Caliber: 7.62×39 mm
Action: Gas operated, rotating bolt
Overalllength: 1029 mm
Barrel length: 521 mm
Weigth: 3.49 kg
rate of fire: 750 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 20 rounds detachable box magazines
Following significant ideological disagreements between PRC and USSR during 1960s, China decided to develop its own small arms,based on the earlier licensed designs. The first domestically designed and mass produced assault rifle was the Type 63 (sometimes also erroneously referred to as Type 68 rifle). As its name implies, was initially adopted by PLA in 1963. It is interesting development because it represents a mix of features taken from other designs, mostly from the Type 56 assault rifle (Kalashnikov AK) and the Type 56 carbine (Simonov SKS). It is believed that Chinese factories produced well over 1 million of Type 63 rifles before a more advanced design, the Type81 assault rifle, was adopted to replace it.
The Type 63 / 68 rifle is a gas operated, selective fire weapon. It shares the stock design and receiver outline with the SKS, but instead of atilting bolt it has an AK-47-type rotating bolt with dual locking lugs.The gas system is somewhat original being not entirely the same as the SKS or the AK-47, and has a dual-position gas regulator. This rifle is fed from detachable box magazines of various capacities, which are externally similar to, but not compatible with, AK-47 magazines. The Type 63 rifles feature a bolt hold open device, also borrowed from the Simonov SKS, which holds the bolt open after the last shot had be enfired. The bolt carrier also has the charging clip guides machined into its forward part, so the rifle can be reloaded with the magazine in place, using 10-round SKS stripper clips. Selective fire capability is controlled by the single safety / fire mode selector lever, located at the front of the trigger guard. All rifles are fitted with a wooden stock and a non-detachable, spike-shaped, down-folding bayonet.