|The QBZ95 (also known as Type 95) 5.8mm assault rifle developed by NORINCO is the standard military issue automatic weapon equipped by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the People’s Armed Police (PAP), and the Chinese law enforcement departments. The QBZ95 is offered in three variants: QBZ95 assault rifle, QBB95 squad automatic weapon, and QBZ95B carbine. These weapons, together with the QBU88 sniper rifle, formed a family of 5.8mm firearms, all sharing the a common bullpup design. Based on the QBZ95 design, NORINCO also developed a QBZ97 weapon family using NATO standard 5.56mm calibre for the export market.
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The PLA began to develop its new-generation 5.8mm assault rifle in the late 1980s. Following the unsuccessful QBZ87 (Type 87) assault rifle, NORINCO introduced the QBZ95 (Type 95) design in 1995. The QBZ95 completely departed from the traditional Chinese rifle design and adopted a rather unusual bullpup configuration, which has been the subject of some debate and criticism. The weapon entered the PLA service in 1997 to replace the older 7.62mm Type 81 assault rifle and squad automatic weapon, but the process has been slow.
The bullpup design of the QBZ95 assault rifle has proven to be controversial. Like most bullpup rifles, the Type 95 allows a shorter overall length, saving weight and increasing manoeuvrability, at the same time the barrel length is maintained so that the trajectory and accuracy is not affected. This feature is welcomed by special operations forces and airborne forces. However, conventional infantry troops often complained that it is difficult to use the QBZ95 for accurate shooting at distance beyond the close quarter battle range due to the way the weapon is held by its user.
Nevertheless, the QBZ95 assault rifle and QBB95 squad automatic weapon finally entered the PLA service in 1997. The PLA Garrison Troops stationed in Hong Kong SAR became the first unit to have received these weapons. By 2006, most front-line units in the PLA ground forces have replaced their Type 81 weapon family with the QBZ95 (Type 95) weapon family, though the Type 81 continued to serve with some second-line units and most PAP units. However, in 2003, NORINCO revealed a new 5.8mm QBZ03 (Type 03) assault rifle using a conventional configuration, suggesting that the debate over the QBZ95’s bullpup design was far from over.
The Type 95 is a gas-operated, magazine fed, automatic weapon. It has a short stroke gas piston and a rotating bolt. The charging handle is located at the top of the receiver, under the carrying handle. The housing is made from polymer, with an integral carrying handle, which holds the rear sight base, and has mounting points for optical or night vision scopes. The ejection port is made only at the right side of the weapon, so it cannot be fired from the left shoulder.
Standard sights are of the open type, graduated from 100~500m. The front part of the barrel in the standard version assault rifle is left unobstructed so that it can launch rifle grenades. It also can be fitted with an under-barrel grenade launcher or with a knife bayonet. Fire controls of the Type 95 rifle consist of a trigger and a safety/selector switch, located at the rear left of the receiver, behind the magazine housing. The rifle is fitted with a 30-round magazine and can fire single shots or bursts.
The QBZ95B carbine is a shorter and lighter version of the standard rifle with reduced effective range. It cannot fire the rifle grenade or be fitted with a grenade launcher. The weapon’s muzzle has a special funnel-shape flash hider. This weapon was designed for uses by the special operations forces in close quarter battle 9CQB). No operational deployment of the weapon has been reported.
China North Industries Corp. (Norinco) 12A Guang An Men Nan Jie, Beijing, China. P.O.Box 2932 Beijing. Post Code: 100053, Tel: (8610)63529988 Fax: (8610)63540398 E-mail: email@example.com
Gas-actuated, Rotating bolt
2.9 Kg (6.39 Lbs)
609 mm (23.97 in)
369 mm (14.52 in)
30 rounds Box or 75 Rounds Drum
Box or Drum
hooded post front sight and aperture rear sight
Rate of fire:
300 Meters (328 yd)
790 m/s (2581 ft/s)