The LIghtweight Chinese QLZ-87 Automatic Grenade Launcher

    The QLZ-87 Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL) is a fascinating weapon. Unlike the much larger AGLs used elsewhere in the world the QLZ-87, in its lightweight/bipod configuration, is on par with a 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Gun with respect to size and weight, and is used in a similar support role by a single solider. It packs a massive punch with its 35x32SR HE, HEI (High Explosive Incendiary) and HEGP (Hight Explosive Dual Purpose) grenades.

    ARES have published a an extensively research 26 page report which goes into much further detail. The report was written by Timothy Yan who also blogs at TFB.

    The development of the first Chinese automatic grenade launcher was carried out by a state-controlled civilian organisation, the Hua Dong Industrial Academy’s Mechanical Research Institute (华东工业院机器研究院) in Nanjing, China. The development was separated into two component projects: one for the weapon itself, and the other for the ammunition. The launcher team was led by Professor Liu Jia Peng (陆家鹏) and the grenade ammunition team was led by Professor Yu Qi (于骐). Both teams had determined that using equivalent design decisions to the American 40 x 46 or 40 x 53 mm calibres would result in a weapon that was too large and bulky to fit with the Chinese doctrinal vision for the employment of the AGL.

    The report is well worth reading.

    Nicholas C

    Steadicam Gun Operator
    Night Vision & Thermal Aficionado
    Flashlight/Laser Enthusiast
    USPSA competitor

    Any questions please email him at [email protected]