Steyr Mannlicher is located in the town of Steyr in Austria. Josef Werndl founded the “Josef und Franz Werndl & Comp Waffenfabrik und Sagemuhle in Oberletten” and subsequently the Steyr Werke AG of which Steyr Mannlicher was a division. In 1885 the Austrian Hungarian army accepted a new bolt action rifle designed by Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher from whence came the Mannlicher name.
From this partnership came such rifles as the Model 1885, Model 1888/1890 (first smokeless cartridge), and, in present times, Model SSG-P1 sniper rifle. Then, in 2004, Steyr entered into the anti-material rifle field with introduction of the HS .50 chambered for the .50 caliber BMG (Browning Machine Gun) cartridge.
The HS .50 is a single shot, bolt action rifle meant to be fired off an integral bipod. The two-stage trigger is set to 4.5 lb, but can be adjusted up or down. As in other rifles, the buttstock is fully adjustable, and the heavy, cold-forged fluted barrel has a muzzle brake, but no iron sights. Rifling is 1 in 15 with eight grooves. Effective range is 1,500 meters (1,640 yards). The .50 BMG with a Hornady 750 gr. bullet has a muzzle velocity of 2,820 feet per second with 13,241 ft-lb of muzzle energy.
Customer demand caused Steyr to build the M1 version of the HS .50. It holds a five-round magazine inserted from the left hand side of the rifle. The top Picatinny rail is extended; there are additional rails on the side, an adjustable cheekpiece, new bipod and a monopod at the buttstock.
The HS .50 M1 can be disassembled in less than one minute. The scope remains on the barrel, so there’s no need to re-zero the rifle when reassembled. The carrying case is cut out to hold the barrel with the scope mounted.
Steyr originally built the rifle only in .50 BMG. Then when ownership of .50 cal. by private citizens was prohibited in Australia and California, they produced the HS .460. The .460 shoots a 600-gr. bullet at 2,985 fps and 11,987 ft-lb of muzzle energy. It’s a necked down .50 BMG with a slender spire point bullet similar to the old CETME cartridges, looking something like a .408 CheyTac.
Original loads were made by necking down the .50 BMG. Igman Zaqod in Serbia first manufactured cases. The .460 cases are fairly rare in the United States and primed brass runs $262 for 50 cases ($5.24 per cartridge case). Loaded ammo is right around $110 per 10 rounds ($11 per round) as of April, 2013.
Steyr .50 HS
Caliber: .50 BMG and .460
Service date: 2004
Weight: 28.5 pounds
Length: 54 inches
Barrel length: 33 inches
Action: Bolt, single shot
Effective range: 1,800 yards
Steyr HS .50 M1
Trigger: two-stage, set at 4 lbs
Stock: Adjustable cheekpiece and bipod
Magazine: 5 rounds
Barrel length: 35.43” w/ muzzle brake
Overall Length: 59 inches
Weight: 28.5 pounds