Qatari Royal Guard m/71-76 Valmet

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The Valmet company in Finland made excellent AK-type rifles for the Finnish Defense Forces, but also offered a variety of designs on the international commercial market. The Valmet was a very expensive rifle for a AK, however, and only a few significant commercial sales were made. One of these was a batch of rifles for Qatar, which included perhaps 50 (the exact number is unclear) made with fancy wooden furniture and nickel-plated for use by the Qatari Royal Guard. These were the m/71-76 pattern, with the 76 indicating Valmet’s stamped aKM-type receiver. The m/71 was a rifle pattern which reverted back to traditional AK-style open notch sights instead of the rear aperture adopted by Finland on its rk/62. The m/71 was not adopted by the Finnish military, but is was chosen by Qatar, and also imported into the United States in semiauto-only form.

Many thanks to Sako for providing me access to film this unique AK variant in their reference collection!

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