PLA Small arms


ohan_qwe

Junior Member
The PLA has previously showed in a museum about their new weapons, three bolt action rifles, one in 7.62x51, other in .50 BMG or 12.7, and the other in 8.6

8.6 is .338 in another denomination. BTW, one way to tell the two machine guns apart, is that the GPMG has an beefier looking stock end.
Could you link the source of PLA switching from 12.7x108 to 12.7x99(50 BMG)? Are we talking about export rifle or what PLA uses? I understand why you don't want the rimmed 7.62x54 but it makes less sense for 12.7mm.
 

Boneroyalx

New Member
Registered Member
Could you link the source of PLA switching from 12.7x108 to 12.7x99(50 BMG)? Are we talking about export rifle or what PLA uses? I understand why you don't want the rimmed 7.62x54 but it makes less sense for 12.7mm.
Sorry. When i said 12.7, i actually meant some generic .50 caliber, since i don't remember very well the caliber. Im not sure if it was the American .50 or Russian .50.

It was in the previous expo, that showed the new QBZ family, the machine guns, pistols and sniper rifles. So, i guess that it represents what the PLA will utilize. The propaganda video of the 70Th anniversary of the paratroopers also showed them firing the antimaterial rifle. I think i remember the gun card in the museum simply said 12.7

There are two main .50 calibers in the world, 12.7x108mm Russian and 12.7x99mm American. The standard for the Chinese was the Russian for a long time, for obvious reasons. By 2009, it was still their standard, with the guns in the other caliber serving for export. Im not sure how it might be today, but new guns technologies must have solved or reduced the accuracy issues of the 12.7x108mm, if they still are using them. I guess that for them, switching betwen .50 wouldn't make much sense, it would be alot of trouble and the benefits would be quite situational (Antimateriel rifles don't show up as much as the smaller rifles and HMGs aren't not so interesed on being pin-point accurate for their roles).

On another note: Since we know, the Chinese initially received assistance and where pretty much an Soviet colony. They got the early training and equipment to use their soviet guns and calibers. Their standard main guns included the AK, SKS, Dragunov, RPD and others. With 7.62x39 and 7.62x54.

Since their "independence", they wanted to show off with their own guns and ammo, with the additional defensive doctrine that using an proprietary caliber would prevent enemies from using their ammo stock in an invasion. Then, they reached the age where small caliber intermediate cartridges where the new hit. The Americans came first, the Soviets discovered them and made an successful copy for their needs, then the Chinese came last and decided that theirs would be better than both of them. The Chinese made a bigger bullet, the 5.8x42. They started getting rid of the 7.62x39 and 7.62x54

One thing that today is considered silly, is their doctrine that 5.8x42 would fill the role of the bigger bullets aswell. The only thing that was necessary was to make bigger barrels and heavier guns, for GMPG like Type-88 an mid-long range sniper rifles, and cartridges with different characteristics. They only had 5.8x42 and .50 . In the end, simple physics showed that small calibers have a limit in how so much they can reach, and is impossible to match the range, penetration and stability of a bigger cartridge, so they returned to indigenous guns with standard "intermediate" cartridges between 5.8x42 and .50

The rest, we can just speculate with hypothesis: 7.62x51 is quite dependable and tested, so it would be quite suitable for adoption and the Chinese might not wanted to get themselves into the trouble of making an proprietary version. Plus, 7.62x51 is less abundant overall and more situational. The danger of having it captured by the enemy wouldn't be as big as an small intermediate cartridge.

Their 8.6 likely won't be identical to American .338 norma magnum ammo.
 

by78

Lieutenant General
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