QBU-88

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Type 88
Rifle Type88.jpg
QBU-88
Type Sniper rifle
Place of origin People's Republic of China
Service history
In service 1997 - Present
Used by China's People's Liberation Army, People's Armed Police, various state police forces
Production history
Designer 1990s
Manufacturer China North Industries Corporation
Variants Type 97
Specifications
Weight 4.1 kg (9.0 lb)
Length 920 mm (36.2 in)
Barrel length 640 mm (25.2 in)

Cartridge 5.8 x 42 mm (with non-standard loading); 5.56mm x 45 (KBU-97A export variant)
Action Gas-operated, Rotating bolt
Effective firing range 400–800 meters
Feed system 10-round detachable box magazine
Sights 3-9x40, 6-24x44 telescopic sights

The QBU-88 (Type 88) sniper rifle is a designated marksman/sniper rifle deployed by the Chinese People's Liberation Army.

History[edit]

The QBU-88 rifle (also sometimes referred to as Type 88 rifle) was the first weapon of the newest generation of Chinese small arms, chambered for proprietary 5.8 x 42 mm ammunition. Adopted in 1997,[1] the QBU-88 is, by the modern sense, not a true sniper rifle – it is more of designated marksman rifle, intended for aimed semi-automatic fire at ranges beyond the capabilities of standard infantry assault rifles.[2] The rifle is intended for rough military use, so it is fitted with adjustable iron sights by default, and is generally equipped with telescopic sights or with night sights.

QBU-88 rifle is optimized for a special heavy loading of 5.8 x 42 mm cartridge, with a longer streamlined bullet with steel core, but apparently, can also fire standard ammunition, intended for the QBZ-95 assault rifles.[3] At the present time the QBU-88 rifle is in service with PLA and Chinese police forces.

Design details[edit]

The QBU-88 rifle is a gas operated, semiautomatic rifle. It utilizes a short stroke gas piston, located above the barrel, and three-lug rotating bolt.[3] The action is mounted in the compact steel receiver, and enclosed into a polymer bullpup-type housing. To increase accuracy, the action is mated to a 640 mm (25.1 in) long, hammer-forged match-grade barrel. The safety switch is located at the bottom of the receiver, just behind the magazine opening. The QBU-88 rifle is equipped with open, diopter type adjustable sights, mounted on folding posts. It also has a short proprietary Chinese military rail on the receiver which can accept telescope or night sight mounts.[3]

The rifle is intended to be utilized primarily with optics. The standard day optic used on the QBU-88 for military use is a Chinese 3-9x40 scope with an integral quick-release mount.[4] In 2008 a new Chinese 6-24x44 tactical scope became available for counter-terrorism and other law enforcement use.

The rifling twist for the QBU-88 differs from the standard QBZ-95 assault rifle. While the QBZ-95 has a 244 mm (1–9.6 in) twist to stabilize the standard 64-grain DBP-87 ball round, the QBU-88 has a faster 206 mm (1–8.1 in) twist to stabilize the 70-grain Heavy Ball round and dedicated Sniper load, similar to the QJY-88 general-purpose machine gun, which has progressive rifling with a final twist rate of 206 mm. A long birdcage flash-suppressor is fitted to reduce the muzzle signature. A quick-detachable bipod is clamped to the barrel when required.[4]

Variants[edit]

An export version called the KBU-97a is also produced and marketed for security forces of other foreign countries.[1] This derivative utilizes 5.56 × 45 mm NATO ammunition although, instead of STANAG magazines, a modified version of QBU-88 magazine is used to feed the rounds – and STANAG magazines will not work unless modified (including 10-round LAR-15 magazines). Newer export variants were also built, such as the NQU03.

References[edit]