Weapons: Shooting Around Corners


October 4, 2016: A South Korean firm has developed an upgrade for its KSPW (Korea Special-Purpose Weapon) that first appeared in 2010. KSPW 1.0 was a device that could turn a 9mm pistol into one that shoots around corners. It was based on the Israeli "Corner Gun" weapon but did not attract as much business as expected.

KSPW 2.0 has new features that may attract more attention. Thus KSPW 2.0 can more easily be used with other pistols as well as the South Korean K1A 9 mm submachine gun. This is a compact 2.97 kg (6.6 pound) weapon firing 5.56x45mm ammo (like the M-16) and using M-16 (NATO standard) magazines. With the KSPW the K1A usually has a 20 round magazine and fires single shots or three round bursts. KSPW 2.0 also has an improved (800x480 pixel) LCD user display and works with a laser target designator and attached tactical LED flashlight.

South Korea spent $307,000 developing KSPW 1.0 which was built around the South Korean K5 9mm automatic pistol . The original Israeli version was basically a pistol accessory that enabled the user to see, and fire, a pistol around corners. The Corner Gun looks like a boxy assault rifle. But in the center of the weapon can turn right or left, and the front part of the weapon can hold a pistol (Glocks are favored, but others can be accommodated). The front part also contained a video cam. The rear part of the weapon has a viewer for the videocam and a trigger, which activates a trigger mechanism in front part that fires the pistol.

Firing 9mm or larger bullets, the sighting system is pretty accurate at ranges under a hundred meters, which is the normal range of urban combat. The weapon can fire a pistol fitted with a silencer. The videocam can be replaced with a night vision system and laser sights. This system is only being sold to governments for police or military operations. The Israeli army tried out the system in urban combat situations, but Chinese and Indian special police squads have been the major customers. South Korean military and police organizations also bought some. Iran and Pakistan have also developed very similar weapons.

Obviously, the weapon is also useful for just looking around a corner to see if the coast is clear, and that would probably be its most frequent use in combat. The basic Corner Shot costs $5,000 and up, and the K5 was somewhat cheaper. Corner Gun type weapons are not high tech and could be assembled using off the shelf parts and the use of a machine shop.

So far the South Korean Defense Ministry has not agreed to buy any KSPW 2.0, apparently because it is only used by a few special operations units and not all that often.


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