A recent promotional video released by the Chinese state television program CCTV highlights developments in the joint venture between North China Industries and Chongqing Jianshe Industry Group to bring to market a Chinese copy of the SCAR. The 5.56x45mm and 7.62x51mm versions (NAR-556, and NAR-751) first started circulating in the public eye in November of 2016. There appears to have been a 7.62x39mm M43 version (NAR-739) that was also present at the same display booth of the other two calibers, but it doesn’t appear to have been photographed as much.
TFB acquired the skills of a resident Chinese language expert to provide us with the following English summary/transcription of the video-
11 models of (infantry) rifles of three different calibers to be shown.
Shows where the grenade launcher fits on the underside of one of the rifles.
Let’s look at recent progress in first production of these rifles. Every day we test these guns firing about 2-3,000 rounds. 模块化枪族项目(SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES COMBAT ASSAULT RIFLE, Mo-kuar is the Chinese name for this)
When we talk about making military equipment for China’s great military, the first thing that comes to mind is jian 20 hang-mu, this kind of high-tech equipment. But also important is gun barrels. It is in that regard that our country has recently reached a high standard. This was revealed at the 2016 Zhu Hai military exhibition, demonstrated by the mo-kuar rifle unit there. This is progress for domestic (Chinese) production of (weapons) to a world standard. Our reporter had an opportunity to go into the mo-kuar weapons development base to learn about what’s behind this development. The mo-kuar rifle development group.
The US Special Forces Command has evolved plans since the end of the 20th century and now has what is called an SCAR plan/program/project, what we shorten and call the mo-kuar hua qiang zu ji hua 模块化枪族计划 . This involves hopes of passing a kind of universal structure of mo-kuar, from 5.56 to 7.62, a total of six variant weapons (barrels).
In 2009 the US developed basic production models. In the past 8 years, this has produced a family of weapons that are readily interchangeable, a new trend in weapons. While this new weapon appeared and finished testing in the US in 2009, China at that time had nothing (like it). In 2014, China’s NORINCO company decided that it would develop a SCAR or mo-kuar weapon. At that time, we had no references, no reference materials about this rifle family except for some photographs and we couldn’t get any because of foreign (US) sanctions, (US) blockading this technology. So we had no way of learning about this technology. So China started from scratch to design one. The China team developed 10 programs for this new weapon. (caption
says this family of new Chinese weapons is called CS/LR17.CS/LR18 new generation rifle weapon system).
This new system uses three different barrels (barrel sizes) plus a grenade launcher. Speaker shows a night-vision scope (‘scarce-light’) and how the grenade launcher attaches to the rifle. This rifle system was shown at the Zhu Hai military equipment show in November 2016 for the first time. We see how within 15 minutes, this weapon can be changed from a 5.56mm barrel to a 7.62mm barrel.
But a problem encountered was: excess weight. So a decision was made to replace steel parts with other materials. Another problem was shrinking in size and adverse weather conditions such as very cold, very hot and sand.
It is important to note that if we have learned anything from previous Chinese small arms designs, it would appear that if these NAR designs are to make it to full production form it will most likely be in an export capacity to Chinese allies and other countries willing to purchase them. The QBZ 95-1 was recently spotted this past summer with an extended suite of Picatinny rail to support numerous other accessories. That project might be indicative of a Chinese Army not willing to go all out on a rifle replacement just yet, thus modernizing rather than replacing the current inventory despite the development we’ve seen on a non-bullpup rifle that some Chinese defense forces are using.
In what seems to support the export hypothesis, the video made light of the NAR-739, the 7.62x39mm version of the modular SCAR copy. Similar to the other rifles, the barrels are interchangeable between an extremely short carbine length barrel and a longer rifle length one.
The new UBGL is a Picatinny mounted system, very outwardly similar to H&K’s 40x46mm Low-Velocity M320. What caliber the Chinese UBGL is in, we don’t know as of yet.
This Picatinny mounted ATPIAL device was also spotted in the video, most likely of Chinese manufacture. The additional Picatinny rail on top of the device is rather… perplexing… But it appears to take CR 123 volt batteries from a rear cover and looks to have both visible and infrared lasers.
Notice the Daniel Defense-inspired handguard attachment mounting system that appears to be in use on a Chinese AR copy.