Detailed thermo-mechanical characterization of DIN 16MnCr5 covering the process range of cold forging applications (0.01 s(-1) 40 s(-1), 25 A degrees C Ta 400 A degrees C) by compression tests revealed flow stress instabilities associated with dynamic strain aging (DSA) which cannot be reproduced by conventional flow stress models. As a remedy, a flow stress model capable of capturing sharp changes in flow stress, strain hardening, and strain rate sensitivity is proposed. Then, a method for parameter identification is presented which can deal with inhomogeneous deformation heating of the specimen at relatively high-strain-rate tests. The presented method involves response surface-based numerical optimization of the flawed compression tests coupled with finite element (FE) simulation. The proposed flow stress model and the extracted parameters are validated in a forward rod extrusion process without using any case-specific determined parameters in FE simulation. A natural agreement is obtained between the experimental and the predicted results in terms of both the force-displacement curve and the part geometry. The authors think that the flow stress instabilities encountered in the cold forging process range may have further consequences in other inverse analysis attempts such as friction coefficient or critical damage parameter determination and that the proper treatment of material data as put forth in this study can improve the predictive capability of process modeling.