M28/76: A Finnish Competition & Sniper Mosin

The Finns developed several difference scopes rifles in the 1930s, but none were made in large quantities, and they were not really much used during the Winter War or Continuation War. The first post-war consideration was given to a new model in 1954, but that led instead to a decision to make a competition version of the M28 rifle using nice diopter sights; the M28/57. These were later modified by cutting down their stocks to be better biathlon rifles…up until international biathlon moved form full power cartridges to .22 rimfire.

In the mid 1960s, Valmets planned semiauto 7.62x54R sniper rifle on the AK platform failed – it was far too inaccurate. Left in a bit of a lurch, the Army took the M28/57 setup and applied it to the M27 Army rifles, and the resulting M27/66 was an interim sniper rifle, as well as being the standard Army rifle for formal marksmanship competitions. These were supplemented by the old M28/57 rifles, which were rebuilt with new stocks as the M28/76 – which is what we are looking at today. Ultimately, these were all replaced by the TKIV-85 proper sniper’s rifle in the 1980s.

Most M28/76 rifles were made with just diopter sights; only a small number were given scope bases as well. In addition, about 10% were made with left-handed stocks, and I am very lucky to have found an example with both of those features!


  1. The fun fact is that TKIV-85 is still built using Mosin-Nagant receivers, some might date from the 1890s. Avery accurate rifle, indeed. The Finnish army has probably still receivers by the wagonload.

  2. One of these was on TFB recently. Comments were evenly divided between A, condemning it as a “Bubba” build, or B, praising it because it had been built for the national team.

    I vote C: While experts (competitors, national arsenals, major manufacturers or renowned smiths) often [not always] discover improvements first, from that point forward – if they’re done right – they are improvements regardless of who does them.

  3. Just goes to show that the Finns can make anything shoot well…

    My little M76FS in 5.56mm was a freakin’ tack driver that outshot our then brand-new M16A2 rifles. Out of a shorter barrel, and with a friggin’ action that had an incredible amount of weight compared to an M16-series banging back and forth in the action. My friend who was a legit graduate of the Marine Scout-Sniper school thought there was something seriously bizarre going on with that rifle, because it shot better for him than the M21 they issued him out of his Arms Room over in 2/73 Infantry. Without all the prep or the bedding; it just shot exactly where he aimed it at, no muss, no fuss, no drama.

    The rest of the Valmet AK-series rifles I’ve fired demonstrated the same levels of accuracy, so… Finnish forest magic? Pacts with the devil? You tell me. I don’t think I’ve ever seen or heard of a single rifle coming out of Finland that wasn’t inherently accurate, to include any and all of the M91-series that they “massaged”… Which is a hell of an accomplishment.

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