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QBU-88

Designated marksman rifle

QBU-88 designated marksman rifle

The QBU-88 rifle is intended to extend the fire reach of an infantry squad

 
 
Country of origin China
Entered service 1997
Caliber 5.8 x 42 mm
Weight (unloaded) 4.1 kg
Length 920 mm
Barrel length 620 mm
Muzzle velocity ?
Magazine capacity 10 rounds
Sighting range 800 m
Range of effective fire 600 m

 

   The QBU-88 is a designated marksman rifle, that is currently used by the Chinese army and law enforcement forces. Sometimes it is referred as the Type 88. It was developed in the 1980s. China's army was looking for a weapon to replace their Type 79 designated marksman rifle (copy of the Soviet SVD), which reportedly had a number of build quality and reliability issues. Even though by that time an improved Type 85 was available, Chinese MoD went for a completely new weapon, chambered for new indigenous 5.8x42 mm intermediate ammunition. Eventually a whole infantry weapon family was developed, chambered for this new ammunition. Though the QBU-88 was actually the first weapon to use it. Number "88" in the designation denotes model 1988. This weapon was reportedly adopted by the Chinese army in 1997. This marksman rifle has been exported to some countries.

   The QBU-88 is a gas-operated weapon with bullpup layout. Due to this layout it is rather compact for its role. This weapon is chambered for China's indigenous 5.8x42 mm intermediate ammunition. It is claimed to be superior to standard NATO 5.56x45 mm ammunition. The same 5.8x42 mm ammunition is used by all China's infantry weapons, including QBZ-95 assault rifle, QJB-95 squad automatic weapon and QJY-88 general purpose machine gun. Though normally the QBU-88 uses special precision-grade ammunition with longer and more streamlined bullet and a  steel core. It can also fire standard ammunition of the QBZ-95 assault rifle.

   Internally this marksman rifle has many design features of the venerable AK-47 assault rifle. The original AK-47 was produced in China as the Type 56. However overall the QBU-88 is a new design. Interestingly barrel length of the QBU-88 is similar to that of the Soviet SVD. Though due to its bullpup layout the QBU-88 is much more compact. This Chinese marksman rifle is intended to extend the fire reach of the squad. Though it is by no means a true sniper rifle.

   The QBU-88 is capable only of semi-automatic firing. The safety switch is located at the bottom of the receiver, behind the magazine, and is rather awkward to use.

   This marksman rifle is fed from 10-round capacity magazines.

   This weapon comes as standard with a bipod. Though the bipod can be detached if not required.

   This weapon is normally used with a 4x magnification scope. It has a sighting range of 800 m. It can mount various scopes and night vision sights. Also there are flip-up iron sights for emergency use. Range of effective fire is around 600 m.

 

Variants

 

   KBU-97 (or Type 97) is an export version, chambered for the standard NATO 5.56x45 mm ammunition. This weapon is not compatible with standard NATO (M16-type) magazines, but instead uses modified magazines of the QBU-88. In 2015 a similar export rifle emerged, marketed as the NQU-03.

 

 
QBU-88 designated marksman rifle

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QBU-88 designated marksman rifle

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QBU-88 designated marksman rifle

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QBU-88 designated marksman rifle

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QBU-88 designated marksman rifle

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