The Rk 62 (also 7.62 RK 62 and M62; Rynnäkkökivääri 62 or "assault rifle 62") is an assault rifle manufactured by Valmet and Sako. It is the standard issue infantry weapon of the Finnish Defence Forces.
Rk 62 76
|Place of origin||Finland|
|Used by||Finnish Defence Forces|
|Variants||Valmet M76, Rk 95 Tp|
|Weight||3.5 kg empty
4.3 kg with 30 rounds
|Length||940 mm with fixed or extended stock / 710 mm with stock folded|
|Barrel length||418 mm|
|Action||Gas-operated, rotating bolt|
|Rate of fire||700 rounds/min|
|Muzzle velocity||715 m/s|
|Effective firing range||300 m|
|Feed system||30-round detachable AK magazine|
|Sights||Aperture rear sight on a sliding tangent with flip tritium night sight, forward hooded post, 470 mm sight radius|
The Rk 62 was designed in 1962 and is based on the Polish licensed version of the Soviet AK-47 design. The Rk 62 uses the same 7.62×39mm cartridge as the AK-47. Between 1965 and 1994 350,000 M62 rifles were produced jointly by Valmet and Sako. It is the basis of the IMI Galil, an Israeli-made assault rifle with many similarities.
The Rk 62 has a three-pronged flash suppressor, and a groove for a specially designed knife bayonet, which can be used alone as a combat knife. The Rk 95 Tp is a more modern, improved version of the Rk 62. One of the most distinctive features of the Valmet rifles, including the M62 and all subsequent variations, is the open-ended, three prong flash suppressor with a bayonet lug on its lower side. In addition to the flash suppression, the end can quickly cut barbed wire by pushing the muzzle onto a strand of wire and firing a round - noisy but effective.
In August 2015 the Finnish Defence Forces announced that they will gradually modernize existing RK 62 rifles. The old tubular butt and leather sling will be replaced with a telescopic stock and tactical sling. An option for mounting a top rail for telescopic sights and night vision devices will be added to all rifles; likewise the barrel will get an attachment point for tactical lights and lasers. The upgraded model will be known as RK 62M.
The development of a Finnish assault rifle began in the 1950s. Various foreign models were looked at, the Soviet AK-47 being the most important. The first version was called the Rk 60. It was produced in 1960 at the Valmet factory in Tourula and was internally almost a copy of the AK-47. It featured a metallic buttstock, a plastic handguard and pistol grip but lacked the trigger guard (it was hoped that it would make firing this weapon easier in cold Finnish winter when soldiers wore warm mittens). The very first prototypes, closely modeled after Polish licence made AKs, had tinted birchwood stocks. After testing by the military, the Rk 60 was slightly modified (trigger guard was reinstated) and adopted as the 7.62 Rk 62.
The Rk 62 is considered a high quality AK-47 variant. The biggest single improvement, apart from the metallurgical quality of the receiver and the overall quality of the barrel, are the sights - most AK variants have the rear sight mounted on top of the gas piston housing on top of the receiver. In the Rk62 the rear sight is mounted on the rear of the receiver cover with tritium illuminated night-sights. The sight radius is doubled enhancing the accuracy along with the hammer-forged match CM barrel. Aperture rear sight on a sliding tangent with flip tritium night sight, forward hooded post, 470 mm sight radius. This is apparent especially in its accuracy, as it can frequently achieve less than one minute of arc. The rifle uses a "peep" diopter sight, which is flipped over to reveal the open tritium enhanced rear night sight. The forward sight has also a mode for night operation.
All Rk variants are designed to withstand the extreme environmental conditions of Northern Europe.
Different versions of the weapon include the Valmet M76, which is a version with a stamped steel receiver that reduces the weight to 3.5 kg. The latest version is called Rk 95 Tp, which is able to fire rifle grenades, can be fitted with a suppressor, telescopic sight and has a folding stock, among other improvements. It is currently used by the Finnish Defence Forces in relatively small numbers. As Sako had bought Valmet's small arms manufacturing division, the Rk 95 was manufactured only by Sako.
The naval version of Rk 62 has folding stock for easier storage on board the warships. The folding model is also issued to some army units, such as motorcycle scouts and military police.
The civilian version of the rifle is called M62S, and it is nearly identical in appearance to the Rk 62, except for the fire selector which lacks the automatic fire setting. Valmet has also produced a hunting rifle variant using a further development of the Rk 62 receiver, called Valmet Petra, "petra" being an old Finnish word for deer, chambered originally for .308 Winchester and .243 Winchester, but later also .30-06 Springfield and through aftermarket modification, 9.3×62mm. The Petra was marketed as the "Valmet Hunter" in the US and Canada. It is very different in appearance to the Rk 62, having a wooden stock without separate pistol grip, a sporter type front grip, and the trigger has been moved further back on the receiver.
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