Qing Buqiang Zidong QBZ-95 Light Rifle Family
Rifle Type 95.jpg
QBZ-95 (prototype version, no longer produced now)
Type Assault rifle
Place of origin  People's Republic of China
Service history
In service 1997[1]-Present
Used by See Users
Wars Sri Lankan Civil War
Cambodian–Thai border stand-off[2]
Production history
Manufacturer China North Industries Corporation
and China South
Produced 1995—present
Variants QBZ-95B Carbine,
QBZ-95 Rifle,
QBZ-97 5.56 mm Rifle,
QBZ-97A 5.56 mm Rifle,
QBB-97 LSW 5.56 mm Rifle,
QBZ-97B 5.56 mm Carbine
Weight 2.9 kg (6.4 lb) (QBZ-95B Carbine)
3.25 kg (7.2 lb) (QBZ-95 Rifle)
3.35 kg (7.4 lb) (QBZ-97 Export)
3.9 kg (8.6 lb) (QBB-95 LSW)
Length 609 mm (24.0 in) (QBZ-95B Carbine)
745 mm (29.3 in) (QBZ-95 Rifle)
758 mm (29.8 in) (QBZ-97 and QBZ-97A)
840 mm (33.1 in) (QBB-95 LSW)
Barrel length 369 mm (14.5 in) (QBZ-95B Carbine)
463 mm (18.2 in) (QBZ-95 Rifle)
490 mm (19.3 in) (QBZ-97 and QBZ-97A)
600 mm (23.6 in) (QBB-95 LSW)

Cartridge 5.8x42mm DBP87 (QBZ-95),
5.56x45mm NATO (QBZ-97)
Action Gas-Operated, Rotating bolt
Rate of fire ~650 rounds/min (QBZ-95)
~800 rounds/min (QBZ-95B Carbine)
Muzzle velocity QBZ-95 - 930 m/s (3,050 ft/s), QBB-95 - 970 m/s (3181 ft/s), QBZ-95B - 790 m/s (2581 ft/s)
Effective range Rifle - 400m point target, 600m area target
LSW - 600m point target, 800m area target
Carbine - 300m point target, 500m area target
Feed system 30-round box magazine
75-round drum
Sights hooded post front sight and aperture rear sight, optional 4x telescopic sight

The QBZ-95 (Chinese: 轻武器,步枪,自动(简称95式), 1995; pinyin: Qīngwuqi Bùqiāng--Zìdòng, 1995; literally "Light weapon, Rifle, Automatic, 1995") is an assault rifle manufactured by Arsenal 266, part of Norinco and Arsenal 296, under Jianshe Corp, China South for the People's Liberation Army, the armed forces of the People's Republic of China, Chinese People's Armed Police (para-military police), and Chinese law enforcement. This weapon uses a newly-developed ammunition type of Chinese origin, the 5.8x42mm DBP87. The QBZ-95 consists of a system of firearms using a common design. This family includes a carbine variant, a standard rifle, and a light support weapon.[3]



The QBZ-95 was first observed outside China in 1997, when the United Kingdom transferred the sovereignty of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China. It is a modern weapon system in a bullpup configuration, where the weapon's action and magazine are located behind the grip and trigger assembly. The weapon was designed to replace the standard-issue Type 81 rifle, which was similar in design to the AK-47 series.[1]

The rifle uses modern synthetic materials in its construction, fires a 5.8x42mm small-caliber high-velocity bullet (in a class with the NATO standard 5.56x45mm SS109 and the Russian 5.45x39mm), and employs a bullpup configuration like the British SA80, French FAMAS, Austrian Steyr AUG, and Belgian F2000.

Technical aspects

U.S. and PLA (N) Marines of the 1st Marine Brigade fire the QBZ-95 Assault Rifle during an exchange exercise.

Though there have been hints of the 97 variants being involved in some foreign conflicts,[4] little has been reported about its overall combat effectiveness. It has been at least shown in televised tests, however, that the weapon can continue to function after being immersed in water,[5] as well as other harsh environmental conditions.[6] What is also known is that the weapon operates using a short-stroke gas operated rotating-bolt system, similar to most modern military rifles.

The selector switch on the rifle has four settings. The selector settings are as follows: "0" for safe, "1" for "semi-automatic", "2" for fully automatic, and on selected models, "3" for three round burst setting.[7]

The Chinese claim that they have tested their new cartridge extensively against both the 5.56x45mm SS109 and the Russian 5.45x39mm 5N7. The 5.8x42mm outperforms both cartridges with penetration superior to the SS109, a flatter trajectory, and a higher retained velocity and energy downrange.[3][8][9]

Design features

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace USMC shakes hands with Chinese tanker soldiers with a QBZ-95

The design of the QBZ-95 is completely new with little resemblance to any of the previous Chinese designs. Thanks to the low recoil impulse of the small caliber ammunition and a very complex recoil buffer system, the rifle is claimed to be more controllable in automatic fire[4]. The aim was to develop an assault rifle based around the 5.8x42mm round, with specifications of being accurate and reliable.


Magazines are inserted into the magazine well, which is located to the rear of the pistol grip. The magazine is inserted front-first into the well so that the notch on the front of the magazine is retained in the well. The magazine is then "rocked" into place by rotating the rear of the magazine upwards into the well (in a manner similar to the AK-47 series) until the magazine release to the rear of the well is engaged. To release the magazine, the magazine release is pressed rearward, and the magazine pivoted forward and disengaged from the front recess.

The charging handle is located under the integral carrying handle. To chamber a round and charge the weapon, this handle is pulled fully to the rear and then released forward to bring a round into the chamber. It is then ready to fire.

Ergonomic issues

Some experts are concerned over the awkward position of the safety lever near the end of the rifle away from the shooter's hand.[7] This position makes it difficult to quickly select "fire" when it is in "safe" mode. This is resolved on the "G" variant where the fire selector switch is repositioned above the pistol grip, giving it a thumb fire selector switch for easy firing mode transition.


There are seven specialised variants of the QBZ-95.

QBZ-95 (Rifle)

This is the standard version of the rifle used domestically, chambered for the 5.8x42mm DBP87 round.

The PLA has reportedly undertaken a program to improve the Type 95. The lead designer of the Type 95 program Duo Yingxian (朵英贤), who's now retired, has stated that the project is being worked on by some of his students. Known goals for the program are to:

1. Improve the rifle's ergonomics/controls.
2. Chamber it for new ammunition with double the effective range.
3. Add a quick-firing grenade launcher. [10]

QBZ-95B (Carbine)

This is a shorter and lighter version of the standard rifle. From pictures seen the QBZ-95B is seen issued only to Naval Officers, possibly due to the limited room in Naval vessels that would prohibit the full length rifle being used in close quarters.

QBB-95 LSW (Light Support Weapon)

This light support weapon fulfills the role as the squad machine gunner. It's in the same respect as the QBZ-95 Rifle with modified longer and heavier barrel, higher firing rate, heavier cartridge and is equipped with larger 75-round drum magazine.

QBZ-97 (5.56 mm Assault Rifle)

The Chinese have constructed an export version, the QBZ-97, which is similar to the QBZ-95 in all respects except that it is chambered for 5.56 mm NATO instead of the original Chinese 5.8 mm cartridge and has a deep magazine well designed to accept STANAG magazines.

QBZ-97A (5.56 mm Assault Rifle)

This variant is a QBZ-97 with the addition of a 3-round burst mode and a bolt hold-open device; it also differs from the QBZ-95 and the QBZ-97 for the shape of its grip, now missing the "front grip" part in front of the trigger guard. This weapon is the only QBZ-95 variant to have seen commercial success and military use outside of China; QBZ-97A rifles are in use by 911 Special Forces of Cambodia Special Operations personnel.[2][11].

QBZ-97B (5.56 mm Carbine)

This is the carbine version of the QBZ-97. The official distributor of the QBZ-97B assault carbine on the international market, Jianshe Industries (Group) Corporation, advertises and sells it under the denomination "5.56mm Short Automatic Rifle Type NQZ03B (97)".[12]

QBB-97 LSW (5.56 mm Light Support Weapon)

The light support weapon model of the QBZ-97.


The new QBZ-95G addresses several reliability and ease-of-use issues, and has improved ergonomics.[13]

QBZ-95 variant titled "G" fires the heavier 5.8x42mm round, with a heavier longer barrel and a redesigned muzzle brake. The "G" variant has an altered butt stock, trigger guard, and a repositioned thumb fire selector switch above the pistol grip. The carrying handle has retained the Chinese quick release mount rail, but also has added the Picatinny rail as a supplement. It has been seen in service in small numbers for testing and evaluation in first quarter of 2010. It has been speculated that this variant will enter full service in late 2010, replacing the original QBZ-95 assault rifle introduced into service in 1995. The original QBZ-95 rifles will be handed down to second line and reserve troops, while front line troops receive this variant. [14][15]

Civilian Variants

Two sporterized, semi-automatic only rifles based upon the QBZ-97A assault rifle and the QBZ-97B assault carbine have been developed for the civilian market, the Type 97 rifle and the Type 97A carbine. They are chambered for the .223 Remington cartridge and are fed by STANAG magazines.[16][17]

Type 97A carbines became available in Canada in 2008, were classified as Restricted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and sold to general public. In January 2009, a shipment of Type 97 firearms was approved by the RCMP for retail sale, but later confiscated and seized by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers.[18]. Around the same time a second shipment of Type 97A restricted firearms was also stopped by CBSA. On March 22, 2010 about 35 civilian owners of the Type 97A carbine originally imported by Lever Arms of BC (The only version ever available for sale) were sent notice by the RCMP indicating that status of their firearm have been changed to 12.2 prohibited (Fully automatic), and owners without such a firearm license have 30 days to turn in their Type 97A firearm to either individual or business that has such a license, or to police for destruction[19]. Law suit requesting reference hearing, challenging this change in classification have been initiated by some owners.


See Also

List of service rifles of national armies


  1. ^ a b "QBZ95 5.8mm Automatic Weapons". SinoDefence.com. http://www.sinodefence.com/army/small_arms/qbz95.asp. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  2. ^ a b Bell, Thomas (2008-10-15). "Thailand steps back from Cambodia conflict". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/cambodia/3195213/Thailand-steps-back-in-confrontation-with-Cambodia-over-900-year-old-temple.html. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  3. ^ a b Fortier, David M. (September 2002). "China's New 5.8x42mm Weapons Complex Revealed". Small Arms Review 5 (no. 12). http://www.taiwantp.net/cgi/roadbbs.pl?board_id=1&type=show_post&post=817. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  4. ^ a b http://defencewire.blogspot.com/2007/11/lttes-rare-infantry-weapons.html
  5. ^ QBZ95 Chinese news segment Retrieved on May 24, 2008.
  6. ^ QBZ95 submitted through a battery of tests on CCTV Retrieved on September 28, 2009
  7. ^ a b "Type 95". Firearms. EnemyForces.com. http://www.enemyforces.com/firearms/qbz95.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  8. ^ "The 5.8x42mm". Guns & Ammo (Intermedia Outdoors). Combat Arms 2006. 
  9. ^ Yan, Timothy G. (June 2006). "Chinese 5.8mm Small Arms Ammo". Small Arms Review 9 (no. 9): 42. 
  10. ^ "PLA Moves Its Assault Rifle To Next Level". TacticalGunFan. 2009-04-13. http://www.tacticalgunfan.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=514&Itemid=1. Retrieved 2000-04-14. 
  11. ^ a b "QBZ97自动步枪". http://www.gun-world.net/china/rifle/qbz97/qbz97.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  12. ^ "Jianshe Industries NQZ-03B brochure pictures". http://news.qq.com/a/20080416/002588.htm. 
  13. ^ http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2010/09/07/chinas-new-service-rifle-qbz-95g/
  14. ^ http://news.xinhuanet.com/mil/2010-03/22/content_13219688.htm
  15. ^ http://www.chinareviewnews.com/doc/1012/6/5/0/101265003.html?coluid=0&kindid=0&docid=101265003&mdate=0320110332
  16. ^ "Type 97 (Chinese semi-auto QBZ-97 bullpup) coming to Canada". The Firearm Blog. 2008-08-17. http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2008/08/17/type-97-chinese-semi-auto-qbz-97-bullpup-coming-to-canada/. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  17. ^ "Norinco Type-97 Rifle, 5.56mm". CanadaAmmo.com. http://www.canadaammo.com/product.php?productid=25&cat=0&page=1. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  18. ^ http://www.canadaammo.com/news.php
  19. ^ "Norinco Type 97 & Reclassification Of Firearms Act Briefing Paper On Reclassification of Firearms and Related Issues Prepared for The Government of Canada". Canada’s National Firearms Association. http://www.nfa.ca/norinco-type-97-reclassification-firearms-act. Retrieved 2010-04-14. 
  20. ^ http://www.asianmilitaryreview.com/CurrentIssue/dl.php?filename=201003140001071.pdf
  21. ^ "China Exports Its Radical New Assault Rifle". Strategy Page. http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htweap/articles/20090228.aspx?comments=Y. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  22. ^ "Jose Maria Sison in the dead end". http://www.focus-philippines.de/sisoneng.htm. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • QBZ-97 — Le QBZ 97 est une variante du fusil d assaut QBZ 95. Sa seule différence avec l original est qu il permet d utiliser des cartouches 5,56mm NATO au lieu des munitions 5,8 x 42 mm. Cette arme est la seule variante du QBZ 95 à avoir connu le succès… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • QBZ 97 — Le QBZ 97 est une variante du fusil d assaut QBZ 95. Sa seule différence avec l original est qu il permet d utiliser des cartouches 5,56mm NATO au lieu des munitions 5,8 x 42 mm. Cette arme est la seule variante du QBZ 95 à avoir connu le succès… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • QBZ-03 — Тип: автомат Страна …   Википедия

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  • QBZ-03 — The QBZ 03 (Type 03) assault rifle is the latest assault rifle design developed for the Chinese 5.8 x 42 mm DBP87 ammunition. Unlike the QBZ 95, the Type 03 is a conventional design weapon loosely inspired by other rifles previously in Chinese… …   Wikipedia

  • QBZ-95 — Type 95 Allgemeine Information Zivile Bezeichnung: Type 95 Militärische Bezeichnung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • QBZ — abbr. Qing Buqiang Zu …   Dictionary of abbreviations

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