The Chinese Global Times website reported that People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers stationed in Southwest Tibet have received new QBU-191 marksman rifles, which have a 30-shot magazine and variable magnification scope that can increase long-distance hit precision. The new rifle is expected to replace the QBU-88 sniper rifle that is currently used by the PLA.
An anonymous military observer said that the long barrel and variable magnification scope would improve the rifle's hit precision over long distance. The Tibetan plateau's extreme cold will help test the rifle's performance in extreme environments so that it can be optimized in the future.
According the anonymous military source, the rifle is being initially issued to some special operations forces. The source claimed that the rifle is part of a series that is designed for hi-tech warfare, as it can be used with components such as night-vision devices.
Armyrecognition.com noted that the QBU-191 is the marksman version of the QBZ-191 that exists in four versions: shortened, standard-issue, light machine gun and sniper/marksman. According to Light Weapons Magazine, the new QBZ-191 is thus likely to have been built with a modular design so some parts can be shared between the four versions.