Brendan sent us photos he took of China’s People’s Liberation Army troops. Rifles and machine guns pictured include the QBZ-03 (conventional layout rifle alternative to the better known Chinese bullpup QBZ-95), Type 81-1 (China’s 1981 version of the AK  oops ), the
Type 81 LMG (light automatic rifle version of the Type 81) and a box full of Type 54 pistols.

Brendan said he was not allowed to share any other details, or how he came to take these photos. The two photos directly below appear to be China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA Navy / PLAN) recruits in training, possibly PLA Navy Marines. The insignia the indicates they are equivalent to a Private (2nd Class). The rest of the photos appear to be PLA Army.

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PLA QBZ-03

Thanks Brendan!

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  • Wetcoaster

    “Type 81-1 (China’s 1981 version of the AK)”

    What? No it’s not! The Type-56 is the Chinese AK. The Type 81, like the Type 63 is a unique design. While the AK certainly has some influence on the designers, the Type 81 is the *replacement* for the previous AKs.

    Oh, and it’s a totally different operating system – short stroke gas piston vs long stroke. Magazines are only one-way compatible – Type 81 mags work in AKs, but not vice versa.

    You may as well call the UMP 9 a modernized MP5 on the basis that they’re from the same company and have similar ergonomics (please don’t).

    • Yohei556

      “You may as well call the UMP 9 a modernized MP5 on the basis that they’re from the same company and have similar ergonomics (please don’t).”

      That got a legitimate LOL

    • Indeed. The Type-81 has the gas piston from an SVD, and a similar bolt to an AK.

    • Oops … my bad

    • Dan

      Well the UMP 9 is a modernized MP5 hehehehe jk. You told me not to but i didnt listen

      • Wetcoaster

        You should do that on a HK fan forum and see what comes out of the woodwork!

        • Dan

          Oh heck no.

    • Also, Wetcoaster – the magazines between the AK and Type 81 are compatible. The Type 81 magazine will lock the bolt back on either rifle, but AK magazines won’t lock back a Type 81 (unless it’s a Yugoslavian magazine.)

      On the Type 81, a bolt hold-open will keep the bolt to the rear and as we all know the bolt will slam home on an AK when you remove a magazine that holds the working parts to the rear.

  • 7n6

    Not AK rifles, come on dude…….

  • Esh325

    Since China has such a large military, I believe a lot of second line troops use the Type 81. The type 56 AK seems to have been largely phased out. All the frontline units appear to use the QBZ 95 or the QBZ-03.

  • nevermas

    Ballsy, it’s not easy taking pictures of any armed Chinese troops

    • BlackTalon2000

      unless he was one of them.

      • Agitator

        “Brendan sent us photos he took….”

        Because there are all those ChiComs named Brendan.

        • jcitizen

          I was on the phone with support and a guy named “Brendan”, but he sounded oddly like he had an Indian accent.

  • roguetechie

    minor quibble, the type 81/qbz-03/type 63/68 are not Chinese AK clones at all. Though they do have what’s essentially an AK bolt and magazines, they are actually highly modified sks variants.
    the Chinese AK’s were the type 56.
    The version which best illustrates the obvious SKS ancestry is the type 63 (often misidentified in western source material as the type 68) which incidentally is where I believe the Chinese got the receiver design for the sks d/m/sporter which takes AK magazines. The type 63 very much resembles a standard sks down to the stripper clip guide, carrier, and receiver cover that we all know from the sks. The type 81 is like the modernized vz58 based guns that have enclosed uppers and the stripper clip guide deleted…
    finally the fairly new Chinese 7.62 NATO rifle is also a member of this development line… Bringing things full circle in the evolutionary path which originally birthed the simonov 7.62×39 sks…
    remember this next time your wife “needs” a new pair of shoes, dress, or whatever lol…

    • Esh325

      The history of the Type 81 is interesting. Apparently, the Chinese were not completely satisfied with the Type 56’s performance mostly in the accuracy department and made the Type 81 to address that.

      • roguetechie

        Esh it’s also apparently got something to do with deteriorating Sino-Soviet relations in the era that actually resulted in border wars and low level sporadic combat for years between the two.
        I agree on the interesting part also… It surprises me that we haven’t seen a major gun company take the concept and make a 3 firearm product line based on it. The three models I can see would be the PAR(S), the SBS-MSR, and the SFS-MSR.
        PAR(S): Pump action Rifle (Sino-Soviet)
        SBS-MSR: Stupid Ban State Modern Sporting Rifle
        SFS-MSR: Sane Free State Modern Sporting Rifle
        honestly a gun company with that line could manufacture large volumes of your key major components and do a more just in time sub component manufacturing process allowing your most important economy of scales items to be cheap and your smaller sub components would be able to be made on smaller machines, and with a flexibility that would allow changes to be made to the small parts if new restrictions suddenly make one of your configurations require changes.
        IDK though… I’m from another reality or something though according to fellow commenters… So I’m probably off base somewhere LOL.

    • jcitizen

      I always got more accuracy with an SKS. In fact one of my fiends from Malaysia discovered that they were quite the tac driver on prairie dogs, as long as you at least had the issue scope. Only hollow point bullets would knock them down though – comically the FMJs would go right through them, and make them think a bug had bitten them!! LOL!

  • Lance

    Type 81 is a rifle that was made up of both Type 56 rifle and Type 56 Carbine rifle into one its a true AK/SKS hybrid. Good to see TT-33s still in large use its a good pistol. Type 56 rifles and carbine are still in use in China but only in Prison guards and Chinese militia (Chinese version of US State Guard.)

  • Nicks87

    When is China’s People’s Liberation Army going to liberate the Chinese people? The name is kind of an oxymoron isn’t it? …Oh wait, no politics, sorry.

    • Sergei

      Liberate them from what?

      • Jason

        Their underpants

        • Dan

          Met a coupl3 chinese women last week I wouldn’t mind liberating them from their underpants.

          • Hyok Kim

            …so you don’t want to liberate Chinese men? How unfair!

          • Dan

            Haha, Sorry I’m not equal oppurtunity in that department.

      • Yallan

        They are doing a pretty good job of liberating chinese from western imperialists/capitalists.

        • CJS3

          By turning them into “western imperialist/capitalist”.

          • dockilldare

            tell that to the second born child or any chinise family. or any of the thousands of abandonded girls that families just throw away because they can only have one kid and they want a boy.

            yea eastern communisim is far better than western capitolism. dam fool wake up and take a look around before you speak.

      • BlackTalon2000

        Their money and their religious freedom, the Chinese govt is tearing down crosses in churches.

        • jcitizen

          Oh well, we shouldn’t focus on symbols too much should we? The word is more important.

          • Hyok Kim

            Nope, the action is more important.

            “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do.” – John 14:12

          • Core

            Amen…

          • jcitizen

            The expansion of Christianity in China is amazing, and the relative tolerance to it by the authorities, is probably because we don’t necessarily react to governments, as long as they don’t try to force us to worship something else besides our God, or commit acts that go against the word. I think this is why it is surviving rather well compared to the followers of the
            Dalai Lama, or other religions; however unfortunate that is.

          • Hyok Kim

            “The expansion of Christianity in China is amazing, ………”

            First of all, true Christians are rare, even here in U.S. ‘Sunday’ or ‘Cafeteria’ , or ‘Prosperity’ Christians are not the real thing, but imposters. The same over there. Just like ‘Christianity’ in SK is the biggest religion, except the real Christians are rare.

            “..and the relative tolerance to it by the authorities, is probably because we don’t necessarily react to governments, as long as they don’t try to force us to worship something else besides our God, ………:”

            Americans worship a single God?

            “…….or commit acts that go against the word.”

            U.S. does it all the time. How many people have U.S. killed over the years?

            ” I think this is why it is surviving rather well compared to the followers of the Dalai Lama, or other religions;,,,”

            Nope, the real reason is that

            1. Most ‘Christians’ in China are not real Christians, but government sponsored imposters set up to make it look like China is tolerating religions.

            2. Christianity is considered a western religion and they want to avoid a PR problem because they want to SELL STUFFs to U.S. Like they say, money talks, BS walks.

            ” however unfortunate that is.”

            No money, no honey

          • jcitizen

            I figured one of the reasons it was tolerated was because the government realizes that corruption is one of the problems holding back a true economic take over of the world market. I guess I always have optimism for my religion to take hold where ever it can get a chance. I do have realistic thoughts, but wishing for a better future is always a goal I strive for. I’m not saying we are stupid, we just pray for God’s management of this chaotic world toward his goals. These cannot be bad – but we are also realistic in that Revelations does not predict a rose garden on Earth in the end.

          • Hyok Kim

            “I figured one of the reasons it was tolerated was because the government realizes that corruption is one of the problems holding back a true economic take over of the world market. I guess I always have optimism for my religion to take hold where ever it can get a chance. I do have realistic thoughts, but wishing for a better future is always a goal I strive for.”

            China can never take over the world market. Not because they are intellectually incapable of (they are), but philosophically they’re incapable of. They think they can be (or already are) superpower on demand simply on the virtue of the spiritual connection to the times when China was the superpower (Song dynasty and prior). In a sense they are far worse than the worst of the subscribers of American Exceptionalism. They simply assume they are smarter than anybody just because they’re Chinese!

            Instead of spending time and energy to build better products and better deal for the foreign customers, they often spend their time and energy in how to trick the stupid foreigners into thinking that they’re getting better products and better deal. But the stupid foreigners eventually figure it out.

            Just look at the products made in USA or in Germany in the days of yore, and compare them to made in China.

            “I’m not saying we are stupid, we just pray for God’s management of this chaotic world toward his goals.”

            That’s what freemen do, right, putting their destiny in the hands of God, instead of in their own prudence, and fortitude?

            “These cannot be bad – but we are also realistic in that Revelations does not predict a rose garden on Earth in the end.”

            Nope, and being a Christian has nothing to do with material prosperity in this world, either.

          • jcitizen

            Business corruption is definitely not the way to prosperity either, maybe for a short while it works, but not for a long while. China is finding this out with the recent disaster in its markets. It does seem like they have a certain unhealthy arrogance about their business acumen.

          • Hyok Kim

            “Business corruption is definitely not the way to prosperity either, maybe for a short while it works, but not for a long while.”

            Nope, just look at PIGS.

            “China is finding this out with the recent disaster in its markets. It does seem like they have a certain unhealthy arrogance about their business acumen.”

            They most certainly do. Another thing that holds back China is the deeply rooted nepotism. One thing U.S has advantage in the most of the world is nepotism aka ‘family value’ is a lot weaker in U.S.

            This makes a lot of room for advancement for those with talent.

          • BlackTalon2000

            The point is the Chines gov and its liberation army is evil.

          • Hyok Kim

            The point is the Chinese gov and its liberation army do evil things sometimes because they’re delusional about their real origin and their destiny, but not necessarily because they are tearing down crosses.

            By that kind of reasoning, so long as a government does not tear down crosses is not evil? even if the government suppresses other religions?

        • Hyok Kim

          Are you implying this weakens the faith of Christians? Are their faith that weak, that fragile?

      • Nicks87

        Oh yeah, cuz China is such a great place to live, lol.

        • Hyok Kim

          U.S. Europe weren’t such a great place to live, either a few hundred years ago, or a few more hundreds years ago.

          ME and China were a great place to live back then.

    • Hyok Kim

      …and when did Pravada ever tell the truth? Ever read ‘1984’? ‘Ministry of Peace’, ‘Ministry of Love’, etc. What would Jesus do? vs. ‘Christian Warriors’?

  • louieleblanc1@aol.com

    Whatever is said, their all AK variants.

    • The irony is that there are no AKs in any of those pictures.

  • A picture of the Type 03 in the wild, that’s not common.

  • Lonnie

    It’s all Chinese, to me!

  • Captain America

    Better dead than Red. My country right or wrong my country. The only good commie is a d–d commie.

    • Hyok Kim

      “Better dead than Red.”

      Better live to fight another day than dead forever.

      “My country right or wrong my country.”

      Individual conscience and freedom before slavery to collectivism.

      “The only good commie is a d–d commie.”

      WW2?

  • UCSPanther

    I like the type 03 rifle.

  • john huscio

    For all their ruthlessness, the chicoms made a mighty fine AK…..would love to see the norinco ban lifted and see the type 56/ type 81 flood back in…….wishful thinking I know….

  • Phil Hsueh

    I know that the Chinese like copying things but I had no idea that they’d go as far as to copy our pistol belts and LBVs from the ’90s. The pistol belt looks, as far as I can tell, just like the ones I had issued to me in the Corps back in the early to mid ’90s and the LBV looks a lot like the ones they started issuing as they were phasing out the old “H” harnesses.

    It’s also pretty funny seeing the guards wearing the equivalent of Marine Corps Charlies while wearing camouflaged web gear. It seems to me that they should be wearing some old canvas or leather gear that’s been shined and polished for the parade ground.