a perfect aiming point. From point-blank out to 50yd hostage rescue shots I never missed w/the Eotech.
Tomac
Lateral shots w/the "clearing room" in the background:

Moving target w/no-shoots:

Barricade shots:

Low crawls:

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Old January 5, 2010, 08:55 PM   #24
leadcounsel
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Join Date: September 8, 2005
Location: Tacoma, WA
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Plastic parts and bad triggers

Why does MSAR us plastic trigger pack and other critical parts? As I understand it this causes the sloppy trigger. It seems that the weight difference between alloy/steel/aluminum vs. plastic is trivial for this small but critical piece. I also heard that the magazine catch is plastic so you cannot use metal AR mags in the E4 model. Is this true? I am a fan of tupperware on frames and such, but not for internal guts.

Thoughts?
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Old January 5, 2010, 11:32 PM   #25
Tomac
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Join Date: December 15, 2001
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Quote:
Why does MSAR us plastic trigger pack and other critical parts? As I understand it this causes the sloppy trigger. It seems that the weight difference between alloy/steel/aluminum vs. plastic is trivial for this small but critical piece. I also heard that the magazine catch is plastic so you cannot use metal AR mags in the E4 model. Is this true? I am a fan of tupperware on frames and such, but not for internal guts.

Thoughts?
I don't have a specific answer for you, only observations and conjecture.
Steyr has been using polymer in the AUG's internal parts for decades. I don't see them sticking w/that for as long as they have if there was any sort of problem w/performance or longevity. I guess they use polymer because it works (I don't know the cost breakdown but I'd bet that polymer components are less expensive to mfg than equivelant metal components).
All bullpups can attribute part of their trigger pull complaints to the long but necessary linkage between the trigger proper and the hammer pack. One of my STG's has a hammer pack that was worked over by Dave at MSAR and it's *excellent* albeit not match-grade (MSAR is supposedly working on a carbon-fiber "match" hammer pack at this time). Like mil-spec triggers on AR's, they can be improved significantly w/just a little work and the aftermarket Trigger Lite and Trigger Tamer reduce pull weight substantially.
Regarding the polymer mag catch in the E4 I have to agree w/you, MSAR should have anticipated greater wear when using metal mags, perhaps using an aluminum mag catch.
I have several STG's in my gunsafe, a couple w/over 2K rds through them. Using the proprietary STG mags (which I love, btw) there's no excessive wear on the mag catches (polymer on polymer vs polymer on metal).
HTH...
Tomac

ETA: Latest STG configuration w/Trijicon RX30, E4 optic rail, Magpul MBUS, 9" accessory rail and Fenix TK11 taclight:
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Last edited by Tomac; January 5, 2010 at 11:38 PM.
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