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|Hanyang Type 88|
A Hanyang Type 88 rifle
|Place of origin||Qing Dynasty|
|Used by||Qing Dynasty, Republic of China, People's Republic of China|
|Wars||First Sino-Japanese War, Boxer Rebellion, Xinhai revolution, Long march, Central Plains War, Chinese civil war, Second Sino-Japanese War, Korean War|
|Rate of fire||~15 rounds per minute|
|Effective firing range||500m|
|Maximum firing range||1800m|
|Feed system||5 round en-bloc clip, external box magazine, clip fed|
|Sights||rear sight with a range of 2000m, front blade sight|
The Type 88, sometimes known as "Hanyang 88", was a Chinese rifle that was used and equiped by the National Revolutionary Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The name derived from the Hanyang Arsenal factory that made this rifle. The rifle had a bayonet attachment to use in close combat after a charge. Another standard rifle the NRA issued was the Chiang Kai-Shek rifle.
This firearm was a rifle directly patterned on the German Gewehr 88 and were initially fielded by the New Armies of the Qing Dynasty. Since production started in 1895, the Type 88 was modified twice to improve performance, in 1904 and in 1930. Throughout the War of Resistance against Japan, the Type 88 more than held its own against the newer, higher quality Japanese Arisaka Type 38 and Type 99 rifles. It served as one of the standard battle rifles used by the National Revolutionary Army since the unit's founding in 1925 until the late 1940s, after the end of World War II. It was also used by the Chinese Communists, who used during the same time period, but also during the early phases of the Korean War. Production of the rifle ceased in 1944.
The Hanyang 88 was essentially a copy of the Gewehr 88, with a few minor differences, including the absence of the barrel shroud, and an extension of the bayonet. It was a bolt action rifle that cocked on opening, and its Mannlicher style magazine could hold 5 7.92x57mm Mauser rounds. The magazine was loaded by using a 5 round en-bloc clip. When the last round was chambered, the clip would fall out of the magazine via a hole in the bottom. The main advantage of this kind of loading mechanism was that it allowed the user to reload very quickly. The disadvantages, however, were that the hole in the magazine could allow dirt to get in, thus possibly causing reliability issues.
The Hanyang 88 was originally chambered for the German round-nose 7.92x57mm I round. By World War I this round had already become obsolete. Nevertheless, it was still used by the Chinese National Revolutionary Army in their engagements with the Japanese in the early stages of the Second Sino-Japanese War. In 1935, however, the new Chiang Kai-Shek rifle was introduced. This new carbine variant of the Gewehr 98 used the modern and larger-diameter (using a bullet of 0.323-inch diameter rather than 0.318-inch of the round-nose bullet) 7.92x57mm IS or 'spitzer' round, which had much better ballistic performance. Although the 5-round en-bloc clips of Hanyang 88 can accept the new round, mass conversion of Hanyang 88 to accept the spitzer bullet, despite having been planned, did not take place.
The Hanyang 88 also had a carbine variant, which was shorter and lighter, albeit with inferior accuracy and range.
The Hanyang 88 was cheap and easy to produce, sturdy and reliable.
When compared to the Type 38, the Hanyang 88 was heavier, produced more recoil when firing, and was not as easy to handle due to the significant differences in manufacturing quality. The Hanyang did, however, possess superior stopping power within its effective range.
When compared to the Type 99, the Hanyang was once again heavier and had inferior manufacturing quality (when compared to early-production Type 99). In this case however, stopping power and felt recoil were similar.