S&W Model 76

S&W Model 76
S&W Model 76

SMITH&WESSON MODEL 76 The Smith&Wesson Model 76 submachinegun was designed in early 1966 and was first produced, in limited numbers, in 1967. It was developed because it was thought that the VietNam War would present a need for a weapon of this type, it was also believed the weapon would hold promise for sales to Law Enforcement agencies. More specifically, the US Navy had expressed interest in such a weapon to the Washington representative of Smith&Wesson, Mr. George Ersham, the Navy had originally hoped to obtain quantites of Swedish Carl Gustav submachine guns, but could not purchase these Swedish guns after the war was in full force, because of Sweden's neutrality. Thinking a market existed, Smith&Wesson proceeded to develop a submachine gun very similar to the proven design of the Swedish Carl Gustav. The magazine and several other features of the Swedish weapon were copied in basic form. A rapid development program at the Smith&Wesson factory over a period of one and one half years produced the Model 76, which was of sound design, but possessed no outstanding new features. By the time the weapon was fully developed, in late 1967, the Navy was no longer interested in this type of weapon. Also, interest in the project from other branches of the military was limited, as the war and the small arms requirements for it were changing rapidly. The last guns produced were made in the late 1960's. It is reported only a few thousand were manufactured, most of these were sold to collectors and Law Enforcement agencies. The Smith&Wesson Model 76 submachinegun is a durable, straight blowback gun that offers good functioning. The receiver is made of thick seamless tubing, and most attachments to the receiver-sights, magazine housing, etc. - are heliarc-welded to it. A combination safety and fire-selector lever is accessible from both sides of the weapon. The bolt is locked in position when the weapon is on SAFE. While the overall basic design of the Model 76 was copied from the Carl Gustav, some modifications were effected to make the weapon superior. As mentioned, the Swedish magazine was copied in almost identical form, and the choice of using this proven magazine was good. The folding-stock design was also similar to the Carl Gustav. It is reported that the Model 76 held up well after extensive testing, and some earlier production weapons continued to function after 18,000 rounds had been fired. Although the weapon was reported to be reliable, its introduction was not timely, and the sales of the gun were very limited. Disassembly Procedure Elementary field disassembly of the Smith&Wesson Model 76 submachine gun is accomplished in seven steps, as follows: Remove magazine by pressing down the magazine release lever, located directly behind the magazine housing, and withdraw the magazine from the gun. Check to be sure the chamber is emply. Put the selector lever in the semi-automatic or full-automatic position. Pull the trigger to release the bolt. Holding the recoil spring plug forward against the pressure of the recoil spring, press the locking pin up from the bottom and remove it from the gun. Remove the recoil spring plug and recoil spring. Draw the bolt handle, and allow the bolt to slide rearward and out of the receiver. Holding the barrel nut catch down away from the barrel nut, unscrew the barrel nut and remove the barrel. This step completes field stripping. Continuing with the four steps below will result in complete (detail) disassembly of the gun: Using the projection on the bottom of the magazine, unscrew the grip screw, and remove the handgrip and shoulder stock. Pivot the trigger group down at the rear, and remove it from the gun. Pry the snap ring off the end of the sear pin. Remove the sear pin, sear, and attached sear spring. This completes detail stripping. To reassemble the weapon, reverse the above procedure. One interesting project involving the Model 76 was an attempt to use it with caseless 9mm ammunition. The bullet of this experimental cartridge was like that of the standard 9mm cartridge, but the cartridge case was replaced by a solid propellant molded to the base of the 9mm bullet. A special protective coating was developed to waterproof the cartridge. It is reported that accuracy and velocity were equal to that of standard brass or steel cased 9mm Parabellum ammunition. The Experimental caseless ammunition employed an electric primer which ignited the solid propellant. The electric primer was activated by an electric charge, which was produced by batteries located in a box held forward of the trigger guard, and was transmitted to the bolt. The bolt, of course had been altered for electric firing, the firing pin and extractor were eliminated, and it is reported that two electrodes were embedded in the bolt face. Since this work was initiaed in 1968, and nothing further has been reported about it, presumably the project was dropped. It would be very difficult to develop a military gun for caseless ammunition. Malfunctions of military weapons, for example, must be readily correctible, but obviously the Model 76 offered no efficient method of extracting an unfired caseless cartridge, and the solution to this problem may not have been technically possible at that time. The shown picture is of a Smith&Wesson Model 76 tool room submachinegun, serial # T1205. Only 100 or so were produced with the T prefix Serial number. Also, Smith&Wesson produced a standard run of submachineguns, them have a serial number range of U100 to U6100. These submachineguns are on the Curios or Relics Firearms List. NFA weapons on the C&R list may be transfered to a C&R FFL license holder on a form 4 without going through a Class 3 Dealer. Cartridge: 9x19mm-Parabellum Type of Operation: Blowback Type of Fire: Selective (Full-Automatic and Semi-Automatic) Cycle Rate: 720 rpm Barrel Length: 8 inches Length: Stock Folded: 20.25 inches Stock Extended: 30.50 inches Weight: Unloaded: 7.25 lbs Loaded: 8.75 lbs Magazine Capacity: 14 rounds, 24 rounds and 36 rounds mags Front Sight: Protected Blade Rear Sight: Fixed Aperture

Submitted by: PIERANGELO TENDAS