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Type 88

Assault rifle

Type 88 assault rifle

The Type 88 is a North Korean version of the Soviet AK-74

 
 
Country of origin North Korea
Entered service 1988 (?)
Caliber 5.45x39 mm
Weight (unloaded) ~ 3.1 kg
Length ~ 1 090 mm
Length (with folded stock) -
Barrel length ~ 415 mm
Muzzle velocity 900 m/s
Cyclic rate of fire 600 rpm
Practical rate of fire 40 - 100 rpm
Magazine capacity 30 rounds
Sighting range 1 000 m
Range of effective fire 500 m

 

   The Type 88 is a North Korean version of the Soviet AK-74, but with some modifications to suit local needs and production capabilities. It looks that it was also influenced by the Chinese Type 81. This assault rifle was adopted by the North Korean military and gradually replaces the previous Type 68 assault rifle, which is a copy of the AK-47. Also the Type 88 has been exported to some African countries.

   The Type 88 is a gas operated, selective fire weapon. Its design is similar to that of the AK-74. It is chambered for the same Soviet 5.45x39 mm ammunition. The Type 88 assault rifle is more accurate than the previous Type 68, chambered for a Soviet 7.62x39 mm round, however it is not as accurate as the US M16 or most other Western assault rifles. However the 5.45x39 mm ammunition lacks penetration of the older 7.62x39 mm round and is also inferior to the standard NATO 5.56x45 mm round.

   The Type 88 is a durable and reliable weapon, that withstands all abuse soldier can throw at it. It won't jam or misfire in worst conditions possible. Also it has reliable extraction even with dirty chamber and cases. Main drawbacks of the Type 88 are poor balance and ergonomics.

   This assault rifle is easy to use and to maintain. It can be field stripped in one minute without using any tools.

   The Type 88 is a low-tech weapon from engineering and industrial standpoint. This assault rifle is simple in design and technology.

   A combined safety and fire mode selector switch has three positions for "safe", "semi-auto", and
"full-auto". In "safe" position it locks both the bolt group and trigger and also serves as a dust cover.

   This North Korean assault rifle uses 30-round capacity magazines. However the North Korean are made of steel, rather than polymer material. Also there are newer high-capacity magazines for this weapon.

   A baseline version of the Type 88 has got a solid wooden stock. It looks like at some point production switched to a version with a side-folding skeletal metal stock, generally similar to the AKS-74. Sometimes it is referred as the Type 88-1. This weapon is currently widely used by the North Korean military. There is also a newer version with a folding metal stock, that folds on top of the weapon. It is sometimes referred as the Type 88-2.

   The baseline Type 88 has got a wooden foregrip. Though latest versions of this weapon come with polymer foregrips.

   This assault rifle has got simple iron sights. Effective range of fire is 500 meters.

   This North Korean assault rifle can mount a knife-bayonet. It can also mount a 40 mm underbarrel grenade launcher, that is similar to the Soviet GP-25.

 

Variants

 

   Version with a side-folding skeletal metal stock, generally similar to the AKS-74. Sometimes it is referred as the Type 88-1. Though its stock is different than that used on the Soviet AKS-74.

   There is another and newer version with a folding stock, which folds over the top of the weapon. Sometimes this version is referred as the Type 88-2. When the stock is folded it does not obstructs the sights. Originally this assault rifle had a wooden foregrip, though later versions have black polymer foregrip. Also newer versions of this weapon use polymer magazines. There is a box magazine, that resembles new Russian 30-round magazines and another unusual helical magazine, which looks like a larger version of the Russian Bizon SMG magazine. This helical magazine allows to carry a higher number of rounds without the notable increase in size of the weapon. This version with a helical magazine is in service since around 2010.

 
Type 88 assault rifle

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Type 88 assault rifle

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Type 88 assault rifle

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Type 88 assault rifle

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Type 88 assault rifle

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