Finland Troops use AK?!


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Hugo
May 22, 2006, 01:34 AM
Interesting how Finland has such a great website for their whole Military, and so very easy to use, especially in English!

http://www.mil.fi/english/index.dsp

I think I see in one photo a conscript using an AK-47 or AK-74. Kinda Ironic since Russia really tried to screw up Finland during WW2 when the world was a bit distracted with the Axis powers. Surprisingly Mannerheim actually met Hitler for a few hours, said he didnt like the guy as a person (if only he knew), probably was thinking the whole time "Yeah, yeah, Aryan race, sure thing. Can I have my guns, ammo and food now? We're kinda busy with Russia..."

Lots of stuff on Wikipedia about Mannerheim. Guy hunted a whole lot! Ironically in Finnish Gun laws, Guns are registered and you do have to get a easy to get license, but Suppressors are totally legal and encouraged for hearing protection! I guess half a cake isnt so bad, could be better though.

P.S. For laughs check out www.starwreck.com INCREDIBLE special FX for a fan made parody! Also made in Finland.

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Limeyfellow
May 22, 2006, 02:15 AM
After Finland surrendered to Russia they started using alot of Soviet rifles. The Finnish Mosins for example are considered the finest of the lot and most accurate and were used against the Russians with great effect. After WW2 Finland and Russian relations were actually not that bad, so they borrowed the ak47 designs for the Valmet Rk60 and 62.

Today they use the Valmet m95, and we better know Valmet by the modern name of the company, Sako. Fine firearms.

cbsbyte
May 22, 2006, 02:22 AM
Actually it makes perfect sense for Finland to use Russian arms, since they are more likley to be at war with Russia than anyone else. They where also a Duchy of the Russian empire until the Revolution in 1918 when they gain their indepedence. In fact they where always using Russian arms, or making Finnish versions, which are much better made than the cruder Soviet stock. Finland makes there own version of Russian light arms with added western features. They also use many surplus Russian vehicles. I believe in Finland only active military or police are allowed to own handguns. Finnish gun laws, like the rest of Europe, are very restrictive compared to the US though their laws are alot more liberal than Great Britian, and many other countries.

PS: I wanted to add that I have great respect for the Finns. They are truly fearsome warriors, even when greatly outnumbered as in WWII. And they held off the Soviets in the Winter War of 40-41 even when out numbered 5-1. They did have to sue for a peace, since there was no way they could hold out forever, few countries came to their assistance in fear of reataliation by Stalin. He made it clear to Finland if they lost the war all of Finland would once again become part of the Union. Yes, they did side with Germany later in WWII but it was an alliance of convience, to get supplies to rearm themselves after 41 conflict and try to gain back the land they lost to Russia. The Finns with German help where able to drive the Russian all the way back to St Petersburg, before the tied of war changed against both countries. Even in retreat they help their own against great odds with a realtivly small force of less then 200,000 men. The Soviet massed an armyof nearly a million. They caused massive casulaties to the Soviets, who proabaly lost three times as many men as the Finns fielded in the entire war.

Croyance
May 22, 2006, 02:35 AM
cbsbyte said what I was going to point out.
Who is Finland going to end up fighting if there is a war?
Assuming they don't just nuke or gas the place, how long could Finland realistically expect to hold out?
If they have to fight a similar sort of war under occupation like in WWII, where will ammunition and spare parts come from? Using what you capture is generally a good idea. May as well gain familiarity now - hate to find out limitations and weaknesses in the field under heavy fire.

jerkface11
May 22, 2006, 09:06 AM
The valmet is a VERY refined AK-47. The Galil is actually based on IT in fact the Galils were made on finish equipment at first. I'd give my right arm for a valmet with the cheese grater forend.

hso
May 22, 2006, 11:16 AM
The Finns were using Russian weapons when they gained their independence. They continued to use them because they were already in inventory and none of the western powers were interested in replacing them. This proved beneficial during the wars with the Soviet Union because it allowed the Finns to use captured ammunition and weapons.

Don't tell a Finn they surrendered to the Soviets. They consider the armistice to have been a stalemate instead of a defeat. Finnish losses during the 2 Russo-Finnish wars were minimal compared to the massive Soviet losses. This was in part to the conditions and the fierce fighting spirit of the Finns. It was also, in no small part, to Finnish marksmanship with the greatest snipers of all time having come from Finland. The Soviet's Marshal Molotov is supposed to have said the Soviet Union only took enough of Finland to burry it's dead.

Being frugal and isolated between Sweden and the Soviet Union, Finland was somewhat Balkanized and the country became something of a client state to the Soviets. Their adoption of the AK design was as much about economics as anything. Frugal, there's no denying that the robust, reliable and cheap AK design had a lot to offer in an Arctic environment. As such they did what they always did. They took a good design and refined it and coupled it with near fanatical devotion to accuracy and practicality to make the best AK-type weapon around.

max popenker
May 22, 2006, 11:43 AM
Finnish gun laws, like the rest of Europe, are very restrictive compared to the US though their laws are alot more liberal than Great Britian
Well, while handgun ownership is much more limited in Finland than in US, the collecting of full-auto stuff is much easier there - i believe their prices of FA guns are only fraction of US prices (IIRC one of my friends who travels to FI quite often, told me that you can legally buy a working MP-40 for less than US $1000 there, considering that you already have a proper collector's license).
Silencer ownership is also less restrictive.

As for Valmer rifles - they indeed are among the best versions of AK; it is interesting to note that unlike most others finns stuck to milled receivers and 7.62x39 ammo while almost everybody else went for cheaper and lighter stamped guns in .22ish calibers.

Langenator
May 22, 2006, 01:41 PM
I seem to recall reading somewhere that the Finns had either bought or started making straight up AKs for use by second echelon troops.

I don't agree with the idea, but I'm not Finnish, and I'm sure it's a lot cheaper than giving Valmets to everyone.

Dave Markowitz
May 22, 2006, 01:43 PM
The Finns recently bought a pile of Chicom Type 56 AKs for their second line troops. The Valmets are still being issued to first line troops. It's a simple matter of economics. It's cheaper to buy Chicom stamped AKs than make milled Valmets.

I'd much rather pack a Valmet than a Type 56, but those second line guys are still going to be very well armed.

Bart Noir
May 22, 2006, 01:52 PM
I believe that Molotov was Stalin's Foreign Minister and was the face of Soviet diplomatic ant-squashing. Being as the Finns were the ants in 1939, and remembered the rough days in gaining independence a couple of decades earlier, they invented a gasoline-in-a-bottle bomb (anti-tank weapon, for those with lots of courage) and called it the "Molotov cocktail". At least, I think that is were the term came from.

Bart Noir

mete
May 22, 2006, 01:56 PM
The Finnish made AKs were the best made that you could find !!!

Firehand
May 22, 2006, 04:12 PM
There was an article in Shotgun News a short time ago about the new Finn sniper rifle; it's made on a 91/30 Mosin-Nagant receiver!

They get very good results with it.

8Balls
May 22, 2006, 05:09 PM
"After Finland surrendered to Russia they started using alot of Soviet rifles. The Finnish Mosins for example are considered the finest of the lot and most accurate and were used against the Russians with great effect. After WW2 Finland and Russian relations were actually not that bad, so they borrowed the ak47 designs for the Valmet Rk60 and 62."

Limeyfellow, get your ¤#%/#¤ facts straight. We never surrendered to russia. And never will. Finland was the ONLY land in europe which was in war and was not occupied. (=We won)



CBSBYTE: I believe in Finland only active military or police are allowed to own handguns. Finnish gun laws, like the rest of Europe, are very restrictive compared to the US though their laws are alot more liberal than Great Britian, and many other countries.

And I know that we have more guns/person than americans. Gunpermits are quite easy to get if you need a gun. For example, im not LEO, though im army reserve (like 83% finnish males). I got my first guns when I was 15. (Silenced CZ kadet .22) Got my ak-103 when I was 16 and now I live on campus. I got silenced glock and plenty of other hardware in my desk drawer. And its all perfectly legal. Just 6 months ago I stored some ammo for school IPSC club and we carried over 20k rounds to my dorm room through local daycare centers play ground. No one said a word. :)

igor
May 22, 2006, 06:52 PM
Hugo, respect for your effort and interest! You've read your Mannerheim history. Hitler just showed up for his 75th birthday and nobody was that amused. President Risto Ryti took on his person to sign all the treaties with Hitler and paid for it afterwards...

Actually the Finnish radio just discovered a hidden recording that was made of the private conversations during that visit. Which BTW took place in the middle of nowhere in hidden railway cars. A ranting Hitler in mildly disinterested but sternly polite company... priceless.

Bonus tip: check out one of our earlier presidents, Pehr Evind Svinhufvud. Now he was a sportsman, a champion shooter, and another true hero and patriot, a Sibiria-goer in the early 1900's. I've got him, Mannerheim and Ryti framed on my wall. I don't much care for our current presidential beings.

8ball, let's be fair about the winning the Soviets thing... I'd put it that we came in as a close runner-up ;) . It is true that the only European capitals in that war, which didn't end up occupied, were London, Moscow and Helsinki. Something to think about.

Cbsbyte, as said, our firearms are on a need-to permit basis and registered, but very much available to all citizens. Carrying them is another thing, there you're right. Only the police and criminals carry here.

Croyance, your questions are good and valid. A few points: Finland has nothing worth taking with force per se. Passageway might be a reason. We focus pretty hard on making this way too slow and costly.

As to time frame in a scenario you put forth, think "Afghanistan" :D . Our entire infantry training revolves around guerrilla tactics and existence - and about 83% of all males are trained every year.

Limeyfellow, actually Valmet is the newer name. Sako goes way back.

Jerkface11, you have your Galil facts to the very point. The first Galils were OEM Valmets.

Dave M., I think the biggest part of our 2nd rate AKs came in as East German surplus. There is also a big pile of those Chinese ones. All are in issue 7,62x39 though.

Bart, you're dead on about the Molotov Cocktail history. :cool:

Firehand, the TAK-85 (that's the issue year, hardly "new") is indeed a Mosin receiver, bull-barrel thing in 7,62x53R. It's a superb shooter, but I must say not really an ideal sniper rifle. The design is more suited for "range use" than "bush use", no pun intended... I mean the great outdoors, of course :p . Too much buttstock and fore-end, entirely competition-style slings, a miserable bipod rail and too heavy as a whole.

Apart from those, we have a number of Dragunov SVDs in use, but as you'll know those aren't exactly sniper rifles either. They eat a slightly differently loaded 7,62x54R than the TAK or the old Mosins (yes, we have two separate caliber designations for those, as per not so usual).

The new Sako TRG is being slowly adopted as issue. Now that is some rifle.

And Hugo, the incentive to making e.g. interesting websites for the military and such marketing is that ours is a well regulated militia, not a standing army. We all go in, train and serve. I'm just being reassigned due to age and will be on until retirement age. As an integrating factor for the whole society, I speak very highly of our history of relatively safe independence based on conscription.

My thesis is that a society who bases its existance on mercenaries, ends up creating first a segregated, polarized class society and ultimately an armed elite who will possess a monopoly of power over, well, peons. Case in point: not-so-Great Britain. Case in counterpoint: see writer's location. What do yo'all say to that?

AndyC
May 22, 2006, 08:48 PM
Limeyfellow, get your ¤#%/#¤ facts straight. We never surrendered to russia. And never will. Finland was the ONLY land in europe which was in war and was not occupied. (=We won)
I know nothing about the Finnish part of WWII, so I did some googling out of curiosity and found this on WorldWar-2.net (http://www.worldwar-2.net/timelines/war-in-europe/scandinavia/scandinavia-index-1940.htm):

"03/03/1940 The Russian launch a massive offensive and bring Viipuri under direct attack. This brings home to the Finns the fact that they cannot resist for must longer against the overwhelming force that the Russians are now deploying.

08/03/1940 Heavy fighting is reported at the outskirts to Viipuri, as the Red Army continues its attempt to capture the city. This prompts the Finns to seek an immediate armistice, which the Russians refuse. Therefore the Finnish delegation in Moscow is instructed to sue for peace.

12/03/1940 A peace treaty is concluded between Finland and Russia, that formally ends the "Winter War". The terms of this treaty are harsh for Finland, who are forced to cede the entire Karelia Isthmus, and the city of Viipuri, which is renamed Vyborg. The also lose parts of eastern Karelia, Lake Ladoga, the Rybachiy Peninsula and the Petsamo area. The also have to grant the Russian a 30 year lease of the Hangö Peninsula. However, the ever 'generous' Russians drop their recognition of the Kuusinen puppet government in Moscow. The British finalise their plans for the invasion of Norway. Landings are to be made at Narvik and Trondheim in order to secure the rail line to Sweden and the large iron-ore fields.

13/03/1940 Hostilities between the Soviet Union and Finland cease. The Finns have lost 25,000 killed and 45,000 wounded, while the Russians have lost an estimated 200,000 killed and an unknown number of wounded.

18/03/1940 Russia assures Sweden of its safety after Finland's surrender."

I have no axe to grind on this issue - just reporting what I've found.

Hugo
May 22, 2006, 09:32 PM
I also am interested in Finland's famous Snipers from their Winter war and continuation war. Both made good use of Machine guns and Iron sighted sniper rifles. Of course having Hundreds of thousands of invaders literally in your backyard makes for a very, very target rich environment. :)

Simo Hayha - Man this guy was good! 505-542 kills! Certified Hero!
[URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simo_H%C3%A4yh%C3%A4"]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simo_H%C3%A4yh%C3%A4

Sulo Kolkka - Close Second, bonus points for going behing enemy lines to scare the vodka out of the Invading Russians!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulo_Kolkka

Hollywood (or Finland) needs to make an "Enemy of the Gates" style movie about these two guys and put it in worldwide release! Though I bet Russia wouldnt be happy about it reminding the world of their (heavily) checkered past.

hso
May 22, 2006, 10:29 PM
8Balls,

You know I'm a fanatical Finn fan, but if you end up loosing territory most folks consider that loosing. On the other hand, if you retain 99% of your territory, political independence, a market economy and a democratic form of government against an enemy with 100 to 1 advantage in resources and personnel (Soviet Union) you have every right to consider yourself having won!

AndyC, see the Continuation War.

Croyance
May 22, 2006, 11:10 PM
I'm curious which designs do better in the extreme cold, the 7.62x39's or the 5.54's. I'm thinking the heavier parts and the possibly greater pressures (don't remember the numbers right now) of the 7.62's do better.
Plus, with the cold, there is a lot of heavy clothing to penetrate. So Finland seems smart in keeping the heavier bullet.

Detachment Charlie
May 23, 2006, 12:14 AM
:cuss:
I just returned from touring manufacturing plants in Finland. I am totally impressed with the Finns, correctly called Suoumi - "Finland" is from the Swedes and the Finns are "too big" on the Swedes.
Next, the Russians NEVER conquered Finland in WWII. After the bloody campaign, the Russian General in charge of the effort gave one of the most famous quotes in all fmilitary history.
When asked how much of Finish territory he had conquered, he responed, "Enough the bury my dead."
The Soviet Union dominated Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, but never Finland.:fire:

max popenker
May 23, 2006, 04:15 AM
The Soviet Union dominated Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, but never Finland
yes, we need their industrial capabilities and their hard-earned marks they spent on our Vodka ;) Back in the pre-EU / USSR times here in leningrad we had a saying "he is drunk as a Finn", and it was the worst state of alcoholic consumption (no offence, just facts)

In fact, SU was never intent to bring the Finnland back completely; they just wanted to establish a safe zone across the most important city in country, the Leningrad. IIRC Stalin first tried to trade a territory for territory, but Finns rejected (believe they had they reasons to do so), then Stalin decided to take it the hard way.

All in all, personally i like Suomi - been there many times and plan to be more, as it takes only 4-5 hours to be in Helsinki on my own car or shuttle bus.
They make fine weapons (mostly rifles), too, and it is a pity that they dropped handgun production since WW2 - their Lahti L-35 (http://world.guns.ru/handguns/hg96-e.htm) was a great shooter

igor
May 24, 2006, 04:06 PM
Max, you have it exactly about the times in Leningrad... the "vodka tourism" has since moved a bit towards the nowadays free Estonia... :barf: ;)

You have a point about the safety of Leningrad as the turning point for the war. That's why Mannerheim sternly refused to a) partake in a German effort to take Leningrad under siege and b) cut off the Murmansk railway, though every opportunity was there. Talk about restraint under duress!

R.W.Dale
May 24, 2006, 04:37 PM
Saying that the Finns surrendered to the Ruskies is about the same as saying that we surrendered to the N Koreans and Chinese:evil:

Langenator
May 24, 2006, 11:35 PM
Just a minor correction: the TKIV-85 isn't the Finns new sniper rifle. According to Fortier's article in SGN about 2 months ago, it was adopted in the mid/late 80s, IIRC, and is now being phased out in favor of Sako's new rifle, the TRG something or other, in .338 Lapua.

And Max, I noticed the TKIV-85 is missing from your site. ;)

igor
May 25, 2006, 04:26 AM
Langenator, you're right about that. Bonus info: the 85 is the issue year. The official designation is 7,62 TAK 85, although linguistically TKIV makes sense too. TAK comes from "tarkka-ampujan kivääri". The Finnish military designations most usually have that structure: 1. caliber or such measure, 2. abbreviation of description and 3. issue year.

LAK
May 25, 2006, 07:04 AM
What krochus said.

And the Russian troops paid a heavy price for their little piece of cake.

Oh, and what jerkface11 said.

I saw one at a show several years ago with an $1,800 tag on it; had I the money at the time, I would not have hesitated.

------------------------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

8Balls
May 25, 2006, 10:31 AM
TAK comes from "tarkka-ampujan kivääri".

Sorry, If I remember correct, it comes from the word "Tarkkuuskivääri" which means accurized rifle. Tarkka-ampujan kivääri means sniper rifle. :neener:

http://www.mil.fi/maavoimat/kalustoesittely/index.dsp?level=64

BTW, I was issued TAK85 when I was in the army.

Firehand
May 25, 2006, 01:23 PM
Had just scanned the article on SGN, and it shows. I need to go back and read it completely.

Thanks for the information, Igor

igor
May 25, 2006, 04:13 PM
8balls, then I guess you'd know better about the TAK. I stand corrected.

I've seen IIRC three different optics on the TAK-85s I've had the opportunity with. What are your experiences?

Langenator
May 25, 2006, 11:38 PM
Now, what I really want to know, is when will they be surplused out and imported to the US? And where do I sign up to be on the waiting list to get one?

The trigger job they did sounds really interesting, too. IIRC, the article mentioned that they're sold commercially in Finland. Are there any plans to export that type of trigger group to the US? I'd love to give one a try in my M39.

Old Dog
May 25, 2006, 11:52 PM
Langenator, there was a dealer at the Puyallup WAC show last year had a nice Valmet -- only about 2K.

As an American with a Finnish mother (born and raised in Turku), I had noted with some amusement the confusion over the mid-20th century Finnish history (my grandma Aune and grandpa Toivo made sure when I was little that I knew the history of Talvisota and Jatkosota).

Sisu!

igor
May 26, 2006, 03:30 AM
Langenator, you might want to post a question on Toiminta-ampujat (http://www.toiminta-ampujat.fi/phpBB/viewforum.php?f=31&sid=802f2f35974dd4ed9c1bc6a8074e65e9)

That's the In English section of a very decent Finnish forum with the best knowledge there is. They're sponsored by several registered dealers who frequent the discussion too, so you're likely to get direct answers as to availability.

Old dog, respect to Aune and Toivo! :cool: Just like my grandma... he used to tell about the times "when they sleighed downhill on frozen Russians"... :D

My grandpa never made it through the last one. He was "special ops" of the time, a border troops lieutenant in charge of platoon-size "patrols" behind enemy lines. From what I've heard he must've been a bit of a bad @55.

Langenator
May 26, 2006, 12:56 PM
Igor-cool, thanks! I hope to be the first kid on my block with a TAK-85!

And Old Dog, if I had $2k to spare, I would have been having some serious discussions with the guy who had the G43 and the M1941 Johnson. And the other guy with the Johnson. Well, there's a lotto drawing tonight...

Old Dog
May 26, 2006, 01:09 PM
Yeah, Langenator, I saw that Johnson ... whoo, boy ...

8Balls
May 26, 2006, 01:13 PM
"8balls, then I guess you'd know better about the TAK. I stand corrected.

I've seen IIRC three different optics on the TAK-85s I've had the opportunity with. What are your experiences?"

There are two possible optics:
1: Smith&Bender 4xsomething
The crappier scope, I really did not like that.

2: Zeiss Diavari 6Xsomething:
Better option, it was hard to shoot long distances (600 & over) with S&B, but with it was quite easy with Zeiss. Zeiss was also i perfect working order after 20 something years of service. And i liked the cross hair.

Me, TAK85 & Zeiss Diavari: :rolleyes:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v226/8balls/IMG_0719.jpg

Sewerman
May 26, 2006, 08:45 PM
Wow what a great thread, Simo Hayha is one of my personal hero's. I have been trying to find an M-28 to add to my collection, they dont seem to be that plentiful any more. Thanks for the fascinating info.:D

Hugo
July 2, 2007, 08:42 PM
Zombie thread!

I see they buy the Barrett .50 too. It pays to buy quality from the USA! :)


http://www.starwreck.com
Frakking funny Star Trek vs. Babylon 5 parody made in Finland by fans.

kcmarine
July 2, 2007, 08:43 PM
Bump= Phail.

Ratzinger_p38
July 2, 2007, 09:09 PM
I have great respect for the Finns, but sadly they were in the Soviet 'zone' after WWII ended. There is a term, 'Finlandization' for this.

I used to be a reenactor of the Continuation War back before I joined the Army, so I got to learn a lot of the history. Matterheim wasnt exactly Pro-Hitler, but he did appreciate the help while the rest of the so called free world completely abandoned Finland, which was in real danger of being occupied in 1944. Ryti was more pro-German, and he suffered for this at the show trials given post war. Without Germany, Finland may have suffered the fate of the Baltic states as another Soviet Republic.

EDIT: Whoa crap this is a zombie thread. Heh, didnt notice.

toivo
July 3, 2007, 03:38 AM
I have great respect for the Finns, but sadly they were in the Soviet 'zone' after WWII ended. There is a term, 'Finlandization' for this.
I respectfully disagree. The term Finlandization refers to the political situation of a sovereign nation that has to tiptoe around a powerful and potentially hostile neighbor. This is not the same as the type of domination the Soviets held over Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, East Germany, et al. The relations between Finland and the Soviet Union were established by treaty following the Continuation War, well before the end of WWII. The virtual Soviet annexation of Eastern Europe at the end of WWII did not include Finland, which retained its parliamentary democracy and capitalist economy. However, Finland walked a fine line throughout the Cold War to avoid provoking the Soviets. It has been described as "bowing to the East without mooning the West."

rangerruck
July 3, 2007, 03:50 AM
I still like it when 8 ball said, 'carried 20k rounds to my dorm..." If I were a gun, I would marry him.

Medusa
July 3, 2007, 09:39 AM
Max, you have it exactly about the times in Leningrad... the "vodka tourism" has since moved a bit towards the nowadays free Estonia...
Yeah, I've seen them. These fellows are called Poro (but as usual, low types are noticed, and not in a good way). Every mother wants his son to be tuomari tai juristi, but instead get juomari ja turisti. Just like our low class - being drunk and stupid, care only about the cheap booze. Respectful and normal types doesn't show out that often..

I still like it when 8 ball said, 'carried 20k rounds to my dorm..." If I were a gun, I would marry him.
IIRC law limited the amount of ammo on 20 or so K per apartement.

Finnish army and the will&readiness to defend themselves at all costs against whomever is something we here look up to (we have our problems of motivation and hardware), and are sad that even if we fought and beated both German and Red Army during the independence war, our polichickens-leaders chose to give up without a fight and join the happy family of CCCP (siberi sead situvad reas, as it's known) during the WWII. You know, a lot of people are saying that if we had followed the finnish example we would have kept our freedom.

Oh, it's Häyhä, not Hayha

mmafan
July 3, 2007, 11:46 AM
And I know that we have more guns/person than americans. Gunpermits are quite easy to get if you need a gun. For example, im not LEO, though im army reserve (like 83% finnish males). I got my first guns when I was 15. (Silenced CZ kadet .22) Got my ak-103 when I was 16 and now I live on campus. I got silenced glock and plenty of other hardware in my desk drawer. And its all perfectly legal. Just 6 months ago I stored some ammo for school IPSC club and we carried over 20k rounds to my dorm room through local daycare centers play ground. No one said a word.

Yeah Finland and Switzerland would probably be the counties I would most like to live in if I had to leave the US.

High standards of living, low crime, long life expectancies, respect for human rights, and non restrictive firearms laws.

Only thing would be those winters. Burrr.

buck00
July 3, 2007, 04:56 PM
I like all the speculation, but the answer is much simpler. Finland was under Soviet influence during the Cold War even though Soviet troops didn't occupy her like Poland, East Germany, etc. It makes sense they would use the arms most available them them.

Also, Finland never joined NATO, not then or even now. A huge reason to switch to 5.56 rifles is NATO membership (look at Bulgaria for example). Due to Finland's non-NATO status, it makes sense to use Russian arms.

Lucky
July 3, 2007, 05:40 PM
Sako TRG is a sick rifle. They had one on the display table, costs near as much as a car, but they sold it!

...now there's $10,000 German rifles on the table...

Daniel T
July 3, 2007, 07:16 PM
Good bump, as I didn't see this thread the first time around. :)

NCLivingBrit
July 4, 2007, 03:14 PM
I'm not sure I'd want to suggest in person to -any- Finnish veteran of the Winter War that they surrendered. I was fortunate enough to meet (and buy a drink or three for) a friends great-grandfather on his last round of visits before he passed. He was shy his right hand courtesy of a nameless Russian and that day I truly wished we spoke the same language.

If there was ever a people that demonstrated the value of a militia and a well assembled and determined resistance, it's the Finns. Right up there with the Spartans in my book.

Quiet
July 4, 2007, 03:41 PM
Having had the opportunity to play around with a Valmet M-62S back in my youth (late80s-early90s), I have to say that the Finnish AKs are far superior to any of the Chinese, Egyptian and Eastern Bloc AKs on the market and, at the time, the only thing that come close were the Isreali made Galils.

Cosmoline
July 4, 2007, 05:39 PM
I think I see in one photo a conscript using an AK-47 or AK-74. Kinda Ironic since Russia really tried to screw up Finland during WW2 when the world was a bit distracted with the Axis powers.

Not as ironic as using improved Mosin-Nagants to fight the Soveits during the Winter War. And not half as Ironic as Haganah using surplus Mausers in 1948.

HorseSoldier
July 5, 2007, 02:18 PM
Other thing to keep in mind, as far as Finland and weapons selection goes, is that pre-WW1 Finland was a part of the Russian Empire and so the Moisin-Nagants being in their arsenal made perfect sense. Mannerheim, himself, had been an Imperial Russian officer for most of his career (and a politically well connected one) before the Bolsheviks prompted a career change for him.

TOU
July 5, 2007, 04:00 PM
Ratzinger_p38 he did appreciate the help while the rest of the so called free world completely abandoned Finland, which was in real danger of being occupied in 1944.

True...which is exactly what we did also with the appeasers of Chamberlain's ilk to Czechoslovakia a few years previous (and some of the worlds best arms and arms factorys...Brno and CZ are still some of the best weapons to be found in the world along with their then some of the best armor of the world.) which was one of the most democratic countries and presidents...and west friendly countries of the time. But that is probably better discussed in a separate thread.

toivo: However, Finland walked a fine line throughout the Cold War to avoid provoking the Soviets. It has been described as "bowing to the East without mooning the West."

This just totally made me laugh out loud! :D


buck00 : Also, Finland never joined NATO, not then or even now.

Not so sure that in the long run that the weren't the wisest of us all. :scrutiny:

cbsbyte
July 5, 2007, 04:37 PM
Finland was under Soviet influence during the Cold War even though Soviet troops didn't occupy her like Poland, East Germany, etc. It makes sense they would use the arms most available them them.

Yes, they where influenced by the Soviet Union after the war, but they where allowed to keep their independence unlike other eastern countries. They remained a free Democratic nation, but had to remain politically neutral in the Cold war like Sweden. They traded with both the west and east. The Soviet Union was still their biggest enemy after the war so using Russian styled weapons made more sense than buying weapons from the west.

Fosbery
July 5, 2007, 05:57 PM
8ball, let's be fair about the winning the Soviets thing... I'd put it that we came in as a close runner-up . It is true that the only European capitals in that war, which didn't end up occupied, were London, Moscow and Helsinki. Something to think about.

Berne, Switzerland
Stockholm, Sweden
Madrid, Spain
Lisbon, Portugal
Vaduz, Lichenstein
Vatican City, State of the Vatican City
Andorra la Vella, Andorra
Yerevan, Armenia



:neener:

HorseSoldier
July 5, 2007, 10:07 PM
Yerevan, Armenia

The Armenians might argue they were already under occupation before WW2 began . . . ;)

geojap
July 5, 2007, 10:39 PM
I would absolutely love to buy one of the rare Valmets that are here in the USA, but my Russian VEPR and Bulgarian SLR-95 shoot well enough that I can be happy with them, I guess. They cost about 20-25% of a Valmet but the Valmet sure would be nice to have and it still tempts me. /le sigh

In my collection, I have more Finn M39 Mosins (4) than any other single firearm. The bravery and resourcefulness of the Finns from 1917-1940 incredibly impressed me. My Finn M39 Mosins are my most prized firearms along with my M1 Garand.

Ratzinger_p38
July 5, 2007, 11:14 PM
In my collection, I have more Finn M39 Mosins (4) than any other single firearm. The bravery and resourcefulness of the Finns from 1917-1940 incredibly impressed me. My Finn M39 Mosins are my most prized firearms along with my M1 Garand.

Don't forget 1941-1944. They had off much rougher as Sweden wasnt talking as boldly as they were in 1939 (a number of far-right organizations, even National Socialists, were sent as volunteers to Finland from Sweden), with the western nations totally against Finland (and some like the UK even declared war on them). There was a period in 1944 were there was real danger of being defeated, during this time massive German aid as well as incredible heroism from the Finnish people prevented this from happening. If the Soviets had advanced much further past the Finnish and German divisions in Finland they would NOT have been willing to negotiate.

And I agree, the M39 is the finest and last in a long line of great Finnish improvments to the Mosin-Nagant.

J L
September 12, 2008, 03:11 PM
Google is a beatiful thing! I ended up here.
Interesting chat- keep on going.

Here´s my buddys M39- but not so usual version because of "SKY" stamps.
Meaning "SuojelusKuntien Yleisesikunta" = Civil Guard Generalstaff. So stamp would be something like CGG in english.
Stock has "S" in right cheek, meaning same "Suojeluskunta" or Civil Guard.

Anyways, since me and my buddy do hmmm... lots of sniper stuff, we decided to install repro PU on it.
Its rock-solid 1.3MOA@100meters/5-shot rifle, with original-like 13gram D166 ammo. Barrell is original from 50´s- so called "0-barrel" meaning it was re-barreled by army and never shooted after that.

Since here seems to be lots of Mosin fans, see pics.
Other rifle in photoalbum is army "7.62 TKIV 85" sniper mosin, mentioned earlyer in this thread.

Click thumbnail too see full-size:
http://jarno.fotopic.net/c920095.html

elmerfudd
September 12, 2008, 04:55 PM
It's a zombie thread, but those M39's are really some fantastic rifles. I picked mine up for $175 a little over a year ago in rough shape. The bore on it's worn, but it's still by far the best shooting Mosin I've got. With decent ammo and iron sights I get about 2" groups at 100 yards, (10 shot groups too, not some lucky 3 shots that just happened to land within 2" of each other). It's a real pleasure to shoot as well. It just seems to shoulder well and is comfortable to fire from various positions.

And to resurrect something from two years ago.
And I know that we have more guns/person than americans.

I think this is only half true. In terms of actual numbers, by most calculations, Americans have about 50% more guns per person. The thing most international groups don't take into account though is that the overwhelming number of them are sporting guns that would be better suited to fighting off an invasion of mallards than Manchurians. Yes, Americans have a lot of guns, but most of them are rimfires, shotguns, hunting rifles and revolvers. I would guess that nations like Finland and Switzerland, (#3 and 4 in terms of guns/person), tend to have more military style firearms than we do.

Vaarok
September 12, 2008, 05:22 PM
One point. The original poster is dead wrong. VKT, Valtion Kiivarihaus, became Valmet, and SAKO is still SAKO. VKT never became known as SAKO.

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