Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Ed

    I guess they took over the OICW project.

  • Don

    Good luck lugging all that over a 15km pack march.

  • Steve

    looks like a korean knock-off of the OICW-let them have it, that thing was a turd from the get go. …and Don-15 klicks wouldn’t be too bad, now 45 klicks would really be a nutroll!

  • subase

    The weight of the gun, ammo and optic is the main problem with this. But it’s a good concept. Korean’s enemies are right next door not halfway across the world.

  • avatar_of_Khorne5589

    I’m still not sold on the whole air burst thing. I’m no infantryman but it seems to me that presenting oneself out of cover to program the projectile then fire it seems like a good way to get shot.

  • Jim

    I bet that thing breaks like nobody’s business.

  • LJK

    That… actually might not be a bad idea to have the grenade launcher be a bolt-action. Makes the whole package quite a bit simpler and probably lighter.

  • Josh

    @Don – that’s what I thought

  • Kyle Huff

    Still looking for customers for that fancy 20mm round, I see.

  • Big Daddy

    I would carry both separately but to carry and fire that thing in a fire fight….NOPE. I have carried the M-16A2, German G-3, M-203 and the M-60 so I am familiar with humping around weapons.

    They have fielded them in the Stan and I have not read any reports yet, if we ever get to that is….hmmmm.

  • John Callahan

    It seems like a good idea, but is just too heavy and bulky. Also, the sight is ridiculous.

  • Clodboy

    Anybody who can lug around a SAW can probably lug around one these puppies.

    Remember, those aren’t intended to be the new standard assault rifle for the Korean armed forces, but rather force multipliers given to one or two men per squad.

  • Jason

    Somebody’s gotta do the real world R&D. Better their guys than ours.

  • Big Daddy

    I would rather carry the weapon South Africa came up with. Like the M-32 they came up with the PAW 20 Neopup, semi auto and overall much better design, it’s easy to operate, it’s not bulky at all and looks like a GREAT force multiplier. I think it fires the same round.

    Weapons like that are not good for one simple reason. If one part of the system is down the whole system is in the armorer being repaired meaning your Squad loses the use of that weapon. Plus it’s more complex to fix. KISS….keep it simple stupid.

    The neo pup looks like a winner to me. If I were in combat that’s something I would want in my squad without doubt. I also liked the 25mm XM-109 from Barrett, that was a winner too. How come the Marines have the M-32 and the Army does not?

    The firepower of a US Army infantry platoon would be awesome with the addition of an M-32, a Neopup, the M-240L, M-320, M-26, AT-4 and/or improved LAW, Javelin and each solider having a piston 6.8mm rifle or IAR/SAW, and some 7.62mm or maybe a .338 lapua sniper systems, not to mention each NCO having a real sidearm with a .40 Glock. That would give the Platoon level unit a real ability to make effective contact with an enemy in every possible range common with modern combat. That’s an edge we do not have right now!!!!

  • subase

    Combining both the grenade launcher and rifle means you save on weight if you had both weapons separately.

    The U.S army carries saws so don’t see the problem.

  • jdun1911

    20mm don’t have enough punch to be effective in what it suppose to do. Lots of weight for so little in return.

    Ever wonder why the US use 40m grenade launcher?


    And do you know what the effect does the guy that is carrying the SAW have in the fire team? The team have to weight between mobility and firepower. The team either wait for him to catch up or leave him behind.

  • Desmond

    How does a 12.5 inch barrel aka 31cm barrel have an effective range as good as an M16 with a 20 inch barrel? …and a better effective range than the British SA-80’s 20 inch Barrel?…and the koreans are deploying this to afghanistan when they redeploy to escort a Korean Reconstruction team in Kabul….and the sights and the air bust grenade launcher looks like they rely on battery meaning more weight to the poor lad carrying this weapon.

    Due to the small length of the barrel, the weapon (5.56mm part) may not live up to its advertised ‘500m’s. Since the grenade Launcher barrel sticks back and the rifle barrel sticks out, they could have just made the actual rifle into a bulp up configuration like the SA80 and had the airburst grenade a separate attachment as it wouldn’t affect the overall length meaning more accurate 5.56 rounds and about the same 20mm grenades and about the same weight.

    Or they could have just made the airburst grenade laucher with its sights a separate system to the actual rifle giving the weapon system more flexibility

  • Squidpuppy

    I think this is just to scare the Norks.

  • I guess when you actually consider the tactical environment for where it is intended it does make a little more sense…

    South Korea are a defensively postured force starting from a fixed border with prepared positions. If one considers that they *might* be defending against a large infantry wave force – similar to those encountered in the original Korean War I’d say the K11 would come in quite handy!

  • Big Daddy

    I think everybody watched too many Aliens movies and want to be Ripley, believe it or not…….yeah bad joke.

    I was never in combat but I was in the field to know that I would not want to carry that. An M-203 was bad enough. I think in a real combat environment the less you have to think and the least amount of steps to take to get a round off is the best…again the KISS principal.

    Point and shoot then move so you don’t have your position come under attack/fire. They are going to go after the guy with the big gun so by carrying that you are now a target especially for snipers.

    I do like the idea of a 2 man crew served weapon with a little more punch like the Chinese 35mm QLB-06. It’s similar to the Barrett XM-109 in idea. I think that Barrett weapon would have been a really nice addition to the weapons we already have filling a real niche. It was a true anti-material/payload rifle. It could have also used the airburst round. The DOD missed the boat with that weapon, it also had commonality with the M-82 50 cal rifle from Barrett.

    In an assault type situation were you are moving quickly forward a weapon like the Neopup would also be very useful. Being able to lay a few 20mm HE rounds into a position would sure help, especially if it were a well protected machinegun/RPG position. It would be a lot faster than waiting for a 40mm launcher to aim fire and then wait for the round to hit. Things are going fast in a fire fight. The 20mm round has a higher velocity and you can fire semi-auto adjusting quickly and making the next few rounds count without reloading and reaiming like the usual single shot 40mm. The Marines were smart to acquire the M-32, why didn’t the Army?

  • subase

    Good point Desmond but I think the rifle is more of an assault/defence weapon.

    For all intents and purposes intelligent airbust projectile weapons are the future. Apart from scaring the norks, no doubt the U.S had a hand in the supporting the project.

    Something like this could never have been built and fielded in battle so quickly in the U.S military so instead they payed the koreans to do it for them.

  • subase

    This is after nothing more than an actual real life AICW which was originally a U.S idea. Seems the koreans pulled it off and started the ball rolling.

  • I also first assumed that this was a knock-off of the XM29, but the Koreans at NDIA said not – and judging by the reaction of ATK’s XM25 person who I asked about it, they are probably right.

    The 20x30B ammo has a lower velocity than the Neopup PAW-20’s 20x42B (180 m/s vs c.300 m/s) and only half the effective range: but the PAW-20 uses impact-fuzed ammo only, without the airburst fuzing or fancy sight to go with it. That sight is of course useful to have even in impact mode, since the laser rangefinder and ballistic computer indicate the precise aiming point required to hit the target (subject to wind drift etc), which is a huge benefit with such rainbow trajectories.

    Incidentally I have an article on the PAW-20 on my website, here: This gun has actually appeared in a feature film: last year’s SF movie ‘District 9’, which included many other unusual weapons. There’s even a website identifying them, here:

  • kirstin

    I love your blog, My husband always is on gun blogs and i didnt know what the big deal was….and then I checked out YOUR blog. AAAHHMAZING. I have never loved guns more.
    I know now why my husband loves them more than me.
    Keep up the good work. My husband will soon be following your blog as well.

    • kirstin, LOL, thanks.

      Don’t feel bad about it, it is hard to compete with a mans love of guns 😉

  • subase

    I wouldn’t call it a knock off the XM29 OICW, but just another more advanced version. The first OICW was a german and american development through two companies. The Australian version also teamed up with an american military company. So it’s not hard to imagine that the south Koreans who have a very close military relationship with the u.s would start making weapons for them, just as the u.s makes weapons for south korea.

    The general concept is identical, even the advanced computer optical sight is an American idea. (Only the u.s could afford such optical sight luxury in your average infantry weapons) Lucky for them south korea given their advanced electronic and computer development industries (and their very able small arms weapon development capabilities) were able to create an actual ready for field use version of the weapon. Something the Germans and Australians failed to do, and of course something the u.s mainly due to politics wasn’t able to do either.

  • subase

    Also wouldn’t the advanced sight increase the range of the 5.56 bullet from such a short barrel? (12.5 inches) It could calculate drop automatically and increasethe guns range exponentially, it could also act as an ad hoc dodgy sniper system too.

  • charles222

    Subase: No, high-tech sights do not magically grant bursts of kinetic energy, which is how bullets achieve range and also happen to kill people. A 12.5 inch barrel is still going to generate a slower muzzle velocity than a 20-inch one.

    • John

      He was talking about functional range.