NORINCO Type 64 SMG History

Following in line with other major armies of the period, the Chinese adopted a dedicated suppressed firearm for Close-Quarters Battle (CQB) with issue intended for special forces elements. This weapon became the Type 64 Submachine Gun (SMG) of 1966. It was designed from the outset to make use of an integrated suppressor to achieve somewhat quieter operation when compared to a typical, unmodified weapon of similar form and function. The Type 64 was not a truly "silent" weapon as it did not make use of a subsonic cartridge, relying instead on the locally-produced version of the Soviet 7.62x25mm Tokarev standard-load pistol cartridge as the "7.62x25mm Type 51". This allowed for a more useful muzzle velocity to be retained by the exiting bullet.

The Type 64 exhibited a weight of 3.4 kilograms and featured a full length of 33.2 inches (843mm). Its folding stock allowed for a more compact form to be achieved at 25 inches (635mm). The barrel itself measured 9.6mm (244mm) long. The selected cartridge was fired through a basic blowback action utilizing a closed-bolt mechanism. The bolt was taken from the Soviet World War 2-era PPS-43 Submachine Gun of 1942 of which some 2 million were eventually in circulation by war's end. The trigger group, believed to be "inspired" by the 1920s-era Czech ZB vz. 26 light machine gun, allowed for select-fire (single-shot or full-automatic fire) while being constructed of steel stamping. The two systems were integrated into the body of the Soviet AKS - the metal folding stock variant of the famous Kalashnikov AK-47 Assault Rifle. The AK-47 and AKM assault systems were both produced locally in China.

Outwardly, the Type 64 showcased a rather basic appearance for its dedicated role. The receiver was somewhat tubular in its shape with slab sides, contouring nicely forwards towards the integrated suppressor cylinder. The angled pistol grip was slung under the receiver in the usual way while the rectangular trigger loop was large enough to encourage use by a gloved hand. The stock was of a metal, twin-strut design akin to the Kalashnikov series of weapons and hinged to fold under the receiver. The magazine was inserted into the awaiting well seated ahead of the action and accepting the proprietary 30-round magazine. To allow for the required suppression qualities of the gun, the barrel was appropriately drilled and the suppressor added over it as a sleeve, threading onto the receiver's forward end and shrouding the barrel in its entirety.

All told, the Type 64 offered a rate-of-fire nearing 1,000 rounds per minute (though heavy use of full-automatic fire tended to wear the suppressor down substantially faster than normal). Muzzle velocity was listed at 960 feet per second, giving it sound penetration between short and medium ranges ( the most common engagement ranges of submachine gun types). Maximum range was out to 650 feet in ideal conditions. Feeding of the weapon was through a 30-round detachable box magazine inserted into the bottom of the receiver. Sighting was of a basic iron arrangement featuring a forward and rear emplacement.

The Type 64 went on to provide useful operational during its service life, allowing for further development similar weapon systems - namely the Type 85 of 1985 (in its suppressed form) which replaced the Type 64s in service to that point. Type 85 suppressed variants utilized the 7.62x25mm Type 64 subsonic cartridge to achieve its required quiet operation.

NORINCO Type 64 SMG Specification


- Clandestine Operations

- Close Quarters Battle (CQB) / Personal Security


Overall Length:

843 mm (33.19 in)

Barrel Length:

244 mm (9.61 in)

Weight (Unloaded):

7.50 lb (3.40 kg)


Iron Front and Rear



Blowback; Select-Fire

Muzzle Velocity:

960 feet-per-second (293 meters-per-second)


1,000 rounds-per-minute

Effective Range:

500 ft (152 m; 167 yd)


Type 64 - Base Series Designation

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