MAC Shoots the Daewoo K2

Tim from Military Arms Channel was able to get his hands on a Daewoo K2, an interesting derivative of the base AR-15 that has some features reminiscent of the venerable AK platform.

The rifle itself has an interesting history, which ends with it still being in service as the primary service rifle of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) today. Although its replacement is in the works, the weapon serves well to this day.

In terms of function, the rifle is a hybrid rifle of the AR and the AK-47. The bolt is similar to the AR, but rather than the use a sprung ejector, it uses a sprung “fixed” ejector that moves up on a spring to eject the shell. From there, the bolt has a fixed charging handle on the right hand side of the receiver.

Back to the AR, it uses an AR-style trigger system, uses STANAG magazines, and an AR-style bolt catch. Magazine release is only on the right-hand. The sights are fixed like an FNC, with fixed front sight on the gas block and the rear built directly in the receiver.

Unlike many modern firearms designs, the rifles do not typically have a picatinny rail or provision for optics (hence the upcoming replacement). Enjoy the video below on an interesting weapons design!

We’ve covered some of Tim’s other great videos like the M9A3 or the testing of pull and release triggers. 

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • DW

    A shame it’s no longer imported, hope Lionheart fixes that.

    • David Lowrey

      They are trying to and have been for a few years. They want to bring them back in new calibers too. Like 300 Black out and 308. However they haven’t made any public announcement about details or release date. I dont know how much they are building domestically or importing though.

      • De Facto

        I hope they succeed. I would happily purchase one, thumbhole stock or no. Price it in the $700-900 range and I could see this developing a heck of a following.

    • M

      I sent them a email last year inquiring about that. This is the response I got

      • abecido

        Well, bleah. From hopes raised to hopes crushed in the time taken to read two posts.
        If anyone from Lionheart is reading this, if you make it I will buy one.

      • David Lowrey

        It’s better then the going price for originals. And that message was last year, so it’s possible they got back into the project.

  • Hellbilly

    There’s been a Daewoo in one of my local shops since the days of the AWB. It is covered in dust and it has always had an exorbitant price tag – hence the reason it’s been sitting on the rack for 15+ years. I’ve always wished I could take it home, but the shop owner never budges on the price.

    • David Lowrey

      What was the price?

    • John Yossarian

      If the price is close enough to GunBroker average – considering condition, etc – Just go for it. The worst that can happen is that you resell it for the same amount a few months or years later.

      • David Lowrey

        When I got mine in 2012, they where around $1,300. Now starting price is $1,700 and normally sell for $2,000.

  • jcl

    Interesting note:
    It seems the Indonesian current assault rifle, Pindad ss2 borrow many features from Daewoo k2. It has ar15 like bolt carrier and separate operating rod (although ss2’s rod based on fnc design), and early model has exposed charging handle and ejection port like Daewoo k2 (later model add dust cover, it also borrow Daewoo k2 type folding stock latch and shorter magwell.

    • jcl

      Latest versions :
      1) ss2v5a1
      2) ss2v5c
      3) ss2v4
      4) top to bottom (pm2v2, ssba, ssx)
      5) the middle one is ss2v5 with long barrel

    • The Pindad SS2 is a FN FNC variant. Indonesia was one of the first countries to adopt the FNC, and they purchased a license to manufacture the design. The FNC was introduced several years before the Daewoo K2.

      • jcl

        No, ss1 is the fnc variant. Ss2 was designed in 2002, long after daewoo k2 was introduced and it have features from fnc, daewoo k2 and several other rifles

  • David Lowrey

    The k2 platform isn’t exactly being replaced, just upgraded. The new version is called the K2A. The only diffrence being new picitany rails and a adjustable stock. It actualy looks like what a lot of Americans have done to semi auto DR200-300s.

    • CK S

      You are right, K2 platform is not being replaced and ROK DoD has no plan to adapt another small arm for the infantry. They will just improve and I don’t think it will ever die any time soon, just like trusty M16 platforms. Also S&T Motiv is the only small arms mfg in Korea and Korean military being the largest customer. If ROK military does not request, S&T Motiv does not develop and manufacture. There were multiple suggestions by S&T Motiv and Gov’t said no. Besides they are not doing well overseas either. Their product line up is limited to attract customers from purchasing IWI, HK, FN, Colt…etc products and not as cost effective compared to some contracted vendors in other nations. (let’s not talk about how much K2 cost in early 90’s. Those days are gone. Every thing was cheap then..)

    • korean

      이거 오보로 판명난지가 오래인데 무슨 소리여

  • RickH

    I rarely shoot mine anymore, just because it’s more of a collector now. That being said I think this is the best example of what the AR15 could/should have evolved into, if you like piston gas systems (which I do). Great folding stock, good ergos, the gas system has a couple more adjustments than necessary, but a rock solid design. I even like it better then my FNC.

  • LazyReader

    South Korea as far as I can tell has no plan to replace the K2, attempts to do so with the X-K 8 resulting in the weapon being rejected.

    • korean

      암것도 모르는구만 ㅋ

  • Pete Sheppard

    I’ve handled both pre-and post-ban K2s; it also reminds me of the AR18, though I’m not sure if the K2 actually borrows anything from it.

  • Al

    Daewoo precision, and Daewoo itself, is long gone out of business after a bankruptcy and scandal. The K2 is still listed in the catalog of S&T Motiv, the company that was formed from what was left of Daewoo precision, later called S&T Daewoo.

  • MPWS

    Part of that silly RS built-up it looks pretty good. I agree this was the what the AR should have evolved (and still can). Uncomplicated and visibly light and simple – way to go.

  • Michael R. Zupcak

    Isn’t this what the Robinson XCR is based on? I never read/see anything about the XCR except “don’t buy one” or “customer service is a nightmare”. Supposedly, though, they’re great if you have parts for them.

    • Dan Atwater

      They definitely have similarities. I had an XCR and it was great, can’t speak for the CS at Robinson though, never had to use it but I’ve heard the same. A larger mfgr could’ve done very well with the design.

  • abecido

    Of all the guns I sold like a blinking idiot, I miss my K2 the most.

  • CK S

    K2 was one of my service rifles back in the days while serving in the ROK military. While it was a great rifle but had some issues like any other weapon platforms. I’m sure it’s all improved by now. The problems were not the mechanical design itself but some minor QA issues.

    I also contacted LH industry about new K2 versions for the US market and received similar response as M. My wild guess, LH is not proving themselves in terms of generating revenue to S&T Motiv to develop and release another civilian product. There are 922R rules to comply and LH needs much more manufacturing/assembly capability to produce 922R compliant rifles. If LH9 sold well enough, I see why not to S&T Motiv to jointly venture the new sales channel for K2s. I think K-series rifles will sell better than K5 variant pistols.

    I would personally love to see S&T Motiv invest and open a branch like IWI did.

    To Korean, Average american shooters know much more than you’d ever imagine. I’m sure they don’t know as much of the history of the K2 platforms but they have been handling and firing much more rounds down the range than your entire service time in the ROK military. We go through thousands of rounds a year and we actually purchase thousands rounds a year. How many rounds did you shoot during your entire service in the military?

    Average Korean military personnel is well trained but in my personal opinion, they simply do not shoot enough. But then S Korea is just a small country to boot with. It’s approximately 1/5 size of the state of California which also makes it to be about the size of KY (KY being slightly larger) and need to maintain 600,000 active troops and being 6-7th (or 7-8th depending on source) strongest military in the world. I know it will not be easy to train every soldier like US military does. I’ve also heard that average PRC soldier shoots even less than ROK soldiers.

    Bottom line, I would love to see new K2 returned to the market. I should have sold my DR200 =(

    • jcl

      Do you find the lack of dust cover as a weakness, or it work fine without it?

  • CK S

    Now we are talking.. That makes much more sense. I didn’t know that Dasan Machinery opened a branch in GA. Looks like they opened last year and are heavily focusing on firearm parts in the US branch. Perhaps OEMing for other vendors. The HQ has their presence in many different business sectors and not to mention the firearm business being one of their main business.

    One downfall I can think of, if there would be a 3rd partner, the MSRP/MAP for each rifle would most likely go higher.

    Kahr Arms is owned by the Unification Church aka moonies as far as I’m concerned. I can be wrong. Personally not a big fan of their products anyway. The only thing I’d want from their line up is a 30 carbine clone but NJ banned it (where I reside)

    I know that PMC is a S Korea company (PoongSan Metal corp) They are the only small arms cartridge company in Korea (well again S Korea is a small country)

  • ganadharmabhasa

    K2 is when an AR-15 wants to become an AK-47.