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QLZ87



Introduction


QLZ-87

The QLZ-87 in both portable and crew served setups.
Source: www.sinodefense.com - © copyright lies with original owner

Origin
China
Type
Grenade launcher
Entered service
Early 1990's
Status
In service
Development
Mid to late 1980's
Developer
China - Norinco
Production
Early 1990's - present
Producer
China - Norinco
Number produced
Thousands (estimate)
Designations
QLZ / Qing bing qi Liudan fashe qi Zidong
Chinese for "light weapon, grenade launcher, automatic"
Type 87
Abba (Sudanese service)
Notable users
China
Ethiopa
Pakistan

Description


Introduction

The QLZ-87 is grenade launcher of Chinese origin. It was developed in the 1980's and derived from the experimental W-87. The combination of a shoulder fired grenade launcher and high velocity grenades is unique. This indicates that portability was favored over sustained firepower.

Design

The QLZ-87 is blowback operated weapon with the barrel and receiver together forming a long cylinder. A box or drum magazine is inserted below, the pistol grip is located on the right and a rubber butt pad is fitted. The QLZ-87 is normally aimed using an optical sight, but back-up iron sights are present. The 35mm high velocity grenades were specifically developed for this weapon. In the crew served role a lightweight tripod is added.

Firepower

The QLZ-87 fires 35mm grenades from 6 round box or 15 round drum magazines. From the shoulder it is used semi-automatically since the 500 rpm automatic fire only makes sense when tripod mounted. The maximum range is 600 m from the shoulder and 1.75 km on a tripod. Effective range on the bipod is quoted as 1.2 km. Unlike most Western high velocity grenades those used in the QLZ-87 are single purpose. The AP round penetrates up to 80mm steel and the HE round has a fragmentation range of 9 meters. These individual figures are better than the US 40mm dual purpose grenades, but having to change ammunition depending on target is a drawback.

Users

The QLZ-87 has been adopted by Chinese forces and has been exported to several nations, most of them in Africa. The QLZ-87 has been supplemented by the belt fed QLZ-04 grenade launcher, which is a more capable alternative in the crew served and vehicle mounted role.

Variants


QLZ87 'light'

Standard version of the QLZ-87. Man portable and normally fired from the bipod or alternatively from the shoulder. Usually fitted with 6 round magazine and fired semi-automatic only.

QLZ87 'crew served'

Crew served version of QLZ-87 which mounts the standard version on a light tripod. Usually fitted with 15 round magazine and fired fully automatic.

Type W-87

The Type W87 was an experimental weapon that led to the design of the QLZ-87. Was produced in small numbers. The W87 is easily identified by its fixed wooden stock, carrying handle, large slotted muzzle brake and rear and low mounted pistol grip. Also a larger tripod is fitted when used as a crew served weapon. Due to the lower muzzle velocity the maximum range is 1.5 km.

Details


Facts QLZ87 W87
General
Origin
China
Type
Grenade launcher
Caliber
Caliber
35x32mm Chinese
Feed system
6 round box magazine
15 round drum magazine
9 round box and 12 round drum exist, but are uncommon
Muzzle velocity
190 - 200 m/s
Operation
Action
Gas operated, blowback
Fire selector
0 - 1 - F
Rate of fire
480 rpm
Dimensions
Stock type
Fixed
Length
970 mm
Weight
12 kg empty with sight
20 kg including tripod
Sights
Optics
Optical sight
Mechanical
Backup flip-up iron sights
Range adjustement
Up to 1.750 m with optical sight
Up to 600 m with mechanical sights
Accessories
Bipod
Fixed foldable bipod
Tripod
Optional 8 kg tripod

Media


Related articles


QLZ04

The QLZ04 was developed as more capable alternative to the QLZ87 in the crew served role. The QLZ04 can no longer be used as a personal weapon on a bipod. However, its 30 round belt has twice the capacity of the largest magazine type for the QLZ87.