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GUNS Magazine January 2010 - Page 30
™ • HOLT BODINSON • Century’s sensational sporting version is built with many original parts. ade by Zastava and adopted by the Serbian Army in 1976, the M Yugoslavian M-76 sniper rifle in 8mm Mauser made the press often enough in Kosovo and Bosnia during the wars of the 1990s around an AK platform is not the easiest of tasks. Dragunov himself admitted he had a challenge on his hands when he began his original design work. In his own words, “The principal difficulties we encountered arose from the necessity to resolve all sorts of contradictions. It is sufficient to say that to achieve reliable action in difficult conditions, it is necessary to have the largest practical gaps between the moving parts; at the same time, to achieve the best possible accuracy, everything must be fitted together with minimal tolerances.” Century International Arms’ M-76s are built using original M-76 refurbished parts kits mated (by law) with American made receivers, barrels and other minor parts to comply with current Federal statutes. Steve Kehaya, Century’s Engineering and Product Development Manager, has really done a remarkable job of building the M-76 to its original Yugoslavian specifications by using only premium quality parts and optics, a milled receiver, new barrel and neat touches, like the addition of a TAPCO trigger that measured a consistent 3 pounds, 14 ounces on a Lyman electronic scale. Century’s M-76 fulfills Dragunov’s objectives of holding tolerances closely where necessary, leaving ample gaps for battlefield crud and putting a robust, rugged, accurate sniper rifle into the hands of us groundpounding, milsurp enthusiasts. THE yUGOSLAVIAN M-76 SNIPER to assure its place in modern sniping history. How good was it? Thanks to Century International Arms new M-76 offerings, we came away from the range exceedingly impressed with the accuracy and overall performance of the design. Similar in concept to the Russian Dragunov and the more familiar Romanian PSL, the M-76 is a Kalashnikov variant. It looks like a large AK. It follows the design of the AK, and it disassembles like an AK. It’s really an RPK-type AK on steroids. Therein lies one of its inherent qualities. Its operation, disassembly and maintenance are immediately familiar to the average Kalashnikov toting conscript. Designing an accurate sniping rifle 8mmMauser TheM-76isanunusualbig-boreAK,beingchamberedinthe7.92x57MauserratherthanRussia’s 7.62x54R.TheM-76pistolgripisunusuallyergonomicalandcomfortable. One features settting the M-76 apart from similar designs is its caliber. The Yugoslavian is chambered in 7.92x57 rather than in the Soviet sphere’s 30 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • JANUARY 2010