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Education / Training Hakim — Egypt’s pellet rifle trainer was better than the firearm: Part 1

Hakim — Egypt’s pellet rifle trainer was better than the firearm: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • History
  • Air rifle
  • A lead sled
  • Sights
  • We’ll get dirty!

Today we start looking at the famous Egyptian Hakim underlever spring-piston air rifle trainer. It is a pellet rifle trainer for the 8mm Hakim battle rifle the Egyptians used for several years in the ’50 and into the ’60s. Some Egyptian law enforcement units are reportedly still using them today.


At the end of WW II Egypt found themselves awash in German 8mm rifle ammo left behind when the Afrika Corps left the continent. There was so much ammo that it prompted Egyptian military planners to create a new rifle to use it. Of course they could have just snatched up several hundred thousand Mauser K98s that were already chambered for the round, but they wanted something better — something of their own. Their recent exposure to the U.S. Garand gave them a taste for a semiautomatic rifle, but the U.S. wasn’t turning loose of any of them at the time. That would probably have made an ideal rifle to convert, as the American 30-06 and German 7.92X57mm (8mm Mauser) cartridges are quite similar.

Instead, the Egyptians went to Sweden and bought the rights to the 6.5X55mm Ljungman semiautomatic rifle, complete with the tooling to build it. This was transported to Egypt, along with Swedish technical assistance, and set up to make a modified rifle — the Hakim. The Hakim is chambered for the 8mm Mauser, a larger and more powerful round than the Swedish 6.5X55. So the rifle has a muzzle brake machined into the barrel to control recoil.

Hakim firearm
The 8mm Egyptian Hakim ia a large semiautomatic battle rifle that’s based on the Swedish Ljungman.

Hakim muzzle brake
The muzzle brake is machined into the barrel. Only the end cap can be removed.

The Hakim operates on the direct impingement process, where the expanding gas from the fired cartridge travels back to operate the bolt. Because the 8mm Mauser cartridge is loaded to widely different specifications, depending on who made it, a gas adjustment valve is placed inline with the gas flow so the operator can control the amount of gas that hits the bolt.

My Hakim battle rifle weighs 10 pounds 15 oz. with a sling attached but no bayonet. That’s a half-pound more than the air rifle trainer. It’s a real load! It’s almost a pound heavier than a Garand that was already considered too heavy, and it’s a couple pounds more than most battle rifles of that era. Maybe all that free ammo came at a price that was too dear?

The Hakim has been called the “Egyptian Garand,” and I’d like to speak to whoever dreamed up that moniker. Because a Hakim is nothing like a Garand — at least mine isn’t. Its parts are so closely fitted that the rifle jams when dirty — not a good quality for a middle-eastern battle rifle. Its felt recoil is like a punch from a prizefrighter — I don’t care what the armchair ninjas say. Most of them have not shot one — I have!,

Also, it either doesn’t cycle the bolt or else it throws the spent cartridge 35 feet or more to the right front — depending on how the gas valve is adjusted. There are tree settings and none of them work very well from my perspective. Oh, and the accuracy is sub-par — at least my example is, and mine has a like-new barrel with a shiny bore and pristine rifling.

dented cases
The cases are uniformly dented at the mouth and on the side. The cartridge deflector is responsible for the side. The mouth is no problem, but the case body is. I wouldn’t try to reload them.

The final insult is the fact that all brass is deeply dented by a stout wire cartridge deflector during ejection and rendered unreloadable after the first firing. After shooting half a box of factory commercial cartridges through my rifle I can see why the Egyptians wanted a trainer! I find the Egyptian Hakim to be the most vile battle rifle ever conceived, though I’m told that the original Ljungman is even worse! Egypt produced up to 70,000 Hakims.

Hakim action
That slanted wire cartridge deflector is what dents the cases. It throws them to the front — away from the shooter.

Air rifle

I don’t know who approached who first, but somehow the Egyptian military got together with the German company, Anschütz, around 1953 and contracted for them to convert a single shot underlever air rifle already in production into a pellet rifle that resembled their Hakim. All it took was different wood and a few other minor parts.

They also approached Beretta, who made a 10-shot semiautomatic .22 rimfire trainer, but that isn’t part of this story. At any rate, Anschütz produced up to 2,800 pellet rifles for Egypt in 1954 and ’55.

You’ll never see an original Hakim trainer that looks this good. This one sports a custom stock that was made by a great craftsman.

The Hakim air rifle was as good as the firearm was bad. It is .22 caliber and loads through a rotating tap that opens upon cocking. It’s not a powerful rifle, so the cocking effort is relatively easy and the recoil is almost non-existent, if the rifle is tuned correctly. All those things add up to a wonderful air rifle that’s both accurate and pleasant to shoot.

tap open
When the underlever is pulled down it automatically opens the loading tap. Drop a pellet in nose-fire and rotate closed to fire.

A lead sled

My Hakim air rifle weighs 10 lbs. 7 oz, which is pretty much what they all weigh. Mine has custom wood that somebody spent a lot of time on, and it looks wonderful. The average Hakim trainer has a dark oil-soaked walnut stock that looks like it was used in a lumberjack pole-climbing competition. Edith used to say they looked like they had been set on fire and put out with an ice pick! This is what normally happens to any military equipment that isn’t assigned to a specific soldier. These trainers rested in some arms room until they were needed, then they were brought out, used and put away. In the Army we used to say, “Run hard and hung up wet.” I have cleaned many of them that came directly from the Egyptian army and they were always loaded with sand and had the lead remnants of pellets and finishing nails embedded in their piston seals. Yes — finishing nails. Americans aren’t the only cheap airgunners, it seems.


The sights are fully adjustable, yet they retain the military look. At the rear of the rifle the end cap has short 11mm dovetails that will accept a short scope or dot sight base. When I cover performance in Part 2 I’ll show you just how accurate they can be!

Hakims come with a sling attached to swivels located at the bottom of the stock. The sling looks cool, but gets in the way of the underlever when shooting, so I leave mine off. There is no bayonet lug. I guess the Egyptians were reasonable with how close the resemblance had to be.

The trigger is 2-stage and finely adjustable. When it is adjusted, the primary adjustment affects the amount of sear contact , so this isn’t a good rifle to set the release super-light. Something in the 3-pound range is probably as low as you should go. The sear and trigger parts are finely finished and should be reasonably free from creep. If you want to know more about adjusting the trigger pr stripping and tuning a Hakim, read this 7-part blog.

We’ll get dirty!

Next time we will learn the velocity of all Hakims, and mine in particular. We will also punch some paper. And I will finish by telling you whether you should get a Hakim air rifle.

122 thoughts on “Hakim — Egypt’s pellet rifle trainer was better than the firearm: Part 1”

  1. Cool, can’t wait for the rest of the test.
    Well, I can’t comment on the trainer, as I have never handled one, but you are spot on on the powder burner..
    I picked up one in the 80’s, and it didn’t take long for it to find a new home..
    And at the same time Egypt had a Helwan 951 (a 1951 beretta adaptation contract) that was about as good as the rifle. Yes, it found a new owner too. And no, I don’t regret selling either of them..

  2. BB–Re converting M1 Garands to 8mm Mauser–first you would have to remove the barrel. Then you would have to re-bore it and re chamber it. Or replace the barrel with a new 8mm barrel. There is the problem of the gas port diameter.The Germans sent the Afrika Corps ammo made in several countries, over a long period of time. The bullet weight and type, the kind of powder varied a great deal. Some ammo was made for machine guns, some for rifles. The gas pressure at the port would vary enough to create problems (hence the adjustable Hakim gas port). You did mention the ammo problem in your report. Shooters who reload for the Garand have to carefully adjust their reloads to get reliable functioning from their rifles. As Matt61 has often reported, you just cant use any ammo in the M1, and have it work without stoppages. All in all, I dont think that an M1 conversion would have given the Egyptians a good service rifle. Ed

    • I think the Hakim was a better design then the Garand more robust accurate much simpler and cheaper to build. it could have been shortened and made lighter. BTW I love the Garand but a little overated but had the best sites

    • Good points which I can attest to from my experience. But all may not be lost with the M1. It turns out that there are a variety of adjustable gas systems to deal with variable pressure. Most would take some fiddling with the various loads, but it’s doable. The rebarreling might be an equal problem. Clint Fowler told me that the M1 was designed very specifically for the 30-06 cartridge and for that reason some .308 conversions don’t work well. I would think that the problems would be magnified with 8mm. Anyway, it is curious that the M1 performed flawlessly on the battlefield. Extensive after-action reports were filled with praise with essentially no criticisms at all. But the Achilles heel was its op rod, and it was only protected by the uniformity of American manufactured ammo.


    • I should add that different ammo pressures was my own theory of the problem which appears to have been wrong. My gunsmith said that all the jamming was caused by a faulty op rod spring and that my ammo had nothing to do with it. He dismissed my graph of jams vs. ammo pressure out of hand. Since he returned it, the gun has worked fine. But 10 years of failure have made me cautious. And now that I have loadings that work, I’m not about to experiment. And what I said about the M1’s Achilles Heel has been said elsewhere.

      B.B., I thought that resizing would smooth out the dents in the case. The brass has been worked so hard that it probably won’t last as long as usual, but wouldn’t it be good for at least one or two additional loadings?


  3. BB I had the Hakim and I think it is an excellent rifle that is well built and would outlast recycled beer can AR’s. It was more accurate then the 3 MI Garands I had no gigantic operating rod that had to be run over and bent by a bulldozer so it would work easy to clean from the breech end. it was DI and did not dump gas on 9 tiny bolt lugs to foul them. the gun was built like a tank to last never jammed and the barrel was all you had to clean

  4. BB:

    In the picture of the loading tap just forward of the lever there are 4 Arabic numbers that translate to 1968. Is this the gun’s serial number?

    (No, I don’t speak Arabic but I do collect world coins. I learned Arabic numbers to date coins.)


      • B.B. and JimQwerty123:

        I have a co worker who is a member of the VFW (Egypt, 1973), I’ll ask him. Any chance those air rifles still exist in Egypt? My co worker is also going back there in a couple of months for the Coptic Easter. I’d love to see one.

  5. I believe I already know the answer to if I should get a Hakim air rifle. And that would be yes.

    First I like it because it’s a military trainer. Then what you have told about it so far it should be a nice enjoyable air gun to shoot. Underlever, nice firing cycle, easy to cock, tap loader and nice weight to the gun for bench resting.

    Sounds like a nice mini sniping air gun to me.

    And just thinking. On the firearm version wouldn’t it be better to remove the wire cartridge deflector. That way you could recover the cartridge’s for reloading and they wouldn’t be damaged? But maybe it would be hard to find the right size bullet to reload and primers I guess too?

    • GF1,

      If you remove the cartridge deflector, the guys next to you will be hit by flying brass that’s traveling fast enough to break the skin!

      As far as reloading for 8mm, no problem. There are plenty of bullets available and the primers are standard large rifle primers as long as you have Boxer primed cases.


            • I use a free standing net on my bench that works well. But I haven’t yet figured out how to catch brass from standing. So, I just shoot surplus that way which I don’t plan to reload.


              • Matt61
                The free standing net is cool.

                And BB mentioned the guy next to you would be getting hit by flying cartridges.

                Not if I’m shooring at home. Or if the people around me know its common practice to stay behind a fireing gun. Not on the side.

                I remember shooting the rimfire semi-autos when I was a kid. You never stood to the right of the shooter and you learned that behind the shooter was the best place to be.

                Shooter position to target in relation to where each shooter is at is very important for everybody around to know.

    • Oh and forgot to say.

      Ain’t that amazing how the cartridge hits the wire the same way everytime.

      It would help Sherlock Holmes solve the mystery if one of these Hakim firearm rifles would be used I bet. Pretty unique denting on the cartridge I would say.

      • Gunfun1:

        That denting is similar to the ejection on the G3/HK-91’s. The theory is to prevent the empties from piling in front of you and giving away your position. There was a rubber buffer that clamped over the flange for the HK-91 as an accessory for those who reloaded (and yes those cases were re loadable despite the fluting!)

          • GF1:

            I didn’t mean exposing a Hakim using sniper, besides they would probably be using a Dragunov SVD. The reference was made by Jeff Cooper when he reviewed the HK-91. It was implied that the rifle was to violently eject the brass in the one o’clock direction rather than have the empties pile in front of your foxhole. BTW, in reference to the Frontier Village trout pond, an attendant at the pond would bait the reel for the little kiddie and hand it to him (this was according to an archived San Jose Mercury News article.)

            • Fishmonger
              I wonder if they had fox holes in Egypt?

              And ok but I still don’t know what bait they used at the fish pond. But still was cool that the kiddies got to experience the fish pond.

  6. Based on personal experience, I can tell you that the Hakim trainer is one heavy sucker. To call mine as having a “rough” exterior would be kind, but it does function perfectly. It cocks fairly easily and has a nice trigger pull. I have used it to dispatch some pests in the back yard so I find the sights to be functional. I do have to rest it against something to compensate for the weight when aiming.

      • BB
        Maybe you can add B-I-L’s gun into the next report.

        Don’t want to know who did it or how it was done. I want to know how it feels to shoot.

        How it could represent what that soldier thought or could of felt when he layed his hands on one.

        I wonder if the distances they shot the Hakim trainer a and the targes they shot at could of biult up their self esteem of what the military expected from the firearm version.

        Did they actually shoot the firearm better because they trained on something that produced good results pretty easily? They basically had confidence in something that maybe really wasn’t up to the task in the firearm version.

        Sometimes if the mind is taught the right way it can produce unexpected results that people who have been there and done that can’t comprehend.

          • BB
            All true. But you know the individual Soldeirs also can pick up on things differently than others. Just like the blog readers here. We all get something different out of your blog and the comments that interest us.

            I wonder if when the soldiers were training. If that was also a way for them to shine so to speak. In other words maybe a piticulat soldier handled the gun better. Or maybe another soldier showed sniper capabilities.

            I’m thinking those Soldeirs practicing on the firing line was being watched pretty close at how they were performing. But I could be just totally wrong.

  7. Have always wondered after firing a nice easy to shoot air rifle or 22 trainer how the recruits adjusted to recoil and shoulder pounding of the real firearm.
    BTW I have shot an AR 15 with chambered in 22 and the same arm in 5.56.

    Silver Eagle

  8. So, another gun designed around a cartridge. But that is true of no less than the Garand. Douglas MacArthur mandated its caliber as 30-06 to use billions of rounds of surplus ammo. In doing so, he discarded a .276 cartridge that I believe would have been the first true assault rifle cartridge. The screw-ups of Douglas MacArthur make for quite a list. After WWI, he violently broke up a strike by war veterans. At the start of WWII, he ignored repeated warnings about an imminent Japanese attack so that most of his force was destroyed at the outset and the defeat of the garrison in the Philippines was a foregone conclusion.

    He did make good on his promise to return with the aid of a superpower behind him. However, he did not lead the Marines in their innovative amphibious campaign through the Central Pacific but in more conventional jungle warfare in New Guinea, and his tactics were not very imaginative. His leadership consisted of admiring himself in a mirror wearing a dressing gown and eating heads of fresh lettuce that he had flown in. From far behind the lines, he wrote memos to generals that he didn’t want to see them alive if they didn’t attain their objective. In Korea, he showed brilliance with his amphibious counterattack at Inchon, but he subsequently blundered into superior Chinese forces after ignoring warnings and lost most of his attacking force. He responded by trying to start another world war by using atomic weapons on the Chinese and defying his commander-in-chief. I don’t know about him, and his rejection of the first assault rifle cartridge doesn’t improve his record.

    The Hakim firearm does sound like a poor rifle, and it is a reminder of what an achievement the Garand was. Given the invention of the machine gun so much earlier, I’m not sure what was the big hurdle with a semiauto. The fundamental insight seems to have come from John Browning who watched grass blowing in the wind and imagined how the gas from a cartridge could be recycled to power an operating gun and work the action. It is unintuitive that the more destructive invention of the machine gun was easier than the less destructive semiauto, but I suppose the answer is in the technical details.

    B.B. interesting that the non-shooting eye when closed will cause the shooting eye to squint. That definitely qualifies as an explanation. It seems to imply that the amount of light is key to a sight picture. But this raises intriguing questions of its own. It seems to be a principle that smaller sighting apertures are used for enhanced accuracy. This is true of the long distance sights of the Lee-Enfield No. 4, the tiny pinhole aperture of my Anschutz, and the national match sights on the Garand that are smaller than the battle sights. So, it’s not just the amount of light but how it is focused. And what’s true for sights might be true for eyesight as well. The fact is that the eye focuses by reshaping the lens so that incoming light focuses exactly on the retina. Conceivably the eyelid might be participating in what the eye lens and the sights are doing. If so, the behavior of the non-shooting eye would have a pretty complicated relationship to an ideal sight picture. But anyway, the scientific method grinds forward assimilating all of this data.

    Chris, despite my not understanding the non-shooting eye, I have no doubt that the method works. I would do it myself if I wasn’t too lazy and also focused on a slightly different goal than small groups. With my five yard range, measurements don’t mean much, so it is all about the experience and developing the right mind frame. Regarding your idea of incense chamber flags, I like the smell of incense very much. But I don’t think that the range officers would like burning material around a gun and ammunition. Besides, for me, the Jaws of the Subconscious are evoked by a different means. I have to really and truly focus just on my technique and sneer with indifference at the target and the possible result. It is not unlike overcoming the ego which, by the way, was the final and greatest challenge to Buddha before achieving Enlightment. (He had to recognize that in spite of all of his spiritual advancement, he was not all that great.) Then, if this method is done with real sincerity, the Jaws of the Subconscious will not fail to chomp down. One shot like this is worth plenty of misses.


    • Matt61,

      Very good reply. You are no doubt well read. Your comments run the gamete on knowledge and practice.

      As for the “Jaws of the Subconscious”, you need to enlighten us all on this concept. While I am sure you have, in the past,…perhaps a re-fresher for us newbies. If I were to guess, this would be called as ‘being in the zone” for the rest of us.

      For me, 65-70, cloudy, all set up, beverage and smoke at hand, birds and squirrels move about, light, very light breeze, 5-10 minutes of soaking it all in while staring at the target on occasion. Gun(s) rested and ready to shoot. Targets all set out. Calm. For me, that is it.

      At that point, if all is right,…I am “in the zone” and shoot very well. And yes, 1 shot, or group, is all worth the waiting. Something to aspire to,….despite anything that may be distracting on a more usual basis. A big “hat’s off” to snipers for that very fact.

      5 yards. ??? Space limits are one thing,…that is something all together a different exercise. ?

      You are the one that posted the “pellet stacker” photo way back? Are you not? If so, or not, that was quite amazing.

      As for “he was not all that great”,…with the company here,….that is obvious and something to at least aspire to.


        • GF1,

          Thanks for the correction. That was quite awhile back, maybe a year. Definitely one those things that once seen, one never forgets.

          Good reminder on the 2 eyes open eliminates face muscle stress and fatigue. Despite the many other benefits of the 2 eye method, that is the one thing that I think people will see as being one of the first realized benefits.

          • Chris USA
            Agree with that. And see what your face muscles do to your cheek if you open your mouth or close it. It will do the same. Basically bump the comb of the stock. I try to relax my jaw slightly open. That way I don’t worry about that movement also.

            Believe me the less things I have to worry about that I can control when I make a shot. Well all the better.

            • GF1,

              Spent quite a few hours this am checking out sites. There is a lot out there. One thing I stumbled across was LOP measuring. (With the Limbsaver pads), the LGU puts the trigger blade at first joint. On the TX, it falls halfway between the first and second joint. Finger straight out. The pads add 1″ to LOP.

              That might give you an idea why LOP is a concern on a first PCP.

              I also checked out compressors at Lowes today. While you did give a good tip to supply a Shoebox, none met the req. for 2-3 cu. ft. at 125 psi. Some were rated at 8-9 at 90 psi but they were not oil less and cost in the 300-500 range.

              Anyways, just a bit of an update,..Chris

              • Chris USA
                And while you are looking at the fact sheet I just posted.

                It mentions that only the Freedom 8 can adjust fill pressure shut off. I don’t have the Freedom 8. Mine is the base model and it is adjustable with a spring and collar that was supplied and biult into the system.

                Mine is set to pump to 4500 psi for filling bottles. When I fill a gun I watch the gauge on the gun and the one I have on the Shoebox and shut off at the psi I want the gun filled to manually with the off/on switch.

                The adjustable collar system will fluctuate at different pressures when it shuts off because of different conditions. So the best thing is to always be there by the Shoebox when your filling something. Just better to be there than not be there.

                And the Freedom 8 Shoebox has a electric pressure switch and is adjustable pretty much like a regulator if I remember right. So they probably do fill consistently to what they are set at.

                But that’s things you will pick up on when you start using your Shoebox. And you will also hear the sound the Shoebox makes when you change the shop compressor psi setting. The more psi that you use on the shop compressor the harder it is for the Shoebox to pump and creates more heat. But fills faster. The less intake air psi use the easier you Shoebox runs and don’t get as hot. But to low and its pumping but there is not enough air supply for the Shoebox to compress. So its basically pumping in the wind. Nothing happens.

                So its a balance of how you have your Shoebox setup. Like my trick of a long bigger diameter air supply hose from the shop compressor to the Shoebox. Then the moister separator and such. Plus I use the black micro hose from the Shoebox to the gun. That seems to help biuld psi quicker to the gun.

                So yes 90 psi at 2.8 cfm works fine with my setup. I think my set up is filling a Mrod quicker than what they list on the shoebox site.does. you just need to get setup then keep data on how changing shop compressor psi affects your Shoebox and how long it takes to fill. Remember when I said there was other things to get into about the Shoebox but not at that time. Well this it. And the other is to very lightly oil the rods with silicone oil. I see now he has a self oiling system on the Shoebox now. But like I said too much oiling is bad also.

                Hurry up and get you one so you can see what I mean. 🙂

      • Thank you for your kind words. 🙂 I’m glad to explain the Jaws of the Subconscious which I have been thinking about a lot. You are right that it is close to what is meant by “being in the zone.” But there are slight differences. I got the idea for the Jaws when I noticed that very occasionally, right before releasing the shot, I knew that it would be perfect as sure as I knew anything. And it was. It was like being taken over by some higher power that could measure and execute better than my conscious mind. So, the Jaws are discrete and specific to a shot. I can run them together and get into a rhythm which is closer to the idea of a zone, but the Jaws relate to individual shots.

        The name comes from the iconic poster for the Peter Benchley film where the giant alien creature is rising up from below to chomp down on his target. Substitute the subconscious for the ocean depths and you have it. There is a similar scene in the novel Moby Dick. Ahab and his men have lost the white whale and are sitting in her rowboats looking for him. Then, the narrator happens to look over the side into the crystal clear water. Far below he sees a white spot that gets bigger with great “celerity” and turns out to be Moby Dick ambushing them from below. Once he breaches, he determines to “annihilate every plank of which those boats were made” which he succeeds in doing. Basically the same idea. And like Moby Dick and the great white shark, the Jaws disappear as quickly as they appear.

        My experience convinces me that the Jaws are a different part of the mind. Perhaps it’s what people access when they lift cars during moments of stress. And it is what martial arts calls Chi or Ki power which is cultivated through lengthy practice. Based on my martial arts study, I wonder if the shooting technique may be more a means than an end in itself. That is, that you don’t practice the technique to actually perform the movements but to coax out a different part of your mind which makes the technical details irrelevant. There are lots of better shooters who would say that I’m wrong. On the other hand, I can do the shooting technique scrupulously and muff the shot. But when the Jaws appear everything meshes. It’s said that Annie Oakley was a great shooter because she seemed to have no nerves or self-doubt. She could concentrate fully on each shot like a machine. There’s a woman who was in touch with her Jaws. And as I might have mentioned before, I think everyone wants to be Jason Bourne with these hidden abilities. This way, I can try to experience them without a lot of effort. As the villain says in the Bond film, Skyfall, “All this running and fighting is just exhausting.”

        Curiously enough, the way to coax out the Jaws is by thinking about technique to the exclusion of the result. When I do the technique exactly right the Jaws are guaranteed to appear, but it is so difficult to achieve this state of mind. My goal in my shooting sessions is to fire all my rounds without any concern for the result and by correctly executing my fairly simple method. But I can never do it for every single shot.

        As for my five yard range, it is on the small side, and you can see why I am delighted when B.B. does five yard tests that I can relate to. Well, it’s all I’ve got. But I try to take advantage of it. All of my shooting is offhand to make it a little more challenging. And it’s also my chance to take the miniaturization of airguns to an extreme. I’ve never been interested in high-powered airguns. Partly it’s my facility, but also it seems that you only end up with a weak firearm. On the other hand, no firearm will fit into my small confines! Yet the training does transfer. The firearms that I shoot respond the same as the airguns.

        I have posted a pellet-stacking photo before. Not hard to do at five yards. The distance keeps my morale high, but it also means that scores and group sizes don’t mean that much. So, I get my thrills through the Jaws of the Subconscious.


        • Matt61,

          Thank You very much for that explanation. Wow. Mouth was open during most of the reading.

          I like how you said it applies to one shot, and yet hope to apply to all shots. That is where a semi-auto could get you in the “zone” quicker by not having to pull up off a rest to cock or load or advance a magazine.

          For me, if all is right, after about 40 shots, things become very automatic. Mental corrections have been made, technique corrections have been made, groups/shots improve, a rhythm begins,…just like a machine. That is the “zone”, for me anyways.

          Thanks again very much for sharing this! Chris

    • Matt61
      When BB said that yesterday it made me remember what my oldest daughter reminded me about.

      She use to shoot bow and arrow in here early grades of high school. She reminded me real quick why both eyes open was better than one eye closed.

      She said dad try it. One eye closed. She goes look how tense your face is. She goes watch me shoot. And this was her shooting bow and arrow then. Watch my face. My eyes are both open and relaxed like when I go about my day.

      She goes when you close one eye your tense. Your using more face muscles instead of relaxing them. I remembered. She had like a faceless but serious exspresion on her face. It was here eyes. She was locked on to here target without hint of movement.

      I still notice to this day if I close my off eye I can feel a muscle in my opposite cheek tighten up and move and bump the comb of the stock. That’s just what I need when I shoot. My cheek muscle bumping the gun stock around.

      Yes two eyes open is a better way to shoot in multiple ways.

      • Now you’ve got me closing my eye and trying to sense how my face feels. In archery, there is no front sight to blur while keeping the non-shooting eye open, so that would be another point in its favor.


        • Matt61
          And I mentioned elsewhere. Try opening and closing your mouth. When you close your mouth and add a little pressure closed you’ll feel your cheek muscle move also. I try to leave my mouth open a little to relax my face muscles. It really does make a difference.

  9. My Hakim has five digits stamped below the tap – 00425 (٠٠٤٢٥). Perhaps 1968 looking like a date is coincidental.

    I can understand how things could get into the piston area. (Well, maybe not the nails.) The transfer port appears to be bore-sized, and the piston pulls a vacuum until the loading tap opens up the compression chamber to the barrel. It might be possible in some guns to actually suck a pellet backwards into the compression chamber. (Mine had bits of lead in there, smashed flat.) I’m always careful to “crack” the tap until I no l longer hear air hissing before moving the tap fully to the firing position.

  10. Matt61– Don’t be so quick to blame Mc Arthur. The blame goes back to Springfield Armory, circa 1899. The Mauser 93-94 rifle and the 7mm Mauser (7×57) cartridge was superior to our Krag( as a battle rifle) in the Spanish-American war. The superintendant at the armory decided that our new cartridge would be a .30 cal round (the 30-03 and later the 30-06) . He did not want to change our barrel and bullet making tools, so we kept the .30 cal instead of adopting the 7Mauser. We had captured a lot of rifles and ammo from the Spanish. Many experts have said that the 7mm would have been a better choice . I shoot, reload, and have taken game (in Africa) with the 30-06 and the 7×57. I agree with the experts that I just mentioned. Because of the depression and the large quantity of 30-06 ammo left over from WW1, Mc Arthur made the right choice. When WW2 broke out, Italy and Japan had several rifle cartridges in service, an look at what happened to them. The first assault rifle was designed by Fedorov ( Russia) in 1915-16. It used the Japanese 6.5×50 cartridge. The ballistics of many of the cartridges that are being touted as a replacement for our .223 are close to the Jap round. Ed

    • The Springfield Armory certainly had its faults. It was so rigid that it refused to equip the army with breechloaders that might have shortened the Civil War, and it stuck with the single shot trapdoor Springfield long after other nations had converted to repeating rifles. But they had their virtues too. Their forged receiver M1s were made to such high standards that Clint Fowler was in awe.

      As for the 30-06, I think that was supposed to be an imitation of the .323 Mauser Spitzer bullet developed around 1905 and was not just based on the available tooling. There’s no question that a 30-06 is more powerful than a 7X57mm and that would be evident in shooting big game. Whether the difference is significant for a human target isn’t necessarily the same thing.

      There is some rationale for uniformity of calibers although I don’t think Japan and Italy lost the war for that reason. I think the problem with MacArthur’s decision was to disrupt the mating of a medium caliber cartridge with a semiauto rifle. With that you get into the assault rifle dynamics within a 300 yard radius that, based on the STG 44, are categorically different from a conventional battle rifle.

      But taken overall, the logistics question and the effectiveness of the M1 in 30-06 probably balanced out whatever was lost with what might have been the first widely issued assault rifle. It’s not the worst thing MacArthur did.


        • My information is that the decision to use the 1861 Springfield musket came from Dyer’s predecessor Brigadier General James Ripley. He refused designs by both Oliver Winchester and Christopher Spencer while acknowledging the value of their work. His reasoning was actually similar to Douglas MacArthur’s for the M1 and was based largely on the logistics of supplying parts and ammunition for a large army. While the Springfield Armory merely carried out his policy, both Ripley and the Armory were part of a whole culture of ordnance from West Point in the antebellum era. As an engineering school, they sent their best people to ordnance and were hidebound and rigid beyond belief. I read about this in a book called American Rifle: A Biography, by Alexander Rose.


  11. B.B.,

    While going over all of my PCP research notes,… I ran across a note on the 6-Position stocks like you have on your M-rod. It seems that some people think that there may be some perceptible “play” within the assy. itself. I am interested to know if you had noticed any in your butt stock. If so, front to rear, axial, up and down?

    Also, I see mil-spec. and commercial grade accessories listed in regards to AR-15 style parts. Does one have better fit tolerances than the other? I do believe that I have learned that the 2 types should not be mixed.

    Thanks, Chris

      • B.B.,

        Thank You for the added insight. After a lot of looking, I think I would have decided to go with what you did, even if I had never seen yours. R.A.I. in fact has their top end kit which appears to be your exact build, minus the folding adapter. If I were to have assembled the perfect kit, that would be it.

        As for “click-y”,…I would assume that would be the sounds made from plastic on plastic and any movement/play between them. First thoughts lean towards taking up any play with applications of tape in the right areas, shimming or even “buttoning” like you would do on a springer piston. At least that would be what I would try should I get one and find that to be an annoyance. Actual flexing would be another issue, but I suspect that it’s more of a “play” issue.

        On the Mil-Spec vs Commercial Spec question, I suppose that it may be best to just not mix and match.

        LOP is my biggest concern and is 16″ when measured at the inside of the elbow to the first joint with a tape measure. That is why AR style kit with adj. pull is looking like my best option.

        Thanks again, Chris

        • Chris,

          Yes, that’s what click-y means. And I ditched the folding adaptor because it made the stock too long for me. But for you, the folding adaptor and the adjustable stock would be ideal. The pull will go out to 16 inches or more, I’me sure. It’s 14-3/4 with the stock fully collapsed.


          • B.B.,

            Thanks. You sealed the deal. I will deal with any “click-y” stuff after seeing what I can live with.

            Now,… I just have to pick out the rest of the PCP ensemble. Chris

            • Chris USA
              You mentioned up and down axis because of the AR stock.

              Well side to side also. But I guess when you put tape on the butt stock or button it. You won’t have to worry about the up and down and side to side movement no more.

              But what about the forward backward movement and when your tape or buttons start to wear.

              Remember a AR is used differently than a .25 caliber. Mrod. Usually they are used in a tactical situation where you use a red dot for quick target acquisition. And they are usually not shooting at a target that is the size of a sparrow head. They are shooting center mass of a human body. So there is some room for error that’s created by the buttstock.

              But people do use the AR’s for target shooting. I do know from using that type of butt stock that you have to pull the gun into your shoulder to stabilize and let the extra movement of your gun get locked in from the stock to reduce it.

              Yes even with air guns. I had them on 1377/22, 2240’s, 1720T and a Benjamin Marauder pistol.

              The best I can say is the AR butt stock wiggle is annoying.

              Oh and I already know a fix that will tighten up the AR butt stock. It’s very simple and it works. It’s similar to a bolt and lock nut like how the trigger stops you just did on your springers.

              • GF1,

                Thank you for your insight on the subject. I was hoping to hear from more people that had tried them. Yes, firearms would serve an entirely different purpose. I am glad to hear you have a good fix. Some adj. butt stocks can cost like 250$ from what I have seen in catalogs. Not sure what is special, other than an adj. comb. (Maybe there is some that are in fact very tight with no slop). I think the UTG brand is like 50 or less, so there must be some difference. Minus any firearm related internals.

                While exploring, I was very surprised by the low cost of some of the laminated and synthetic stocks. Some are very beautiful. If I could find one that could customize LOP and maybe adj. comb and a true left offset, I might re-consider. I will re-check my saved sites. It seems that the manufacturer having a master (action) CNC program is key to most stock work. In this case, the M-rod’s action.

                Thanks again, Chris

                • Chris USA
                  All you need to do is drill and tap some threads into the outer part that slides where ever you like.

                  Then put a Allen bolt in with a nut to lock it. Basically have the bolt long enough to contact the inner tube.

                  So you adjust your legnth of pull tighten the Allen bolt and lock the screw down with the nut

                  Oh and remember don’t use the buffer rod or spring that comes with the butt stock. That is for the firearm. And the locking bolt might not be a good idea for the firearm version. So if you modify yours and you decide to let a firearm AR owner use it make sure they are aware of the lock bolt modification. Not that it would hurt on the firearm I don’t believe but never tryed. So just a word of caution on that part of the mod.

              • GF1,

                Here is another question,…what is the Magpul line of items? Are they a different/special system? Do they cross over to other parts? Sorry, really no clue on this end.

                • Chris USA
                  Magpul is a manufacter of parts that fit the AR’s. They supposedly have a fix to tighten the wiggle up. Never had that brand so can’t say for sure how true.

                  Search magpul.com

                  Then you can see what’s available on their website.

  12. 880 Dart Test update:

    .101″, 2″ coat hanger, 33.3 gr., shrink tube at rear w/about a 1/4″ hollow “pocket”, muzzle load, “snuggish” fit, 10 pumps. 11/16″ penetration in a pine board at 24′. Accuracy about 12″ with 5 shots. Less pumps perhaps? Modify the tail end? Lighten the load? Many things to play with. 🙂

    I got some .062″ stainless TIG welding rod, but totally struck out finding small enough shrink tube to start the rear cup build out. 🙁

    At any rate, having fun and whiling away the Winter’s day and maybe learn a thing or 2 along the way. Chris

    • Update #2,

      Did get the .062″ rod rigged up similar to the .101″ rod. 5″ long, 35.2 gr., 3 pumps,.. penetrated 3/4″ pine 3/4″ and 1/2″ OSB 1″. First 2 shots landed 1″ apart.

      Lesson learned? Weight, even at a slower fps, and a smaller diameter, will do quite a bit of damage. Some straightening of the rod was required each time and I think that affected subsequent shots.

      Second lesson learned?,….new dart each time and very consistent build to each “dart”.

      It is looking more like a blowgun with a trigger every day. What surprised me was the penetration on wood at only 3 pumps. Fun, Fun!!!! 🙂 (oh yea,…disclaimer,…..don’t try this at home) 😉

      • Chris

        A long time ago, I tried shooting steel welding rod (for acetylene torch ) from a Benji pumper . Used a pellet to back it up . Trajectory like a hand thrown brick, but would stick in the side of the barn hard enough that it was really hard to pull out.
        So much for kid stuff.


        • Twotalon,

          🙂 Thanks for sharing that. Still a “kid” at heart I guess. I scoped it for pellets and the rods are going high if anything. Some low and some left or right. Consistent tail end, weight and construction will tell the tale. As for the planned arrow test,…maybe not. With 100+ gr.,….that might be like the brick trajectory you just mentioned. Then again,….maybe?,…just maybe?,…… 🙂 Chris

          • Chris

            Slow launch with distinct recoil . CHHUUNK . Maybe fun for kicks but no practical value .

            Takes power for a heavy launch to be a possibility . Still a lousy trajectory .


            • Twotalon,

              Sounds like a case of,….”been there,…done that”,… on the arrow stuff? Mine was to be arrow (over) barrel and well sealed. Shroud chop job would be required, but after Vana’s prev. post,..may not be worth it.

        • Twotalon,

          One thing I am rather proud of is that there is no pusher/back up,….the homemade “bellows” did the job quite well,….and I will say,…quite to my surprise. I “sized” the shrink tube on a drill bit that would give me “slight” resistance when pushing the “dart” down the barrel. In other words, maximizing every bit of compression available. Are you not amazed at the penetration results with only 3 pumps of an 880? I, for sure am. What would 10 pumps do with a well designed 33 gr. dart? What would the FPE be? What, given the penetration at 3 pumps, would the penetration at 10 pumps be?

          Something to think about. A pellet would not do that. Yes, accuracy needs work. But the power is there.

          • Chris

            A small but heavy projectile does penetrate easily compared to something large and blunt . The force is applied to a much smaller area .
            You can have fun playing with this stuff , but don’t expect to come up with anything of practical value . Plenty of people have used nails, sticks, Q-tips, wooden matches, and who knows what else for experimental ammo . Oh yeah…bead chain too .


            • TT,

              Thank You,….that may,.. or may not,… “temper” my adventures. “Bead chain”?,…holy cow,…I do not even want to think where that may land in relation to the target. Thinking about it,.. that sounds a bit Mid-Evil.

              What can I say? Having fun and trying to learn a little along the way. Ok,…..yea,…. maybe just being a kid all over again!

              Good comments, Chris

                • GF1,

                  Tried peas but very few would fit in the barrel 🙂

                  I still have two of my pea-shooters. Made them 18″ long out of some thick walled plastic pipe. The worked much better that the flimsy “soda-straw” ones that you could buy. Remember one year my father was wondering about all of the strange weeds that were appearing all over the property… yup, pea plants, thousands of them LOL!

                  My favorite non-lead projectiles were strike-anywhere matches – they would “explode” when the hit. We would glue a 6″ piece of cotton cord to the end of the match and wrap the loose cord around the match stick to make a seal. When fired, the string would trail behind the match and stabilize it. They went pretty good. 25 cents for 250 matches and we were busy for hours. We used to set up targets in the alley where there were no combustibles and the “bang” when the hit sounded louder.

  13. Matt61— The .30 cal 150 grain 1906 spitzer bullet was based on German and European designs. But it was loaded into a neck shortened 30-03 case. The 30-03 used the same 220 round nose bullet that was used in the 30-40 Krag cartridge. Multiple cartridges did cause logistagl problems for Italy and Japan. According to an old American Rifleman article, Italy had 11 different cartdrriges in service during WW2. Look at what happened during the Bay of Pigs–men armed with rifles that used 5 round clips being issued ammo in 8 round M1 charger clips. While mot the main cause for loosing wars, these problems did make their contribution. the 7×57 is almost as powerful as the .270 and 30-06. In modern rifles it can be loaded to much higher levels. Using my trusty Savage 112, I have loaded the 150 grain bullet to 2900fps. Factory loads are aenemic because of the older, less safe rifles in this caliber. Many ex-GI,s will tell you how hard the M1 kicks. If we had used the 7×57, more of our big city conscripts would have been better shots. Ed

  14. Hi. I have a pellet that is stuck in the bore. I pumped it and pulled the trigger but nothing came out. Is there any way to get the pellet out? It’s not in the loading hole anymore

    • Eth727,

      Use a cleaning rod to drive the pellet back into the loading tap. Then pry it out and start over.

      But the pellet should not have stuck in the bore. You may have piston seal issues. How long since you last oiled the seal?


      • I just bought it off Gunbroker so I’m not sure the last time it was oiled. I pumps but when fired the pellet didn’t come out. It went buzz and vibrated. I did put pell oil in the trap before I loaded the pellet. I’m about to take it apart to see what’s wrong with it. The 2nd screw is stuck so I’m soaking it in kroil.

          • Yes I checked it out. That’s a great blog. I would’ve been in the dark about this Hakim without it. So I’m wondering if I should do a full disassembly to figure out why it’s not shooting the pellet out. Perhaps I didn’t put enough pellgun oil? I just put 2 squirts and cocked it twice. It holds the pressure. Maybe I should just oil the heck out of it until the pellet shoots out ? By the way, what size Diana seal is used for a replacement? I looked online and there is more than one model. Is there a specific size or model number. Oh before I forget, why doesn’t the rear sight have a notch?
            I’m also looking to buy a sling and front and rear swivels. If you have any for sale?

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