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M28/76: A Finnish Competition & Sniper Mosin

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The Finns developed several difference scopes rifles in the 1930s, but none were made in large quantities, and they were not really much used during the Winter War or Continuation War. The first post-war consideration was given to a new model in 1954, but that led instead to a decision to make a competition version of the M28 rifle using nice diopter sights; the M28/57. These were later modified by cutting down their stocks to be better biathlon rifles…up until international biathlon moved form full power cartridges to .22 rimfire.

In the mid 1960s, Valmet’s planned semiauto 7.62x54R sniper rifle on the AK platform failed – it was far too inaccurate. Left in a bit of a lurch, the Army took the M28/57 setup and applied it to the M27 Army rifles, and the resulting M27/66 was an interim sniper rifle, as well as being the standard Army rifle for formal marksmanship competitions. These were supplemented by the old M28/57 rifles, which were rebuilt with new stocks as the M28/76 – which is what we are looking at today. Ultimately, these were all replaced by the TKIV-85 proper sniper’s rifle in the 1980s.

Most M28/76 rifles were made with just diopter sights; only a small number were given scope bases as well. In addition, about 10% were made with left-handed stocks, and I am very lucky to have found an example with both of those features!

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