Country of origin
7.62 x 39 mm
3.9 - 4 kg
Cyclic rate of fire
Practical rate of fire
40 - 100 rpm
Range of effective fire
~ 400 m
In the 1950s
the Finnish Defense Forces were looking for a new assault rifle.
Eventually they decided to adopt a modified version of the
then used by their neighbors, the Soviet Union. They took into the
account experience of the 1939-1940 Winter War, when the Soviet
Union invaded Finland.
This Finnish assault
rifle is based on the Soviet
Finnish designers used a Polish license-produced version of the
AK-47 as their starting point. Originally there was an M60 design
(Finnish designation 762 Rk 60). It was a close copy of the AK-47,
but with some external differences. Unusual feature of this weapon
was that it lacked a trigger guard. It was much
easier to shoot for the soldiers wearing thick winter gloves. In 1960
the Valmet M60 it
was submitted for military testings. However eventually it was rejected
by the Finnish military
due to the lack of the trigger guard, as it was a serious safety
concern. So the M60
was improved and further developed into the M62. This improved version was adopted by the
Finnish Defense Forces as the 762 Rk 62. The same assault rifle was
produced by Valmet and SAKO, another Finnish gun maker. In 1976
production switched to an improved
model (762 Rk 62 76). In 1986-1987 gun
manufacturing unit of the Valmet was transferred to SAKO and Valmet
name was no longer used for the gun and ammunition production. The
M62 is still used by the Finnish Defense Forces alongside its
improved versions. Though some of these weapons are being gradually
phased out, while the others are being upgraded to Rk 62M standard. This assault rifle has
been exported to Estonia, which is so far the only known export operator
of this weapon.
The M62 is a
gas-operated, selective fire weapon. Internally it is similar to
Kalashnikov assault rifles, however it uses a modified gas system,
which reduces recoil. Furthermore the Finnish M62 was manufactured to
far tighter tolerances and higher specifications. In service the M62
recommended itself as a well-made, robust, reliable and accurate
weapon. Overall it is a better weapon than the Soviet
This assault rifle is
chambered for a Soviet 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.
Though since the mid 1970s Soviet, and later, Russian Army switched
to newer 5.45x39 mm intermediate ammunition. Finnish Defense Forces
decided not to switch to the new round for logistical reasons
and still rely on older, but more powerful 7.62x39 mm ammunition.
Civilian semi-automatic versions of the M62, chambered for standard
NATO 5.56x45 mm ammunition, were available.
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.
The M62 is
simple to use and to maintain. For cleaning 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.
rifle is fed from 30-round steel magazines. Later improved polymer
magazines were introduced. It is also compatible with standard
Soviet 7.62 mm magazines from
assault rifle and
light machine gun. This weapon comes as standard with 6 magazines.
rifle has a tubular steel buttstock. The tube of the stock holds
cleaning and maintenance accessories. A foregrip is made of polymer
has diopter-type iron sights. These were completely different than
the Soviet sights. Front sight of the M62 is mounted on the gas
block. It reduced attachments to the barrel and resulted in
Though the sights are adjusted in the same manner as the
Kalashnikov-type sights. Maximum sighting range is 600 meters,
though range of effective fire is around 400
of this weapon has attachment for a knife-bayonet. It can be used to
shoot through barbed wire. Though it can not mount a sound
suppressor or launch rifle grenades.
762 Rk 62 TP
is a version with a side-folding buttstock. Letters "TP" in its
Finnish military designation indicate that the weapon has a folding
762 Rk 62 PT
is a version with a perforated polymer foregrip, rounded pistol grip
and slightly different sights.
is a civilian semi-automatic version. It was available with a
tubular steel buttstock, or a solid wooden buttstock.
is an export version, resembling the Soviet
AKM. Sight posts were relocated
and the front sight
post is located on the muzzle brake. This weapon has a tubular steel
buttstock (762 Rk 71), but there was also a version with an AKMS-style
collapsible buttstock (762 Rk 71 TP).
is a civilian semi-automatic version. It is chambered for a standard
NATO 5.56x45 mm ammunition. This weapon was available with wooden or
is an improved version. It has a different foregrip and some other
improvements. This weapon is lighter than the original M62. It was
adopted by the Finnish Defense Forces in 1976 as the 762 Rk 62 76.
SAKO M95 is
a further improved version, produced by SAKO in the mid 1990s. 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. This
assault rifle was produced in relatively small numbers. Around 20
000 units were built. Production ceased in 1997-1998.
Rk 62M is an
upgraded version of the Finnish Rk 62 assault rifles. In 2015 the
Finnish Defense Forces announced that they will gradually upgrade
their existing Rk 62 assault rifles. Old tubular buttstock was
replaced by an
telescopic buttstock. Also there are some other improvements. This
weapon retains a side-mounted scope rail, but also has a standard
Picatinny-type scope mount, which is widely used in the West.
is an Israeli assault rifle, based on the Valmet M62. It was
developed during the late 1960s. It is reported that tooling and
machinery for production of this weapon were delivered from Finland. The main difference of the Galil is
that it is chambered for standard NATO 5.56x45 mm ammunition. There
is also a version chambered for a 7.62x51 mm NATO round. The Galil
was adopted by the Israel Defense Forces in 1972. Unlike the
M62 this weapon was widely exported and is still used in around 30