The suppressed/silenced combat pistol continues to capture the imagination of both casual observers and Hollywood. It remains an integral part of clandestine military operations and is fielded by all major leading military powers of the world in some form or another, namely for special forces work. The modern Chinese Army (the People's Liberation Army = PLA) in 2006 took into inventory the QSW-06, a suppressed sidearm chambered to fire the 5.8x21mm cartridge type. As a subsonic version of the cartridge is offered, coupled to a suppressor/silencer assembly, the QSW-06 can be appropriately categorized as a truly silenced weapon.
Design work on the weapon spanned from 2002 to 2005 and manufacture began in 2006. The pistol relies on a proven semi-automatic action based on the short-recoil principle with locked breech and non-rotating barrel lock. The pistol weighs less than one kilogram and has an overall length (sans suppressor) of 195mm with a barrel measuring 120mm in length.
Both muzzle velocity and effective range is affected by the subsonic nature of the exiting bullet as the propellant gasses leaving the gun are slowly released to keep audible signature low. This is offset by providing the operator with some secrecy as to his location when firing the gun (the loud operation of the gun is reduced to a telltale "crack") - a key quality when removing high profile targets and unsuspecting sentries at close-to-medium ranges.
Outwardly, the gun showcases an all-modern polymer-framed design. The slide is ribbed at its aft end for better management of the assembly by the firer. The silencer component is added to the threaded end of the muzzle in the usual way but is also optional, allowing the operator to manage the gun as normal without any loss to its man-stopping capability. Feeding is by way of a double-stacked 20-round round detachable box magazine inserted into the grip while spent shells are ejected through a port along the right side of the receiver. Sighting for aimed fire is through a fixed, 3-dot type luminous arrangement set over the receiver. Under the front end of the pistol is a section of rail supporting various tactical accessories including aimers and flashlights.
The QSX-06 pistol succeeds the Cold War-era Type 67 suppressed pistols (detailed elsewhere on this site). The newer gun shares about 60% commonality of parts with another modern Chinese Army sidearm offering, the QSZ-92 (detailed elsewhere on this site).
Manufacturing NORINCO - China
- Clandestine Operations
- Close Quarters Battle (CQB) / Personal Security
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