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The Chinese CQA

ABOVE: The author testing the CQ-A for accuracy at the Pro Gun Club Range in Las Vegas, Nevada area (Boulder City). Notice the Trijicon ACOG 4×20 scope.

They say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. If that is the case, Norinco of China is the Mecca of flattery. Aside from their original designs, Norinco of China has copied many firearms and sold them including the M1911, Remington shotgun, SIG P226 pistol, M14 and also the M16. In the early 1980s, Norinco introduced the CQ M311-1. This was a semiautomatic only version of the M16A1 intended for commercial sales.

This rifle was definitely different and unique in several ways. You would notice immediately the unique shape of the stock, pistol grip and round handguards. Chambered in 5.56mm/.223 Rem., the rifle had a forward assist, standard small hole pivot pin, 1/12 twist barrel for the M193 ammunition and standard A1 sights. The Chinese are not known for making aesthetically pleasing firearms. They are known for making reliable firearms and that is where the focus is. The rifle appears to have a painted-on finish. The receivers are manufactured of 6064 T6 aluminum but not from forgings. They use a metal injected molding (MIM) process. The outward appearance was not the quality of an LMT or Colt rifle; then again the rifle is half the cost. The rifle was also produced in .222 Remington caliber for export to countries that cannot have military caliber rifles such as Italy. These semiautomatic rifles are still for sale in the markets of Canada, South Africa and Europe. As far as the United States is concerned, the Norinco CQ is quite rare. Due to the importation ban of military products from …read more

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