Offshoots. The AK design spawned other rifles centered around the 7.62x39 cartridge. First up in the Finnish Valmet, several version of the Valmet exist with both milled and stamped receivers, but most of what you’ll find are the milled, model 62. Internally, the Valmets are very close to AKs, but externally, they look nothing alike. Valmets are well respected for their quality and accuracy.
Just a quick trip off the 7.62 AK family tree….The Israelis took the Valmet design and used it to create the Galil. The very first Galils were made using Valmet M 62 receivers, but the Israelis quickly discovered they needed to make the receivers stronger to handle the increased operating pressure of the 5.56x45 that the Galil would be chambered in. I believe this picture is from IMI.
Next is the Czechoslovakian VZ-58. All VZ-58s are milled and look like an AK on the outside, but that’s where the similarities end.
The VZ shares nothing with its AK cousin…nothing. Not even the magazine interchange. The operating principle of the VZ is a short stroke piston like the FAL, which smacks the front of the bolt carrier to cycle the action. There is no hammer, the VZ using a striker instead. The bolt and carrier look like a huge version of the Beretta 92’s falling block design.
Okay, I'm done.