I am a huge fan of the AR15.
Here in Canada, however, ARs are considered a “restricted” firearm, meaning mine can only be transported between my residence and an “approved” gun range. Years ago I placed a pre-order for an AR-180B (which, for reasons that are also unclear is “unrestricted” in Canada), but delivery took so long I ended up cancelling before they arrived (and regretted it ever since).
Very recently (for the second time) a Norinco Bullpup rifle hit the market up here, a civilian version of the Chinese QBZ-95, except it’s chambered for .223/5.56mm and accepts STANAG magazines – oh, and it IS unrestricted.
Not missing the boat this time. I ordered mine right away.
It arrived quickly and I was immediately impressed with the rifle. Those familiar with Norinco products have varrying opinions, but it’s been my experience that they typically suffer from a relatively poor finish (cheap parkerization or bluing) and crappy looking furniture. This rifle exhibited none of that.
One of the chief complaints I’ve heard about the rifle is with magazine compatibility. So I bundled up the rifle, and a selection of AR Magazines and a variety of ammo and raced off to the range to try it out real quick.
I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked, so approximately 60 rounds through my AR and the Type 97 at 100 meters to check for function, and to see how straight it shoots and if there are any issues.
Magazines WERE an issue. LaBelle 5/30s worked fine, Armalite 5/20 got stuck before it was fully seated so I didn’t push it, Colt 5/20 seemed fine. Will experiment more with that in the comfort of my own home. Time for some shooting.
Range was fairly busy and cease fires were infrequent. I put about 20 rounds down range at a used target while waiting, and the rifle shot just fine, throwing the brass forward at about 2:00.
When I did get a chance to hang clean paper at 100 I did 5 rounds at a time through the AR, then the T97, working back and forth every 5 rounds until I burned through 30 rounds of ammo.
This is the AR15s target – this was straight group shooting (aiming at the centre of the target) and with no spotting scope to tell where they were going. Not scientific, but ok for a quick trip to the range.
The T97 has fairly standard iron sights, and I held the front sight post on the bottom of the centre circle.
The rounds landed on paper however, and in some semblance of a group. I will have to use this as an excuse to get more range time.
The short version? I like this little rifle.