New model of the Chinese QBZ 95-1 bullpup is in the work

qbz95-1_plus1

2015 marks the 20th year of service for the QBZ-95 family of bullpup rifles. The original production model is now superseded by the current QBZ 95-1 model in early 2011. Together, an estimated 1.65 million total units were produced under both models.

The latest QBZ 95-1 version chambers the heavier 71 grain projectile version of the 5.8x42mm round. The sight system is marginally upgraded with a lower sight height, tritium night sight and additional short forward rails on the front-sight base. The biggest improvement on the QBZ 95-1 is the relocation of the selector to just above the pistol grip and the completed implementation of the bolt-hold-open device with a recessed release button behind the magazine. The bolt-hold-open feature was in the original design but it was never implemented due to the bullpup being rushed into service prior to the takeover of Hong Kong in 1997. The new magazine for the QBZ 95-1 has the cutout for the bolt-hold-open device and a steel floor-plate for better durability.

 

qbz95-1_plus2

A new variant of the QBZ 95-1 appeared with the Chinese Army team during the recent Brunei International Small Arms Meet, a military marksmanship competition. The Chinese media gave it the tentative name of QBZ 95-1 Plus. The most noticeable feature of the QBZ 95-1 Plus is the addition of a new 4x magnification prism sight. It resembles the Trijicon ACOG TA31 externally with a similar looking slanted lens shade and a smaller ocular than the objective. Due to its lack of fiber optic light collector, the Chinese sight looks more like the Meprolight MEPRO 4X.

No spec on the optic is available but it was developed by Factory 338. The cost is said to be $480 US dollars (3000 RMB), which is big money in China and that equates to a middle class monthly income in most part of the country. According to the formula my buddy Jim Tarr at Shotgun News uses, that translated to about $1300 if that optic is made in the USA, not factoring in the cost of living difference. There’s also the rumor of a larger 6x power designated marksman version is in development.

 

qbz95-1_plus3

According to the report, the team’s rifle itself is different than the standard QBZ 95-1 in that it’s actually based on the QJB 95-1 light machine gun version. Not much of a difference in the gun’s receiver, since the rifle version and the light machine gun version uses an identical receiver. However, the two configurations are made by separate manufacturers. The rifle and the related carbine version are built by Jian She Corp. in Sichuan. The light machine gun variant is exclusively made by Chang Qing Machinery Inc. in Yunnan. Chang Qing is the designated machine gun producer for the Chinese military.

The Chang Qing name is often abbreviated to just CQ, which it’s better known for its CQ designation used in the Chinese copy of the American M16 and M4. Chang Qing also makes the M14 and 1911 clone for export.

 

qbz95-1_plus4

A low quality photo of the new Chinese rifle and gunsight next to a M16A2 variant mounted with a Trijicon ACOG TA31 model. On the QBZ 95-1 Plus, a cheek riser was added on the stock for a proper cheek weld. Even through, the bore over sight is still higher than the carry handle mounted ACOG on the M16. The final version of the rifle design will be a flat-top design with a new rail interface that’s not the current Chinese military optic dovetail nor the Picatinny 1913 rail. Could that be one of the new open-source modular interfaces like the M-LOK or the Keymod?

The only other info on the QBZ 95-1 Plus is it uses a longer and heavier hammer forged barrel. The QBZ 95-1 Plus’ accuracy is said to be 1.5 MOA at 500 meters with no mention of what kind of ammo used to achieve that. In comparison, the original QBZ-95 build by Jian She Corp. gets an average accuracy of 2.5-3 MOA at 100 meters range from its 18.2-inch buttoned barrel. The 3 MOA or better accuracy is the Chinese military requirement that was first used for certifying the Type 81 rifle in the 1980s. The accuracy of the newer QBZ 95-1 model should be similar to the original, but there’s no official confirmation of that available yet.



Writer and gear editor with articles published in major gun publications. A five year combat veteran of the US Marine Corps, Tim is also part of Point & Shoot Media Works, a producer of photography, video and web media for the firearms and shooting sport industry. Tim’s direct contact: Tyan.TFB -at- gmail.com


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  • Lance

    They add trintum sights and a ACOG copy to there new version. And a faster twist to accommodate a heavier bullet to the 5.8 CHi Com round. Seems they copied the same updates the M-16.M-4 and AK-74 the Russians and the US did. Not surprised to see there own Trijicon ACOG copy adopted they made some awesome ACOG copies and im not surprised they made them for there army eventually.

    • Lance

      Still think there Type 56 AK copy is the coolest looking CHinese rifle though, love the Spike bayonet.

      • Zhang Gary

        And the 56-2 stock.

  • JSmath

    I am feeling extremely skeptical about a 1.5MOA @ 500m accuracy out of that design.

    • Bal256

      1.5 MOA not really unbelievable. I believe you’re thinking 1.5 inches at 500 yds. 1.5 MOA at 100 (1.5 in) is 1.5 MOA at 500 (7.5 in), and refers to angle, which gets bigger depending on distance. 1.5 MOA is still a bold claim, I wouldn’t really believe it, but not impossible.

      • Timothy G. Yan

        1.5 MOA @ 500 meters is about 8.59 inches (1 MOA = 1.145 inch @ 100 meters).

        The 5.56mm version, the QBZ-97, is capable of 1-1.5 MOA at 100m if match ammo or handload ammo is used. CQ makes the19.1-inch hammer forge barrel for it.

        • iksnilol

          Then what’s the problem? Doesn’t seem unbelievable to me.

          The Chinese are more than capable of making a good rifle.

          • AlanHan

            While the definition of “MOA” is one of angle, a rifle that can shoot groups of 1.5 MOA at 100 yards will not, as you know, automatically be capable of 1.5 at 300 yards, let alone 500: 1.5 at 500 meters requires much tighter tolerances in the chamber, barrel, bullet, and load, as the very slight variations in bullet stability show themselves increasingly at longer distances.

          • Timothy G. Yan

            Some gun became more accuracy with range. Noticeably, the SVD and SCAR. With the right ammo those two could do sub-MOA at 500 meters.

      • JSmath

        I certainly didn’t say it was impossible.

        It’s not so much that I’m thinking 1.5MOA is unbelievable, but I get the impression more than match ammunition and a cold hammer forged barrel would be required to massage this mass-produced piston bullpup into consistently putting rounds into a 8.5″ circle at 500m. Emphasis on mass-produced, since there are some pretty damned decent shooting bullpups/piston guns/combination thereof.

        • Bal256

          The way you stated 1.5 MOA AT 500 yards made it sound like your understanding was that the claim was 1.5 inches at 500 yards. The numbers are probably massaged, but then again, there are a lot of people who can get somewhere around 1 to 1.5 moa out of a Colt 6920, another mass-produced semi-auto firearm with the right ammo.

    • n0truscotsman

      Ill straight up call bullshit on that claim…

      That is astonishing accuracy that is not achieved by many bolt-action guns. I would have believed 1.5 MOA at 200 meters definitely. But 500? meh…

  • kev

    I hear they are also experimenting with a flat top version aswell

    • Zhang Gary

      The Chinese internet had been asking for a flat top 95 for ages, and the answer from any researcher or tactical gear brand would be – “not gonna do it, period”. The latest export version of 95-1, T97NSR, is capable of switching to a 3rd party flat top, but that’s it. Can’t really see the point though.

  • All the Raindrops

    I hear it was Choo Ting Low.

  • Zhang Gary

    This batch is as close as it gets to a “match custom” version of 95-1s. Don’t expect too much out of it though.

  • TDog

    Cool looking gun.