MPT-76 Production Begins In Turkey, MAC Takes a Look

Two weeks ago, Janes reported that production of the Turkish MPT-76 rifle had begun. The rifle is a 7.62mm caliber derivative of the German HK417 rifle, itself a derivative of the AR-15 series of rifles. The MPT-76 inherits the operating rod mechanism of the G36 through its German parents, but differs from the HK417 in some details of the handguard mounting system and the receiver.

Tim of the Military Arms Channel recently released a video overview of the MPT-76, including a shoot session with the new rifle:

The Jane’s press release is replicated below:

Turkey’s Defence Industries Undersecretariat (SSM) and the state-owned Mechanical and Chemical Industries Corporation (MKEK) signed a contract on 2 July covering the serial production of MPT-76 battle rifles for the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).

Under the initial phase of the project, which will see the production of 35,014 MPT-76s, 20,000 rifles will be manufactured for the land and naval forces commands as well as for the gendarmerie general command, according to a statement released by the SSM. The value of the contract is around TRY80 million (USD30 million).

The project intends the MPT-76s to meet the TSK’s 7.62 mm infantry rifle requirements.

The MPT-76 was designed as an infantry rifle; the Turks still using 7.62 NATO as standard in their version of the G3. Significant effort has been made to lighten the weapon versus the HK417, resulting in a 0.3kg weight reduction versus the comparable HK417A2 16.5″ barrel model.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • anonymouse

    It’s a neat gun the MPT-76, the Turks have done a good job with it. Having also been hands on with it, the rifle just feels right. There’s a difference between a news report and a press release tho folks.

  • hikerguy

    I find it interesting that in today’s world of 5.56 rifles and carbines the new Turkish rifle is 7.62. Turkey is a land of wide open spaces and mountains so the new rifle in 7.62 is not a surprise. They simply need the range it gives.

    • I’m curious what optics they will choose (if any) to take advantage of that extra range. Would be kind of a waste to lug around a modern 800 yard battle rifle with just iron sights.

      • hikerguy

        I did a search on a couple of search engines and looked pics from the Kurdish campaigns in Iraq and the current areas where Srian refugees are, and it appeared few had optics of any kind. My guess would be the DMs have the optics, but, it is only a guess.

      • Manny Fal

        Don’t you know turkish soldiers are all sharpshooters with iron sights?

    • Tom

      The Turks tried to adopt a locally modified variant of the HK G33 but the troops did not like it. They then tried a variant of the HK 416 and again the troops didn’t like it. There was talk of the Tavor (turkey and Israel have historically been very close) but relations have recently turned sour. Eventually the Turks came to the simple conclusion that unless it chambered 7.62mm NATO the troops would not like it. So they did the only logical thing and went 7.62mm NATO. As you say wide open plains and mountains makes the 7.62mm the natural choice something the Turkish troops knew all along.

      • Manny Fal

        In other words your typical dysfunctional muslim military.

        • Esh325

          I’m not really sure what their logic was for giving everybody a 7.62×51 rifle. Most countries with significant combat experience has been to give most soldiers a 5.56×45,5.45×39, or 7.62×39 rifle while issuing a few 7.62×51 or 7.62x54R rifles along side them.

          • buzzman1

            Try looking at their combat doctrine. As the other guys have said the Turks need long range engagement capability. I’ve been all over Turkey many times and especially in their troubled regions of the east and south east and 5.56 would cut it.

        • Tom

          Turkey is a secular republic with a professional military and a long history of fighting in difficult terrain.

        • Turkey is one of the few notable exceptions to the ‘typical dysfunctional Muslim military’ rule. Another one would be Jordan.

        • Aimz

          And another typical ignorant, racist comment. You should do yourself a favor and actually read a little about Turkey. For starters, they have one of the largest and capable military forces in NATO. Also, changing from 7.62 to 5.56 may not be feasible for them for a variety of reasons. I can go on and on, but its pointless

    • The MPT-76 is replacing a locally produced G3 variant, so it’s not a change of calibers for them.

    • Esh325

      Honestly, I think they are making a mistake by issuing a 7.62×51 to everybody rather than a 5.56×45. Pretty much every country in the world ditched their full caliber rifles for general issue in favor of an intermediate caliber weapon. The Russians in WW2 went for a intermediate cartridge for a general issue rifle after WW2. The USA stopped issuing M14’s for general issue when they came up against the AK-47, and issued the M16. The Israelis in the 6 day war armed with FAL’s picked up AK-47’s and were so impressed that they made their own version, the Galil. 7.62×51 rifles have their place, but I think a soldier is better equipped with a 5.56×45 in most situations. A 5.56×45 rifle + magazines hold 10 more rounds than most .308 rifles, and are lighter and shorter than a .308 rifle +magazines. Not to mention the recoil being significantly less.

      • Tom

        The Turks have always used 7.62mm so its not a change for them.

      • hikerguy

        I agree with you for most applications that yes, intermediate rounds cover most situations. Turkey is a unique situation due to their landscape. They did receive a license to produce the H&K M4/16 in 5.56 but it was soundly rejected for it’s lack of range. It was similar in Afghanistan where the British adopted LMT’s version of the AR 10. The Taliban with Lee .303s were out ranging the British using 5.56 rifles and they couldn’t not counter the fire of the Lees successfully. The LMT 7.62 rifles gave the British an edge in Afghansitan’s mountains and desert areas. Intermediate rounds shine in urban and close quarter situations, and you can carry more ammo, as you said. I still think the 2 caliber system is effective for more than a few reasons.

        • Tom

          Its also worth noting if there is one thing that has never been doubted about the L85 its the accuracy of the rifle. If you can not engage your enemy at range with an L85 your certainly not going to be able to do so with an M4 or similar.

          If the Turks find themselves in urban/close range engagements then they can easily make a 5.56mm upper for the MPT 76 but in most of the combat Turkey has found itself in the 7.62mm is simple a better round.

          • hikerguy

            I was doing a search yesterday and noticed in some pics some of the troops appeared to be carrying the smaller HK version that used 5.56. Maybe that is what they use for some CQB action in urban areas. Just a guess. Yes, that L85 has been a sore spot, but the improvement package designed by H&K helped quite a bit. Internet rumor has it they will go with a new rifle in the not too distant future.

        • Esh325

          Yeah, it may not necessarily be a mistake it could possibly be that Turkey’s unique situation dictated that a 7.62×51 rifle was better rather than a mix of 5.56×45 and 7.62 weapons like most militaries do.

        • CommonSense23

          The Taliban are not out fighting us with Lee .303s they are engaging forces outside of a 5.56 rifles effective range with belt fed machine guns. PKMs, RPKs, DSHKs.

          • hikerguy

            Yes, I had forgotten about the numbers of Soviet/Russian weaponry they had lying around. Besides the Russian and older Lees, I have seen pics of Afghan fighters with weapons an old as the Martini-Henrys that have been passed down from generation to generation.

        • Manny Fal

          British/Americans/Australia and others had not adopted a DMR in 7.62, until only recently during the Afghan war, but this had been the case for some time for the Russian military. I assume the Turks perhaps don’t want the logistical burden of supporting two rifle calibres or perhaps they didn’t get the memo that DMR troops are now standard in the west.
          One thing is for sure, when Turkish military faces 5.56mm or even .39mm Ak rounds in battle they will have 30 to 50 percent less ammunition than their enemy, how they are gonna pull themselves out of that one, once the enemy closes within a couple hundred meters neutralizing the advantages of the 7.62x51mm round?.

          • hikerguy

            Good point. I think there still should be a contingent of 5.56 armed folks for that occasion. I noticed in some of the photos when searching the other day about Turkish troops there were a few armed with the 5.56 version (exact designation I can’t remember) of the H&K G3 platform. Perhaps that’s why they were.

          • gunsandrockets

            I see that the Turks have the 5.56mm Minimi LMG in service. So there’s no reason why a Turk rifle squad couldn’t have a mix of MPT-76 rifleman and a Minimi LMG team. Provide the MPT-76 with optical sights and the squad gains the advantages of accurate hard hitting economy of force firepower from the rifleman along with lightweight suppressive mass firepower from the LMG.

      • Leonidas

        Small calibres are the doctrine of post world war 2 era. After improvements in optics and body armour, we need full power cartridges.

        I guess in near future, using more developed optics and body armour will make 5.56 totally useless.

        • Manny Fal

          .308 doesn’t penetrate armour, so that argument is moot. Granted the extra reach modern optics provide does make a good argument for a longer range calibre.

          • Leonidas

            We only need an improved 7.62 cartridge. 5.56 cartridge changed few times but 7.62 still the same.

            A modern 7.62 ammo will dominate battle fields, I guess.

    • BS

      Well, remember that Greeks are still having th 7.62 G3’s…

  • Paladin

    I was all in until he said you don’t have to rotate the cam pin. What sort of sorcery is that?!?

    Seriously though, this rifle seem amazingly well thought out, and looks like it’d be a good shooter. I’m not super well informed in the different 7.62 mags, but is it a safe assumption that these take G3 mags?

    Anyone know if a civilian version could ever find its way over here?

    • G0rdon_Fr33man

      Mags looks similar to the proprietary HK 417 mags, but then I saw the polymer mag in the G3A4 in the vid so you might be right.

    • Tom

      The Turkish military is massive in terms of manpower (2nd only to the US in NATO) so it will be a while before they have the spare capacity to bring the rifle to the civilian market. Of course they then need to set up US manufacturing to get round the import ban. But if they could do it at a fair price (and Turkish made guns seem to do well on the value for money aspect even if they are not terrible popular in the US) then I can it would sell very well indeed.

      • Paladin

        That would be nice. And I agree about the quality and value. My buddy just got one of the Canik TP-9’s. Nothing fancy about the pistol, but it is a solid shooter at a great price. Looking to grab one here soon.

    • john huscio

      At the end of the video tim states that zenith firearms will be trying to import them next year

  • Seburo

    So since this is a 7.62×51 G36 derivative does that mean a 7.62 is plausible? Oh wait that’s the SCAR-H. HK seems too not care if competitors get the drop on them.

    • Phil Hsueh

      This rifle is not a G36 derivative, as the article states and is apparent by its appearance it’s an AR derivative, specifically the HK417.

      • Bj

        In all fairness, the 416/17 line are an AR with a G36 derived Poston system, so it’s like, 80% AR, 20% G36

        • Phil Hsueh

          Isn’t that kind of splitting hairs? It’s sort of like saying that because you have a 10th cousin, 8 times removed who is full blooded Cherokee Indian makes you descended from Native Americans.

          • Bj

            There are lineages in firearms. The G36 is just a rework of the AR18. Saying any gun is a copy of another is pointless because there hasn’t been any true innovation in decades.

          • Neither of those statements are really true.

          • Hail Mohammed

            Good enough for a US senator.

  • MPWS

    Way too much recoil for military rifle! They could have either implemented recoil reduction mechanism into buttstock or pave the way and go into their own new calibre, most logically in 6.5 neighborhood. So, it is a missed opportunity in that department.
    What was done right though is that they dismissed mickey-mouse 5.56×45 nonsense.
    Overall, robustness and workmanship are on par with anything in that caliber. My impression is good.

    • Tom

      Using an existing round makes sense. And as a NATO member Turkey needs to use a NATO round. For the fighting the Turks do 7.62mm makes far more sense. Its a round which the troops know and trust.

      Whilst we armchair commandos and generals can argue about a true multi purpose round all we like the worlds actual militaries are best of using whats tried and true.

    • Well, I guess we know how you feel about the caliber wars. 😉

      I agree that I thought Tim’s assessment that the rifle had “recoil mitigation” was a little optimistic. I’ve fired similar weapons on full auto before, and you can keep the muzzle down but it really shakes you up, as it evidently did Tim, too.

    • All the Raindrops

      a good muzzle device goes a long way

  • Rock or Something

    Looks like a solid firearm. Maybe the Turks can give the Indians some lessons to replace their currently issued abortions.

    • Tom

      The problem the Indians face is they insist on making new weapons at the state run arsenals which are by all accounts a den of corruption and inefficient.

  • john huscio

    The first Turkish gun I kinda sorta want……seems like they nailed it…..its too bad I’ll probably have dumped my 7.62×51 stash by the time this comes to market here….

  • tony

    They are used to shooting G3s, so another 7.62 platform is welcomed by troops.

  • USMC03Vet

    I wish disclosure regarding these videos was better. Recently MAC reupped a previous video from this tour regarding their ammo manufacturing due to a complaint from the company. Tim did disclose this at the bottom of the video description, but I have a feeling other terms are in place regarding videos from this company and would like know about that type of stuff as a viewer.

  • joshjp

    Man, turkey should real these comments, clearly we have experts online.

    • raginzerker

      You mean “really read these comments” but yeah, these mall ninjas are clearly know what’s best.

  • I seem to recall reading that report some time ago. Clearly 7.62 NATO is serviceable as a rifle cartridge, but the overwhelming preference for 5.56mm and similar rounds speaks quite a bit to that class having substantial advantages.

    • gunsandrockets

      No doubt 5.56mm is superior when used for lightweight automatic fire applications for obvious reasons. But it is an open question whether every rifleman should have an automatic weapon. That question is more a matter of doctrine than caliber.

      The conventional wisdom post-WWII of every rifleman armed with a general purpose selective-fire weapon, was sensible in the context of a doctrine of mass conscripted hastily trained infantry.

      But the 21st century context of a small highly trained force of professional infantry, favors a doctrine of optically sighted semi-automatic rifle fire. A doctrine reinforced by the renaissance of specialized automatic weapons dedicated to the squad level role.

      In an ideal squad, an LSAT type 5mm to 6mm bore LMG would provide all automatic fire required and rifleman might use semi-auto optically sighted 7.62mm rifles.

  • TexasisbetterthanWA

    unless they put some serious optics on those rifle as standard (!)… what’s the point of the better range of 7.62 ? anything past 300 yds becomes quite challenging with iron sights….

  • Chi Wai Shum

    Another AR rifle with seemingly questionable “improvements”.

  • Brenden McDonel

    Looks like the latch on the charging handle is reversible, I don’t have any experience on the 417, but HKs 416s had cut outs on both sides of the receiver for the latch and the latch was is reversible.

  • petru sova

    The inability to remove the gas piston and op-rod quickly is the Achilles heal of this design. I see this rifle being quite useless in real combat. Grunts are notorious for not taking care of their weapons and making it difficult to take out the piston etc for cleaning is ridiculous. I have also always hated the AR type bolt that has no reciprocating handle. The forward assist is also a useless piece of equipment as well making jams even worse when trying to clear them. I would personally not even consider buying this gun not even for weekend plinking at the range.