The Dragon’s Fishing Spear: QBS-06 Frogman Rifle

Some of our readers may be familiar with the Russian APS rifle, an underwater assault rifle designed to fire spear-like projectiles that have a much further lethal range under water than conventional projectiles. Much more obscure, though, is the Chinese equivalent, the 5.8x42mm QBS-06 underwater rifle.


The QBS-06 underwater assault rifle. Image source:


In the image above, one can see that the rifle weighs a nominal 3.15kg, and has a 25-shot magazine. Cyclic rate is approximately 600 rounds/min.

The QBS-06 is similar to the APS, but clearly not a direct clone. Unlike the APS, it uses water-sealed 5.8x42mm cartridge cases, but loaded with similar over-long fin-stabilized projectiles:


According to the author’s sources, the middle projectile is made of steel, while the projectile on the right is made of much denser and heavier tungsten. Image source:


The QBS-06, like the APS, features a very open receiver architecture, as it operates in an environment where debris cannot be adequately kept out of the rifle, and where drainage is a priority.

The Russian APS has since been obsolesced by more advanced “dual-medium” (air and water) rifles such as the ASM-DT and ADS, but no such replacements for the QBS-06 have been revealed, to my knowledge.

Thanks to Curtis for the tip.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Tassiebush

    Gosh I’d love to take one spearfishing!

    • MR

      Might be useful for population control of invasive species, like the Asian Carp that have been taking over some North American rivers.

      • MR

        NFA and trade sanctions are harming the environment!(half sarc.)

  • thedonn007

    I wonder, what is the purpose of the flash hider?

    • Zebra Dun

      To piss off gun grabbers?

      • BrandonAKsALot

        Isn’t it obvious? You don’t want sharks being able to locate you by your flash.

    • Lol.
      But if it is similar to its Russian cousin, then it is also able to fire out of water at a severe penalty to effective range.

      • MR

        You should talk your local police dept. into requesting one of these for demonstration. On their (the taxpayers’) dime, of course. Ya know, in case their recovery divers need to lay down some suppressive fire.

        • I have seen the ATF reject demo letters on the premise that the PD in question would never need or utilize the weapon in question for police purposes (saw it with an MG34). Would be hard to pull this off hundreds of miles from a coast!
          But also it is worth noting that when a PD requests a demo unit, they do not pay for it unless they end up buying it. Taxpayers are safe.

          • Tom

            Even miles from the coast surely you have some lakes or rivers, and some of those catfish you guys have over in America are pretty scary looking.

          • MR

            Or raiding a Meth lab in a swimming pool.

            No administrative or consulting fees? Kinda cuts down on the selection of items you’d be willing to demonstrate for an agency, I’d think.

          • I mean, you could charge a fee but then the PD would just go to a competitor (believe it or not, they are conscious of spending and very budget minded).
            Also, these days the government is providing most stuff to PDs that outfitters, dealers, and police supply places would normally sell.

          • Tassiebush

            Haha you watch river monsters too don’t you 😉

          • jamezb

            I think Sheriff Brody could probably get his demo letter approved…

      • Dutch Orange

        I actually thought that they could fire a lot further out of water- about 100m compared to 30 or so underwater.

        • They will drive the projectile further, but I have heard the effective range is terrible due to the projectile having little to no accuracy out of water.
          Mind you, I have absolutely zero empirical evidence to back this up (just regurgitating what I have read/heard over the years!).

          • M

            Have you ever see the Larue 10/22 arrow conversion? They boast it can shoot 1 in groups at 50 yards, the QBZ might be similar to that… although there are many things different between the two.

    • uisconfruzed


    • DIR911911 .

      imagine that being fired at you . . . above water.

  • Zebra Dun

    The 25 round (is it still called a round?) magazine is somewhat overkill, how many frogmen do they intend to kill?

    • Martin Grønsdal

      If you double tap, 12. 1 last shot in case one wants to avoid becoming a POW

      • Zebra Dun

        Well that leads to question #2, “Just how many frogmen are out there!”

    • SS Totenkopf

      a lot- haven’t you ever seen “Thunderball”?

      • Man, you might want to change your username. :

        • MR

          Not to be confused with the Totenkopfverbande, the SS division charged with operating the Nazi concentration camps. According to Wikipedia, anyway. Had to Google that, wondering what you’re on about.

          • I’m so relieved to hear that he’s using one of the nice, cuddly SS units as his screenname, and not one founded by concentration camp guards.


          • Bob_dole_is_my_waifu


          • SS Totenkopf

            in honor of AH’s b-day

          • Georg

            That’s all folks!

          • MR

            Four/Twenty, huh? Time to kick back, drink some beers, and smoke some weed! If you’re in a jurisdiction where that’s legal, of course. And don’t plan to purchase any firearms or operate any heavy machinery.

          • Get out.

          • SS Totenkopf

            j#w get out

          • UCSPanther

            When you strip away the thin veneer of power, your long dead Fuhrer was as pathetic as they came…

            If I was in his shoes, I would want to end it all too…

          • UCSPanther

            Who was kind enough to put a .32 bullet in his brain when he realized too late he had bitten off more than he could chew…

        • Dan

          Is “The Hun,” back? Just looked at his rather colorful post history. I’d keep on eye on this one…

          • SS Totenkopf

            you should untwist your panties

    • Matrix3692

      I suspect they were thinking about suppression fire……

      • MR

        And that line of thought immediately leads to wanting to see the belt-fed version.

    • iksnilol

      Well, I am no expert but I presume your accuracy is affected underwater. So extra rounds is welcome.

      Also, of all people I think we shouldn’t complain about “high” magazine capacity.

  • Matrix3692

    I remember reading from a Chinese source that the rifle itself only had an operation life span of about 60 rounds or so (I think it’s the barrel). So the tactic used is to discard the rifle once you’re out of the water, and switch to your QBZ-95 rifle for serious jobs.

    • Matrix3692

      That’s weird, why is my other comment disappeared?

    • MR

      Those must be the rifles the Kolashnikov CEO was talking about in his interview with TFB.

  • ariel

    for fighting mermaids?

  • Carpenter

    James friggin bond..

  • Hi Matrix,

    Yes, “Nathaniel F” on Tony’s forum is my account.

    I saw that thread; I wish there was more information available about the subject!

    • Matrix3692

      Well, there are much more info available regarding that topic, but all in Chinese language.