Turkey has announced that a new version of their 7.62x51mm rifle, the MPT-76, has passed qualification with the Turkish Army. The MPT-76-MH has been significantly lightened. It has been reported by some sources that the rifle will be used in the role of a designated marksman’s rifle. However, this has not officially been confirmed and it seems more likely that it’s simply a lightened version of the service rifle.
CNNTurk reported that the weight of the rifle compared to a standard MPT-76 had been reduced by 750g or 1.65lbs. MKEK’s website lists the original MPT-76’s unloaded (without magazine) weight as 4.2kg or 9.26lbs. This means that if the new rifle has shed 1.65lbs the MPT-76-MH weighs in at around 7.6lbs. If the MPT-76-MH is a DMR, it joins MKEK’s previous effort to make a self-loading precision rifle – the KNT-76, which is described as a ‘sniper rifle’ in the company’s specs. Both weapons are based on the MPT-76 but it is unclear how different, other than furniture, the two rifles are.
Ismail Demir, the president of the Turkish Defense Industry Presidency said: “Our efforts are continuing for our security forces to use their equipment more effectively in the field. The qualification of the lightened National Infantry Rifle MPT-76-MH designed by MKEK has been completed.” He also shared a short video of the rifle on his Twitter page:
Güvenlik güçlerimizin sahada ekipmanlarını daha etkin kullanmasına yönelik çalışmalarımız sürüyor. @MKEKresmi tarafından tasarlanan hafifleştirilmiş Milli Piyade Tüfeği MPT-76-MH’nin kalifikasyonu tamamlandı. ✅#İstiklâlveİstikbâlimizİçin pic.twitter.com/W0yoh5VozM
— Ismail Demir (@IsmailDemirSSB) February 7, 2021
The video is also available here via MKEK, interestingly it does not show the rifle in a Designated Marksman Rifle role, instead, it shows soldiers firing it in full auto. This is likely stock footage of the MPT-76 not the MPT-76-MH as the rifle has the earlier furniture.
The MPT-76-MH joins the 5.56x45mm chambered MPT-55 and MPT-55K service rifles as well as the 7.62x51mm KAAN-717 Carbine prototype.
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Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. He also runs Historical Firearms, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of The Armourer’s Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms.
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