NORINCO TYPE 56S

User: Larry Eugene Phillips Jr.
Make and Model: Norinco Type 56 Sporter
Serial #: 407990
Year of production: Unknown but definitely not earlier than mid 1960s as this is a stamped receiver rather than the original milled variant.
Manufacturer's production run: 1956 - 1973
Importer: Dominion Investment Group, 501 Euclid Road, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA.
Year of import: Unknown
NHWD Artefact #: 1693
Status: Illegal conversion to select fire.


Crime rifle. Photograph property of Bears In The Beehive.

Evidence Tag


Mid 1960s Norinco Type 56 (Select fire variant).

Civilian Norinco Type 56S (Semi auto variant)

Furniture:
The weapon has retained its original smooth sided pistol grip and upper handguard.
The lower handguard has been replaced with an item called the 'reverse donkey dong', originally sold by Global Trades out of Houston, Texas which is now owned by Elk River Tool & Die; it is unknown if this company still carries this item as part of their product line. These foregrips do come up for sale on occasion, usually retaining their original retail value of approximately $50.
This item often leads to incorrect identification of this rifle. It has often been mistaken as the foregrip of a Romanian AiMs rifle, but minimal research will see this as incorrect, the AiMS foregrip has a completely different profile (lacking the width of the Global Trades piece and also the finger grooves), and it is a vastly different color.
Aside from the shaky logic of identifying a rifle based on components that are easily interchanged there are many base factors that preclude this from being a rifle of Romanian origin.


Foregrip from Romanian md65.

Photograph property of: Bears In The Beehive.

Stock: The only thing Romanian about this rifle is the folding stock. The one seen attached to the crime rifle is the button release variant (the other being lever operated). It can be identified as being Romanian as opposed to the German variant by the profile of the buttplate stays and the angle of the insert in the top of the buttplate.


Romanian lever variant

German lever variant

One thing that does stand out at the moment as being an oddity (and bear in mind that we are by no means experts on the intricacies on the many and varied AK platforms is the presence of blued bolt carrier group.

Photograph property of Bears In The Beehive

From our current research, and we will happily stand to be corrected, the majority of Chinese bolt carriers came in an unfinished base metal color. There was an exception to this in the form of bolts from the Min Shan factory that had been blued. However the bolt carrier pictured above shows a step mark in the profile that Min Shan bolts do not appear to have (from the very limited amount of pictures we have been able to source of them). The above bolt carrier appears to be a Eastern European offering, but that in itself raises other questions as headspacing issues occur when trying to mate bolt groups from this region to Chinese receivers. It is a curious oddity that so far we are unable to explain.

Conversion: Obviously we will not detail how this can be done, and exactly who did the conversion is a point open to discussion although we believe the answer to that question is relatively simple. What we can show you is the evidence of conversion.

Circled Blue: The selector stop has been ground down to allow free movement of the selector to the lowest position (single shot) once conversion is completed. The weapon as it rests is currently in its full auto setting.

Circled Red: This is the auto sear pin, an integral part of the conversion process. Aligning the drill point for this pin site is as a simple as using a paper template, a block of wood and a pillar drill. The scratches around the hole are more than likely from metal swarf as the hole was drilled.

Along with a small piece of work done to the internal rails and purchase of a full auto bolt group, which is entirely legal then a civilian semi auto AK style rifle can be turned into a full auto weapon with only a modicum of information. The act of drilling a hole in your AK receiver combined with possession of said bolt group can see you with a rather nasty 10 years sharing a shower with a guy named Bubba. Not advisable.


Crime scene photograph of rifle #1 as Phillips had abandoned it
in the trunk of the Chevrolet Celebrity

Rifle as it rests today, in the LAPHS exhibit.
Photograph property of LAPHS.org

Rile #1 at crime scene in its cardboard recovery box.