Several 5.8x42mm DPB87 rounds.
Source: www.gun-world.net - © Copyright lies with original owner
The 5.8x42mm round is a modern era rifle cartridge of Chinese origin. It was developed in the early 1980's to replace the 7.62x39mm round in Chinese service with a lighter round similar in principle as the 5.56x45mm NATO and 5.45x39mm Soviet rounds. The DPB87 designation stands for Dan Buqiang Putong 1987, which translates to "standard rifle cartridge 1987". The Type 87 assault rifle was developed from the Type 81 to test the cartridge design, but was not placed in production. The first assault rifle to use the 5.8mm round was the bullpup QBZ-95.
The 5.8x42mm round was designed from scratch. It uses a tapered bottlenecked case made out of iron. A black coat of paint is to prevent the iron case from rusting. A steel bullet is used, resulting in good penetration but limited lethality. Besides the standard version there is a heavy load that uses the same case and a heavier bullet. Since the case contains more propellant the bullet extends further from the case. The standard load version generates a much lower pressure compared to the 5.56x45mm NATO round.
The standard load is used in the QBZ-95 and QBZ-03 assault rifles, QBZ-95B carbine and QBB-95 light support weapon. The heavy load is used in the QBU-88 sniper rifle and QJY-88 machine gun. It is possible to fire the heavy load from weapons designed for the standard load, but it is not advisable to do so.
The standard load fired from the QBZ-95 assault rifle has a muzzle velocity of 930 m/s and an energy of almost 1.800 J. At 400 meters these figures are reduced to 585 m/s and 710 J. The heavy load fired from the QJY-88 machine gun has a muzzle velocity of nearly 900 m/s and an energy of 2.000 J. At 400 meters these figures are reduced to 590 m/s and 870 J. The standard load will penetrate a 10mm steel plate at 300 meters and the heavy load 3mm steel at a range of 1 km. An increase of lethality of over 60% compared to the 7.62x39mm round is claimed, however this figure is highly unlikely.
The 5.8mm round is used by the Chinese military and police. It is the round used in the standard issue weapons of the better equipped elements of the Chinese forces. It is not very likely to be exported since China produces export version of its 5.8mm weapons chambered for the 5.56x45mm round.
Chinese 5.8x42mm DBP87 cartridge with its distinct black case.
Source: B4Ctom1 - © CC BY-SA 3.0
The QBZ95 bullpup assault rifle introduced the 5.8x42mm round in Chinese service. The improved QBZ95-1 variant introduced the DBP10 universal round in China.
The QBZ03 is conventional layout assault rifle chambered for the 5.8x42mm round.
The QBU88 fires the DBP88 heavy load variant of the 5.8x42mm Chinese intermediate cartridge.
The QJY88 fires the heavy load version of the 5.8x42mm round.
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