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S&T Motiv (Daewoo) K2

Assault Rifle (1987)

Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

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Right side view of the Daewoo K2 assault rifle
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Close-up detail view of the Daewoo K2 rifle; note 40mm grenade launcher and barrel venting
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A row of South Korean infantrymen fire off their Daewoo K2 assault rifles; note casing catch fitted to each
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A South Korean soldier takes a break with his Daewoo K2 in hand
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Close-up detail view of the receiver on a Daewoo K2 assault rifle
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South Korean soldiers ready themselves behind a wall; note open 40mm grenade launcher port
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Right side view of a Daewoo K2 assault rifle with training modification in place
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Close-up detail view of the underside of a Daewoo K2 automatic rifle
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A South Korean soldier takes aim with his Daewoo K2 rifle
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A South Korean soldier takes careful aim with his Daewoo K2 rifle; note 40mm grenade launcher attachment
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A stowed Daewoo K2 assault rifle shown to good effect
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Close-up detail view of the muzzle and front sight of a Daewoo K2 assault rifle
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A line of South Korean troops prepares to fire their Daewoo K2 rifles
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A modified Daewoo K2 assault rifle used for training
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A South Korean soldier in training takes aim with his modified Daewoo K2 assault rifle
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A South Korean soldier stands at the ready with his Daewoo K2 assault rifle in hand

Jump-to: Specifications

Though borrowing from both the American M16 and the Soviet AK-47, the Daewoo K2 is decidedly South Korean.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/12/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
The Daewoo K2 series assault rifle is the standard assault rifle of the South Korean Army. The weapon shares some outward and inward similarities with the American M16 and includes functions of the Soviet Kalashnikov AK-47 as well. The K2 replaced the M16A1 assault rifles in South Korean Army service and has seen some sales abroad. Design of the automatic weapon began in 1983 and production of the began in 1984, since ongoing. The South Korean Army officially accepted the automatic rifle into its inventories beginning in 1987.

Manufacturing of the K2 series is attributed to S&T Daewoo based in Busan, South Korea. The firm (founded as Daewoo Precision Industries Company Ltd) has since garnered extensive experience in the production of both small arms and automobiles since 1981 (the latter since 1986). While Daewoo itself collapsed, it resurfaced and a large part of its shares were purchased by S&T Holdings in 2006, creating the S&T Daewoo Ltd product brand.

The K2 sports clean lines typical of Daewoo products and bears a resemblance to the American AR-18/Colt M16 automatic rifles. Essentially, the K2 is an M16 in nature but with the proven gas system of the Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle. As such, the Korean design does away with the direct impingement system and gas fouling inherent in the Stoner-based M16 line. The new assault rifle offers its users the ability to switch from a telescoping buttstock for ease of concealment and portability or a right-hand folding polymer shoulder stock. The receiver is very "M16-like" and features an angled, ergonomic pistol grip with an oblong, ring-guarded trigger unit. Unlike the M16, however, the K2 does not make use of the integrated carrying handle along the top of the receiver. The charging handle also located along the right side of the gun body and is fixed to the bolt carrier. The forearm is ribbed for a solid forward grip and the gas system (with its long-stroke piston) sits atop the barrel, banded at the front (to the barrel itself) with the aft portion nestled inside of the upper receiver. The firing action remains gas-operated with a rotating bolt and is selective-fire available as single-shot, three-shot burst, or full-automatic firing modes. The three-shot burst function is continuous in that the cycle must fire off all three shots before a new cycle is begun. As such, firing two rounds will not reset the burst function to fire a complete three-round burst with the next squeeze of the trigger. Instead, the burst cycle will fire off the third round and only then reset. Standard iron sights are included and optional optics /aiming sights are supported. The barrel features a muzzle brake and compensator. Construction of the weapon is aluminum alloy forgings making for a tough exterior. Despite its resemblance to the M16 system, the K2's internal parts are not 100% compatible with the American product. The K2 makes use of standard M16 STANAG curved magazines and fires the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge from a 20- or 30-round magazine.

A Daewoo K201 series 40mm single-shot grenade launcher can be affixed to the underside of the K2 barrel. The K201 is similar in design and scope to the American M203 40mm series launcher.

The K2 assault rifle reports a muzzle velocity of 920 meters per second. Effective range is listed out to 1,804 feet give or take. Maximum range is 7,872 feet. The rifle's running length is 980mm with the barrel measuring in at 465mm. With the folding stock, the length of the K2 diminishes to a more handy 730mm.

Beyond South Korea, the K2 has been accepted by a handful of foreign entities that include Bangladesh, Fiji, Indonesia, Lebanon, Nigeria, Peru and Senegal. Export versions come under the designation of DR-100, DR-200 and DR-300. The DR-100 and DR-200 are chambered for the .223 Remington cartridge whilst the DR-300 makes use of the 7.62x39mm round.

The K2 has already seen extensive combat actions with the South Korean Army in the Afghanistan War of 2001 and the Iraq War of 2003. The weapon was also fielded by Fiji military forces in the Fijian coup d' etat of 2006.

The Daewoo K1/K1A1 is considered by some sources to be a shortened carbine form of the K2 assault rifle. Others refute their direct relationship and consider the K1/K1A1 carbine a wholly different weapon system.


Service Year

South Korea national flag graphic
South Korea


Assault Rifle

ST Motiv Ltd (Daewoo) - South Korea
National flag of Bangladesh National flag of Indonesia National flag of Lebanon National flag of Nigeria National flag of Peru National flag of Senegal National flag of South Korea Bangladesh; Fiji; Indonesia; Lebanon; Nigeria; Peru; Senegal; South Korea
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Automatic Function
Features a mechanical function to automate the firing action.
Assault Rifle
Modern class of long gun featuring select-fire properties, automatic internal function, and magazine feeding.

Overall Length
970 mm
38.19 in
Barrel Length
465 mm
18.31 in
Empty Wgt
7.19 lb
3.26 kg

Iron Sights.


Gas-Operated; Rotating Bolt

Rotating Bolt
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.
(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)


5.56x45mm NATO; .223 Remington

Sample Visuals**

Graphical image of a 5.56mm intermediate rifle cartridge
Rounds / Feed

20- or 30-round detachable box magazine
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
1,968 ft
(600 m | 656 yd)
Muzzle Velocity
3,018 ft/sec
(920 m/sec)

K2 - Base Assault Rifle Designation.

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