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Old September 12, 2012, 09:48 AM   #26
Join Date: July 2, 2012
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The Export 5.56 versions

If you are in the US, I don't think you will be able to obtain one without great effort due to the restrictions in place for imported Chinese Assault-type weapons. Also, I do not think you will find the 5.8mm versions being sold anywhere outside China. However, only recently, the 5.56mm export versions have appeared with increasing frequency in the Philippine firearms market.

Sold at around 1800+ USD, the T97A and T97C (5.56 versions of the QBZ-95 standard and carbine) select-fire rifles are now available in the civilian arms market (almost 2x the price of a select-fire Type-56 AK). Unfortunately, these rifles along with the Chinese native 5.8mm versions have also been found in the hands of defeated communist rebels in the south. The very very limited reports we have heard about this rifle from the south are that they are reliable and feed any 5.56 ammo without any problems. Not much else is known.
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Old September 12, 2012, 10:48 AM   #27
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If I could speak to the question of the cheapness of the weapon for a moment, I'd like to raise a couple of points.

First, why is it assumed that a "plastic" stock is cheaper than a wooden stock? I realize it probably is, if only a little, but if you look around, you can easily find some very cheap (meaning they don't cost a lot and nothing more) wood stocks. Some Marlin models come with "hardwood" stocks and some Rugers have rather plain stocks. Good wood doesn't grow on trees, you know, especially in China. Besides, wood stocks bring their own problems.

The other point is that it is probably going to be problematic to have wood furniture on a bullpup action, although it has certainly been done. Not a bullpup, but I believe I've seen photos of (original) AR-10s with wood forearms and butts.
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Old October 12, 2012, 01:17 AM   #28
Join Date: July 2, 2012
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Quality Materials, Parts. Poor exterior finish.

I have not yet fired a QBZ-95 or Type 97 but have held and fired a Norinco CQ-A select-fire M4. An acquaintance of mine has one. He says they are built well and are reliable. The only issue he has is that the finish on the barrel and bolt carrier group is not very good and being in a tropical country, if left without lube, the barrel exterior starts to show brown spots faster than Bushmaster AR barrels. Also, the polymer handguard has those miniscule excess "plastic lines" which were left unpolished from the plastic-injection manufacturing process. T97s appear to have these mild issues as well.

I see Norinco as a company run by shrewd leadership who use cheap labor to their advantage. For example, even with the escalating tensions here in the Philippines over those islands they claim, they still happily export their guns here (is that a good idea?).

In conclusion I'd say QBZs or T97s are good weapons built with good materials and parts. And because of the low-cost labor in China, they are low-cost when compared to other rifles as management passes the savings on to their consumers (to be competitive). However, the less-than-great exterior polish and finish makes them look cheap and poorly-built. I would call them low-cost (built with economy in mind) but "Cheap" (as in poorly built using poor-quality materials) is not how I see these guns. 1911 "Norincolt" owners can attest to this.

Last edited by freedash22; October 12, 2012 at 05:23 AM.
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Old October 12, 2012, 12:58 PM   #29
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you do realize this thread is 6 years old....

but I wish we imported other countries' guns. I'm all for buying American but foreign designs just look so interesting.
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Last edited by cannonfire; October 12, 2012 at 01:35 PM.
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