I just learned something today that blew my mind.

The Republic of Korea Army has an OICW. In service.

It’s just like the XM29 OICW, which was supposed to be the future of the US Army soldier. The OICW fired a 5.56mm round like any other NATO rifle. The big gimmick was that in addition to that, it had a built in 20mm airburst grenade launcher with a fancy fire control computer. 

That’s the XM29. It never caught on because frankly, it’s huge. It was also really complicated and didn’t work well enough to justify the costs. 

Back when this program was going on, this gun was the future. An assault rifle combined with something that shot fully automatic explosive 20mm rounds. It sounds like something out of Warhammer 40k. I remember when every single video game was parading this thing around as the ultimate weapon and then it never happened.

The new Korean gun, called the K11, looks to be much more compact and simpler than the XM29 did. For starters, the grenade launcher is not automatic, it’s actually bolt action. Apparently it’s had a shaky introduction with some mechanically unreliable parts, but still, it’s truly the first of it’s kind to ever enter service.

The XM29 Objective Individual Combat Weapon

God, I can remember back when I thought this was the objectively coolest thing in the world. I can remember recording that episode of Mail Call where they had this thing on so I could watch it over and over again

Crazy to look back on, but that was back before I realized that anything you want to take into battle you gotta carry into battle

The Security for the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, stands guard as she visits the Malkohi Internally Displaced Person Camp in Yola, Nigeria, on April 22, 2016. Power was traveling to Cameroon, Chad, and Nigeria to highlight the growing threat Boko Haram poses to the Lake Chad Basin region.

Andrew Harnik / AP                                

usually don’t care for Gun Talk at all, but uh, why is this dude toting around what looks like an XM29?