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Lahti L-35: Finland’s First Domestic Service Automatic Pistol

When Finland decided to replace the Luger as its service handgun...

When Finland decided to replace the Luger as its service handgun, they turned to Finland’s most famous arms designer, Aimo Lahti. After a few iterations, Lahti devised a short recoil semiautomatic pistol with a vertically traveling locking block, not too different from a Bergmann 1910 or Type 94 Nambu. It was adopted in 1935, but production did not really begin in earnest until 1939 at the VKT rifle factory. Several variations were made as elements of the gun were simplified to speed up production, and the design was also licensed to the Swedish Husqvarna company, which manufactured nearly 10 times as many of the pistols as VKT eventually did.

In today’s video we will look at each of the variations, including one with an original shoulder stock and the early and late military guns as well as the post-war commercial guns marked Valmet instead of VKT.

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