Sunday, April 3, 2011
Personal Critical Review of Firearms - The Daewoo rifles
Personal - Just as the AR the Daewoo in .223 does not quite qualify as an MBR, more in the category of carbine. Ugly, and utilitarian, it's mean black rifle look is enough to cause Californication wet liberals to urinate themselves. The Daewoo shines with reasonable ergonomics for large people, and almost perfect ergonomics for small adults and older children. This rifle was never considered very accurate especially when stacked against the AR/M16. As you may have noted in the past I prefer the full length fixed stock version of any rifle, but the unique very FN-esque folding stock on the Daewoo is quite sturdy, American rifle makers should take note. One of the several rifles on my list that I heartily regret selling in my sorry habit of gun trading. Far from just a combination of the AR and the AK the Daewoo is a true example of how the Koreans are are a real force to be considered in design, taking features from the AR (bolt and lower), the AK (gas piston) and ALSO the FN-FAL (gas adjustment), HK (buffer) and the precursor to new designs like the ACR and SCAR.
Function - This rifle has AK/HK91 type of reliable function, as close to flawless as you can get in any autoloading rifle. Dusty environments and excessive oil are the most likely to cause malfunctions, unlike the AK the tolerances are more AR like. Note the strange hook slot in the folding stock, where, when folded the bolt charging handle misses hitting the stock to allow firing with a folded stock.
Design flaws - This rifle has all of the typical issues you would see with the lowers from standard AR rifles as the lower internals are similar. The largest issue is the gas piston is just too high above the barrel and the forces cause a degradation in accuracy. The factory selector is funky (not enough to be a real issue) and the gas plug as noted in the video from our friend at Ammosmith is touchy if you are careless.
Quality - Excellent first world production quality of top quality materials. I have only had one example and I never had the "crack" problem some of the later imports showed with the receiver preventing the use of the folding stock (I have only seen ONE example of this problem documented so it could have been a simple "one-of" turned into a propaganda issue). While not exactly a quality issue, the barrel has a twist best suited for 55-60 grain projectiles.
Caliber/Ammunition - The Daewoo rifle was available in .223/5.56 and 7.62 x 39 with the vast majority of this already scarce import into the US in the .223 version The Daewoo in the Soviet round version is rare enough to not even note, but they did exist. The basic .223 Daewoo rifle can make use of the accurate cartridge, in a reasonable way just not in the same class as the AR. The .223 is often faulted for it's small size but it is a centerfire cartridge and is one of the most popular cartridges used in the US with high quality commercial and surplus widely available at just about any location that sells ammunition.
Use - The Daewoo uses the AR magazine that is as common on the US market as rats in the feed barn. This handy carbine is quite suited to varmint hunting where iron sights and secondary follow up shots are needed. I only place the Kel-Tec SU16CA higher in rank because of the fact that the Kel-Tec is in production in the US and current. Replacement parts for this rifle series are available from Daewoo rifle parts Inc.
Current production - Sadly importation of any of the Daewoo versions of this rifle has halted, but there are more examples of this rifle in the US than the new ACR or the AR180 and are at least relatively available on the used market.
I consider this rifle an excellent choice, but possibly a second tier choice for shooters who feel the need for a small light rifle in the .223. With a selection of replacement parts this rifle would be more reliable than the AR direct impingement rifles with a bit less accuracy at lower prices than the SCAR, and most of the benefits. Sad this rifle is so uncommon and no longer available new.