The Type 88, sometimes known as "Hanyang 88" or Hanyang Type 88 (Chinese: 漢陽八八式步槍) and Hanyang Zao (Which means Made in Hanyang),[2] is a Chinese-made bolt-action rifle, based on the German Gewehr 88.[3] It was adopted by the Qing Dynasty towards the end of the 19th century and was used by multiple factions and formations like those in the Republic of China, until the end of the Chinese Civil War.

Hanyang 88
Hangyangzao WUM.jpg
A Hanyang 88 rifle display in the Wuchang Uprising Memorial
TypeBolt-action rifle
Place of originQing Dynasty and Republic Of China
Service history
In service1895–1980s
Used bySee Users
WarsBoxer Rebellion[1]
Xinhai Revolution
Northern Expedition
Long March
Central Plains War
Chinese Civil War
Second Sino-Japanese War
World War II
First Indochina War
Korean War
Production history
ManufacturerHanyang Arsenal
No. built1,083,480
Mass4.06 kg (9.0 lb)
Length1,250 mm (49 in)
Barrel length740 mm (29 in)

Rate of fire~15 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity620 m/s (2066 fps)
Effective firing range500 m (550 yd)
Maximum firing range2,000 m (2,200 yd)
Feed system5 round en-bloc clip, external box magazine, clip fed
Sightsrear sight with a range of 160m, front blade sight

The name of the rifle is derived from Hanyang Arsenal, the main factory that produced this rifle.

The rifle was due to be replaced as the standard Chinese rifle by the Chiang Kai-shek rifle. However, manufacture of the new rifle never managed to match demand, and the Type 88 continued to be manufactured and to equip the National Revolutionary Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War.[1]


This firearm was a rifle directly patterned on the German Gewehr 88 and was initially fielded by the New Armies of the Qing Dynasty. From the start of production in 1895, the Type 88 was modified twice to improve performance in 1904 and in 1930.[4] It served as one of the standard battle rifles used by the National Revolutionary Army from its founding in 1925 until the late 1940s, after the end of World War II.[5]

Japanese forces in China captured large amounts of Hanyang 88s and issued them to second-line units and collaborationist Chinese troops.[6] It was also used by the Chinese Communists, who not only used it during the same time period, but also during the Korean War.[7] Some were reportedly supplied to the Viet Minh.[8]

Production of the rifle ceased in 1944, 1.1 million rifles having been produced.[9]

Initially manufactured at Hanyang Arsenal, production was moved to the 21st Arsenal in Chongqing after Wuhan fell to Japanese forces in 1938. Further production halted when the Chiang Kai-Shek rifle was instead being produced in 1944.[10]

When the rifles were used by the People's Liberation Army, they were either used by militia forces or were used as training/drill rifles.[11]


The Hanyang 88 was essentially a copy of the Gewehr 88, with a few minor differences, including the absence of the barrel shroud, and an extension of the bayonet. It was a bolt-action rifle that cocked on opening, and its Mannlicher-style magazine could hold 5 7.92×57mm Mauser rounds.[12] The magazine was loaded by using a 5-round en-bloc clip. When the last round was chambered, the clip would fall out of the magazine via a hole in the bottom.[13] It can also be equipped with a bayonet.[4]

The main advantage of this kind of loading mechanism was that it allowed the user to reload very quickly. The disadvantages, however, were that the hole in the magazine could allow dirt to get in, thus possibly causing reliability issues.[11]

In 1904, the rifle's design was changed to remove the barrel shroud and more wood placed on it to protect the person's hands from being burned.[4] Other changes included the rear sight based on the Kar98.[11]

Although the 5-round en-bloc clips of Hanyang 88 can accept the new round,[14] mass conversion of Hanyang 88 to accept the spitzer bullet, despite having been planned, did not take place.

The Hanyang 88 also had a carbine variant, which was shorter and lighter, albeit with inferior accuracy and range, similarly to the Gewehr 1891 carbine and a short rifle variant.[10]


Monument of Hanyang 88

The Hanyang 88 was originally chambered for the German round-nose 7.92×57mm I round. By World War I, this round had already become obsolete.[15] Nevertheless, it was the most numerous rifle used by the Chinese National Revolutionary Army in their engagements with the Japanese during the Second Sino-Japanese War.[10]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e "Chinese Hanyang 88 Rifle | Collectors Weekly".
  2. ^ "Visitor information" (PDF). 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2019-04-03. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  3. ^ "Rifle Gew.88 ("Gewehr modell 1888") or "Komissiongewehr" (Commission rifle) (Germany)". Modern Firearms. July 27, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "汉阳兵工厂的历史". March 3, 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03.
  5. ^ Jowett, Philip S. (1997). Chinese Civil War Armies 1911-49. Men at Arms 306. Osprey Publishing. p. 16. ISBN 1855326655.
  6. ^ a b Scarlata, Paul (November 2013). "From Arisaka to assault rifle: The military rifle cartridges of Japan part 2". Shotgun News.
  7. ^ McNab, Chris (2002). 20th Century Military Uniforms (2nd ed.). Kent: Grange Books. p. 48. ISBN 1-84013-476-3.
  8. ^ a b Tucker-Jones, Anthony (30 August 2017). Dien Bien Phu. Pen and Sword. p. 28. ISBN 9781526708007.
  9. ^ Ness & Shih 2016, p. 249.
  10. ^ a b c Ness & Shih 2016, p. 248.
  11. ^ a b c "Rifle: Chinese Hanyang Type 88 - C&Rsenal : : C&Rsenal". April 3, 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-04-03.
  12. ^ "Blast from the past: Chinese Hanyang 88". The Loadout Room.
  13. ^ "Hanyang 88: A Piece of Weapon History". April 3, 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-04-03.
  14. ^ "痛饮鬼子血之百战老枪汉阳造 - 一氧化碳不多的日志 - 网易博客". Archived from the original on 2012-05-01. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
  15. ^ Ness & Shih 2016, p. 261.
  16. ^ Jowett, Philip S. (2005). The Chinese Army 1937-1949. Men at Arms 424. Osprey Publishing. p. 15. ISBN 978-1841769042.
  17. ^ A Visual History of Soldiers and Armies Around the World by Alberto Moreno de la Fuente, page 79.
  18. ^ Jowett 2004, pp. 48, 75.
  19. ^ Jowett, Philip S. (2004). Rays of the rising sun : armed forces of Japan's Asian allies, 1931-45. Vol. 1, China & Manchukuo. Helion. pp. 15, 31. ISBN 9781906033781.

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