COIC Type 63

     Notes: At first thought to be a modification of the SKS, it now appears that the Type 63 is an original, though rather strange design.  The Type 63 was designed in the early 1960s specifically to give the People’s Militia forces a bit more firepower without having to make a lot more (and more expensive, in real-life terms at the time) Type 56 series assault rifles, and also to give them a design which was simple enough that they could make it themselves in backyard machine shops if necessary.  The Type 63 is therefore a rather simple weapon with a rather crude appearance and questionable quality. 

     The Type 63 is semiautomatic and gas-operated; the gas system is simple, not quite like that of the SKS, and not quite like that of the Type 56 assault rifle; but not exactly a blend of the two, either.  The Type 63 (as standard) is fed by 15-round steel magazines which are proprietary and will not fit into AK-series weapons despite having the same dimensions and holding the same ammunition.  The magazines may also be topped off by loading them using stripper clips through the top of the receiver.  The Type 63 has a knife-type bayonet which folds back underneath the barrel, and is otherwise permanently attached.   Construction of the Type 63 is normally heavy (though there was considerable variation sometimes), with heavy steel metalwork and rather crude hardwood furniture.  Sights normally consisted of a hooded front post and a tangent leaf adjustable rear.  The 20.45-inch barrel’s bore is almost always unchromed, as is the chamber.  Though the Type 63 was not built with selective-fire capability, Chinese soldiers quickly found out that if you grind down the sear in just the right way, you can gain automatic fire capability in the Type 63.  (The side effect of this modification is that the bolt catch no longer works.)

     Though the Type 63 was meant to be fed only by that special 15-round box magazine, crafty militiamen quickly discovered that if the bolt catch is ground down, removed, or modified, the Type 63 can in fact accept AK and RPK-type magazines and drums. 

     The Type 68 is sort of an “AKM version” of the Type 63; it uses a stamped steel receiver, has a few other minor modifications, and is in general less crude in its construction.  Many were in fact factory-built, and most actually have a plastic handguard.  The Type 68 also has selective-fire capability designed into it.  The Type 68 has an adjustable gas regulator with two positions, allowing the shooter to keep the weapon functioning when conditions do not allow him to clean the weapon often enough or when he has to fire lots of ammunition in a short period of time.  The gas regulator does not eliminate the need for cleaning; it merely keeps the Type 68 going a bit longer.

     The Type 73 updated the pattern further; the Type 73 can accept AK and RPK-type magazines and drums as standard.

     Twilight 2000 World: As the Twilight War wore on, more and more of these weapons were modified to use AK magazines.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Type 63

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.49 kg

15 (Possibly More)

$839

Type 68

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.26 kg

15 (Possibly More)

$839

Type 73

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.26 kg

15, 30, 40, 75 Drum

$844

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Type 63

SA

4

2-3-Nil

7

4

Nil

62

Type 68

5

4

2-3-Nil

6

4

10

62

Type 73

5

4

2-3-Nil

6

4

10

62

 

Norinco CQ

     Notes: Sometimes called the Type CQ, M-311, or Type 311, this is a rather crude Chinese copy of the M-16A1.  It differs from that rifle only in minor details, such as the handguards and the more rounded appearance of the furniture of the weapon.  This weapon has been seen in the hands of Muhajedin fighters in Afghanistan (though virtually all of them seem to have disappeared by the time of the December 2002 US invasion), but appears to have been initially designed for export to western nations.  However, the CQ’s largest customer to date has been Iran, who have issued it to some of their troops and have also used it as the base for their two new assault rifles.

     The CQ-A is a copy of the M-4A1 carbine, again rumored to be manufactured without a license.  The planform is virtually identical to a “real” M-4A1, and quality is said to be much better than that of the CQ rifle.  The rifling twist is such that is can stabilize both M-193 and SS-109 cartridges.  It can accept handguards with MIL-STD-1913 rails, and one is atop the carbine, with a carrying handle attached to it.  With or without the rails, the CQ-A can accept several underbarrel grenade launchers (the Paraguayans use a Chinese copy of the M-203). The CQ-A is known to be used by the DECEI special ops unit of the Paraguayan Army.

     The Chinese have been selling this rifle on the international civilian and police market; their real-life price is less than a comparable AR-15A1 or A2.  This version is known as the CQ 311-1 or CQ M-311-1.  Importation of the CQ 311-1 into the US has been prohibited since 1989; however, the US company of DPMS Panther Arms manufactures them for sale in Europe, sold through the Italian company of Nuova Jager. A semiautomatic version of the CQ-A is also sold by Norinco, and it too cannot be imported into the US.

     Twilight 2000 Notes: In addition to an occasional sighting in Afghanistan, the CQ was often seen in the hands of North Korean infiltrators, as well as being used by Thai troops. 

     Merc 2000 Notes: In a weapons market glutted by real M-16s, the CQ is mostly a curiosity rather than a commonly-seen weapon.  

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

CQ

5.56mm NATO

3.2 kg

20, 30

$605

CQ-A

5.56mm NATO

2.52 kg

10, 20, 30

$571

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

CQ

5

3

1-Nil

6

3

7

55

CQ-A

5

3

1-Nil

4/5

3

7

34

 

Norinco QBZ-03 (Type 03)

     Notes: For reasons that the Chinese have yet to state, Chinese troops are apparently less than happy with the QBZ-95.  For this reason, a new rifle has been developed, the QBZ-03.  It still fires the 5.8mm Chinese round, but has a more conventional layout instead of being a bullpup like the QBZ-95; in fact, it looks very much like the earlier Type 87.  The QBZ-03 is not yet in widespread issue and is still regarded as being in the advanced testing phases by the Chinese, and it is not yet known whether it will replace or supplement the QBZ-95.

     The operation of the QBZ-03 appears to be based upon that of the Type 81, somewhat updated for reliability and appropriately modified for the 5.8mm cartridge.  The gas block has a 2-position gas regulator; one position is for normal use, and the other is a gas cutoff for use with non-bullet trap rifle grenades.  The selector allows only for semiautomatic or automatic fire, but the cyclic rate is low enough (650 RPM) that short bursts can be squeezed off with practice. Unlike the Type 81, the QBZ-03 has a two-piece receiver, with push pins allowing it to be opened and field-stripped.  Construction of the metalwork is largely of stamped steel, with the stock, pistol grip and handguards being made of polymer.  The skeletonized stock is hinged and folds to the right.  The rear sight is a flip type adjustable for windage and elevation and is protected; the front sight is a simple hooded post.  Forward of the rear sight is a short proprietary rail which will accept any optic the Chinese use, as well as several other Eastern and Western types.

     Twilight 2000 Notes: QBZ-03 does not exist in the Twilight 2000 timeline.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

QBZ-03

5.8mm Chinese

3.5 kg

30

$591

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

QBZ-03

5

3

1-Nil

4/6

2

6

50

 

Norinco QBZ-95 (Type 95) 

     Notes: This is a new Chinese weapon, based on a new round (5.8x42mm Chinese).  This bullpup design was seen in 1996 during the turnover of Hong Kong to the Chinese PLA.  Since then, it has been the subject of much conjecture from military and firearm sources.  It has rarely been seen outside of China, and is believed to be currently under testing for adoption into the mainstay of the Chinese Peoples’ Liberation Army.  It is known that the weapon is quite capable of mounting the US-manufactured M-203 grenade launcher, leading to speculation that China is also developing a copy of that design.  It is also reported that the QBZ-95 is capable of firing rifle grenades as well.  The QBZ-95 is part of a family of weapons that include an assault rifle, a carbine, a squad automatic weapon, and a sniper rifle.  As of 2002, the QBZ-95 is usually only seen in the hands of Chinese troops in Hong Kong, or special operations troops.  The QBZ-97 is the same weapon chambered for 5.56mm NATO ammunition; there have been no large-scale sales of the weapon, though Thailand is supposedly very interested, and Burma/Myanmar has bought small numbers of them.  The QBZ-95 uses an 18.2-inch rifle; both the QBZ-95 and QBZ-97 Carbines have a 14.5-inch barrel.  The QBZ-97 has a 19.3-inch barrel.

     Recently, Norinco has begun marketing the QBZ-97A version of the original QBZ-97, though this version has found no takers as of yet.  The QBZ-97A has a bolt hold-open feature (something lacking on other versions), and uses a 3-round burst mode instead of having a full auto mode.

     Twilight 2000 Notes: The QBZ-95 is an extremely rare weapon; it is seen only in the hands of a very few Chinese special operations forces.  The QBZ-97 does not exist in the Twilight 2000 world. 

     Merc 2000 Notes: Though rarer than it is in the Notes, the QBZ-95 and QBZ-97 both exist, again mostly in the hands of special ops troops.  (It is simply cheaper to keep build and maintain parts for more traditional weapons than a novel new weapon with proprietary ammunition.)  The Thais are using a surprising amount of QBZ-97s, and the Filipinos are also using them in small numbers.  The Myanmars did not have the money to replace most of their stocks of existing weapons. 

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

QBZ-95 Assault Rifle

5.8mm Chinese

3.4 kg

30

$559

QBZ-97 Assault Rifle

5.56mm NATO

3.35 kg

30

$579

QBZ-95 Carbine

5.8mm Chinese

2.86 kg

30

$520

QBZ-97 Carbine

5.56mm NATO

3.15 kg

30

$529

QBZ-97A

5.56mm NATO

3.35 kg

30

$579

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

QBZ-95 Assault Rifle

5

3

1-Nil

5

3

6

47

QBZ-97 Assault Rifle

5

3

1-Nil

5

3

6

47

QBZ-95 Carbine

5

3

1-Nil

4

3

6

35

QBZ-97 Carbine

5

3

1-Nil

4

3

6

32

QBZ-97A Assault Rifle

3

3

1-Nil

5

3

4

47

 

Norinco Type 56

     Notes: The Type 56 is essentially the Chinese equivalent of the AK-47, modified to suit local manufacturing methods, with slightly looser tolerances for its parts (mostly from being built sometimes in crude shops early in its Chinese manufacturing history), and designed to work with parts made from a lesser quality of steel (again, only at first).  The original versions of the Type 56 were essentially almost exact copies of the AK-47, but with a permanently-mounted spike-type bayonet which folds under the barrel, instead of the cleaning rod normally carried under the barrel of the AK-47.  Later versions were built with better manufacturing methods and were even closer copies of the AKM, though they still had the folding bayonet instead of the cleaning rod.  (These versions were still referred to by the Chinese as “Type 56,” though the West sometimes called them “Type 56-1,” and that is how I will refer to it to avoid confusion.)  The furniture of both was always rather poor-quality wood; a version referred to in the West as “Type 56-2” is the Chinese equivalent of the AKMS, with a folding metal stock what folds sideways instead of under the weapon as does the folding stock of the AKMS.  (Some Type 56-2s built in the late-1970s have a folding stock similar to that of the Belgian FNC, however.)   A short version was also designed in the late 1980s, known as the Type 56C; what the West referred to as the “Type 56C” used a plastic stock and fore-end and a wooden pistol grip, while what the West referred to as the “Type 56C-1” has the same folding stock as the Type 56-2 (though not the FNC-type folding stock of later Type 56-2s).  Both have a much shorter 13.65-inch barrel (as opposed to the 16.3-inch barrel of a standard Type 56), tipped with a small muzzle brake.  A version designed only for semiautomatic fire and normally sold only on the export market (most commonly in the US) are sometimes called the “Type 56-5.”  And just to add even more to the confusion, the entire series (particularly those built after 1973) are called by some the “M-22,” due to some of the markings on the weapons.  Beginning in the mid-1980s, the Chinese also began flooding the world civilian market with a semiautomatic version of the Type 56-2, called the Type 56S by the Chinese (and about a zillion different names in the different countries to which it is exported); this version is available with the folding stock of the Type 56-2 or the wood stock of the Type 56, and can also be found with a plethora of Chinese-made and aftermarket modifications.  The Type 56S has, especially in the US, become the scourge of police forces, since it is cheap, easily found both on the black market and legally, and is easily converted to automatic fire.

     Though quality got better over the years, the Type 56 was always worse than the AK-47/AKM.  In particular, chroming of the bore and chamber was nonexistent in early manufacture and often poorly-applied later on, leading to rapid corrosion.  The gas system was also often poorly-built, leading to quick fouling.  Albanian examples are usually better than Chinese ones, though those made in Vietnam during the Vietnam War were even worse than Chinese-built ones.  The only other license-producer is Bangladesh.

     The Type 56 Assault Rifle series is no longer used by regular Chinese forces, though they have been kept for reserve forces.  In addition, they are some of the most commonly found variants of the AK series in the world, and can be found in almost any country.  Albania still manufactures the Type 56, though they call theirs the AK-47.  The Type 56C saw almost no use by Chinese troops, because it was designed in the late 1980s largely for export.  None of these rifles should be confused with the Chinese version of the SKS, which the Chinese called the Type 56 Carbine.

     For many Chinese troops and export customers, the AKM/Type 56 has a great deal of muscle memory behind it, given its 51 years of use by the Chinese.  However, many export customers want a modernized AK, but firing a more up-to-date round like the 5,56mm NATO.  To this end, Norinco developed the Type 06, which is essentially a Type 56 which has been modernized and manufactured without most of the lumpish features and poor manufacturing methods of the Type 57 construction. The Type 06 uses largely light alloy in its receiver and polymer in its handguards and pistol grip and buttplate (coated with rubber in this case). It is an altogether better version of the Type 56.  So far, no country’s military has bought the Type 06, and Chinese troops are simply conducting small scale tests of it.  One of the big differences between the Type 56 is the 20-inch barrel of the Type 06.

 

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Type 56

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.8 kg

30

$797

Type 56-1

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.3 kg

30

$797

Type 56-2

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.3 kg

30

$822

Type 56C

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.5 kg

30

$825

Type 56C-1

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.5 kg

30

$845

Type 06

5.56mm NATO

4.03 kg

10, 20, 30

$597

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Type 56

5

4

2-Nil

6

3

9

46

Type 56-1

5

4

2-Nil

6

3

9

46

Type 56-2

5

4

2-Nil

4/6

3

9

46

Type 56C

5

3

2-Nil

5

3

7

35

Type 56C-1

5

3

2-Nil

4/5

3

7

35

Type 06

5

3

1-Nil

6

2

6

55

 

Norinco Type 81

     Notes: The Type 81 was originally designed specifically for export, but was later produced in large numbers to become the Chinese Army’s primary assault rifle, replacing their aging Type 56 assault rifles.  Though appearing to be a modification and modernization of the Type 56-1, the Type 81 in fact bears a closer relationship to the Type 63 series of rifles.

     The gas operating system is essentially an updated version of that used in the Type 73 above; however, a cover now protects the formerly open part of the rear of the operating mechanism.  The fire selector switch is on most of the Type 81 series on the left side of the receiver above the pistol grip, though the late production Type 81S also has a secondary safety in the same place as the safety would be found on the SKS, just behind the trigger; this automatically disengages when the trigger is pulled back fully and prevents the Type 81S from being accidentally fired if dropped or bumped.  Very early production Type 81s could not accept the AKM/AK-47 magazines of any other country, due to a radically different feed mechanism; however this was corrected early in production and most Type 81s can Kalashnikov-type magazines and drums of virtually any origin, as well as the 15-round magazines of the Type 63 series.  Very early production models also had a three-round burst mechanism in addition to a full automatic setting, but this was also quickly deleted.  The sights are standard Type 56-type sights, though modified for use with the longer barrel.  The Type 81 uses high-impact plastic furniture and steel construction, and has a mount for a knife-type detachable bayonet.  The 17.52-inch barrel is tipped by a flash suppressor which is of the right size for the launching of Chinese, Russian, former Warsaw Pact, or Pakistani rifle grenades.  The Type 81-1 is a Type 81 with a folding plastic stock instead of a fixed one.  Note that for game purposes, the Type 81, Type 81-1, Type 81S, and Type 81S-1 are identical.

     Twilight 2000 Notes: The Type 81 was not initially intended to replace the Type 56, but as millions of troops were raised to fight off the Russian invasion, most Type 81 production was diverted to native Chinese use.  It is still not nearly as prevalent as the Type 56 series. 

     Merc 2000 story: In addition to Chinese use, the Type 81 has been sold in most corners of the world, usually in small lots.  The two large foreign sales has been to Thailand and North Korea. 

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Type 81 (Early Production)

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.5 kg

15, 30, 40, 75 Drum

$1128

Type 81

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.4 kg

15, 30, 40, 75 Drum

$825

Type 81-1

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.5 kg

15, 30, 40, 75 Drum

$845

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Type 81 (Early)

3/5

4

2-Nil

6

4

5/9

51

Type 81

5

4

2-Nil

6

4

9

51

Type 81-1

5

4

2-Nil

5/6

4

9

51

 

Norinco Type 87

     Notes: After the introduction of smaller-caliber rifles by the US, NATO, and then the Soviet Union and some of her satellite states, the Chinese began research into their own version of a small-caliber-firing military rifle.  They were, however not totally convinced as to the effectiveness of the small-caliber military cartridge concept, and not impressed by either the 5.56mm NATO or 5.45mm Kalashnikov cartridges.  The Chinese there decided to develop their own small-caliber military cartridge, eventually resulting in the 5.8mm Chinese cartridge. 

     However, the QBZ-95 series was not the first weapon to be chambered for the new round; before the QBZ-95, there was the Type 87.  The initial Type 87 was essentially a Type 81 with just enough modifications to enable it to fire the 5.8mm Chinese cartridge.  In addition, the Type 87 was built only in a folding stock version, but not the same type of folding stock as the Type 81.  In addition, the muzzle of the Type 87 has a different flash suppressor.

     The Type 87 underwent extensive manufacturer and military evaluation; in addition, it also underwent limited field training with Chinese troops.  Its reliability was found wanting; this is most likely because the gas system was not modified sufficiently to handle the new cartridge.  It was also considered to be too heavy for a small-caliber-firing military rifle (especially since the Type 87 was supposed to have been much lighter than the Type 81).  The Type 87 was therefore quickly withdrawn, without achieving any sort of operational status.

     In the late 1980s, the Chinese were still working on the Type 87 and had made a number of improvements to the rifle.  These improvements let to the Type 87A.  It was a much lighter rifle due to the extensive use of high-impact plastics and light alloys, and with a modified gas system, it was also much more reliable.  A small production run of Type 87A rifles was ordered by the PLA – about enough to equip one battalion of Chinese Airborne troops, who conducted the field tests.  Though reportedly quite pleased with the Type 87A, they were trumped by higher command – the PLA brass didn’t feel that the Type 87A was enough of a technological advance over the Type 81.  The Type 87A was therefore withdrawn from service, and again never reached any sort of operational status.  The ultimate fate of the small production run of Type 87As actually built is unknown, but much of the technology and lessons learned from the Type 87 and Type 87A later went into developing the QBZ-95 and improving the 5.8mm Chinese cartridge.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Type 87

5.8mm Chinese

3.95 kg

30

$598

Type 87A

5.8mm Chinese

3.33 kg

30

$600

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Type 87

5

3

1-Nil

5/6

2

6

53

Type 87A

5

3

1-Nil

5/6

2

6

53