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Daewoo K2: The South Korean AK/AR Hybrid

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South Korea experimented with a series of rifle designs in 7.62x51mm in the 1960s and early 1970s, but none of them came close to production. In 1974 a license was acquired from Colt for Daewoo Precision Industries to built the M16A1 for South Korean military use. This was good, but the license did not allow South Korea to build as many rifles as they wanted (well over a million, sufficient to arm a full mobilization of reserves in case of war). So indigenous rifle development continued in 5.56mm, taking many elements from the M16. In 1982/3 trials concluded on the final domestic design, which was adopted as the K2.

This rifle is a hybrid of AR and AK systems, with a long stroke gas piston action clearly take form the AK and a lower receiver, fire control group, and rotating multi-lug bolt clearly taken from the AR. It also features aperture sights, a robust sidefolding stock, and uses standard AR magazines. Well over a million were made, including commercial semiauto examples for export, like the one in today’s video.

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