The QBZ-95 (Template:Zh-cpl) 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) and the Chinese law enforcements. This weapon uses a newly-developed ammunition type of Chinese origin, the 5.8 x 42 mm 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.
The QBZ-95 was first observed outside China in 1997, when the United Kingdom ceded control of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China. The QBZ-95 is a modern weapons system in a bullpup configuration, where the weapon's action and magazine are located behind the grip and trigger assembly. It was designed to replace the standard-issue Type 81 rifle that was similar in design to the AK-47 series. The Type 81 fired the Soviet 7.62 x 39 mm M43 Cartridge.
The QBZ-95 is comparable to many modern western assault rifles in several respects. It uses modern synthetic materials in its construction, it fires a small-caliber high-velocity bullet (in a class with the NATO standard 5.56 x 45 mm SS109 and the Russian 5.45 x 39 mm M74), and it employs a bullpup configuration like the British SA80 and the Steyr AUG.
The QBZ-95 is in all respects a modern infantry weapon. It has not been used in major combat and thus little can be said about its effectiveness. Detail information about the new 5.8 mm ammunition were published in Guns & Ammo magazine's special Combat Arms issue and June 2006 issue of Small Arms Review. What is known is that the QBZ-95 operates using a short-stroke gas operated rotating-bolt system, similar to most modern military rifles.
The selector switch on the rifle has three settings. The selector settings are as following: "0" for safe, "2" for fully automatic and "1" for "semi-automatic" setting. There is no three-round burst mode.
The Chinese have tested their new cartridge extensively against both the 5.56 x 45 mm SS109 and the Russian 5.45 x 39 mm 7N6. They claim their 5.8 x 42 mm outperforms both cartridges with penetration superior to the SS109, a flatter trajectory, and a higher retained velocity and energy downrange.
The design of the QBZ-95 is complete new with little resemblance to any of the previous Chinese designs. The QBZ-95's basic design incorporated many features from various other assault rifle designs; those include the Czech Vz. 58, Russian Kalashnikov and Dragunov, Belgian FNC, American M16, and French FAMAS. 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.
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 battery. It is then ready to fire.
Design criticisms and other issuesEdit
The main criticism of this design is the perceived lack of hitting power. This is a trait shared with all small-caliber, high-velocity cartridges. The 5.8 x 42 mm DBP87 round is much smaller (5.8 vs 7.62 mm) and lighter (64 vs. 130 grain (4.15 vs 8.4 g)) than the 7.62 x 39 mm. However, it must be noted that small-caliber high-velocity rounds have proven their effectiveness in large-scale conflicts like the Vietnam War, the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, and conflicts in the Persian Gulf. The 5.8 mm round is designed to approximate the wounding effects of the Russian and NATO cartridges. However, Chinese tests using rifles fitted with 5.8 x 42 mm shells outperformed existing 7.62 x 32 mm rifles. 
Common to many bullpup rifles is inability to shoot from the left shoulder. Due to the bullpup configuration of the QBZ-95, the action of the weapon is much closer to the user's face than in a conventional-layout weapon. Spent casings would eject into the face of an operator firing the weapon from the left shoulder. There is also no separate rear assembly for the QBZ-95 to cater for left-hand ejection of the spent casings, thus PLA soldiers are only taught how to fire right-handed in basic training. A similar issue was solved with the Singapore-made SAR-21 by moving the ejection port forward and using an effective brass deflector to permit left-handed shooters to use the weapon.
Some experts are also concerned over the awkward position of the safety lever near the end of the rifle away from the shooter's hand. This position makes it difficult to quickly select "fire" when it is in "safe" mode.
There are seven specialised variants of the QBZ-95.
This is the standard version of the rifle used domestically, chambered for the 5.8 x 42 mm DBP87 round.
This is a shorter and lighter version of the standard rifle.
QBB-95 LSW (Light Support Weapon)Edit
The light support weapon would fullfil the same role as the Squad Automatic Weapon in the US Armed Forces. It has a longer, heavier barrel and higher rate of fire.
QBZ-97 (5.56mm Assault Rifle)Edit
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 in 5.56 mm NATO instead of the original Chinese 5.8 mm cartridge and has a deep magazine well designed to accept STANAG M16 style magazines. This design helps the gunner reload the magazine more quickly and more comfortably.
QBZ-97A (5.56mm Assault Rifle)Edit
This improved 5.56mm export model with added 3-round burst mode and bolt hold-open device.
QBZ-97B (5.56mm Carbine)Edit
This is the carbine version of the QBZ-97.
QBB-97 LSW (5.56mm Light Support Weapon)Edit
The light support weapon model of the QBZ-97.
QBU-88 Designated MarkmanEdit
Sometimes also called the Type 88, it is strictly speaking not a variant of the QBZ-95 family rifle, because it has a radically different internal design. It is optimized for use with a heavier bullet long-range load of the 5.8 x 42 mm.
- Comparable weapons
- China Defense.com - The Type 97 5.56mm Assault Rifle
- Modern Firearms - QBZ-95/Type 95 Assault Rifle
- Norinco QBZ-95
- China's new 5.8x42mm Weapons Complex Revealedfr:QBZ-95