Taiwan Unveils New XT-105 Rifle

    In 2013, TFB reported on the latest developments of the Taiwanese next-generation rifle program, then called “XT-97”. It is now being reported that the latest variants are called “XT-105”, and that the rifle, developed by the 205th Armory of the Armament Bureau, may be on its way to adoption by Taiwanese forces soon. In an unorthodox effort to showcase the new rifle, the 205th Armory was showing off the gold-plated example in the title image:

    The armed forces on Thursday unveiled a next-generation assault rifle developed by the Armament Bureau’s 205th Armory.

    The gold-plated model XT-105 rifle displayed at a press event in Kaohsiung was the first off the production line. The 205th Armory started developing the weapon in 2012.

    The rifle is designed to meet the stringent tactical requirements of modern urban warfare, counterterrorism and close quarters combat, the armory said.

    Dubbed a multiutilization special rifle (MSR), the 5.56mm by 45mm weapon is designed for versatility and can be fitted with barrels of three different lengths — 300mm, 360mm and 450mm.

    It can also be outfitted with attachments, sights and optical scopes without the need for additional gun mounts and railing systems.

    The weapon ejects spent shells forward to the right so there is no danger of burns to the operator.

    The next-generation weapon features high accuracy and low recoil, an ambidextrous design and a collapsible stock for easy handling.

    The weapon also forgoes the three-round burst firing mode, allowing for a more manageable fully automatic mode at a lower rate of fire.

    Although the 205th Armory declined to give details, it said it may consider export of the X105, which can be customized to buyers’ needs.

    The earlier XT-97 prototype clearly inherited some mechanical DNA from the famous Kalashnikov series of rifles, but mated to a new gas system. It’s yet unclear what changes have been made to turn the XT-97 into the new XT-105, but the two rifles do seem to share many external features. The XT-105 seeks to replace the existing Taiwanese T91 rifle, a variant of the famous AR-15. When and even if this will happen remains to be seen.

    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]