The Type 56 assault rifle is a Chinese copy of the Kalashnikov AK-47, which has been manufactured since 1956. Originally, the Type 56 was a direct copy of the third generation AK-47, and featured a milled receiver, but starting in the mid-1960s, the guns were manufactured with stamped receivers, a change intended to copy the Soviet AKM. Visually, all versions of the Type 56 are distinguished from the AK-47 and AKM by the fully-enclosed hooded front sight (all other AK pattern rifles, including those made in Russia, have a partially open front sight). Some versions of the Type 56 also have a folding "spike" bayonet attached to the barrel just aft of the muzzle, and others have a rounded pistol grip similar in design to that of the Czech Sa 58. Also, the receiver metal is thicker than the AK-47, which increases the durability of the Type 56 series rifles.
The Type 56 was replaced by the Type 81 in PLA service during the 1980s, but it remains in production by Norinco for export customers. The Type 56 is believed to be one of the most widely proliferated AK-47 copies 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 10-15 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.
SOG Recon teams would carry AK 47's on cross border misions and the indiginous team memebers would often be dressed as NVA soldiers to give vital seconds of confusion during contacts. The top photograp[h is a replica AK47/Type 56 rifle and the bottom is a wooden stock deactivated AKM47. The difference between an AK and AKM was pointed out by a helpful fellow.
AKM-47. Few AKM differences compared to the AK:
-Straightlined buttstock top
-Pressed receiver (dimple on top of the magazine)
-Narrower front sight base
-Differences in gas tube join angle and holes (there are none)
This gun seems to be missing the usually found slant muzzle brake though. You can compare the two guns in here for example: