Daewoo Precision Industries K2

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Daewoo Precision Industries K2
Daewoo K2 rifle 1.jpg
The Daewoo Precision Industries K2 assault rifle
Type Assault rifle
Place of origin  South Korea
Service history
In service 1984–present
Used by See Users
Wars Gulf War
War in Afghanistan[1]
Iraq War[1]
Conflict in the Niger Delta
2006 Fijian coup d'état
Iraqi insurgency
Production history
Designer Agency for Defense Development
S&T Motiv
Designed 1972-1983
Manufacturer S&T Motiv[2]
Unit cost US $727.00[3]
Produced 1982–present
Variants See Variants
Weight 3.26 kg (7.2 lb)
Length 980 mm (39 in) (extended)
730 mm (29 in) (folded)
Barrel length 465 mm (18.3 in)

Cartridge 5.56×45mm NATO
.223 Remington
Action Gas operated, Rotating bolt (long-stroke piston)
Rate of fire 750 RPM
Muzzle velocity 920 m/s (3,000 ft/s) (K100)
960 m/s (3,100 ft/s) (KM193)
Effective firing range 600 m (K100)
460 m (KM193)
Maximum firing range 2,400 m (K100)
Feed system Various STANAG Magazines.
Sights Iron sights

Daewoo Precision Industries K2 assault rifle was developed by the South Korean Agency for Defense Development and manufactured by S&T Motiv (formerly Daewoo Precision Industries). It is currently the standard service rifle of the Republic of Korea Armed Forces. Shoulder-fired and gas-operated, the K2 is capable of firing both 5.56×45mm NATO and .223 Remington ammunition. The K2 supplanted the M16A1 assault rifle for the Republic of Korea Armed Forces since its adoption in 1984.[4]


Folded stock view of the K2 assault rifle

Although K1 submachine gun entered service 3 years before the K2, the development of the K2 assault rifle started many years earlier. Facing the eventual expiration of the Republic of Korea's license to produce the M16A1 (Colt Model 603K), president Park Chung-hee, who strongly believed in self-reliance in national defense, ordered the development of an indigenous standard military firearm. Engineers with the Agency for Defense Development began the project named XB rifle in 1972, resulting in the K2 assault rifle in 1983. Colt alleged the design was copied from its M16 and sued unsuccessfully. S&T Motiv does not pay license fees for manufacturing the K2.[5]

The South Korean Army is developing a next-generation rifle to replace the K2, which is expected to be combat-ready by around 2020.[6]


Combat police officers armed with Daewoo K2s. Note the folded buttstock.

Six different prototypes were made during the XB development. Of the 6 designs, the XB6 was selected. Some parts of the XB6 resembled FN FNC such as the suppressor and sights. Further development of the XB6 evolved into the XB7 and finally the XB7C, also known as the XK2. Externally similar in appearance to the AR18, the K2 uses polymer for the forearm, pistol-grip and side-foldable buttstock. The fire control system and bolt carrier group are derived from the American M16 rifle,[7] but few of the parts, including the bolt and carrier, are interchangeable with the M16. The gas operating system is derived from the AKM. The K2 uses the same magazine as the M16. The barrel rifling has 6 grooves, 1-in-7.3 right hand twist. The K2 has 3 selective firing modes: semi-auto, 3-round burst, and full automatic.

The K2 can be equipped with the DPI K201, an undercarried 40×46mm single shot grenade launcher patterned after the American M203.[1] The Republic of Korea Armed Forces originally planned to replace the entire K2 with new S&T Daewoo K11 dual-barrel air-burst weapon. However, high cost and skepticism over the effective firepower of the 20mm grenade led to the decision to provide 2 K11s to each squad, keeping 2 grenadiers as well. Consequently, the standard 9-person infantry squad of the Republic of Korea Armed Forces is currently equipped with 2 K2 rifles, 2 K2 rifles with K201 grenade launcher, 2 K11 DAWs, 1 K3 light machine gun, and the rest with either K1 or K2.

The K2 is also sometimes used with bipods and 4x magnification scopes, in a role similar to the Designated Marksman Rifle. A more modern way to accessorize the K2 and K1 is to mount a now (limited) standard issue PVS-4K Rail Integration System. It consists of an aluminum body with a long, uninterrupted rail for optical/red-dot and night-vision sights and three other rails located on the bottom and both sides. The rails are of the Picatinny-type.

K1 submachine gun and K2 rifle[edit]

While the K1/K1A submachine gun is commonly regarded as a carbine version of the K2, the K1 is a separate submachine gun altogether:[8]

  • The K1 was developed earlier than the K2.
  • The K1 uses direct impingement gas system, while the K2 uses a long stroke gas piston system.
  • The K1 has a 1-in-12 rifling twist for KM193 (5.56 mm) rounds, while the K2 has a 1-in-7.3 rifling twist for both the KM193 (5.56 mm, .223 Remington) rounds and the K100 (5.56 mm NATO) green tip, full metal jacket rounds.
  • The K1 was originally developed as a sub-machine gun, not as an assault carbine.


  • XB: At least 6 versions (XB1 to XB6) of prototype were made.
    • XB6: Selected design among the prototype.
    • XB7: Further development of the XB6.
      • XB7C: Final experimental prototype. Also known as XK2.
  • K2: Mass-produced variant.
    • AR-100: Semi-automatic 5.56×45mm NATO version for civilian market.
    • DR-200: Semi-automatic .223 Remington version for civilian market.
    • DR-300: Semi-automatic 7.62×39mm version for civilian market.
  • K2C1: Enhanced K2. Adjustable stock and picatinny rail are added.
  • K2C: Carbine version of K2 rifle with RAS and major modification (Rail-type: Picatinny rail). M4-type buttstock was added, the barrel has been reduced to 310 mm (12 in), and uses K11 suppressor.[9]


Future replacement[edit]

S&T Daewoo (now S&T Motiv) proposed XK8, a 5.56×45mm NATO bullpup version of K2 in early 2000. After series of field test, XK8 was rejected and was never mass-produced.

Years later when S&T Daewoo K11 dual-barrel air-burst weapon, which uses 5.56×45mm NATO and 20x30mm air-burst grenade, was developed, the Republic of Korea Armed Forces planned to replace entire K2 with K11, making K11 the standard service rifle for the armed forces. However, due to its extremely high cost and weight for a standard rifle, the armed forces removed its original plan and decided to provide 2 K11 per squad in order to increase firepower.

In 2014, an upgraded K2 rifle, the K2A was introduced, and the Republic of Korea Army is performing field tests. After the test is complete, the K2A will be mass-produced and will join the armed forces in 2015. Additional production of K2 rifles will remove M16A1 from active troops completely by 2017.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d [1] Archived July 7, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Business Outline, Defense Business". S&T Daewoo. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  3. ^ "Daewoo Precision Industries K2 – Survival And Prosperity". survivalandprosperity.com. Retrieved 2014-01-11. 
  4. ^ "The 5.56 X 45mm: 1980-1985". The Gun Zone. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  5. ^ [citation needed]
  6. ^ N.Korea Doubles Ground-to-Ground Missiles - Chosun.com, 7 June 2013
  7. ^ "Daewoo K2 Assault Rifle". Gun's World. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  8. ^ Rifles n Guns' Daewoo K1 Page. Retrieved on October 27, 2008.
  9. ^ "K계열 6가지 소총 직접 쏴보니". 아시아경제. 
  10. ^ Bangladesh Military Forces. "Bangladesh Navy Special Warfare Diving And Salvage (SWADS)". Retrieved 2010-01-14. [self-published source]
  11. ^ a b c "[파워 경제인] 김택권 S&T대우 대표". 서울경제. 2011-09-15. 
  12. ^ [2][dead link]
  13. ^ "내년부터 軍장병 맞춤형 소총 보급". 아시아경제. 
  14. ^ "유용원의 군사세계". bemil.chosun.com. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  15. ^ a b "한국의 무기 이야기". Segye.com. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  16. ^ "한국일보 : 나이지리아, K2 소총 3만정 수입키로". news.hankooki.com. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  17. ^ "S&T모티브, 멕시코, 파푸아뉴기니 軍․警에 총기 수출". S&T Motiv. April 10, 2013. 
  18. ^ [3] Archived May 25, 2009 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]