Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Valmet M-82 Assault Rifle Bullpup Series

The Valmet M-82 Assault Rifle was a rare variant of the M-76 (and is also referred to as the M-76B). The change in the design is easily apparent  the M-82 has a bullpup construction, enclosed in an almost one-piece synthetic shell. (Pre-production versions were actually enclosed in a wooden shell, which had to be carved in an expensive, time-consuming, and laborious process.) The barrel is tipped by an M-16-type birdcage flash suppressor, and is capable of launching most rifle grenades in the world today. The trigger guard is larger than the rest of the M-76 series, allowing for the use of bulky gloves, and can be hinged away from the trigger as well.

Valmet M-82 Assault Rifle

The Valmet M-82 Assault Rifle was designed for airborne troops and special operations troops, both for domestic use and for export. However, during field trials and early in the short deployment of the M-82, Finnish Paratroopers discovered a problem with the M-82: the position of the sights. While the front sight remained near the muzzle (a protected post upon a large raised triangular mount), the rear sights were moved to a position near the center of the weapon.

Since Finnish paratroopers parachuted with the Valmet M-82 Assault Rifle uncased atop their reserve chute, a bad PLF often led to facial injuries, sometimes to the point of broken noses or teeth. A fall atop the M-82 could do the same thing. Such dislike of the weapon by the troops using it may have led to the very short production run of the Valmet M-82 Assault Rifle.

Placed into storage in Finland and Qatar, M-62s were eventually taken back out storage and issued to
territorial, paramilitary, and militia units. Some of the former Finnish M-62s eventually ended up in the hands Swedish partisans fighting the Russians. Indonesian M-62s had largely disappeared by the Twilight War (officially, they were listed as destroyed), but for the next 40 years, they could be found in the hands of scattered partisans, rebel groups, and even pirates in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. M-71s were taken out of storage and quickly issued to newly-raised forces.

Valmet M-82 Assault Rifle

The Valmet M-62/76 was, for the most part, the assault rifle that Finland went to war with. Indonesia did too, but it was just a part of the hodgepodge that they used, much to the chagrin of Indonesian armorers and supply personnel. Though an emergency production order for 1200 M-82s was authorized by the Finnish government in 1997, only 776 examples were actually produced. These mostly went to security troops
and certain bodyguard details.

A further version, the valmet M-78, is both a designated marksman version, with a heavy, 24.5-inch barrel and a bipod. The only stock is a wooden stock, and the M-78 fires only on semiautomatic. The side of the receiver has a bracket for mounting optics. (Note: This weapon should not be confused with the M-78 automatic rifle, though they are very similar and both based on the M-76.)


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