The Republic of Korea (ROK) Marines have a legendary history of toughness, as is often attested by tough U.S. Marine Corps who train with them. Formed in 1949 with an initial strength of 380 and patterned after the USMC, the ROK Marine Corps have fought alongside their U.S. counterparts in the Korean War and Vietnam, and they train to fight alongside them in any future conflict. During the tough fighting after the amphibious invasion at Inchon during the Korean War, the ROK Marines battled shoulder-to-shoulder with U.S. Marines in order to recapture the republic’s capital, Seoul. ROK Marines of the 2nd Marine Brigade—the Blue Dragons—fought alongside U.S. Marines once again in I Corps during the Vietnam War. Virtually every U.S. soldier or Marine who served with the Koreans in Vietnam has a story about their toughness.

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As one of the most highly trained units in the Republic of Korea’s armed forces, the ROK Marine Corps is on constant alert for provocations or infiltration from the North. They are already very versatile in their missions, though amphibious assault remains a primary responsibility. Other missions can include fighting as elite ground troops, special operations, security for naval and other installations, protection of offshore islands, and counterterrorism and counter-infiltration, among others. ROK Marines utilize a variety of weapons to effectively conduct their missions. Read on to learn more about the rifles, shotguns, and pistols used by the ROK Marine Corps.


Daewoo Precision Industries K2: The principal rifle used by the ROK Marines is the Daewoo K2, which is chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO and takes STANAG (M16-type) magazines.

  • Weight: 3.26 kg (7.2 lb)
  • Length: 980 mm (39 in) (extended), 730 mm: (29 in) (folded)
  • Barrel length: 465 mm (18.3 in)
  • Cartridge: 5.56x45mm NATO, .223 Remington
  • Action: Gas operated, Rotating bolt
  • Rate of Fire: 750 RPM
  • Feed System: STANAG Magazines
  • Sights: Iron Sights

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Daewoo Precision Industries K1 Submachine Gun: ROK Marine Recons sometimes use the K1 SMG version of the rifle, which has a sliding stock and a 10.4-inch barrel. ROK Recon Marines have similar skills and missions as U.S. Marine Recon personnel. ROK Recons can insert on skis, by small boat, scuba, airborne, helicopter—whatever it takes to reach the area of operations. Although, as their title indicates, their primary mission is gathering intelligence, ROK Recons can also carry out raids, assassinations, snatches, prisoner rescues, sabotage and an array of other missions.

  • Weight: 2.87 kg (6.3 lb)
  • Length: 838 mm (33.0 in) (stock extended), 653 mm (25.7 in) (stock retracted)
  • Barrel length: 263 mm (10.4in)
  • Cartridge: .223 Remington
  • Action: Gas-operated, rotating bolt
  • Rate of fire: 700-900 rounds/min
  • Muzzle velocity: 820 m/s (2,700 ft/s)
  • Effective firing range: 250 m
  • Feed system: STANAG magazines
  • Sights: Iron sights

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Daewoo K7 | 12 Rifles, Machine Guns, Shotguns, & Pistols Used by ROK Marines
Daewoo K7 | 12 Rifles, Machine Guns, Shotguns, & Pistols Used by ROK Marines

Daewoo Precision Industries K7 Suppressed Submachine Gun: ROK Marine Recons also use the Daewoo K7 suppressed submachine gun, which is chambered in 9mm, has an overall weight of 8.81 pounds, a length of 620mm with the stock retraced and 800mm with the stock extended, and a rate of fire of 1,100 rounds per minute. See below for additional specifications.

  • Weight: 4.00 kg (8.81 lbs)
  • Length: 620 mm (stock retraced) / 800 mm (stock extended)
  • Cartridge: 9×19mm Parabellum
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Action: Blowback
  • Rate of fire: 1,100 rounds/min
  • Effective firing range: 150 m
  • Magazine Capacity: 30 rounds
  • Sights: Iron sights

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Daewoo K5 | 12 Rifles, Machine Guns, Shotguns, & Pistols Used by ROK Marines
Daewoo K5 | 12 Rifles, Machine Guns, Shotguns, & Pistols Used by ROK Marines

Daewoo Precision Industries K5 Pistol: The pistol used by the ROKMC is the Daewoo K5, which incorporates an interesting “fast action” that allows the hammer to be decocked, though the mainspring stays compressed, allowing the trigger to return to the cocked position for a single-action shot.

  • Weight: 800 g
  • Length: 190 mm
  • Barrel length: 105 mm
  • Cartridge: 9×19mm Parabellum
  • Caliber: 9 mm
  • Action: Semi-automatic
  • Effective firing range: 50 m
  • Magazine Capacity: 13 rounds
  • Sights: Iron sights

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Israel Weapon Industries Jericho 941 Pistol: In addition to the expected law enforcement and security duties, ROKMC MPs are also trained in hostage rescue and building assaults. Some IMI Jericho pistols are available for the MPs.

  • Very reliable mechanism
  • Designed for military and police operation
  • Available in 3 calibers: 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP
  • Complies to Military Standard (MIL-STD)
  • Ergonomic grooved pistol grip
  • Integral lower picatinny rail for mounting accessories
  • Single or traditional double action
  • Last round catch
  • Round chamber indicator

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Mossberg 500 Series Shotgun: Although Daewoo produced the full-auto USAS-12 shotgun, the ROK Marines prefer to use the Mossberg 500 series shotgun.

  • Mossberg’s Most Diverse Collection of Stock, Barrel, Finish and Sighting Options
  • 3″ Chambered models in 12ga./20ga.; .410 Bore (21/2″)
  • Field, Turkey, Waterfowl, Slug & Multi-Barrel Combo varieties; Models with LPA™ Adjustable Trigger
  • 20/22/24/26/28″ Barrels; and 24″ Slug Barrel Options
  • Capacity: 6
  • Sights: Twin Bead
  • Chokes: Accu-Set, Full-Fixed
  • Overall Length: 43.75″, 45.25″, 45.5″, 46.25″, 47.5″, 48.5″
  • Length of Pull: 13.875″, 14″, 14.5″
  • Barrel Finish: Blue, High Polish, Matte Blue, Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity
  • Stock: High-Gloss Walnut, Synthetic, Synthetic (Black), Wood
  • Weight: 7.5 lb

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Benelli M4 Tactical Shotgun: In addition to Mossberg, ROK Marines are also partial to the Benelli M4 Tactical Shotgun. These 12-gauge shotguns, chambered for 2-3/4″ and 3″ shells, have an 18.5″ barrel length, a black synthetic finish, an overall length of 40 inches, an average weight of 7.8 pounds, and a 5+1 magazine capacity. See below for additional specs.

  • Gauge: 12-Gauge
  • Chambered for: 2-3/4″ and 3″
  • Barrel Length: 18.5″
  • Finish/Stock: Black Synthetic, Pistol Grip
  • Overall Length: 40.0″
  • Avg. Weight: 7.8 lbs.
  • Magazine Capacity: 5+1
  • Chokes: M
  • Type of Sights: Ghost Ring
  • Length of Pull: 14-3/8″
  • Drop at Heel: 2-1/4″
  • Drop at Comb: 1-1/2″

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Sig Sauer SSG3000 Rifle: Sig Sauer’s SSG3000 is the primary sniping rifle of the ROK Marines. Chambered in .308 WIN/7.62x51mm, the SSG3000 has a 23.50″ barrel (there is also an 18″ barrel option) with a 1:11 twist, an overall length of 45″, a weight of 12 pounds, a 3.5-pound trigger pull, a 5-round magazine capacity, and much more.

  • 60-Degree Short Throw Bolt Action
  • New Receiver with Integral Zero MOA M1913 Rail
  • New Improved Stock with: Integral Ambi QD Sling Points, Aluminum Bedding, Rear Hook, Sloping Forend, 3 and 9 O’Clock M1913 Rail Pockets
  • Barrel Threaded 5/8 x 24
  • SuB-MOA Accuracy
  • Item Number: RSSG-H24B-308-P
  • Caliber: US .308 WIN Metric 7.62 x51mm NATO
  • Overall Length: US 45.0″ Metric 1143mm
  • Overall Height: US 6.0″ Metric 152mm
  • Overall Width: US 3.74″ Metric 95mm
  • Barrel Length: US 23.50″ Metric 600mm
  • Weight w/o Mag: US 12.0 lbs Metric 5.44 kg
  • Rifling Twist: US 1 in 11 Metric 280mm
  • Rifling Grooves: 4
  • Trigger Pull: US 3.5 lbs Metric 1.6 kg
  • Mag Capacity: 5

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Steyr SSG 69 Rifle Series: The ROK Marines also use the Steyr SSG 69 line of sniper rifles, the Steyr SSG 69 PI, PII and PIV. The PI is chambered in .243 Win. and .308 Win, the PII is chambered in .243. Win, .22-250 Rem., & .308 Win, and the PIV is chambered in .308 Win. The barrel length ranges from 508 mm (PI) to 650mm (PII). See below for additional specs.

  • Calibers: .243 Win. (Steyr SSG 69 PI), .308 Win. (Steyr SSG 69 PI), .243 Win. (Steyr SSG 69 PII), .22-250 Rem. (Steyr SSG 69 PII), .308 Win. (Steyr SSG 69 PII), .308 Win. (Steyr SSG 69 PIV)
  • Barrel length: 508 mm (20″) (Steyr SSG 69 PI), 650 mm (25,6″) (Steyr SSG 69 PII), 409 mm (Steyr SSG 69 PIV)
  • Magazine: 5 cartridges
  • Trigger: Direct trigger (Steyr SSG 69 PI & PII), direct trigger or double set trigger (Steyr SSG 69 PIV)
  • Stock: Synthetic black
  • Type: without sights (Steyr SSG 69 PI), heavy barrel without sights (Steyr SSG 69 PII), without sights, with heavy barrel and flash hider (Steyr SSG 69 PIV)
  • Overall length: 1.008 mm (39,7″) (Steyr SSG 69 PI), 1.190 mm (46,8″) (Steyr SSG 69 PII), 1.003 mm (Steyr SSG 69 PIV)
  • Weight: 3,9 kg (8,6 pounds) (Steyr SSG 69 PI), 4,2 kg (9,3 pounds) (Steyr SSG 69 PII), app. 3,8 kg (app. 8,4 pounds) (Steyr SSG 69 PIV)


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Daewoo Precision Industries K3 Light Machine Gun: The South Korean version of the FN Minimi/M249, the Daewoo K3, is the primary squad automatic weapon of the ROKMC. Chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO/.223 Remington, the Daewoo K3 boasts a 21″ barrel, a rate of fire of 900 rounds per minute, a muzzle velocity of 3,002 ft/s, and an overall length of 41 inches.

  • Weight: 6.85 kg (15.10 lb)
  • Length: 1,030 mm (41 in)
  • Barrel length: 533 mm (21.0 in)
  • Cartridge: 5.56×45mm NATO/.223 Remington
  • Action: Gas-operated, rotating bolt
  • Rate of fire: 900 rounds/min
  • Muzzle velocity: 915 m/s (3,002 ft/s)
  • Sights: Iron Sights

For more information, visit


S&T Motiv K12 | 12 Rifles, Machine Guns, Shotguns, & Pistols Used by ROK Marines
S&T Motiv K12 | 12 Rifles, Machine Guns, Shotguns, & Pistols Used by ROK Marines

S&T Motiv K12 Machine Gun: The ROK Marines have used the U.S. M60 as their general-purpose machine gun, but the locally produced S&T Motiv K12 is due to replace it. The K12 is chambered in 7.62mm and has a 22-inch barrel. In addition, it has a firing range of 0.49 miles, an overall length of 48.5 inches, and a disintegrating belt feed system. See below for more details.

  • Weight: 12 kg (26.4 lbs)
  • Length: 1234 mm (48.5 in)
  • Barrel length: 560 mm (22 in)
  • Cartridge: 7.62x51mm NATO
  • Caliber: 7.62mm (0.308 in)
  • Action: Gas-operated, rotating bolt
  • Rate of fire: 650-950 rounds/min (rpm)
  • Effective firing range: 800 m
  • Feed system: Disintegrating belt

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Daewoo K6 | 12 Rifles, Machine Guns, Shotguns, & Pistols Used by ROK Marines
Daewoo K6 | 12 Rifles, Machine Guns, Shotguns, & Pistols Used by ROK Marines

Daewoo Precision Industries K6 Heavy Machine Gun: ROK Marines also use the Daewoo K6, which is the locally produced version of the Browning M2 .50 machine gun. Since details on the Daewoo K6 are scant, see below for Browning M2 specs.

  • Weight; 38 kg (83.78 lb), 58 kg (127.87 lb) with tripod and T&E
  • Length: 1,654 mm (65.1 in)
  • Barrel length: 1,143 mm (45.0 in)
  • Cartridge: .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
  • Action: Short recoil-operated
  • Effective firing range: 1,800 m (2,000 yd)
  • Maximum firing range: 6,800 m (7,400 yd)

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ROK Marines retain their traditionally close ties with the USMC. The units often train together and exchange personnel. These ties may grow even stronger as some of the U.S. Marines that have been based in Okinawa will likely move to the Republic of Korea, where at least some U.S. Marines have been based alongside Korean Marines for decades. The ROK Marines will continue to train hard to remain combat ready. With perhaps the most dangerous nation in the world on the Republic of Korea’s northern border, the ROK Marines must be constantly ready for action.

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