The Northwood R-76 was a submachine gun of Rhodesian origin. It was intended as a Land Defence Pistol during the Apartheid 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 use of a Carbine.
The R-76 sub-machinegun was manufactured by NORTHWOOD DEVELOPMENTS Pvt-Ltd out of Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe). The weapon was designed by Roger Mansfield, a former British Air Force engineer who emigrated from the UK to Rhodesia (possibly around '73-'74), and developed keeping mind to the needs of Rhodesian farmers, ranchers and citizens living in outlying areas where ZIPRA/ZANLA 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 sub-machinegun 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" (9x19mm) caliber, and fed by 13-rds "Browning High-Power" pistol magazines, or by locally-produced 20-rds or 30-rds magazines. It was operated by simple blowback, with a bolt running on two recoil springs like in the US-made M3 "Grease Gun" sub-machinegun, and was provided with either a 6" or 8", 24-grooves "Microgroove"-rifled barrel. Early versions could be found with a peer rear 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 M-77, was also available; the M-77 was available with a fixed wooden stock, and with a 9-inches or 10-inches barrel with bipod, flash hider and bayonet lug options available.
The R-76 sub-machinegun 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 sub-machinegun and the M-77 machine-carbine was not reprised in the Republic of South Africa, unlike other Rhodesian-grown gun projects like the "Rhuzi" (produced in South Africa as the "Kommando LDP"), the Mamba Pistol (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 sub-machineguns 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 sub-machineguns are also known to have made their way in Australia.