NORINCO QBZ-95 (Series) History

The QBZ-95 is a family line of assault weapons contoured to operator needs and has been developed (as an economical measure) into an assault rifle, carbine and light automatic weapon. There is the base QBZ-95 assault rifle, the shortened and lighter QBZ-95B carbine and the QBB-95 LSW (Light Weapon System) - a light machine gun model to fulfill the all-important squad support role. For the export market, the QBZ-95 goes under the designation of "QBZ-97". One of the obvious key design features of the QBZ-95 is its "bull-pup" style arrangement, meaning that the magazine feed and all major internal working components are held rear of the pistol grip and trigger unit, allowing for a steadier two-hand hold against the shoulder. The cocking handle is situated within the ring of the carrying handle, making it an ambidextrous component. Design and production are by NORINCO (China NORth INdustries COrporation).

As this particular weapons line was designed with foreign operators in mind, the series is chambered for the universally-accepted 5. 56x45mm NATO standard cartridge. Like the QBZ-95, the QBZ-97 has also been designed into a carbine (QBZ-97B) and light support weapon (QBB-97 LSW) form along with the base assault rifle (QBZ-97 and QBZ-97A - the latter utilizing a 3-round burst capability). Civilian versions are known simply as the Type 97 (base rifle) and the Type 97A "Shorty" (carbine).

The QBZ-95G is believed to be a modernized, revised form of the QBZ-95 assault rifle. It incorporates Picatinny rail support for accessories as well as a revised buttstock, thumb fire mode selector and muzzle brake. A longer, heavier barrel has also been introduced. The QBZ-95G is intended to improve upon the reliability and maintenance of the original assault rifle model. Operational service is thought to have been achieved in 2010 while original QBZ-95s were moved to reserve forces.

Operators of the QBZ rifle family include Bangladesh (special forces), Cambodia (special forces), Myanmar (Army), Pakistan (special forces), Sri Lanka (special forces), and Sudan. To date the weapon system had seen action in the Sri Lankan Civil War and has been fielded in the border dispute between Cambodia and Thailand which currently remains in a stand-off.

NORINCO QBZ-95 (Series) Specification

ROLES

- Close Quarters Battle (CQB) / Personal Security

- Frontline / Assault

- Fire Support / Suppression / Defense

STRUCTURAL

Overall Length:

745 mm (29. 33 in)

Barrel Length:

463 mm (18. 23 in)

Weight (Unloaded):

7. 17 lb (3. 25 kg)

Sights:

Aperture Rear; Hooded Front Post; Optional Optics

PERFORMANCE

Action:

Gas-Operated; Rotating Bolt

Muzzle Velocity:

3,050 feet-per-second (930 meters-per-second)

Rate-of-Fire:

650 rounds-per-minute

Effective Range:

1,312 ft (400 m; 437 yd)

VARIANTS

QBZ-95 - Rifle; standard model chambered for 5. 8x42mm DBP87 cartridge.

QBZ-95B - Carbine; shortended overall length; lighter load.

QBB-95 LSW "Light Support Weapon" - Squad Automatic Weapon.

QBZ-95B - Improved ergonomics, reliability and maintenance; chambered for 5. 8x42mm cartridge; longer barrel; revised muzzle brake; revised buttstock and trigger ring; relocated thumb fire selector; Picatinny rail support.

QBZ-97 - 5. 56mm Assault Rifle; export model for standardized 5. 56mm NATO round.

QBZ-97A - 5. 56mm Assault Rifle; 3-round burst capability.

QBZ-97B - 5. 56mm Carbine; shortened form of the QBZ-97 assault rifle.

QBB-97 LSW - 5. 56mm Light Support Weapon based on the QBZ-97 assault rifle.

Type 97 - Civilian Market QBZ-97 rifle.

Type 97A "Shorty" - Civilian Market Carbine model.

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