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Firearm Infobox
Name, Image, type, origin
Name Type 81 Assault Rifle
Image Type 81 Assault Rifle assault rifle.
Type 81 and 81-1 Assault Rifle
Type Assault rifle
Place of origin Flag of the People's Republic of China People's Republic of China
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Service history
In service 1983 (observed) - present
Used by Flag of the People's Republic of China People's Republic of China
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,
Flag of Pakistan Pakistan
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[1],
Flag of Sri Lanka Sri Lanka
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[1],
Flag of Bangladesh Bangladesh
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,
Flag of Burma Burma
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,
Flag of Nepal Nepal
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,
Flag of Sudan Sudan
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,
Flag of Algeria Algeria
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and various forces in Africa
Wars Sino-Vietnamese War,
Sri Lankan civil war
Production history
Designer {{{designer}}}
Designed 1971
Manufacturer {{{manufacturer}}}
Produced 1981 - present
Number Unknown
Variants Type 81 Rifle,
Type 81-1 Rifle,
Type 81 Squad Support Weapon,
Type-81S Export Rifle,
Type 87 Experimental Rifle,
Type 87-1 Experimental Rifle
Specifications
Weight 3.4 kg
Length 955 mm (37.6 in)
Width {{{width}}}
Height {{{height}}}
Barrel length 445 mm (17.5 in)
Diameter {{{diameter}}}
Crew {{{crew}}}
Cartridge 7.62x39mm M43 (Type 81)
5.8x42mm DBP87 (Type 87)
Caliber
Action Gas-operated, rotating bolt
Muzzle velocity 720 m/s (2,360 ft/s)
Effective range 500 m
Maximum range {{{max_range}}}
Other identifying characteristics
Wood parts (Y/N) {{{wood}}}
Common color {{{color}}}
Imprint {{{imprint}}}

The Chinese Type 81 Assault Rifle was the principal automatic rifle used by the People's Liberation Army from the mid-1980s until 1995. It incorporates elements of the Dragunov Sniper Rifle, SKS, and AK series rifles. The rifle is cosmetically based on the Type 56/AK-47, but with some significantly different design and improvements to reduce the recoil and muzzle jump, giving better firing accuracy. The Type 81 rifle also made some changes in its external design to make it more user friendly than the original Type 56/AK-47.

Although it is externally similar to the Type 56/AK-47, the Type 81 differs from it significantly. The most easily distinguishable feature is an exposed muzzle part of the barrel. The foresight moved back for a modification to fire rifle grenades from the barrel. There is significant gap between the trigger guard and the magazine on Type 81 rifles, while on the Type 56/AK-47 series the magazine is adjacent to the front of the trigger guard. The Type 81 rifle is a short-stroke gas-operated design, while the Type 56/AK-47 are long-stroke gas-operated designs. On Type 81 rifles the obsolete spike-shaped non-detachable bayonet, preferred by the PLA before, was also replaced by the more "modern" detachable knife-bayonet. Magazines of the Type 81 and the Type 56(or any other AK copies) are not interchangeable.

The Type 81 was replaced in PLA frontline service by the QBZ-95, a bullpup rifle chambered for the 5.8x42mm DBP87 cartridge, in 1995 and is now reserved for secondary forces.

History Edit

The weapon was introduced into PLA service in 1981 but did not become widely distributed until the late 1980s. It replaced the Type 56. Its first combat use came during the Sino-Vietnamese border conflicts of the mid 1980s.

Sri Lanka started to adopt into Type 81 rifles in 1990s but suddenly stopped the process after they realised few defects on Type 81 in operational situations, such as the safety lock's position. Currently the Sri Lankan Type 81 rifles are mainly deployed on non-operational areas.

Characteristics Edit

File:ChineseType81LtMG.jpg

Unlike its predecessors, the Type 81 is a series of weapons. The Type 81 and Type 81-1 are assault rifles and the heavier Type 81 squad machine gun is used in the squad automatic weapon role.

The Type 81-1 is similar to the Type 81 but has a foldable stock. The Type 81 squad machine gun is heavier (5.15 kg), has a longer barrel, slightly higher rate of fire (700 rounds per minute), and fires from either the standard 30 round magazine or a 75 round drum. According to PLA soldiers and foreign users, the accuracy of the Type 81 is better than that of the AK-47 and close to that of the M-16, while the reliability is equal to that of the AK-47. The Type 81 has been exported to various countries, primarily Asian and African. It has a reputation for being rather rough in finish, but overall has a rugged quality.

Specification Edit

Type 81 Type 81-I Type 81 machine gun
Overall length 955mm 750mm (butt folded) 1,004mm
Bore diameter 7.62 mm
Cartridge 7.62x39mm
Weight 3.50kg 3.40kg 5.15kg
Effective range 400m 400m 500m
Muzzle velocity 750m/s 750m/s 735m/s
Rate of fire (theory) N/A N/A 720r/m
Rate of fire (sustained) N/A N/A 120r/min
Cartridge capacity 30 rounds 30 rounds 75 rounds

Variants Edit

A prototype called the Type 87 was introduced in the late 1980s. It served as a development platform for the next generation of PLA small arms, being used as a test-bed for the then new 5.8x42mm DBP87 ammunition. It never went into full-scale production but have been in service with PLA special forces.

The PLA is in the process of replacing the Type 81 with the Type 95 or Type 03 series of weapons but full conversion is not expected until the mid 2010s.

  • Type 81 (7.62 mm assault rifle with a fixed butt)
  • Type 81-I (7.62 mm assault rifle with a foldable butt)
  • Type 81 7.62 mm squad machine gun
  • Type 81S (late production export version with fixed butt)
  • Type 87-1 (5.8x42mm experimental assault rifle, used to develop and test 5.8 mm DBP87 cartridge for QBZ-95 rifle)
  • Type 87 5.8 mm squad machine gun (prototype)

Notes Edit

External links Edit


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