PLA Small arms


TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
General Purpose Machine Guns is defined as a air cooled automatic weapon that can be used as a medium machine gun or a light machine gun.
This doesn’t make much sense today as the Medium machine gun is pretty much defunct, the closest equivalent today would be a minigun. A machine gun intended for a fixed position sustained firing rifle caliber.
The Light machine gun of course being a weapon aimed for mobile operations. A Machine gun meant to operate with the infantry.

This is why the comparison to the Minimi is valid. As the QYJ88 being both in the intermediate caliber class and a GPMG should by definition also fit in the LMG role.
As GPMG is so much a class as an ability. IE can be used mounted to a fixed mount or carried by infantry and fired on the move. This differs from an Automatic rifle that can’t be mounted and is intended purely for infantry. The M249/FN Minimi can also be used in this way so it is a fair comparison.

Farther the PLA adopted a Universal Infantry cartridge. The 5.8mm family. From low power pistol and SMG class to intermediate rifle class. The concept is to streamline logistics and costs. One infantry Carbine (smg), Rifle, DMR and Infantry Machine Gun. yet even as they did that they didn’t.
They seem to have gone out of their way to add in more types and complicate the concept. Had they followed it it should have been pistol, QBZ95B, QBZ95, QBU95, QJY88. But instead they created SMGS, two rifle lines each with an Automatic rifles separate DMR and GPMG.
The separate LMG and GPMG weapons are most logical when you have different caliber weapons. By universal caliber firing the same rounds it completely tosses the whole advantage out the window.
So what is the QJY88? If you insist on the GPMG than let’s face it it’s heavier than it needs to be. If you want to claim a Medium MG the weight is justified but the range suffers and it’s ability to be used independently of the tripod or pittle mount seems an odd trade off. If an LMG it’s to heavy.
 

plawolf

Brigadier
The main advantages the QJY88 brings beyond the QBB95 are range and endurance.

They might fire the same cartridge and the 95 even have a higher MV, but there is good reason why the 88 is rated as 800-1000m effective range while the 95 is only 600-800m.

The heavier weight of the 88 allows for added stability and controllability at extended ranges, whereas with the 95, even though the rounds can reach just as far downrange, in automatic fire mode, the lighter gun would jump about so much that it would just be a waste of ammo to try to hit someone more than 600m away or something more than 800m away. As such, the heavy weight of the 88 is a feature, not a bug.

The heavier barrel of the 88 should also mean it can sustain fire for longer before overheating and needing a barrel swap.

The troops tasked with lugging the thing around during training will probable hate it, but if they ever get into a real firefight, I think they will start to appreciate its virtues.

Even though the PLA has its W85 50 cal, and much lighter next gen replacement in the works, I think there will still be a place for the venerable 88 or a more modern replacement. That is primarily because of ammo weight.

Even though the 85 has more reach and punch with its 50 cal rounds, the weight of those rounds means it doesn’t have that many reloads when being humped around by troops. That is why PLA tactics focus on getting those HMGs as close as possible to the action so they can make the most of its limited ammo supply.

The 88 doesn’t have this problem, and is intended primarily to keep the enemy’s heads down at extended ranges while infantry and HMG teams advance to get into optimal engagement range.
 

dankris

Junior Member
Registered Member
The main advantages the QJY88 brings beyond the QBB95 are range and endurance.

They might fire the same cartridge and the 95 even have a higher MV, but there is good reason why the 88 is rated as 800-1000m effective range while the 95 is only 600-800m.

The heavier weight of the 88 allows for added stability and controllability at extended ranges, whereas with the 95, even though the rounds can reach just as far downrange, in automatic fire mode, the lighter gun would jump about so much that it would just be a waste of ammo to try to hit someone more than 600m away or something more than 800m away. As such, the heavy weight of the 88 is a feature, not a bug.

The heavier barrel of the 88 should also mean it can sustain fire for longer before overheating and needing a barrel swap.

The troops tasked with lugging the thing around during training will probable hate it, but if they ever get into a real firefight, I think they will start to appreciate its virtues.

Even though the PLA has its W85 50 cal, and much lighter next gen replacement in the works, I think there will still be a place for the venerable 88 or a more modern replacement. That is primarily because of ammo weight.

Even though the 85 has more reach and punch with its 50 cal rounds, the weight of those rounds means it doesn’t have that many reloads when being humped around by troops. That is why PLA tactics focus on getting those HMGs as close as possible to the action so they can make the most of its limited ammo supply.

The 88 doesn’t have this problem, and is intended primarily to keep the enemy’s heads down at extended ranges while infantry and HMG teams advance to get into optimal engagement range.
I'm not quite convinced by your argument that QJY-88 weight is a feature, not a bug. If it wants to be compared with a GPMG, I'll match it up against PKM. That gun is lighter (
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vs
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) and has a larger cartridge. By your logic, it should be bouncing more and hence less accurate, but there doesn't seem to be any complaints about PKM accuracy.

Also, China has actually copied PKM as Type 80.
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website here claimed that it was actually ahead of Type 67 GPMG in testing, but due to 'other considerations', Type 67 GPMG was selected instead. Then when it's time to replace Type 67, they went with QJY-88, which IMO is still an inferior gun just based on weight and cartridge performance alone. Probably because of politics and Chinese pride again, aside from actual tactical consideration.
 

LawLeadsToPeace

New Member
Registered Member
An upcalibre version of the QJY-88 in .338 Lapua Magnum would be a better upgrade IMO.
Hm. I don't think it's worth it since the QJY-88 would still be heavy and would lead to significant changes in logistics. I think the next generation lmg/gpmg should just outright phase out the 88 since it would address the issues the QJY 88 has while adding new features.
 

LawLeadsToPeace

New Member
Registered Member
I'm not quite convinced by your argument that QJY-88 weight is a feature, not a bug. If it wants to be compared with a GPMG, I'll match it up against PKM. That gun is lighter (
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
vs
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
) and has a larger cartridge. By your logic, it should be bouncing more and hence less accurate, but there doesn't seem to be any complaints about PKM accuracy.

Also, China has actually copied PKM as Type 80.
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
website here claimed that it was actually ahead of Type 67 GPMG in testing, but due to 'other considerations', Type 67 GPMG was selected instead. Then when it's time to replace Type 67, they went with QJY-88, which IMO is still an inferior gun just based on weight and cartridge performance alone. Probably because of politics and Chinese pride again, aside from actual tactical consideration.
Or/And perhaps, it was a way to simulate innovation and confidence in the domestic industry? Designing a machine gun from scratch is much different from just copying or upgrading a machine gun that's already designed for you. For example, one can say that the Type 95 didn't need to be designed since the 81 and 56 were already good enough and just needed to be rechambered to 5.8mm. Yet, the Chinese gained a lot of experience from designing and producing a rifle from the bottom up.
 

dankris

Junior Member
Registered Member
Or/And perhaps, it was a way to simulate innovation and confidence in the domestic industry? Designing a machine gun from scratch is much different from just copying or upgrading a machine gun that's already designed for you. For example, one can say that the Type 95 didn't need to be designed since the 81 and 56 were already good enough and just needed to be rechambered to 5.8mm. Yet, the Chinese gained a lot of experience from designing and producing a rifle from the bottom up.
Sure. But IMO you learn much more when you lose, not when you win. The decision to give Chinese gun designers a chance may be justifiable at the start, but if that lulls them into thinking that PLA will keep picking their design because it's domestic, then it will be a bad influence for them. May the best design wins, regardless of origin.
 

plawolf

Brigadier
I'm not quite convinced by your argument that QJY-88 weight is a feature, not a bug. If it wants to be compared with a GPMG, I'll match it up against PKM. That gun is lighter (
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
vs
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
) and has a larger cartridge. By your logic, it should be bouncing more and hence less accurate, but there doesn't seem to be any complaints about PKM accuracy.
The PKM might be technically classed as a GPMG, but all of its most popular and widely deployed versions are used as LMGs. Its greatest claim and fame and source of its popularity is its light weight after all.

That means mobile fire support at close to medium ranges. It is also usually fired in very short bursts. I am struggling to think of many examples I have seen of PMGs being used for sustained full auto fire other than in urban cityfight at point blank range.

The PKM is the AK47 of the LGM world, reliable, cheap, light. But accuracy isn’t a standout attribute.

I would expect people to be less impressed with it if they were expected to maintain high volume of accurate fire on target at extended ranges, much as they would struggle if asked to do so with an AK compared to an AR.

Different tools for different tactics. You pick what works best for your needs, not what works best for someone else’s.

Also, China has actually copied PKM as Type 80.
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website here claimed that it was actually ahead of Type 67 GPMG in testing, but due to 'other considerations', Type 67 GPMG was selected instead. Then when it's time to replace Type 67, they went with QJY-88, which IMO is still an inferior gun just based on weight and cartridge performance alone. Probably because of politics and Chinese pride again, aside from actual tactical consideration.
That’s just pure conjecture and does not even make sense. You are talking claims about the 67 and applying them to the 88 because the 88 replaces the 67?!

Your link does not work btw, and seems sketchy as hell with all the random redirect attempts. But I think you are trying to link to the world firearms page. Just keep in mind that is run by a Russian, so a huge grain of salt needs to be taken when that site compares Russian small arms against those from other nations.

China has its PKM copy in the form of the Type80. If the 88 was inferior to the 80, the PLA would have went with the 80, or designed its new gun based on the 80 if that is what they wanted.

The PLA has never had a problem with using direct copies of foreign weapons if it was better than what domestic industry could produce. And the Type80 would have been made 100% in China, so there is zero issue of import vs domestic to consider. Chinese industry would have benefitted from manufacturing experience all the same, and the design experience would have still been gained from designing the 67 and 88. Indeed more so, because if either was deemed to be inadequate, they would have sent it back to be refined or for a clean slate new design to be made.

If the Chinese could reduce weight as much as they did with the W85, do you not think they could have applied the same methods to also slim down the 88 if they wanted to? It’s not like it’s a new gun, and in all that time they did not bother to try to develop a lighter version.

The Chinese domestic arms industry is massively competitive, do not make the common western mistake of thinking it’s all one giant company. The are many different firms all competing fiercely with each other.

If no domestic design matches up against foreign designs, the PLA will just take a domestic copy of the foreign design.
 

LawLeadsToPeace

New Member
Registered Member
Sure. But IMO you learn much more when you lose, not when you win. The decision to give Chinese gun designers a chance may be justifiable at the start, but if that lulls them into thinking that PLA will keep picking their design because it's domestic, then it will be a bad influence for them. May the best design wins, regardless of origin.
True but based on the current status of the Chinese small arms development and our limited view on it, it seems that the potentially negative consequences didn’t hurt them. In fact there are now a lot more domestic small arms manufacturers competing in China.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
The main advantages the QJY88 brings beyond the QBB95 are range and endurance.

They might fire the same cartridge and the 95 even have a higher MV, but there is good reason why the 88 is rated as 800-1000m effective range while the 95 is only 600-800m.

The heavier weight of the 88 allows for added stability and controllability at extended ranges, whereas with the 95, even though the rounds can reach just as far downrange, in automatic fire mode, the lighter gun would jump about so much that it would just be a waste of ammo to try to hit someone more than 600m away or something more than 800m away. As such, the heavy weight of the 88 is a feature, not a bug.

The heavier barrel of the 88 should also mean it can sustain fire for longer before overheating and needing a barrel swap.

The troops tasked with lugging the thing around during training will probable hate it, but if they ever get into a real firefight, I think they will start to appreciate its virtues.

Even though the PLA has its W85 50 cal, and much lighter next gen replacement in the works, I think there will still be a place for the venerable 88 or a more modern replacement. That is primarily because of ammo weight.

Even though the 85 has more reach and punch with its 50 cal rounds, the weight of those rounds means it doesn’t have that many reloads when being humped around by troops. That is why PLA tactics focus on getting those HMGs as close as possible to the action so they can make the most of its limited ammo supply.

The 88 doesn’t have this problem, and is intended primarily to keep the enemy’s heads down at extended ranges while infantry and HMG teams advance to get into optimal engagement range.
Basically welcome to Medium Machine gun redux! As in terms of doctrine that’s what it sounds like. That the QJY is GPMG in name only as it’s not meant to operate as a LMG and Be organic with the Squad, but would move In after them perhaps at platoon or company level.
The justification being that the QJY is meant as a mounted fixed gun. The reason the PKM is classed as a GPMG is it’s a true universal machine gun meant for infantry, mounted, Coaxed, even light antiaircraft. Same for M240 or MG3.
 

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