Norinco T97NSR Coming to Canada

Norinco T97NSR from North Sylva

Image property of North Sylva

They’re here. Check out my review on the Norinco T97

I found it difficult to find complete information on the new Norinco type 97 rifle that is being manufactured and imported into the country. It looks like a very compact, handy small game rifle and I wanted to collate all the publicly available information possible.

Back in 2008, CanadaAmmo was importing T97A rifles into Canada, but they were deemed prohibited as too easily convertible to fully automatic by the RCMP. This new rifle, the Type 97NSR or T97NSR, is modified so as not to be so easily convertible to fully automatic operation. North Sylva is the importer, and they have had their prototype rifle approved by the RCMP and deemed non-restricted. That prototype is being displayed at gun stores around Canada that have pre-sales for the rifle, such as Wanstalls, SFRC, Frontier Firearms, The Gun Dealer, and more. The North Sylva version is due “Fall/Winter 2013”, shipping to customers as of mid-September despite some of the pre-sales still claiming Spring 2013 and is retailing for about $1000. Canada Ammo has also started their own pre-sale for the new design at a lower price of $849 and is building them under their own “Dominion Arms” label as the T97NRR. They’re claiming a summer/fall timeline.

Norinco T97NSR Specifications (subject to change, confirm with your gun store):

  • Non restricted class
  • Chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO
  • STANAG standard magazines (same as AR15) **Some users have claimed issues fitting PMAGs and other non-GI style magazines.**
    • Inconvenient magazine release placement on the magwell.
  • 19″ barrel with muzzle brake, though Canada Ammo’s model claims 18.7″ barrel. In any case, more than the 18.5″ necessary to make the rifle non-restricted.
  • Bullpup layout resulting in a compact overall length
  • Carry handle with integrated iron sights (carry handle rails are now available from SFRC and Canada Ammo)
  • Short stroke gas system with rotating bolt
  • Weight: 3.9kg (8.6lbs)
  • Trigger pull: 4-5 lbs (light, but a bit mushy according to some users)
  • Safety near the buttpad
  • Many retailers are selling it with 1 magazine and a cleaning kit that fits in the grip.


(Many dealers out there have stock. Check your local gun store or SFRC)

Canada Ammo pre-sale:


Sources and other coverage:

Initial North Sylva Release:**OFFICAL***-The-Type-97NSR-is-Non-restricted!!!

North West Tactical

Calibre Magazine:

Original Canada Ammo shipment issues:

  • MeYeahFo

    Great article, thanks

  • akb

    on the way? Been waiting since April 2013. It has been postponed twice already.

  • Most Chinese firearms imports are delayed like this. I don’t want to make excuses for the distributors, but importing shipping containers of newly designed and newly manufactured rifles has to come with its share of risks and timeframe changes. That said, I’m getting antsy. Hopefully they arrive in time for coyote season, cause my T97 is going to be a short range coyote rifle.

  • Rob

    Ergonomics are nowhere near the Tavor Tar 21. Safety leaver are at the very back and hard to reach/operate. Mag release is also hard to operate. Forget it to find it if you happen to wear winter gloves. The only plus – bullpup and a more reasonable price than Tavor.

  • Agreed on the ergonomics. They should have used an ambi mag release to make it just a bit less of a pain in the butt. That all said, as a compact civilian ranch rifle, it’s a very decent deal.

  • some guy

    I’m probably wrong about this but…wouldn’t the bullpub design make it a restricted or prohibited? (not sure that’s why I’m asking…)

  • A rifle that’ll work without the bullpup stock as an integral part is prohib. A rifle that is designed from the get go as a bullpup and doesn’t work without the stock is fine.

  • some guy

    Ah, I see! Thanks for clearing that up for me! Cool looking rifle!

  • Canadian gun owner

    how does this rifle stand up to the tavor in terms of accuracy/feel with the mag release and safety locations aside? I want to buy a bullpop 5.56 caliber rifle but as a right hand shooter I just do not see how the tavor is worth the extra $1700 as I held one of these in a gun shop recently and found that the rifle felt surprisingly nice in a shouldered position but seeing as I would be using this gun for the range / hunting I don’t see how super fast mag changes are going to be an issue. Anyways my question is as someone who has operated both rifles do you feel the tavor would be worth the extra cash and if the answer is yes why?

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