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M76

Tactical rifle

M76

The M76 is a squad support weapon with a longer range than assault rifles

 
 
Caliber 7.92x57 mm Mauser
Weight (empty, with scope) 4.2 kg
Length 1 135 mm
Barrel length 550 mm
Muzzle velocity 730 m/s
Magazine capacity 10 rounds
Sighting range 1 000 m
Range of effective fire up to 800 m

 

   The M76 tactical rifle was developed in the 1970s at Crvena Zastava factory in former Yugoslavia. It has some similarities with the Soviet SVD and Romanian PSL tactical rifles and is designed to fulfill the same role. For some reason Yugoslavia developed indigenous alternative to the Soviet SVD. The M76 was adopted by Yugoslavian armed forces in 1976. Since then it has become a standard issue sniper rifle. It seems that this rifle is no longer produced. Some sources report that 15 000 of these tactical rifles were produced. It is still used by the Serbian armed forces, but is being replaced by a newer M91. The M76 is also in service with some countries of the former Yugoslavia, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, and possibly other. It has been exported to Iraq and Saudi Arabia. It has seen action during Yugoslav wars, Kosovo War and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Some sources report that this tactical rifle is produced in North Korea as Jeogyeok-Bochong.

   The M76 is a squad support weapon optimized for medium-range rapid fire combat. In terms of performance it is broadly in line with the Soviet SVD and Romanian PSL. However it is inferior to most Western sniper rifles. It is a tactical rifle, rather than a true sniper weapon. The M76 is not ment for highly trained sniper teams, but for designated marksmen to extend a fire reach of a squad. It can engage targets beyond the range of assault rifles. The whole concept behind this rifle is that an average individual with some simple instructions can successfully engage targets. It is worth mentioning that during the Cold War, Warsaw Pact countries had no dedicated sniper rifle in its inventory other than the Soviet SVD due to its doctrine.

   This tactical rifle is based on a rechambered and modified M70 assault rifle (license-produced version of the Soviet AKM), rather than being a clone of the SVD. The M76 has longer barrel, telescopic sight and some other changes. The rifle was strengthened to accept much powerful rifle ammunition. Being derived from Kalashnikov design this rifle is simple, reliable and tolerant to abusive use. All controls of the rifle are similar to Kalashnikov assault rifle.

   The M76 is chambered for 7.92x57 mm Mauser round. Yugoslavia adopted this ammunition in the late 1940s. In its day it was one of the world's most popular military cartridges. However currently this ammunition mainly used for spots and hunting. The M76 uses a special sniper grade ammunition. It can also use standard ball and tracer rounds, however at a cost of reduced accuracy. Currently Serbia is shifting towards a standard NATO ammunition. This is the reason why the M76 is being replaced.

   The M76 is a gas-operated semi-automatic weapon. It has a higher rate of fire and can make much more aimed shots comparing with bolt-action rifles. However there are some drawbacks of semi-automatic design. Spent cases are ejected sideways and can disguise the shooter. The M76 has a manually adjustable gas regulator that can block the gas from pushing back the bolt. In this way the rifle operates as a manual repeater.

   This tactical rifle has a wooden housing.

   This tactical rifle is fed from 10-round magazines.

   The M76 is fitted with 4x magnification sight. It is similar to a Soviet PSO-1. The scope's reticle pattern is easy to use and makes range estimation quick and reasonably accurate without any mathematical calculations. Aimed range is 1 000 meters. This rifle can be also fitted with a night vision scope. Also the M76 has adjustable iron sights for emergency use. Iron sights have aimed range of up to 1 000 meters. The optical sight is side-mounted and does not block the iron sights. So the shooter can use any sight at any time. Range of effective fire is up to 800 meters. Maximum effective range is up to 1 000 m. However most typically it is used at ranges up to 600 meters. Its accuracy is entirely acceptable for a tactical rifle.

   A knife-bayonet can be attached to the rifle. That is another feature that typical sniper rifles do not have. The M76 can be also fitted with a bipod.

 

Variants

 

   Tabuk, it is an Iraqi modified version of the M76. It is chambered for 7.62x39 mm ammunition. It is a standard round used by Kalashnikov assault rifles. This rifle was manufactured in Iraq using machinery obtained from Yugoslavian Zastava factory. It was adopted to service in 1978 and it is still used today.

 

 
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