Type 63 assault rifle

The Type 63 (Chinese: 63式7.62mm自动步枪), often incorrectly referred to as Type 68 by Western sources, is a Chinese-designed rifle with a resemblance to the SKS. However, the weapon uses a rotating bolt working system from the AK-47 rifle instead of the tilting bolt system of the SKS.

The origin of the Type 63 is based on the Type 56.

Type 63 assault rifle
Class Manportable
Type Rifles
Manufacturer PRC government arsenals
Origin China
Country Name Origin Year
China 1962
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Afghanistan View
Albania View
Cambodia (Kampuchea) View
China 1968 1978 View
Guyana (British Guiana) View
Vietnam View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
PRC government arsenals View

The Type 63/68 was intended to replace the Type 56 semi-automatic carbine in Chinese service at one time when infantry felt the need for a compromise between rifle firepower and long rifle range and to help the Type 56 rifle integrate into service. (There were too few of these to equip the entire PLA.) The development of the Type 63/68 started in 1959; the design certificate was issued in 1963 (which is why the Chinese designation is "Type 63"), and the rifle entered service within the PLA in 1968 (which is why the weapon is referred to as the "Type 68" by Western experts).

Other than China, the biggest user of the Type 63 rifle was Albania, where it was exported in quantities when the Communist regime split from the Soviet sphere of influence to gain stricter relationships with China (to which it also granted, for a certain amount of time, a naval base in the Mediterranean sea). The Type 63 rifle was also exported by China to North Vietnam during the Vietnam War, and throughout the 1970s, it was also sent in smaller amounts to Burma, Cambodia and other countries in Asia and Africa. Shipments were also made to Afghanistan to support the local guerrilla fighters against the Soviet invasion.

Type Rifle
Place of origin  People's Republic of China
Service history
In service 1968–1978
Used by See Users
Wars Vietnam War, Cambodian Civil War, Cambodian-Vietnamese War, Sino-Vietnamese War,Soviet War in Afghanistan
Production history
Designed 1959–1963
Manufacturer PRC government arsenals
Produced 1969–1978
Number built Approx. 6,000,000
Weight 3.8 kg (8.38 lb)
Length 1,033 mm (40.7 in)
Barrel length 531 mm (20.9 in)
Cartridge 7.62x39 mm
Action Gas-operated, rotating bolt
Rate of fire 680–725 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity 735 m/s (2,411 ft/s)
Effective firing range 100–800 m sight adjustments
Feed system 20-round detachable box magazine
Sights Hooded front post, rear U-notch on sliding tangent

End notes