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Posted: 1/29/2006 5:35:39 AM EDT
I just traded for an M76 Valmet. I didn't need another .223 rifle but it was a good deal. It has a single 30rd mag and a fixed wooden stock. I need more mags, a picatinny rail for the dust cover to mount an EoTech and information on fitting a folding stock. I am also considering fitting an ACE folding stock. Are 20-rd mags available for these guns? I find myself using the short mags in my assault rifles more these days, don't really need the extra mag capacity - slows down the ammo consumption :) I could do with maybe fitting an FAL pistol grip as well, the factory one is kinda small. Are any AK parts common to this gun? How is the flash-hider removed? Were there select-fire versions of this gun available?

Any thoughts appreciated except the 'don't spoil the collector value' slurs, it doesn't have any collector value in my market.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 9:57:32 AM EDT
regarding mags, this is from a post I made earlier regarding conversion of magazines for Valmet use-
SCRAMBLD(who also posts here) and I are shooting buddies and we've spent some time WECSOG-ing some solutions to the amazingly highly-priced Valmet .223 mags.

Factory mags are somewhat scarce, and when they can be found, often the cost is over $100 for 30 rd mags and $75+ for factory 15 rd. mags. Makes it kind of tought to get a bunch of them, doesn't it? I recently lucked into a 30 rd. factory Valmet mag at a pawn shop for $25 (mislabled as an SKS mag), but we can't count on that kind of good fortune, can we?

I bought my Valmet 76 folder in March of 2004. It cost me a paltry $1100 shipped and was NIB, unfired. It came with 4 magazines, a factory 15 rd, a factory 30 round, and two AK-74 mags converted to fit the rifle.

What $1100 and good luck on Gunbroker can get you-

I knew the factory mags would fit and function, and the AK-74 mags fit, but who is satisfied with a mere 4 magazines? An who knew if the converted mags would function? Thus I began a quest for info regarding the use of cheaper magazines in the Valmet .223 rifles.

My first stop was a now defunct website devoted to Valmet rifles. It was here that I met my first disappointment. I knew of a source for Galil mags, both steel and Orlite for less than $40. Unfortunately, I learned that Galil mags have a profile that does not allow safe and reliable function in a Valmet. The feed angle is wrong, and when used in a Valmet, Galil mags allow the fed rounds to slam into the rear of the receiver, causing the projectile to be forced back into the throat of the case, a potentially dangerous situation. So Galil mags quickly got scratched off the list of possibilities.

I also learned from that site that Tony Rumor of TROMIX had at one time made quite a business of converting both Steel East German Weigar mags and Bulgarian Waffle mags for use in Valmet rifles. The site said Tony was getting out of doing this, no longer offering the mags for sale, but might, if contacted, convert user supplied mags using his jig. So that led me to realize that Bulgarian and E. German mags were possible sources.

Unfortunately, in 2004, Bulgarian mags had become difficult to find. Arsenal did not have them listed for sale anymore, and they were selling for almost $40 each on the auction sites. Gunshows locally were a bust, so I decided to concentrate on the Weigars.

I found a vendor who sold me the 5 he had at a show for $50. As you know, the Weigar mags take some filing and/or dremeling to fit. Without a jig, it's a trial and error kind of proceedure. Go slow, use a working mag as your guide, and be prepared to spend some time getting them to fit and even more time getting them to feed. Using just a file, each mag would take 30-45 minutes...this is slow going, but I recommend hand filing the first one to learn where to remove material and where not to. Subsequent mags were done by dremel and took maybe 15 or 20 minutes to fit.

Here's a Valmet factory 30 rd. mag-

And a Weigar (modified) for comparison-

Here's the factory Valmet latch-

And the modified Weigar-

Valmet 30 rd. in the gun-

And the Weigar in the gun-

-Looks almost factory in appearance
-Steel construction

-A lot of material needs to be removed from the mag to get proper fit/function

Next up is the Bulgarian waffle mag in .223.
These can be tough to find but if you do come across them, pick them up because they are fairly easy to modify. The Bulgarians are a polymer over steel construction, and a bit of judicious file and dremel work on the uppser sides of the mag may be needed in addition to the latch work in order to get them to fit. When they are fitted, they lock up marvelously; good and tight. Typical dremel time on these was 10 maybe 15 minutes.

Here's a Bulgarian Waffle mag (modified)

Here's the modified rear latch-

And here's the Bulgarian in the gun-

-Tight lock up
-Simple modification
-I like the look

-Can be difficult to find Bulgarian waffles at times
-Depending on availability, donor mags will cost $30-$50
-Doesn't look "stock"

As stated earlier, my rifle was shipped with 2 Bakelite AK-74 mags modded to fir the M76. I had never encountered this before, and when posting pix of my rifle on the 'net, I got a lot of questions about this. Here's what I know-
They are stock brown plastic Bakelite AK-74 mags. They have been filed at the feed lips and the latch. I don't know if the follower has been changed, but they do feed and function, one more reliably than the other. The "modder" has painted them black and they look okay, but as my other mags make me feel more "comfortable", these don't see much use.
Now I've been told that this conversion won't work, but these do, so go figure. I've also been told that to get them to work, one must replace the follower from the 5.45 mag with a .223 follower. I dunno. These work, one effectively, one with 2 stoppages in 5-6 trips to the range.

Anyway, for those interested-
AK-74 mag converted for M76 use-

AK74 mag latch (modified)-

AK74 mag in the M76-

-Inexpensive mags
-Bakelite is easy to file

-Don't leave me with a comfortable feeling
-Filing bakelite feedlips could be problematic
-possible follower issues
-I didn't do this conversion, so I'm not totally confident in it.

Well, with those options, and a few factory mags you'd think I'd be content, huh? Not nearly.

Scanning eBay one day after getting my rifle (back when Valmet parts could still be found on eBay...before the "Assault weapons auction ban"), I came across an auction for a Galil M-16 mag adapter. I'd seen these before, and basically, it's a part that fits in the mag well of a Galil and allows use of the ubiquitous and chap AR mags in the high dollar rifle. It got me thinking. I looked at one of my AR mags, and one of my Valmet mags. They looked like they had similar bolt clearance, and that *possibly* the adapter might work.

The auction was ending in 5 minutes and I picked the adapter up for $20. At the time, there were lots of 20 of these being offered "in the white", so I had the idea, I'd make this work, buy 100 or so, mill them to work in the Valmet and make some cash. Heh.

First problem is the adapter I got didn't want to fit my rifle, or my buddy SCRAMBLD's rifle. So some dremeling would be required. SCRAMBLD cranked up his grinder and went to work. Lon story short, after a couple of hours, and grinding it down to a point where we worried about its structural integrity, we got the adapter to fit. Hm. If we were gonna sell these, we'd charge a fortune for them; there was what much work involved.

We got the adapter to fit, the M16 mag was inserted, and it seemed to hand cycle okay.

Off to the range. Got through three mags with no issues, and on mag 4, round 18, I got the dreaded Galil mag problem...slammed the projectile into the casemouth. Firing stopped, we considered a bit more filing, tried another mag, and the same issue. Hrm. A lot of work was put into this, but also, a lot of metal was removed. It's possible I *can* get this to work, but is it worth all the effort? Well, to be honest, I haven't worked on it in months, and I might not again. Neat idea, but...

Galil AR mag adapter-

Adatper rear (note how much metal needed to be removed)

Adapter with 40 rd AR15/AR180 mag in rifle (too bad this didn't work better...looks wicked)

So after the long and winding road, what did I learn about Valmet .223 mags?
1. Factory mags are almost prohibitively expensive
2. Factory mags are scarce
3. Weigar and Bulgarian mags are relatively easy to modify for use in a Valmet
4. Bulgarian mags are more easily modified than Weigars
5. Galil mag adapters *might* work, but what's the point...Weigar and Bulgarians are so easy to fix.

Okay, this has been long-winded, but I figured you guys might learn from my journey to find mags.

Here's the 5 mags I discussed-

Left to right-Bulgarian Waffle 30 rd, Valmet Factory 30 rd, Weigar 30 rd., AK74 modified 30rd., Galil adapter on a Sterling 40 rd.

Anyway, hope that helps.

I'd like to thank my Dremel buddy SCRAMBLD for helping me file, dremel, and test all these mags.

If you've got any questions, I'd be happy to answer them if I can.
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