S&T Motiv K14
S&T Motiv K14 at IDEX 2015
|Place of origin||Republic of Korea|
|Used by||Republic of Korea|
|Weight||5.5 kg (12 lb)|
|Length||1.15 m (45 in)|
|Barrel length||610 mm (24 in)|
|Effective firing range||800 m|
|Feed system||standard: 5-round magazine
optional: 10-round magazine
|Sights||Schmidt & Bender PMII|
For decades, the South Korean Army did not have a standard-issue sniper rifle. Small numbers of M1C/D Garands were used until they became obsolete in the late 1970s. In the late 1980s, British Trilux-style scopes were fitted to K2 assault rifles. This turned them into designated marksman rifles, but this was not official or widespread. Dedicated foreign-built sniper rifles were bought for special forces and counter-terror units, but the regular army had virtually no interest in sniping. This mindset was unusual, as they had encountered sniper threats during the Korean War and their involvement in the Vietnam War. That began to change after American operations during the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan. South Korean officers deployed in these combat zones witnessed the effectiveness of both friendly and enemy sharpshooters. This combined with the realization of the capabilities of the sniper force that the North Korean Army maintained, which had large numbers of specially trained and equipped snipers at platoon and even squad level, the ROK Army decided to incorporate the sniper role into its forces.
Requirements for the sniper rifle were completed in 2011 and called for 800-1,000 bolt-action 7.62×51mm rifles with optics and accessories. Foreign purchases were allowed, but because South Korean law favors domestic defense manufacturers, S&T Daewoo (now S&T Motiv) submitted their XK14 design and became the prime candidate. The XK14 was in development for two years and underwent a one-year evaluation by the ROK military. After passing tests and certification, the rifle was accepted into service in December 2012 as the ROK Army's first general-issue sniper rifle and officially designated as the K14. S&T Motiv was awarded a 3.2 billion won ($3 million) contract for an unspecified number of rifles. The cost for the individual rifle is unknown, but the package as it is sold to the Army that includes the rifle, daytime scope, night vision sight, ghillie suit, and other accessories costs $13,000.
The K14 is a bolt-action rifle with a bolt handle that opens at 60 degrees for fast reloading; prototype models had rough bolt movement and triggers, but they were smoothed out in production examples. The K14's bolt-action has some similarities with the Winchester Model 70. The stock is made of fiberglass-reinforced polymer with an adjustable cheek pad and butt plate, along with a height adjustable monopod and thumbhole pistol grip. Its internal frame is metallic and supports a 4-way picatinny rail handguard for accessories. It is also equipped with a bipod. The fluted heavy profile barrel is 610 mm (24 in) long with a four-prong Vortex-style flash suppressor. A sound suppressor was not required, but can be mounted by removing the flash hider. Good quality foreign scopes, like the Schmidt & Bender PMII and Leupold Mk4, are being favored over Korean sights. At 1.15 m (45 in) long and weighing 5.5 kg (12 lb) unloaded without a scope, it is comparatively small and light in relation to its barrel length.
The K14 has a short receiver chambered for the 7.62×51mm round, as was strictly required. Additional funds were not spent to allow for a possible future conversion to a larger caliber like .300 Winchester Magnum or .338 Lapua Magnum. It is fed by a detachable magazine, with standard capacity at 5 rounds. A larger capacity 10-round magazine is also available. The rifle is accurate to 1 MOA out to 100 yards, and has an effective range of 800 meters.
S&T Motiv is introducing new features to the K14, including detachable side rails and Korean-made optics, which would replace the Schmidt & Bender PM optics on current versions.