Tuesday, May 05, 2015

How the QBZ-95 bullpup’s action works

by Timothy Yan, Original article on The Firearms Blog


The Chinese QBZ-95 bullpup has been in service for two decades and due to its sheer production, over 1.65 million so far, it will be the most prolific bullpup ever built. I did a detailed write-up on the QBZ-95 for Guns & Ammo SIP in 2006. Since then, that article has been used by many writers and researchers as reference. However, there’s still some confusion and misunderstanding on the QBZ-95’s inner workings. I hope this will help clarify the matter.

The QBZ-95 is one of the four post-World War II military rifle designs that use a striker-firing mechanism. The other 3 in chronologic order are: the Czech Vz 58, the Japanese Type 64, the Russian AS and VSS twins. Unlike the rotating hammer firing mechanism found on the majority of the modern rifles, a striker-fired rifle uses either a spring-loaded firing pin or a linear hammer to fire the chambered cartridge.
The spring-loaded firing pin type is common in the majority of bolt-action rifles and modern striker-fire pistols such as the Glock. The linear hammer type is used by most striker-firing selective fire rifles. This particular type of striker-firing system has a spring-loaded hammer piece that reciprocates forward and backward in the receiver.

The Czech Vz 58 was based on an early post-WWII indigenous select-fire full-caliber rifle design but it was redesigned to chamber the Russian M43 7.62x39mm cartridge. The Vz 58 was developed in 1958 and it is still in service with the Czech and Slovakian militaries. Its action uses a Walther style dropping block locking system with a short-stroke gas system. The Vz 58’s linear hammer type striker-firing system was the main inspiration for the trigger and striker design of the QBZ-95. Although, the QBZ-95’s striker design is conspicuously different than that of the Vz 58’s.
The Japanese Type 64 was developed in 1964 and chambers the 7.62x51mm full power round, while it normally uses a reduced power version of the 7.62x51mm. The Type 64 is still in limited service with the JSDF. Design wise, the Type 64 uses a short-stroke gas system with a tilting bolt lock action.
The Russian AS special purpose rifle was developed in the late 1980s. Its suppressed VSS twin went into service about the same time as the QBZ-95. Both the AS and VSS are chambered in the Russian 9x39mm special purpose cartridge. The striker and trigger part of both Russian weapons are very similar to that of the Czech Vz 58, just smaller in size. The Russian weapons use long-stroke gas system and an AR-15 style multi-lug rotating bolt.

The following animation from CCTV shows how the QBZ-95’s action works:
1) – After the 5.8x42mm cartridge is fired, the propellant gas passes through the gas port at front of the barrel (in light blue) and drives back the short-stroke gas piston system (in dark green).
2) – The long extension of the bolt carrier (in brown) receives a tap from the short-stroke gas piston while the whole unit starts traveling back. The gas piston spring (in green & white) returns the short-stroke gas piston.
3) – After a short travel, the cam track in the bolt carrier turns and unlocks the 3-lug bolt (in red). The empty cartridge case (in green) is extracted then ejected out of the weapon by a receiver mounted solid ejector.
4) – While the bolt carrier group (in brown and red) is moving back, it also pushes back the striker (in dark blue) along and compresses the striker spring. The reciprocating components come to a soft stop without hitting a solid surface with the help of a recoil buffer (in purple).
5) – The bolt carrier group (in brown and red) starts to travel forward again from spring pressure of the main spring. The striker (in blue) and striker spring is being held back by the sear in the trigger mechanism.
6) – The bolt (in red) strips a new 5.8x42mm round from the magazine and chambers it. The forward moving bolt carrier (in brown) turns the bolt (in red) to engage its 3 locking lugs into the locking slots on the trunnion. The weapon is read to fire.
7) – By pressing on the trigger (in yellow), the connected linkage (in white) pulls down the sear in the trigger mechanism and releases the striker (in dark blue). The striker impacts on the firing pin and fires the chambered 5.8x42mm cartridge. The action cycle repeats again.
The only changes in the latest QBZ 95-1 variant is the redesign of the recoil buffer (in purple) to use a coil spring with a rotating movement, and a new trigger mechanism that moves the selector forward and above the pistol grip. The fixed forward grip that makes up the trigger guard on the original is also replaced by a simple round trigger guard on the later models. Plus, the QBZ 95-1 barrel has a faster twist rate.
Unlike the relatively simple looking linear hammers on the Vz 58 and AS/VSS, the QBZ-95’s striker piece has a very complex shape. The striker spring arrangement is also very different. Instead of having two parallel springs, on the QBZ-95, the main spring and the striker spring are in-line and uses the same spring guide rod.

Since the end of the Cold War, modern combat rifles are being produced in much smaller numbers. I estimate that the Arsenal 276 and Arsenal 256 will still need to make at least 5 million copies of the updated QBZ-95 variants just for replacing all the old Type 81, QBZ-56C and the worn out initial QBZ-95 model in the Chinese service. The Israeli Tavor family (includes the newer X95) of bullpups will get adapted by more countries around the world, but just in the total production numbers alone, the Chinese QBZ-95 will outnumber all other bullpup military rifles combined.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Photos of the day: 19th PLAN "gulf of aden" naval taskforce enters the BlackSea, enrouting to the Mediterranean

China, Russia to hold first joint Mediterranean naval drills in May

Chinese and Russian naval vessels participate in the Joint Sea-2014 naval drill outside Shanghai on the East China Sea, in this file photo taken on May 24, 2014. REUTERS/China Daily

Reuters/China Daily

(Reuters) - China will hold joint naval drills with Russia in mid-May in the Mediterranean Sea, the first time the two countries will hold military exercises together in that part of the world, the Chinese Defence Ministry said on Thursday.

China and Russia have held naval drills in Pacific waters since 2012. The May maneuvers come as the United States ramps up military cooperation with its allies in Asia in response to China's increasingly assertive pursuit of maritime territorial claims.

A total of nine ships from the two countries will participate, including vessels China now has on anti-piracy patrols in waters off Somalia, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng told a monthly news briefing.

"The aim is to deepen both countries' friendly and practical cooperation, and increase our navies' ability to jointly deal with maritime security threats," Geng said.

"What needs saying is that these exercises are not aimed at any third party and have nothing to do with the regional situation."

Geng gave no specific date for the drills, which will be focused on navigation safety, at-sea replenishment, escort missions and live fire exercises.

Since Western powers imposed economic sanctions on Russia last year over the violence in Ukraine, Moscow has accelerated attempts to build ties with Asia, Africa and South America, as well as warming relations with its former Soviet-era allies. [ID:nL8N0XP3ED]

China and Russia are both permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and have close diplomatic, economic and military ties, with China traditionally relying on Russia for its most advanced equipment.

President Xi Jinping is expected to visit Moscow next month to attend a parade celebrating the end of World War Two.

China has been increasingly flexing its military muscles since Xi assumed the presidency in 2013, jangling nerves around the region and globally, though Beijing insists it is a force for peace and threatens nobody.

China's navy has become a focus of Xi's efforts to better project the country's power, especially in the disputed South China Sea.

U.S. President Barack Obama accused China on Tuesday of "flexing its muscles" to advance its territorial claims at sea.[ID:nL1N0XP111]

China says about 90 percent of the 3.5 million sq km (1.35 million sq mile) South China Sea is its sovereign territory. The Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam also claim large parts.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Writing by Michael Martina; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Photos of the day: J-15 pilot training in the Bohai Bay

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Photo of the day: Serial J-15's spotted on the Liaoning for the first time

Thanks Deino and Hongjian for this update.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Development of PLA's battlefield rations

Development of PLA's battlefield rations

(Source: China Military Online)   2015-04-10


  The prototype of the military rations of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) appeared in the period of the War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea (1950 – 1953).

  During the war, the officers and soldiers of the Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) mainly ate simple solid foods including fried rice, parched flour and fried bean.

  After that, the logistic supply departments produced a batch of compressed biscuits so as to provide better food support for CPV's tactical operations, forming the earliest prototype of the PLA's standard military rations.

  The PLA's first-generation military rations in the real sense appeared in 1970s.

  At that time, the military rations consisted of three staple foods, namely the No. 761 compressed solid food, dehydrated steamed rice and dehydrated noodle, and three auxiliary foods, namely three kinds of canned foods.

  The No. 761 compressed solid food was the PLA's first-generation standard personal combat rations. And the PLA soldiers depended on the 761 compressed solid food for energy supplement during a self-defense war in 1979.

  In 1980s, the PLA's second-generation military rations began to appear, namely using the No. 90 compressed solid food to replace the No. 761 compressed solid food.

  In addition, the complete-set foods also appeared to make up for the deficiency of the compressed biscuit.

  During the Battle of LaoShan in the self-defense war in 1979, a kind of soft-package food, which was especially made for the PLA troops patrolling along the plateau borders in China, was provided for the scouting forces.

  This kind of soft-package food contained three kinds of foods in its plastic bag, namely a bag of meat, vegetable and rice, a bag of compressed solid food and a bag of pear in syrup, and the meat, vegetable and rice can be heated in boiling water before eating.
File Photo

  Since 1990s, the PLA logistic supply departments improved the first and second generation military rations.

  In addition to the personal combat rations, collective food was also developed for a squad or an element.

  Besides the simple compressed biscuits together with cans and hot pickled mustard tuber, the self-heating food, namely food equipped with a heater, also appeared in the PLA's food menu.

  If water was available, the sealed rice and noodles could be heated, marking that the age of PLA's individual combat rations with only compressed biscuits had gone.

  Currently, the PLA have formed four main categories of military rations, namely field operation food, long voyage food, lifesaving food and general food.

  The field operation food is the so-called field ration. After the No. 90 compressed solid food, the No. 05 and No. 09 single solder instant foods were successively developed for PLA troops in the 21st century, which contain some additives according to different taste requirements.

  The long voyage food is classified into long flight food for air-force personnel and long ocean navigation food for naval personnel on surface warships and in submarines.

  The long flight food is for pilots with a long flight time (over three hours). The most prominent features of the long flight food for pilots are that it can be conveniently and quickly prepared and eaten by pilots with only one hand, and the sealed water bag with a straw for pilots' water drinking is adopted to avoid affecting pilots' flying.

  During the long ocean navigation, the naval members are apt to suffering serious illnesses including night blindness and sepsis if they cannot get vitamins supplement from vegetables in time. Therefore, the most important thing for long ocean navigation is to meet the military members' nutrition balance requirement.

  The lifesaving food is mainly used by soldiers waiting for rescuing when in danger, which is mainly distributed to flight personnel and warship personnel. The lifesaving food features high concentration, light weight, high calories and tight package.

  The general food is the strategic supply for troops in the period of supply difficulty. A large quantity of military cans and dehydrated vegetables belong to this category.

  In addition, there are anti-radiation food for missile troops and nuclear submarine troops, and plateau anti-hypoxia food.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Global warming?? I guess they won't be needing a replacement icebreaker anytime soon.

Monday, June 17, 2013

IceBreaker 722 decommissioned.

The PLAN decommissioned its Yanha class icebreaker 722 this month after 44 years of service.

This small PLAN icebreaker is no Soviet style mammoth capable cutting through the thick of frozen Arctic layers -- The PLAN used the Yanha class mainly to push away icy waters of the Bohai Sea.    With the previous transfer of 722's sister ship 723 to the China Coast Guard in Dec 20th, 2012, this leaves the PLAN with no ice-breaking asset under it's command.

No worries, there are plenty of  One-Liners to break-the-ice at a blind date, such as this one "There are three kinds of people: Those who can count and those who can't. "

Sunday, April 05, 2015

black and white photos of the day: After burn

PR Photos of the day: 10 hours marching in the rain

Creature of habit -  the PLAAF airborne still consider themselves as a "foot mobility" outfit therefore it is only natural for them to release  "thousand-man march" PR photos