Norinco Type 81 Classified as Non-Restricted
A new red rifle rears its head over the Canadian wilderness. The Chinese Type 81, after years in the RCMP inspection lab, has been assigned an FRT and is going to be imported in restricted and non-restricted barrel lengths. FRT #160486
Like the Vz58, the Type 81 is chambered in 7.62×39 and might resemble a Kalashnikov from a few hundred meters away. But this hybrid rifle is actually closer to the venerated SKS than the quintessential AK, and as a result has been deemed not a variant of any currently prohibited rifles.
The original Type 81 was the issued assault rifle of the Peoples Liberation Army in China, but this new civilian made variant is a dedicated semi-auto produced by Norinco, and destined for the Canadian market.
Developed in the 1980s, the Type 81 features a last round bolt hold open, a short-stroke piston system, and a barrel designed for spigot-style rifle grenades. While it does use a proprietary rock-and-lock magazine, rumour is that these rifles will function with AK pattern magazines at the expense of the bolt hold open feature.
So far Tactical Imports and Canada Ammo have both confirmed that they will be importing versions of the Type 81, but I suspect we’ll see many more dealers coming on board with these new red-rifles.
No, I don’t know the MSRP, so you are free to guess wildly at possible price points. Personally I’ll be very curious to try this new rifle out next to the Vz58s and compare.
My buddy Alex over at The Firearm Blog recently got his hands on one of the few Type 81 prototypes that slipped into the USA before the Clinton ban shut down all Chinese imports. He takes a close look at the internals in this video:
And if you’d like to read a huge magazine feature on the Type 81, Timonthy T. Yan has authored this great piece from Red Star Arms