Smith & Wesson M76
|Smith & Wesson M76|
|Place of origin|| Sweden
|Manufacturer||Smith & Wesson|
|Weight||Unloaded: 7.25 lbs
Loaded: 8.75 lbs
|Length||Stock folded: 22.5 inches
Stock extended: 30.50 inches
|Barrel length||8 inches|
|Rate of fire||720 rounds/min|
|Feed system||14, 24 or 36-round magazine|
|Sights||Front: protected blade, rear: fixed aperture|
The Smith & Wesson M76 submachine gun was produced by Smith & Wesson from 1967 to 1974. It is a copy of the Swedish Carl Gustav m/45. It was featured prominently in the post-apocalyptic 1971 film The Omega Man, starring Charlton Heston. It is clearly visible in several scenes.
In 1966, the Swedish government blocked the sale of firearms to the United States because it opposed the Vietnam War. This created a problem for the Navy SEAL Teams, which had wanted Swedish-made m/45 submachine guns to use in covert operations in Southeast Asia.
Noting this, Smith & Wesson began to produce the M76 (an m/45 clone), which was ready for production in 1967; however, by that time the US Navy did not have much use for it, and the M76 was only produced in limited quantities (mainly for the police and civilian market).
In 1968, Smith & Wesson engineers, researching the possibility of a gun that could electronically fire caseless ammunition, created a prototype weapon similar to the M76, but with some alterations included so that it could fire the caseless ammunition. Visually it was identical to the standard M76, except for a structure in front of the trigger guard that served as a housing for two 12-volt batteries. Although the gun worked quite well, the ammunition proved susceptible to damage from rough handling and the elements, and the project was scrapped.
General production of the standard version ceased in 1974.
In 1983, Mike Ruplinger and Kenneth Dominick started a company called MK Arms and acquired the rights to the Smith & Wesson M76. They began producing copies of it with the designation MK Arms MK760, and the US Navy, which still had some original M76s in its inventory, began purchasing replacement parts from MK Arms. MK Arms also produced carbine and pistol configurations of the MK760. In 1986, due to the Firearm Owners Protection Act, which banned any newly manufactured automatic weapons from being registered for civilian ownership, MK Arms went out of business.
In 1984, Dominick separated from Ruplinger and began producing his own copy of the M76 under the trade name Global Arms with a designation of M76A1.