Smith & Wesson M76
|Smith & Wesson M76|
S&W M76 Submachine Gun
|Place of origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||Smith & Wesson|
|Weight||Unloaded: 7.25 lb (3.29 kg)|
Loaded: 8.75 lb (3.97 kg)
|Length||Stock folded: 22.5 in (570 mm) |
Stock extended: 30.50 in (775 mm)
|Barrel length||8 in (200 mm)|
|Rate of fire||720 rounds/min|
|Feed system||14-, 24- or 36-round box 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 an adaptation of the Swedish Carl Gustav m/45 with an open bolt design and fires 9x19mm Parabellum ammunition.
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 were using Swedish-made m/45 submachine guns 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.
The SW 76 was manufactured by JMB Distribution in Ohio from virgin tubes that were originally registered by John Stemple in 1986. All of the parts of the SW 76 will interchange with an original Smith & Wesson M76 except for the bolt. The bolt is not interchangeable due to the reorientation of the extractor and the Stemple receiver tubes have an inside diameter that is slightly larger than that of an original S&W M76, requiring two sleeves that act as bearing surfaces to be placed on the bolt to take up the extra space inside the receiver.
Omega 760 Carbine
During 2001 the Tactical Weapons Company of Arizona was engaged to manufacture the parts and receivers for a weapon that would be marketed as the Omega 760 carbine, a semiautomatic-only copy of the Smith & Wesson Model 76. Initial sales of the Omega 760 were brisk but quickly dropped off. The disappointing sales of the Omega ultimately drove the decision to cease production and the decision left a number of parts that were never assembled into guns.