Caliber: 5.8×42 mm
Action: Gas operated, rotating bolt
Overall length: 950 mm (725mm with butt folded)
Barrel length: n/a
Weight: 3.5 kg
Rate of fire: ~650 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 30 rounds
Type 03 (QBZ-03) assault rifle is most recent development of Chinese state arms factories. For various but unpublished reasons the bullpup Type95 / QBZ-95 assault rifle was apparently found not entirely satisfactory in PLA service. Therefore it was decided to develop a new 5.8mm assault rifle of conventional layout, which will provide necessary competition and backup to its older bullpup brother. In some respects this new weapon, known as QBZ-03 (Type03 / 2003), is reminiscent to the experimental Type 87 rifle, which was developed in mid-1980s for testing of the new 5.8x42mm DAP-87 cartridge. It is not yet known if Type 03 rifle will enter widespread service with PLA troops to replace or complement Type 95 rifle.
Type 03 (QBZ-03) assault rifle is gas operated, selective fired weapon, which fires 5.8mm cartridge of indigenous design. Basic action of the Type 03 rifle is based on the older 7.62×39 Type 81 assault rifle, with similar rotating bolt locking and short-stroke gas piston. The gas block, which is integral to the front sight base, contains a 2-position gas regulator. Muzzle of the barrel contains a combination flash-hider which also serves as a grenade launcher for rifle grenades. Receiver is made from stamped steel, and unlike earlier designs consists of two parts, upper and lower, which are connected by two push-pins. Upper receiver hosts the barrel and entire bolt group; lower receiver hosts the magazine port, trigger unit, pistol grip and folding shoulder stock. Small safety / fire selector switch is located on the left side of the lower receiver, above the pistol grip. Skeletonized shoulder stock is made from polymer and folds forward and to the right to save the length. Standard sights are of open type, with hooded front post and flip-up type diopter rear. Additionally,every Type 03 rifle has a proprietary scope rail on the top of the receiver,which will accept a variety of day and night scopes.