Chinese Type 56 assault rifle, cal. 7.62mm, rifled, four grooved barrel, 415mm long, detachable curved box magainze holds 30 rounds, wooden stock, pistol grip and foreend, two sling swivels. Fixed rearsight to 800m. Stamped on left side of receiver '66', framed in triangle, three Chinese characters - ( wu liu shi, or 56 Type), and serial number 10121943.
The Type 56 assault rifle is the Chinese copy of the Russian AK-47 Kalashnikov (the 'AK' prefix standing for 'Automat Kalashnikov', after the gun's designer, Mikail Kalashnikov). It was first manufactured in 1956, given the model it's name, and was produced by the State Factory 66 - whose mark is stamped on the left of the receiver - from the year of its introduction until 1973. Since 1973, the Type has been produced by Norinco, the Chinese North Industries Corporation, which continues to produce defence products, many of them adaptations of Sovient-era weapons. Although the Chinese People's Liberation Army replaced the Type 56 with the Type 81 in the 1980s, Norinco continue to produce the model for export customers.
Like the well-known AK-47, The Type 56 has become one of the synonmous weapons aligned with Communist regimes, seeing service in conflicts in Korean, Vietnam, and Cambodia, and subsequently with insurgency groups from former Soviet countries like Afghanistan, through to South America and Africa. The weapon was provided to Afghan Mujahideen in the 1980s, both directly by China but also by the United States through third-party dealers, to fight the Soviet forces, and in more recent decades the weapon has seen extensive use in the Balkan theaters of war during the 1990s, being used heavily by the Kosovo Liberation Army.
Chinese manufactured Type 56 assault rifle of steel construction, with wooden stock, wooden pistol grip, and forend, and two sling swivels mounted on left side of frame.
Donation from Australian Federal Police Force, 11/02/1970
Stamped on left side of receiver: 66 [framed in triangle]; wu liu shi [in Chinese characters: 56 Type], 10121943
Type of item