Written by Colonel B. Kalinichev; Originally appeared at Foreign Military Review 2019 #2, translated by AlexD exclusively for SouthFront
In the People’s Republic of China (PRC), when re-equipping special forces units with new models of small arms, preference is increasingly given to nationally-developed models made according to the standards of the NATO alliance.
So, along with pistols of the Colt series (USA) and Beretta (Italy), the divisions of the SPU of China receive QSZ 92 personal weapons of their own development of two main calibers: for the reinforced 9x19mm NATO standard cartridge and for the original, 5.8x21mm. A special feature of the latter is the increased penetration ability, which ensures that the target is hit in a standard army bulletproof vest at a distance of up to 60m.
The automatic pistol works on the principle of bolt recoil when the barrel is short. Turning the barrel locks the pistol. It has a double-acting trigger mechanism (USM). The frame of the weapon is made of impact-resistant polymer material. The kit includes replaceable inserts for the pistol grip, which ensures that the weapon fits the anatomical features of the shooter’s palm.
In addition, in two versions of the caliber – 9 and 5.8mm, the SPU PLA adopted a submachine gun Type 05. Made according to the “bullpup” layout scheme, it is equipped with a removable device for silent and flame-free shooting. The 9mm weapon has the designation Type 05 JS and, unlike the 5.8mm model, is equipped with a collimator sight.
Automatic weapons work is based on the recoil of the free bolt. The trigger mechanism provides the ability to fire in semi-automatic mode, short bursts with a cut-off of three shots and long bursts. The receiver is made of aluminum, the elements of the box are made of plastic. The carrying handle and handguard provide a universal mounting for optical and optoelectronic devices.
The 5.8mm QBZ-95 automatic rifle (Type 95) is also made according to the “bullpup” scheme. It is designed for a more powerful 5.8x42mm cartridge with a 4.1g steel core bullet. Automatic weapons operate using a gas-discharge scheme. Turning the longitudinally sliding bolt on three combat stops locks the barrel. Shooting can be carried out in two modes – semi and fully automatic. The rifle is equipped with a 40mm under-barrel grenade launcher, and the design of the muzzle compensator makes it possible to shoot rifle grenades.
The upgraded version of this automatic rifle – QBZ-95-1 (Type 95-1) differs from the basic model by the increased quality of materials used for the barrel, the design of USM slide stop and gas regulator, quick-detachable optical sight and a 35mm grenade launcher are included in the composition components. In addition, the weapon changed the direction of ejection of spent cartridges (to the right-forward at an angle of 45° to the firing line), which allows firing from any shoulder.
The CS/LR14 7.62mm caliber rifle has been developed for the SPUs under NATO standard cartridge. It is based on the Type 81 variant according to the standard layout scheme.
In contrast to the prototype, the work of automatic weapons is based on a gas-discharge scheme with a short stroke of the gas piston.
The butt is adjustable in length. On top of the receiver and handguard straps of universal mounting Picatinny rails are provided, making it possible to use various optoelectronic devices and the additional snap-in, for example, install a front pistol grip for easier control of the weapon, as well as tactical flashlight, laser pointer aiming point, etc.
For the first time in China, a large-caliber NCSLR5 sniper rifle with manual loading was developed. The absence of automatic weapons, the hanging barrel and the presence of modern optoelectronic sights in the kit provide increased accuracy compared to similar army models.
The direct fire support in special forces units, the use of a 35mm manual semi-automatic QLB-06/QLZ-87B grenade launcher is provided. It provides suppression of enemy firing points in shelters of light field type, effective defeat of lightly armoured targets, including in urban conditions.
Specially for actions in the city, smoothbore 12-gauge combat rifles, also designed on the basis of gas-discharge automatics, were developed and adopted by units of China’s SPUs. The QBS 09 semi-automatic weapon is made of aluminum alloy and has an anti-corrosion coating.
Its feature is the presence of a gas regulator that provides the ability to fire in various conditions and block the operation of automatic weapons for manual reloading.
The rifle is equipped with a telescopic retractable buttstock. To reduce recoil, the design provides a spring buffer mounted in the back of the receiver. Mechanical aiming devices are equipped with a swing diopter device. On top of the receiver is a universal mount for optical and optoelectronic sights.
For this weapon, the standard ammunition is a Chinese-made DBD 09 cartridge with a steel sleeve, loaded with round tungsten buckshot. The cartridge accommodates 14 striking elements with a diameter of 5.3mm and a weight of 1.4g each located in a plastic wad container.
A distinctive feature of the LW-3 smoothbore rifle is the ability to fire in automatic mode. In addition, it is equipped with a 38mm under-barrel grenade launcher.
All types of 12-gauge ammunition are used for firing the rifle. The ammunition of the under-barrel grenade launcher includes non-lethal shots, including kinetic ones with rubber striking elements, as well as equipped with formulas that irritate human mucous membranes.
Thus, Chinese experts in the field of small arms have been able to develop modern models for special forces units over the past decade.
It should be noted that the presented copies do not just copy western counterparts, but are often original developments that take into account the best design solutions of specialists from developed countries in this field.
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