The AMR-2 Sniper Rifle
The AMR-2 Sniper Rifle In the 1980s, the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union used the same “sniper” rifles, although these rifles would be more accurately described as designated marksman rifles in the West. The Soviet Union used the SVD, a gas-operated short-stroke 7.62x54R rifle that fed from a ten-round-box magazine and had an effective range of around eight hundred meters. With proper Russian sniper ammunition, the SVD could achieve accuracy from 1-2 MOA. China made its own clone of the SVD after capturing a sample during the Sino-Vietnamese war called the Type 79, later refined into the Type 85. These were produced alongside copies of the Soviet PSO-1 4x optical sight. Apparently, China has problems copying the SVD as its gunsmithing industries were not quite mature. The cloned PSO-1 was not able to handle the recoil of the 7.62x54R cartridge in early versions, and issues were found with the metallurgy of the firing pin, which broke easily in the Type 79. According to sources in the CPAF, this was fixed by the Type 85. The AMR-2 Sniper Rifle
The primary problem with the Type 79 and Type 85 was the lack of proper ammunition for them. Russia issued special 7.62x54R ammunition along with the SVD, the 7N1 and later 7N14 cartridges. China did not develop a version of this and simply issued machine gun ammunition with the Type 79 and Type 85. This resulted in the subpar accuracy. Why China didn’t produce a sniper round is uncertain, but perhaps the limited usage of 7.62x54R in the Chinese military, combined with the PLA’s drive for a new intermediate cartridge in the 1980s made developing an additional sniper round an unnecessary burden. The lack of integration of marksman and precision rifles also delayed the need for such a round, Type 79 and Type 85 rifles were not issued widely among regular troops, only finding use with special operations troops, police units, and border guards.