In the 1970s and 1980s, the South Korean military made a concerted effort to reduce its foreign dependency on systems and products and encouraged local industrial growth. This has resulted in a myriad of products of indigenous origination covering combat tanks, armored vehicles, aircraft, helicopters and small arms. In the latter, a complete family of "K-weapons" has been devised and this lineup includes the "K5" semi-automatic pistol as the standard sidearm of South Korean warfighters.
The K5 is a no-frills military sidearm utilizing well-established traits proven in other global pistols. Design work by Daewoo Precision Industries spanned from 1984 until 1988 and manufacture (under the S&T Motiv brand label) began in 1989. The original prototype was designated "XK5" and this led to the standardized serial production "K5" model. From this was released the "DP51" civilian market model (in semi-compact and compact forms). The follow-up commercial-minded DH40 is chambered for ..40 S&W and the DH45 follows with its .45 ACP chambering. The DP51 has been modernized in the LH9C and LH9 Mk II models.
The sidearm is chambered for the ubiquitous 9x19mm Parabellum pistol cartridge and a semi-automatic action manages the flow of rounds from the spring-loaded magazine (inserted into the base of the pistol grip) to the firing chamber. Externally, the weapon is traditionally arranged with a long-running slide (ribbed at the rear sides), over-frame sighting devices and an underslung trigger unit. Safety and magazine controls are presented along the side of the receiver. Feeding is typically by way of a 13- or 15-round detachable box magazine. Other counts are supported as well depending on the model at play.
Overall weight is around 26 ounces and length measures 178mm (the barrel is 104mm long). Effective firing range is 55 yards.
The K5 is also issued to Bangladeshi SWADS and Singaporean KOPASSUS special forces elements. Both Guatemala and Indonesia began using the K5 in 2011.
Manufacturing ST Motiv (Daewoo Precision) - South Korea
Bangladesh; Guatemala; Indonesia; South Korea; Singapore
- Close Quarters Battle (CQB) / Personal Security
178 mm (7.01 in)
104 mm (4.09 in)
1.65 lb (0.75 kg)
Iron Front and Rear.
164 ft (50 m; 55 yd)
K5 - Base Series Designation; base production model.
XK5 - Prototype model designation.
DP51 - Civilian market model.
DP51S - Semi-compact version of the DP51.
DP51C - Compact version of the DP51.
DH40 - Civilian market model chambered for .40 S&W.
DH45 - Civilian market model chambered for .45 ACP.
LH9 - Updated DP51 product of 2011.
LH9C - Compact variant of LH9 product.
LH9 Mk II - Picatinny accessories rail equipped LH9 model.
The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.
Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world and WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.