|Knight's Armament Company PDW|
|Region of Origin:||United States|
|Action:||Gas-operated, rotating bolt|
The Knight's Armament Company 6x35mm PDW is an experimental personal defense weapon designed by KAC, firing a new 6mm cartridge optimized for short barrel weapons.
As with all personal defense weapons, the KAC PDW is intended to be compact and lightweight (similar to submachine guns), but have a longer useful range (out to the low end of combat rifle ranges, 250–300 m). A PDW would be issued primarily to troops who are not offensive combat infantry, but who might need a highly capable defensive weapon if they were attacked, such as truck drivers, artillery troops, tank crews, aircraft crews, and other support troops. The KAC PDW is over 10 inches shorter (19.5" vs. 29.8" with stocks folded) and more than 1 pound lighter (4.5 lb vs. 6.3 lb) than the currently serviced M4 carbine, a U.S. Army and Marine weapon.
The new weapon was formally introduced at the 2006 NDIA Small Arms Symposium in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Some writers were shown samples at the earlier 2006 SHOT Show.
The KAC PDW combines new and off the shelf components in its design. The lower receiver, holding the magazine and trigger assembly, is essentially a shortened M16 rifle lower receiver, which makes the basic operating controls familiar to many potential users. The cartridge, upper receiver, and operating mechanism are all new designs by KAC.
The KAC PDW uses a completely side-folding stock, unlike the M16 and M4 designs which have their main operating spring in a tube in the stock, and therefore can only partially telescope, and not fold sideways at all.
The barrel has been lightened with a new dimpling process. The KAC PDW fires a 6.5x35 mm cartridge, a full centimeter shorter than the western military standard 5.56x45mm NATO round. The 6mm bullet is slightly wider, and the standard 6x35mm bullet is slightly heavier than the standard 5.56mm bullet (65 grains (4.2 g) versus 62 grains (4.0 g).
Fired from a 10-inch (250 mm) barrel, KAC claims that the 6x35mm cartridge reaches a muzzle velocity of 2,450 ft/s (750 m/s), slightly faster than the muzzle velocity of a 5.56 mm cartridge fired from a similarly short barrel. The larger diameter, shorter 6 mm cartridge is optimized for these shorter barrel lengths, and would perform less efficiently from rifle-length barrels. The round's muzzle energy is 831 ft·lbf (1,127 J) versus 792 ft·lbf (1,074 J) for a 5.56 mm bullet, again from the same 10" standard barrel.
There is a discrepancy between the velocity claimed by Knight's for 5.56 mm 62-grain (4.0 g) SS109 NATO ammunition fired from a 10-inch (250 mm) Colt Commando barrel (2,400 ft/s (730 m/s), 792 ft·lbf (1,074 J) energy) and other M-16 manufacturers' stated muzzle velocities (2,627 ft/s (801 m/s), 950 ft·lbf (1,290 J)). In any case the energies and velocities are roughly comparable.