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The pistol operates with a recoil-operated, locked-breech and has a rotating barrel locking system, in which the barrel rotates on recoil to lock and unlock itself from the slide, and the front part of the frame under the barrel is shaped as an accessory rail to accept laser sights or flash lights. A unique feature of this pistol is the detachable steel frame that sits inside the polymer grip and contains the fire control group. Like many modern military pistols, the QSZ-92 has a double-action/single-action trigger with a combined safety/decocker.
Its dual stack magazine holds fifteen of either 9×19mm Parabellum ammunition (QSZ-92-9) or twenty proprietary 5.8×21mm Chinese-made armor-piercing rounds with bottle-necked case and pointed bullets (QSZ-92-5.8), closely resembling the Belgian 5.7×28mm format. Unlike most pistol magazines which narrow at the top for a consistent feed angle, the QSZ-92 has true double column feed in the same manner as many rifle magazines.
The development of the QSZ-92 pistol began circa 1994 and it is now being adopted by the People's Liberation Army forces. The export variants (9mm version) include the CF-98 (barrel life c. 8000 rds) and the NP-42 (barrel life c. 10,000 rds). The latter is the basic version without provisions for suppressor etc. Both have so far found commercial export in Canada.
QSZ-92: basic variant, which chambers the bottlenecked 5.8x21mm DAP92 ammunition or 9×19mm Parabellum. Its R50 value is smaller than 5 cm, R100 value smaller than 11 cm. Its failure rate is lower than 2 out of 1000 and its lifespan is 3000 rounds.
NP42: redesigned export variant chambering 9×19mm Parabellum with a lifespan of 10000 rounds, double feed capacity of 15/10 rounds, and a decreased failure rate of 1 out of 1000. Its accuracy has been improved, with a R50 value of smaller than 4 cm and R100 value of less than 9 cm.
CS/LP5: compact pistol chambered in 9mm with 7 round magazines and a service life of 8,000 rounds.
NP34: same version, except with a service life of 10,000 rounds and sold with 13 round magazines.
QSZ-92G: redesigned variant with improved ergonomics and under-rail for attachments.