Daewoo K11 Advanced Combat Rifle Review

The Small Arms Defense Journal have reviewed the Daewoo K11. This is, as far as I know, the first published review of the gun by foreigners.

From the review

Problems with the U.S. OICW included fragment size and dispersion radius upon detonation. In simple terms, the fragments of the 20mm munition were too small to be very effective. In addition, there was insufficient explosive material within the 20mm OICW round to create an effective killing radius. Finally, when detonated in airburst mode, the rules of physics resulted in the majority of fragments being dispersed vertically and away from the intended target, rendering the fragments ineffective. These three issues worked in conjunction to kill the U.S. OICW program. It is unknown whether Poongsan has addressed this issue within the K11 20mm munition design.

[ Many thanks to uribury871 for emailing us the link. ]

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.


  • Chase

    I expect that making the 20mm grenade launcher a bolt action (instead of self-loading like the XM29) brought the total weight down some.

  • Darkness

    Rifle looks like it was designed by a concept artist for the video game DOOM, haha!

    • Jersy

      My thoughts exactly – “Wow, that gun’s proportions are BFG-class”… This particular photo makes very apparent.

  • D

    Good grief, look at the size of the scope!

    • Mobious

      Same thought with the scope, I understand it’s a combo of sighting and range calculation for the 20mm rounds, but unless that thing’s also thermal and 1x to 10x zoom then there’s no way it needs to be that big and bulky in this day and age of compact design… well, the whole thing is a kick in the face to “high speed low drag”

      • Ned

        I can assure you it is a thermal sight, and that’s why it is so big. 2.2x zoom isnt that impressive tho.

  • MariusG

    Interesting gas block shape on the 556 rifle. Kind of makes me wonder whether its piston or d.i.

    • Doesitmatter?

      Most likely gas tube. They originally started with M16 license.

    • Alex-mac

      It’s piston and the best piston AR out there. Unfortunate that noone knows about it but the south koreans went piston over twenty years ago with a piston better than the HK416, the Daewoo K2. AR ergonomics and weight with AK action, doesn’t get better.

      • W

        it is not a “piston AR”. It is a amalgamation of the AR15 (bolt carrier group) and AK47 (piston system). It is a very unique weapon system.

  • Big Daddy

    This is a dog, when are people finally going to give up on these Ripley guns? They only work on invading aliens.

    Proven, 20mm rounds are too small, when they detonate overhead you are only using a small percentage of the force and projectiles. Since they go off in a 360 degree circumference, maybe 3/4 of it is wasted.

    Something called a bouncing betty works much better. It’s much easier to make too, in fact they used to make them for the M79. It hits the ground and with a spring it jumps in the air a few feet and BOOM. No need for any expensive fancy electronics and fuses.

    Plus if the combatants are wearing helmets and body armor you would need a much bigger round. But the bottom line is an overhead explosion is wasted. If they are wearing now common protection you need the explosion at their feet where they are not protected.

    Now you have a bunch of injured guys who can’t walk bleeding all over the place. If you hit the artery in the leg they will bleed out quickly, if not they will be severely injured with massive lower extremity wounds. Think of getting hit in your leg and/or butt with a shotgun.

    • noob

      the combined safety barrel selector is also a worry. imagine accidentally flipping it to 12 o’clock and wasting a precious grenade that may not even get a chance to arm.

    • jdun1911

      People buy into the marketing BS all the time. That’s why there are people here that defend the OICW without knowing the effectiveness.

      Some combat vets that are not happy with the 40mm because they want a bigger bang. Yet somehow these defenders of the OICW thinks the 20mm or 25mm are better because of airburst.

      • W

        many combat vets are happy with the 25mm XM25 because of its effectiveness. If its ammunition was anemic, it wouldnt have earned the name “punisher”. Its about efficiency. What is more efficient? a 40mm engaging a machine gun nest that explodes in front of the berm? or a 25mm that explodes over the heads of the crew?

      • jdun1911


        That absolute BS. First thing the Punisher isn’t in wide use. Only a dozen or so are is used in Afghanistan. The Marines themselves are very cautious about the system. The Marines is letting Big Army do all the testing and field works before deciding to adopt it or not.

        You lob the 40mm into the the machingun nest. Or if you have the mk 19 you blanket the area with 40mm.

      • W

        What exactly is BS? the XM25 is lauded by the troops that have employed it in combat.

        Of course the Marine Corps is “very cautious”. If it isn’t their idea, then they are “very cautious” towards new concepts (though they quickly adopted the M27 IAR without much question or skepticism).

        You “just” lob the 40mm into the machine gun nest? have you ever employed the 40mm in combat? that is a task easier said than done. my point is that if you can improve the accuracy of systems to make it more effective, even if it requires the controversial use of a “smaller” caliber, then the weapon should be employed in combat.

        The Mk 19 discussion is off point. you cannot carry it around with you in the mountains. Im talking about infantry carrying a counter defilade weapon.

      • Mike Knox

        Hey Dumbass! The K11 is a military contract, there’s no marketing work in it..

    • Rangefinder

      So you are presuming air burst only means overhead and one intended target?

      • jdun1911

        No, what he’s presuming is low velocity birdshot pellets only pissed off the enemy. The enemy come rushing out of his cave and shove the 20mm up the operator ass while yelling, “Are you stupid? Didn’t you read Old Painless test on theboxoftruth.com about birdshots? Birdshots are for birds! Do I look like a BIRD?”.

      • Rangefinder

        Uh…Rushing out of a cave represents tactical advantage!? Not buying it.

      • Mike Knox

        Heh, you’ve been making the same babble over two threads now. You might need to have a mental health check..

  • Nadnerbus

    Making this an over under setup just isn’t practical, hence the spin off of the XM 25 from the OICW. Until they can get the tech working perfectly, and miniaturize it enough, there is no point having the assault rifle component. It looks like a barely useful afterthought to the rest of the bulky thing. Even if you shrink that optic/electronics housing to the size of a comp 4 or ACOG, the whole package would still be rather large.

  • Doesitmatter?

    Incredibly cumersome for little 5.56mm gun (with lots of expense behind it). This concept has been overlived in US time ago; they realized it it closest thing to nonsense. The way out was dedicated 30mm “grenaderifle”, as we know. I don’t think this is gonna impress northern military.

    • Doesitmatter?

      By the way I dare to correct author: the OICW caliber was 5.56/ 25mm – not 20.

      • noob

        the original xm29 oicw used a 20mm round. the new xm25 punisher uses a much heavier 25mm grenade that has had positive reviews. the xm25 is a single barrel semi auto dedicated airburst grenade launcher.

      • Alex-mac

        Postoperative field reviews in the sense of ‘they ran away’, but not one fatality. Which means the round is not lethal enough to kill people. If they are making a ‘scare’ round that maybe makes the enemy deaf then they can do that with a 20mm too.

      • jdun1911


        Going from 20mm to 25mm makes little difference in terms of lethality.

      • W

        jdun, where are your references? the 25mm seems to be lethal enough.

      • W

        “Postoperative field reviews in the sense of ‘they ran away’, but not one fatality.”

        again, where in the hell are the references? People are sure going out of their way to post a bunch of bullshit.

  • Big Daddy

    Plus who want to carry that monstrosity and get every sniper pointing their SVD at you.

    It looks just so big and having been in the field I would not want to carry that. I was OK with an M60 or M203 but that was the limit. It’s not only weight.

    • John Doe

      Amen. Anyone who carries that in the field may as well carry a light-up billboard saying ‘shoot me now’!

    • Big Daddy

      That reminds me of Daffy Duck saying shoot me now and Elmer Fudd shooting him.

  • Burst

    I feel like beneath all the technical wizardry, there’s some ideas for a good gun here.

    Modify an M203/25mm to sit above the bore, and you could add in an ejection system. Combine with a bullpup assault rifle.

    Single trigger, single selector. Not a ponderous monstrosity.

  • James

    Well, looking at the positive side, If I had that I could build some sweet upper body muscles pretty fast.

  • Fred

    Why do designers want to put the sighting system 5-6 inches above the rifle bore?

  • rick

    Maybe if the scope was bigger this would increase killing power- like a 1-100x210mm with thermal and x-ray vision- with built in UAV to get closer. They should stick with making cars and trucks.

  • Big Daddy

    Even more ridiculous is that the grenade launcher is bolt action. Why bother?

    Put the same electronics on an M32/MGL-140 and that’s a good weapon.

  • bob

    You will see a lot of similar weapons systems come out in the next 20 years, as nano technology/microprocessors advance. This is being actively R&D by lot of 1st world military’s. Remember the trajectory of small arms technology, every stage took 20-30 years to be fully matured and implemented, this is in no different.

  • Lance

    The general reason this never fully replaced the K-2 series of rifles is look how BIG it is to the average Korean solder. Overall it still uses a similar system as the K-2 and is BIGGER except for its GL it offers nothing real big over the K-2.

  • SL09

    That looks like the gun from Star Ship Troopers, which is why I kind of like it.

  • John Doe

    I pity the poor soldier that has to carry this into battle.

  • Lex

    While that sighting system is ridiculous from the side the gun itself seems to make a very efficient use of space. The XM25 managed to fit a similar sighting system in a smaller package but not by much.

  • Jeff

    Didn’t this rifle have lots of problems?

    weak primer strikes (surprising in a military rifle), barrel drift, improperly made lenses, issues with the selector switch, and IIRC, a soldier was recently injured when the 20mm round detonated inside the barrel. Documents said that the soldier did not die because of the poor lethality of the round

    • Lex

      I think the idea that he survived because the round was too weak was speculation by others. He did have a bunch of gun between him and the explosion and the path of least resistance is out the barrel.

      • Rangefinder

        I think you are confusing subsonic combustion (propellant) with supersonic combustion (charge).

  • calool

    this gun is one malfunction away from spraying molten scope in your eyes…

  • bbmg

    “Finally, when detonated in airburst mode, the rules of physics resulted in the majority of fragments being dispersed vertically and away from the intended target, rendering the fragments ineffective.”



    • Partizan1942

      Yepp… Those are 40mm nades. But in case of the above mentioned weapon we are talking about 20mm nades…
      Thank you for the pdfs though they were really informative

    • bbmg

      It would be interesting to have something like the Oerlikon Contraves AHEAD ammunition: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0oHvqIUEmY

      There would be a very small charge to burst the projectile open, just like shrapnel shells of old, and the sub projectiles would rely on the shell’s existing momentum to cause damage, and none of them would be wasted travelling away from the target.

      Obviously the issue is that the shell itself has a relatively low velocity (especially compared to the 35mm rounds mentioned earlier) and therefore the sub-projectiles would perform very poorly against armoured targets.

      It would me more akin to a blast from a shotgun than a grenade. Just to throw in some numbers, the K11 fires a “grenade” at a paltry 650 fps. I couldn’t find any weight data, but I assume it’s around 150 grams. Let’s say it could carry a payload of 100 grams, to give say ten sub projectiles weighing 10 grams each, on target at say 500 fps that’s 86 ft/lbs each, about as much as a 22LR. Not spectacular, but I wouldn’t want to be hit by it. Still, I would thing an explosive round would be more effective, with additional blast and incendiary effect.

      • jdun1911

        10 grams at 500 fps is not even close to .22lr. I’ll bet you that you wouldn’t feel the round if you’re wearing heavy winter clothing. I would like to see a penetrating test on the 20mm and 25mm.

        A typical Wal-Mart .22lr round is between 36-40gr that travel 1200+fps with over 130 ft lbs of energy.

      • bbmg

        According to an old standard (based on testing which no one seems to remember), the minimum energy required to inflict a lethal wound is 58 ft/lbs, so if the equivalent of a heavy subsonic 9mm round was coming toward me at 500 fps, I would want more than a heavy jacket to protect me.

  • Mike Knox

    Seriously? With range finders, optics and electronics that can fit in your pocket, they mount one that makes up a fifth of the bulk?

    Kind of makes sense, it’s the same place where horrid cars like Kias and Hyundais are made..

    • Gay Guy

      Ha. Better than Toyota and Honda at least.

  • W

    Im sure as technology continues to advance, the “integrated laser range finder/munition programming and arming system” will get smaller in size and the advancements in ammunition will make the counter defilade system more effective. I envision a caseless or telescopic 25mm or similar grenade. Smaller microchips and more efficient charges will allow more space for the killing solution.

    Many people blame the 20mm weapon system on the OICW for its failure, though the reason why it was ultimately cancelled was because the later XM8 was a drastic change from the original OICW design parameters. I believe the OICW was too ambitious for the technology available. Give it another 10-20 years before critical technologies mature before you see a similar weapon being used on the battlefield.

  • tae

    I think the bottom might just be a K1a1. Additionally I think the electronics aren’t all that big but the housing(protection) for them that makes them big. As I understand it the thing contains FLIR/NV and a laser range finder all in one plus the battery.

    • ROK

      bottom’s K2 assault rifle actually. K1A1 is a kind of MAR (some people say SMG). only officers use K1A1. And true that the electronics part is big because it contains protections.

  • Paul

    Wow, you would make a damn good target dragging that giant POS around.

  • derfel cadarn

    There are apartment in Hong Kong smaller than this> Does it come with its own trailer?