Tag Archives: Sako Finland

Sako becoming the Sniper Platform of Choice in the Baltic

The Estonian Defense Forces announced that a combined submission by Sako and Steiner has won a toughly fought tender to become the Baltic country’s new sniper rifle.

The new 40 million euro seven-year contract, made public in late April, covers the delivery of the modular Sako TRG M10 sniper rifle in .338 Lapua with a Steiner M5Xi 5-25×56 precision scope using an MSR-2 reticle. Also included are thermal imaging attachments and suppressors for the rifles.

The modular TRG M10 is a bolt-action magazine-fed rifle that is capable of caliber swapping on the fly via barrel/bolt/mag changes, swapping between .338 Lapua Magnum (8.6x70mm in European parlance), 7.62 NATO, and .300 Win Mag. All the tools needed to swap between calibers are stored in compartments in the bolt knob and forend. (Photo: Sako)

A similar package was already chosen by the Finnish military as part of a joint development project, with the Steiner M7Xi 2.9-20×50 and Sako’s M23 as the rifle system. Likewise, the Swedish military has entered into a joint agreement to field the same platform. 

More in my column at Guns.com

More Scandinavian NATO STANAG-ness

We’ve talked in the past about how the Nordic NATO countries– Denmark and Norway– have been getting really close militarily to the two Baltic neutrals– Finland and Sweden in recent years via the Nordic Defence Cooperation group, or NORDEDCO. For instance, all four countries last year announced a common service/combat uniform with each keeping their own respective national ceremonial uniforms, headgear, and patches/insignia.

Well, with the likelihood that Finland and Sweden are getting NATO membership, it also looks like all four countries will opt to use small arms of the same caliber that take the same magazines.

Announced this week, Sweden and Finland, teamed up with Finnish-based Sako, will opt for a common family of rifles. The new family of common rifles includes an M4-style 5.56 NATO carbine, an AR-10/SR-25 style 7.62 NATO caliber rifle, and a bolt-action precision rifle in .338 Lapua Magnum.

Sako will be the rifle maker for all of the Finnish and Swedish military needs in an agreement that could last to 2053

Scandinavian neighbors Norway and Denmark both already field AR variants, with the Norwegians using HK 416s and the Danes running C7s and C8s– which are fundamentally just M16A2s and M4s but made by Colt Canada. Elsewhere in the Baltic, the German Army is set to adopt the HK416A8 as the G95A1 starting in 2024. 

All five also share several other common systems, such as the Leopard 2 main battle tank.  

While the Swedes have been using German HK G3 designs in 7.62 NATO and FN FNC models in 5.56, the Finns will have the biggest culture shock, as they have been using the 7.62x39mm AK-47-based Valmet rifle since the 1960s.

Finland has, since the 1960s, used a variety of locally-made updated Kalash models made by Valmet. Valmet’s gun manufacturing unit merged with Sako in the 1980s. (Photo: Finnish Defense Forces)

More in my column at Guns.com.

Finns continue on Sniper Rifle Upgrade plans

Iconic Finland-based gunmaker Sako has been tapped to provide the home team with new precision rifle systems.

The €11 million ($11.7 million) award, quietly announced last month, covers not only rifles but also spare parts and sniper equipment from Sako Ltd. The rifle at the heart of the deal is the modular TRG M10, a bolt-action magazine-fed gun that is capable of caliber swaps on the fly via barrel/bolt/mag changes, swapping between .338 Lapua Magnum (8.6x70mm in Finnish parlance), 7.62 NATO, and .300 Win Mag. All the tools needed to swap between calibers are stored in compartments in the bolt knob and forend.

The Sako TRG M10 is versatile and runs a fully adjustable and side-folding stock and detachable double-stack magazines in addition to its multi-caliber capability. (Photo: Beretta Defense Technologies)

More in my column at Guns.com.

Finns Roll Their own AR-10s for DMR, Sniper Work

The Finnish military, a force long renowned for its snipers– has selected the M23 series rifle from Sako for precision work.

Sako, a historic Finnish rifle manufacturer that recently celebrated its 100th anniversary, has a long connection to the country’s sharpshooters. Samo Haya, widely regarded as “the world’s deadliest sniper,” used a Sako-made Mosin M/28 during the country’s 1939-40 Winter War with the Soviet Union.

Sako’s new M23 AR-10 platform, frolicking in the Karelian forests. (Photo: Finnish Defense Force)

The new rifle, based on the AR-10/SR-25 style platform, is the Sako-made M23 in 7.62 NATO. It will be fielded in two formats, the Kivääri 23 (KIV 23) — a designated marksman rifle for use in infantry squads– and the Tarkkuuskivääri 23 (TKIV 23), a dedicated sniper rifle, with the differences largely being in the optics. Both guns are shown in Finnish Army photos with Steiner glass, no surprise as both Sako and Steiner are owned by Beretta.

The M23 will replace the Finnish Army’s aging Cold War-era Dragunov marksman rifles and the newer TKIV 85 bolt-action sniper rifle, the latter a much-upgraded Mosin action. Both legacy platforms are chambered in 7.62x54R.

The KIV 23 variant is for use as a DMR at the squad and platoon level, replacing the Dragunov SVD. It is expected to mount an LPVO and is intended for use to 600 meters. (Photo: Finnish Defense Force)

Meanwhile, the Sako TKIV 23, outfitted with a Steiner M7Xi 2.9–20×50, will replace an accurized Finnish-made Mosin, the TKIV 85, in a sniper role out to 800 meters. (Photo: Finnish Defense Force)

The upside of this is the possibility that we could see a high-quality AR-10 from Finland imported via Beretta USA’s channels at some point. Which is a win for everybody, I think.