China’s People’s Liberation Army has traditionally relied on foreign and Communist bloc weapons manufactured in China under license—or not.

China’s first modern, locally designed and produced assault rifle is the QBZ-95, currently standard issue across the People’s Liberation Army and China’s internal security force, the People’s Armed Police.

Like the rest of China’s military revolution over the past quarter century, its small-arms revolution is a remarkable achievement.

Now, however, as the PLA undergoes an unprecedented modernization, a new generation of locally designed and manufactured light weaponry is arming China’s armed forces, from handguns to light machine guns.

China’s first modern, locally designed and produced assault rifle is the QBZ-95, currently standard issue across the People’s Liberation Army and China’s internal security force, the People’s Armed Police. The weapon first entered Chinese service in the mid-1990s. The QBZ-95​ is a so-called “bullpup” rifle, meaning the trigger and fire-control group are placed ahead of the magazine, which is inserted into the rifle stock.

Typical of bullpup rifles, the QBZ has a twenty-inch barrel but an overall length of just under thirty inches. This gives it a longer barrel, and slightly longer range and velocity against the American M4 carbine, while at the same time having an overall length three inches shorter than the American gun. The downside of the bullpup design is a fixed length of pull that is not adjustable to a user’s unique arm length and the lack of a viable left-handed shooting ability.

Kyle Mizokami

Security, Asia

Read full article

About the author

2 comments
  1. How is a mid-caliber infantry rifle “most powerful in the world”. Last I checked, nearly every hunting rifle was more powerful. Modern infantry rifles use LESS powerful ammunition to mitigate recoil.

  2. “The downside of the bullpup design is a fixed length of pull that is not adjustable to a user’s unique arm length and the lack of a viable left-handed shooting ability.”

    And they tend to have triggers that are less predictable and which require more force.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Get notified of our weekly selection of news

You May Also Like

Middle power conundrum amid US–China rivalry

The United States and other developed countries are abandoning offshoring to China to cut costs and instead are reshoring, nearshoring or ally-shoring them. The trend of shifting value chains away from China is based on the judgement that leadership in advanced technology is the only means to maintain strategic hegemony.

How Asia could be the winner in the US and China’s Belt and Road race

This infrastructure race will clearly have a major impact on the future of global trade and supply chains, manufacturing and services, but also in the development of strategic, long-term alliances.

Why China cares about the label of democracy

The most important problem facing China is a lack of alternative concepts to legitimise the state. Although contemporary China is the heir to a socialist revolution, beyond nostalgic leftist circles, orthodox Marxism cannot capture the public imagination as an alternative to liberal democracy.