QBZ-03 Assault Rifle


Maphisto86

Just Hatched
Registered Member
The conventionally designed QBZ-03 (Type 03) is very hard to find out about. This is probably due to it's role as a supplementary rifle for the PLA after the standard bullpup standby for more than ten years - the QBZ 95 (Type 95). There are a few things I have not found out about this weapon.

My first question is about the charging handle of the Type 03 which seems to be in a problematic place. However I heard on another forums that it is non-reciprocating, which means would not move when the weapon is fired so then there would be no problem. Is this true? Unfortunately I have not found any videos of the Type 03 being fired. I would also like to know your thoughts on how much the Type 03 resembles it's predecessor, the Type 81 since a variant of the latter weapon was used as a starting point for the former's development.

There is also little info on the Type 03's status within the PLA although there seems to be a consensous on military related websites that the conventional design was approved for shorter soldiers from the northern territories and for special units, while the Type 95 remains the standard issue infantry rifle. Any actual facts concerning this?

Thanks and I am glad to have joined the forums. :)
 

Obcession

Junior Member
The conventionally designed QBZ-03 (Type 03) is very hard to find out about. This is probably due to it's role as a supplementary rifle for the PLA after the standard bullpup standby for more than ten years - the QBZ 95 (Type 95). There are a few things I have not found out about this weapon.

My first question is about the charging handle of the Type 03 which seems to be in a problematic place. However I heard on another forums that it is non-reciprocating, which means would not move when the weapon is fired so then there would be no problem. Is this true? Unfortunately I have not found any videos of the Type 03 being fired. I would also like to know your thoughts on how much the Type 03 resembles it's predecessor, the Type 81 since a variant of the latter weapon was used as a starting point for the former's development.

There is also little info on the Type 03's status within the PLA although there seems to be a consensous on military related websites that the conventional design was approved for shorter soldiers from the northern territories and for special units, while the Type 95 remains the standard issue infantry rifle. Any actual facts concerning this?

Thanks and I am glad to have joined the forums. :)
Welcome to the forum Maphisto!

Disregarding your comment on "shorter soldiers from the northern territories", to which I find rather in bad taste (and inaccurate, since all PLA soldiers must meet a certain height restriction, 170cm I believe), here's what I know about the Type 03:

I have seen photos of PLA soldiers wielding this weapon, but I never did pay attention to the unit number, so I couldn't tell you what units are getting it. It was developed after the PLA found the performance of the Type 95 to be unsatisfactory (or developed before the Type 95, if you consider the Type 87 as its predecessor). Evidently though, the PLA finds the 5.8mm round to be at least as good as the 7.62mm it's meant to replace, that's why they're keeping the same caliber but replacing the weapon. Not to mention, the Type 95 has a lot of faults as many have previously pointed out, such as high iron sights, inadequate gas/flash suppression (which was addressed in later versions), and awkward location of the fire selection mechanism.

Can someone confirm whether the Type 03 can more readily accept accessories such as various scopes? Is there an underslung grenade version for the Type 03? (rifle grenade is more cumbersome to use, IMHO)
 

HKSDU

Junior Member
The Type 03 isn't replacing the Type 95. Its a supplement to it. As the Type 95 requires more training as to the Type 03. The Type 03 is seen with pictures and videos being fielded often with the border troops, and the horse back troops, and sometimes serving along side with the Type 95 with the marines and airborne troops. The new little known variant of the Type 95, has solved the ergonomic problems and sights.

Welcome to the forum Maphisto!

Disregarding your comment on "shorter soldiers from the northern territories", to which I find rather in bad taste (and inaccurate, since all PLA soldiers must meet a certain height restriction, 170cm I believe), here's what I know about the Type 03:

I have seen photos of PLA soldiers wielding this weapon, but I never did pay attention to the unit number, so I couldn't tell you what units are getting it. It was developed after the PLA found the performance of the Type 95 to be unsatisfactory (or developed before the Type 95, if you consider the Type 87 as its predecessor). Evidently though, the PLA finds the 5.8mm round to be at least as good as the 7.62mm it's meant to replace, that's why they're keeping the same caliber but replacing the weapon. Not to mention, the Type 95 has a lot of faults as many have previously pointed out, such as high iron sights, inadequate gas/flash suppression (which was addressed in later versions), and awkward location of the fire selection mechanism.

Can someone confirm whether the Type 03 can more readily accept accessories such as various scopes? Is there an underslung grenade version for the Type 03? (rifle grenade is more cumbersome to use, IMHO)
The grunts didn't say they found the performance of the Type 95 was unsatisfactory, all the test proves how durable and reliable the Type 95 is. Having bad ergonomics doesn't mean poor performance. The iron sights aren't much of a problem and isn't high at all, since the rear sight is situated ontop of the carrying handle, and the handle must have enough room for grunts hand with gloves to easily carry and access. It's that the grunts aren't used to firing with sights not sitting flush on the rifle itself. They've been always using rifles that have flush sights on the gun.

The 5.8mm round is obviously far more superior to the 7.62mm otherwise why would PLA invest so much in ammunition research and rifle design to have similar performance to existing rifle and ammo. They won't change the calibre anytime soon, and once again the Type 95 isn't being replaced by Type 03.

Inadequate flash suppression is a problem that is widely spread among all rifles fielded by the PLA. Flash suppression can be an easy fix without needing a complete redesign. The real problem is the ergonomics as I said, which I can only name one the fire selector switch. :coffee:
 

rhino123

Pencil Pusher
VIP Professional
I don't think Type 95 is a good rifle for left handed people. It would require a certain accessories attached to the cartrige dispenser area to block the spent cartrige from spitting onto the face of the left hand firer. I know how that suck, because when I was in the National Service using my old M16S1 (a Singapore adaption of the M16 rifle), I have seen how my left handed comrades spit and curse.
 

Maphisto86

Just Hatched
Registered Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
Thank you for the insight guys.

On the issue of the Type 03 being made for shorter, northern troops is just what I read on a thread about the weapon over at militaryphotos forums. It was never confirmed as fact and I was skeptical that this was the case anyway. Just doesen't seem to make much sense. I have noticed that the Type 03 is used by many frontier troops though. Until I know more concrete info it seems that this weapon is simply meant to supplement the Type 95, although if the bullpup rifle is adequete for all sorts of uses, from close combat and beyond, I don't see why the Type 03 was made except to address the Type 95's ergonomic problems or as an export weapon.

I would also like to know if there are any videos of the Type 03 being used as there are plenty of photographs of it being used in PLA marine excercises. I also did see it being used alongside it's bullpup counterpart which was interesting. One of my biggest questions about the Type 03 is also one of the most minor aspects which is the nature of the charging handle. Again, I find it to be in a awkward location if it is a reciprocating part when the rifle is fired.
 
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solarz

Brigadier
Disregarding your comment on "shorter soldiers from the northern territories", to which I find rather in bad taste (and inaccurate, since all PLA soldiers must meet a certain height restriction, 170cm I believe), here's what I know about the Type 03:
Not to mention northern Chinese tend to be taller than southerners...
 

rhino123

Pencil Pusher
VIP Professional
Thank you for the insight guys.

On the issue of the Type 03 being made for shorter, northern troops is just what I read on a thread about the weapon over at militaryphotos forums. It was never confirmed as fact and I was skeptical that this was the case anyway. Just doesen't seem to make much sense. I have noticed that the Type 03 is used by many frontier troops though. Until I know more concrete info it seems that this weapon is simply meant to supplement the Type 95, although if the bullpup rifle is adequete for all sorts of uses, from close combat and beyond, I don't see why the Type 03 was made except to address the Type 95's ergonomic problems or as an export weapon.

I would also like to know if there are any videos of the Type 03 being used as there are plenty of photographs of it being used in PLA marine excercises. I also did see it being used alongside it's bullpup counterpart which was interesting. One of my biggest questions about the Type 03 is also one of the most minor aspects which is the nature of the charging handle. Again, I find it to be in a awkward location if it is a reciprocating part when the rifle is fired.
Not sure about this... but I think Type 03 might be cheaper and easier to manufactured since it was designed along the line of conventional rifle.

Since most troops in China are more familiar with conventional rifle's design and operation, training would be minimal. So the Type 03 could be used to replace older AK assault rifle variants for 2nd line troops, police troops and other paramilitary troops.
 

rhino123

Pencil Pusher
VIP Professional
Actually from what I have read, they did mentioned something on the high sight of a typical bullpup rifle. And from some of our members, they mentioned that the sight is actually located on the carrying handle rather than in line with the rifle itself. I believe this might not be by choice. The main issue is the awkward magazine location in which it was loaded somewhere at the stock of the rifle. Thus it the sight was impossible to be inline with the rifle.

For conventional rifle like the AK-47, AK-74, M16 etc, it is possible because the magazine is located infront. Although basic variant of the M16, had its sight also somewhere on the carrying handle, but the weapon is highly customisable, the carrying handle, I believe can be remove (can't really remember, it had been around ten years since I last have any contact with one, and even that one is not the same one as those used in US).

Sometime it is not up to the comfort of individual soldiers and whether they are used to it or not. The main problem would arise in certain cases whereby when they have use higher aiming sight, they would tends to expose themselves more in order to aim and fire their weapon, thus it might give them a bit more risk.
 

Maphisto86

Just Hatched
Registered Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Although basic variant of the M16, had its sight also somewhere on the carrying handle, but the weapon is highly customisable, the carrying handle, I believe can be remove (can't really remember, it had been around ten years since I last have any contact with one, and even that one is not the same one as those used in US).
The latest variants of the M16 Assault Rifle such as the A3 and A4 have a removable carrying handle iron sights which are positioned on top of a rail system, just like the M4 carbine (same basic weapon). Although many variants of the AR15 have had this done before the adoption of the M16 A3/A4 such as the Diemaco C7 used by Canada :D. I believe some variants of the G36 assault rifle and carbine versions of the Steyr AUG also feature removable "carrying handle" sights set on top of a versatile rail.

Anyway back to the Type 03 . . . does anyone know where I can see a video of this rifle in action? I have seen plenty of Chinese CCTV clips showcasing the Type 95 and it's abilties but the Type 03 has been given the "ugly cousin" treatment as I could not find any videos showcasing this rifle.
 

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