The TKIV 85 sniper rifle (Finland)

The TKIV 85 sniper rifle (full nomenclature is “7.62mm Tarkkuuskivaari 85”, or 7.62mm precision rifle, Model of 1985) was adopted by the Finnish army in 1985. It was designed during the early 1980s to replace older sniper and match rifles in use by the military. It officially entered service in 1988, and as of 2024 is still in use. In 2022 Finnish authorities announced plans to replace this old design with a modern semi-automatic rifle in 7.62x51mm NATO caliber, made by SAKO and based on the modern style AR-10 platform.



The TKIV 85 sniper rifle

The TKIV 85 sniper rifle


The TKIV 85 sniper rifle is based on a heavily modified Russian Mosin M1891/10 rifle, which was a standard issue infantry weapon of the Finnish military since its days in the Russian empire and until the 1960s. In fact, these rifles used refurbished original Mosin receivers (some dating to the turn of the 20th century) as the core of the design. To ensure maximum accuracy, new precision-made barrels and new match-style triggers were fitted to old actions. A steel sleeve was welded to the front of the receiver. This massive sleeve holds mounting points for the stock on its underside. The stock is pillar-bedded to the action, ensuring that the barrel is free-floated for maximum stability. The stock is made from wood, with a characteristic pistol grip. The length of pull and height of the cheek rest are adjustable through the use of optional spacers.

It is worth noting that there were two versions of the basic rifle. The first version, which amounted to about two-thirds of the entire production, was intended strictly for military use. It featured a heavy profile barrel and a folding bipod. The second version was a dual-purpose gun, which could be used for sniping or long-range rifle matches. For sports purposes, this version featured mounting points for diopter-type iron sights, had a somewhat lighter barrel to conform to weight limitations, and no bipod.

Both versions of the TKIV 85 sniper rifle were chambered for the peculiar Finnish 7.62х53R cartridge. It was based on a more common Russian 7.62х54R round, but the Finnish version was loaded with bullets with an external diameter of 7.8mm (.308”), as opposed to Russian bullets which are 7.92mm (.311”) in diameter.
For sniping purposes, TKIV 85 rifles were fitted with telescope sights on special mounts. The earliest rifles were issued with German Weizar 4x sights, which were later replaced by Zeiss Diavari 1.5-6 x 42 or Schmidt & Bender 4 x 36 sights.


The TKIV 85 sniper rifle, basic specifications

  • Caliber (ammunition used): 7.62x53R
  • Overall length: 1300 mm
  • Barrel length: n/a
  • Weight: 7 kg with a scope and bipod
  • Magazine capacity: 4 + 1 rounds