Northwood R-76

The Northwood R-76 was a submachine gun of Rhodesian origin. It was intended as a 'Land Defence Pistol' during the Rhodesian Bush War era. Its layout is somewhat much like a Vz.61 Skorpion and the TEC-9. It was available with a spike bayonet, retractable wire stock and removable bipod which predates this use on submachine guns like the CBJ-MS. Another variant, the R-77 came with a longer barrel and stock enabling the weapon to be used as a carbine.

The R-76 submachine gun was manufactured by Northwood Development Pvt-Ltd out of Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe). The weapon was designed by Roger Mansfield, a former Royal Air Force engineer who emigrated from the UK to Rhodesia, and developed keeping mind to the needs of Rhodesian farmers, ranchers and citizens living in outlying areas where Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army & Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army forces were especially active. "Home grown" in Rhodesia with the majority of parts produced from local materials, ease of manufacture and minimal machining requirements were key factors; as such, the R-76 was largely manufactured out of metal sheet stampings, with grip cheeks made either in wood, stamped aluminium or plastic (generally mid-quality or low-end molds).

The R-76 submachine gun was a selective-fire (semi-automatic/full-automatic) weapon with an average rate of fire ranging about 500 rounds per minute. It was chambered for the 9mm "Parabellum" (9×19mm) caliber, and fed by 13-round Browning Hi-Power pistol magazines, or by locally produced 20- or 30-round magazines. It was operated by simple blowback, with a bolt running on two recoil springs like in the US made M3 "Grease Gun", and was provided with either a 6 or 8 inch, 24-groove "Microgroove"-rifled barrel. Early versions could be found with a rear aperture sight as opposed to latter simple V-notch rear sights. The collapsing wire-stock could be removed and re-installed in a reverse position so that the metal stock butt could serve as a front pistol grip to fire the weapon from the hip. The bolt retraction handle was located on the left side of the receiver, was spring-loaded and remained forward after the first round was fired

A machine-carbine version, called the R-77, was also available; the R-77 was available with a fixed wooden stock, and with a 9 or 10-inch barrel with bipod, flash hider and bayonet lug options available.

The R-76 submachine gun was deployed with some Rhodesian Army units like the "Selous Scouts", and sold to civilians. After the change of political regime in Rhodesia, the production of the R-76 submachine gun and the R-77 machine-carbine did not reprise in the Republic of South Africa, unlike other Rhodesian-grown gun projects like the "Rhuzi" (produced in South Africa as the "Kommando LDP"), the Rhogun  the Mamba (engineered in Rhodesia but never manufactured there, produced for a short time in South Africa and then by Navy Arms Inc. of Ridgefield, NJ, USA, before going out of production) or the ADP pistol (engineered by a Rhodesian police officer, Alex DuPlessis, produced in South Africa, in Italy, then currently in the United States, where DuPlessis currently resides and works as an engineer for Wilson Combat, LLC.). The R-76 submachine guns manufactured during the short production run in the 1970s remained around in Zimbabwe and South Africa for a while, exported by expats, and were mostly destroyed during the years. However some can be found in good conditions, although non-firing, on the deactivated guns market in the United Kingdom. Several R-76 submachine guns are also known to have made their way in Australia.

Northwood R-76
Class Manportable
Type Machine Guns
Manufacturer Northwood Development
Origin Zimbabwe (Rhodesia)
Country Name Origin Year
Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) 1970
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Northwood Development View

Type Submachine gun
Place of origin Rhodesia
Production history
Designer Roger Mansfield
Manufacturer Northwood Development
Variants R-76 machine pistol, R-77 machine carbine
Specifications
Cartridge 9×19mm Parabellum
Action Blowback
Rate of fire 500 rpm
Feed system 13-, 20-, or 30-round Browning Hi-Power compatible magazines
Sights Iron

End notes