In my opinion, it’s necessary to start a story about a weapon from the description of the munition used in it, since it is the cartridge that sets the basic characteristics of a particular sample and if in most descriptions the cartridges for a machine gun or a pistol are usually already studied along and across , and everyone knows about their positive and negative qualities, then in the case of the samples described in this article, things are a little different, since the cartridge, although standard, is standard for China. It will be about ammunition with the metric designation 5,8x42, which, depending on the type of bullet, has different names DAP-87, DBP-87 and so on. In essence, this cartridge is a Chinese development of intermediate ammunition, taking into account the experience in creating 5,45 and 5,56 cartridges. That is, the task before the designers was set up in the form of creating an intermediate cartridge superior in its parameters to two more common in the world, and the designers partly coped with this task. Why not just coped? Yes, simply because the development of this munition went the wrong way and, frankly, they repeated all the same mistakes that were made when creating 5,45 and 5,56 munitions, plus added their own nuances. So, the cartridge itself turned out to be longer than common, this seemingly insignificant feature is reflected even in the dimensions of the weapon, of course, not everything is so obvious and critical as you might think, but if you already find fault with trifles, a longer cartridge means a longer chamber, a longer barrel, plus a wider store of weapons, and so on, all this leads to an increase in length, even a couple of centimeters, but the fact remains. In addition, the bullet caliber equal to 5,8 millimeters could be larger, at least to 6 millimeters, but the bullet itself has a length that makes its flight more even and accurate in comparison with NATO and domestic cartridges. In general, in order not to climb into the jungle, these munitions can be described as more effective cartridges in comparison with 5,56 and 5,45, but the promising current type of "grendel" and the version of Remington ammunition clearly undershoot, so to speak, better than what is at all, but worse than what is possible. With 7,62, of course, do not compare. Adopted a new cartridge in the 1987 year, which is clear from the name, and it’s interesting that at the time of the adoption of this cartridge, the weapons that used this ammunition were not accepted and appeared only a few months later. At the moment, under this cartridge created a full range of weapons, in which it can be effectively used: light machine guns, machine guns and sniper rifles.
Standard ammunition is loaded with a bullet weighing 4,15 grams, the speed that this projectile develops can reach 1000 meters per second, of course with short trunks, this parameter will be different. A variant of the cartridge, which is used in machine guns and sniper rifles, as well as in automatic weapons, of which this article has a heavier 5 gram bullet, which reduces the speed of a bullet, but significantly increases its kinetic energy. A remarkable point is that this ammunition is produced only in China, and no one else wanted to change the actual “awl on soap”, associating with a new, even a slightly better, cartridge.
So, the basis for the new weapon was created, it only remains for the small thing - to create a device for it that would shoot without fail. So, the first gun for the new cartridge was the Type 87 machine gun, which was the only machine gun for this cartridge before the 1995 year, but at the same time sniper rifles and light machine guns were also produced. So, in 1995, QBZ-95 appeared - a weapon that fully meets all modern trends of weapon fashion. For maximum effect, it’s enough to look at what Type 87 was and what QBZ-95 was; the weapon turned out to be in no way inferior, and in some cases superior to samples from other countries. First of all, it should be noted that initially this machine was created for special forces, because the layout of the bullpup here is more than justified. Also, even by the picture, it can be determined that the machine is almost half plastic, but this plastic is not at all the one that makes products for our market, but really high-quality, impact-resistant, plus reinforced with a steel skeleton (later replaced with an aluminum alloy, as well as the rest of the body of the weapon), which slightly increased the weight of the weapon, but made it more durable. Unfortunately, the design did not take into account all the negative qualities of weapons layout. So, the window for ejection of spent cartridges is located close enough to the shooter’s face and only on the right side, and if the influence of powder gases on the mucous membrane of the gunman seems to be a contrived negative moment, then the possibility of firing only from the right shoulder is a serious minus that is relevant not just for lefties. I think that most of the people who held a weapon understand that even if you are right-handed, it’s not a fact that the nearest shelter will be on your left, so that you can comfortably fire from your usual shoulder, so that the opportunity to shoot is the same relevant for the one who holds the spoon with his left hand, and for the one who writes the right.
The first thing that catches your eye is that the bolt handle is located at a fashionable place under the handle for carrying the weapon. This is usually done in order to avoid injuries among those who like to experiment with options for stopping the moving shutter during firing (there were people willing to stop even with their teeth, and these people were considered fit ...), and also so that the weapon was equally controlled as left-handed. , and the right hand. It turns out that the designers took care to take the bolt with any hand, but it was not possible to shoot from the left shoulder because of the location of the window for ejection of spent cartridges. Well, oh well, let's not quibble, all the same they have a lot of population, they can do it on the basis so that the neighbor's handle does not touch the crowded trenches. A lot of complaints are caused by the handle for carrying weapons, especially for those who used such weapons of “classic” designs before such weapons. In the negative quality, it is usually recorded that the head of the arrow when aiming is clearly visible to the opponent, in my opinion, such a negative phenomenon does exist, but its value is greatly exaggerated, since this height provides the most comfortable position for aiming, especially in the layout Bullpup, when the butt is in line with the line of fire, which greatly improves accuracy. Another thing is that in addition to the pillar, located on the handle for carrying weapons, there is another rather high element of open sights, which is guaranteed to cling to clothing. I can not go past such a phenomenon as a small distance between sights, which will affect the accuracy of the weapon when firing at maximum distances, although this can be compensated for with a simple optics of low multiplicity.
There were no negative moments in this weapon, which can categorically be used to put a minus sign. So, the most important negative quality of this automaton is that the fuse switch, it’s the gun’s fire mode translator, is located almost at the “butt”, that is, at the shooter’s shoulder and the switch is a very small switch that actually becomes inaccessible if the hands are protected warm gloves. And just the location of this switch is completely unfortunate, since it is at least on the left side of the weapon, and not on the right. It has 4 positions, three of which are quite familiar and understandable, but the fourth one allows you to fire a weapon with a fixed cut-off on the 3 cartridge. If you have already begun to deal with issues of the convenience of controlling weapons, then you cannot pass by the additional handle, which is the front part of the safety guard of the weapon. In general, the dimensions of the safety guard are quite good, as they allow to shoot even very thick mittens without much difficulty, but this additional handle is generally incomprehensible for what it is made, as it is located very close to the pistol grip, which makes the controllability of the weapon very relative, Yes, and just holding the machine for this handle creates inconvenience when you press the trigger. In general, the element here is absolutely superfluous and out of place, so if it were carried forward, and even made removable, the conversation would have been completely different. And yes, the most important thing is that the machine gun can be equipped with a bayonet, which is especially “relevant” for the configuration of the bullpup, and indeed for modern weapons, because after a day we go to bayonet attack.
Automatic weapons built on the scheme with a short stroke of the gas piston, the bolt locks the barrel when turning three stops. The slide does not have a weapon delay, nor does it have a neck for a magazine, which is fixed by a latch at the back. In general, the weapon proved to be sufficiently reliable and durable, failures due to contamination occur only in very neglected cases, however, this is not a reason to dip the machine into the dirt or izvalyat it in the sand, since all this greatly reduces the life of the weapon. The weapon also has the ability to install grenade launchers, here just the front part of the safety bracket in the form of a handle is very useful. In general, despite the fairly large leap in weapons for China, there is nothing revolutionary in this model, but nevertheless, everything is done fairly well, so that they can and can do much whenever they want. Immediately I foresee screaming about copied, stolen, but the weapon is really similar both in design and appearance to many samples, but it only seems to be an exact copy - these are two different concepts, and if you blame someone for plagiarism, then you need to start with all manufacturers of pistols that "insolently" use and upgrade the Browning system.
On the basis of the QBZ-95, several other variants of weapons were also created, so the most interesting in my opinion is the shortened version of the QBZ-95В, which differs only in barrel length, but is much more compact, easier to manage, and its combat characteristics are slightly less than long pattern. But the QBZ-95LWS seems to be more than a strange weapon, since it is a light machine gun for the same cartridge 5,8х42, differs from the main model with an elongated barrel, bipod and magazine with a capacity of 75 or 100 cartridges. If we talk about the dimensions of the weapon, the smallest model has a length of just 609 millimeters with a barrel length of 369 millimeters. Its weight is equal to 2,9 kilogram, the effective range of firing is limited to half a kilometer when using additional aiming devices, with standard effective range of the weapon - 300 meters (a small distance between the whole front sight). The standard model has a length of 745 millimeters, the length of the barrel is 463 millimeter, and the weight of the weapon is 3,25 kilogram. The effective range increased to 600-700 meters when using non-standard aiming devices. For a light machine gun, the lengths are 840 and 600 millimeters, respectively, the total length and length of the barrel, the weight is equal to 3,9 kilograms, and the effective range of fire 800 meters. In addition, this model has a higher rate of fire, which is equal to 800 rounds per minute, while for other samples this value is equal to 650 rounds per minute. Thus, we can say that in the 95 year, the 3 appeared in the arsenal of the People’s Liberation Army of China in a rather interesting sample, under a cartridge that is more effective than the 5,45 and 5,56.
All this is good, but the article is about two automata, right? Somehow in the process of writing, I completely abandoned the second one - QBZ-97 and abandoned it not by chance. I think that it is not a secret to anyone that there is mutual “love” between the police and the army in China, so it is not surprising that the police also wanted to get a novelty, and they got it two years later. The first and most important difference between the two machines is that the police officer uses the 5,56 cartridge, which actually changes its characteristics completely. The second difference is the lack of launches in the front of the safety bracket, as it was, in fact, was not needed initially, and was used only with an mounted grenade launcher, and which grenade launchers could be with the police. Well, the third difference is that the weapon has only two modes of shooting: single and automatic fire. In all other respects, both models are completely identical, but I still prefer the army version of the machine.
As well as the army version of the machine, the police officer has several options, including the option in which there is a cut-off of three rounds, a short version of the weapon, as well as a light machine gun for 5,56 cartridges. By the way, this weapon is also produced for the civilian market, naturally, without the possibility of automatic fire. The weight of the standard model of the QBZ-97 machine is 3,35 kilogram, the total length of the weapon is 758 millimeters, and the length of the barrel of the machine is 490 millimeters. It feeds weapons, like its military counterpart, from box stores with a capacity of 30 cartridges, although it is possible to use stores with a smaller or larger capacity. Also, despite the absence of an additional handle, you can still mount a single-barrel single-shot grenade launcher on the weapon. True, it is charged with not quite ordinary shots, but with traumatic shots.
Here is such a weapon in the arsenal of the Chinese army since the 1995 year, so we can say with confidence that they mastered the production of firearms perfectly, at least for their troops they do it quite well, and those options that are sent for import like no one really scolds. Not far off is the time when China will no longer need to copy something at all, but its developments, which will not be worse than European or our domestic ones, will be quite enough. And these two machine guns are far from all the weapons that are in service with the PLA, this is, so to speak, the tip of the iceberg, so if you are interested, I can make a series of articles on this country’s firearms, both modern and old.