RK95: Finland’s Ultimate AK

Finland adopted the AK in 7.62x39mm after World War Two, and continues to use the AK to this day. The standard pattern RK62 was starting to fall a bit short, and so in the late 1980s a program was begun at Valmet to produce a modernized version for the Finnish Defense Forces. Valmet was acquired by Sako in 1987, and the program moved to Sako for completion. First prototypes were ready in 1990, and the rifles was adopted formally in 1995.

The RK95 has an improved folding stock, a new gas block with gas cutoff, muzzle device capable of launching rifle grenades, a simplified two-position aperture sight, and fittings for an optics rail on the side of its receiver. It retains the same 7.62x39mm cartridge as the RK62 rifles. Production ran from 1995 to 1998, with a total of 20,000 rifles made. These are sufficient to equip the active units of the FDF, and the war reserves consists of huge numbers of East German AKs purchased very cheaply.

Thanks to Sako for giving me access to film this example from their factory museum!


  1. That has to be the nicest AK rifle made.

    Thanks for clarifying the rumor that Finland was using Chinese made AK for their reserve troops. That would have been a tragedy.

    • This isn’t a rumor. I don’t remember where i read it, but it did happen. Nowdays, only rear echelon (supply drivers etc) are equipped with the Chinese type 56-2 rifles.

    • I still remember reading an article in one local gun mag from mid 90s that mentioned, in authors opinion, that rk95 is at the moment maybe worlds best assault rifle. It was such strong statememt (maybe correct?) that its imprinted in my mind

  2. If Finns knew about the upcoming end of WP they may have received the mentioned DDR rifles only (more of them) and save some money for R&D leading to this rifle. This brings my memory to a point (if I recall it right) when they also bought some rifles from China.

    In any case, this is a solid AK rifle interpretation, perhaps some of the best to the date although, I would definitely not berate the later Russian development. Those present the AK design to the best possible level yet. Interestingly Russians are happy with the stamped receivers as they were originally intended.

  3. Ian,
    It seems that the s/n of the Rk95 series is just the last four digits – the “97” is production year prefix. So it should be read as 97-6581 and not the 978,651. The prefix changes with each year – hence the 95xxxx – 98xxxx s/n range

  4. I love it. A milled receiver AK with peep sights and all the cool features of modern western rifles. A real work of art. But to my mind, one of the understated advantages of a plain Jane no frills AK is never feeling guilty about dumping it in a tub of diesel as the first step in the cleaning process.

    • If you are interesting in having AK-like, but in full-power rifle cartridge see Valmet Petra .30-06 which uses 7,62×63 mm cartridge.

  5. Some additions and corrections: the RK95 was always reserved for infantry units. Artillery and support units continued to use the RK62 for conscript training and large portion of the war reserve also consisted and still consists of RK62s. The rest is ex-DDR and like others have already stated, Chinese Type 56-2 rifles, although the latter actually are not presently allocated to any war mobilization units due to sufficient numbers of domestic and ex-DDR rifles.

    The newest rifle of the Finnish Army is, however, the RK62M, which is a modernized version of the old RK62. This rifle will at least partially replace the RK95 in infantry units. It has a side receiver mounted optics rail with a red dot sight on the rail as standard and an adjustable (telescoping) buttstock. There are actually three different versions of the RK62M, but the RK62M1 seems to be the main production variant (it’s also the cheapest). The actual numbers of modernized rifles has not been made public. Wikipedia has a brief description and images of all three variants under https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RK_62#Military

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