Country of origin
5.56 x 45 mm
~ 2.9 kg
Length (stock retracted)
Cyclic rate of fire
700 - 900 rpm
Practical rate of fire
40 - 100 rpm
Range of effective fire
The K1 is a
compact assault rifle. It was developed in South Korea by Daewoo. The
K1 was adopted in 1981 or 1983. Since then this compact assault
rifle is used by South Korea alongside the larger
full-size assault rifle. The K1 is used by the special forces and
soldiers who do not need a full-size assault rifle. This weapon was
also exported to several other nations.
The K1 is a gas operated,
selective fire weapon. It is chambered for a standard NATO 5.56x45
mm ammunition. Due to its compact dimensions the K1 is often
referred as a submachine gun. However it is in fact an assault
rifle. It is based on the American
Armalite AR-18 assault rifle, that was superior and less
expensive than M16, but was not adopted by the United States. The K1
has a stamped and welded sheet steel construction rather than
machined forging techniques employed in M16. As a result the K1 is
built to looser mechanical tolerances. It also reduced its
production price. The K1 retains a number of
design features, including a generally similar receiver and bolt
group. However this compact assault rifle has a different gas system which
is more reliable. Also Daewoo designers made some other
improvements to this weapon. Overall it proved to be a very
successful combat weapon.
A fire mode
selector is located on the left side of the receiver. It is
conveniently operated by the shooter's thumb. The fire mode selector
has positions for "safe", "semi-auto", "3-round burst", and
"full-auto". There are semi-automatic only versions of this weapon
aimed at civilian customers and law enforcement market.
The K1 is
normally fed from 30-round capacity magazines. Though sometimes it
is used with older 20-round magazines. Both are standard NATO (M16-type)
The K1 has a
retractable steel wire buttstock. The different gas system of this
to fit a completely retractable buttstock. At the same time the M16
can not be adapted for a side-folding stock due to its internal
K1 has simple iron sights. Front sight post is mounted on the gas
block. This weapon has an effective range of 250 meters.
K1A is an
improved version. It has a different foregrip with a full-length
Picatinny-type scope rail, which do not blocks the iron sights.
This weapon can mount various sights or night vision scopes. The K1A
has also got accessory rails on the foregrip. It can mount tactical
flashlights, laser pointers, vertical grips and other accessories.
K2 is a
full-size assault rifle with a different side-folding solid
buttstock. It was developed alongside the K1 and was adopted by the
South Korean military in 1984.
K2A is an
improved version of the K2. It has a different foregrip with a
full-length Picatinny type scope rail and accessory rails. This
weapon was introduced in 2014. South Korea performed field tests of
this weapon. It was planned that if these tests are successful
production of this weapon would begin in 2015. It was planned that
by 2017 the K2A will replace the M16A1 in service with the South
It is a more compact version of the improved K2A with a shorter
barrel and telescopic
This weapon was tested by the South Korean special forces as a
possible replacement for the previous K1A. It was planned that if
the tests are successful production of this weapon would begin in
2015. A small number of these carbines were exported to some
countries. Notably it is used by Iraqi special forces.
submachine gun. This weapon is based on the receiver of the K1, but
is chambered for a 9x19 mm ammunition. It is fed from 30-round
capacity magazines. This weapon has an effective range of 135 m.
and MAX-2 are semi-automatic only versions of the K1. These weapons
were aimed at civilian
customers and law enforcement forces.