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General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) [ 1983 ]

The NORINCO Type 80 emerged as a Chinese copy of the Soviet PK-PKM series machine guns and found a few global operators since its introduction in 1983.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/09/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

Close military ties with the Soviet Union prior to the Sino-Soviet split (1960-1989) meant that the Chinese Army fielded many weapons of Soviet origin / influence. This allowed a burgeoning local industry to take hold in China to which many Soviet arms were produced. This was the case with the NORINCO Type 80 General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) which was nothing more than a copy of the Soviet-originated PK series - or rather more specifically the PKM model line of 1969.

The Type 80 was seen as a viable replacement for the locally-developed Type 67 machine gun series. however, the weapon was not adopted by China on a grand scale as the Type 67 was still seen as a viable battlefield solution. This led to the Type 80 seeing only limited adoption within Chinese circles.

Design work was in the early 1980s which led to the system being formally adopted in 1983, maintaining a relatively small footprint globally today (2016) - with Chinese special forces elements as well as the Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan armies taking the type into service. Croatian police were another operator of the weapon but retired the line sometime in the 1990s.

As with most Soviet-inspired designs, the Type 80 was chambered to fire the 7.62x54mmR rifle cartridge which offered good penetration value at range - certainly a proven man-stopper. As a true GPMG, the weapon fed from a link belt ammunition supply of 100, 200 or 250-round count. The action was gas-operated with an open bolt design firing on full automatic. Rate-of-fire was listed at 700 to 800 rounds-per-minute with a muzzle velocity of 2,775 feet-per-second and range out to 1,640 yards. Sighting was through open iron fittings though optics were eventually supported for improved ranged accuracy as well as night time operations.©MilitaryFactory.com
As the Type 80 was inspired from the Soviet PK machine gun series, it carried over many "Kalashnikov-style" features including use of wooden furniture and a gas cylinder set over the barrel assembly.

Overall weight of the weapon reached 27.8 lb and overall length was 46.9 inches with a barrel measuring 25.9 inches long. The Type 80 was further designed to be fired with support from a folding bipod assembly or a heavier-duty tripod assembly.

The Type 86 represented a modernized / modified version of the same Type 80 weapon system. This model went on to see adoption by the Chinese Army in some number. An export version was developed as the CF-06 and was unique in that it chambered the Western-favored 7.62x51mm NATO rifle cartridge instead. The product was introduced in 2008 and was redesignated to CS/LM4.

Bangladesh has produced a local version of the Type 80 as the BD-14.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

China national flag graphic


General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG)

China NORth INdustries COrporation (NORINCO) - China
(View other Arms-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of Bangladesh National flag of China National flag of Croatia National flag of Iraq National flag of Sri Lanka National flag of Syria National flag of Thailand Bangladesh; Cambodia; Croatia; China; Iraq; Malta; Sri Lanka; Syria; Thailand
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Fire Support
Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.

Overall Length
1,192 mm
46.93 in
Barrel Length
658 mm
25.91 in
Empty Wgt
27.56 lb
12.50 kg

Open Iron; Optional Optics


Gas-Operated; Open-Bolt; Full-Automatic Fire; Belt-fed

Rounds are automatically ejected from the breech, a new cartridge stripped from the feed and set in the chamber, and rounds are continuously fired so long as the trigger is pulled and an ammunition supply exists.
Gas-operated system is featured, typically involving a gas cylinder and rear-driven piston directing energy to the bolt component.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)



Rounds / Feed

100-, 200, or 250-round ammunition belt
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
4,920 ft
(1,500 m | 1,640 yd)
Muzzle Velocity
2,775 ft/sec
(846 m/sec)

Type 80 - Base Series Model; copy of Soviet PK/PKM machine gun.
Type 86 - Modified / modernized machine gun for Chinese military.
CF-06 (CS/LM4) - Export variant; model of 2008.
BD-14 - Local Bangladeshi-produced model (Type 80)

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Image of the NORINCO Type 80
Image from the Public Domain (via Wikipedia).


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