Type 81 assault rifle
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2008)|
Type 81-1 (top) and Type 81 (bottom).
|Place of origin||People's Republic of China|
|In service||1983 – present|
|Used by||See Users|
Sri Lankan Civil War
Internal conflict in Burma
Type 81 light machine gun
|Weight||3.4 kg (7.50 lb) (loaded)|
|Length||955 mm (37.6 in)|
|Barrel length||445 mm (17.5 in)|
|Cartridge||7.62×39mm (Type 81)
5.8×42mm DBP87 (Type 87)
|Action||Short stroke gas piston, rotating bolt|
|Rate of fire||Approx. 700–720 rounds/min|
|Muzzle velocity||750 m/s (2,461 ft/s)|
|Effective firing range||500 m (547 yd)|
|Feed system||30-round detachable box magazine, 75-round detachable drum magazine|
|Sights||Adjustable iron sights|
The Type 81 assault rifle is an automatic rifle that was used by the Chinese People's Liberation Army from the mid-1980s until 1995.
The weapon was introduced into PLA service in 1981 but did not become widely distributed until the late 1980s. It replaced the Type 56 rifle. Its first combat use came during the Sino-Vietnamese border conflicts of the mid-1980s. Currently the PLA is in the process of replacing the Type 81 with the Type 95 or Type 03 series of weapons, but full conversion is not expected until the mid-2010s.
The rifle is cosmetically influenced on the Type 56 license produced AK-47, but with a SKS-like short-stroke gas-piston design and improvements to reduce the recoil and muzzle jump, giving better firing accuracy.
The Type 81 rifle retains the general layout of AK-47 but isn't an improved variant of the license produced AK-47 (the Type 56); major differences include the positioning of the sights and stock of the rifle.
The most easily distinguishable feature is an exposed muzzle part of the barrel. The foresight is moved back for a modification to fire rifle grenades from the barrel.
There is a significant gap between the trigger guard and the magazine on Type 81 rifles, while on the Type 56 series the magazine is adjacent to the front of the trigger guard. The Type 81 rifle is a short-stroke gas-operated design, while the Type 56 are long-stroke designs.
On Type 81 rifles the non-detachable spike-shaped bayonet was also replaced with a detachable knife-bayonet.
Like its predecessors, the Type 81 is a series of weapons. The Type 81 and Type 81-1 are assault rifles with 30-round magazines and the heavier Type 81 squad machine gun fitted with a 75-round drum magazine is used in the squad automatic weapon (SAW) role.
|Type 81||Type 81-1||Type 81 machine gun|
|Overall length||955 mm (37.6 in)||750 mm (29.5 in) (butt folded)||1,004 mm (39.5 in)|
|Bore diameter||7.62 mm (0.300 in)|
|Weight||3.50 kg (7.7 lb)||3.40 kg (7.5 lb)||5.15 kg (11.4 lb)|
|Effective range||500 m (550 yd)||500 m (550 yd)||500 m (550 yd)|
|Muzzle velocity||720 m/s (2,400 ft/s)||720 m/s (2,400 ft/s)||735 m/s (2,410 ft/s)|
|Rate of fire (theory)||N/A||N/A||720 r/min|
|Rate of fire (sustained)||N/A||N/A||120 r/min|
|Cartridge capacity||30 rounds||30 rounds||75 rounds|
A prototype called the Type 87 was introduced in the late 1980s. It served as a development platform for the next generation of PLA small arms, being used as a test-bed for the then new 5.8x42mm DBP87 ammunition. It never went into full-scale production but has been in service with PLA special forces.
- Type 81 (7.62 mm assault rifle with a fixed butt)
- Type 81-1 (7.62 mm assault rifle with a foldable butt)
- Type 81 LMG 7.62 mm squad machine gun
- Type 81S (late production export version with fixed butt)
- Type 87-1 (5.8x42mm experimental assault rifle, used to develop and test 5.8 mm DBP87 cartridge for QBZ-95 rifle)
- Type 87 5.8 mm squad machine gun (prototype)
- Algeria
- Bangladesh: Under license by the Bangladesh Ordnance Factories as BD-08 Assault Rifle (Bangladesh-2008)
- China The Type 56 replaced by Type 81 and 95 in PLA front line service, but the Type 56 remains in use with reserve and militia service.
- Djibouti
- Nepal
- Pakistan: Used by the Pakistan Army.
- Sierra Leone
- Sri Lanka
- Sudan
- Cutshaw, Charles Q. (28 February 2011). Tactical Small Arms of the 21st Century: A Complete Guide to Small Arms From Around the World. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. pp. 192–193. ISBN 978-1-4402-2709-7. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- Miller, David (2003). The illustrated directory of twentieth century guns. Zenith Imprint. pp. 278–279. ISBN 978-0-7603-1560-6.
- "Type 81 / 81-1".