By: Friedrich Seiltgen

Copyright © 2023


SAKO is a Finnish firearms manufacturing company founded in the early 1920s. The original Finnish name of the SAKO firearms company was Suojeluskuntain Ase- ja Konepaja Osakeyhtiö (Firearms and Machine Workshop of the Civil Guard) because the SAKO firearm company was first created to build and service guns for the Civil Guard in Finland.

The SAKO company developed by focusing on production excellence, honoring its dedicated craftsmen and employees, and catering to shooters’ changing needs. The company has produced SAKO rifles for decades for military, target, and hunting purposes. The company also makes cartridges for ammunition for SAKO firearms and more.

The ownership of SAKO has changed several times since the 1920s, and Beretta Holdings now owns the company.

Finnish Sniper Legend Simo Häyhä, aka the “White Death,” used his issued Civil Guard rifle, an early series SAKO M/28-30 to kill over 500 Russian soldiers during the Winter War in Finland.

The M/28-30 was a Finnish Civil Guard variant of the Mosin–Nagant rifle known as “Pystykorva” (translated to ’The Spitz’ due to the front sight’s resemblance to the head of a spitz-type dog) chambered in the Finnish-designed Mosin–Nagant cartridge 7.62×53R.


In a joint press conference held at SAKO Arms, representatives from the Finnish & Swedish defense ministries have signed off on an agreement with SAKO to adopt a program that will provide small arms to both countries and ensure interoperability and standardization between the two nations prior to their entry into NATO.

Both countries have been traditionally neutral but have decided to join NATO because of Russian aggression in the region.

Sweden and Finland adopted an AR-based platform, consisting of a 5.56x45mm NATO AR-15 variant for general issue and a 7.62x51mm NATO accurized AR-10-style rifle for designated marksmen.

Sweden will also receive the TRG-M10 bolt action precision sniper rifle in a .338 Lapua Magnum.

Franco Gussali, Beretta Holdings Chairman; Jari Mikkonen, Director of Finnish Defence Forces Logistics; Jonas Lotsne, Head of FMV (Swedish Defence Forces); and Raimo Karjalainen, CEO of SAKO. Photo: SAKO

SAKO will soon begin delivery, and the rifles will officially enter service in both countries by 2025. The 10-year contract has a renewal option at 7-year intervals until the end of 2053 and will include the formation of instructors for both armies.

The line of weapons will be produced using complete metal construction as polymer receivers sometimes have reliability issues in the extreme cold found in the Scandinavian countries.

That’s all for now, folks! Please keep sending in your questions, tips, and article ideas. And as always – “Let’s Be Careful Out There.”

Friedrich Seiltgen is a retired Master Police Officer with 20 years of service with the Orlando Police Department. He conducts training in Lone Wolf Terrorism Counterstrategies, Firearms, and Active Shooter Response. His writing has appeared in RECOIL, Soldier of Fortune, The Counter Terrorist Magazine, Off Grid, American Thinker, Homeland Security Today, and The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International. Contact him at [email protected]