QBZ 95-1 Enters the Picatinny Age

    Recent screen grabs from Chinese television have indicated that the 5.8x42mm QBZ 95-1 service rifle is being fielded among PLA soldiers with picatinny rails and assorted optics. Specifically, the unit shown is an Airborne unit preparing for an Airborne Platoon 2017 competition among the armed forces. Earlier we’ve covered the development of the QBZ 95-1 with some experimentation with picatinny and even keymod, in addition to the overall development of the QBZ 95-1. Chinese Military Review has an excellent article on this development, although much of that information appears to have been early designs that haven’t entered full service among PLA troops.

    Currently, the picatinny rails are being outfitted for the carrying handle and as a short 3 o’clock accessory rail, but we are only seeing optics being outfitted to the rails. Back up iron sights are being retained, integral to the carrying handle, however it appears that with the current optics set up being used by these paratroopers, they are effectively useless as the holographic sight is blocking the BUIS entirely. Troopers currently appear to have holographic sights and magnifiers for their service rifles, while the light machine gunners only have holographic sights and no magnifiers. Specifications and nomenclature of these optics is unknown at the current time, but they appear to be of indigenous Chinese manufacture.

    Original QBZ 95


    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.

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