Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Small Arms Warships & Submarines Military Ranks Military Pay Chart (2024) Special Forces
Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

SNT Motiv K1

Submachine Gun (SMG) / Carbine Assault Weapon [ 1981 ]

Use of the .223 Remington cartridge make the South Korean ST Motiv K1 unique - it is both a submachine gun and a carbine weapon.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/12/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

For decades, South Korea had relied on foreign suppliers with which to stock its military inventory. This all changed when indigenous capabilities finally began producing viable solutions to ongoing local requirements. One of the first such products to be put forth by local industry became the "K1", a compact assault weapon that can be categorized as an assault carbine (due to its chambering) or a Submachine Gun (SMG) (due to its relatively compact size). The K1 was adopted to succeed the outgoing line of American World War 2-era M3 "Grease Gun" submachine guns.

Today (2017), the K1 remains the standard submachine gun of the Republic of Korea Army and is chambered for the ubiquitous, and proven, .223 Remington intermediate rifle cartridge despite its SMG categorization (which typically relies on the 9x19mm cartridge). The design stemmed from a 1976 requirement by South Korean special forces requiring an all-modern compact assault weapon for Close-Quarters Battle (CQB). The goal was to find an indigenous economical weapon of relatively light weight, strong construction and increased firepower.

From this the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) went to work and produced a prototype form, the XK1, in 1980. Extensive testing and evaluations then followed before the weapon could be formally certified and introduced for service, this occurring in 1981. Daewoo - later becoming S&T Daewoo - handled initial production though the series now falls under the S&T Motiv brand label. Manufacture of this gun has been ongoing since 1980.

Overall weight is 6.3lb and overall length is 33 inches. A collapsing wire stock allows the length to be reduced to 25.7 inches for a more compact footprint. The barrel assembly measures 10.4 inches long. Internally the weapon relies on a gas-operated system utilizing a rotating bolt with direct-impingement system (as opposed to the more common SMG approach of blowback operation). Rate-of-fire is between 700 and 900 rounds-per-minute (depending on the gas regulator setting) and muzzle velocity is rated at 2,700 feet-per-second. Effective range is out to 250 meters. Feeding is by way of AR-15/M16-style STANAG curved magazines, these holding 30-rounds of ammunition. Standard sights are iron but optics can be set over the receiver in the usual way.

The original production batch guns suffered from failings of the integrated flash suppressor and a heavy recoil which proved the overall construction weak. After some work, an improved model was introduced in 1982 as the K1A and all previous K1 marks were then updated to the newer standard. For civilian purchase, the gun has been marketed as the MAX-1 and is available in Semi-Automatic Fire Only (SAFO). A longer barrel assembly and the changes instituted to the K1A production model has given rise to the K1A1 version for the civilian market.

To date (2017), the forces of Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, Senegal and South Korea all rely on the K1 SMG. Special forces operatives have also used the type in service.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


ST Motiv (Daewoo Precision) - South Korea
Bangladesh; Papau New Guinea; Senegal; South Korea
Operators National flag of Bangladesh National flag of Senegal National flag of South Korea
Service Year
South Korea
National Origin

838 mm
(32.99 inches)
Overall Length
263 mm
(10.35 inches)
Barrel Length
6.33 lb
(2.87 kg)
Empty Weight
Gas-Operated; Rotating Bolt with Direct Impingement System
System utilizes internal mechanism to lock the breech or rear barrel assembly prior to firing.
Gas-operated system is featured, typically involving a gas cylinder and rear-driven piston directing energy to the bolt component.
.223 Remington
May not represent an exhuastive list; Calibers may be model-specific dependent; Always consult official manufacturer sources.
30-round detachable box magazine.
Iron Front and Rear; Optional Optics.

Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information.

820 feet
(250 meters | 273 yards)
Max Effective Range
2,700 ft/sec
(823 m/sec)
Muzzle Velocity

K1 - Base Series Designation; initial production form.
XK1 - Prototype
K1A - Improved production model
MAX-1 - Semi-Automatic Fire Only model for civilian market.
K1A1 - MAX-1/K1A model form with longer barrel for civilian market.

Military lapel ribbon for the American Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon representing special forces
Military lapel ribbon for the Ukranian-Russian War
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2


1 / 1
Image of the SNT Motiv K1
Image from the United States Department of Defense DVIDS imagery database.

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Chart Military Ranks DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols

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. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content; site is 100% curated by humans.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing military medals and ribbons. Special Interest: RailRoad Junction, the locomotive encyclopedia.

©2023 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2023 (20yrs)