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Type 88 (88式狙击步枪)
Rifle Type88.jpg
The QBU-88
Type Bullpup designated marksman rifle
Place of origin People's Republic of China
Service history
In service 1997-Present
Used by People's Liberation Army, People's Armed Police, various state police forces[citation needed]
Production history
Manufacturer Norinco
Variants Type 97
Weight 4.1 kg (9.0 lb)
Length 920 mm (36.2 in)
Barrel length 640 mm (25.2 in)

Cartridge 5.8×42mm DBP87 (with non-standard loading); 5.56×45mm NATO (KBU-97A export variant)
Action Gas-operated, rotating bolt
Effective firing range 400–1050 meters
Feed system 10-round detachable box magazine
Sights 3-9×40, 6-24×44 telescopic sights

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


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 5.8×42mm DBP87 ammunition. Adopted in 1997,[1] the QBU-88 is, by the modern sense, not a true sniper rifle – it is more a 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 5.8×42mm DBP87 cartridge with a longer streamlined bullet with steel core. It 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 3-9×40 scope with an integral quick-release mount.[4] In 2008 a new Chinese 6-24×44 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]


An export version called the KBU-97a is also produced and marketed for security forces of other foreign countries.[1] This derivative utilizes 5.56×45mm 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. The KBU-97A has recently been sighted under the designation NQU03, though it is unknown if the two differentiate in any way aside from name.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "QBU88 5.8mm Sniper Rifle - SinoDefence.com". Archived from the original on 30 July 2008. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "Fusil de Francotirador QBU88". Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "Modern Firearms". Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "NORINCO QBU-88 (Type 88) - Sniper Rifle - History, Specs and Pictures - Military, Security and Civilian Guns and Equipment". Retrieved 23 December 2014.