Left side view of T86 carbine assault rifle.
Source: Chinese internet - © Copyright lies with original owner
The T65 is a late Cold War era assault rifle of Taiwanese origin. It was developed to replace the M14 in Taiwanese service. The name T65, or Type 65, designation is derived from year 65 of the Republic of China, which is 1976.
The T65 has a mixture of design elements of the M16A1 and the AR-18. The upper and lower receiver and external looks are similar to the M16A1. However, an AR-18-style short stroke gas piston cycles the weapon. The reliability is humid conditions reported to be better than the early M16 series.
The T65 fires the 5.56x45mm round from 30 round STANAG magazines. Early models used the M193 type cartridge, while all later variants use the NATO cartridge and associated faster twist rate of the rifling. The cyclic rate of fire is 700 to 800 rounds per minute. The carbine versions have a slightly higher rate of fire.
The T65 and its derivatives are the standard issue infantry weapons of Taiwan. Export sales were made to South America, Asia and the Middle East.
The T65 is the basic full size assault rifle variant. It features the same sights as the M16, but lacks the carrying handle. The original T65 is the only version in the T65 family that fires the original 5.56x45mm M193 round. While the T65 was not fully satisfactory it was improved as the T65K1, which differed only in minor details such as an aluminum heat guard in the forearm.
The T65K2 incorporated many of the improvements of the M16A2. The T65K2 is also known as the T68. Externally it looks very much like the M16A2. It has a squared forearm and carrying handle. As with the M16A2 it uses the newer 5.56x45mm NATO round with associated faster rifling twist rate.
The T65K3 is a carbine variant of the T65K2 and later resulted in the T86. It looks similar to the T86, but can be identified by the solid handguard, slightly different sights and smooth pistol grip. It was meant as a prototype, but was taken into production as the T86
The T86 is a carbine version of the T65. The development took quite some time and relatively few were produced. It features a retractable stock similar to the one on the M4 and has a shorter barrel and handguard. The T86 differs internally from the T65K3 in having a modular gas piston, allowing for easy disassembly and maintenance.
The T91 was produced as a universal design to replace both the earlier full size rifles and carbine variants. The design is very similar to the T86. The T91 could be called a T86 with longer barrel and a flat top receiver with accessory rails. It has the same modular gas piston.
The design of the T65 was inspired by the M16A1. Externally these weapons look quite similar, yet the T65 uses a different internal operating mechanism.
T65K2 has many of the same improvements / changes as applied to the M16A2. These include the 5.56mm NATO round, different style rear sights and round hand guard.
Early model T65 use the M193 cartridge. All later variants use the NATO cartridge and associated faster twist rate of the rifling.
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