Egypt’s Hakim is one of those badass battle rifles you’ll occasionally see for sale online and at gun shows. It’s basically a 7.92(8mm Mauser) version of Sweden’s 6.5mm Ljungman Model 42 and uses a direct impingement gas system, much like our AR-15 rifle. In the definitive work, Small Arms of the World, Smith calls that gas system “unusual,” which it was at the time.
It’s often fun to watch someone who has never handled a Hakim pick one up at a show and try to work it. First they grasp what appears to be the charging handle and fruitlessly pull back trying to open the action. That “handle” is actually the deflector bar built into the receiver cover meant to deflect spent cases away from the shooter. Instead of pulling backward, the correct first step is to push it forward fully, and then pull back fully. If there are cartridges loaded in the 10-round detachable box magazine, the bolt strips one from the mag into the chamber. If there are no cartridges, the bolt locks back and the magazine can be charged with single cartridges or using stripper clips. Once charged, all you have to do is push the receiver cover forward about 1/8 inch, and then pull back and the bolt will chamber a cartridge.
At more than 10 pounds, the Hakim is a soft-shooting semi-auto. It is also known for decent accuracy. The only references I could find to it possibly being used in battle suggest it was limited to the Sinai War of 1956 and the Six Day War in 1967. It would be interesting to know if any of our servicemen and women encountered a Hakim during the recent wars in the Middle East, and if so, what had been done to make them serviceable with ammunition commonly found on the battlefield today. I can envision Hakims being modified in Peshawar to take 7.62 NATO and God knows what else.
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