The 5.56mm K2 rifle (K2 소총) was adopted by the Army of the Republic of Korea in 1984. This rifle was in development since mid-1970s as a replacement for the M16A1 rifle, which was produced in South Korea under the American license. The K2 assault rifle was made by the Daewoo Precision Industries, now the SNT Motiv company.
This rifle is still used by the ROKA, both in its original form and in a couple of newer, updated versions. The first such version, designated K2C, appeared in 2012. It was a shortened carbine variant, apparently intended to replace older 5.56mm K1A carbine. Several years later, a full-size K2C1 rifle was introduced as a more modern standard infantry rifle, outfitted with an adjustable shoulder stock and Picatinny rails.
Back in 1980s and 1990s Daewoo also produced several variants of the K2 rifle for civilian export sales. Those were semi-automatic only rifles, sold as Daewoo DR-100 (a variant with an original folding stock) and Daewoo DR-200, a so-called “post-ban” version with a fixed thumbhole stock.
The K2 assault rifle is broadly based on the US M16A1 rifle, but with several important alterations to better suit needs of the Korean army. The most important change is a long-stroke gas piston system, apparently inspired by the Russian Kalashnikov AK assault rifle. A four-position gas regulator is added to the gas block. Gun uses an AK-style small diameter return spring, which is located above the bolt carrier; the bolt carrier itself is noticeably shorter than one found in most AR-15 / M16 style rifles, and there is no buffer tube to extend back from the lower receiver. Both upper and lower receivers are made from aluminum alloy. Upper and lower are connected by a cross-pin at the front, and by a spring-loaded latch at the rear. A charging handle is located on the right side of the bolt carrier and reciprocates when gun is fired.
Ammunition is fed from STANAG-compatible M16 style magazines, and the rifle is equipped with an automatic bolt hold-open device. The firing system allows for single shots, three-round bursts and full automatic fire. Safety/fire selector lever is located on the left, above the pistol grip.
The K2 rifle is equipped with an adjustable aperture rear sight, built into the upper receiver. The K2C1 rifle features an integral Picatinny rail, and the rear sight is installed using the removable base. K2 assault rifle features a side-folding shoulder stock made of plastic; the K2C and K2C1 rifles also use side-folding stock, but of a more modern, M4-style adjustable design. Full-size K2 and K2C1 rifles can be equipped with a 40mm K201 grenade launcher, a domestically-made clone of the US M203 underbarrel grenade launcher, or with a knife-bayonet.
Special thanks to Jeremy J for photos.
|730 / 980 mm
|730 / 940-1014 mm
|630 / 790-880 mm
|Rate of fire