Type 56 assault rifle
This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Type 56 assault rifle|
The Type 56 with a folded spike bayonet
|Place of origin||People's Republic of China|
|Used by||See Users|
Laotian Civil War
Rhodesian Bush War
Cambodian Civil War
Sino-Soviet Border War
Sri Lankan Civil War
Lord's Resistance Army insurgency
Somali Civil War
Tuareg rebellion (1990–1995)
Persian Gulf War
Baren Township riot
Croatian War of Independence
Nepalese Civil War
Burundian Civil War
Liberian Civil Wars
2001 Afghanistan War
Mexican Drug War
Cambodian–Thai border dispute
War in Darfur
2011 Libyan Civil War
Syrian Civil War
2011 Iraqi Insurgency
Northern Mali conflict
Boko Haram insurgency
South Sudanese Civil War
Iraqi Civil War (2014–2017)
|Weight||Type 56: 3.8 kg (8.38 lb)|
Type 56-1: 3.7 kg (8.16 lb)
Type 56-2/56-4: 3.9 kg (8.60 lb)
QBZ-56C: 2.85 kg (6.28 lb)
|Length||Type 56: 882 mm (34.7 in)|
Type 56-1/56-2: 874 mm (34.4 in) w/ stock extended,654 mm (25.7 in) w/ stock folded.
QBZ-56C: 764 mm (30.1 in) w/ stock extended,557 mm (21.9 in) w/ stock folded.
|Barrel length||Type 56, Type 56-I, Type 56-II: 414 mm (16.3 in)|
QBZ-56C: 280 mm (11.0 in)
|Rate of fire||650 rounds/min|
|Muzzle velocity||Type 56, Type 56-I, Type 56-II: 735 m/s (2,411 ft/s)|
QBZ-56C: 665 m/s (2182 ft/s)
|Effective firing range||100–800 m sight adjustments. Effective range 300-400 meters|
|Feed system||20, 30, or 40-round detachable box magazine|
|Sights||Adjustable Iron sights|
The Type 56 is a Chinese 7.62×39mm assault rifle. It is a variant of the Soviet-designed AK-47 and AKM assault rifles. Production started in 1956 at State Factory 66 but was eventually handed over to Norinco, who continues to manufacture the rifle primarily for export.
During the Cold War period, the Type-56 was exported to many countries and guerrilla forces throughout the world. Many of these rifles found their way to battlefields in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East and were used alongside other Kalashnikov pattern weapons from both the Soviet Union as well the Warsaw Pact nations of Eastern Europe.
Chinese support for the Democratic Republic of Vietnam before the mid-1960s meant that the Type-56 was frequently encountered by American soldiers in the hands of either Vietcong guerrillas or PAVN soldiers during the Vietnam war. The Type-56 was discovered in enemy hands far more often than the original Russian-made AK-47s or AKMs.
When relations between China and the North Vietnam crumbled in the 1970s and the Sino-Vietnamese War began, the Vietnamese government still possessed vast quantities of Type-56 rifles in its inventory. The People's Liberation Army still used the Type 56 as its standard weapon during this time as well. Thus, Chinese and Vietnamese forces fought each other using the same rifle.
The Type 56 was used extensively by Iranian forces during the Iran–Iraq War of the 1980s, with Iran purchasing large quantities of weapons from China for their armed forces. During the war, Iraq also purchased a small quantity, despite them being a major recipient of Soviet weapons and assistance during the conflict. This was done in conjunction with their purchasing of large number of AKMs from Eastern Europe. Consequently, the Iran–Iraq War became another conflict in which both sides utilized the Type 56.
Since the end of the Cold War, the Type-56 has been used in many conflicts by various military forces. During the Croatian War of Independence and the Yugoslav Wars, it was used by the armed forces of Croatia. During the late 1990s, the Kosovo Liberation Army in Kosovo were also major users of the Type 56, with the vast majority of the weapons originating from People's Socialist Republic of Albania, which received Chinese support during much of the Cold War.
In the United Kingdom and United States, the Type-56 and its derivatives are frequently used in the filming of movies and television shows, standing in for Russian-made AK-47s due to their rarity among Kalashnikov style weapons. Type-56s are oftentimes visually modified to resemble other AK variants. In addition, versions of the Type-56 that have had their select fire ability removed (referred to as "sporter" rifles) are also available for civilian ownership in most parts of the United States.
In the mid-1980s, Sri Lanka began to replace their L1A1 Self-Loading Rifles (SLR) and HK G3s with the Type 56. Currently, the fixed stock, under-folding stock and side-folding stock variants are all issued.
The Type 81, Type 95 and Type 03 replaced Type 56 in PLA front line service, but the Type 56 remains in use with reserve and militia units. Type 56s are still in production by Norinco for export customers.
During the Soviet–Afghan War in the 1980s, many Chinese Type 56 rifles were supplied to Afghan Mujahideen guerrillas to fight Soviet forces. The rifles were supplied by China, Pakistan and the US who obtained them from third party arms dealers.
Use of the Type 56 in Afghanistan also continued well into the early 21st century as the standard rifle of the Taliban. When Taliban forces seized control of Kabul in 1996 (a majority of the Chinese small arms used by the Taliban were provided by Pakistan).
Since the overthrow of the Taliban by U.S.-led Coalition forces in late 2001, the Type-56 assault rifle has been utilized by the Afghan National Army, with serving alongside many other AK-47 and AKM variant rifles.
The Type-56 has been used by the Janjaweed in the Darfur region of Sudan with pictures and news footage showing members of the Janjaweed carrying the rifles (most of them provided by the Sudanese government).
In 1987, Michael Ryan used a legally owned Type-56 rifle, and two other firearms, in the Hungerford massacre in the United Kingdom, in which he shot 32 people, 17 of whom died. The attack led to the passage of Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988, which bans ownership of semi-automatic centre-fire rifles and restricts the use of shotguns.
In the United States, a Type-56 rifle, purchased in Oregon under a false name, was used in the 1989 Stockton schoolyard shooting in which Patrick Purdy fired over 100 rounds to shoot one teacher and 34 children, killing five. The shooting led to the passage of California's Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989. A Type 56, along with a Type 56 S-1, were used by Larry Phillips, Jr. and Emil Mătăsăreanu during the 1997 North Hollywood shootout.
Compared to AK-47 and AKM
This section does not cite any sources. (December 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Originally, the Type-56 was a direct copy of the AK-47's final iteration, the Type 2 AK-47, and featured a milled receiver, Starting in the mid-1960s, the guns were manufactured with stamped receivers much like the Soviet AKM. Visually, most versions of the Type 56 are distinguished from the AK-47 and AKM by the fully enclosed hooded front sight (all other AK pattern rifles, including those made in Russia, have a partially open front sight). Many versions also feature a folding bayonet attached to the barrel just aft of the muzzle. There are three different types of bayonets made for Type 56 rifles. The first Type-56s were near identical copies of the Soviet milled AK-47. There is some speculation[by whom?] that the Chinese had to reverse engineer a copy of the AKM with the stamped receiver as they were not given a licence to produce the AKM and RPK by the Soviets because of failing relations after the Sino-Soviet split.
- The Type 56 has a 1.5mm stamped receiver (like the RPK, although it lacks the reinforced trunnion of the RPK) versus the 1mm stamping of the AKM.
- The barrel on the Type 56 is similar to the AK-47 and heavier than that of the AKM.
- The front sights are fully enclosed, compared to the AKM and AK-47 which are partially opened.
- Has the double hook disconnector of the AK-47 rather than the single hook disconnector of the AKM.
- Has a smooth dust cover like the AK-47 and unlike the ribbed dust cover of the AKM.
- The rifle may have a folding spike bayonet (nicknamed the "pig sticker") as opposed to the detachable knife bayonets of the AK-47 and AKM. There are three different types of spike bayonets made for the Type-56. Type-56 assault rifle is the only AK variant that utilizes a spike bayonet.
- Military issued versions of the Type-56 lack the threaded muzzle found on the AK-47 and AKM, this means they cannot use an AKM compensator or blank-firing device. Commercial versions of the Type 56 may or may not have a threaded muzzle.
- Has a blued finish like the AK-47 and unlike the AKM, which has a black oxide finish or a parkerized finish.
- Has "in the white" bolt carrier, while the AKM bolt carrier is blued.
- Like the AK-47, sights will only adjust to 800 metres, whereas AKM sights adjust to 1000 metres.
- Nearly all Type 56's lack the side mount plate that was featured on many variations of the AK-47 and AKM.
- Lacks the hammer release delay device of the AKM. The lack of hammer retarder is perhaps due to a preference of a slightly higher rate of fire, and simplicity. And did not have anything to do with thickness of the receiver, as the RPK included the hammer retarder also.
- The gas relief ports are located on the gas tube like the AK-47, unlike the AKM which had the gas relief ports relocated forward to the gas block.
- The fixed stock of a Type 56 has a less in-line stock like the AK-47, opposed to the AKM which has a straighter stock.
- Type 56 – Basic variant introduced in 1956. A copy of the AK-47 with a fixed wooden stock and permanently attached spike bayonet. In the mid-1960s production switched from machined to stamped receivers, mimicking the improved (and cheaper) Russian AKM, while the permanently attached bayonet became optional. Still used by Chinese reserve and militia units.
- Type 56-I – Copy of the AKS, with an under-folding steel shoulder stock and the bayonet removed to make the weapon easier to carry. As with the original Type 56, milled receivers were replaced by stamped receivers in the mid-1960s, making the Type 56-1 an equivalent to the Russian AKMS.
- Type 56-II – Improved variant and copy of AKM. Introduced in 1980, with a side-folding stock. Mainly manufactured for export and rare in China.
- Type 56-4 – Copy of Type 56-1 in 5.56×45mm NATO with under-folding stock. 1/12 barrel rifling twist to stabilize the M193 NATO cartridge. Folding spike bayonet. Chrome-plated bore and chamber, selective fire. Barrel is extended past the front sight 3 3⁄4 inches. Threaded flush muzzle cap. English fire control markings "S" and "F" for export version, no marking on full-auto fire control position. Rear sight calibrated to 800 meters. Stamped receiver. Serial number is marked on bolt carrier, bolt, receiver cover, receiver.
- Type 56C (QBZ-56C) – Short-barrel version, introduced in 1991 for the domestic and export market. The QBZ-56C as it is officially designated in China, is a carbine variant of the Type 56-II and supplied in limited quantities to some PLA units. The Chinese Navy is now the most prominent user. Development began in 1988, after it was discovered that the Type 81 assault rifle was too difficult to shorten. In order to further reduce weight the bayonet lug was removed. The QBZ-56C is often carried with a twenty-round box magazine, although it is capable of accepting a standard Type 56 thirty-round magazine.
- Type 56M - LMG version of the Type 56.
- Type 56S or Type 56 Sporter, also known as the MAK-90 (Model of the AK)-1990 – civilian version with only semiautomatic mode.
- NHM 91 – Sporterized RPK-style version with a stamped receiver and 20" heavy barrel.
- Type 84S – A civilian version of the Type 56 rifle chambered for the 5.56×45mm NATO round.
- KL-7.62 – An unlicensed, reverse-engineered Iranian copy of the Type 56. The original version of the KL-7.62 was indistinguishable from the Type 56, but in recent years DIO appears to have made some improvements to the Type 56 design, adding a plastic stock and handguards (rather than wood) and a ribbed receiver cover (featured on most AKM variants, but missing from the Type 56), as well as picatinny rails on newer versions.
- MAZ – Sudanese licensed copy of the Type 56 made by Military Industry Corporation.
- ASh78 (Automatiku Shqiptar 78) - Albanian licensed copy of the Type 56
Other Type 56 weapons
The "Type 56" designation was also used for Chinese versions of the SKS and of the RPD, known as the Type 56 carbine and Type 56 light machine gun respectively. However, unlike the popular Type 56 rifle, all Type 56 carbines have been removed from military service, except a few used for ceremonial purposes and by local Chinese militia. The Type 56 light machine gun is still used by the Cambodian Army and Sri Lankan Army.
This section does not cite any sources. (January 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The AME-74-KA appears to be an Iranian copy using locally manufactured parts. Manufactured of pressed mild steel and chambered for 7.62×39 mm., it is a curious mix of design features. It has the gas block and sights of a Type 56, but the left-folding stock of an AK-102. The flash hider is of a more western design that appears to be inspired by the Heckler & Koch G36 open cage flash hider, but with large threading that suggests an intended muzzle attachment such as a grenade launcher or possibly a suppressor. No provision is made for a bayonet. Furniture is of a modern polymer material, but the foregrip is not equipped with heat shields internally, which would almost certainly cause issues in sustained fire. Magazines are identical to those used on a Type 56. Fit and finish is particularly bad, even for Iranian weapons, and it is thought that production was very limited due to scarcity. Examples have been recovered in Somalia, Iraq, and Yemen, all in poor condition. Markings on the right side of the weapon are conventional and in western characters. On the left side of the weapon appears AME-74-KA in both Latin and Persian script, with no other markings. No manufacturer stamp appears anywhere on the weapon.
This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- Boko Haram : Type 56 and Type 56-1
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Burkina Faso
- Burundi: Burundian rebels.
- Central African Republic
- Croatia: Used by Croatia in its war of independence.
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- East Timor
- Indonesia Used for reserve and only in small amounts.
- Iraqi Kurdistan
- Ivory Coast
- Nepal - used by the Nepalese Army and formerly by the People's Liberation Army rebels
- Nicaragua: Contras.
- North Korea
- Philippines Used by New People's Army and Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels
- Republic of the Congo
- Sierra Leone
- Somalia
- South Sudan: South Sudan Liberation Movement, South Sudan Democratic Movement, Sudan People's Liberation Army and Lou Nuer militias.
- Sri Lanka
- The Gambia
- United States
- South Vietnam: Captured from Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army during the Vietnam War.
- Yemen
- Zambia Used by the Zambia National Service
- Brayley 2013, p. 160.
- Small Arms Survey (2012). "Surveying the Battlefield: Illicit Arms In Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia" (PDF). Small Arms Survey 2012: Moving Targets. Cambridge University Press. p. 338. ISBN 978-0-521-19714-4.
- Small Arms Survey (2005). "Sourcing the Tools of War: Small Arms Supplies to Conflict Zones" (PDF). Small Arms Survey 2005: Weapons at War. Oxford University Press. p. 166. ISBN 978-0-19-928085-8.
- Small Arms Survey (2015). "Waning Cohesion: The Rise and Fall of the FDLR–FOCA" (PDF). Small Arms Survey 2015: weapons and the world (PDF). Cambridge University Press. p. 201.
- Iraq: Turning a blind eye: The arming of the Popular Mobilization Units (PDF) (Report). Amnesty International. 5 January 2017. p. 26. MDE 14/5386/2017.
- world.guns.ru on Type 56. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
- Miller, David (2001). The Illustrated Directory of 20th Century Guns. Salamander Books Ltd. ISBN 1-84065-245-4.
- Gordon Rottman (24 May 2011). The AK-47: Kalashnikov-series assault rifles. Osprey Publishing. pp. 47–49. ISBN 978-1-84908-835-0. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- Bobi Pirseyedi (1 January 2000). The Small Arms Problem in Central Asia: Features and Implications. United Nations Publications UNIDIR. p. 16. ISBN 978-92-9045-134-1. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- Warlow, Tom (2004). Firearms, the Law, and Forensic Ballistic (2nd ed.). CRC Press. pp. 26–27, 47. ISBN 978-0-203-56822-4.
- King, Wayne (January 19, 1989). "Weapon Used by Deranged Man Is Easy to Buy". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- Ingram, Carl (May 25, 1989). "Governor Signs Assault Weapon Legislation". Los Angeles Times. p. 1. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- Smith, Doug. "Chilling Portrait of Robber Emerges". Los Angeles Times.
- "详解中国首款QBZ56C型短突击步枪(组图)" (in Chinese). Sina.com. 2007-08-28. Retrieved 2008-08-26.
- Norinco. Chicom47.net. Retrieved on 2012-05-20.
- Brayley, Martin J (2013). Kalashnikov AK47 Series: The 7.62 x 39mm Assault Rifle in Detail. Crowood. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-84797-526-3.
- Bhatia, Michael Vinai; Sedra, Mark (May 2008). Small Arms Survey, ed. Afghanistan, Arms and Conflict: Armed Groups, Disarmament and Security in a Post-War Society. Routledge. pp. 44, 65. ISBN 978-0-415-45308-0.
- Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35 edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
- "Bangladeshi Soldiers Are Issued A Unique Assault Rifle". 1 March 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
- Savannah de Tessières (January 2018). At the Crossroads of Sahelian Conflicts: Insecurity, Terrorism, and Arms Trafficking in Niger (PDF) (Report). Small Arms Survey. p. 55. ISBN 978-2-940548-48-4.
- File:Infantería de marina boliviana encima de lanchas inflables.jpg
- https://www.flickr.com/photos/145177318@N02/40920555091/in/photostream/[better source needed]
- Small Arms Survey (2007). "Armed Violence in Burundi: Conflict and Post-Conflict Bujumbura" (PDF). The Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City. Cambridge University Press. p. 204. ISBN 978-0-521-88039-8.
- Working Papers. Small Arms Survey (2011-12-01). Retrieved on 2012-05-20.
- Unwin, Charles C.; Vanessa U., Mike R., eds. (2002). 20th Century Military Uniforms (2nd ed.). Kent: Grange Books. ISBN 0760730946.
- "Vojničke puške - mup.hr". 16 March 2014. Archived from the original on 16 March 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2018.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "ForumDefesa.com". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "FF.AA. analizan usar los AK-47 de China para entrenamientos". El Comercio. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
- "56-2式冲锋枪（原版）详解 – 铁血网".
- "散布在世界各个角落里的中国轻兵器！（图片） – 铁血网".
- de Tessières, Savannah (April 2012). Enquête nationale sur les armes légères et de petit calibre en Côte d'Ivoire: les défis du contrôle des armes et de la lutte contre la violence armée avant la crise post-électorale (PDF) (Report). Special Report No. 14 (in French). UNDP, Commission Nationale de Lutte contre la Prolifération et la Circulation Illicite des Armes Légères et de Petit Calibre and Small Arms Survey. p. 97.
- Small Arms Survey (2009). "Revealing Provenance: Weapons Tracing during and after Conflict" (PDF). Small Arms Survey 2009: Shadows of War. Cambridge University Press. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-521-88041-1.
- Small Arms Survey 2009, p. 125.
- Scarlata, Paul (May 2012). "The military rifle cartridges of Burma/Myanmar". Shotgun News.
- "Legacies of War in the Company of Peace: Firearms in Nepal" (PDF). Nepal Issue Brief. Small Arms Survey (2): 5–7. May 2013.
- Jurado, Carlos Caballero (1990). Central American Wars 1959-89. Men-at-Arms 221. London: Osprey Publishing. p. 19. ISBN 9780850459456.
- Small Arms Survey (2003). "Making the Difference?: Weapon Collection and Small Arms Availability in the Republic of Congo" (PDF). Small Arms Survey 2003: Development Denied. Oxford University Press. p. 263. ISBN 0199251754.
- RwandaArchived 2013-01-17 at the Wayback Machine.2013-01-17 at the Wayback Machine.
- "World Infantry Weapons: Sierra Leone". 2013. Archived from the original on 24 November 2016.[self-published source]
- Small Arms Survey (2014). "Weapons tracing in Sudan and South Sudan" (PDF). Small Arms Survey 2014: Women and guns (PDF). Cambridge University Press. p. 226.
- "MAZ". Military Industry Corporation. Archived from the original on 2008-12-27. Retrieved 2009-02-08.
- "Syrie: les ISIS Hunters, ces soldats du régime de Damas formés par la Russie". France-Soir (in French). 30 May 2017.
- Small Arms Survey (2006). "Fuelling Fear: The Lord's Resistance Army and Small Arms" (PDF). Small Arms Survey 2006: Unfinished Business. Oxford University Press. p. 283. ISBN 978-0-19-929848-8.
- Gordon L. Rottman (2010). Army of the Republic of Vietnam 1955–75. Men-at-Arms 458. Osprey Publishing. p. 18. ISBN 9781849081818.
- Cullen, Tony; Drury, Ian; Bishop, Chris. The Encyclopedia of World Military Weapons (1988 ed.). Greenville: Crescent Publications. pp. 196–197. ISBN 978-0517653418.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Type 56.|