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Finland Troops use AK?!

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Hugo, May 22, 2006.

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  1. Hugo

    Hugo Member

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    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.
     
  2. Limeyfellow

    Limeyfellow Member

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    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.
     
  3. cbsbyte

    cbsbyte Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2006
  4. Croyance

    Croyance Member

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    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.
     
  5. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Member

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    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.
     
  6. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2006
  7. max popenker

    max popenker Member

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    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.
     
  8. Langenator

    Langenator Member

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    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.
     
  9. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    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.
     
  10. Bart Noir

    Bart Noir Member

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    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
     
  11. mete

    mete Member

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    The Finnish made AKs were the best made that you could find !!!
     
  12. Firehand

    Firehand Member

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    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.
     
  13. 8Balls

    8Balls Member

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    "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. :)
     
  14. igor

    igor Member

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    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?
     
  15. AndyC

    AndyC Member

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    I know nothing about the Finnish part of WWII, so I did some googling out of curiosity and found this on WorldWar-2.net:

    "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.
     
  16. Hugo

    Hugo Member

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    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!
    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.
     
  17. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  18. Croyance

    Croyance Member

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    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.
     
  19. Detachment Charlie

    Detachment Charlie Member

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    Accuracy,Accuracy, Accuracy!!!!!

    :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:
     
  20. max popenker

    max popenker Member

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    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 was a great shooter
     
  21. igor

    igor Member

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    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!
     
  22. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    Saying that the Finns surrendered to the Ruskies is about the same as saying that we surrendered to the N Koreans and Chinese:evil:
     
  23. Langenator

    Langenator Member

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    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. ;)
     
  24. igor

    igor Member

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    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.
     
  25. LAK

    LAK Member

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    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
     
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