Poor man’s Garand — the Hakim

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hakim
Egyptian Hakim was a “make-do” battle rifle, designed around cheap ammo.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • History
  • Development
  • Innovation
  • Cartridges thrown forward
  • Hakim action
  • Accuracy
  • However…
  • Why is the Hakim the “poor man’s Garand”?
  • Corrosive ammo
  • The airgun
  • Summary

You have read about Hakims in this blog many times already, but all of them were air rifles. Today is different. Today we look at the firearm that inspired the pellet rifle trainer — the 8mm Egyptian Hakim!

History

At the end of WWII, the Egyptians found themselves in possession of tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of rounds of 7.92 X 57mm Mauser ammunition — the 8mm Mauser round. The Germans had stockpiled it in Egypt, thinking they would be there for a long time. When they left, there were storehouses of munitions left behind that the Egyptians inherited.

Of course there was no lack of K98 Mauser rifles to use this ammo. But one of the things that came out of WWII was the knowledge that the future belonged to the semiautomatic battle rifle. Every nation that didn’t have one, coveted one. The M1 Garand was at the top of the list, but the U.S. was still tightly wed to their rifle and, even though they had discharged millions of service members, they clung to those 5+ million Garands tightly, sharing them with just a few of their close allies. Egypt was not one of them.

Hakim and Garand
The M1 Garand (below) is dwarfed by the Hakim.

Development

So, the Egyptians went shopping for a semiautomatic of their own — one that could use their treasure chest of surplus ammo. They found one in Sweden, where the AG-42 Ljungman was just what they needed. The design was already proven, and chambered the 6.5 X 55mm Swedish Mauser cartridge. It is a very large and heavy rifle. Weight is around 10.5 lbs., depending on the wood, and the length is 48.5 inches.

The two cartridges were close enough in size that the Swedes were able to convert the action to the slightly longer German round. But the innovation didn’t end there!

Innovation

The Egyptians wanted a way to adjust the action of their new rifle to accommodate cartridges of different power. They knew their stockpiles of ammo would eventually get used up, and when that happened they wanted to be able to buy surplus 8mm ammo from other countries around the world. The trouble was, it wasn’t all the same. The external dimensions were all the same (or so close it didn’t matter), but how it was loaded differed from country to country. Some was loaded very hot, while some was milder. They needed to find a way to adjust the rifle for every type of ammunition it was likely to encounter.

The Hakim action operates by what is called the direct impingement method. The high-pressure (45,000 psi and more) gas from the cartridge is bled off from the barrel and enters a tube that directs it back to hit the bolt carrier. The M16 and AR-15 use a similar process. The Egyptians installed a variable gas port in their design that the Swedish rifle didn’t have. The user can change the amount of gas flow and adjust the rifle to operate on most 8mm cartridges — theoretically. It works, but with the advancement in powders, it doesn’t have the range needed to adapt to all 8mm ammo today. Hakims can be plagued by stuck cartridges, when their rims are torn off by a bolt that’s too energetic. They also suffer from broken extractors for the same reason.

The control for the port is located on top of the upper handguard. Presumably soldiers were issued a tool to adjust the port and just as presumably they lost them right away.

Hakim gas port control 1
Rotated down (pointing toward the butt) the Hakim gas port is wide open for lower pressure cartridges.

Hakim gas control port 2
Rotated this way as far as it will go, the Hakim gas port is closed and the bolt has to be cycled by hand. But then the rifle will kick harder, because the action doesn’t move and absorb some of the recoil.

Cartridges thrown forward

Anyone who has shot next to someone with a semiautomatic rifle knows the hazard of the ejecting brass. It’s hot, flies hard and if you are hit you won’t forget it. The Hakim fixed that by throwing the spent brass forward! They do that with a brass deflector that’s mounted on the right side of the sliding bolt cover. People think it is the handle for operating the cover but it’s really the brass deflector. It’s a wonderful feature for a battle rifle and horrible news for a reloader.

Hakim cartridge deflector
That wire bar is the cartridge deflector. It kicks the spent case 25-40 feet in front of the shooter. You can see the gas tube above the chamber. Those ridges on the cover are to hold cover when cocking the rifle.

Hakim brass
The Hakim damages spent brass too much to reload. The case neck can be straightened, but the dent in the case wall will not come out.

The brass gets dented by the deflector too deeply to be reloaded. Other semiautomatic battle rifles have similar cartridge “problems” for the reloader, like the German G3’s fluted chamber that also distorts the brass. The military doesn’t think about reloading, so these things don’t bother them, and speaking from experience, I would rather have the rifles do what they do than worry about reloadable brass. I’m just mentioning it.

Hakim action

The Hakim action has to be experienced to be believed. At first glance it seems to work backwards. Normally we think of pulling the bolt to the rear to load a semiautomatic rifle. With the Hakim, you slide the bolt cover forward until it catches the bolt, then slide it back to open the bolt. The 10-round box magazine is removable, but it’s not designed to be removed in normal operation. The mag remains in the rifle and gets loaded with two 5-round stripper clips that fit into a guide on the top of the bolt cover. It takes longer to explain than to do.

Hakim action closed
When the rifle is fired, or when it is cocked and loaded, the bolt is forward and the bolt cover is to the rear like this.

Hakim bolt cover forward
To cock the rifle, slide the bolt cover forward.

Hakim bolt cover back
Then slide the bolt cover to the rear. It will bring the bolt with it. Notice there is a place in the lug above the cartridge deflector to insert a 5-round stripper clip. The bolt cover is not all the way back in this picture, because that releases the bolt to spring forward.

When loading the rifle you must take care not to release the bolt while your fingers are in the way. An M1 thumb is nothing compared to what this beartrap will do to you!

Accuracy

The Hakim is very accurate. It’s almost a legend. Only the Swiss K31 can rival it. It may be the poor man’s Garand, but head to head, the Hakim will outshoot the American rifle, unless the latter has been accurized.

However…

The Hakim’s greatest downfall is — it was designed in Sweden, by Swedish engineers. It’s perfect for a forested/tundra sub-arctic environment. It even works well in a temperate climate. The tolerances between all the parts are very tight, as you would expect in a Swedish firearm. But tight tolerances don’t work so well in the desert.

In the field, the Hakim gave soldiers fits! They had to keep it dry and scrupulously clean or it would jam. Does that ring any bells? Like perhaps what happened in Vietnam with our own M16 in the early days? Of course we were also fighting the development curve of new military ammunition. The Hakim uses a cartridge that had been battle-tested for more than half a century.

This was where the American Garand, while giving up some native accuracy, stood head-and-shoulders ahead of the Hakim. In the reliability department, the Garand won, hands-down. Of course the M1 had also been through its own teething problems in the late ’30s and early ‘40s, but with over 5 million made there was ample time and money to develop the design.

In sharp contrast, only seventy-some thousand Hakims (sources say 70,000 to 79,000) were ever produced. There wasn’t a world war to equip in 1954, so there was no motivation to build more rifles. Hence the rifle did not get the same attention as the Garand. They were produced from 1954 to 1959 at the Maadi arsenal.

When the 1960s arrived, the Egyptians redesigned the Hakim into a much smaller carbine-sized rifle they called the Rasheed. While the design was largely retained, the Rasheed was chambered in 7.62 X 39mm — a cartridge used by the Soviet Bloc, and therefore also available in great numbers. The Hakim went through the Egyptian military hierarchy (national guard and special units) and then was surplussed. Many made their way to the gun-friendly United States.

Why is the Hakim the “poor man’s Garand”?

Hakims have always been priced less than Garands. Even today a Hakim in excellent condition (and many are) will fetch $900, where an average-condition Garand brings a thousand or more. But it isn’t the price of the gun that earned the Hakim its title. It’s the ammo.

Eight-millimeter Mauser ammo has been dirt-cheap on the world market for half a century. Like Russian 7.62 X 54R and the American 30.06 and 5.56mm rounds, the going price of 8mm Mauser ammo was reason enough to buy a rifle. That’s not as true today, though existing stocks are still keeping the price low. So, the price of the ammo and not the rifle made the Hakim so attractive.

Corrosive ammo

Unfortunately, most military 8mm Mauser ammo is corrosive. Therefore most of the Hakims you find have corroded bores from improper cleaning. To clean a rifle barrel that has shot corrosive ammo the solvent has to contain some water. Military rifle bore cleaners do contain water and will clean a bore that has shot corrosive ammo. But most commercial bore cleaners don’t contain water, and, if they are used, the bore will rust.

The airgun

If the firearm is scarce, the Hakim airgun is positively rare! Made by Anschütz in 1954 and ’55, only 2,800 are thought to have been produced. They were surplussed by the Egyptians in the 1980s and Navy Arms brought many of them into this country. I remember buying them for as little as $60 and I complained when I had to pay $100 apiece for two. Today a shooter is a $300 air rifle and a nice one, of which there aren’t many, goes for more.

I have written a lot about the air rifle. You can read that here.

Hakim — Egypt’s pellet rifle trainer was better than the firearm: Part 3

Hakim air rifle: Part 7

The Hakim – part 3

Summary

I hope you have enjoyed today’s little history lesson. I find this rifle fascinating, not so much for how it is designed, but for the reasons it was made the way it was.

92 thoughts on “Poor man’s Garand — the Hakim

  1. B.B.

    Thanks for all the background. You talk a lot about the Hakim trainer and now I know about it’s daddy.
    Did the German Army also leave many 88MM artillery shells in Egypt after their defeat?

    Yogi



      • BB

        You promised us a good read today and so it was! I almost bought a Hakim when they first flooded the United States half a century ago. Glad I didn’t because I reloaded everything. Did not know about the bent case wall problem. Accuracy should not come as a surprise to me since my Swedish Mauser 6.5 x 55 is tops for accuracy. But the reason for the accuracy was unknown to me. I had assumed the Swedish cartridge was inherently accurate and was causing the popularity today of various 6.5 cartridges and wildcats.

        Readers who travel should see the Occupation Museum in the Channel Island, Guernsey, off coast of France. German troops garrisoned there were bypassed. Starving, they surrendered and left all their naval guns, rifles, MG34 and MG42 machine guns behind. I spent hours there one day in awe of this overwhelming collection.

        Decksniper


        • Sounds like an awesome museum, would love to see it. Found a 760 wed at a pawn shop, it’s a little rough but the perfect work horse for .177 shot gun development. I’ve been busy with my Titan GP, but watch out bugs I’m going to work on shell development this weekend. The sweatbees are my motivation, pesky devils.


        • Decksniper,

          Today I shot the Hakim and got the gas port dialed in. It still dents the case, but now the dent can be fixed. If I like I can even stop the gas from ejecting the case and extract it by hand, but then the rifle kicks! When it ejects the case it kicks like a 250 Savage, which is light.

          B.B.


          • BB

            Wishing now I had bought the Hakim but I would not have known to adjust the gas port for reloading my infinite number of test loads. The kick you refer to when setting the port to not eject would not be anymore jolting than my 98K unless I’m missing something. Glad to hear you are making time to burn powder.

            Decksniper


      • I bought a Hakim in woolworths for 75 bucks. they were in wooden barrels along with swedish mausers for the same money. it was more accurate with junk corrosive ammo then the garands I had and I never had beat up brass from the rifle but the ammo was berdan primed anyway.The DI system they had was much better then the M16 being the gas blew on a gigantic bolt that I think locked in the rear so no chance for fouling like the tiny locking lugs on the 16


  2. Just of possible interest to collectors and/or those needing to “collect the whole set” of accessories. I seem to recall the Hakim/Ljungman could use a 98k Mauser bayonet and likely Mauser strippers too.
    Could be wrong but check and report back:)



  3. B.B.,

    Your discussion of corrosive powders requiring water in the cleaning solution reminded me of a video I saw years ago of an elderly gentleman shooting his black powder, double-barrel 10 gauge. Immediately after getting back home, he cleaned the barrels out forcefully with tap water from a wide open garden hose.

    Michael

    P.S. The links above have some hiccups, at least with my browser.



    • You can cover your bases with all the various methods like me. Right after shooting corrosive ammo at the range, I squirt three ketchup sized water bottles worth of tap water down the barrel followed by enough Ballistol down the breech that it comes leaking out of the muzzle. As soon as I get home, I pour a thermos full of boiling water down the barrel. Then I clean for 15 minutes with Sweet’s 7.62 anti-copper fouling solution. Then, I do a full clean with Hoppe’s #9. No corrosive powder can survive this.

      Matt61




    • Lucky man. I greatly admire this gun as what the AR should have been with a piston and one that was invented by none other than Eugene Stoner himself. Apparently, the gun worked great, and I was so annoyed after corresponding with the Armalite company that they no longer produce the rifle or parts that can be assembled into a complete rifle. What I’m most curious about is the piston design. Apparently, manufacturers have struggled like mad to design a short-stroke piston that does not cause “bolt-carrier” tilt. You would think they would just look at whatever Stoner did to solve the problem.

      Matt61


  4. OK, maybe someone can help me out here – my memory is failing me. Wasn’t there someone back in the ’70s that came up with a tool where you could fill a dented cartridge with water, insert a plug in the neck and then smack it with a hammer to remove the dent, since the water wouldn’t compress. An alternative would be to fire-form by cooking up a type of squib load. Either of these methods would be pretty labor intensive for very many rounds and probably only used if you were REALLY were hurting for brass. Here’s a useful link: http://www.backwoodshome.com/reload-your-own-brass/
    Larry from Algona now in Lubbock, TX


    • LarryMo,

      Two things, the first an old bar trick: Take a breath and hold it. Press your hand tightly against your lips and squeeze your cheeks together as much as you can without blowing a blood vessel. Then remove your hand and gently open your lips without exhaling, just letting the air slowly escape from your mouth. Enough vapor should emerge that it is visible to you and anyone else very close by.

      Second is an urban legend about a coin collector who forgot the combination to his safe. He hauled it out to a vacant lot, drilled a hole in the top, filled it completely with water, and then pushed a lit M-80 firecracker into it. He ran to cover, and the safe blew apart.

      Michael


    • Wondered the same thing myself. Wouldn’t a subsequent discharge just push out the dent? The whole process of fire-forming cases seems based on this principle. I suppose that the dent might alter the available space, so they wouldn’t be for accurate shooting. Or perhaps the dent changes the way the shoulder headspaces which would make the case unusable. But I’m not really sure.

      Matt61


      • Matt61
        Fire forming is a great way to work up loads for a single rifle since the cartridge would conform to the exact shape of the chamber. Then, all you needed to do was get yourself some neck-sizing dies. Care and caution is demanded because split cases is no laughing matter. Once you get it all together, you can end up with something like my ’03A3 that can shoot 1/2 MOA all day.
        Larry from Algona now in Lubbock, TX


        • Well, I have something to look forward to. I’ve just reloaded a bunch of .303 ammo with neck-resizing dies but have not fired them yet. I am not overly impressed with the accuracy of my Enfield Mk4. No.1, but I’ve heard that inaccuracy in Enfields results from variation in chamber size. So, this might solve the problem. The A3 is not the sniper model. Are you getting those groups with iron sights?!

          Matt61


          • Matt61
            IMO you would absolutely get better accuracy with neck resizing of that brass IF YOU FIRED IT IN THAT RIFLE IN THE FIRST PLACE. If you just picked up or bought that brass you probably wouldn’t see any improvement. My ’03A3 was sporterized by a German gunsmith in Germany and either purchased or commissioned by an American officer that was stationed there. The scope is a fixed 4X Hensoldt Wetzlar dialytan with high German tip-off mounts and a pointed post – no cross hairs so it looks like looking thru a peep sight. I have to assume this is a German thing (?). You put that point on the finest point on your target from a solid rest and you can get fantastic groups.
            LarryMo in Lubbock back from Dalhart rodeo.



  5. This is fascinating, especially to me with my reading on the Garand. That business about throwing the cases sideways is demonstrated in the film The Gods Must Be Crazy. Incompetent guerrillas in Africa are ambushing government forces with G3 rifles on full-auto. As they are blasting away shoulder to shoulder, one guy gets a faceful of brass from the guy next to him until he turns and pushes him away. Then the group keeps shooting, annihilating a banana tree in the process. The Garand is supposed to eject at 2 o’clock without any specialized device, so I don’t see why the Egyptians couldn’t have copied that.

    How interesting about the need to adjust the gas for a semi-auto rifle. Boy, did I find that out the hard way. Part of the Garand’s reliability is based on American wartime manufacturing that was capable of producing cartridges of great uniformity. Without that there can be problems which is what I encountered. They may not be so severe as as the Hakim’s, but the unique Garand problem of bent op rods is related to gas pressure.

    I’m surprised that the tight German-style tolerances worked in the cold winters of Sweden. I’ve read that the tight tolerances of the Mauser 98K caused it to jam in cold weather on the Eastern Front. If that happened to the finest bolt-action design ever made, it must have be far worse for a semiauto.

    But the big surprise is the direct impingement action. It has seemed to me to be a strike against the AR impingement design that not a single rifle in the next generation has adopted this system. All the new rifles use a piston and even the AR is being steadily retrofitted with pistons in both the military and commercial sectors. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, this is very unflattering. However, here is the Hakim with a direct impingement design. I am curious if the rifle’s unreliability was due in part to this (which is one of the persistent criticisms of this design) rather than just the tight tolerances. And, incidentally, if an adjustable gas system was a criteria, I don’t see why they couldn’t have done this with a piston system as well.

    In any case, besides the Hakim, a gas impingement system was also featured in the French MAS 49 rifle. And this rifle, which I had never heard of until recently, has been repeatedly described as the superior of the Garand in every way. It is more accurate, reliable, shorter, just about every criteria. Inconceivable! Some modern tests indicate ammo sensitivity, but it seems that the impingement system has had a wider use and had more success than I realized.

    Matt61


  6. Gunfun1 I got a 760 and I’m sending salt and lead down range. Only had #6 shot the longest I could make a shell that would fit the 760 was 5/8 inch long .160 dia straw. So I was only able to fit 5 shot in a shell. At 8 ft three went through the foil two fell off and didn’t hit the target. This gun is used , I shot 7grain hobbys through my Chrony and got about 360 fps muzzle velocity at 8 pumps so I don’t know how that compares to your 760 power wise. Anyways off to the store for kosher salt and small shot.


    • Coduece,

      You guys are going to get me into this bug thing yet. I think some number 9 shot would be just right, not sure but think that size was in the .22 rimfire birdshot loads. I remember shooting shot in my pellet gun as a kid but never was able to develop a useable load. I think your cartridge (straw) will need a wad behind it to seal the barrel. Maybe a paper or half of a cleaning pellet like Gunfun is using.

      Your 760 sounds like it is a little tired but should be fine for this. Have you give it a shot of pellgun oil?

      Don



  7. B.B.,

    I remember back when they were almost giving them away; lots of WWII surplus kept prices down for a long time. Wish I had picked up one back then. Thanks for the history.

    Don


  8. Hey so far it’s pretty fun, I agree as tired as this gun is i think it’s going to be salt only, I am going to oil it up but I bet it has a plastic seal so I don’t know if it will help. Yes I thought the number nine shot or maybe even #12 would be ideal. The smallest I can find is #8.


  9. Hey Don it’s way funner than swatting. I agree as tired as this gun is i think it’s going to be salt only, I am going to oil it up but I bet it has a plastic seal so I don’t know if it will help. Yes I thought the number nine shot or maybe even #12 would be ideal. The smallest I can find is #8.


    • Coduece,

      I don’t have anything smaller than #8 shot either. At a large trap and skeet club they would have some smaller shot. Twenty five pounds would last a lifetime on bugs though.

      I have been having more fun with my Bugasalt than I thought I would and a little more range would be great.

      Don


      • Right and the 760 looks cooler than the bugsalt gun. My shells are working well and yes I stuff a little cotton in the rear of the case to hold in the salt leaving a little hanging out keeps the shell in the bore. Also going kosher I got much better penetration with a four inch pattern at 5 ft. Wish I could figure out the picture thing to show the shells.






    • Coduece
      Go to your picture editing and reduce the size to get it below what’s allowed. I usually just bring in all 4 sides of the outer picture in right to the edge of the picture.

      Also when you take the picture have extra area showing around the picture. In otherwards take the picture at a farther distance away from the object. Then you can chop the outer Banks area you don’t need. That reduces your picture size while making the object bigger.


      • Suppose to say chop the outer area you don’t need.

        My phone decided to add Banks. It does that to me even when I change the sentence back how I want it. It goes back to what it thinks is right. And it don’t seem to matter even if I turn auto correct off.


  10. The target pic file was too large for some reason. Anyways here’s the kids favorite BB gun. The scope didn’t help tha accuracy but it sure looks good. I think they got the proportions right on this gun compared to a red rider but give me a model 25 any day.




    • Coduece
      Still been crazy busy with stuff going on. Work is a mad house right now. It seems that everything decided it’s tired of working. We been going steady with 12 hour days all week long fixing things.

      Finally pretty caught up. But now got to do stuff around the house tomorrow. And tired as heck. The body don’t go like it use too. But going to try to mess with my 760 and the birdshot tomorrow. I hope.

      Oh and Daisy wadcutters are at about 650 fps at 10 pumps. And about 500fps at 8 pumps with my 760. And glad you got you a 760. I hope we get something to work out. And to get a big enough area for the pellets to spread out to make a big enough pattern I think at least 20 bird shot will be needed. And another thing I’m worried about is that the birdshot might jam in the barrel with wadding in front of the birdshot. I’m thinking your straw cartridge idea is going to be the ticket.


  11. While looking at new items on the P.A. site, I ran across these:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Proxima_Turkish_Walnut_Air_Rifle/4442/8637

    It has a lot of features, not the least being a repeater. Adj. comb, adj. butt, nice pistol grip, open sights, scope rail, fixed barrel (under lever). The only down side I see is the weight at 9.3#.

    Here is another interesting repeater design, in an airsoft (?),.. no description. “Die cast”, so perhaps that it does not shoot at all? Interesting concept though:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Gonher_Cowboy_12_Ring_Cap_Die_Cast_Metal_Rifle/4437

    Finally, a (re)-designed pellet:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/s/p/JSB_Redesigned_Monster_Pellets_22_200_ct/1420

    I have never shot these in .22, but they weigh the same as my .25 pellets. I am not sure what the difference is. I thought that it was interesting though to see something “re” designed, as opposed to just offering a new product.

    Just some FYI for anyone interested.


    • On the Proxima, the adj. butt is for length of pull, with spacers. Still, this rifle combines about everything/anything that someone could ask for. I would like to see a review of it.


      • Chris,

        The Proxima is nice looking. Hatsan has certainly come a long way in the last couple of years. I would be most interested in how the action works, such as is the magazine the “chamber” or does a hollow probe/transfer port push the pellet forward into the chamber. Either way it will have a long transfer port or possible leakage around the magazine, explaining the low power levels.

        Over the years I have found that most underlevers have a lower power level for one reason or another. Also, they are usually heavier than their break barrel brethren. This one seems to have fairly low power levels. Hopefully it will make up for it in the accuracy department. Underlevers do tend to be more accurate, at least the well made ones. I too would enjoy a review of this.

        As for the Cowboy, it is not an airsoft. It is a cap rifle. It shoots those red plastic ring caps.

        As for those JSB Jumbo Monsters, I have been hearing some good things about those. Matt Dubber down in South Africa has been using them with great success out to some pretty decent ranges.


        • RR,

          From what I see over at another site,.. the old Monster’s have a very straight cylindrical shape/waist. The “re” – designed ones have a very traditional/wasp waist. I would like to see the magazine arraignment on the Proxima, like you. I might do a bit of digging on that. Thanks for the clarification on the Cowboy. P.A.’s info was nil. No doubt the design would work as a Co2. It is just a revolver with a longer barrel.



      • Yes that gun has my name written all over it! Good eye Chris, that’s one good looking gun, BB has to get his hands on one. Does anyone have any experience with Quattro triggers? Maybe I’m going to rethink an hw50.


  12. Hello all, Hmm, an air power shot-gun.maybe a Crosman 1322 would be a good platform,get a aftermarket barrel and make a smooth bore!cool option.With so many using/making wood grips/fore-ends.just think,two 1322,s one Double barrel!two triggers/compression chambers,little different bolt close,one wide fore-end.one stock.so cool!



    • Toto, Coduece, Bugbuster
      I got thinking about this air shot gun this morning. And thought about using the 1377 I have like Toto mentioned. For one I got about 8 different barrels in different lengths and calibers. And seriously only takes at the most 2 minutes to change a barrel. Only two screws with the plastic breach that comes from the factory and the barrel slides out.

      So I did get some good results at the end before I just came in to eat lunch. Tryed all different kinds of combination of cleaning pellets and paper towels wadded up. And different amounts of birdshot. I even tryed 5 regular steel bb’s and some paper towel wadded up to keep the bb’s falling out. We did that when we was kids with our 760’s and 880’s. I tryed different amount of pumps too and it seemed that 12 pumps worked the best on the 760 and the 1377 with different barrels. Above 12 pumps seemed to actually lost power.

      I’m after feild mice and I know I can get at least 5-6 feet from them. So all my shots was at 5-1/2 foot. My target was a 12 oz. beverage can layed on the ground in front of my target holder back stop. So basically like a mouse setting by a wall. The can couldn’t get knocked back.

      My goal was to make the birdshot at least penetrate one side of the can if not both sides. Which I was hoping for. Well and I did get it to finally happen. Penatration through one side of the can mostly. But some making it through both sides with the steel bb’s and the birdshot. I repeated the results twice with the 760 with the smooth bore and with the 1377 and .177 caliber 10″ rifled barrel. Results pretty much the same for the smooth bore and rifled barrel penatration and pattern wise.

      I’m going to go out after I eat and try the bird shot one more time in the 760. If I get the same results again I’ll post the picture of the he can in a bit. And from what I seen through out time if I can get a pellet to penetrate one side of a can at 10 yards it will dispatch a starling or sparrow. So I do think this will be effective on mice at 5-1/2 feet. That is if it will repeat the results I got.

      But here’s what made the magic happen. A Daisy wadcutter pellet loaded in the barrel as normal. 20 birdshot from the muzzle. And a small wadded up piece of paper towel pushed down the barrel from the muzzle end and 12 pumps on the gun. But will post a picture in a bit.





        • Coduece
          Here’s the picture of two more cans I just shot. Probably the best it’s going to do.

          And for sure it works good with salt. I ended up using about a 1/2 teaspoon of table salt at 10 pumps with the wadded up paper towel pushed down the barrel then the salt and another peice of the wadded up paper towel to keep it from falling out of the barrel. I shot a wasp flying around the window on the outside of the house at easy 10 feet and got it. So definitely will be my bug gun.


          • GF1,

            Looks like you have got it figured out. I will be after bugs so salt it will be in a 760. I think the last 2260 barrels I bought were $15, the 760 smooth barrels should be even less.

            Good job to all
            Don


            • Don
              I just really wish I had my modded .25 Marauder still. I think if they made a .25 caliber wadcutter; I could probably get away with around 50 or so bird shot with it out to 10 yards. Maybe even a little farther. Now that for sure would be a good mouse gun.

              Anyway it was fun messing with it. And I will still try the 760 on a field mouse if one pops up.


        • Coduece,

          Check this out at the P.A. site,…

          http://www.pyramydair.com/product-all-reviews/p/Gamo_Express_EXP20_Shotshells_Fits_Viper_Shadow_Express_Shotguns/485

          I bet if you read down through the reviews, there will be a few ideas. There are 45 comments, so something idea worthy ought to be in there. I am assuming that the shell stays in the gun, so no doubt people have tried re-loading them already.

          Like B.B. has said in the past,… if you are going to invent something new,… one is well served by researching what has been tried before.


          • Chris
            A spring gun is a little different than a multi-pump. With the spring gun your stuck with the power it makes. So all you can do with it is change the load size.

            With a multi-pump you can adjust power to the load size. That’s what the trick is to making a load work.

            Plus like I posted down below today to Qjay. I think better results could be had with Benjamin 392 or 397. They make pretty good power. I had a 392 and it was a thumper when shooting .22 caliber pellets. So I think that could possibly allow for more birdshot in load. Which should make for a better pattern and penatration.

            And I think the rifling may help even. I have the 16″ .177 caliber rifled barrel on my 1377 right now and can get the same results as my 750 gets with the last pictures I posted of the blue cans. That was with a whole cleaning pellet with about 5 drops of RWS silicone oil added before I loaded it like a pellet would normally be loaded. Then 20 of the #8 birdshot and 8 pumps. And I believe the oil on the cleaning pellet did the trick. It helped seal to the barrel better plus it was lighter than the Daisy wadcutter pellet I was trying at first.

            So I do believe since this experiment with a multi-pump is not the same as what was done with the gamo shotgun loads. That’s a different ball game there.


            • GF1,

              Nice on all of the testing. I still think that I would go break barrel and the Gamo shells. One of those cheap high powered ones. It would be tuff to find one without baffles though. Cut Q-tip heads might be an alternative to cleaning pellets and wadded up paper towels bits. Or a cotton ball cut up into pieces with some scissors.


              • Chris
                I haven’t had one of the Gamo shot guns but did read a bunch of different reviews about it. Some say it’s good and some say it ain’t. From what I seen in the past and testing again these last few days it’s very hard to get a good pattern at a reasonable distance with enough penatration to actually dispatch a pest. So with out having a Gamo shotgun I can’t really say how well it does. I really do wish I knew somebody that had one so I could know for sure. And no I’m not hinting for you to get one. Just say’n.

                But here’s the problem at hand. Really that Gamo and the 760 or even the 392 or 397 isn’t really flowing enough air volume when the shot is fired. Plus the sealing the wadding to the barrel is a issue. That’s why I tryed a wadcutter pellet at first. The skirt sealed to the barrel better than the paper towel wadding and even the cleaning pellet. Plus the additional weight of the pellet changed how the birdshot left the barrel. That’s why I tryed soaking the cleaning pellet with a little oil. Heck the instructions that came with the cleaning pellets said to do that. Well that was the ticket to get the seal I wanted and not add the extra weight of the lead wadcutter pellet.

                But back to power. Look at the Air Venturi wing shot shotgun. That’s a .45 caliber air gun that’s shooting around a 150 grain load of #8 shot with the new longer shot shells. That gun can only make 3 full power shots from a 3000 psi fill to make a effective 15-20 yard shot if I remember right. That’s a lot of air flowing with each shot taken.

                So saying that. I’m really thinking that Gamo shotgun is probably only effective at 5 yards. And by effective I mean to dispatch a pest. And I’m betting it would be mouse or a sparrow at the most. No way sqerrial. Sqerrials are tough little critters.

                And on the final word I do think that a Marauder that is modded and shooting a 34.95 JSB pellet at 850 fps.could indeed be made to shoot some #8 birdshot effectively out to 10 or so yards. Of course with the shroud off and that front muzzle support on the end of the actual barrel. I seriously would be trying it right now if I still had my .25 Marauder. And I do mean seriously.


                • GF1,

                  I see I was mistaken on using the Gamo shot shells on a conventional .22 air rifle. On the gun,..it states that an “adapter” must be used to fire .22 pellets,….. meaning that the shot shell OD is (larger) than a .22 cal. air gun bore,.. also meaning the lead in on the breech end of the barrel is (longer) in order to accept the specialized shot shell.

                  I do agree a PCP would be the way to go. On the M-rod, with the baffles and end cap removed, the shroud could be left on.

                  I guess at the end of the day,… we are left with muzzle loading salt and shot loads.


                  • Chris
                    Maybe on the shroud. The barrel ends about 5 or 6 inches inside the shroud. I’m guessing that the birdshot would not be opening up far enough yet to contact the inner wall of the shroud when it exits the actual barrel.

                    But what I’m talking about that I’m pretty sure would need to be removed is that peice that goes on the very end of the actual barrel that keeps the shroud supported and centered to the barrel. The peice that has all the holes around it to direct the air blast to the back of the shroud that also keeps the baffles forward of the barrel. I do tink the birdshot be would contact it as it left the actual barrel.

                    And on second thought. The shroud and that peice would need removed to load the bird shot down the barrel.



  13. That looks minute of mouse for sure,super cool. For me 7 shells 7 wasps,no shortage of them around the pool deck.( none flying) This has been a fun and successful experiment in my opinion, so thanks for letting me take part. This really adds versatility to the 1377/1322 platform awesome!



  14. And of course I had to do some more messing around.

    Went back to one whole cleaning pellet with some RWS silicone oil added to the pellet. Then loaded as a normal pellet would be loaded. Still used 20 birdshot and some paper towel wadding to keep the birdshot from falling out the barrel. This time I kind of tapped the wadding to get it all seated tight with my pushing rod. This last shot was at 10 feet with 8 pumps. And I did try different amounts of pumps and ended up with the 8 pumps. But all 20 birdshot hit the can. 9 when through both sides and you can see dents that tryed to break through of 4 more birdshot. So that’s more the result I’m looking for. I believe that should even allow me to get one of the feild mice while they are running. But here is the front and back of the can. Definitely better results than the first way with the Daisy wadcutters.




      • I’d say you guys need a hobby, but this one is awesome! My wife approves. She wants me to make her some shot shells for her backpacker!

        I think I should be able to drill out a .22 LR with a paper pack at the back and a light cardboard was at the front to hold it all together, what do you think?

        How fine of bird shot can you use in there? #9?


        • What
          Glad your wife likes the idea. Sounds like you do too. 🙂

          And I think there may be one problem with your .22 long rifle rimfire case. It won’t fit the barrel diameter. The outside diameter of the case where the bullet would be at is bigger than the inside diameter of the barrel. If it would work I have 2 one quart pickle jars full of .22 rimfire cases that I pick up from the yard when I shoot my .22’s. plus you have the outer rim at the back of the case too that will cause a problem.

          And whatever you come up with how you load the birdshot. It’s all going to be about the size of the birdshot, how much birdshot you use and how many pumps from the gun also and distance your going to be shooting at. What I found is that more pumps wasn’t the best. It seems that I had to get the right amount of pumps to get the shot to do what I wanted.

          And what I been thinking about doing is maybe getting me a Benjamin 392 or 397. I know from having a 392 in the past that they can make some good power. They don’t come with a way to mount a scope but wouldn’t worry about that anyway with a shotgun load. And I should of said sooner. I was able to use the open sights on the 760 for every shot I tryed. Even when I was shooting the wasps and horse fly’s with the salt. Makes for a nice multi-purpose air gun though. I’m happy with the results. 🙂



  15. And ok I know I showed a couple different results with the birdshot. Forgot to show the results with the regular steel bb’s. This by far is the best results to me comparing to the birdshot.

    I did shoot open sights with my 1377 with the 16″ .177 caliber rifled barrel. I got best results with 4 bb’s loaded at the breech as a normal lead pellet would be loaded. Then some paper towel wadding from the muzzle end and tapped in a little with the pushing rod. And 10 pumps was the best.

    Here is what’s crazy. This is at 10 yards. The picture has the front and back of the can. And this time the can was just laying in the yard with nothing backing it or holding it in place when it got hit. The can went flying when I hit it. If it would of been supported so it wouldn’t move then it would of been a pas through on both sides. And this is a aluminum can but it does have thicker aluminum than a regular 12 oz. aluminum can. So for sure it would of done a pass through on a regular thickness 12 oz. can I believe.

    I will be going after the feild mice with the steel bb’s for sure over the buck shot. Now I know why we had success as kids with mice and pest birds with multiple steel bb’s loaded. But here’s the pictures.



      • One more thing. Just tryed the Smart shot copper coated lead bb’s. Again loaded like I just did with the steel bb’s. And I forget to mention on the steel bb’s and the smart shot I did not use a cleaning pellet.

        But guess what. The Smart shot didn’t even penetrate the first side of the can at the same distance with same amount of pumps. It patterned pretty much the same as steel bb’s. And it sure did knock the can flying harder. So that means I probably needed to be closer to the target or same distance and more power from the gun.

        Kind of interesting how weight plays a big part in performance and probably the fit to barrel as well.


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