POTD: Type 81 Kobra Side Mount

Photo Of The Day: Attaching optics to rifles without Picatinny is sometimes somewhat of a pain. If you’re an owner of a Chinese Type 81, or similar AK, you probably understand. Enter the Type 81 Kobra Side Mount and these excellent photos fit for any show.

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Border Wars: The Type 81 Variants of the United Wa State Army

Currently boosting a force of over 30,000 fighters, the United Wa State Army (UWSA) has always been a force of reckoning on the Burmese border with China. And although arms production among the Wa (northern Shan State) isn’t a new or hot topic ( this Irrawaddy article documenting such production in 2008), there have has been very little written about exactly what is being produced and how to tell it apart. Both the armed factions of the Wa and the Kachin ethnic groups will publicly and proudly claim that their small arms are entirely produced domestically. Although both ethnic armies do have a limited assembly ability and the Kachin appear to manufacture their own mortars, the nexus behind both groups originates from neighbouring China in the form of Type 81 derivatives.

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Chinese Type 81 LMGs Found with Amphetamine Filled Packets in Mosul

Damien Spleeters of Conflict Armament Research recently posted this photograph on his Twitter feed of a 7.62x39mm Chinese Type 81 LMG that was recovered among an entire cache of Type 81s after the battle for Mosul.

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Chinese vs. Russian AK – Kalashnikov Concern Media Releases English-Language Video Series

Although the Russian Kalashnikov assault rifle is the one that is most famous, it is arguably the Chinese Type 56 AK that made the bigger impression on the world in the 1960s and 70s. This rifle was initially developed with Russian technical assistance just before the Sino-Soviet split beginning in 1956, but subsequent development took place without Russian input, leading to an entire family of unique AK variants. The name “Type 56” actually refers to this entire family of Chinese AKs, which includes milled receiver variants derived from the Russian Type 2 AK, as well as stamped versions similar to (but distinct from) the AKM. These guns showed up all over the world, and for many they are THE iconic “AK-47”. They were the primary weapon of the North Vietnamese Army in the latter half of the Vietnam War, were exported by the Chinese to Africa, Asia, and South America. It was the most used AK variant by the mujahideen during the Soviet-Afghan War, up against Russian AK-74 rifles. Too this day remains one of the most common if not the most common AK variant, and it’s the Chinese Type 56 with its distinctive integral spike bayonet that is famously depicted as a symbol of liberation on the Flag of Mozambique.

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Chinese Type 81 in Baghdad

Recent social media activity has indicated at least one Chinese 7.62x39mm Type 74 for sale through the online gun markets of Baghdad. At a casual first glance the light machine gun appears to be an RPK. But upon closer inspection one will notice the oddly shaped carry handle, the SKS-like bolt, uncovered upper receiver, and pistol grip. In fact the Type 81 series of small arms is much more of a modern SKS in an assault rifle issued role than a Chinese take on the Kalashnikov. For more information on the Type 81 and other Chinese LMG designs, Small Arms Defense Journal has an excellent article published on the subject.

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Chinese Type 81 Rifle: Shooting Review

The Chinese Type 81 was not a copy of anything else, but a new rifle designed from the ground up in China. Normally chambered in 7.62×39, the rifles have served the PLA since 1981 but on this installment of TFBTV, we shoot an exceptionally rare EM356: A variant intended for the US commercial market that was banned from import one month after being revealed to the public.

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Norinco Type 81 Approved for Canadian Sale

After 4 years of inspection by the RCMP lab, they’ve determined that the Type 81 is definitely not an AK.

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Chinese Type 81: A Rare Look

The Chinese Type 81 is a strange fusion of the AK, SKS, and Dragunov rifles and could be mistaken as an AK at a quick glance. The Type 81 is exceptionally rare in the USA, and today on TFBTV we look at perhaps the rarest variant of all: The 5.56 variant made exclusively for the US market called the EM356.

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More Photos of The Elusive QBZ-03 Rifle In Action

The QBZ-03 is the mysterious conventional-layout younger brother of the more well-known Chinese QBZ-95 rifle. While the QBZ-95 uses a novel hybrid mechanism, the 03 uses the mechanism of the older 7.62mm Type 81 and 5.8mm Type 87, but marries this to architecture similar to the QBZ-95. Kurtis sends along a whole whopping set of photos of the QBZ-03 in use with PLA troops, most of which I’ve never seen before (WARNING: PIC HEAVY):

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New Chinese CS/LR14 7.62x51mm Automatic Rifle

A new Chinese rifle called the CS/LR14 7.62x51mm Automatic Rifle has been on display at a law enforcement expo in Beijing. This rifle looks like it is a modernized version of the old Type 81 rifle but chambered in 7.62x51mm rather than 7.62x39mm (note, the Type 81 design looks similar to the AK, but internally it uses a short stroke gas system).

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