The Finnish RPK: Valmet 78 at the Range

Valmet designed the M78 hoping to sell it to the Finnish military as an equivalent to the RPK, but it was not adopted. Instead, they were old a semiautos on the commercial market. Because this was before 1986, new machine guns could still be registered in the US. While the guns were all imported as semiautos, some were converted to fully automatic and registered as such, making them fully transferrable today.


  1. I don’t know if I wouldn’t rather have that chincom topfed bren conversion x39. heavier. ok. but the topfed…

  2. The real plus of this caliber over 7.62×51 is obviously the availablity,cost and capacity of the magazines compared to the proprietary Valmet mags which if you can find them will set you back over $200 each. I had the semi auto version some years ago and quite frankly I’d rather have the range and accuracy the 7.62 NATO provides.

  3. If you believe in the Automatic Rifle concept, then the RPK class is a decent solution for your needs. Valmet produced what were some of the best examples of the AK ever made, surpassing even the most diligently-produced versions built by the Soviets.

    I don’t know how the hell they managed it, but the little Valmet M76 I once owned was actually way more accurate than my issued M16A1 that I had around the time I owned that rifle. Barrel was a lot shorter; the AK action should have been inherently less accurate, and the furniture wasn’t anywhere near as ergonomic as the M16A1, but… That sucker made it astonishingly easy to hit the 300m targets on the Army qualification range. I still don’t know why, but both myself and the other guy who shot that rifle with me both hit 40/40 whenever we snuck that beast onto the qual range to fire up excess ammo. Same day, I’d usually have had problems managing to get 35/40 with my issued weapon…

    Dunno what the Finns do, but their rifles are seemingly at least somewhat magical.

    • I also had an M76 side tube folder in 5.56 that was as accurate as my HK 93s and better than my SP1 with m193. I feel the length Ed sight radius plays a small part as well.

    • “(…)AK action should have been inherently less accurate(…)”
      Actually testing spread of AK-74 compared to M16 shows that it is greater but not as much as one might think, see 1st image from top
      At least if it uses milliradian unit as understand by French artillery in Great War (1/6400 of whole circle)

    • “Dunno what the Finns do, but their rifles are seemingly at least somewhat magical.”
      Firstly, according to writer of screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
      Regarding Rk 62, according to
      Barrel(…)match-grade, cold hammer forged chrome-moly barrel, and has a thinner barrel profile than the AK.(…)barrels are known to be very accurate, more so than normal AK barrels.
      Whilst AKM got cold hammer-forged late in production according to
      Late production guns also featured cold hammer-forged barrels, manufactured on Austrian-made GFM machines, purchased during the early 1970s.

    • Automatic rifles (more correctly, magazine-fed squad automatic weapons) are fine for dealing with small patrol skirmishes. But they’re no match for proper machine guns.

  4. Gun Jesus casting shade on the M14….without even saying the words. LOL!
    But the fact is, if the M14 hadn’t been in 7.62×51, but in an intermediate cartridge like this Valmet, with 30 round mags and the ability to shoot “accurately” or at least controllably on full auto while standing…it would have been a far better general issue infantry rifle, and the AR pattern may have never been anything but an Air Force Security Police issue weapon.

        • AFAIK the French Gendarmerie as well as the Royal Bermuda Regiment have removed the fun switches form their AC-556 rifles, beacuse they proved to be useless and a source of mechanical troubles with its complicated clockwork. So a Mini-14 in fully automatic fire does not seem like a good idea.

          There have been Mini-14 rifles been made in various calibers. 6.8*43 mm SPCII, .300 Blackout or named Mini-30 in 7,62*39 mm. So you mean something like these models making the M16 unnecessary? In personally doubt this idea, becuase an M16 shoots much better than a Mini-14 and handles easier. Is more reliable. Is easier to clean etc. etc. All reasons to replace the hypothetical Mini-14 with another rifle.

    • “(…)AR pattern may have never been anything but an Air Force Security Police issue weapon.”
      Uhm, AR-15 is generally scaled down version of AR-10.
      This weapon was bought in substantial quantity by Portugal and Sudan.
      So while AR pattern might become less widespread it would not be limited to Air Force Security Police.
      As regard AR-15 itself I think it could find niche in competitive shooting – in-axis layout and low recoil should be welcomed.

  5. Full auto weapons are without doubt suitable for militia use. How the GCA 1968 and the Hughes Amendment can still be law is a mystery to me.

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