Norinco Type 81 Approved for Canadian Sale

After 4 years of inspection by the RCMP lab, they’ve determined that the Type 81 is definitely not an AK.

While at first glance you might be forgiven in thinking this Chi-Com creation is a descendant of the Kalashnikov, it actually uses a short stroke piston and bolt carrier much closer to the classic SKS. The Type 81 was developed in China and issued to the People’s Liberation Army during the 1980s as a domestic alternative to the AK. You’ll notice that the front sight block is quite a bit further back than your regular AKM, and that the barrel is profiled for rifle grenades.


While the 7.62×39 version can run off AK pattern mags, they’ll ship with proprietary magazines that feature a last round bolt hold open. So far Canadian Tactical Imports has confirmed that they’ll be bringing in the Type 81, but there’s been a flurry of interest in the market with any retailer with connections in China looking for a factory that can produce dedicated semi-auto rifles.

You might remember earlier this year that Alex C did a field strip video with one of the very few Type 81s to make it into America. Canadian shooters should study up on that one.

For those of you unfamiliar with the criminal code up in the Great White North, our law explicitly prohibits any and all AK variants. As a result rifles like the Vz58 and Type 81 enjoy immense popularity as “almost AKs” that meet the caliber and ergonomics, but lack the actual AK components that would make them banned.

There’s no word yet whether anyone will be bringing in the modernized NAR-10 rifle, but I can imagine it’s on the minds of a few shooters. I for one would love to see another .308 battle rifle alongside this new 7.62×39 import.


So far MSRP has not been nailed down, and we’re seeing guesses ranging from $600-$1500, so take that with a grain of salt. With any luck we’ll see shipments of rifles arriving this summer, and Canadian shooters can thumb their noses at the AK ban.


Edward O

Edward is a Canadian gun owner and target shooter with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. Crawling over mountains with tactical gear is his idea of fun. He blogs at TV-Presspass and tweets @TV_PressPass.


  • So now you Canadians can tease us back every time we tease you about not having AKs…

    • dP

      Don’t worry. The RCMP will change their mind in a year, and confiscate every one of them.

  • Alex Agius

    5 shot mags doe, better make a “pistol” to get that up to 10

  • Martin Grønsdal

    by not being a Kalashnikov, is it… less deadly? less likely to be used in a crime? a toy?

    • Cal S.

      A toy. Definitely.

    • Friend of Tibet

      In Canada criminals are unable to commit crimes without proper AK……..

  • Cal S.

    Once again highlighting the stupidity of bans based off of cosmetic features. Rather, in this case, a name.

    • Paladin

      Canadian firearms laws highlight the stupidity of a lot of things.

      • abecido

        In this regard they are much like US firearms laws.

      • Wetcoaster

        Firearms laws highlight the stupidity of a lot of things.

        We’re not special, and neither are the Americans. Well. Maybe California. They are pretty special down there.

  • Xeno Da Morph

    That 308!

    • Michael R. Zupcak

      Now, let’s go home and eat Kraft Dinner!

  • alabubba

    So let me get this straight, Short stroke piston = GOOD, Long stroke piston = EVIL. And i thought american politicians had the corner on stupidity.

    • Evan

      It would seem so, but we’re actually a lot better off than practically anywhere else. At least we have free speech here

      • hydepark

        Free speech in Canada? You’re joking, right?

        • Evan

          Canada? Hell no, I meant here in the US. Canada has all kind of absurd anti-free speech laws.

      • Rock or Something

        Unless you are on various University college grounds. “Safe-zones” trump free speech, right to bear arms and any vestige of common wisdom.

        • Evan

          I hear about that all the time, but I graduated a couple years ago, and I never really had that problem. I’m also the least PC person imaginable, and I’m loud. I had one professor who had a problem with me, one time a Russian girl yelled at me for using some very rude words in Russian to a friend of mine, but that was about it that I can think of offhand.

    • Well except for the Tavor’s long stroke piston. That’s GTG

      • Paladin

        And the XCR

        • westerly1

          And the FAMAE 542/540

          • Paladin

            And the Swiss Arms

    • oldman

      Stupidity is a universal affliction that predominates among politicians in every country.

    • Paladin

      The Kalashnikov is the rifle of godless communists and is therefore evil. The Vz58 and Type 81 are also rifles of godless communists, but they’re OK, mostly because Alan Rock never realized they existed when he drafted the list.

      Pay no attention to the godless communists on parliament hill.

  • Lance

    That’s if the new Canadian PM doesn’t ban them by name by executive fiat. Be cool to have one. Not in Canada you have to have 5-10rd mags only.

  • gunsandrockets

    Another exotic that I never thought would be for sale to anyone anywhere.

  • john huscio

    Wonder if there’s a way to break 81s down into kits, ship them to a middleman country (say Albania) and then ship them here…..would they be able to come into the country? I’d head there was some rule that if guns are in a country for a certain amount of time, they are considered to be from that country (and therefore not affected by the China ban).

    • BryanS

      Better yet,
      1. Go to Canada, measure them up, and clone it.
      2. Wait for China to complain about copyright infringement.
      3. Laugh
      4. Profit?

      • Friend of Tibet


        Danial Defender T81-CQB advanced battle system.

        MSRP: 5400

        Made in USA

    • Evan

      I’ll admit I don’t know all the import laws, but couldn’t they just be broken down into kits and imported directly from Canada?

  • Southpaw89

    Wouldn’t mind access to a removable box mag fed SKS in the US, though admittedly the mini 30 fills the same niche. Wonder if one could even compete at new production prices?

  • Harrison Jones

    The US needs to get rid of our stupid china rifle and handgun ban.

  • Vitor Roma

    Funny, The AK is demonized, but two guns with the same firepower, this and the Vz.58, are approved. Bureaucrats…

    • Evan

      This is what happens when people who have no notion whatsoever about guns write gun laws. Like the dreaded “shoulder thing that goes up”.

      • hydepark

        Imagine if literally anything else were regulated like guns are in places like California / Canada. Newer, safer cars in different colors would be either illegal or prohibitively expensive. Loafs of bread would be limited to 10 slices. You would have to register and be licensed as a mechanic if you owned certain types of tools. Loaning your phone or computer to your friend would land you both behind bars. The absurdity of it all…

  • Patriot Gunner

    I wonder what the recoil impulse will feel like…would love to have one in 5.56.

    • DW

      And Alex would get magazine for his gun as well. Given that they made some 556 Type81 before it is likey they do just that.

  • Evil Brad

    Yawn. Wake me up when Norinco decides to make an FN

  • Friend of Tibet

    The Chinese firearm community are very curious to see how Canadian gonna make the type81 rifles look tacticool after the T97 modification. 😛

  • Analogdino

    Why on earth would the semi-auto AK47 design be banned in the first place? The only relevant issue is the downrange ballistics of the bullet, not the mechanism that shoots it.

    • Marcus Toroian

      Stop trying to make sense of it. It’s a gun law. There is none to be found.

  • Steve_7

    So basically, this is going to be the gun that Ralph Goodale uses in the near future to justify updating the list of prohibited firearms. Which is probably why RCMP finally classified it, because it’s easier to ban something that has been classified.