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Modular Assault Rifle / Assault Carbine / DMR [ 2019 ]

The NORINCO QBZ-191 is a relatively new addition to the ranks of the PLAGF and chambered for the unique 5.8x42mm cartridge.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/08/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The QBZ-191 is a modular assault weapon originating from China and developed for the People's Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF) of the nation's armed forces as its new standard assault rifle system. The type entered service in 2019 and is a modular solution that covers the assault rifle, assault carbine, and Designate Marksman Rifle (DMR) roles through varying barrel lengths. It is classified as a support weapon in the Chinese military inventory and relies on the unique 5.8x42mm intermediate cartridge. It is set to overtake the bullpup-configured QBZ-95 Assault Rifle (detailed elsewhere on this site) in the Chinese armed forces inventory.

The 5.8x42mm round is a Chinese-specific rifle cartridge developed from 1979 until 1987, having entered production in 1987. The rimless bottleneck cartridge encompasses a family of related rounds including the DBP-10, DBP-87, DBP-88 HEAVY, and DBP-95.

Development of the gun is thought to have begun in or around 2014 and the agreed-upon form was then finalized for production under the NORINCO brand label thereafter. The QBZ-191 then became known to Western observers during the 2019 military parade associated with China's 70th Anniversary National Day where it was in seen in the hands of members of the PLAGF.

The arrangement of this rifle is conventional through a solid, rectangular-shaped receiver, rounded-ribbed forend, and curved AK-style magazine. The pistol grip/trigger unit is slung under the aft section of the receiver in the usual way with the magazine feed just ahead. The charging handle and ejection port are both set to the right side of the frame. The shoulder stock is adjustable to an extent and solid in its construction. The fire selector lever is positioned near the primary hand's thumb within easy reach.

Internally, the rifle has a proven gas-operated, short-stroke piston action, offering a rate-of-fire of 750 rounds-per-minute. The gas cylinder sits above the barrel assembly in the AK-style. Effective range is out to 400 meters in the automatic rifle form and feeding is through a 30-round, curved detachable box magazine or 75-round drum.

Over the frame of the rifle is a long run of Picatinny rail for the mounting of various optics including telescopic scopes, magnifiers, thermal imagers, and aim assistants. A forward and rear iron sight can also be affixed and retained as backup to the primary installed optics.

The QBZ-191 Assault Rifle is differentiated by its 14.5" long barrel assembly while the QBZ-192 Assault Carbine carries a barrel of 10.5" length for enhanced compactness. The Designated Marksman Rifle model has a longer, free-floating barrel with M-LOK handguard, feeds from a 30-round ammunition supply, and is accurate out to nearly 900 yards depending on scope in play.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

China national flag graphic


Modular Assault Rifle / Assault Carbine / DMR

China NORth INdustries COrporation (NORINCO) - China
(View other Arms-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of China China
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Automatic Function
Features a mechanical function to automate the firing action.
Assault Rifle
Modern class of long gun featuring select-fire properties, automatic internal function, and magazine feeding.
Accuracy / Precision
Long-range accuracy / precision capable; suitable for sniping, particularly when equipped with sighting aids.
Special Forces
Qualities of this weapon have shown its value to Special Forces elements requiring a versatile, reliable solution for the rigors of special assignments.

Compact nature allows for relatively easy concealment.
Despite its size / weight, the product can be transported by foot infantry.
Internal action allows release of single round per trigger pull, actuating a semi-automatic loading mechanism for successive shots.
Internal action allows release of multiple rounds with a trigger pull in quick succession.
An automatic, or pseudo-automatic, function is built into the system, allowing for repeat firing to be achieved.
Supports mounting of optics (scopes) to aid in accuracy for ranged fire.
Design allows for user adjustability of certain components for customization.
Design offers mounting points for external, after-market hardware including laser aimers, flashlights, scopes, and grips.

Overall Length
521 mm
20.51 in
Barrel Length
368 mm
14.49 in

Various Mounted Over-Receiver Optics.


Gas-Operated; Short-Stroke Piston; Selective-Fire.

Short-Stroke Piston
Type of gas operation typically found in rifle-type arms; relatively short amount of piston movement with reliance on sudden blow for quick acceleration of said piston; lever connected to the bolt is actuated, taking on the resultant energy, subsequently passing it on to the awaiting bolt.
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)


5.8x42mm DBP-191

Rounds / Feed

30-round detachable box magazine; 75-round drum.
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
1,315 ft
(401 m | 438 yd)

QBZ-191 - Base Series Designation.
QBZ-191AR - Base Automatic Rifle form with 14.5 inch barrel assembly.
QBZ-192AC - Shortened Assault Carbine form with 10.5 inch barrel assembly.
QBZ-191DR - Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) model with extended, free-floating barrel assembly, broad optics support, and enhanced accuracy-at-range.

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Images Gallery

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Image of the NORINCO QBZ-191
Image from the Russian Ministry of Defense; Public Release.


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