The AUG copies are less money, but you still have brass being ejected out the right side between your hand and shoulder. (At least with the AR, you have brass flying out above and slightly forward of your hand.)
With the FS2k, all the brass goes out the front, and just falls out of the way, in a neat little pile if your shooting prone, or at a bench rest/range.
Cool if you want to reload. If you are left handed, or ever wonder what it would be like to use your rifle if your right hand/arm was wounded.. the FS2K is the way to go by a huge margin.
Then again, it does look sort of like some "B" movie space gun.. LOL They totally would have used this rifle in a crappy movie like "Freejack" or some other scifi thriller.. (Oh, yeah, like Stargate perhaps.. LOL) I like the gate.. Have every single one, so I suppose I'm biased.. (And I should have a PS90 to complete the Jack O'Neall collection, but my guns are 9mm and .223 exclusively for a reason.)
Good luck in your bullpup selection.. Really there is no bad choice for a long rifle in a short package.
I have both a Steyr Aug and the FS2000. The original Aug can be converted to left handed operation, by buying and installing a different bolt. There is a little ejection slot on both sides of the stock that can be removed and the other covered over, based upon the bolt that's installed (I'm a lefty, BTW)/
I fired both weapons today at my range. I can say that the Aug's trigger was somewhat better, however, I've only fired about 200 rounds through the FS2000 vs. about 2k through the Aug. The original Steyr Aug does not have a rail to place your own optics; there is a small 2x(?) scope built in, which can also be used as a carrying handle if need be.... It has a very good scope and when zeroed in I can hit consistent bullseyes at 50 yds. At 100 yds the scope is limited due to the low power, however it still does the job it's intended for ;the scope has a circle in the view finder that is great for acquiring your target.
The FS2000 standard scope is very similiar in it's limitations as its only 1.6X. However it too is very accurate at 50 yds, with farther-out ranges opening up the grouping as your extend the range. Both rifles have an adjustable gas pistol to help when dirty or using lesser ammunition.
Not sure of the price for a knock off Aug, however an original import- limited Aug will run from $2- 4K (or more), where as the FS2000 runs $1900-2300, depending on which model and where you buy it.
Both guns are great fun to shoot and I'm not sure I can recommend one over the other at this time However ,time will tell, as the "wow" factor is still in play when I shoot the FS2000!!!!
Not sure this answers your question exactly, but we're comparing two very well made bullpups!!!
Not sure yet, but the new Sabre/American Aug looks for all purposes like a worthy successor to the Austrian Aug. I just purchased a FS2000 and got to play with a STG and really liked the FS2000 better. But, I have not shot either rifle.
I passed on the MSAR do to it not being compatible/BACKWARDS engineering as well as many sour reviews.
Why should I look in to the MSAR again?
To the OP, I've fondled the original AUG, and I honestly think that I would take one of them before an FS2000 from that alone. However, after shooting my FS2000 plenty of times, it's been an absolute dream to shoot, and runs incredibly clean. If the AUG is as accurate, reliable, and clean running, I'd probably go with the AUG. The mags are the only issue with me, and I could always convert the stock I suppose.
The original Steyr Aug has proprietary magazines --most popular is 32 rds. I believe the newer knock-off even have larger capacity mags. I've got 2 Aug magazines due to price, but since I've not had to go to war with it, 2 mags is plenty.
I love both my Aug and FS2000 and would hate to part with either one. Both shoot well, are fairly easy to breakdown and are pretty tough. Never dropped one from 10+ feet up, but believe both would survive. Regardless of types of material (plastic vs steel, alum, SS), each platform has its strengths and weaknesses.
I've used both and while there's a certain amount of personal preference involved I prefer the AUG-style STG-556 over the FS2000. Why?
I find handling to be better for me (YMMV) with the STG's VFG than the FS2K's wide forend.
The STG has bolt hold-open which the FS2K does not.
The STG is entirely US-made so no import bans to worry about.
Spare parts are available for the STG.
The STG has a simpler operating system, unlike the scary-complex bolt assy on the FS2K (never seen so many springs & levers in a bolt assy before...)
I'm not wedded to AR mags so using proprietary mags doesn't bother me as the STG mags are very rugged & reliable. However, for those who insist on AR mags there's a new STG coming out soon (previewed at SHOT '09) called the E4 that *does* take AR mags.
Just my $.02 worth...
STG-556 & FS2000 side-by-side:
Don't really see the bolt being that complicated. Of course, you have to realize that with the FS2K it serves two purposes: 1. normal firing operation and, 2. unique shell ejection system. That's why that crazy "switch" is there, among other parts.
The bolt-open issue is just a matter of training and really doesn't affect taking out and putting in a new magazine. I guess keeping track of available rounds could be critical in a life or death situation, but I don't foresee me ever being in that type of scenario. HOWEVER, I do hate it when I hear/feel the firing pin falling on air!!!
As with any rifle, it all comes down to personal preferences and likes/dislikes. As these rifles are both very reliable and accurate, selection becomes a difficult decision!