Infantry weapons / Heavy machine guns / Type 77

Type 77

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Heavy machine gun

  • ORIGIN
    China

  • NICKNAMES
    W-95 (Export designation for Type 85)
    Type 89 (QJZ-89)

  • DESIGNED
    mid-1970's (Type 77)

  • DESIGNER
    NORINCO

  • PRODUCTION
    1980 - 1985 (Type 77)
    1985 - ? (Type 85)

  • PRODUCERS
    China - NORINCO

  • QUANTITY
    Unknown

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Very low weight
    Optics available
    High rate of fire
    Limited reliability

Introduction

The Type 77 is a heavy machine gun of Chinese origin. It was developed in the mid-1970's to replace the Type 54 (DShK) as an infantry weapon. As an infantry weapon it was to be as light as possible, at the cost of volume of fire. With its new tripod the Type 77 weight half as much as the old Type 54, making it much easier to carry in the field. The original Type 77 did not perform as well as expected, but later models improved the performance.

Design

In order to save weight the Type 77 has a very unusual design. It is gas operated and uses a direct impingement system. This results in very few moving parts and a long and slim receiver. Iron sights are fitted and a mount for day and night optics or special anti-aircraft sights is standard. For infantry use the W85 is fitted with spade grips and a shoulder stock and is mounted on a tripod. The low profile tripod can be put in an elevated position for anti-aircraft use.

Firepower

The Type 77 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 rather high at 650 to 700 rounds per minute. As the barrel is thinner it heats up faster than the old Type 54 (DShK) it replaced.

Users

The Type 77 and its improved versions are the standard tripod mounted heavy machine gun used by Chinese infantry. Of all models the Type 85 is the most common. The Type 77 and its variants have been exported and are still available for export.

Variants

Type 77

The Type 77 is the original version. It can be distinguished from the newer models by its pepperpot muzzle brake and large charging handle below the receiver. The Type 77 was in production for only a few years until it was replaced by the Type 85.

TypeHeavy machine gun
Caliber12.7x108mm Soviet
MagazineBelt fed, 60 rounds
OperationGas operated, direct impingement, open bolt
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fire650 - 700 rpm
Barrel length1.016 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity825 m/s
StockFixed
Length2.150 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight28 kg plus 28.3 kg tripod
SightsIron sights, optional optical sights
Remarks-

Type 85

The Type 85 is the improved version of the Type 77. It has a more conventional muzzle brake and the charging handle has been removed. To cock the weapon the entire trigger unit is moved forward and back. The Type 85 is available for export in the standard version using the 12.7x108mm Soviet round and as the W95 using the 12.7x99mm NATO round.

TypeHeavy machine gun
Caliber12.7x108mm Soviet
MagazineBelt fed, 60 rounds
OperationGas operated, direct impingement, open bolt
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fire650 - 700 rpm
Barrel length1.003 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity825 m/s
StockFixed
Length2.150 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight24 kg plus 17.5 kg tripod
SightsIron sights, optional optical sights
Remarks-

QJG89

The QJG89, also known as Type 89, is derived from the Type 85. It uses a hybrid system for cycling the weapon. The direct impingement system unlocks the weapon and the short recoil mechnism cycles it. The result is a much lower rate of fire. Unlike the previous models the QJG89 has a squared receiver, a pistol grip and more elaborate shoulder stock.

TypeHeavy machine gun
Caliber12.7x108mm Soviet
MagazineBelt fed, 50 rounds
OperationHybrid direct impingement and short recoil
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fire450 - 600 rpm
Barrel length1.003 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity825 m/s
StockFixed
Length2.119 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight17.5 kg plus 8.5 kg tripod
SightsIron sights, optional optical sights
Remarks-

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