Zastava M76 in civilian ownership in the USA.
Source: gun_collector - © Copyright lies with original owner
The M76 is a sniper rifle of Yugoslav origin. It was developed by Zastava in the mid-1970's and was produced in large quantities. It fulfills the same role as the Soviet SVD and looks rather similar, although its design is different. The M76 is best classified as a designated marksman rifle rather than a sniper rifle.
The M76 is based on the M70 assault rifle, which is the Yugoslav production version of the famous AK-47 assault rifle. As such the mechanism differs from the Soviet SVD since a long stroke gas piston is used. The M76 has a wooden furniture with fixed stock and is fitted with a ZRAK 4x scope and backup iron sights. A bayonet can also be fitted.
The M76 fires the 7.92x57mm Mauser round from a 10 round magazine. A rather uncommon caliber post World War 2, but stocked in large quantities in Yugoslavia where it was used in several types of former Nazi German firearms. As a semi-automatic weapon it allows for quick follow up shots. Accuracy is reportedly about 1.5 to 2 MOA. Theoretically the M76 can be used up to 1 km, but the practical effective range is about 600 to 800 meters.
The M76 was a standard issue weapon in Yugoslav service. It has been used by all parties in the Yugoslav conflicts, in which it proved to be an effective and reliable weapon. Unlike the M70 assault rifle exports have been limited, possibly due to the use of the uncommon 7.92x57mm round. The M76 is also manufactured in North Korea, possibly without license.
The M76 is the original and most common version. It can be distinguished from the Soviet SVD and Romanian PSL by its rigid fixed wooden stock, contoured pistol grip, straight magazine and three slot wooden forearm.
The M91 is a modernized version of the M76 and is a much closer resemblance to the SVD than the original M76. The M91 fires the Soviet 7.62x54mm round from a curved 10 round magazine. Additionally the M91 has a thumbhole stock and uses either the ZRAK 4x scope or a more modern 6x42 scope. Early models were made with wooden furniture, but most M91 use black polymer furniture with accessory rails.
The M76 fulfills the same role as the Soviet SVD and looks rather similar, despite using a different gas mechanism.
The Romanian PSL is similar in role and capabilities to the M76. Both designs are an upscaled variant of the Kalashnikov assault rifle.
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