The Norinco Type 56 is a Chinese copy of the Soviet AK-47 Kalashiknov assault rifle, and is so popular among Asian countries that it is still being produced today.
Use in TremorsEditTyler (Victor Browne) uses a Type 56 with the stock removed in the episode Shriek & Destroy to take care of the Shrieker problem in Juniper, Arizona. It may appear to be an AKM but upon closer inspection one can clearly see the hooded front sight.
The Type 56 is a widely proliferated variant of the AK-47. While exact production figures are unknown, it is estimated that as many as 10 to 15 million Type 56 rifles have been produced since the 1950s. During the Cold War period, the Type 56 was exported to communist forces in the Third World. Many of these rifles found their way to battlefields in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East and were used alongside other Kalashnikov rifles from both the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact nations of Eastern Europe. Chinese support for the Democratic Republic of Vietnam before the mid-1960s meant that the Type 56 was frequently encountered by American soldiers in the hands of either Vietcong guerrillas or PAVN soldiers during the Vietnam war. The Type 56 was discovered in enemy hands far more often than regular Russian-made AK-47s or AKMs. Originally, the Type 56 was a direct copy of the AK-47, and featured a milled receiver, but starting in the mid-1960s, the guns were manufactured with stamped receivers much like the Soviet AKM. Visually, most versions of the Type 56 are distinguished from the AK-47 and AKM by the fully enclosed hooded front sight (all other AK pattern rifles, including those made in Russia, have a partially open front sight). Many versions also feature a folding bayonet attached to the barrel just aft of the muzzle. There are three different types of bayonets made for Type 56 rifles. The first type 56s were near identical copies of the Soviet milled AK-47. It is speculated that the Chinese had to reverse engineer a copy of the AKM with the stamped receiver as they were not given a licence to produce the AKM and RPK by the Soviets because of failing relations after the Sino-Soviet split. The "Type 56" designation was also used for Chinese versions of the SKS and of the RPD, known as the Type 56 carbine and Type 56 light machine gun respectively. However, unlike the popular Type 56 rifle, all Type 56 carbines have been removed from military service, except a few used for ceremonial purposes and by local Chinese militia. The Type 56 light machine gun is still used by the Cambodian Army and Sri Lankan Army.
Differences from Kalashnikov-type riflesEdit
- The Type 56 has a 1.5mm stamped receiver (like the RPK, although it lacks the reinforced trunnion of the RPK) versus the 1mm stamping of the AKM.
- The barrel on the Type 56 is similar to the AK-47 and heavier than that of the AKM.
- The front sights are fully enclosed, compared to the AKM and AK-47 which are partially opened.
- Has the double hook disconnector of the AK-47 rather than the single hook disconnector of the AKM.
- Has a smooth dust cover like the AK-47 and unlike the ribbed dust cover of the AKM.
- May have a folding spike bayonet (nicknamed the "pig sticker") as opposed to the detachable knife bayonets of the AK-47 and AKM. There are three different types of spike bayonets made for Type 56 rifles. Type 56 assault rifles are the only AK-pattern assault rifles that use spike bayonets.
- Military issued versions of the Type 56 lack the threaded muzzle found on the AK-47 and AKM, this means they cannot use an AKM compensator or blank-firing device. Commercial versions of the Type 56 may or may not have a threaded muzzle.
- Has a blued finish like the AK-47 and unlike the AKM, which has a black oxide finish or a parkerized finish.
- Has "in the white" bolt carrier, while the AKM bolt carrier is blued.
- Like the AK-47, sights will only adjust to 800 metres, whereas AKM sights adjust to 1000 metres.
- Nearly all Type 56's lack the side mount plate that was featured on many variations of the AK-47 and AKM.
- Lacks the hammer release delay device of the AKM. The lack of hammer retarder is perhaps due to a preference of a slightly higher rate of fire, and simplicity. And did not have anything to do with thickness of the receiver, as the RPK included the hammer retarder also.
- The gas relief ports are located on the gas tube like the AK-47, unlike the AKM which had the gas relief ports relocated forward to the gas block.
- The fixed stock of a Type 56 has a less in-line stock like the AK-47, opposed to the AKM which has a straighter stock.