Chinese People’s Armed Police Tacti-cool Type 81 Upgrade

The PLA’s paramilitary/gendarmerie police force, the People’s Armed Police, are apprently giving thier old Type 81 rifles a tacti-cool upgrade.

The upgrade includes a quad rail, foregrip/bipod, optics and flashlight.

Previously, the PLA said they wanted to phase out the out Type 81 within the next few years. The Type 81 is chambered in 7.62x39mm and China is standardizing on the 5.8x42mm round.

The optic says “EOTech” on the side, but I wonder if it is a counterfeit. EOTech has had many problems with counterfeits being exported out of China.

[Hat Tip: Chinese Military Review]

[ Many thanks to Albi for emailing us the link. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Jon

    It’s definitely a fake EOTech since EOTech never had a logo like that. Their logo, previous to the L-3 circle, was something that looked like the RSS icon. Nothing would look like the cross shown.

    • Freiheit

      The EOTech looks fake.
      – font, size, and location of “For Law enforcement Military Use” is wrong
      – the short battery compartment means its closest matching model is a 516 or 553, the screw positions on the shroud are wrong for those models

      • Phil White


        I imagine it is. If you check ebay they have every piece of AR gear you care to name for sale–made in China and shipped over here. The amount has been reduced. Many companies jumped ebay and they pulled a fair number of the fake parts and electronics.

      • mosinman

        i would have been more surprised if it was a legit eotech. other than that it still seems like they are lil behind in tactical stuff.

      • Freiheit

        Thing is, it could be a tolerably well constructed holosight there just a Chinese manufacturing culture that you gotta rip off the leader instead of being a competitor.

  • Vhyrus

    I think the Chinese accidentally went to an airsoft page thinking it was Magpul and said “Build us THAT!”

    • Roger Mao

      u have to admit, Magpul is the most well known company for “tactical” hard goods.
      if not, the only.

  • Zincorium

    It really doesn’t seem much different than the SOPMOD program for the m4 carbine. Cheaper, obviously- even if the PRC had the same level of small arms funding it still wouldn’t be cost-effective to modify a weapons system on the way out.

    On that note, I wonder if we’ll see a modification of the type 81 to use the 5.8 round moving forward. Even if it requires replacing the gas system, barrel, bolt, and magazines, it might still be cheaper than outfitting the entire militia with the QBZ-95. The QZB-03 is also a possibility. On the other hand, maybe they’ll never actually be able to get rid of 7.62×39 from inventory.

    • fgt

      The Type 81 5.8 mod you are refering to is the Type 87 experimental rifle. It has the same Type 81 actions, but is chambered for the DBP87/95. It only serves in quite low numbers.

      The Type 81 is a pretty reliable weapons which is well liked in the PLA, since it was the weapon the Chinese forces (especially its special forces) have actual combat experience with, during the border-conflicts with Vietnam in the early 80’s.

  • Some guy

    It’s quite possible that all of the accessories are counterfeit, due to ITAR restrictions.

  • ragnarok220

    Vertical Foregrips just don’t work well with AK style magazines.

  • Lance

    Very much like there upgrades to Type 56 AK rifle with rails interesting. I like to see what the Type 95s upgrade would look like.

  • Lance

    @ Phil

    Yes the regular PLA is going to 5.8 PRC but Police and Civil Militia may stay with 7.62×39 for many years since Type 56 and Type 81 rifles are so plentiful for none PLA organizations.

  • Esh325

    The Chinese military has been plagued for years by poor decisions and failing to keep up with the technological curve. In the beginning of the Sino-Vietnamese War, the Chinese went into battle with mostly SKS’s up against Vietnamese armed with Chinese supplied Type 56’s! The Chinese also had many issues making domestically designed rifles. The Type 63 domestic assault rifle was plagued with performance issues and was dropped by the PLA. It was not until 1980’s that they were able to make a sucessful domestic rifle. It is said the Chinese replaced the Type 81 because they were not satisfied with the accuracy of their AK copy. By the 1980’s however, the Chinese appeared to be behind the technical curve of the USA and Soviet Union as they did not have Small caliber high velocity round, and the Chinese decided to develop their own round and a new to chamber it (the 5.8x42mm) instead of adopting the 5.56×45 or 5.45×39. The Chinese developed a version of the Type 81 in 5.8×42, but did not adopt it. The Chinese finalized development of the QBZ-95 bullpup in 1995 and adopted it in 1997. The rifle did not totally replace Type 56’s,Type 81’s, and SKS’s, in service. The QBZ-95 was plagued with ergonmic,reliability, and ammo related issues. The Chinese then developed QBZ-95G to address these issues and supplied new ammo of higher quality. Still, some parts of the Chinese military and police were still not satisfied with the QBZ-95 and opted for a conventional non bullpup rifle called the QBZ-03 in 5.8×42. The Chinese military has quite a logistical feat to overcome.

    • Lance

      You quite right. Same for tanks the PLA has thousands of Type 59-69 tanks in service and only 30% of newer Type 85 and Type 99 tanks in service. the quartermaster in charge of parts must have a head ach every week. Overall the Chinese Navy and Police and Militia have Type 56 rifles, and carbines and Type 81s in service. many many different types of weapons in Government service.

      Which is fine now but in time of war makes things difficult look at how Japan was the same way in the 30s and 40s.

  • matt

    So I wonder how many rounds of 7.62 that knock off EOTech can take before its zero starts to shift?

  • Mike

    Do they really need tacticool rifles to shoot bound dissidents in the back of the head? I mean, how much do they need to gild this lily?

  • Avery

    Still not as bad as the railed-out Type 79 submachinegun. I’m surprised that long thin barrel can support that rail weight, let alone the accessories mounted on it.

    • Esh325

      It looks as thick as most 7.62×39 AK barrels. Nothing too surprising.

  • Some Guy

    Actually, if you read the wording on that “EOTech,” it says “For law enforcement/TACTICAL use.”

    Yup, it’s a fake.

  • Zermoid

    Why does everyone seem to hate SKS’s?
    They are a good cheap rifle, and if you get one originally made for their military, and not the mass produced junk that was made simply to export to the US. then the quality is good as well.
    They are fairly accurate up to 300 yds, are built like a tank, and ammo for them is still fairly cheap and plentiful.

    My only complaint is the box mag and the necessary use of stripper clips, switch to detachable mags and problem is pretty much solved.

    I’ve never in several thousand rounds had a failure to feed, fire, or eject.

    And I bought mine back when they were <$100, and now wish I had bought several……