Taiwan’s Retro Gas Piston AR: the Type 65

When Taiwan decided to move from the M14 platform (the Type 57 in Taiwanese service) to a 5.56mm rifle, they decided to develop a domestic gas-piston version of the AR. Development began in 1973, with prototypes ready in 1975 and the system formally adopted in 1976. Using the Chinese calendar based on the revolution of 1911, this made the new rifle the Type 65. It is essentially a short-stroke-piston M16A1, sharing the same barrel length, profile, and rifling (1:12″) as the early M16, but using an SVT/AR18 piston system.

Significant numbers of the T65 were made both to equip the Taiwanese armed forces and also for a variety of export contracts, mostly in the Middle East and Latin America. The rifle we are looking at today is a clone made from a kit brought in by HK Parts (I think from Latin America). Thanks to Intl Mil Co for the very cool clone-type receiver!


  1. Using the Chinese calendar based on the revolution of 1911, this made the new rifle the Type 65. Logical… Hee!

    This world…

    • Just thank your lucky stars you’re not dealing with the pre-revolutionary traditional Chinese calendar system.

      In which something like a measuring caliper might be labeled “made on a kuei-yu day in the fifth month of the Year of the Ox in the First Song reign period”. Complete with the signatures of at least three bureaucrats who never even saw the instrument in question.

      Now, “kuei-yu day” simply means “fortunate day”. The “fifth month” would not be May, but June, as the traditional Chinese New Year is generally in the second week of February. (It’s a “movable feast”, like Easter.)

      The “Year of the Ox” is one of the twelve Chinese Zodiac “years”; in order, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig, and Rat. Each “sign” comes around once every twelve years; for instance, 2021, 2009, 1997, and 1985 were all “Year of the Ox”. Which “sign” is propitious depends on the interpretation of other factors in Chinese astrology we won’t go into here.

      Finally, you have to know the reign period, i.e. which Emperor of which Dynasty was on the throne then. The first Song emperor was Taizu, who reigned from 21 March 927 AD to 14 November 976 AD; that would be either 3,623 to 3,672 or 3,563 to 3,612, depending on which traditional Chinese calendar you’re using. Either way, there would have been three or possibly four “Year(s) of the Ox” in that 49-year period, one every twelve years.

      And there are five different “oxen”; Water, Fire, Metal, Air, Earth, and Wood. just like there are the same five factors for each of the other “signs”. So you would have to know which one it was, too.

      And oh yes; neither Chinese calendar lines up exactly with either the Julian or Gregorian calendars. Because they are based on lunar months, and there are at least three different ways those are calculated.

      Now you know why they created a new calendar after the 1910-11 revolution. And even then, Nationalist China and Mainland China use two different calendar starting years; Nationalist is the year of the first revolution (1911), Communist is the year Mao ZeDong was born (26 Dec 1893).

      Compared to China, Japan’s “Taisho”, “Heisei” and etc. calendars look simple.

      clear ether


  2. That receiver looks like it is milled out to M16 specs. will a drop in auto sear fit and work with replacement M16 trigger/disconnecter/hammer?

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