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The real Smith&Wesson M76: 

I had the pleasure to fire a real Smith&Wesson M76, when I went to Las Vegas on vacation in 1998, I was able to fire 48 rounds out of it, ( in an indoor range)  in fact, they just gave me a few seconds of instructions before handing me the gun, a box of Russian 9mm ammo, a target and the magazine. And then they pointed me to the range. 

What a blast! the recoil wasn't bad at all, and the gun was accurate, holding  the shots right in the center of the target. I did not try to shoot it semi-auto, but I  have since been told that it was even more accurate when fired in semi-auto. 

As it was, I had 2 jams, a failure to extract and a "stove-pipe." (both easily corrected) 

Smith&Wesson, intended for the gun to be sold to the navy in large quantities for the special forces( the seal teams) and others.  

The gun was not quite successful in the market place due to bad market timing (the declining involvement in Viet Nam, and the subsequent lack of interest in the law enforcement community ) Too bad, as this was a great firearm!

 

The MGC M76:

An original MGC M76 poster. featuring LeeMarvin?  Lee Marvin? firing a MGC?      Another original MGC M76 poster...

 

The Model Gun Corporation had a branch of the company called the Bond Shop that made limited edition,  custom modelguns, the Smith&Wesson M76 was one of these, originally it was setup to use the "open ended" type of cartridges which proved not quite reliable as the later CP style, sometimes due to the "primer" escaping along with the cap upon ejection and being small, the "primers" disappear into the carpet (and other places) along with the cap body! 

The later versions, used the newer "CP" style of the cartridge which where considerably more reliable. (And far more desirable!) 

The CP cartridges:

The new cartridge design, (CP or Cap Piston) was a 100% better compared to the older design in which the small "primer" could easily be lost and the cases where easily damaged. Since the "primer" couldn't escape you no longer needed to search for them after shooting . 

Also, the Cp style contained the gas pressure more effectively than the "open ended" style cartridge lending more power to the blow back simulation. 

Luckily, the actual cartridge length and with stayed the same between the "open ended" and the "CP" style cartridges requiring just an "detonator" change to convert over to either style.

My version of the MGC M76 that I have is the later CP type. It came supplied with just 6 rounds of the CP cartridges. (about 2 years ago, I bought some modelguns over the internet and I asked as an after thought, if the seller had any extra modelgun cartridges of any type, he confirmed that yes, he did have some spare cartridges available, and he then sold me what spare cartridges that he had. Which thankfully, turned out to be a box of the MGC  CP .45 acp  cartridges and some CP cal 9mm (9x24) FOR M76 etc. So, I got lucky!) 

I also was lucky in the fact that it is an CP version, because I have 4 MGC Smith&Wesson M59's that use the "open ended" cartridge and they are hard to keep clean enough to be reliable so, I was sure that they would be a pain to shoot because of that . 

The problem with the "open type" of cartridge, is that the "detonator" in the barrel becomes built up with sticky phosphorus residue and since the "detonator" is sized to fit the cartridge inside diameter tightly for a good gas seal, this build up will slowly cause feeding problems and then finally, jams if not cleaned carefully after a magazine or two.

Firing the MGC M76:

The Vote for the most reliable modelgun out of the package has to include the M76! Because the first magazine through it "ran" flawlessly! both in semi and fullauto! 

However, after the second magazine, I discovered that the face of the bolt was damaged!!!!!! 

The whole "face" of the abs bolt was broken and some small pieces missing, and when I picked up the cartridges off of the floor, I found some of the pieces! I knew then that I had to investigate what had happened to the bolt face.

Repairing the MGC M76:

So looking at the bolt face, I noticed that there where two pieces of metal cast into the front of the abs plastic bolt body, The rear piece appeared to be zinc alloy and the front piece appeared to be carbide (or similar) added for weight or for "remodeling" prevention (stopping anyone from drilling the bolt for a firing pin or?) 

I  Then noticed that the front piece had moved forward and was hitting the extractor! What I believe had happened, is that the "carbide" piece acts like a "jack hammer" because it weighs more than the rest of the bolt ASSY, and due to the kinetic energy of the heavy carbide piece during the bolt travel, (starting, stopping) causes it to break, After all, it is just held in place by thin abs! If  the MGC engineers had cast the piece of carbide in one piece instead of two pieces the bolt might of lasted longer. 

Just why the engineers at MGC chose to make the bolt face that weak is unknown, It is too bad though, because it is one of my favorite modelguns!

Now, I  could have just glued it back together, but after thinking about it for a while, I decided to build my own bolt because if the original bolt broke after 2 magazines! obviously , something must be wrong with the bolt design and if so, repairing the original bolt would not be worth the time and effort.

My homemade bolt (left) and the damaged MGC bolt (right)My aluminium bolt (top) the damaged original and the magazineThe magazine, my bolt and the original bolt

So, I decided to make a new bolt on my new lathe out of aluminum, Although, I realized immediately that I would have to remove allot of weight from the aluminum bolt ASSY before it was ready to use. 

That of course proved difficult, as these areas caused me to have these concerns:

 1. Retaining the appearance of the original bolt 

2. The limited weight removal areas 

3. Retaining the structural integrity 

4. Elimination of friction areas. 

After these concerns where addressed, I began to drill, mill and sand away weight from the bolt. 

At this point in time, I am still several grams shy of matching the original bolts weight.

My MGC M76 with my bolt installed and the damaged original bolt (above)

Eventually, I will coat this new bolt with Teflon, reducing friction and regaining the blackened finish of the original abs bolt.

The original bolt and my  MGC M76 with my new bolt (pretty shiney eh?)

 

Click here for: The MGC S&W video

 

 

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