This article is about the Norinco Type 56. You may be looking for other similar named Norinco firearms.
The Type 56 assault rifle is the Chinese copy of the Kalashnikov AK-47 and AKM assault rifle, which has been manufactured since 1956. It was produced by State Factory 66 between 1956 and 1973, then by Norinco from 1973 onwards.
The Type 56 is likely the most widely proliferated AK-47 type rifle in the world having shown up on battlefields in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, South America, etc. While exact production figures are not known, it is commonly estimated that as many as 10 to 15 million Type 56 rifles have been produced since the 1950s which means they may account for nearly one-fifth of the world's AK production. Like the AK on which it is based the Type 56 is cheap, durable, reliable and simple to use.