The Type 85 submachine gun was developed during the early 1980s as a less expensive replacement for the Type 79 submachine gun, and a silenced version was also developed to replace the Type 64 submachine guns which were then in service with PLA. Both weapons are used currently by PR China police units, as well as PLA soldiers.
The Type 85 submachine gun is a simple blowback weapon that fires from an open bolt. It uses tubular receiver made from steel, and there is long silencer tube also made from steel. The Safety/fire mode selector lever is located at the right side of the trigger unit, above the trigger guard, and allows for single shots and full automatic fire. The Type 85 silenced SMG is optimized for special 7.62x25mm (Type 64) ammunition with heavy, subsonic bullets, but can also fire standard 7.62mm Type 51/7.62x25mm TT ammunition (with increased loudness). The Type 85 SMG is fed using same 30-round box magazines as the Type 64 SMG. There is also a steel shoulder stock which folds to the right of the gun when not in use.