PLA Small arms


Senior Member
That seems to be the unfortunate case, unless the keeps the QBZ-95-1 as the main service rifle to another 2-3 decades, while having tank crews, missileers, airborne forces, marines, special forces, etc. use the new carbine.

What's unfortunate about it?
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Junior Member
Here's an article from the Firearms Blog on the new rifle from the parade.
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First Photos of Chinese PLA New Standard Rifle and What We Know So Far

Back in May 2017, TFB reported about the Chinese PLA possibly replacing the QBZ-95-1 bullpup with a "traditional" layout rifle. Today, two photos of the Chinese new standard issue rifle have appeared on social media. The rifle is likely going to be revealed on the October 1st during the Military Parade dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.

Although the official name of the rifle still remains unknown, the new rifle is likely named ‘QBZ-191’. The top picture of this article shows the carbine variant of the new rifle family which has a 10.5 ″ barrel. The carbine is aimed to replace the QBZ-95B and it’s mostly going to be used as a PDW for vehicle crews, not front line soldiers. The infantry rifle has a 14.5″ barrel and there is also a longer barreled marksman rifle.

As to previously known the new Chinese rifle is still chambered in the standard 5.8x42mm round. However, it is confirmed the PLA has adopted new 5.8x42mm rounds that have better performance on medium to long-range. The new rifle has been given huge hope of replacing the currently in service QBZ-95-1 which is the bullpup standard rifle used by PLA for over 25 years.

The new rifle has a full-length Picatinny rail on the top. The pictures also show soldiers using the new combat optic during practice. The optic seems to have a fiber optic illuminated reticle since the light fiber structure similar to the ACOG can be found on top of the optic. The zoom and whether there are second reticle illumination is unknown. Guessing from the few other reticle designs released by China, this optic may also keep the reticle design that mixed the ACOG reticle and the PSO-1 style rangefinder reticle.

The rear sight is a detachable flip-up BUIS with the fixed flip-up front sight. Some Chinese internet sources claimed the new rifle will have M-LOK handguard, but it turns out to be a more traditional handguard.

According to TFB’s Chinese source, the new rifle has semi-auto and full-auto but no burst-fire. The magazine has a similar appearance as the QBZ-95-1 mags, but the reinforcement ribs look flatter and make it look like a PMAG. The effective range of the carbine version is 300 meters, for the rifle version it’s 400 meters, and the rifle fires at a rate of fire of 750 rpm.

Although the rifle looks somewhat similar to the PLA QBZ-03, the new rifle presumably operates more like an HK416, pretty much a short stroke piston gas operated AR-15. While China just recently released their direct clone of an HK416, the new standard issue rifle doesn’t use the AR-15 receiver are likely due to the experience of using QBZ-03.

If the rifle hasn’t changed dramatically from its early stage, we can assume the new rifle keeps the 4-position telescoping stock. We can also see the buffer tube structure. However, the cross-section shape is different, it cannot use the existing AR-15 stocks.

What do you think about the new Chinese assault rifle?


Tyrant King
Unfortunate due to the lower muzzle velocity resulting from the shorter barrel; thus, reduced lethality.
That’s all based on a huge assumption. Muzzle velocity is generally lost if you fire the same ammo from a shorter barreled weapon, yes but this is a bit over stated. Because even if they are the same caliber the loading of the cartridge can change things.
For example when fired from M16A2 M855A1 gets 960 meters a second when fired from M4A1 it’s 910 meters a second. So loss is about 50 meters a second. But is it that much of a loss, really. Sure it changes some characteristics but beyond 200m The feared yawing basically disappears in .2xx calibers.
This is also where the “Oh But Terran what about the complaining of reduced effectiveness of M4 rifles?” Comes in that was with M855 not M855A1.

This is the heart of the assumption being made here. That is based on the same ammo vs different barrel lengths (in my example that is with A1), if it was with different ammo types it’s a different ball game.
Because with M855 from M4 it’s 866 meters per second vs A1 with 910 meters per second. M16A2 got 922meters a second with M855 so M4A1 with A1 looses only 12 meters a second vs M16A2 with M855.
And M855 lost velocity vs the M16A1 loader with M193 back in the day. Different rounds bring different powder loads and pressures with different projectiles for different jobs. By changing the characteristics of the round you get different effects on the other side of the barrel.

Okay what does that have to do with QBZ191 vs QBZ95?

The PLA QBZ191 supposedly is loaded with a new ammunition type. As such assuming performance is out the window. If they hot loaded a new 5.8x42mm cartridge for the new rifle it may in theory nearly or match QBZ95 from the shorter barrel.