Norinco Type 97 Gen 2 Coming to Market

You might remember I spent some time with the Type 97 a few years ago. China’s number one bullpup has had a mixed history up here, but we’re about to get a crack at a newer, shinier version of the PLA rifle.

The Gen 2 demonstrated at the North Sylva dealer show features a flattop rail and ambidextrous magazine release. Also included in this new model is a non-reciprocating side-folding charging handle that can be installed on the left or right side. The ejection is still right side only, so I’m not sure why you’d move your charging handle over. This is not a lefty friendly shooter.

This new rifle is to a certain extent duplicating something we already have. Canadian manufacturer T97.ca produced a flat top upper right when the rifle was first released, and you can see it in the handful of dealer-show photos that have been released.

DSC0898

The FTU is available as an aftermarket upgrade for people who are prepared to modify factory rifles, or as a standalone rifle after the importer has installed it here in Canada. You can see the FTU has a slightly higher optics mount, and no keymod, but other than that is nearly identical in its format.

The biggest addition to the Gen 2 T97 then is it’s Ambidextrous magazine release. Don’t under-estimate that change though: it means the difference between having to use your firing hand to reload, or using your reaction hand like the more western style manual of arms.

It looks like the Gen 2 is still using the “right-under-your-cheek” 180 degree safety selector. I was really hoping for the pistol grip safety we’re seeing in current production QBZ rifles.

Apparently the key-mod you see on that upper hand-guard may not be fully chamfered, so questionable as to how accessories will fare with recoil movement.

Personally I’m still hoping to see one of these in 7.62×39 running off AK pattern magazines. There are several 5.56 bullpups available in Canada, but nothing in the way of Russian calibers. The T97 is an interesting ~$1000 budget option for a bullpup, and I hope the line continues to expand.



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.


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  • AC97

    I wish someone would have a tragic boating accident with some of these with some Americans…

    • Jako

      Sounds like a day trip to the San Juan Islands is needed for all parties concerned.

  • spycrab421

    Shame that Norinco got banned in the United States, would like to own one of these.

    • Jacen

      If it costs a 1000 bucks had it been available in the US, that’ll give all the bullpups a run for their money.

    • Anonymoose

      We can only hope the God-Emperor overturns Bush Sr.’s, Bill Clinton’s, and Obama’s bans on Eurasian small arms.

      • randomswede

        China, I think I heard him mention something about China…

      • Minuteman

        I highly doubt it bro… China = no-go as far as the CinC is concerned.

        • Oingo Boingo

          Not necessarily. If currency and mutual trade issues are resolved, everybody will have fun and make money.
          Staying out of each other’s back yards will also help.
          This also applies to Russia, especially if all three powers co-operate to smash Fundamentalist Islamic Terrorism and disrupt the finances that enable it.
          Chechens in Russia and Uighurs in China are just as worthy of carpet bombing as is ISIS and the various al Quaida factions worldwide, including the historically pesky Moro version in The Philippines. Duterte and Trump will see to it.

      • Audie Bakerson

        If Trump does anything about import bans, it will be replacing them with a big tariff.

        • Stephen Paraski

          HUGE, I mean HUGE.

        • Doom

          Id pay a hundred or 2 in tariffs if it meant being able to get a type 97 at all… and hell, 1-200$ in tariffs on 150 dollar norinco SKS’s still puts them at what 20 year old used to hell rifles are selling for now, and at least they would be new production.

        • Oingo Boingo

          Only for Amurkian companies that offshore manufacturing, and then import the finished components or goods.

        • SeeThroughYou

          A Tariff would beat a Ban by a country mile

    • Oingo Boingo

      That’s an enduring, smelly smear from Slick Willy’s reign.

  • Rub it in. Ruuuuuub it in…

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      Go wipe your tears with an AK, or a snub nose revolver, or any one of the other hundreds of guns you Americans can buy but we can’t.

  • john huscio

    Why no QBZ03?

    • JSmath

      They don’t want other world powers stealing their high-tech research and manufacturing technique information.

      … 🙂

    • Friend of Tibet

      Manufacture and the importer has a different view regarding to the MSRP so it is a no go in the end.

  • Anonymoose

    Oh man, I would really dig a Type 97 in x39, and I’m sure rebel groups around the world would too.

    • Minuteman

      Isn’t a 300BLK MDR to your taste instead?

  • Jacen

    We’re still not getting it in America…despite my distaste for the commies

    • Edeco

      I recommend talking to a commie about it. They’re not that bad, one can have a really frank, insightful convo about comparitive civics. As Ayn Rand said there are two sides to every issue; one right and one wrong, but the middle is always evil. Communists at least aren’t the middle. I don’t mind commerce with them at all.

      Anyway we need some 5.8x42mm. .23 caliber is way underutilized!

    • Oingo Boingo

      China is mostly an Oligarchic totalitarian, managed Capitalism, Police State…
      much like Singapore, Taiwan and most of the rest of the developed nations, including The USA…you know, the nation that used to be a Representative Constitutional Republic.
      There are more Commies in The USA than there are in China.

      • Doom

        well since the US has 1/5 of china’s population, I have a hard time believing there are more communists in the US than there are in China… lol.

  • Lance

    Hope President Trump can kill the 89 HW Bush ban. And kill the 94 Chinese ammo ban. Both are executive orders not law. Hope they make them true PLA 5.8mm instead of 5.56mm.

    • Jako

      Considering Herr Trump would like a trade war with China, it’s a little unlikely.

      • Minuteman

        The Donald will outtrade them, outrun them, outfart them, outlaugh them and outflank them.

        • Jako

          But can he build a wall as long and as high as them?

          • Minuteman

            You mean can the Mexicans? Afterall, they’re the ones who’ll pay for it.

          • Jako

            I’m still a little curious as to how that’s going to play out.

          • Minuteman

            Either way, I’m all for it. Just copy the Israeli’s. I’d build a continuous fortified wall equipped with a sensor package, remote turrets etc. While relegating the Strykers, MRAP category vehicles, Kiowa’s, Lakota’s and remaining Huey’s to a permanent Southern Border Protection Force under the DHS. That also creates jobs. Border State militia groups could possibly be integrated or be liaisoned in a pug and play fashion. Anyway, politics….

          • Doom

            I like the way this sounds.

          • Minuteman

            And it’s long overdue. Mexico gets to pay for it. Their chicks can keep coming in as far as I’m concerned though 😉 If we can’t get them out, we’ll breed them out. Or something like that 😀

          • Doom

            eh, just neuter them and keep the next generation of “la raza” from getting too big again. The women that is. illegal guys can gtfo. lol

          • Minuteman

            Waaaay more Latinas is what we need bro. The guys can keep out indeed, we only want the attractive women. Everybody knows Latinas are the best and most beautiful women on the planet. I like their looks and temper. And they often like guns! That is a key requirement in every good wife as far as I’m concerned.

          • Doom

            “Everybody knows Latinas are the best and most beautiful women on the planet.” I must not have gotten the memo…lol. Their temper is the biggest turn off for me. Wayyyyy too combative and sassy. I dont mind a woman standing up for herself, but id rather my benis not get the snibbity snab in the middle of the night for sending a PM to a female cousin or something lol.

          • Minuteman

            You cant say they aren’t sexy… Them being hot heads is what I love about ’em and makes us compatible. Their jealousy is second to none, and that’s good because it means they care! Fire and passion are good fore that keeps things on an even keel (same thing with Italian and French women by the way). And Latinas LOVE guns, at least in my experience. They’re very machista, willing to learn guns and will stand by their man no matter what. I really like that they’re both girly girls and tough chicks. Latinas don’t accept the pussification of men either. We need more where that came from! More Latinas is what this country needs.

          • Doom

            They are certainly capable of being qt3.14’s. BUT I dont want someone so uptight and demanding. I want someone I can chill outwith and nerd out with and shoot with. Not have her cholo brother or cousin try to murder me for doinking his sister/cousin. Plus id rather continue with the whole “European Bloodline” thing, just a personal preference. Get myself a cute little redhead with the freckles, or a nice pale girl at least. yum.

            ¯_(ツ)_/¯

          • Minuteman

            Yeah I understand where you’re going at. Cultural differences can screw things up big time. I just like the whole Latina comedy. And nobody will try to kill you if we keep out their dudes. Never ever try Indians, THEY are a pain.. Always insist they know best, decide everything for you, drama…. At the end of the day you’re right man: white+white=best. No hassle, no trouble, no headaches. Latinas are incredibly sexy and a whole lot of fun as girlfriends, but marrying them? I don’t think so. The incompatibilities in some areas are not worth while in the long run. Theoretically, if I wanted to have kids (too late now anyway as I’m an old fart) I’d want them to be pure bred Vikings with blond hair and blue eyes like their parents….. I’m proud of my heritage man. So in the end I guess we ultimately agree.

          • Doom

            You don’t even have to warn me about Indians. Im not sure I have ever seen a pretty Indian woman… Plus I like accents, they are exotic. Except for a freaking indian accent. Too many hours on the phone with Indian tech support. It pretty much just makes me die a little inside each time they squirt out a word in their “English” Im a young fart so I still have time to have kids I hope. I want plenty to make up for my pathetic peers who would rather party and get wasted drunk or high than have kids and raise the next generation.

          • Minuteman

            The only thing I like about Indian culture is their cuisine (which ranks among the very best in the world, together with Georgian) but the women are horrible. And they are staunch anti gunners.

            Anyway, on: I’ve always been in to the Type 97! I see import them. To hell with politics and let’s look at what the American consumer wants.

          • Doom

            you must have found better Indian food than me lol. It all looks the same going in as it does coming out. nothing to write home about flavorwise either.

          • Minuteman

            Now that’s the trick: a good cook! Georgian and Indian are the finest cuisines in the world. I don’t like Italian at all, so overrated…

    • Porty1119

      I’d expect the Russian bans to go away, not the Chinese.

      • Doom

        Oh sweet Jesus, I want a Type 97 and cheap ammo, but I also want ALL THE SKS’s, SVT’s, and SVD’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • NewMan

      I think some of you need to stop ridding lil Donny’s D.

      He duped & lied to his followers and he won.

  • Dougscamo

    After looking at these….all I can say is….WTF?…..
    And people were calling the tricked out Scorpio SKS-15 rifles UGLY? EXSQUEEZEME?!…..

  • rklk

    What are your thoughts on buying Chinese arms? especially the fact that these rifles are technically made by Norinco which is State owned? mind you i myself am chinese (australian)

    • Doom

      Im not racist, towards guns at least! 😀

      • rklk

        it isn’t racist to hate a political party

        • Doom

          I guess Im not really TOO racist, I enjoy the jokes. But there are a lot of things about China I really hate. Not sure what the word would be for hating a culture since a culture is its people (to me at least). Then again there are a lot of things I hate about the US (and many other nations) But its culture of how we like to stick our D***s in every hornets nest we find…. Should really mind our own business, Especially in the Middle East and Africa. They don’t care about “democracy” in most cases, and even when there is a functioning government it is corrupt as hell or on its way to being replaced by another strongman dictatorship anyways, no point in wasting our blood and treasure there. China does have an amazing history though, and a resilient people, if not a bit docile with what they take from the communists and from the working conditions so many suffer under.

          • Scott P

            Well you have the right not to purchase their products but at the same time you don’t have the right to restrict what I choose to spend my money on at least in regards to what firearms I like that come from countries you disagree with.

          • Doom

            What? Id buy crap out of Chinese guns. Id love a type 97 or even more the type 95. such cool looking guns to me.

    • Friend of Tibet

      Actually these are made by EMEI, a sub division under firearm company 重庆建设, it is not made by Norinco, Norinco is the exporter.

    • Scott P

      Doesn’t matter to me.

      I own guns made and used by Commies and Nazi’s. I have a few Chicom guns and I like them. I don’t act like an anti-gunner using emotion to sway my decisions because some bad man in the past MAY have used it to conduct evil. By that logic everyone should throw away all their guns because each make and model at one time has been used for evil purposes whether by ordinary criminals or government itself.

      I couldn’t care less who used what as long as the design is durable, reliable, and is easily maintained.

  • Mmmtacos

    With an LOP like that you’ll need the magazine as a forward– I mean, rearward grip.

  • Nick Lui

    Any talk of improved mag compatibility? That’s the biggest drawback of the Gen1’s.

  • Frank Martin

    “Ambidextrous magazine release”, Correct me if I am wrong. But with the exception of Manual of Arms.. kind of useless for a rifle that can not be converted for lefties.. LOL

    • Sylvain Paquette

      I don’t understand that they never put a shell deflector on it. Sounds like a pretty simple and cheap addon that would open the lefties market.

  • Sylvain Paquette

    No safety modification and no shell deflector for lefties pretty sad. These are easy modifications specially the shell deflector.

  • John John Slade

    Ok…. Meaning Type 97 Gen 2 is from Norinco but built and design at Canada? Or not?

    • Doom

      It is made in China from Norinco. I think you may have seen the talk of a manufacturer converting them to something like this before this came out.

      • John John Slade

        Ohhh…. right.

  • Doom

    HEY! where did the front dongle go? It doesn’t look right without its dual dongles!!1! I still want one though. so freaking cool looking. My favorite bullpup id say. Type 97>AUG with the HBAR and bipod>HK Boat gun with the toilet seat>Jewish brick

  • John

    It’s also a Chinese gun, so it’ll likely break after the first couple of rounds, whereas a good old fashioned AR-15 reliably kills child after child after child after child after helpless crying child.

    When you want someone not just dead but soul-erased from existence, buy American!

    • Baggy270

      Like my American made Model 629 that had the forcing cone cut crooked….ya no thanks.

  • MOUE

    Does it still have the awkward mag release button? If so, yawn.

  • John

    That is one ugly rifle. It looks like a poorly drawn MS paint AR bullpup brought to life.

  • Jackson Andrew Lewis

    still has the cruddy safety instead of the pla safety…

  • Mack C

    After the P90 was designed no one ever needed to make another Bullpup. This is ugly, rehashed crap. And if someone needs to have an M4 magazine, then buy a Steyr Aug for gods sake.