Zastava’s Heavy Hitter: The Yugoslav M76 DMR

In the 1970s, the Yugoslav Army decided that it wanted a semiautomatic marksman’s rifle, something akin to the Romanian PSL or Soviet Dragunov. Not having the technical data package to manufacture the SVD, the Zastava factory set about scaling up its M70 Kalashnikov to meet this requirement. The result was the M76, chambered for the 8mm Mauser cartridge. It fed from a 10-round detachable magazine and was fitted with the Zrak ON-M76 scope, a simple but robust 4 power optic with a BDC cam for an elevation adjustment and basic rangefinder included in the reticle.

The M76 would be the JNA’s squad marksman rifle for about 15 years, until replaced by the M91, a similar design using 7.62x54R ammunition. A few thousand of these rifles eventually found their way into the United States, like this one.

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