Country of origin
Length (with folded stock)
Cyclic rate of fire
~ 600 rpm
Practical rate of fire
40 - 100 rpm
800 m (?)
Range of effective fire
300 - 400 m
56-2 is a Chinese assault rifle. It is an improved production
version of the
Type 56. In the 1950s China was the closest Soviet
ally. However in the early 1960s relations between two countries
began to deteriorate. At that time China was looking for a
replacement for its Type 56 assault rifle, which was a
license-produced version of the
In 1959 Soviets adopted their successor of the AK-47, the
which had improved performance. However the Soviets refused to give licenses to
China to produce this weapon locally. This led China to improve its Type 56 assault
rifle on its own. The new weapon was introduced only in the 1980s.
This assault rifle is used by the Chinese law enforcement forces.
However it looks like it was not adopted by the People Liberation
Army. The Type 56-2 has been exported to a number of countries.
rifle has got some improvements over its predecessor. Though
internally it is similar to the
Type 56. Most notable improvement is
a side-folding metal stock.
It is a gas-operated, selective fire weapon.
It is chambered for the same Soviet
7.62x39 mm ammunition.
is simple in design and technology, and is extremely durable. It is
very reliable in all environments and withstands all abuse that
soldier can throw at it. It do not jams or misfires in worst
conditions possible. This assault rifle needs regular cleaning, but
it is not that critical. It will still fire with fouled mechanics,
dirty chamber and cases. Furthermore the Type 56-2 it is simple to use and to maintain.
It can be field stripped in one minute without using any tools. This assault rifle is perfectly suitable for poorly trained or
weapon has also got a number of drawbacks. The Type 56-2, as well as
all other AK-type designs, is poorly balanced and has got violent
action. This leads to poor firing accuracy. In terms of accuracy it
looses to most Western assault or automatic rifles. Also this weapon
has poor ergonomics. In the 1980s, when the Type 56-2 was
introduced, most Western countries already used much superior
weapons, such as the
chambered for new-generation ammunition.
A fire mode
selector switch of the Type 56-2 has 3 positions for "safe",
"semi-auto" and "full-auto". In "safe" position it blocks the
trigger and prevents from loading the weapon. Also in the "safe"
position it serves as a dust cover.
rifle is fed from detachable 30-round capacity magazines. Late
production models were completed with distinctive red plastic
magazines. This weapon is compatible with the Soviet AK-47 and
56-2 comes with a side-folding skeletal metal buttstock. So the same
basic weapon could be used by all kinds of troops. When the stock is folded,
it do not obstructs the trigger.
like early production Type 56-2 assault rifles had a wooden foregrip
and pistol handle. However most of these weapons came with polymer
housing. Pistol handle had a
different shape and resembled that of a Czechoslovak
like early production models were optionally fitted with an integral
spike bayonet, similar to that of the original Type 56 assault
rifle. When not required, the bayonet could be underfolded into the
foregrip. However the cross-sectional bayonets were banned by Geneva
convention on human warfare, as the wounds they produce do not close
easily. On later production models of the Type 56-2 the integral bayonet was
completely discarded. Instead
the weapon could mount a detachable knife-bayonet.
rifle has got simple iron sights. It seems that maximum sighting
range is 800 meters. Though range of effective fire is limited to
is a successor to the Type 56 series assault rifle. The Chinese army had never been
wholly satisfied with its Type 56 series performance, particularly
accuracy. So a new indigenous assault rifle was developed to address
the shortcomings of the Type 56 series. The Type 81 incorporate many design features of
the Type 56 and is chambered for the same 7.62x39 mm ammunition, but
overall it is a new design. A prototype was ready in 1980. Its
initial production commenced in 1983. This assault rifle was adopted
as a standard-issue service rifle in 1986 and gradually replaced the
Type 56. Some sources report that
in terms of accuracy it is close to the
Furthermore it has the same level of durability and reliability in
adverse conditions as the Kalashnikov designs.