Velmet Assault Rifle Variant Series Made Finnish-Finlandia
The short-lived Valmet M-71 variant Assault Rifle used a stamped steel receiver and a front sight almost identical to that of the AKM. The stock was folding and synthetic, and apparently a modification of that of the FN CAL. The handguard completely surrounded the gas tube, and though synthetic, basically looked like that of the AKM. Unlike the AKM, the bolt has a hold-open device and a bolt catch. A variant is the Valmet M-71S, was chambered in 5.56mm NATO and intended for export, with a semiautomatic-only civilian/police version also available. The Velmet M-71S apparently did not do well; and the Valmet M-71 Assault rifle did not either, being produced only from 1971-73, though they were carefully placed into storage.
The Valmet M-76 Assault Rifle returned to a modified M-62 pattern, though it had a stamped steel receiver rather than the machined receiver of the M-62. The Valmet M-76 Assault Rifle was produced in two calibers, with the 5.56mm NATO version mostly being exported (though 7.62mm versions were also exported), in both automatic and semiautomatic forms. These were known as the Velmet M-76F Assault rifle. 5.56mm models replaced the M-62s in Quatar and Indonesia, but in Finland, the troops apparently preferred the more robust M-62B. In 1976, this led to the M-62/76, which, though it had a modified fire selection mechanism internally, used a machined steel receiver.
|Valmet M-76 Rifle|
The plastic furniture, however, is lighter and stronger, and the rubber coating on the stock is also slightly slighter and more durable. The barrel is a bit shorter at 16.3 inches, and the flash suppressor is reduced in size. An M-62/76T version was also produced with a folding stock. The Velmet M-76W Assault Rifle has a fixed wooden stock, the Velmet M-76P Assault Rifle has a fixed plastic stock, the Velmet M-76T Assault Rifle has a folding stock similar to that of the M-62, and the Velmet M-76F Assault Rifle has a folding plastic butt.
|Valmet M-76P Rifle|