Chinese Arms Shipments to Philippines

In negotiations since last year, some of the small arms shipments from China to the Government of the Philipines arrived amid much fanfare and public ceremony, with the Filipino President Duterte himself presiding over the festivities. Although it does coincide with the current fighting in Marawi, these shipments are the result of a multi-million dollar arms sale between the two countries. According to the Filipino defense blog Maxdefense, the initial arms grant is worth over $14 million, while a further $500 million might become a reality as a sort of credit for the Government to purchase from Chinese defense item producers.

This particular shipment was primarily Norinco rifles and specifically the 5.56x45mm CQ-A5 carbine (AR15 copy), 7.62x51mm CS/LR4 bolt action precision rifle, and the 7.62x54R Type 85 (Norinco SVD). All of these were shipped along with their accompanying auxiliary accessories such as cleaning kits and optics. The CS/LR4 rifles come in plastic hard cases properly fitted to contain all the SL3 gear. Interestingly enough although the CS/LR4 rifles came with 4x scopes, the Type 85s either didn’t come issued with scopes at all, or they just so happen to not be in any of the photographs. Also, the CS/LR4 rifles have a picatinny rail mounted in front of the optic, for clip on thermal or infared optic attachments. There appears to be a cut out in the foam for such a clip on device, but again, either they didn’t come with it, or they just aren’t featured in the photographs at hand.

Numbers of rifles aren’t available on the precision rifles but Maxdefense provided some insight on what they might be-

While the CSAFP already mentioned that there are 3,000 CQ-A rifles, we determine how CS/LR4 and Type 85 rifles are there, which was totalled as 90 units.

Each crate carries 5 sets of Type 85 rifles as shown on the photo below. this means that they could have arrived in 5s.

A layman’s guess would be that the majority of these small arms are destined for the Philippine Army and not the Marines, as the Marines already have a comprehensive precision rifle program in place, in addition to recently receiving small arms aid from the United States. The CQ-A5s should fall in when it comes to weapons handling and zeroing procedures with the Filipino troops due to the current issue of Remington R4A5s, but the CS/LR4s and Type 85s will take some training for marksmen to become properly acquainted with.

Photo credits go to Eunice Samonte, Inquirer.net



Miles

Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at miles@tfb.tv


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  • plag.

    chinese copies of everything. The chinese haven’t had an original idea for 2k years.

    • Vhyrus

      They have one original idea: make everything everyone else makes but cheaper. It appears to be working.

      • Blackhorse

        True, time will tell if this is quality copies or just more cheap junk produced with lower quality materials and workmanship.

        • Tym O’Byrne

          Everybody seems to like their Apple products, i guess they;re all crap too…

          • UWOTM8

            They don’t design those….

          • Ryan Y

            They didn’t design the AR-15 either…

          • UWOTM8

            What’s your point? I’m aware that their manufacturing capabilities are as good as the money that they’re paid.

          • Blackhorse

            You do know Apple has quality control personnel on site at all times. They inspect raw materials, components, and finished products.
            These aren’t under the same scrutiny by far.

        • Dougscamo

          When I was young (late Jurassic period) that was the prevailing attitude about Japanese goods. Look how that turned out….

          • Blackhorse

            That’s the same attitude that was held for Taiwanese and S Korean manufactured goods.
            When China was still able to import guns into the US multiple guns were made of lower grade steel and finish.
            Now they will probably last longer than the owners but for a military still fighting guerillas and terrorists they need to be a higher quality.
            But then my post did say
            “True, time will tell if this is quality copies or just more cheap junk produced with lower quality materials and workmanship.”
            I didn’t say it was guaranteed to be junk.

          • Dougscamo

            Roger that…

          • int19h

            Judging by Canadian owners’ feedback on M14S (Chinese semi-auto copy of M14), it’s already pretty damn good.

          • Blackhorse

            The M14S (M305)
            Their fit and finish is still not up to Springfield Armory standards.
            They also still have index issues and excessive head spacing issues.
            Most aren’t accurate much past 200m until some fixing and modifications are done to fix it. This is an issue if used as a mark man’s rifle or sniper platform.
            They’re real popular because they can be had at around $600 for a new 308 semiautomatic rifle.
            Again, this is great for civilians that most won’t shoot over a thousand rounds through their whole lives. That is different from a military rifle expected to go through thousands of rounds fighting insurgents, drug gangs, pirates, and terrorists.

      • BillyOblivion

        Nah, they stole that from the Japanese before the Japanese went up-market.

      • Paul Rain

        Like every AR15 manufacturer. Lol.

      • Paul Rain

        Like every AR15 manufacturer. Lol.

      • Paul Rain

        Like every AR15 manufacturer. Lol.

      • Paul Rain

        Like every AR15 manufacturer. Lol.

    • TDog

      That’s the current narrative. Stick to it since it’s certainly a lot easier than looking for the real facts yourself.

    • SP mclaughlin

      Gunpowder?

    • Friend of Tibet

      What is QBZ95 and QBZ03 copied from? CIA database? lol

      • DW

        Not exactly copied but both are internally VZ58 with rotary bolt instead of tilting bolt. The 5.8×42 is inspired from 5.56 and ballistics are very close.

        • iksnilol

          So it’s the same as a VZ
          58 except for a fundamental difference?

          It’s like saying the TOYOTA gT86 is the same as the RX8 minus the rotary engine.

          • DW

            …maybe I should have phrased “scaled-down SVD” instead

          • iksnilol

            Maybe…

            Maybe you’ll think of me…

            When you are all alone

          • DW

            I think of James
            I know you do too

          • iksnilol

            Yeah… Though James would never prove untrue. That I know.

    • Tassiebush

      I reckon some original thought went into making the most powerful super computer on the planet.

  • TDog

    Cue all the folks talking about “cheap Chinese crap”… now.

  • Friend of Tibet
    • GhostTrain81

      Are the CQ-A’s compatible with Commercial/Milspec AR in terms of parts?

      • Friend of Tibet

        Buffer tube is commercial, rest is mil spec. Tried many parts on it from YHM rail to BCM to Geissele, mag compatibility is also a bit better than Danial Defense, my DDM4V5 won’t free drop pmags.

        • John

          Can you switch out the buffer tube at all? I wonder if the Chinese guns have some other… “planned obsolescence” inside.

          • Twilight sparkle

            It has a regular castle nut like any other ar…

          • Friend of Tibet

            Nope, it’s a up to spec AR just like any other brand. Only thing I notice is gas block pin is very very tight. It is a very good gun to test out different after market parts.

        • Twilight sparkle

          Is there any forging flash on the lower receiver or perhaps any machine marks? I’ve been trying to figure out if they’re forging, casting, or extruding their receivers and it seems like I read something different on every website. I’ve completely given up on finding out the type of aluminium

          • Friend of Tibet

            Not sure 🙁

  • Ed

    I see buying CQ-As since they are M-4s but the SVDs are bit confusing since the Phillipine Army uses western weapons.

    • nano

      Its an SVD who wouldn’t want one.

    • Jeez Louise

      Indeed. The manual of arms are very different as is the caliber. They should have had gotten other clones.

  • Bucho4Prez
  • Brett baker

    When the PRC adopts an AR clone as their new rifle will the haters claim they should’ve gone back to the Type 56?

    • DW

      They did when they switched to type 81; and again when they switched to Type95.
      #alreadybeendonebefo

  • Destro Yakisoba
    • Tassiebush

      I guess it must just ship that way with something like cosmoline, but it does look like the unhappy back end of a sick kitten.

  • Malthrak

    The Chinese are selling AR15’s to the Phillipines.

    The world is a strange place indeed.

    • Michael Rice

      That’s Capmunism for you.

      • John

        We must seize the means of capital. Shareholders around the world, revolt!

    • Brett baker

      Not sure I’d want to see shootout results of Remington vs. Norinco, either.

    • moonstar

      How much does it cost a piece of AR-15 Chinese clone to Philiipine army? Anybody knows? I think it is cheaper than US version. You can buy an AR-15 for 700$ from a US company.

      • Malthrak

        Good question, though things like RugerAR556’s can bow be had here for as low as $450 street price on GB, not sure what the differences would be with the Norinco guns though.

  • iowaclass

    If you are a government intent on killing a large number of your own people, China will provide everything you need — no credit check, no money down, no interest payments for a whole year!

    One-stop shopping for all your democide needs.

    • Anomanom

      Sure. The Philippines are a slaughterhouse right now between IS-group and the nationwide murderfest promoted by Duerte in the name of a drug war. China supplies arms, probably to both sides, then mops up the territory when the country is too week to resist. And like poof, no one to complain about naval bases in the South China Sea

    • TDog

      Um… the US isn’t exactly NOT killing tons of civilians around the world right now. Might want to check up on the folks we’re providing arms to: Iraq, Syrian rebels, Saudi Arabia, Libyan militias…

    • Paul Rain

      Lol. Let me guess, you supported IW2 and the Arab Spring (ISIS) because MUH DEMOCRACY too, right?

    • Paul Rain

      Lol. Let me guess, you supported IW2 and the Arab Spring (ISIS) because MUH DEMOCRACY too, right?

    • Paul Rain

      Lol. Let me guess, you supported IW2 and the Arab Spring (ISIS) because MUH DEMOCRACY too, right?

    • Paul Rain

      Lol. Let me guess, you supported IW2 and the Arab Spring (ISIS) because MUH DEMOCRACY too, right?

    • Friend of Tibet

      If you are a government killing a large number of your own people and on international stage, US will provide everything you need — no credit check, no money down, no interest payments for a whole year!

      Previous Clients includes:Taliban, ISIS(Moderate rebel for Political correctness)

      • Rock or Something

        The U.S. never funded or had direct/indirect connections to the Taliban.

        People confuse the myriad of Mujaheddin groups we indirectly (due to Pakistan’s assistance) funded and equipped during the Afghan Soviet war, but the Taliban as an entity did not exist during that time. They only came to power in ’96, long after the U.S. ceased any interest in that “country”.

  • My first AR-15 was a Norinco CQ/A-M4 semi-automatic rifle. I have it to this day. Rock solid and never skipped a beat.

  • Tassiebush

    I find the choice of 4x optics interesting. It suggests that they have fairly close range engagements in mind but it seems like a curious choice.

    • Jeez Louise

      Most engagements are probably going to be in the thick jungles in the Philippine boondocks, or urban warfare like in Marawi. Not many vast open fields for long distance engagements.

      • Tassiebush

        That makes a lot of sense!

  • Ed Forney

    We give guns to the Phillipines., and they buy them from China ?

    • tazman66gt

      Have to keep your neighbors happy. Especially when it’s China.

    • Kivaari

      PI stopped buying American guns a few months ago. I don’t remember if it was due to actions imposed by us or them.

      • Ominae

        Some were stopped due to Duterte’s rhetoric towards the anti-drug campaign. I think some SIG ARs were part of this shipment being stopped.

      • Ominae

        Some were stopped due to Duterte’s rhetoric towards the anti-drug campaign. I think some SIG ARs were part of this shipment being stopped.

      • Ominae

        Some were stopped due to Duterte’s rhetoric towards the anti-drug campaign. I think some SIG ARs were part of this shipment being stopped.

      • Ominae

        Some were stopped due to Duterte’s rhetoric towards the anti-drug campaign. I think some SIG ARs were part of this shipment being stopped.

      • Ed Forney

        Were they buying them, or were we giving them to them ?

        • Kivaari

          They were buying them.

    • Paul Rain

      Those guns come with strings attached – ignoring the drug problem, inciting conflict with China, and go soft on Muslim terrorists.

      I’m no fan of Red China, but they are offering a much better deal.

    • Paul Rain

      Those guns come with strings attached – ignoring the drug problem, inciting conflict with China, and go soft on Muslim terrorists.

      I’m no fan of Red China, but they are offering a much better deal.

  • Ryan Y

    There’s 10 Type 85 in each crate. You can tell by the number of accessories.

  • Tassiebush

    They certainly seem to have stolen the lead and are on top of the energy game.

  • mazkact

    Norinco used to make a .308 NATO SVD , guess they still do or could. Funny they did not get their SVD’s in .308 NATO. I really regret not buying a Norinco SVD or 1911 while they could be imported into the U.S and were very reasonably priced. In the early nineties we all thought they were junk, we were wrong.

  • Blackhorse

    Part of that is true.
    Then you have the companies using cheaper and more abundant materials to make a few bucks more.
    Then you have companies and or leaders switching materials under the table to pocket the difference for personal gain.
    Thus corruption and quality control have been a beast that repeatedly rears it’s head in China to its manufacturing for centuries.

  • Jim B

    If Norinco is making the AR copies, I am sure they are go to go. Purchased their AK’s back in 89-90 as well as a 1911 and their M14s. Quality on the AK’s were as good as any Russian I have seen. The 1911 was as good as a Colt. But agree the M14s wasn’t perfect. Swapped the trigger group and bolt to TRW and it was as good as my Springfields. Sure wish Trump would drop the import ban on Norinco!