Top 5 Submachine Guns Used by China’s Military and Police

A behind-the-scenes look at China's military and police CQB powerhouses!

Type 79

Type 79

Type 79

The next weapon of this class was the 7.62x25mm Type 79 submachine gun. It was originally intended for the “jungle warfare” role, so it was designed to be unusually light for its power, making it easy to carry during long patrols in deep jungles.  To achieve this lighter weight, Chinese designers used an action more commonly associated with much more powerful assault rifles. The Type 79 uses a gas-operated, rotary bolt action with a short-stroke gas piston located above the barrel. The bolt group is more or less an adaptation of that of the Type 56 (AK) assault rifle. The receiver is made from steel stampings. The selector/safety switch is also patterned after the Type 56 rifle, and allows for both semi- and full-auto fire.

An extended magazine housing serves as a forward grip, as the forend is very small. Its box magazines hold only 20 rounds of ammunition. The shoulder stock is made from stamped steel and folds up and forward when not in use. The standard iron sights have settings for 100 and 200 meters.

The Type 79, which was developed between 1971 and 1979, entered mass production around 1982 and was manufactured in significant numbers. It can still be seen in the hands of People’s Armed Police operators, often outfitted with modern accessories such as red-dot sights or tactical flashlights. According to Chinese sources, the Type 79 was a failure in its original role of a “jungle” weapon due to its poor reliability, excessive rate of fire and limited magazine capacity. As a result, today the Type 79 submachine gun is used mostly as a police weapon in urban environments.

Specifications

  • Caliber: 7.62x25mm
  • Barrel: 7.9 inches
  • OA Length: 18.5-29.1 inches
  • Weight: 4.2 pounds (empty)
  • Action: Gas-operated, rotating bolt
  • Capacity: 20
  • Rate Of Fire: 1,000 rpm

 

Type 85

Type 85

Type 85

Due to problems inherent in earlier guns, the PLA requested a new weapon. Designed between 1979 and 1983, it was type-classified in 1985 as the Type 85 and approved for mass production around 1987. This was a simple and straightforward 7.62x25mm design produced with extensive use of stamped and formed steel and welding, thus dispensing with the complicated gas-operated action of the Type 79 and the expensive machined receiver of Type 64. It was developed in two separate versions—standard and suppressed—with different barrels.

The Type 85 is a simple blowback-operated weapon that fires from an open bolt. It uses a tubular steel receiver. The safety/selector lever is located on the right side, above the triggerguard, and allows for semi- and full-auto fire. The suppressed version has gas ports drilled into the front half of the barrel, which is covered by an integral, multi-baffle suppressor made from steel and containing 10 removable baffles. The gun is fed using the same 30-round box magazines as the Type 64. The shoulder stock is made from steel and folds to the right when not in use.

The suppressed version is optimized for special 7.62x25mm Type 64 ammunition with a heavy, subsonic bullet, but it can also fire standard 7.62x25mm Type 51 ammunition, though it’ll be louder and the sound suppressor baffles will subsequently have a shorter service life.

Specifications

  • Caliber: 7.62x25mm T51/T64
  • Barrel: 8.3 inches
  • OA Length: 17.5-34.2 inches
  • Weight: 4.2-5.5 pounds (empty)
  • Action: Blowback, open bolt
  • Capacity: 30
  • Rate Of Fire: 780-800 rpm

Load Comments
  • Queso

    What’s the gun in photo at the top of the page?