W85 heavy machine gun

The W-85 heavy machine gun is a gas-operated heavy machine gun designed in the People's Republic of China. It fires the Soviet-designed 12.7×108mm round.[2] The W85 is not to be confused with the Type 85, another Chinese machine gun of the same caliber but of a different design.

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TypeHeavy machine gun
Place of originChina
Service history
Used bySee Users
WarsWar in Darfur
Northern Mali conflict
Syrian Civil War
Libyan Civil War
Iraqi Civil War[1]
Yemeni Civil War
Production history
Mass18.5 kg (40.79 lb) (gun only)
17.5 kg (38.58 lb) (tripod)

Cartridge12.7×108 mm
Rate of fire550-600 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity850 m/s (2,788 ft/s)
Feed systembelt


The W85 was designed to be as light as possible for infantry use. Its small receiver is of generally rectangular cross-section and it has a thick gas tube below the barrel containing a conventional gas piston. In addition to iron sights it has rails for optics or anti-aircraft sights. It fires 12.7×108mm rounds from belts and is more accurate than the Type 54 heavy machine gun, but the thinner barrel overheats faster. In trials the W85 lost out to the Type 85 as an infantry weapon and was not accepted into PLA service.[3][4]


Although the W85 was not accepted into Chinese service, years later a variant was adopted called the QJC-88. The QJC-88 was introduced as a pintle mounted machine gun for tanks and armored vehicles. It weighs the same, is solenoid fired, and is mounted on a special cradle allowing for elevation angles of -5 to +65°.[3][4]


MBT-2000 tank crew of Bangladesh Army with W85 heavy machine gun.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Iraq: Turning a blind eye: The arming of the Popular Mobilization Units (PDF) (Report). Amnesty International. 5 January 2017. p. 25. MDE 14/5386/2017.
  2. ^ W85 heavy machine gun Archived September 14, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b Indigenous Machine Guns of China: Part Two – Heavy Machine Guns Small Arms Defense Journal. 25 May 2014.
  4. ^ a b QJC88 Weapon Systems.
  5. ^ "Soviet Influenced Heavy Machine Guns in Afghan Service". thefirearmblog.com. May 4, 2018.[better source needed]
  6. ^ a b c d "W85式/QJC88式高射机枪" (in Chinese). firearmsworld.net. 2011-02-03. Retrieved 2017-08-04.
  7. ^ World Guns Modern Firearms (2017-06-21). "W85 heavy machine gun (PR China)". modernfirearms.net. Retrieved 2017-08-04.
  8. ^ a b Timothy Yan (2016-06-21). "These Are not the DShKs you're looking for: Part 2, the W85 Heavy Machine Gun". Guns & Tech. Retrieved 2017-08-04.
  9. ^ "The Coronavirus Could Heal Libya". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  10. ^ Powelson, Simon J. (December 2013). "Enduring engagement yes, episodic engagement no: lessons for SOF from Mali". Monterey, California: Naval postgraduate school. p. 24. hdl:10945/38996.
  11. ^ Small Arms Survey 2014, p. 233.
  12. ^ Small Arms Survey (2014). "Weapons tracing in Sudan and South Sudan" (PDF). Small Arms Survey 2014: Women and guns (PDF). Cambridge University Press. p. 241.
  13. ^ "Puissante contre-offensive de l'Etat islamique dans le désert syrien". France Soir (in French). 16 October 2018.