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The HK CAWS was a prototype of shotgun created and designed by Heckler & Koch


The CAWS (Close Assault Weapon System) was a joint project for the United States Military led by the German firearm firm of Heckler & Koch and the American firm of Winchester / Olin. The design idea behind the CAWS system was to produce a state-of-the-art next generation automatic shotgun utilizing a new specialized ammunition round. Heckler & Koch developed the weapon system and firing control mechanics featuring a patented recoil system. Winchester / Olin focused on designing the new ammunition that

HK CAWS shotgun

would support the CAWS weapon system.

The CAWS was of a "bullpup" design with the ammunition cartridge inserted to the rear of the pistol grip. The cocking lever was placed ambidextrously under the attached carrying handle, allowing the user to cock the weapon either with the left or right hand (advantageous in that the user would never have to take his hand off the pistol grip). The firing mechanism allowed for a safety, semi-automatic fire mode and three-round burst capability. A scope could also be fitted to the system to increase accuracy. As interesting concept as the CAWS was, the system was simply not what the United States Military was searching for at the time, thusly the entire CAWS program was cancelled. Nevertheless, experiments such as this often introduce a new design concept that is made readily available for yet another weapon system. The CAWS could very well see life in a new gun system further on down the road.


  • Type: select-fire, recoil operated (patented system with gas assist subsystem)
  • Gauge: 12 (special ammunition with belted case, 19,5е76 mm)
  • Length: 762–988 mm
  • Barrel length: 457–685 mm
  • Weigth 3,7-3,86 kg
  • Magazine: 10 rounds detachable box magazine

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