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SAKO M95

Assault rifle

SAKO M95 (762 Rk 95 TP)

The SAKO M95 recommended itself as a well-made, robust, reliable and accurate weapon

 
 
Country of origin Finland
Entered service 1995
Caliber 7.62 x 39 mm
Weight (empty) 3.7 kg
Weight (loaded) 4.5 kg
Length 935 mm
Length (with folded stock) 675 mm
Barrel length 420 mm
Muzzle velocity 715 m/s
Cyclic rate of fire 600 - 750 rpm
Practical rate of fire 40 - 100 rpm
Magazine capacity 30 rounds
Sighting range 300 m
Range of effective fire 300 m

 

   The SAKO M95 is a Finnish assault rifle. It is an improved version of the Valmet M62, which in turn is based on the Soviet AKM. In 1986 or 1987 SAKO merged with Valmet, another Finnish company producing weapons for the Finnish Defense Forces. Eventually gun manufacturing unit of the Valmet was transferred to SAKO and Valmet name was no longer used for the gun and ammunition production. In 1988 the Finnish Defense Forces issued requirement for an improved assault rifle. Development was completed in 1990. Most important improvements of the new assault rifle were a side-folding stock, capability to launch rifle grenades, mount bayonet or sound suppressor. Also there were some other minor improvements. This improved weapon has been adopted by the Finnish Defense Forces in 1995 as the 762 Rk 95 TP. Production ceased in 1997-1998 with around 20 000 units built. Finland is the only user of this assault rifle, as the M95 received no production orders from other countries. Currently it looks like the Finnish Defense Forces are looking for a new-generation assault rifle for their soldiers.

   The SAKO M95 is a gas-operated, selective fire weapon. It follows the lines of the previous M62 and M76. It looks like some features were borrowed from the Israeli Galil, which is actually an Israeli clone of the Finnish M62. Internally the SAKO M95 is similar to Kalashnikov assault rifles, however it uses a modified gas system, which reduces recoil. A manual gas valve was added, which enabled the use of rifle grenades. Furthermore the M95 is manufactured to far tighter tolerances and higher specification. Overall it is a better weapon than the Soviet AKM. It might be even superior to the recent Russian AK-103 and AK-15 assault rifles.

   This assault rifle has a Kalashnikov-style safety and fire mode selector lever, located on the right side of the receiver. It has three positions for "safe", "semi-auto", and "full-auto". When the safety is on it prevents the shooter from loading the weapon, however it allows the check weather a weapon is loaded. Unfortunately this selector lever is awkward to use. Early prototype of the M95, the M90, had a new and much more comfortable selector lever, located on the left side of the receiver, that could be operated by a thumb. However on production model this design was abandoned in favor to standard Kalashnikov-style selector, which is simple and reliable. Charging handle resembles that of the Israeli Galil. It is bent upwards for easier charging.

   This weapon is chambered for a 7.62x39 mm ammunition. For decades Finnish Defense Forces used the same ammunition as the Soviet Union, so that in case of war Finnish soldiers could use captured ammunition. However by the 1990s Russian Army already used 5.45x39 mm intermediate ammunition. Finnish Defense Forces decided not to switch to the 5.45x39 mm round for logistical reasons and still use older, but more powerful 7.62x39 mm ammunition. Though export model of the M95, chambered for a standard NATO 5.56x45 mm ammunition was available.

   The M95 is easy to use and to maintain. For cleaning and maintenance it can be easily field stripped without using any tools. There are no small and fiddly parts that can be lost while the shooter is cleaning his weapon. The SAKO M95 recommended itself as a well-made, robust, reliable and accurate weapon.

   This assault rifle is fed from 30-round polymer magazines. It can also accept 7.62 mm magazines from older Finnish assault rifles and standard AKM magazines. This weapon comes as standard with 6 magazines.

   This assault rifle has a side-folding skeletal stock. Letters "TP" in its Finnish military 762 Rk 95 TP designation indicate that the weapon has a folding stock. It strongly resembles that of the Galil assault rifle. The stock folds to the right side. It was a major improvement, as most previous Finnish M62 series assault rifles, used by the Finnish Defense Forces had fixed stocks. The upper tube of the stock holds maintenance accessories. Sometimes this weapon is seen with a cheek pad. This assault rifle has a polymer pistol handle and foregrip.

   The SAKO M95 has diopter-type iron sights. A flip-up rear post has settings for 150 m and 300 m. An experienced shooter firing this weapon can hit targets located at longer ranges. There is a universal scope rail on the left side of the receiver for an optical or night vision sight. The same scope rail is present on the Soviet and Russian assault rifles. So the SAKO M95 is compatible with scopes of the AK-74 and some other Russian weapons.

   The M95 has got new muzzle brake, which was specially developed to launch rifle grenades, mount bayonet or sound suppressor. Though muzzle brake of the M95 lost a handy feature of the M62, which allowed to use it in order to shoot through barbed wire.

   This assault rifle can also mount a 40 mm underbarrel grenade launcher or bipod.

 

Variants

 

   Export model of the SAKO M95, chambered for a standard NATO 5.56x45 mm round. However it received no production orders.

   SAKO M95S is a civilian semi-automatic version with a fixed buttstock. It is chambered for 7.62x39 mm ammunition.

 
SAKO M95 (762 Rk 95 TP)

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SAKO M95 (762 Rk 95 TP)

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SAKO M95 (762 Rk 95 TP)

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SAKO M95 (762 Rk 95 TP)

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SAKO M95 (762 Rk 95 TP)

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SAKO M95 (762 Rk 95 TP)

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SAKO M95 (762 Rk 95 TP)

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Personal appeal from Andrius Genys

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