Heckler & Koch CAWS

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Heckler & Koch CAWS - 12 gauge
Heckler & Koch CAWS with scope and short barrel - 12 gauge

The Heckler & Koch CAWS (Close Assault Weapons System) is a bullpup magazine-fed combat shotgun. It was developed by Heckler & Koch and Winchester-Olin during the 1980s as part of the CAWS program, an attempt to salvage the failed SPIW program. The project goal was an infantry arm designed for city combat at ranges of 100 yards or less, with the obvious stumbling block of what the soldier was supposed to do if his enemy was more than 100 yards away proving to be the project's downfall.

The HK CAWS was the only entry to really get anywhere, and was a fully ambidextrous select-fire shotgun using proprietary brass-cased 12-gauge rounds to avoid the issue of melted plastic fouling the action as might potentially happen with a full-automatic shotgun firing conventional plastic cased shells. It never proceeded beyond the prototype phase, and was not pursued further following the cancellation of the CAWS project. Work done on CAWS was, however, used in the design of the equally ill-fated bullpup 20x28mm grenade launcher for the XM29 Objective Individual Combat Weapon and ultimately led to the XM25.


(1980s (prototypes only))

Type: Shotgun

Caliber: Proprietary 12 gauge (19.5x76mm)

Capacity: 10-round detachable box magazine

Fire Modes: safe, semi-auto, and full-auto

The H&K CAWS can be seen in the following:

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Jagged Alliance 2 w/ scope and short barrel 1999
Fallout 2 "HK CAWS" 1999
Fallout Tactics "HK CAWS" 2001
Project Origin "Ultra92" heavily modified 2009
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker "CAW" anachronistic 2010
Ghost Recon Online "CAWS" w/ rail around the handguard 2012
Jagged Alliance: Back in Action "CAWS" w/ scope and short barrel 2012

See Also

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