If I were in the market for a military firearm, Finland
would be at the bottom of my hit list, certainly not in the Top 10
countries from which to choose. Russia, the U.S., Germany, Israel,
Austria and China yes, but not this Scandinavian country. Finland
seems more suited for Ptarmigan hunting, winter survival training or
a place to test cold-weather outdoor clothing - perhaps thermal
Still, the Finns have developed a weapon or two - like
the M62 Assault Rifle.
They brought us several submachineguns after World War
I - the Suomi SMG in 7.65x22 Luger/Parabellum, used by the
Finnish and Swedish Armies; the enigmatic Jati-Matic GG-95 SMG in
9mm; and the less than flashy Tikkakoski SMG in 9x19mm. None was a
huge military success story.
And the Finns are known for their sport hunting
long-guns - notably, those made by Sako.
Sako Ltd. has been around since 1927; theirs is a long,
proud history of gun making.
The Sako TRG-22/42 series of sniper rifles in .308
Win., .300 Win. Mag. and .338 Lapua Magnum are highly regarded in
some circles, having been fielded in the wars in Iraq and
So perhaps there's hope for Finnish assault rifles - like
the Sako 95.
The Sako 95 replaced the Finnish RK 62 service rifle in
This gas-operated, rotating bolt auto-loader is
chambered for 7.62x39mm.
This gun knows two speeds: semiautomatic and full
The Sako 95 was designed in the late 1990s and made its
way into military service - with the Finnish Defence Forces in
the mid-1990s - where it remains to this day. This assault rifle
weighs 8 pounds. With its tubular metal stock folded (right), it
measures 26 1/2 inches in length; extended, it is 36 inches and
change. The gun has a 16 1/2-inch barrel, with a muzzle brake
that serves as a flash suppressor and a rifle grenade mount. The Sako
95 is equipped to take a bayonet and uses 30-round polymer,
double-stacked, curved box magazines that can be swapped out with
standard AK mags.
This gun's performance is rated at 600 to 750 rounds
per minute. It has a muzzle velocity of just 2300 feet per second,
and using graduated sights, it's good out to about 1,000 feet (300
The Sako 95 has extreme-weather-resistant furniture:
polymer forward guard and pistol grip.
It takes a barrel-mounted bipod and a 40mm grenade
launcher can be slung beneath.
For special sight & light accessories, a rail can
be mounted on the side of the receiver.
The Sako 95 assault rifle will never stand out in a
crowd of assault rifles. If anything, the only truly extraordinary
thing about this auto gun is that it can withstand the extreme
In the final
analysis, that it works - stands
up under such conditions - makes it noteworthy.