Collectible Firearms for Serious Gun Collectors (2023)

As the fear of communism spread across the globe, the spirit of 76 arose – the Model 76.

They aren’t clones or knock offs, but a pair of guns with roots in Scandinavia both bearing the Model 76 moniker and sharing similarities with other guns.

The Valmet Model 76 can quickly trace their lineage to the AK-47, while the Smith & Wesson Model 76 shares similarities with another Scandinavian gun, Sweden’s Carl Gustaf M45 or K gun. The K is for Kulsprutepistole that translates to “bullet-squirting pistol.”

Both the Valmet M76 and the Smith & Wesson M76 will be available in Rock Island Auction Company’s May 19-21 Premier Auction.

This Smith & Wesson Model 76 looks much like the Swedish Carl Gustav M45 or K gun that it is modeled after. The K is for Kulsprutepistole that translates to “bullet-squirting pistol."

M76: How It All Began

The roots of the Smith & Wesson M76 begins in Sweden during World War II. The Swedes, neutral during the war, didn’t have a submachine gun in their arsenal and feared one was needed since Finland, to the east, aligned with Germany for a time, and Norway, to the west, was occupied by the Nazis. Borrowing from the MP40, the British Sten, and the Soviet PPSh-41, Sweden started producing its own stamped metal submachine gun, chambered in 9mm, though not until the war was nearly over. The Carl Gustav M45 was an open bolt, full-auto only machine gun that held a 36-round magazine and spit lead at 600 rounds per minute.

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In later years, U.S. Navy SEALs and other covert operators came to appreciate the Swedish submachine gun for its cyclical rate of fire, its reliability in the jungles of Vietnam, and the plausible deniability a Swedish gun offered American forces operating outside of Vietnam. However Sweden, trying to remain neutral, refused to sell more of its guns to the United States.

In the meantime – sort of, Finland feared falling into the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence. Mother Russia is what drove the Finns into the arms of the Nazis for a time during World War II.

Valmet's Rk 62 that later became the semi-automatic Model 76 for the civilian market is Finland's version of the AK-47. The M76 available in the May 19-21 Premier Auction was converted to full auto by Hard Times Armory of Smyrna, Georgia before the machine gun ban prohibited the manufacture of new machine guns.

In the 1950s, the Finns obtained Kalashnikov AK-47s, did some testing to see if they would work in the harsh arctic climate and decided some changes were needed. The government asked Finnish companies SAKO and Valmet to submit a more suitable AK-style design. Valmet’s design was chosen and named the Rk 62, with some differences from its Russian relative, making it what many consider a superior AK-style rifle and others call the finest AK ever made. The gas system was modified to reduce recoil. The sights were improved with tritium inserts and the front sight was put on the gas block and the rear sight was moved back, expanding the sight radius. The stock was made of synthetic material and the barrel received a flash suppressor.

M76: Almost There

The U.S. Navy approached Smith & Wesson about making a submachine gun chambered in 9mm similar to the Swedish M45 and provided a list of characteristics wanted in the new gun. Though the designer claimed to not be aware of the Swedish gun, the Smith & Wesson shared its tubular shape, 9mm chambering, size, and distinct folding metal stock. By January 1967, Smith & Wesson had a prototype of an open bolt submachine gun that could fire 720 rounds per minute. It featured an ambidextrous selector switch, perforated heat shield, smooth pistol grip, and grooves in the receiver to keep maintenance minimal. A test lot of 100 guns, called the Model 76, were made, but by this time the Navy wasn’t interested in a submachine gun.

Meanwhile, in Finland, gun maker Valmet decided to export the Rk62 as a semi-automatic version chambered in .308 Winchester, .223 Remington/5.56 NATO, and 7.62x39, calling it the Model 76.

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The Smith & Wesson Model 76 shares similarities with the Carl Gustaf M45 as a tube-like, open bolt full auto-only machine gun that takes 36-round magazines, and fires at 600 rounds per minute. The Smith & Wesson's rate of fire was slightly faster at 720 rounds per minute.

M76: What Next?

A small number of the Smith & Wesson Model 76 did end up in the U.S. Navy arsenal, but they were also sold to police agencies and the general public. The Smith & Wesson was one of the only submachine guns marketed to the public, matched only by the Thompson submachine gun in the 1920s. Buyers had to pass a background check and pay the $200 transfer tax. About 6,000 were made when production ended in 1974.

After Smith & Wesson ended production, other companies made clones of the M76. MK Arms Company acquired the rights to the M76 and produced copies designated as the MK760 starting in 1983. Global Arms/Southern Tool, that had a principal partner in MK Arms before they went their separate ways, also made a copy, the M76A1. The 1986 Firearms Owners Protection Act’s ban on new machine gun production killed both companies.

The Valmet M76 is a semi-automatic version of the full auto Rk62 that introduced shooters to the AK-47.

As for the Valmet M76, the company exported to the United States civilian market starting in the 1970s, having already introducing shooters to the AK-47 through a civilian Rk62/S. It came in the M76W with wood buttstocks and M76P with plastic buttstocks. Valmet also offered the M76/S that had a plastic handguard and molded pistol grip. It was available in .223 Remington and .308 Winchester.

President George Bush implemented an assault weapon ban in 1989 that forbid importing the guns, shutting off the market. The Valmet that will be available in Rock Island Auction’s Premier Auction, May 19-21, was made in Finland and imported to the United States as a semi-automatic rifle. It was later converted to full auto by Hard Times Armory, of Smyrna, Georgia prior to the 1986 machine gun ban. The receiver has been modified to restore the original bottom position on the selector switch for semi-automatic fire and the mid position for full auto.

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Charlton Heston takes aim with his character's Smith & Wesson M76 in 1971's "The Omega Man."

M76: The M Stands for Movie

The Smith & Wesson M76 had a brief but prolific on-screen life, with much of its filmography occurring from 1971 to 1978, mostly in action movies featuring plenty of firepower, like “Dog Day Afternoon,” “Magnum Force,” and “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three,” though one was wielded by The Joker in 2008’s “The Dark Night.”

Its star turn was also the first film it appeared in, “The Omega Man,” a sci-fi thriller starring Charlton Heston based on the novel “I Am Legend.” Heston’s character, Robert Neville carries an M76 throughout most of the movie.

The Valmet M76 and its predecessor, the Rk62 has a much shorter list of film appearances, with Jason Statham’s “The Mechanic” the most recognizable title. He carried a M76.

Despite the low light the metal folding stock can be seen as the Joker, played by Heath Ledger, fires a Smith & Wesson M76 in 2008's "The Dark Knight."

M76 for Sale: Valmet or Smith & Wesson

Class III submachine guns with Scandinavian inspiration will be on offer in Rock Island Auction Company’s May 19-21 Premier Auction with a Valmet M76 and a Smith & Wesson M76 available, as well as a MK Arms M760, that copied the Smith & Wesson.

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The Valmet offers the reliability of the AK-47 with the precision of Finnish gunmaking, while the Smith & Wesson offers the quality and reliability that the gunmaker has offered for over 100 years but in full auto. Both guns, along with the MK Arms M760 were available in limited numbers, especially as Class III weapons, so a collector looking for a submachine gun shouldn’t pass up these opportunities.

Not to be forgotten is the MK Arms Model 760 that is a licensed copy of the Smith & Wesson M76. This full auto submachine gun will be available in Rock Island Auction Company's May 19-21 Premier Auction.


The Swedish K in Vietnam and Beyond, by Henrik Jansson, American Rifleman

Smith & Wesson 76: American’s Vietnam 9mm SMG, Forgotten Weapons

(Video) Shooting 5 of the DUMBEST GUNS In My Collection

Classic Guns: Valmet M76, by Martin K.A. Morgan, Shooting Illustrated

Smith & Wesson M76 Submachine Gun: A Vietnam War Killer, by Peter Suciu, National Interest

Internet Movie Firearms Database


Collectible Firearms for Serious Gun Collectors? ›

Popular brands such as Colt, Winchester, Derringer, and Smith & Wesson are highly sought after by collectors. Factors such as historical significance, rarity, condition, brand recognition, and age can determine the value of a gun.

What guns are worth collecting? ›

Popular brands such as Colt, Winchester, Derringer, and Smith & Wesson are highly sought after by collectors. Factors such as historical significance, rarity, condition, brand recognition, and age can determine the value of a gun.

Are collectible guns a good investment? ›

A lot of people see the constantly-increasing price of collectible firearms, and assume that guns must be a pretty good investment. Well, they really aren't. The stock market outperforms collectible firearms with ease. But if you want to buy guns with an eye to increasing prices, there are a few things I would suggest.

How many guns does the average gun collector own? ›

How many guns does one need? As far as need goes, according to Fortune, the average "super-owner" owns 17 guns already. And here you have to ask yourself "why?" Is it because the gun-owner needs 17 guns, or because he likes buying guns?

What guns don't lose value? ›

Guns that are 15 years old generally don't lose any value until year 50 when they start to appreciate about . 5% per year. While this is true of common mass-produced firearms, custom-made firearms with specialty features or limited editions may hold their value much better.

Who has the largest gun collection? ›

The largest privately-held firearms collection in the world.

What makes a gun valuable? ›

Although motivated by a variety of interests and objectives, all antique gun collectors benefit by educating themselves about the major factors influencing the price of a weapon: its make and model, condition, history and provenance, rarity, and artistic appeal.

What is the best site to value guns? ›

The Blue Book of Gun Values is the most trusted source for gun appraisals.

What gun company is worth the most? ›

The largest gun manufacturer in the world is Smith & Wesson, whose gun sale revenue doubled in its last fiscal year to $1.1 billion. Colt, which reached No. 9 on the list, is the most prominent gun supplier for the U.S. military from the time of its founding in 1846 until World War II.

What is the most sought after rifle? ›

Nimschke Engraved Solid Silver Winchester Model 1866

Nimschke is arguably the benchmark against which all other firearms engraving is held.

What is the most iconic firearms? ›

From the Glock to the Garand, these are some of the most influential and groundbreaking firearms in history.
  • GLOCK 17. Gaston Glock created what is now an iconic sporting and self-defense weapon – the Glock 17. ...
  • AK-47. ...
  • M1 GARAND. ...
  • COLT M1911. ...
  • MG-42. ...
  • SMITH & WESSON 29. ...
  • M4/M16. ...
  • Uzi.

What is the weakest real gun? ›

2mm Kolibri
2.7mm Kolibri
No. built~1000 (pistol)
Case typeRimless, straight
18 more rows

How many guns is considered an arsenal? ›

An arsenal generally refers to a large collection of firearms, usually numbering in the hundreds or thousands. With this in mind, there is no set amount of guns one must possess to classify their collection as an arsenal. Depending on the situation, a collection of just a few dozen guns might be considered an arsenal.

What is a large collection of guns called? ›

arsenal. noun. a large collection of weapons and military equipment.

How much ammo should you keep on your hand? ›

A good starting point is to have 500 rounds, 200 of which should be defensive ammo, for each regular-use handgun. This isn't the end goal, it's where you start, meaning you should plan to build your ammunition reservesinto the thousands.

How long is ammo good for? ›

In terms of shelf life, ammunition generally doesn't expire or go bad. Many manufacturers will list an expiration date of ten years past the manufacturer date, but that's more for legal reasons than it is for safety reasons. If it's stored correctly, then there's no real known limit to how long you can keep ammunition.

What is the #1 rule of firearms? ›

ALWAYS Keep The Gun Pointed In A Safe Direction

This is the primary rule of gun safety. Common sense dictates the safest direction, depending on different circumstances.

What guns are in the debt? ›

SKS Rifle. SKS rifles are seen in the hands of Eastern German Border guards and a young David (Sam Worthington). These are suppose to portray the Karabiner S, which also has a folded bayonet underneath the rifle. Russian Simonov Type 45 aka the Russian SKS rifle - 7.62x39mm.

What is the most commonly owned gun in America? ›

Pistols. There are many different guns on the market but the pistol is the most common. A pistol is a type of handgun that can be best described as only needing one hand to fire it. Two hands are recommended to keep the firearm steady, however.

How many guns can one person own in America? ›

Summary of Federal Law

Federal law does not limit the number of guns a person may buy in any given time period.

How many guns does the most armed man in America have? ›

Mel Bernstein says he has more than 4,000 weapons on his compound. Mel Bernstein, known as the "most armed man in America," has an estimated 4,000 weapons on his Colorado compound, known as Dragonland.

What makes a gun vintage? ›

For the purposes of the National Firearms Act, the term “Antique Firearms” means any firearm not intended or redesigned for using rim fire or conventional center fire ignition with fixed ammunition and manufactured in or before 1898 (including any matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap or similar type of ignition system ...

Are old Marlin rifles worth anything? ›

Most Marlins are typically valued in the $300-$500 range, however, there are some exceptions that can greatly reduce or inflate that number. For instance, a Marlin 39A chambered in . 22 LR will sell for considerably less than a Marlin 1895 chambered in . 45-70 Gov't.

What makes a rifle more expensive? ›

You get the picture. Expensive rifles generally feature high-quality stainless barreled actions. The metalwork throughout is often coated with an abrasion- and corrosion-resistant finish. The action has been methodically milled to high tolerances, creating a smooth and reliable system.

Is Cash My guns legit? ›

We are licensed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to assist in the purchase, sale, and transfer of firearms in the United States. We follow federal regulations that deal with the legal transfer of a firearm to release the seller's liability.

Do guns have resell value? ›

Guns are a fairly durable good and they retain their value over time very well. As long as you keep a firearm in good condition you can usually expect to get 75-90 percent of what you paid for it. If you keep a firearm long enough that it becomes collectible, that value may rise just like any other item.

How much is the average gun worth? ›

How Much Does The Average Gun Cost? The average handgun will cost between $400-$800. Rifles will vary a lot more by caliber, but the “average” would be between $600 and $1,200.

What is the oldest gun company in America? ›

Founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington (as E. Remington and Sons) in Ilion, New York, it was one of the oldest gun makers in the US and claimed to be the oldest factory in the US that still made its original product.

What is the oldest gun company? ›

Founded in the 16th century, Beretta is the oldest active manufacturer of firearm components in the world. In 1526 its inaugural product was arquebus barrels; by all accounts Beretta-made barrels equipped the Venetian fleet at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

What is the most famous pistol? ›

Colt Single Action Army (1873)

Likely the most iconic handgun in existence, the Colt Single Action Army gained fame in the holsters of Roosevelt's Rough Riders and won the West in the hands of men like Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson.

What guns should every hunter have? ›

10 Guns Every Hunter Should Own
  • L.C. Smith. ...
  • Hawken Rifle. Another classic, a Hawken rifle is a timeless option. ...
  • Browning Superposed. Browning offers a smoothbore called a Superposed. ...
  • Ruger 10/22. ...
  • Winchester Model 94. ...
  • Remington Model 870. ...
  • Smith & Wesson Model 29. ...
  • Ruger No.
Nov 6, 2020

What caliber rifle is most popular? ›

. 22 caliber (most popular rifle caliber1) . 30 caliber.

What is the most popular rifle caliber of all time? ›

No discussion of hunting or sporting rifle cartridges would be complete without the . 22 Long Rifle — arguably the most popular cartridge in the world.

What gun do most gangsters use? ›

Gang firearms are usually procured at low scale, most of them being pistols and revolvers, sometimes shotguns and semi-automatic submachine guns but rarely assault rifles.

What is the greatest gun ever built? ›

Schwerer Gustav was the largest-calibre rifled weapon ever used in combat, and in terms of overall weight, the heaviest mobile artillery piece ever built. It fired the heaviest shells of any artillery piece.

What is the most famous American rifle? ›

M1 Garand. We start off with one of the most iconic American weapons, the M1 Garand.

What guns are known for jamming? ›

The Remington RP9 is Poorly Made and Notorious for Jamming

Remington thought they could simply slap together guns with cheap labor and shoddy materials and call it good. A lot of these were complete garbage. Along with their poor workmanship and cheap construction, the parts of the Remington RP9 often don't fit well.

What is the deadliest handgun caliber? ›

The . 500 S&W Magnum is considered the most powerful commercial sporting handgun cartridge by virtue of the muzzle energy it can generate.

What are the most heavily armed states? ›

States With Highest Gun Ownership

The states with the highest gun ownership rates are Montana, Wyoming, West Virginia, Idaho, Alaska, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Alabama. The state with the highest gun ownership rate is Montana, with a household firearm ownership rate of 65.7%.

How many carry guns do you own? ›

There is no limit to the number of handguns that you may own but you are generally limited to purchasing no more than one handgun in any 30-day period.

How many firearms does the average American have? ›

How Many Guns Does The Average American Own?
# of Guns Owned% of People
2 - 437%

How many guns does the average Texan own? ›

With about 24 million Texans living in the Lone Star State, the average person, including every man, woman, and child, owns a little over two guns each.

What is the military word for bullets? ›

An army's cache of guns and bullets are its munitions. You'll usually see the noun munitions in its plural form, since it refers to arms and ammunition collectively, as a group. The word comes up mostly in discussions of wars and battles and the military.

How many guns are in the average collection? ›

Most of America's gun owners have relatively modest collections, with the majority of gun owners having an average of just three guns, and nearly half owning just one or two, according to a 2015 survey by Harvard and Northeastern researchers, which gave the most in-depth estimate of Americans' current patterns of gun ...

How many guns should a prepper have? ›

Carry a primary and secondary weapon on your person and vehicle. You handgun should be concealed and your rifle should be in your vehicle if needed. A shotgun, long range rifle, and 22 Rifle should be at the homestead for a last line of defense, perimeter security, and other tasks.

Does ammo go bad? ›

Ammunition isn't a perishable good - if stored correctly, it can last almost indefinitely. Whether it was stored correctly or not is another matter. Ammunition isn't like the still-edible 5000-year-old honey found in Egyptian tombs; ready to eat and spread on toast.

Is it illegal to have too much ammo? ›

A: You can buy as much ammo as you want. There will NOT be any quantity or caliber restrictions on the ammo you can buy.

What is the most sold gun in history? ›

Designs produced in numbers exceeding 1 million
Model or seriesClass of firearmHigh estimate of production
Kalashnikov AK-47 (and derivatives)Assault rifle150,000,000
Mauser Gewehr 98 (and similar)Bolt-action rifle102,000,000
M16/M4/AR-15 and derivativesAssault rifle/semi-automatic rifle20,000,000
93 more rows

What is the most valuable weapon? ›

The F-35 is the most expensive weapon in history. The Pentagon's estimated cost to develop and acquire this fighter jet has risen from $398 billion to $412 billion, according to the latest program report from the US Department of Defence.

What is the most popular antique gun? ›

Yet, the Colt Single Action Army revolver, better known as the 'peacemaker' and antique collector's most beloved weapon, wasn't released until 1872. This iconic long-barreled revolver was used by both outlaws and lawmen across the United States, and can fetch thousands of dollars at auction.

What is the most famous pistol of all time? ›

Likely the most iconic handgun in existence, the Colt Single Action Army gained fame in the holsters of Roosevelt's Rough Riders and won the West in the hands of men like Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson.

Who is the largest gun seller in the US? ›

The Actual Largest Gun Store in the World

Adventure Outdoors has been selling guns for over 40 years, servicing Cobb County, the Metro Atlanta area, and now selling to all states with our online gun store. Visit us in store or online for all your firearm needs.

Which is the No 1 weapon in the world? ›

Of course, nuclear weapons surpass all other weapons made to date, because they have enormous destructive power and can cut down an entire city and a large part of the population, and radiation after a nuclear attack would be present for decades.

Do guns go up in value? ›

While most well-maintained, high-quality guns don't depreciate, buying guns as an investment while they are at top dollar isn't a good idea. Just like you would do when investing in the stock market, buy low and sell high.

What is the oldest gun brand? ›

Founded in the 16th century, Beretta is the oldest active manufacturer of firearm components in the world. In 1526 its inaugural product was arquebus barrels; by all accounts Beretta-made barrels equipped the Venetian fleet at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

What year are guns considered antique? ›

For the purposes of the National Firearms Act, the term “Antique Firearms” means any firearm not intended or redesigned for using rim fire or conventional center fire ignition with fixed ammunition and manufactured in or before 1898 (including any matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap or similar type of ignition system ...

What is the most iconic American gun? ›

M1 Garand. We start off with one of the most iconic American weapons, the M1 Garand. Of all the small arms in the U.S. Military's arsenal during World War II, the M1 Garand was the one of the most effective.


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