Smith & Wesson M76 and Carl Gustav M45
Above is the Carl Gustav M45, better known as the Swedish K and bellow it an American clone, the Smith & Wesson M76. The M45 was developed by Neutral Sweden during WWII, to replace the Finnish Suomi sub-machine guns then in service. The final development and initial production of the M45 began just after the end of the war. Initially they had no magazine housing and used a drum magazine similar to the Russian PPSh-41s but in 1948 a 36-round stacked box magazine was developed and from then on new models were designated the Model 45B. The original models without added magazine housings are rare as almost all of the original models were refitted to take the new magazines.
The M45 became extremely popular with US Special Forces in Vietnam with both the Navy Seals, the CIA and numerous special forces taking a liking to the weapons robust design and its ability to fire immediately after being submerged in water. However, in 1966 Sweden placed an arms embargo on the US as it disagreed with America’s intervention in Asia and ceased the export of the M45.
While the US also issued the ageing M3 ‘grease gun’, some privately bought Madsen M-50s and even some Uzis for use by Special Forces the ‘Swedish K’ was favoured by many. Seeing this Smith & Wesson began producing the M76, a direct clone of the M45, in 1967. However, by the time the M76 reached Vietnam its role had been filled by other weapons including the MAC-10 and the CAR-15 carbine. The M76 found its way into the civilian market and was issued by some police departments, production was ceased in 1974.
Image One Source
Image Two Source
Machine Gun, Ian Hogg (1979)
Jane’s Guns, Ian Hogg (1996)