HK CAWS - Heckler - Koch Close Assault Weapon System shotgun (Germany / USA)

 Heckler-Koch / Olin CAWS (Germany)


Type: select-fire, recoil operated (patented system with gas assit subsystem)
Gauge: 12 (special ammunition with belted case, 19,5е76 mm)
Length: 762-988 mm
Barrel length: 457-685 mm
Weigth 3,7-3,86 kg
Magazine: 10 rounds detachable box magazine


The CAWS (Close Assault Weapon System) was initiated in USA during early 1980s. The main goal of this program was to develop a new generation personal firearm for close combat, capable of firing high-impulse, multiple projectiles with effective range of 100-150 meters. Using of the multiple projectiles per one shot was intended to increase chances of hitting the target in combat. One of the teams entered in the CAWS race, was Heckler&Koch (Germany) pairedwith Winchester/Olin corp. (USA). HK was responsible for developing a weapon, while Winchester/Olin were responsible for development of new types of ammunition.

HK CAWS is a select-fire, smoothbore weapon (shotgun), designed to fire special, high-presure shotshells, loaded with tungsten buckshot or fleschettes. HK CAWS utilized patented recoil-operated action with moving barrel and additional, self-regulated gas assist system (used to help unlock breechblock from the barrel if low-power ammo is used). The main goal of this system was to decrease felt recoil down to suitable level.

HK CAWS in its external appearance is somewhat similar to HK G11 advanced assault rifle, being built in bull-pup configuration, with integral carrying handle. Charging handle is located under the carrying handle, at the top of the receiver, and is ambidextrous. Standard HK-style safety-switch/fire selector has 3 position: Safe, Semi-auto, 3 rounds bursts.
The HK CAWS shotgun was tested by US Military, but the whole CAWS program was closed, and the CAWS development cancelled.