Chinese QBU-88 / Type 88 Sniper Rifle
The QBU-88 (Type 88) 5.8mm semi-automatic sniper rifle was developed in the 1990s as a member of the PLA’s second-generation 5.8mm small arms family
Muzzle velocity: 895m/s
Barrel length: 620mm
Magazine capacity: 10 rounds
Effective range: 800m
Cartridge: 5.8 X 42mm "heavy round"
The QBU88 (also known as Type 88) 5.8mm semi-automatic rifle was introduced in the 1990s as a successor to the Type 79/85 7.62mm sniper rifle. The weapon entered PLA and law enforcement service in 1997 under the designation Type 88. Despite being known as a sniper rifle in PLA, the QBU88 is more of a military designated marksman rifle rather than a dedicated sniper rifle. The weapon was designed for aimed semi-automatic fire at ranges beyond the capabilities of standard infantry assault rifles. It is intended for rough military use, and has strong tolerance to water and dust. The rifle is also available in NATO standard-issue 5.56 X 45mm calibre version known as QBU-97 (or Type 97).
The PLA began to develop the 5.8 X 42mm “heavy round” cartridge in the later 1980s for the use of 5.8mm light support weapon (squad automatic weapon) and 5.8mm sniper rifle. The cartridge is exactly same size as the standard 5.8mm cartridge, but has a longer streamlined bullet with steel core for longer range and better penetration capability. The 5.8 X 42mm “heavy round” cartridge has an effective range of 800m and can penetrate 3mm steel plate at a distance of 1,000m.
The QBU88 sniper rifle is a gas-operated, semi-automatic rifle. It uses a short stroke gas piston, located above the barrel, and three-lug rotating bolt. Action is mounted in the compact steel receiver, and enclosed into the polymer bullpup-type housing. The safety switch is located at the bottom of the receiver, just behind the magazine opening. The rifle is fitted with adjustable iron sights by default, and has a short rail, which can accept 4X magnification telescope or night vision equipment. The gun barrel is not free-floated, and is fitted with flash hider. Quick-detachable bipod is clamped to the barrel when required.
The QBU88 provides a useful supplement to the 5.8mm assault rifle and 5.8mm squad automatic weapon in battlefield. However, the rifle is not as accurate as dedicated sniper rifles serving in Western countries. User experience from the law enforcement showed that the rifle is less effective in dealing with criminals, where higher accuracy of fire is required to avoid collateral damage.
Even though the description above says the Type-88 can accept a 4x scope, the optic pictured on these rifles clearly has variable magnification. You can see the zoom ring on the occular end of the scope. It apprears to be a 3-9x scope. There is a battery housing at the back of the mount and a toggle switch at the front indicating the reticle is probably illuminated for low light shooting.
The folding iron sights are very tall. This is probably necessary due to there being no adjustable cheek pad leaving only one position for sighting the rifle with the optical sight as well as the iron sights.
The bipod attaches directly to the barrel and appears to be made of metal. The front sling mount is also directly attached to the barrel. On other rifles these features would influence accuracy so it can be assumed the Type-88 would be no different in that regard.