Type 56 assault rifle
Country of origin




Year(s) designed


Production began


Weapon type

Assault rifle




Gas-operated, rotating bolt

Overall length

34.3 inches (87 cm)

Barrel length

16.4 inches (41.6 cm)


11.5 lbs (5.2 kg)

Magazine/Cylinder capacity

30 round curved magazine

Used by

Albania, Cambodia, China, Iran, Vietnam and more

The Type 56 is a Chinese copy of the Soviet AK-47 assault rifle. It is currently manufactured by Norinco and was adopted in 1956 by the Chinese army. In the 1960s China produced the AKM as the Type 56.

Variants Edit

Type 56-1 Edit


Type 56-1

The Type 56-1 is a copy of the AKS-47 and AKMS. It also includes a under folding stock.

Type 56-2 Edit


Type 56-2

The Type 56-2 is the same as the Type 56-1 except it has a side folding stock instead of the under folding stock.

Combat history Edit

During the 1960s and 1970s in the Vietnam War, the Type 56 was used along with the Soviet AK-47, North Korean Type 58 and the Soviet AKM by the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army against the South Vietnamese and American soldiers. In the 1970-1975 Cambodian Civil War, the Khmer Rouge used Type 56s against the Khmer Republic. The Type 56 was also used in the 1979 Sino-Vietnamese War by both sides of China and Vietnam.

The Type 56 was used extensively by the Iranian army during the 1980s in the Iran-Iraq War and the Iraqi army used a small quantity of Type 56s during the war.

Sri Lanka used Type 56s to replace the FN FAL and Heckler & Koch G3 during the Sri Lankan Civil War.

During the 1990s Yugoslav Wars, the Type 56 was used by the army of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the late 1990s in the Kosovo War, the Kosovo Liberation Army was a major user of the Type 56 because the Chinese supported the Albanians with their guns during the Cold War.

See also Edit

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