POTD: Finland's Assault Rifle 7.62 RK 62

Eric B
by Eric B
Puolustusvoimat / The Finnish Defence Forces

We’ve been running our Photo Of The Day article series for almost 10 years, and the archives keep growing every day. Today it’s time for the 7.62 RK 62, made in Finland. This is the second in a series of articles TFB is doing on some of the firearms used by the Finnish Army.

Puolustusvoimat / The Finnish Defence Forces
Here is what the Finnish Army says about their Assault Rifle 7.62 RK 62.

The assault rifle is the standard weapon of the infantry and the personal weapon of all soldiers in the Finnish Defence Forces. It is a gas-operated, rotating bolt weapon, capable of semi-automatic or full-automatic fire.

The assault rifle is an effective firearm for ranges up to 300 m. The round also easily penetrates body armour meant to protect against shrapnel, and composite helmets. The round is not, however, armour penetrating as such.

The development of a Finnish assault rifle started in the 1950s. Finland looked at the service rifles of various countries, but the most important model was the Soviet-made AK-47 Kalashnikov. The first series came out of the Valmet Ltd. factory in Tourula in 1960. The firearm was approved for use in the Defence Forces in 1962. In addition to Valmet, Sako Ltd. has also manufactured the assault rifle in Finland.

In the course of 30 years, minor modifications have been made on basic model RK62. Improvements have been made on the stock, hand guard, grip and sights The basic structure, features and appearance have remained almost unchanged. In the 1980s and 1990s a new version, Assault rifle 7.62 RK 95 TP was developed. The 7.62 RK 62M entered service in the 2010s and is a modernised version of the old RK 62 with three different variants.

Below you can see the basic technical specifications:

Calibre: 7.62 x 39 mm
Length: 94 cm
Weight: weapon without magazine and accessories 3.5 kg, full 30 round magazine 0.8 kg
Rate of fire: Semi-automatic 20-30 aimed shots per minute. Full-automatic: cyclic 700 rounds/min, including magazine changes 120-180 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity: 715 m/s
Effective range: Up to 300 metres
Equipment: Iron sights for daytime use and tritium night sight
The 7.62 RK 62 VV model can be mounted with an image intensifier
Country of manufacture: Finland

You have to check these superb images as well: Sniper Competition – K4 Arctic Rangers vs Finland and Finland’s Assault Rifle RK 62M.

Source for images and captions: Puolustusvoimat / The Finnish Defence Forces.

Eric B
Eric B

Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with a European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatics, optics, thermals and suppressors. TCCC Certified. Occasionaly seen in a 6x6 Bug Out Vehicle, always with a big smile.

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  • XM1A2A XM1A2A on Aug 11, 2022

    Valmet is an abbreviation of two, Finnish words meaning “State Metalworks.” It was government owned and operated. Sako was once a division of Valmet, and set up to manufacture small-arms for commercial sale and export.

    The 7.62 RK is relatively unchanged from the classic Valmet M76, of which the milled receiver variant became the basis for Israel’s Galil rifle design. The IWI Galil Ace, therefore, technically represents the most modern evolution of the Valmet AK pattern.

    • Guillermo Piedras Guillermo Piedras on Aug 11, 2022

      @XM1A2A I think the South African R4 and R5 might somewhat disagree: strengthened and lengthened stock (Afrikaners tend to be tall) with the wooden forestock replaced with a durable plastic/polymer and polymer magazines in efforts to reduce weight.

  • MrLM002 MrLM002 on Aug 11, 2022

    I wonder what the Finns will replace it with in 5.56 NATO

    • See 1 previous
    • MrLM002 MrLM002 on Aug 12, 2022

      @SP mclaughlin It's definitely worth following.