Infantry weapons / Heavy machine guns / QJC88

QJC88

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Heavy machine gun

  • ORIGIN
    China

  • NICKNAMES
    QJC88 (PLA designation)
    W85 (original designation)
    CS/LM3 (export model)

  • DESIGNED
    Early 1980's

  • DESIGNER
    NORINCO

  • PRODUCTION
    1985 - present

  • PRODUCERS
    China - NORINCO

  • QUANTITY
    Unknown

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Limited weight
    Reliable
    Thin barrel

Introduction

The W85 is a late Cold War era heavy machine gun of Chinese origin. The W85 was developed alongside an improved version of the Type 77. The Type 77 heavy machine gun with its rather unconventional design did not perform as well as expected. As an infantry weapon the W85 lost out to the Type 85, the improved version of the Type 77. However, several years later it was adopted under the designation QJC88 as the standard anti-aircraft machine gun for use on all new Chinese armored vehicles.

Design

The W85 was originally designed for infantry use and was to be as light as possible. This is reflected in the small receiver and thin quick change barrel. The W85 is a conventional gas operated weapon and cycles by means of a gas piston mounted under the barrel. Iron sights are fitted as well as rails for day and night optics or special anti-aircraft sights. For infantry use the W85 is mounted on a low profile tripod, which can be put in an elevated position for anti-aircraft use.

Firepower

The W85 fires the 12.7x108mm Soviet round from 50 round belts. It is able to fire the standard Chinese Type 54 round as well as more modern armor piercing ammunition. The cyclic rate of fire is 540 to 600 rounds per minute. The W85 is more accurate than the Type 54 (DShK), but the thinner barrel heats up faster. A model firing the 12.7x99mm NATO round was developed for export and has a somewhat higher rate of fire.

Users

The W85 lost out to the Type 85 as a heavy machine gun for infantry use and it is not in Chinese use as a tripod mounted weapon. On the other hand the W85 is the standard anti-aircraft machine gun on all newer Chinese armored vehicles and thus very common in Chinese service. The W85 is offered for export.

Variants

W85

The W85 is the orignal model that was designed for infantry use. As a gas piston operated weapon it can be distinguished from the Type 77 by the long gas piston below the barrel. It uses the same low profile tripod as the Type 85.

Notable variants:
W85: Original production model, chambered in 12.7x108mm Soviet.
W95A: W85 chambered in 12.7x99mm NATO. Also known as CS/LM3.

TypeHeavy machine gun
Caliber12.7x108mm Soviet
MagazineBelt fed, 50 rounds
OperationGas operated, open bolt
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fire540 - 600 rpm
Barrel length1 m
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity850 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.995 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight18.5 kg plus 17.5 kg tripod
SightsIron sights, optional optical sights
Remarks-
TypeHeavy machine gun
Caliber12.7x99mm NATO
MagazineBelt fed
OperationGas operated, open bolt
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fire650 - 750 rpm
Barrel length1.002 m
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity?
StockFixed
Length2.050 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight18.5 kg plus 17.5 kg tripod
SightsIron sights, optional optical sights
Remarks-

QJC88

The vehicle mounted version of the W85 is designated QJC88 in the Chinese army. It is the standard heavy machine gun that is fitted on most armored vehicles for self-defense. As a vehicle mounted weapon it is solenoid fired and fitted in a special cradle for pintle mounting that allows for an elevation of -5 to +65°.

TypeHeavy machine gun
Caliber12.7x108mm Soviet
MagazineBelt fed, 50 rounds
OperationGas operated, open bolt
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fire540 - 600 rpm
Barrel length1 m
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity850 m/s
Stock-
Length1.500 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight18.5 kg plus 15.5 kg mount
SightsIron sights, optional optical sights
Remarks-

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