Weapons: China Exports Its Second Best


p> May 5, 2008:  China has provided Bangladesh with financing and technical assistance for building a factory to produce a modified version of the Chinese Type 81 assault rifle. This is a 7.5 pound rifle that looks like the Chinese Type 56 (itself a copy of the Russian AK-47). The main differences are that the Type 81 has less recoil and "jump" (of the rifle when fired), which improves accuracy. The Bangladeshi version of the Type 81 is called the BD-08, and the new factory will be able to produce 10,000 a year. Eventually, Bangladesh will replace all its current Type 56 rifles with BD-08s. Both use the same 7.62/39mm ammo.


China is in the process of replacing its own Type 81 rifles with a bullpup (30 round magazine behind the trigger) design, the Type 95 (QBZ-95). This weapon, about ten percent lighter than the older rifle, uses a proprietary 5.8x42mm cartridge, which has a casing that is a little wider, but shorter than that found in the 5.56/45mm NATO round. There is an export version of the Type 95 (the Type 97) that will fire the 5.56mm NATO round.


The Type 95 comes in several versions, from short barrel carbine to light machine-gun.