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Putting together another M76 . This time in 8mm Mauser. I'll do a step by step build tutorial.

Kits are still available. Some of them are in excellent condition. Some not quite so much. Prices are still good on them or relatively good compared to what finished M76's go for. Assault Weapons of Ohio has a lot of them still and Green mountain sells barrels.

I may try dolling it up with modern Zastava factory polymer furniture



This is my other M76 I built last month in 30.06 . It will look something like this. An inch longer barrel but otherwise the same.

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Using this receiver. The last one was done on a Tortort. They run about $600. This one I'm building on a late Patterson/Wiselite receiver that is a surplus item from Century Arms. It was around $350. Both have their advantages in some ways over the others with the Tortort a smoother finish. The wiselite has the advantage of not needing cover plates or a rear stock nut. I had to machine one for the Tortort. Both receivers come without bullet guides and the kits come without them too which sucks. Theres a guy out in California making them sporadically and I picked up a few. I rivetted one in the machined slot using a center support rivet trimmed to size. Bored a 4mm hole through the receiver and with the head on the outside compressed the river and trimmed it back on the inside with a die grinder.

Ive got some other project I'm working on concurrent with this but I'll try to get a step done at least every couple of days.

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Part 3 of building the 8mm M76. The wood.

Sorry I didn't take a before pic. This wood was kid of rough. I had to steam a few dents out . Simple stuff just takes a wet cloth over the dents with a steam iron and about half an hour . After the dents raise sand the wood with some 120 grit paper until smooth and then finish with 400 grit. I like to buff it up with steel wool. I like a glossy finish . Not everyone does. For this finish I used a 2 lb cut of amber shellac in 95% denatured ethanol . I mixed up 16 Oz and put 6 drops of mahogany concentrated dye in the shellac. There are 4 brushed coats here of the 2 lbs cut with a day to dry between coats and wet sanding after the 2nd and 3rd coat with 600 grit paper . For the final coat I took the remaining shellac mix and doubled it with alcohol to make a 1 lbs cut. That I swabbed on with a rag and let fully cure for a couple of weeks. . I may do an additional wet sand and rag coat prior to assembly.

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Part 3 of building the 8mm M76. The wood.

Sorry I didn't take a before pic. This wood was kid of rough. I had to steam a few dents out . Simple stuff just takes a wet cloth over the dents with a steam iron and about half an hour . After the dents raise sand the wood with some 120 grit paper until smooth and then finish with 400 grit. I like to buff it up with steel wool. I like a glossy finish . Not everyone does. For this finish I used a 2 lb cut of amber shellac in 95% denatured ethanol . I mixed up 16 Oz and put 6 drops of mahogany concentrated dye in the shellac. There are 4 brushed coats here of the 2 lbs cut with a day to dry between coats and wet sanding after the 2nd and 3rd coat with 600 grit paper . For the final coat I took the remaining shellac mix and doubled it with alcohol to make a 1 lbs cut. That I swabbed on with a rag and let fully cure for a couple of weeks. . I may do an additional wet sand and rag coat prior to assembly.

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That ain’t a “glossy” finish…. that’s a stellar “wet look”! :s0155:
 
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Just a quick one here because I ran out of barrel pins and for some reason the kits come with everything but barrel pin. I pressed the barrel into the receiver today and headspaced it with an 8mm go gauge. I pressed the barrel into the receiver until the bolt would just barely close on the go gauge. Drilled for the pin and then realized I didn't have one. Ive got some oversized AK builder pins but I really didn't drill oversized on a new build plus the fact theyre longer than standard milled receiver pins. So I ordered a couple from Apex. Ive got other things to do today anyway . Cant pin the barrel so I can't install any of the other barrel components.

These barrels are a little tricky to install. I dont like to full length press barrels, especially new barrels into new receivers because they can be pretty tight and you risk bending the barrel. With a normal AK barrel you can put a press block on the rear sight base lip and press the barrel off that a few different ways . Milled are kind of tough because you can't put an arbor in from the back though. Point is you really dont want to press from the back of the receiver and/or from the front of the barrel. The M76 barrels are tricky because the barrels are so fat there is no good way to grip the barrel near the rear sight as the lip is very small. Last one I did I made the barrel so it had a more pronounced lip and I was able to use that in the pressplate. This time around with the commercial green mountain barrel I polished up the barrel trunnion journal to take off the pakerized finish so it wasnt rough going in and that was just enough to get it about 1/4 of the way in with a little tapping with a lead hammer. After that I clamped the barrel down tight in my soft jaw barrel vise and installed the pressing jig I built 20+ years ago in the receiver that pushes against the receiver lugs on top and in the mag way and finished pushing the receiver onto the barrel . Not how I normally put one in but nothing got bent and its a good snug fit. Headspace is perfect and the drill didn' t burn up drilling the pin hole.
As I have time this week while Im waiting for the pins I'll rivet in the scope rail and the trigger housing.

Someone PM'd me the other day calling me an irresponsible jerk for building these in 30.06 and 8mm because the gun wasn't designed for that pressure level and I was going to get someone killed , probably myself, for building guns like these. I dont know what to say.

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Part 5 of building the 8mm M76

I found a couple of barrel pins in my junk stash. Anyway I pinned the barrel and drilled the gas port to 2.5mm and installed the gas block in position. The green mountain 8mm barrels are a bit undersized if anything, or at least at the bottom of the tolerance spec, on the journals and only required a firm tapping in place with a pipe to get seated in position. Tight but not too tight. M76/77/90 gas blocks have a relief port in front of the gas block so you can drill the port , pull the assy and install the gas block then put the barrel back in the blocks and align the gas block port to the same drill so its dead center. Easy stuff. Then drill and pin in place.

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So I think I figured out why Century surplused out these receivers so cheap. Theyre great receivers in most respect with many of the dimensions being closer to the original than the Tortorts. The problem is that the scope rail mounts into the slot on th eleft side of the receiver. The slot is not wide enough for the M76 rail. Oops. I had to modify the scope rail to fit in the slot. Not a big deal for me but if you dont have access to a milling machine it would be something you'd have to have someone else do for you.
Got the rail rivetter on , which is a wholly unpleasant task Nd the trigger guard , grip nut on.

Still need to figure out if I have any 2.5mm pins laying around for the gas block . I really do have other bubblegum to do this weekend. Got to finish building a barrel for another guy and some honeydo bubblegum around the house.

Trying to decide on whether to do a gloss black cerakote of flatter like my other M76

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found some 2.5mm pins and pinned it all together. Blasted this with coarse ground glass this morning. The last one I did in black cerakote . This one I did in Duracoat Badass ( thats really the name) finish. Normally with Duracoat you dont do a finish baking but I do it at 250 for 2 hours and I find its every bit as durable as cerakote if not more so. Both are catalyzed epoxies and baked the same are pretty interchangeable.

Slapped it together with a POSP 6X34 Russian rail mount SVD scope with the mid height AK mount.

In all a real easy build.

 
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Who cares what "anybody" says, screw 'em. Gun is gorgeous and you should be celebrated for having the skills and tools to do this job. My hats off to you!

Good job!
 
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Took the 8mm M76 out for a spin today . Didnt have a lot of time but I ran 40 rounds through it. Got the scope zero'd at 100 yards and blew up a pumpkin. Good times. With really short loaded PPU 196 grain commercial still managed 2" at 100 yards and I expect with some good handloads I should cut that in half. REALLY mild shooting compared to that 30.06 man handler.

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What are you using for a magazine? I wouldn't think an '06 round would fit in a 7.62x54R or 7.92×57mm Mauser mags.
Most commercial 30.06 is under 3.200" which is the max length that will fit in a M76 mag . Even M2 ball just needs to run through a resizing die to put the bullet in a smidge. 8mm isn't that short.

This is 150 grain 30.06 I handload. Note the Canelure position. Even loaded at 3.185" Its pretty far out there. Feeds fine.


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