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S&W 76 vs MK 760


DAJTell

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I only recently became aware of the difference: the MK is a clone!

Does anyone have any information regarding quality differences between them? Or if both might have issues?

I have my eye on a MK in an auction.

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The S&W 76 is a clone and the MK760 is a clone of a clone. 
The former, is a well made gun. The later, has been known to have many issues. That being said, there’s good ones and bad ones with anything. 
 

I know people that have / had the MK760 and they just don’t seem to be that reliable. Even after work being done. It’s seem like the MK’s suffer from Q&C issues. The prefix in the serial number will tell you if it was a machine gun, rifle or pistol. Some people say the factory guns that were made from the start are the best option to go with. Rather than a rifle they rushed to convert before the ban. Again, I know someone that is having an issues with one of those factory MG’s. 

Parts are hard to come by too but it seems like KAK is making parts for the 76/760

I’m not trying to be negative about them but they just don’t have the best reputation. 
 

Good luck. 

Edited by KickStand
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Parts are pretty much interchangeable.  I've read that some bolts do not interchange + extractor differences.  

The S&W has some (limited) military history and it is rated a C&R gun. Most S&W were police or prison guns.  MK760 does not have, to my knowledge, any real PD or military history.  Frank Iannamico's book covers everything is great detail ("The Smith & Wesson Model 76 Submachine Gun").  Get it if you're interested in these types.

Both types are VERY similar ("clone" applies).  The S&W is always priced higher and is generally viewed as having better manufacture and reliability (unsure if the latter is true or not).  Fun guns.  Good luck!

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Dont buy an mk760.  Back in early 90's I bought one cause it was cheap $500.  It never ran right.  FTF and light primer strikes and a bullet got lodged in the barrel.  Never got a full mag to fire.  I brought it to 2 different gunsmiths and they smoothed and polished blah blah.  It sucked but I sold it for $1500 2yrs later.  I was honest about it needing work.  Plus the stock sucked and was wobbly.  

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Let's see:

  • A fire control mechanism that sooner or later will fail to allow full-auto fire
  • Crappy sights that you adjust with pliers
  • Possibly the worst wobbly stock ever put on a gun
  • An unbuffered bolt that will eventually beat the holes for the takedown pin out of round
  • A stupidly high rate of fire

...and that's the S&W gun the clones are generally worse.  Buy something, anything else.

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I was just about to post a mention of Frank's book. I have a copy and it's got pretty much all the history.

I own two MK 760's. One made in Fruithurst, Alabama and the other made in Panama City, Florida. I've not yet added a California gun to my collection.

While they can be a bit less refined than the S&W guns they can be made to run. The biggest issue is with the magazines. I have around a dozen MK magazines and maybe two of them are reliable. On the other hand, Finnish Suomi magazines will fit and function with just a bit of sanding on the front pad. I was skeptical until I got my hands on some. I've never had my Fruithurst gun run so well.

The Panama City gun is a bit more finicky. It has one or two mags that it likes. But it runs really well with those two mags.

One interesting note, when I first got the Panama City gun I noticed that the recoil spring was really strong. This makes me wonder if it was replaced or my Fruithurst spring was replaced or just worn out. I did replace the extractor spring in the Fruithurst gun and that helped with reliability. I trimmed a M16 selector detent spring to a proper length and it works quite well.

I will say this about the MK 760's. It's not an ideal first machine gun. Many do not run reliably out of the box. They're ok if you are mechanically inclined and have the patience to tinker and tune. I know the first ones made were the Fruithurst guns. Many of those were made with original S&W parts that the two partners sourced from the company when they bought everything to manufacture the guns. Some consider these to be the best model. The Panama City guns are a little rougher. The bolt is nowhere near as smooth sliding in the receiver. The charging handle is loose in the bolt and has rubbed a groove on the outside of the receiver. The California guns are the ones with the worst reputation. The reason being that they were up against the May 19, 1986 deadline and were cranking them out as fast as possible. They were also converting the semi auto guns they had in stock so serial numbers will have different prefixes depending on what model it was born as. The early California guns had stamped sheet metal magazine wells but later guns had wells that were investment cast and those have embossed letters rather than stamped.

Anyway, that's my experience in a nutshell. They're not horrible guns but there's plenty better. If I were going to advise someone on what should be their first machine gun it would be a M11/9 with a Lage slow fire upper.  An Uzi would probably be number two on the list. Everything else just gets more expensive or more complicated.

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Local guy has / had one that I worked on to run reliable. His was magazine /  magazine fit related and a barrel with little chamfer to feed that the bolt was peening.

Suomi mags work well in the gun.

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  • 1 month later...

I guess that I have the only kalifornicator made 760 that should have been a carbine that actually works.  It was sold to me on this site in ‘09, as is, and it only needed an extractor to make it 100%.

If you can fix stuff, don’t worry about it.  Replacement parts are hard to find.  I made my replacement extractor until I sourced a few replacements.  I ended up with a complete parts set, also from this site, 2012ish?  Point being, they work and can be used if you can maintain them.

As mentioned above, the Suomi mags are the best, as I have a few factory mags that are prone to failure.  I’ve had to adjust aa few and they are good to go.

 The ROF isn’t high at all and there are buffers available that don’t increase the ROF.  It’s a toy, as they all are.  It is what it is and I plan on keeping mine until I retire and I’m ready to liquidate.  No regrets with mine and I wouldn’t hesitate to get another if the price was right.

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  • 2 weeks later...

With all the negatives said about the guns, I also understand everyone's gripes about them. I bought a NIB, Irvine, CA. - "P" prefix gun and it ran and still runs 100% out of the box. I haven't had to replace any parts on the gun yet. I totally agree with the above post by Don. For me no complaints on my end other than the availability of parts. But if you like parts hunting it will be worth it. When I bought it I started to scour the web and since then, have amassed pretty much a complete parts kit (mostly new parts) to include extra bolts, a complete lower trigger group, extractors, etc. to keep mine running for a bit. To me the gun does what it was intended to do and it is what it is - it's not an HK. I like the looks and feel to it. The fit and finish is great, no wobbly stock on mine and i can live with the sights. Just my two cents. Thanks MPFiveO for the tip - "I trimmed a M16 selector detent spring to a proper length and it works quite well. "

Here's an old video..

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/24/2024 at 1:55 PM, Bwana said:

Parts are pretty much interchangeable.  I've read that some bolts do not interchange + extractor differences.  

The S&W has some (limited) military history and it is rated a C&R gun. Most S&W were police or prison guns.  MK760 does not have, to my knowledge, any real PD or military history.  Frank Iannamico's book covers everything is great detail ("The Smith & Wesson Model 76 Submachine Gun").  Get it if you're interested in these types.

Both types are VERY similar ("clone" applies).  The S&W is always priced higher and is generally viewed as having better manufacture and reliability (unsure if the latter is true or not).  Fun guns.  Good luck!

S&W 76 is an iconic sub gun. If you can't find a Swedish K or if it's not in your budget, an original S&W 76 is the way to go. Good rate of fire and quite pleasant to shoot. The folding stock is probably the only issue I have. After 20 plus years of wear, mine is almost worn to the point that it won't stay open, but it could be fixed.

Lots of comments on lack of spare parts. In 1994 I bought a set of spares including several extractors. I have yet to need to replace a single part. Original magazines are pricey but Swedish K/ Port Said stick mags can be converted and work. I like shooting mine with a suppressor.

My gun has been 100% reliable and I have put thousands of rounds through it. I clean it when it needs it and only shoot factory 9mm. Its accuracy is good, but an open bolt smg is not my first choice for precision shooting. 

 

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