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QBZ-95

Assault rifle

QBZ-95

The QBZ-95 assault rifle is chambered for indigenous Chinese ammunition

 
 
Country of origin China
Entered service Mid 1990s
Caliber 5.8 x 42 mm
Weight (empty) 3.4 kg
Length 760 mm
Barrel length 520 mm
Muzzle velocity 930 m/s
Cyclic rate of fire 650 rpm
Practical rate of fire 40 - 100 rpm
Magazine capacity 30 rounds
Sighting range 500 m
Range of effective fire ~ 400 m

 

   The QBZ-95 or Type 95 assault rifle has been developed in China. It is an entirely new and modern family of weapons, which uses newly developed Chinese ammunition. This assault rifle has been designed to replace the ageing Type 81. The QBZ-95 was first adopted by the PLA elite units, however soon after it became the standard issue infantry rifle with the Chinese army, armed police and other law enforcement forces. This assault rifle was first observed in 1997. Export operators are Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and possibly some other countries.

   It is a gas operated, selective fire assault rifle, with a bullpup layout. This weapon is chambered for indigenous Chinese DBP-87 5.8x42 mm ammunition. The DBP-87 designation stands fro Standard Rifle Cartridge, model 1987. This ammunitions was developed in the late 1980s to replace the Soviet 7.62x39 mm ammunition in Chinese service. It is a lighter ammunition with improved ballistics, similar in concept to the standard NATO 5.56x42 mm and Soviet 5.45x39 mm intermediate ammunition. It was designed to be a one cartridge solution for assault rifles, designated marksman rifles and light machine guns. It is claimed that Chinese 5.8x42 mm ammunition is superior to the 5.56x45 and 5.45x39 mm ammunition. Eventually a whole family of infantry weapons was developed in China, chambered for the new 5.8x42 mm ammunition. It includes the QBZ-95 assault rifle, QJB-95 squad automatic weapon, QJY-88 general purpose machine gun and QBU-88 designated marksman rifle. Design of the QBZ-95 assault rifle does not resembles any of the previous Chinese designs. Also it is not a clone of foreign designs, but rather an indigenous clean sheet design.

   All weapons of the QBZ-95 family are designed around the same action and bullpup layout with a polymer housing. This family also includes a carbine and light machine gun. However these weapons can not be converted from one configuration to another.

   A combined safety and fire mode selector switch is located behind the magazine, from the left side. This assault rifle produces single shots, three round bursts or fully automatic fire. The QBZ-95 incorporates some features to reduce recoil, which is claimed to be low.

   The QBZ-95 is not ambidextrous. Its ejection port is made at the right side only. This weapon is fed from box-shaped polymer magazines, holding 30 rounds. Two magazines can be clamped together using a special clamp for faster reloading.

   Chinese sources reported that the QBZ-95 is as accurate as the US M16A3 and as reliable as the Soviet AK-74, however these claims have not been confirmed by Western sources.

   An integral carrying handle comes with built-in rear sight base. It is an open type and has a sighting range of 500 m. The carrying handle has quick-release mounting points for various sights or night vision scopes. Effective range of fire is about 400 m against a point target and 600 m against area target.

   The QBZ-95 assault rifle is compatible with a QLG-91B 35 mm underbarrel grenade launcher, which is similar in concept to the US M203. Alternatively it can mount a newer and more compact QLG-10 35 mm grenade launcher, which was inspired by the Russian GP-30. Furthermore the QBZ-95 assault rifle can launch DQJ-03 40 mm rifle grenades. This weapon can mount a knife-bayonet.

 

Variants

 

   QBZ-95-1 improved version with a heavier barrel and longer barrel, redesigned muzzle brake and some other improvements. The fire mode selector was relocated above the pistol grip. This weapon was mainly designed to handle a new DBP-10 "heavy" ammunition which offered improved ballistics range and armor penetration. The original QBZ-95 could use a DBP-88 "heavy" round with superior ballistics and penetration of the QJB-95 light machine gun. However it would greatly wear out its barrel and action. The new DBP-10 round was specially designed to be compatible with both improved QBZ-95-1 assault rifle and QJB-95 light machine gun. A small number of these improved assault rifles were first fielded in 2010 for trials and evaluation. Most likely that the QBZ-95-1 will eventually replace in first line service the original QBZ-95 assault rifles.

   QBZ-97 export version, chambered for the 5.56x45 mm standard NATO round and compatible with the standard NATO (M16-type) magazines. Internally it is similar to the QBZ-95. Another variant - the QBZ-97A has additional three-round burst mode and a different pistol grip.

   QBZ-97B is a carbine, chambered for the 5.56x45 mm NATO round.

   QBZ-95B carbine. This is a shorter and lighter version of the assault rifle. It is not compatible with bayonet or underbarrel grenade launcher due to its short barrel.

   QJB-95 light machine gun, fitted with a bipod and heavier barrel. It uses 75 round drum-type magazines. This weapon normally used the DBP-88 "heavy" machine gun ammunition with superior ballistics, range and penetration. Instead of the QBZ-95 assault rifle used standard DBP-87 round, as the DBP-88 round would wear out its barrel and action. Eventually a new type of DBP-10 "heavy" ammunition with superior ballistics and penetration was developed, that could suit both the QJB-95 light machine gun and improved QBZ-95-1 assault rifle.

   MA-1 Mk.3 is a Myanmar's unlicensed clone of the QBZ-97 with some local modifications. It was adopted by the Myanmar Army in around 2012.

 

 
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