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The Type 81 is an assault rifle of Chinese origin. It was developed to replace the earlier Type 56, which is a clone of the Soviet AK-47. The Type 81 contains design features from both the AK-47 assault rifle and the SVD sniper rifle. In the form of the Type 87 prototype the design served as a testbed for the 5.8x42mm round.

The Type 81 has a conventional layout and looks like an elongated AK-47. It uses the short stroke gas piston design of the SVD instead of the long stroke gas piston found in most AK-47 derivatives. The Type 81 has both a longer barrel and receiver than the AK-47, as is evident by the gap between the trigger guard and the magazine.

The Type 81 fires the 7.62x39mm round from 30 round magazines. It is able to fire semi-automatically or fully automatic at a cyclic rate of fire of 650 rounds per minute. The light machine gun variant is also issued with 75 round drum magazines. The Type 81 is claimed to be more accurate than the AK-47 it was derived of. The Type 81 is able to fire rifle grenades.

The Type-87A is a Chinese-designed Kalashnikov and SKS based, second-generation, selective-fire, gas-operated 5.56x45mm assault rifle adopted by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) since the mid-1980s.

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