In June 2020, we reported that the Finnish Reservists were to receive a new rifle made by Dasan Machineries of South Korea. These new rifles have begun to arrive and are being fielded with Finland’s MPK. Eric wrote about the selection of the new rifles here.
The rifles are not being issued to the Finnish Defence Forces (or Puolustusvoimat) proper but are being issued to volunteers with the MPK or National Defence Training Association of Finland. The rifles will bypass some of the red tape surrounding an ostensibly civilian organisation giving voluntary military and marksmanship training to Finnish military reservists. The training typically takes place at civilian ranges so organising for select-fire rifles to be loaned to a civilian range for use by a civilian organisation must be a bureaucratic headache.
The rifles were reportedly ordered after efforts to convert Finnish Defence Force RK62 rifles to semi-auto only failed. It was instead decided to procure the necessary rifles off-the-shelf and an order for rifles was placed with Dasan Machineries for a variant of their 7.62x39mm DAK47 AK-patterned rifle.
The MPK rifle, however, has a number of features that brings it in line with the Finnish Defence Force’s RK62 rifles. It has an adjustable folding buttstock, an ergonomic polymer pistol grip, and an aperture rear sight mounted on the receiver cover – in a position similar to the RK62.
The MPK’s new rifle also has a chrome plated bore and was described by the MPK’s training manager, Juhani Liesimaa, as being lighter but not quite as rugged or accurate as the regular army’s RK62 rifles. The new rifle was scheduled to enter use in late summer 2020 but the process was reportedly delayed by Finnish police inspections and import issues surrounding COVID-19.