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The Valmet was a major fork in AK development. Almost every part is different from the original Soviet design.

Receiver: early Valmets used milled receivers. (later, there were some stamped receivers) To save weight, they cut on a slant from the trigger guard to near the bottom of the barrel.

Stamped Valmet receivers had several different front trunnion rivet patterns and layouts. They typically lack the slot the top rails fold into; the sides of the receiver are laid flat up against the sides of the trunnion. In some models, the barrel pin doubles as one of the trunnion rivets.

Magazine: because the slant cut crossed the area where the AK magazine lug fit into, Valmet moved the lug area up, and modified the magazine to compensate.

Stock: the AK used a wooden stock socketed into the back of the receiver. The Valmet put a big threaded hole in the back of the receiver and screwed on a piece of pipe with a butt pad.

Gas System: the Valmet dispensed entirely with the rear sight block. They used a longer, larger-diameter gas tube, with tabs that slotted into grooved machined into the ears on the front of the receiver. All of the AK gas tube lock bits were also abandoned, and the gas tube was held in place by the top cover.

The AK gas tube is fluted, and guides the head of the gas piston. The Valmet uses a smooth tube and a "star" collar behind the piston.

Handguard: The AK lower handguard spigots into the front of the receiver and the front is held by a sliding cap, which is retained by a half-round lock. The early Valmets used a tab at the back to line up with the slant-cut receiver, and the front was held in place by a large flat nut with threads on the barrel.

Sights: since the Valmets didn't have a rear sight block, they mounted the rear sight on the top cover. The front sight block was also deleted, and the front sight became an extension on the top of the gas block.

There were many Valmet variants afterward, with wood or plastic stocks, sidefolders, a bullpup version, and various "Hunter" models, including one in .30-06. The Hunters featured a rear-set trigger group and a conventional stock with no pistol grip. Some Hunters had extra top cover retention screws.

The Israeli Galil is basically a Valmet. So is the South African R4 and its variants. The Norinco Hunter is very similar to the Valmet Hunter, except the Norincos used a long trigger that extended backwards instead of moving the whole trigger pack back.
 
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