Country of origin
7.62 x 39 mm
Length (with folded stock)
Cyclic rate of fire
600 - 750 rpm
Practical rate of fire
40 - 100 rpm
Range of effective fire
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
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
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
might be even superior to the recent Russian
AK-15 assault rifles.
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 to
check whether the 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
It is bent upwards for easier charging.
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
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.
rifle is fed from 30-round polymer magazines. It can also accept
7.62 mm magazines from older Finnish assault rifles and standard
magazines. This weapon comes as standard with 6 magazines.
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
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.
rifle can also mount a 40 mm underbarrel grenade launcher or bipod.
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.