WTW: Daewoo K1A/ MAX-1/ AR110C

k1a rifle
| January 4, 2017
Categories: Learnin'

This post was made possible by JTF Awesome member, 88 Tactical.


Weapon Trivia Wednesday: Daewoo K1A/ MAX-1/ AR110C

Alexander Crown

You just got killed by a Daewoo [Lanos], Bitch!

And with that famous line that I’m sure you all know I had to have a Daewoo, just not the car. Our allies in South Korea wanted a rifle all their own after they stopped producing homegrown M16s, and from that came the Daewoo K1/K1A1/MAX-1/ AR-110C and the K2. As is the case with several countries that Uncle Sam provided weapons and funding, they borrowed design elements from the M16, Kalashnikov, and the FAL with a little AR-18 sprinkled in for good measure.

The K1 was originally designed as a replacement for the M3A1 Grease Gun and XM177 for vehicle crews and Special Forces personnel, hence the wire collapsible stock and short (10.3”) barrel. All K1 weapons were updated to the K1A with a longer and more functional flash hider shortly after production. The Koreans lengthened the barrel to 16” for export and designated the rifle the MAX-1. The MAX-1 would later get the name AR-110C.

The rifle looks and feels very similar to the M16 and even has a few interchangeable parts including the barrel nut, trigger, and front sight.

The selector varies in that it is a complete 180° throw on the civilian version. The rifles also feed from STANAG magazines.

The bolt is very close to an M16 but features a fixed ejector.

The AR-18 elements were tossed in to increase the reliability of the direct impingement system in the form of a dual guide rod assembly and bolt carrier. The reciprocating left side charging handle is AK-esque and the single heat shield hand guard is modeled after the FAL. I always find it interesting to see what countries take from other guns to make something new (my other favorite example would be the Israeli Galil). This handy little gun tips the scale at 6.3 pounds and collapsed measures 30 inches. The wire stock has two extended positions, the first at 34.5 inches OAL for little guys like me and the next at 37.5 inches for giants or whatever.

The flash hider is machined into the barrel so without some heavy modification you can’t mount a silencer, which makes me weep. But it’s also an excuse to cut it down to proper length. The barrel also has a 1/12” twist optimized for 55gr ammunition, common in the 80’s. The gas tube is the standard carbine length we all grew to love but eventually replaced with mid-length.


The K2 variant differs from the K1A in that it utilizes a long stroke piston system and folding plastic stock. A few are adorned with a thumbhole because some loser thought that was a good idea. The K2 was the rifle while the K1A was the submachine gun/ carbine.

The Daewoo rifles are excellent lightweight, reliable, no frills guns, but with lack of importation nowadays they have become somewhat rare. I would like to see someone import them again so others can own these guns and enjoy something besides an AR.


Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!

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1 Comment

  1. H2O MAN

    Can the original barrel be replaced with an AR barrel?


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