The Dragon’s Fishing Spear: QBS-06 Frogman Rifle

    Some of our readers may be familiar with the Russian APS rifle, an underwater assault rifle designed to fire spear-like projectiles that have a much further lethal range under water than conventional projectiles. Much more obscure, though, is the Chinese equivalent, the 5.8x42mm QBS-06 underwater rifle.


    The QBS-06 underwater assault rifle. Image source:


    In the image above, one can see that the rifle weighs a nominal 3.15kg, and has a 25-shot magazine. Cyclic rate is approximately 600 rounds/min.

    The QBS-06 is similar to the APS, but clearly not a direct clone. Unlike the APS, it uses water-sealed 5.8x42mm cartridge cases, but loaded with similar over-long fin-stabilized projectiles:


    According to the author’s sources, the middle projectile is made of steel, while the projectile on the right is made of much denser and heavier tungsten. Image source:


    The QBS-06, like the APS, features a very open receiver architecture, as it operates in an environment where debris cannot be adequately kept out of the rifle, and where drainage is a priority.

    The Russian APS has since been obsolesced by more advanced “dual-medium” (air and water) rifles such as the ASM-DT and ADS, but no such replacements for the QBS-06 have been revealed, to my knowledge.

    Thanks to Curtis for the tip.

    Nathaniel F

    Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at [email protected]