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Modular Assault Rifle / Assault Carbine / DMR

China | 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: 09/01/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
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.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
The physical qualities of the NORINCO QBZ-191. Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
521 mm
20.51 in
O/A Length
368 mm
14.49 in
Barrel Length
Gas-Operated; Short-Stroke Piston; Selective-Fire.
5.8x42mm DBP-191
30-round detachable box magazine; 75-round drum.
Various Mounted Over-Receiver Optics.
Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the NORINCO QBZ-191. Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
1,315 ft
400.8 m | 438.3 yds
Notable series variants as part of the NORINCO QBZ-191 Modular Assault Rifle / Assault Carbine / DMR family line.
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.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the NORINCO QBZ-191. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national small arms listing.

Contractor(s): China NORth INdustries COrporation (NORINCO) - China
National flag of China

[ China ]
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Image of the NORINCO QBZ-191
Image from China DoD; Public Release.
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Image of the NORINCO QBZ-191
Image from the Russian Ministry of Defense; Public Release.

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The NORINCO QBZ-191 Modular Assault Rifle / Assault Carbine / DMR appears in the following collections:
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