The Valmet O/U Shotgun

I occasionally mention a shotgun I have worked on if it is something interesting or unusual. It could be an interesting trigger group or maybe an obscure make or even unusual features.

Or all of the above!


Most recently I have been servicing a Valmet model 212 over and under shotgun. Now this is not a particularly common shotgun here in the UK these days, neither is it an expensive shotgun however it does have some interesting features.

This is a single, trigger 12 Bore/12 Gauge shotgun with fixed choke and 26″ barrels and a one piece extractor.

Disassembly is slightly different in that it is not of the normal stock screw type, instead the action is removed by two screws at the bottom in the trigger plate and two screws in the top in the tang behind the safety. The sort of thing you would expect from an older side by side shotgun. Interestingly, barrel selection is via a cross trigger push button affair.

Once apart a few things are different, firstly the strikers/firing pins are retained within a block secured by a single cross pin.  It was certainly in need of a service with a mixture of corrosion and dust showing here on the striker block. Once stripped it was apparent oil had been flooding into the holes of the strikers, I have seen cleaner Landrover defender differentials!

The strikers are removed before the block by pushing out the retaining pin which allows access to everything. They are not handed and although it is always good practice to keep assemblies together it is not a problem if you drop everything on the floor at this stage, as long as you can find them again!

With the striker block removed you can gain access to the top lever and auto safety bar which also serves as a spring guide for the top lever. The striker block has been cleaned in this image and everything is about ready to be put back together.

Incidentally, I use alignment/push pins a lot on jobs such as this and I have made them from 1,5mm to 8,0mm. I used 2,0mm 3,0mm and 4,0mm on this job. I machine them just under size and with rounded noses and they are so much more convenient than using punches or screwdrivers. Materials are usually 316 stainless or brass dependant on application.

Trigger assembly. This is unusual in that it is a single trigger without a conventional inertia block although it does have a sprung plunger assembly and is elegantly complex in a simple way.  Annoyingly, I just went through my pictures and realised I did not take a picture of the trigger fully dissembled.

Here are two hammers on a common pin, with two sears behind with the sear springs and safety lever on a common pin,  hiding behind is the selector lever assembly and this is where things get interesting when you put these things back together. At this point I will point out that the hammer spring plungers are handed so pay attention to orientation.

Here comes the fiddly bit. Because the upper and lower assembles orientation are hidden behind the stock it is very easy to get things wrong and either have a non functioning gun, or worse, break something and spares are not easy to source these days. I have assembled the upper and lowers so you can see how things go together. The top red ring shows how the trigger safety fits into the tang safety and the lower red ring is the relationship between the long leg of the tang safety and the trigger selector lever.

To get everything as in the image cock the hammers by hand, I just push them back with my thumb. Now hold the hammers back and push the selector lever backwards with a small screwdriver or similar. You need to keep pressure on the hammers as you are momentarily dropping the sears, however with some fiddling you end up with everything as per the image below.


Assembly. I leave the trigger safety selector about in the middle and place the trigger plate to one side. Fit the action to the stock and push the front screw into place, this is simply to hold things together and you can disregard if you wish. Make sure the tang safety is on (The rearwards position) Now fit the trigger plate by sliding the tags into the front and hinging it up until it is nearly in place. At this stage push the tang safety forward and it should pick up and locate the trigger safety lever correctly. Do the single screw up and test operation.

Ah, one point to consider, it is a faff to fit the trigger guard once the trigger plate is in position, I guess you could fit it first however I choose to just drop the rear of the trigger plate slightly which enables me to attach the guard. Try not to forget the trigger guard washer at this stage. Oh and check your bench for a 2,0mm pin which is the inertia block plunger retaining pin and has a tendency to fall out sometimes.

A close up of the Inertia block and plunger assembly located at the rear of the trigger plate. The spring and plunger has a tendency to corrode and seize up on these things so keep an eye on it as it is easily over looked during cleaning.


So there you go, a quick overview of the reassembly of the Valmet 212 O/U shotgun.

2 Replies to “The Valmet O/U Shotgun”

  1. Thanks for posting this, very informative.
    I recently acquired the later 512 model in 12g/.308 combination, marketed as Finn Classic but still a valmet.
    I had a look at the workings which seem v similar and just gave it a clean. In your opinion would it be safe to adjust trigger for a lighter pull as it’s about 4.5lbs.

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