Chinese QZB-191 (L) and Indian AK-203 Assault Rifles
With the Indian Army on track to replace its current standard issue rifle INSAS with the AK-203, the Russian weapon may see action against the QBZ-191 of China in a future war
Immediately after being adapted by the Indian armed forces, the AK-203 will have to go into combat against terrorists in Kashmir and skirmishes with the Pakistan Army along the Line of Control (LoC). The QBZ-191, on the other hand, is yet to see combat
AK-203 Vs QBZ-191: With the Indian Army on track to replace its current standard issue rifle INSAS with the AK-203, the Russian weapon may see action against the QBZ-191 of China in a future war.
Immediately after being adapted by the Indian armed forces, the AK-203 will have to go into combat against militants in Kashmir and skirmishes with the Pakistan Army along the Line of Control (LoC). The QBZ-191, on the other hand, is yet to see combat and has not yet fired even a single shot in anger.
Let us take a look at the various features of the two rifles and how they compare across various parameters.
Calibre And Firing System
AK-203: Uses a 7.62×39mm cartridge. It is gas-operated and magazine-fed with three fire modes.
QBZ-191: Uses a gas-operated short-stroke piston and fires a 5.8×42mm bullet.
AK-203: The latest version of the Kalashnikov rifle has an effective firing range of 400 metres although this can be enhanced by sight adjustments.
QBZ-191: The Chinese weapon has a range of 400 metres.
AK-203: This rifle uses a 30-round detachable box magazine. It can also be equipped with a 50-round detachable quad-column magazine.
QBZ-191: The Chinese gun can be fitted with a 30-round detachable box magazine or a 75-round detachable drum magazine.
Rate of Fire
AK-203: 700 rounds/minute
QBZ-191: 750 rounds/minute
AK-203: Uses adjustable iron sights or picatinny rails for a range of different optics
QBZ-191: Has a full-length Picatinny-type scope rail. It can be fitted with various optics. It can mount a QMK-152 3x magnification scope, as well as IQ5118 1x magnification thermal sight. It can also operate flip-up iron sights.
AK-203: 415 mm (16.3 inches)
QBZ-191: 368.3 mm (14.5 inches)
AK-203: The prototype development of the AK-200 series – the predecessor of the AK-203 – started in 2007. The first AK-200 prototype was developed and tested in the year 2010.
The AK-200 was modified and renamed as AK-103-3 in 2013 as part of the Ratnik program. The AK-200 project was revived in 2016 and the AK-103-3 assault rifle prototype was upgraded with KM-AK kit developed as part of the Obves program.
The upgraded assault rifle prototype was initially named AK-300 before being renamed as AK-100M and finally as AK-203 in the year 2019.
QBZ-191: This rifle was first revealed in China in 2019. Its designation was unknown at the time and there was speculation that it was the QBZ-19. This weapon was developed in order to replace the QBZ-95 assault rifle that was being used as the standard issue weapon by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and marine corps.
The research institute No.208, that developed the QBZ-95, also made the QBZ-191. The development program of the QBZ-191 started in 2014 or possibly earlier and the design was completed in 2017. It was initiated into service by the PLA in 2019.