Hakim — Egypt’s pellet rifle trainer was better than the firearm: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hakim
Hakim is Egypt’s air rifle trainer for their 8mm battle rifle.

A history of airguns

Part 1

This report covers:

  • My first Hakim
  • Navy Arms
  • Power
  • Little Rock
  • You won’t believe this one!
  • More Hakims
  • Parts and pogosticks
  • Even more Hakims
  • One last rifle

Today we look at the performance of the Hakim trainer. I don’t know exactly how many of these I have owned. I lost count years ago at 15. I’ve seen them in all states of tune, from barely functioning to red hot and everything in-between. So let’s start there.

My first Hakim

My first rifle was purchased from a newspaper ad in the late 1980s. It was advertised as an Anschütz training rifle and I had no idea what it was. When I saw it, though, I knew I had to have it. Here was a full-stocked underlever training rifle with an automatic loading tap. And it was in .22 caliber. I hoped it would shoot.

Well, shoot it did! After experimenting with many different .22 caliber pellets I finally settled on RWS Superpoints as the ideal pellets because of the accuracy. The Hakim is a taploader and that means the air blast hits the base of the pellet while its sitting in the loading tap. A thin soft skirt is needed if the pellet is to expand to seal off the air behind it. The Superpoint has the thinnest softest skirt of any pellet I know, and it worked wonderfully in my new/old air rifle.

RWS Superpoint

The .22-caliber RWS Superpoint has a thin soft skirt that conforms well to a loading tap.

I was surprised when the first five pellets went into the same hole at 10 meters. But I soon learned that was normal for a Hakim.

Navy Arms

My next 4 Hakims came from Navy Arms. They cost me $60 each and came packaged loosely in a large cardboard box. I was shocked at how dirty they were. The outsides were covered with fine sand and the insides were gunked with it. This was the first time I learned that the name of the airgun was Hakim. One by one I disassembled each rifle and cleaned out the old sand and grease. Every one of these rifles had smashed pellets and finishing nails embedded in the synthetic piston seal, but that seal was so tough that not one of them was damaged by the abuse.

Power

All of the Navy Arms rifles were in the high 400 f.p.s. region with Superpoints. My first Hakim was about 515 f.p.s. with thee same pellet, so that was where I thought the power was supposed to be. The mainsprings in the Navy rifles were all shorter than the spring in my original rifle, plus a couple springs were canted. There were no replacement parts for any of these rifles then or now. So if you wanted a new mainspring it had to come from something else.

I replaced a couple springs in the Navy rifles that were the worst and got them up to the 550 f.p.s. region. That taught me that it was possible for the rifle to shoot a little faster than I imagined.

Little Rock

A couple years later I bought two Hakims at the Little Rock show, and one of them was supposed to be very fast. It was extremely difficult to cock, so the mainspring was all wrong, but sure enough, when I chrongraphed it it was pushing Superdomes out at over 650 f.p.s. But the rifle buzzed horribly and recoiled uncharacteristically. This was a Hakim in name, only. The tune had gone too far. So let’s mark that as the high-water mark for a a Hakim — 650 f.p.s. with Superpoints, as long as you could disregard everything that’s good about the rifle.

I installed a different mainspring in this rifle and dropped it back to 575 f.p.s. It was still the fastest Hakim I had ever seen, only now it was pleasant to cock and easy to shoot. I don’t know why some people only go for the fastest a gun will shoot, to the detriment of everything else. This rifle has so much to offer, as long as it is kept within a reasonable range.

You won’t believe this one!

I also had people give me their personal rifles to test. Each of them thought they had achieved the Holy Grail of airguns and wanted my stamp of approval. Most of those rifles were also tuned to shoot too fast and performed like the rifle I just described. I never saw one that was tuned to my liking.

More Hakims

Over the years more and more Hakims came my way. I got a reputation for tuning them and people came to me with their basket cases. This was when I discovered that an RWS piston seal can be trimmed down to make a perfect replacement for the nearly indestructible Hakim seal.

Parts and pogosticks

People would send me the parts to their broken Hakims, thinking I was the best place for them. I wound up with a small pile of stocks and parts that I eventually gave to one of our readers — Vince. Vince was able to build a couple rifles from the pile of parts I sent him. He doesn’t read the blog anymore, but he did get a lot of pleasure from rebuilding those rifles. As an aside, I also gave the pogostick rifle to Vince, who wanted to get it to function. If anyone could do it, I figured it would be him. He tried for the longest time before deciding it was a hopeless case.

Even more Hakims

As more time passed I acquired even more Hakims. Now, however, I was getting picky with what I would accept. I’d seen so many in horrible shape that I only wanted the very best ones. So that was what I got. The prices were increasing steadily and what had once been a $75 airgun at best was now fetching $250-300 easily. Some crazy people were pushing the envelope and asking as much as $500 for rough examples.

I wrote a 3-part report on the Hakim back in April of 2008, where I showed the inside of the gun for the first time. I was keeping a promise to an Airgun Letter reader. I had promised to show it in the newsletter, but never got around to it and this reader owned my first Hakim, so the connection was special.

One last rifle

Then came a day when I sold what I thought would be my last rifle. I figured I knew enough about Hakims and didn’t need to play with them anymore. And for several years after that things were fine. But in 2014 while I was at the Findlay airgun show a Hakim in a beautiful walnut stock walked up and I negotiated hard for it. This one was beautiful, where the others had either been plain or even wrecks.

I got that rifle and even Edith, who thought all Hakims were ugly, admitted this one was beautiful. So I did a special 7-part report on it for you readers. I tuned the rifle so you could see the insides in even greater detail than in my earlier report and I think things turned out well. According to my test figures my “tune” added nothing to the rifle’s performance and even subtracted a tiny amount. And this rifle now sits at just less than 500 f.p.s. with Superpoints, so it’s right there with the rest of them.

Is this the absolute last Hakim trainer I will own? Who knows? I know that I still have an attraction for the rifle that doesn’t seem to want to go away, so perhaps the final chapter hasn’t yet been written.

Next time I will show you how accurate this rifle can be.

46 thoughts on “Hakim — Egypt’s pellet rifle trainer was better than the firearm: Part 2

  1. BB,

    If I was to run across one as nice as this one, I would be sorely tempted even though it is not where I want to go with my next air rifle. The truth is though, this air rifle would suit most of my shooting as my 1906 BSA does.

    This is one of the reasons I enjoy your and Jim’s and Rick’s writings and videos so much. I am able to learn so much without having to buy so many air rifles and end up with a closet of stuff that just rusts and dusts and never gets played with. I am able to ponder at leisure what do I really want and I am able to know which one will do what I want best.

    Like any boy, I have the urge “New toy, new toy, new toy!”, but I allow that to pass and wait for those whose opinions I trust to play with it and tell me about it.



      • BB,

        Not from your pictures and the way you describe it. Having Edith appreciate how it looks I am sure goes a long way with the decision to keep it. Kathy could care less about airguns, but she likes having my BSA hanging on the wall of our log home. It fits the décor so well. I could get rid of the rest of my airgun collection tomorrow without any regrets, but the BSA stays.


  2. This may seem as blasphemy, but I am cursed with poor eyesight in my old age and decided to remove the peep sight from my Hakim and try shooting with an old 3X9 scope that has been sitting in the closet for a number of years. I already had 2 “adapters” to mount the scope to the small rails on the receiver. However, I found that the best way I could mount the scope was 2″ too far to the rear. This put the scope way too close to my eye for sighting and comfortable plinking. I have ordered a rail adapter to move the scope further forwar, and it should arrive by the middle of March.

    The good news is that this is just a temporary solution, and I can easily return the Hakim to its previous configuration. It is Hell growing old.

    BTW, B-I-L = brother-in-law.
    The Hakim as well as a number of other airguns and firearms were presents from Tom & Edie.

    Bob


    • Welcome B-I-L Bob!

      It is only true blasphemy if you modify it away from original configuration and cannot return it to such and then expect to be able to sell it for the collector value or maybe more because of the “improvements”. If you get someone to bite anyway, what the hey.

      Of course there are some collectors who believe that if you should touch it with anything but gloved hands, you should be stoned. This is also the same group that if they see an air rifle with San Rafael on it they immediately face west and fall to their faces, mumbling strange incantations. Quite frankly, I never could quite understand why an old, beat up R1 is worth more than a brand new one. Of course, I am not a real collector. I am a shooter.


    • Hello, Bob.

      It is good to see you post. Edie is much beloved here and you might know that Tom and Edie both have mentioned you before. She even wrote a guest blog where she talked about your vintage car restoration hobby, and included a picture of her in a 1957 Ford Thunderbird that you rebuilt. It’s a great photo.

      Anyways, it is good to see you here, and I must say you have a pretty cool brother in-law. None of my in-laws ever gave me a Hakim trainer rifle.


  3. GF1 when you show up….

    Tried the Hill today . Matches both the AAS500 and FWB , so I topped off with it .
    Started with AA 8.44 gr 4.52 . 200 bar down to 125 . 126 shots .
    Vel low 768 , high 797 .
    My arm is tired from lifting the FWB from the rest to load it . Quit at 125 bar because I was just plain tired . Vel had still not dropped off .

    Next will be groups to see what happens . Hope it does not want to crawl around on the target as the pressure burns off .

    twotalon


    • TT
      Wow a 126 shots! And a nice velocity spread. Just think if you stay around 50 shots you should get some nice groups out of the gun. Bet the velocity spread would be in the single digits.

      If you get some groups shot make sure you post the results.


      • GF1

        I will start with 5 shot groups with different pellets first . Will select the most promising before going to 10 shots .

        Have around a dozen kinds of pellets to sift through .

        twotalon



          • GF1

            Whatever the deal is, it holds velocity well over a large pressure spread .
            It was on the curve from the first shot, and stayed there until I just plain quit . Don’t know where the bottom end is .

            twotalon


            • TT,

              Eagles here too. A friend at work went canoeing with grandkids and rounded a bend, all quite, and there was a full grown Eagle 10′ from them,… perched on a branch over the river. It just watched them drift by. No one said a word,…even the young kids. They won’t soon forget that I bet.


            • TT
              Why can’t all pcp’s be that way. Well I guess they could but then they wouldn’t be $500 or so. Or maybe $1800 or more even.

              I guess that means your happy with how that part of the gun is operating then.

              Then the real test. See how well it groups at some outside distances and conditions. I know when I shoot now out at this new house it’s a treat to get a calm day to shoot. Definitely makes me aware of how much it affects my groups when the wind is happening. That’s the problem with wind. It usually don’t blow very consistently. Takes a little work to find a good gun and pellet to buck the wind if you know what I mean.


              • GF1

                Yeah, the paper will tell me the whole story (or the rest of it) . Every piece of information is useful in some way .
                I will be watching for things like bore conditioning too . If you have seen groups slowly tighten and or shift in impact point from shot to shot, you know what I mean .

                twotalon


                • TT
                  Yes I do know exactly what you mean.

                  Just like I said to Chris when I started testing the JSB 33.95’s in my Marauder. The more you shoot a paticular pellet the more you will see.

                  Takes some time to shoot in different conditions on a given pellet before a decision can be made.


          • GF1,

            Nothing on running with the same pellet to ensure “seasoning the barrel”? Before I did that, I could tell pretty much which one’s were going to do ok from 10 groups. Or, is that tip more of a “fine tuning”?


            • Chris USA
              Not sure what you mean.

              Before you shot only 10 shot groups and you could tell what the pellets were doing. Or after shooting a fair amount more shots and so called seasoning the barrel. The pellets grouped better or you couldn’t tell?


              • GF1,

                Well, at the time that you brought it up,.. I was shooting 10 shot groups of 1 type and then switching.

                The best I can say, (over time), some always did better and some always did worse. About 10 types.

                I think, and it is only a guess,…that you can tell pretty quick what will do good and what won’t. Pick the best, and fine tune from there. 100 shots runs. Oh yea,…get your butt out to at least 25yds. They all look good close up if you can shoot at all.

                You taught me that.


                • Chris USA
                  Without a doubt. Distance will tell the story that’s for sure.

                  And as far as the seasoning. When I started testing the JSB 33.95’s in my Marauder a couple weeks ago I was taking a couple shots with them then a couple with the Barracuda 31.02’s. And by a couple shots I mean 4 or 5 shots. I did see that the JSB’s were grouping as good as the Barracudas. But didn’t really see much difference. Maybe just a bit better.

                  But then I decided to just start shooting the JSB’s and I put the Barracudas away. Well a big difference showed up the more shots I took with the JSB’s. I will say it simpley that the JSB’s do out perform the Barracudas in my .25 Marauder. And they started showing theirselfs the more shots I took.



            • Chris USA
              Ok I will say what I think. As I always tend to do.

              To me a regulated gun is just something else that can go wrong.

              I have always said this. Simple but effective. That’s what I want from something when I use it. It’s the way I done it with my race cars, my radio control airplanes and my dirt bike and my guns and so on. I want it to work the best it can with the least amount things in place to get a good result.

              Just me you know.


  4. Thank ya’ll for the nice welcome. My only real regret is that I did not not join the blog many years ago. If for no other reason than to see what my “family” has written about me. I never realized that I might be the topic of conversation and had no chance to defend myself 😉

    Bob
    Pearland, TX


  5. Did some trimming on the Gorilla glue repair to the Daisy 120 earlier and got it ready for sanding, think I’ll slap it back together for a group or two to remind me why I wanted it to look better.


  6. On the subject of dirty guns, Derrick said that he was amazed at the fouling in the barrel of my IZH 61. It had never been cleaned in about 80,000 rounds. Well, that was necessary training for shooting my Saiga AK, so I am getting into military trainersafter all.

    Chris and Gunfun1, thanks for your encouragement about weight loss. Diet is key. And I’ve heard that a common error in dieting is to go too hard which puts the body in starvation mode which makes it hang on to calories even harder. I’ll feel better about that Nestle’s Crunch ice cream bar in my freezer. Still, determination can conquer all. My aunt lost over 100 pounds by eating one can of tuna a day and working out on the treadmill over lunch. Wanting to get remarried can certainly motivate people. But she has regained it all since.

    Chris, I have to credit my Dad for introducing me to the strangest things. Knowing nothing about guns in the 1970s, he picked up a Winchester 94 when Winchester was selling them for about $100! It was the very first firearm I ever saw or fired, and I still treasure it. My Dad stumbled onto the great martial artists in the same amateur way, knowing nothing about martial arts. And being somewhat naturally clumsy, when he was helping Draeger set up for a demonstration, he accidentally kicked over one of his heirloom spears! I believe in the samurai era that was cause for execution, and here was the modern descendant fighting a terminal illness and not in his right mind. At first, Draeger was very upset and barked, “Where are your manners?!” But then, he noticed the similarity to the phrase, “Warrior manners,” and laughed it off as a joke. So, you can keep that in your toolbox if you encounter enraged martial artists.

    As another stunt, my Dad who is interested in Japanese literature and culture got an interview with a person who at the time was Japan’s greatest surviving fighter ace from World War II in extreme old age. This was a very interesting person named Saburo Sakai who wrote a memoir that I would recommend called Samurai. It appears that Japanese pilot training WWII consisted mostly in beating up and brutalizing the cadets. They were also forced to see stars in daylight and catch flies out of the air with their bare hands. It was pretty extreme. But out of this Darwinian environment, Sakai rose to the top and was very successful with something like 64 planes confirmed for his score and many more unconfirmed. Oddly enough, after the war, he was shunned by the Japanese who wanted to forget about the defeat, but embraced by the Americans,, including someone that he personally shot down. He became a celebrated speaker at U.S. airbases and said that some fighter pilot from Desert Storm gave him own medal as a token of respect. Sakai, himself, said that he personally thought the Pacific War was insane for Japan and something rammed through by a cabal of militarists.

    Anyway, at the meeting with my Dad, he was polite but said that he was a very busy man and that he only had 10 minutes. But my Dad and my brother who was with him (now a teacher of Japanese in Kentucky!) had a plan. They sang some WWII Japanese song, memorializing fallen comrades. Dangerous stuff! I would never have participated. Who knows how the guy would have reacted. Perhaps some screaming fit and throwing them out of his office. His eyes bugged out including the glass one that he got to replace an eye lost over Guadalcanal. But the gamble paid off. Sakai said that they could have as much time as they wanted and they talked for several hours. And it was not long afterwards that Sakai passed away from a heart attack right before a speaking engagement at a U.S. airbase.

    So, my Dad is a wild one and a real testimony to the power of the imagination. I am sort of like a homesteader following in the wake of the pioneer.

    Matt61


    • Matt61,

      That was very nice,…. Thank You for sharing that. With such a diverse upbringing,…I can see where it rubbed off and allowed you to keep an open mind to pursue many and varied topics of interest. It shows well.

      As for the Japanese,…..very hard and dedicated workers. Relentless. To the point of burn out. They like the smokes and drinks,….perhaps as a counter balance to the work? Gott’a “chill”, ya know? Love their food, raw fish and all. I had some Japanese friends many years ago,…..they failed to find anything that I would not eat,…and like. I like their obsessive quest for quality in everything, among other things as well.

      I have often thought,….do they offer anything to us air gunners? If they did, I bet it would be very good.

      Thanks again. Chris


    • Matt61
      Sometimes good old fashion hard work pays off in staying fit. Of course over exerting is not good either.

      All I know is I worked harder as a kid on the farm than I do now at my daily machine shop job. And then throw in all these high tech electronic gismos we have now days like this phone I’m typing this reply on now.

      It’s even harder to stay fit now days. My dad use to always tell me a little hard work never hurt anyone. And now even more than ever I see how true that is.


  7. Tom my name ken h and have a question about antique airguns. I have chance to buy several antiques:
    Daisy 118 TARGETEER Chrome $125.00
    Webley Scott Mark I $250.00
    Winchester Model 353 /box. 200.00
    TJ Harrington $40.00

    Just starting my collection

    Thanks in advance for any help extended

    Ken Heitz


    • Ken,

      Welcome to the blog.

      The Targeteer is twice what it should cost. The Webley is okay if it is in excellent condition. The Winchester 353 is really a Diana model 5 and is okay if excellent and with the box. The Gat is okay if it has the box and is excellent.

      B.B.



  8. BB, I know what you mean about liking a gun. With me it has been the Sheridan “C”. I have two right now, one is the first one I owned getting it back in 1968. Another is the Remington Nylon 66. I have had a number of them over the years. I remember buying them used for $75.00 to $100.00 dollars. Not today, they have become popular and the price went North. The same thing happened to Enfield No IV rifles that I used to buy for $100.00. Nice ones too. At least I was ahead of the curve and a kept a couple good ones.

    Mike


  9. The Hakim air rifle is never seen here in the UK, but then, we kinda don’t need to, it was based on the BSA Airsporter that Anschutz were making under licence with a few small mods
    And guess what, an Airsporter 22 does 550fps in stock trim too and is a miserable rifle over 620fps
    I’m surprised Tom hasn’t mentioned tbe lineage.



      • I’d love to get my hands on one, not least because I think they were made in 5.5mm rather than the rather oversized (with todays pellets) imperial 22
        And Anschutz are famously none too poor at knocking a barrel out too
        I think the Hakim is based around the Mk2 Airsporter, which had a leather seal and Anschutz merely changed that to a man made one, while BSA diverged into an O’ ring arrangement for the last of the Airsporters.
        I’d like to be able to find a 177 myself, mainly for pellet compatibility however the 22 was so much more popular I would estimate 19 out of 20 of them I see for sale are in the larger calibre.
        One will turn up I’m sure, they litter the place over here at prices ranging between $80 and $150 for later less desireable ones
        There’s a really easy way to increase the stroke nearly half inch on Airsporters, makes quite a difference without ruining the firing cycle…..


  10. Get ready B.B. That front pushing the rain you’re getting right now moved through here overnight and has us in a wind advisory due to winds gusting 33mph and sustained@17 with a real feel of 34f.
    Brutal reminder that it’s still winter!
    It dumped over 1″ at least.


  11. I have one of these. It’s complete with the original sling. It’s just gathering dust in my gun racks. I rarely ever shoot it. I’m thinking one day I might sell it just to get rid of it. I might be selling a bunch before moving day just so I don’t have to move them too.


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