W85 heavy machine gun

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QJC-88 vehicle mounted machine gun
TankBiathlon2016Final-11 (cropped).jpg
QJC-88 mounted on a Type 96B tank
TypeHeavy machine gun
Place of originChina
Service history
In serviceLate 1980's
Used bySee Users
WarsWar in Darfur
Northern Mali conflict
Syrian Civil War
Libyan Civil War
Iraqi Civil War[1]
Yemeni Civil War
Production history
Mass18.5 kg (40.79 lb) (gun only)
17.5 kg (38.58 lb) (tripod)

Cartridge12.7×108 mm
Rate of fire550-600 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity850 m/s (2,788 ft/s)
Feed systembelt

The W-85 heavy machine gun or QJC-88 vehicle mounted heavy machine gun is a gas-operated heavy machine gun designed in the People's Republic of China. It fires the Soviet-designed 12.7×108mm round.[2] The W-85 was never accepted into the PLA service in its original configuration, only adopted as vehicle mounted machine gun as the QJC-88.

Another similar named Type 85 heavy machine gun, was adopted as the standard infantry heavy machine gun in the PLA.


The W85 was designed to be as light as possible for infantry use. Its small receiver is of generally rectangular cross-section and it has a thick gas tube below the barrel containing a conventional gas piston. In addition to iron sights it has rails for optics or anti-aircraft sights. It fires 12.7×108mm rounds from belts and is more accurate than the Type 54 heavy machine gun, but the thinner barrel overheats faster.

In trials, the W85 lost out to the Type 85 as an infantry weapon and was not accepted into PLA service.[3][4]


Although the W-85 in its tripod, original configuration was not accepted into Chinese service, years later a variant was adopted called the QJC-88. The QJC-88 was introduced as a pintle mounted machine gun for tanks and armored vehicles. It weighs the same, is solenoid fired, and is mounted on a special cradle allowing for elevation angles of -5 to +65°.[3][4]

Mounted platforms:

  • Type 99 tank: as commander heavy machine gun.
  • Type 96 tank: as commander heavy machine gun.
  • Type 15 tank: as commander heavy machine gun on a remote weapon station.
  • Type 05: on armored personal carrier variant.
  • Type 08: on various comigrations, such as ZSL-10 APC, ZTL-11 assault vehicle, and Type 08 Artillery Reconnaissance Vehicle.
  • PLL-05: as commander heavy machine gun.
  • Type 89 AFV: on various comigrations as the self-defense weapon.


MBT-2000 tank crew of Bangladesh Army with W85 heavy machine gun.

Non-State Actors[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Iraq: Turning a blind eye: The arming of the Popular Mobilization Units (PDF) (Report). Amnesty International. 5 January 2017. p. 25. MDE 14/5386/2017.
  2. ^ W85 heavy machine gun Archived September 14, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b Indigenous Machine Guns of China: Part Two – Heavy Machine Guns Small Arms Defense Journal. 25 May 2014.
  4. ^ a b QJC88 Weapon Systems.
  5. ^ "Soviet Influenced Heavy Machine Guns in Afghan Service". thefirearmblog.com. May 4, 2018.[better source needed]
  6. ^ a b c d "W85式/QJC88式高射机枪" (in Chinese). firearmsworld.net. 2011-02-03. Retrieved 2017-08-04.
  7. ^ World Guns Modern Firearms (2017-06-21). "W85 heavy machine gun (PR China)". modernfirearms.net. Retrieved 2017-08-04.
  8. ^ a b Timothy Yan (2016-06-21). "These Are not the DShKs you're looking for: Part 2, the W85 Heavy Machine Gun". Guns & Tech. Retrieved 2017-08-04.
  9. ^ "The Coronavirus Could Heal Libya". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  10. ^ Powelson, Simon J. (December 2013). "Enduring engagement yes, episodic engagement no: lessons for SOF from Mali". Monterey, California: Naval postgraduate school. p. 24. hdl:10945/38996.
  11. ^ Small Arms Survey 2014, p. 233.
  12. ^ Small Arms Survey (2014). "Weapons tracing in Sudan and South Sudan" (PDF). Small Arms Survey 2014: Women and guns (PDF). Cambridge University Press. p. 241. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 5, 2014.
  13. ^ "Puissante contre-offensive de l'Etat islamique dans le désert syrien". France Soir (in French). 16 October 2018.
  14. ^ Nash & Searle 2021, p. 28.
  15. ^ Nash & Searle 2021, p. 43.


  • Nash, Ed; Searle, Alaric (2021). Kurdish Armour Against ISIS. UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 9781472847584.