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I know what you’re thinking: what the hell’s going on in the picture above? According to, the Steyr SM12 with RESET ACTION has “all the features of the regular Steyr SM12 with an integrated inclination sensor that knows when the rifle is moved out of a shooting position and is still cocked. In case the shooter forgets to decock an LED signal alerts the shooters attention to the fact that the rifle is still cocked and unsafe.” But wait! The SM12 de-cocks itself! Like this  . . .

If the shooter does not un-cock the rifle manually, the RESET ACTION system does that automatically and prevents serious accidents which could occur with a cocked rifle.


Steyr Männlicher SM12 RESET ACTION .308 bolt-action rifle

An electronic sensor reacts if the rifle is lifted up over an angle of more than 100° or is tilted sideways under 55°.In case of a total flip over where the weapon gets upside down the system decocks immediately.

The power of the RESET ACTION lasts up to 10 years – after that time batteries have to be changed.

What could possibly go wrong? Or is this a good idea for hunter safety? If you could afford it, would you buy an SM12 with RESET ACTION? If someone gave it to you, would you use it? [h/t to a reader Down Under]

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  1. (Non)solution looking for a problem. Wait ’til New Jersey learns about this…

    Oh, wait, my bad, this is intended to be for home defense so a person can have really fast follow ups. But hey, the battery will last for 10 years without fail, right?

  2. My question, all other things disregarded, once the thing de-cocks, how do you re-cock it without working the bolt and ejecting the chambered round?

    • Looks to me like it’s just flipping the safety on, not actually decocking. Most guns don’t allow you to put the safety on when decocked anyway.

      • To re-cock the rifle simply push the safety forward again. It’s not a safety, it is a cocking system. So pushing it forward cocks the system, putting it back de-cocks the system. So that means the rifle is always de-cocked when the white dot is shown.

        The electronic de-cocked system is only active when it comes into a position where you don’t normally shoot, or when the rifle falls down. If the battery is empty, it is just a normal sm12 hand-cocking rifle and works like you wouldn’t have the reset action…
        New batteries in and probably safes your life if you make a mistake or accidentally fall down…
        It’s like the hand brake in a car, some use it some don’t…

  3. This would actually be a pretty neat idea. A lot of hunting accidents (other than “sorry, I thought you were a quail”) are caused by people forgetting to unload their rifle when climbing or descending from a tree stand. Also, is it actually decocking or just putting the safety on?

    • I was thinking “this would suck in a tree stand”. How many times have you had to pick the gun up to maneuver around the tree to get a shot at the deer behind you?

  4. “What could possibly go wrong?”

    Let me count the ways.

    Famous last words, besides “hold my beer”…

  5. It’s ok. A few screwdrivers and punches can remove all those solenoids and crap to bring it back to a normal operating gun should the user get tired of all that.

    It’s kind of like a new table saw. Buy a new table saw today and there is so much safety crap going on around the blade that you can’t even see the saw blade, and you have to remove all that crap so you can safely see what you are doing. It’s kind of like this rifle. Don’t overcomplicate the operation of such a simple machine.

    LEDs and solenoids/mems chips or whatever other crap they are packing into this thing, shouldn’t replace the training and practice of safe handling. But to each their own. If they think it’s worthwhile, by all means.

    • New table saws also have laser lines built-in, so unskilled operators can make decent cuts…

      • Did anyone else have the shop teacher in high school missing at least one digit on his hand?

        “Remember kid, you gotta watch that table saw”…

        • The shop foreman in my college machine shop was missing a third of his middle finger. He always told us to watch the bandsaw.

        • Yup, I had one of those shop teachers who lost a finger, ‘cept it was a bandsaw that amputated his…

          EDIT – Dang, Vhyrus! You beat me to it!

        • My shop teacher was missing his left ring finger, and part of his right thumb. His ring was grabbed by a lathe, which took it and the meat right off the bone. His thumb was abbreviated by an antique band-saw; the blade snapped and whipped across the finger before winding up and stopping.

          I witnessed the lathe accident, and it was fascinatingly ugly. But he was incredibly calm while the kids freaked out. We tried convincing him afterwards to make & wear a wooden finger.

      • Except that those laser guides always have to be adjusted to the position of the bade to be accurate. The first setup and regularly thereafter. So, as always, the unskilled operator still sucks and is still a danger, and the skilled operator still gets good results safely. The laser guides just make that slightly easier for the skilled ones.
        Too bad we can’t just legislate away the unskilled isn’t it?

  6. So what did Steyr say about its fail state. When the battery goes bad or the electronic circuits fail, what state is the gun in? Cocked or de-cocked? When it’s exposed to EMR what exactly does the integrated circuits do? Can it be disabled with EMR? What state does it fall in in this event? Water ingress – is it protected from this? Is there an on-off switch for this additional safety for those that may not want it? Is the circuit potted protecting it from metallic dust or solutions that could be conductive?

    • All amazingly relevant questions.

      Probably has a trigger-activated battery-life sensor, so you can conveniently check the charge. That’s also how you check that the decocker/safety is working! /s

      Seems to me, idiot-proofing a firearm would attract more idiots to firearms.

      • Completely irrelevant questions. This is a hunting rifle, not a survival tool. Worst that happens is that you miss a shot and back to Steyr it goes for repairs. You paranoid people need to calm down a minute.

        • UNLESS your no tippy hunting gun becomes your survival tool like the LA Riots or Hurricane Katrina type events. I guess you have not had to fire a rifle from cover and on your side or under low clearance obstruction either: fine time to have your rifle disarm itself!

          This system design will fail to sell in large numbers and will be discontinued. Steyr may be targeting restricted markets I the UK and down under. They may want to be recognized and mandated by gun grabber law like NJ.

          I really think Steyr pissed away a lot of money on this one, it will die faster then Remington’s electronic ignition rifle. You can add it to the to 10 list of failed firearms designs.

          I would take a free one, it may be worth a few bucks in 50 to 75 years. I would not pay a $100 for one today.

        • I could worry about sending it back because I don’t have those answers… or I could just not buy it.

      • When the battery is empty it works like any normal sm12 hand-cocking rifles.

        The rifle has no safety, but it’s a hand-cocking system. That means it is always unlocked unless you push the cocking lever (you would call it safety) forward. This cocks the firing pin…

        And the reset action does nothing else then de-cocks get this safety lever (and the whole system) when the rifle is put in a position where you don’t shoot or when it falls down (inclination sensor)…
        And as I said, if the battery is empty it is just a standard sm12 hand-cocking rifle…

  7. Or, you could just get the SM12 without Reset Action, which I believe 100% of all the SM12 rifles imported to the U.S. have been.

  8. Just no. I wouldn’t own a self-decocking gun of it was called the John Wayne Bobbitt Tribute Rifle and given to me free.

    • I would. Since it will fail it will someday be a rare collector’s item like the gyrojet. Just another stupid idea that failed, and becomes sought after for its rarity, and not its usefulness.

  9. Seems like a bad idea to me and no I would buy one.

    Since it’s a .308 I’d consider it a rifle for the woods, there are lots of situations you would end up out there where a while animal attack puts you in a position where this thing won’t fire.

    Electronics on a gun are just one more thing to fail or “work” when they shouldn’t. I’ll stick to the dumb gun and my smart finger thank you very much.

  10. As long as they still sell the original model and this doesn’t trigger and mandates, then its fine. They can make and market whatever they want. Seems like novelty for recreational use only if someone really wants that additional safety instead of getting in the habit themselves. And while I can understand deocking at a 90 vertical angel, but horizontal?

    • “instead of getting in the habit…” Let the owner rely on it as a crutch instead of treating all guns as if they are loaded, who needs all the rules when you have technology? ANY firearm that will not fire at any pitch and roll angle I operationally limited crap.

      • There is truth to over-reliance on automation. Aviation community has seen this. (Used to argue with a fellow pilot that over-use of radar altimeter hold in helicopters led to scan degradation. Felt a bit vindicated when he bounced an aircraft off the water at ~80KIAS one night, did fly it away with minimal damage..).

  11. Oh Hell No!

    Answer to question we shouldn’t ask.

    Creates false sense of safety.

    No thanks.

      • By *implying* it is safer, leading people to become complacent when handling it…

        • Much the same as the glock’s so-called “safe-action” trigger, that is responsible for most of LEO’s UDs.

        • I guess I think of it as a back up to safe handling procedures rather than a substitute for them. That others may think differently is not flaw with the feature. Many, if not all, of those people would probably handle it unsafely anyway. Of course a big expensive and well designed study would be necessary to see what effects this feature had or didn’t have, and that was my point.

  12. All these critical comments about a feature on a rifle that pretty much amounts to nothing more than a game rifle.. sheesh. The worst that could happen is that you miss a shot on an elk because the system malfunctioned. It’s like everybody talks about this is the end all be all rifle for survival tacticool operations when it’s not anything like that. It’s a neat idea and one that I’m sure works fine for its intended purpose, Steyr isn’t exactly a noobs to making firearms and electronics have evolved over time to be less sensative to shock.

    • Valid points m40. But what if the apocalypse starts while you’re on that elk hunting trip? What if your only rifle is your do all rifle?

      I only have an issue with electronics in a gun if they’re mandated by law. Let the free market sort it. Those that want HAL rifles are free to buy them.

      • Agree re the mandate.

        Personally, I think what happened to the Remington Model 700 EtronX will likely happen to this also, not because it’s the same thing but because in both cases the value added is questionable vs. the price and complexity.

      • AND, what if that was a one time shot at a giant bull trophy elk that I lost? I have lost trophy animals(giant whitetail buck) to bad ammo before, and I never trusted that brand again. I know every company can have a dud round every once in a while, but it was THAT one that cost me that animal, and I haven’t forgotten it. I don’t imagine most other hunters would either. The loss of a once in a lifetime trophy IS a big deal. Not AS big as my life, but still…. BIG!

  13. Nah. It rains a lot up here. What’ll rain water do to the circuitry? Turn the rifle off as a fail safe mode?
    I have enough problems with “waterproof” scopes that are on their way to or from being fixed.

  14. Safety is a concern of every gun owner, By working to provide more options concerning safety we all benefit. The market will sort out if each one of these innovations is worth the money. Keep an open mind.

  15. didn’t remington make those electronic rifles?

    Google says yes, and TTAG even did a article.

    yeah, this will be the most UN-purchased rifle in the companies history, and the managers at Steyr who thought this was a good idea just wasted a lot of R&D capitol for a guaranteed flop.

    If a Remington 700 all juiced up for varmint shooting with zero lock-time special primers can’t make it, a Steyr with fancy dohicky ain’t gonna fly. Besides, Steyr is not even a brand name on the radar for hunting rifles around here. If I ask my family and freinds what guns they like to hunt with, Remington, Winchester, Savage, Marlin, Sako, T/C, Mauser, Stevens & Ruger are the names that you will find.

  16. Considering how well motion sensord work in my cellphone,I would not buy this rifle. In my cellphone when it doesn’t work (about 10% of the time) it is a minor annoyance, and the screen is oriented wrong. In a rifle when it doesn’t work, the gun doesn’t go bang when I need it to. This is what is known as a problem.

  17. This would seem to be the first example of a “smart(ish) gun” that actually makes sense. You gentlemen that are freaking out about mayyyy be overreacting; nobodies making you buy a hunting rifle that puts itself on safe when you drop it out of your tree stand. Sheesh.

  18. Absent government intervention, this is a good thing. Choice in a free market is ALWAYS good. Let it succeed or fail on its own merits. If you like it, buy it. If you don’t, then don’t.

    • Like Chairman Mao said before he set a firing squad on most of the ‘flowers’, “The policy of letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend is designed to promote the flourishing of the arts and the progress of science.”

  19. Sounds like a reasonable and sensible gun safety feature awaiting badly needed legislation.

  20. This reminds me of the self driving google cars…that will on occasion crash into other vehicles. Replacing common sense with current technology only encourages stupid people to use something they have no clue how to operate… procreate. ANY mechanical device is prone to failure. I’m sure in the future we will hear about a discharge of this gun going off on its own, due to faulty sensor.

  21. THe rifle and safety (which is not a safety but a hand cocking system) is working purely mechanical. The only electronic in the rifle is that it de-cocks when the rifle is put into a position where you normally don’t shoot or if it falls down. Like if you would put the safety back on the white dot. Not more and not less.
    Hand-cocking systems are extremely popular in Europe, because there is nothing safer then a un-cocked rifle (unless an unloaded one..).
    If the battery is empty it still is a normal hand-cocking rifle and if you really want to shoot in the air you can manually hold the “safety” and shoot as its all mechanical…

  22. As an Australian I am highly concerned about the possibility of liability cases from shooters who encounter drop bears, and find themselves unable to defend themselves against The Fuzzy Menace

  23. Steyr had the electric ignition gun years ago and it worked fine, but was also too different to be popular. Specific ammo also didn’t help, but the advantage was zero lock time and no moving hammer or firing pin. I think their experience with that gun working well is part of the confidence in this. If the battery died, you just replaced it, but these rifles were never meant for defensive use in the first place. These are either bench competition or hunting guns, this latter system designed to prevent discharge if the gun drops out of a tree. I don’t see myself using the equivalent of a rem 700 for any purpose other than hunting or target shooting, and I don’t see this bleeding over into other guns. 3-Gun necessitates turning your gun sideways, so you really couldn’t have it.

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