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Type 68

Assault rifle

Type 68 assault rifle

The North Korean Type 68 is an improved production version of the previous Type 58

 
 
Country of origin North Korea
Entered service 1968
Caliber 7.62 x 39 mm
Weight (unloaded) ~ 4.3 kg
Length ~ 870 mm
Length (with folded stock) -
Barrel length ~ 415 mm
Muzzle velocity ~ 715 m/s
Cyclic rate of fire ?
Practical rate of fire 40 - 100 rpm
Magazine capacity 30 rounds
Sighting range 800 m
Range of effective fire 300 - 400 m

 

   After the 1950-1953 Korean War the North Korea allied with the Soviet Union and received a technological aid in a form of design package and manufacturing assistance for both the SKS semi-automatic rifle and AK-47 assault rifle. In 1958 the AK-47 Type 3 (with a milled receiver) was adopted by the North Korean armed forces as the Type 58. However this weapon was troublesome to produce in large numbers due to the complicated metal fabrication expertise required. So only around 50 000 of Type 58 assault rifles were produced in North Korea. Even though 50 000 is a substantial number it was not enough to equip the whole North Korean military. Eventually the Type 58 was replaced in production by an improved Type 68. Essentially it was still an improved version of the AK-47, rather than a newer AKM. The Type 68 assault rifle was used by the North Korea for decades. Currently it is still widely used by despite its age, however it is being gradually replaced by newer assault rifles, such as the Type 88. This weapon was exported to some countries.

   The Type 68 is a gas operated, selective fire weapon, chambered for a Soviet 7.62x39 mm intermediate cartridge. Internally the Type 68 is similar to the AK-47. The only difference is that the Type 68 has got no firing rate reduction mechanism.

   The original AK-47 is a legendary weapon, known for its unsurpassed reliability, ruggedness, simplicity of operation and maintenance. This weapon do not jams or misfires in worst conditions possible. Also it has reliable extraction even with dirty chamber and cases. However the AK-47 has poor ergonomics and is badly balanced. Also it is inferior in terms of accuracy compared to most Western assault or automatic rifles. Weapons produced in North Korea, including the Type 68, have a rather poor finish level due to low quality materials and workmanship.

   For cleaning and maintenance this weapon can be field stripped in one minute without using any tools.

   This assault rifle has got a combined safety and fire mode selector switch. It has 3 positions for "safe", "semi-auto" and "full-auto". In the "safe" position it locks the bolt group and the trigger and also serves as a dust cover.

   A standard magazine holds 30 rounds.

   The baseline Type 68 has a solid wooden buttstock. Comparing with the previous Type 58 there was an improvement in how the buttock is connected to the receiver. There was also a Type 68-1 assault rifle with an underfolding metal buttstock.

   The Type 68 comes with simple iron sights. Maximum sighting range is 800 meters, however range of effective fire is limited to 300-400 meters. Though the Type 68 is not as accurate as an improved Soviet AKM assault rifle.

   This assault rifle can mount a knife-bayonet. It was demonstrated with rifle grenades, however this weapon can not launch these.

 

Variants

 

   Type 68-1 is a version with an underfolding metal buttstock. It was intended for the airborne troops. It is similar to the Soviet AKS.

 
Type 68 assault rifle

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Type 68 assault rifle

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Type 68 assault rifle

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Type 68 assault rifle

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Type 68 assault rifle

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