Chinese Military Uniform: Tags & Factory Stamps

We’ve been covering PLA gear for a while now. We’ve talked about what you should wear for your impression. We’ve talked about how to get your equipment. We’ve even demoed it in a video. Now, we’re tackling something overlooked: how to figure what that stamp in your PLA BDU means:

Luckily, Japanese airsofter Kohei Shirato has figured that out for us:

WeChat Image_20190924015701.jpg

Hope it helps?

Enter: the Norinco CQ rifle

P.A.P. Soldier with NORINCO CQ rifle

P.A.P. Soldier with NORINCO CQ rifle

It goes without saying that we love Real Sword. Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever. While Real Sword is still technically around, it’s been about a decade or so since they’ve produced a new type of gun. Due to the circumstances, it is not likely that a QBZ-95-1 will be produced for the airsoft market. To make matters worst, word on the street is that the RS-97 full size series is done for. There are no more new stocks, and all existing units from RS has been sold. There maybe some B-series lying around, but it’s unknown to exactly how many are left. So, unless you’re going to use an AK as a stand-in for a QBZ-03, it’s going to be a rough ride- or not.

The ‘ABC’ airsoft gun

The ‘ABC’ airsoft gun

Enter the Norinco CQ rifle:

The Chinese LOVE reverse-engineering things. While many of the recent Chinese military equipment has been indigenously designed, or at least attempts to look indigenous, the Chinese military industrial complex continues to clone pre-existing foreign arms. Such is the CQ rifle. The Type-CQ is an unlicensed M-16 variant produced by Norinco. Officially, it is known as the CQ-5.56. There are rumors of a 5.8×42mm version as well, but we assume that is for testing purposes. While not officially in use, PLA and P.A.P. Special Forces personnel has been seen to use and field these rifles during international military competitions. In paramilitary usage, multiple SWAT teams in China have been confirmed to be using them, including that of the Snow Leopard Commando Unit (responsible for Beijing Olympics security in 2008).

Currently, you can buy an AR replica rifle and have it stand-in for a CQ. But luckily, world-class airsoft manufacturer E&L actually has the exact type of replica in stock. Rumor has it that E&L is a branch of a Chinese small-arms manufacturer, which explains their quality of airsoft externals. The AR system they are currently selling is unmarked, and has several distinct similarities to actual CQ rifles. All that remains missing is the distinctive Chinese scope, which must be dugged up from TaoBao.

While understandingly not the best of solutions, this remains an option for those interested in running a China kit, but are also not willing to buy or find a Real Sword replica.

-FET Admin Team

Oh yeah, and you can find these products at the Airsoft Megatore.

Your Super Guide, to SuperBuy!

How to make purchases on SuperBuy:

China, similar to the England during the early 20th Century, is the manufacturing hub of the world. Many interesting things can be bought in that country. Unfortunately, much of it is somewhat non-accessible to the outside world. The most prominent shopping site in China is TaoBao, something that’s similar to both eBay and Amazon, but arguably larger in scope. For those interested in collecting military gear, TaoBao can serve as a gateway to obtaining affordable and rare goods.

TaoBao works similar to Amazon. You can search for items in the search bar. If required, please use Google Translate, to obtain the keywords required to obtain your item. TaoBao cannot be accessed or used in foreign countries however. A foreign shopping agent is required, in this regard we’re going to use SuperBuy.



You can sign up for a SuperBuy account on the right. The process is pretty much self-explanatory. Using SuperBuy, you can turn Chinese search results into English product pages. Simply search on for the item you are interested in.


Copy and paste the TaoBao URL into the search/translate function on and…


Instant English! (Just add Google)


Purchases are actually handled by a shopping agent on the site. Once an item is ordered, they’ll go ahead and start processing it. You have about 24 hours to get payment in. Payment is done through SuperBuy’s credit system. You’ll be charged for the item, shipping fees in China associated with that item, and of course for using their services. Purchases can be paid for via PayPal or Credit Card.


Please note that all purchases are actually shipped to a warehouse in China. It’s not directly to purchaser’s house. Thus it’s best to either buy many things from TaoBao, or to make group purchases to save on shipping.


You must wait for the item to arrive at the warehouse, before arranging for a forwarding service to have your purchases delivered to your house.

Once items are good to go, you must group your purchases for forwarding. This is usually done via air mail, or whichever logistic options are available to you dependent on location. Please read the fine text, and options carefully, as this might help you save money, or assist you in paying your import taxes.


Once paid for, the forwarding service will handle whatever logistics that is required. There are certain grantee services, as well as tracking options. Please investigate these as needed. However, from previous uses, SuperBuy’s forwarding services are quite competent. Expect your item to arrive in a few weeks.


Important! Make sure to check your messages on SuperBuy a day or so after your initial purchase. Sometimes, a follow-up request must be answered. Otherwise, you risk item being cancelled, and your money being refunded to you.


This concludes your guide to SuperBuy. Far East Tactical is proud to have produce this guide in helping you obtain Chinese and other military kits through! We hope that this guide will assist you in obtaining affordable and authentic goods, without being subjected to price gougers, and more-questionable middle men.

Good luck!

Update: Link to various TaoBao storefronts, here.