Egyptian Hakim in a 2-Gun Match

This past weekend was another 2-Gun Action Challenge Match, and this time I decided to shoot my Hakim in it. The Hakim is an Egyptian license-built copy of the Swedish AG-42 Ljungman (you can find more info on the Hakim and other Egyptian rifles here), chambered in the standard 8×57 Mauser cartridge. The Hakim has a 10-round detachable magazine, but was meant to be reloaded using stripper clips (and it has a pretty neat system for doing so). It’s a fairly long and hefty rifle (some might use the word “oar”), but I found it pretty nice to shoot. The match this month was all about 12-round strings of fire, so I did a lot of loading 7 rounds in the mag to start and then reloading with a 5-round clip. Have a look:

34 Comments

  1. I’ve GOT ONE!!! Also an Egyptian FN 49 as well as a Rashid…The Hakim, (unlike the Garand which will simply smash your thumb if you neglect to keep it of the path of the bolt), will practically amputate your thumb…Have a Care!!! Have a Care!!!

    CB in FL

    • I have a Rashid as well, but not an Egyptian FN49 – it’s on my list to get (along with a Beretta 1951). I think Karl and I will probably be doing a Rashid/Beretta 1951 vs vz52/vz52 match at some point… 🙂

      • There were a couple of Helwans that made the rounds among my range buddies (own it and shoot it for a while, toss it in to sweeten a swap) around 20 years ago, about the same time the Rashid, 49s and Hakims were cheap. (There was a 9mm Egyptian TT-33 that was marketed with the unfortunate name of Tokagypt as well.) I was pretty interested in the Helwan – always wanted a 1951 (too many early Mack Bolan novels when I was a kid) – but they had a neat little quirk. For some reason, if you loaded more than six rounds in the magazine, the feed lips would leave a parallel pair of razor cuts on the ball of your thumb. Deep, painful cuts. It was considered a great practical joke to loan a buddy your Helwan, with empty mag and box of ammo. Welcome to the club, kid.

        • The Tokagypt 58 9mm was actually made by FEG in Hungary, originally under a contract to the Egyptian police under Nasser. Then the Egyptian government canceled the contract, leaving FEG with the guns and no payment. They according put them on the civilian market in Europe, where they were often sold under the tradename “Firebird”.

          I used to have a Chinese Norinco TT-33 9mm, which had the original flat grips but the same funky safety as the Tokaygpt. I quickly learned that the safety was so “slick” that Condition One was pretty much out of the question, and since I was dubious about the OAL of the firing pin the Norinco ended up in Condition Three at all times.

          Until I wised up and used it at the local dealer in part-trade for a S&W M27, that is.

          cheers

          eon

        • I’ve had a Helwan for 20 years now and have never noticed that issue with the magazines. I can load all 8 rounds without tearing up my hands. Maybe I’m doing it wrong. I did learn that 8+1 was not an option as the full 8 rounds would put to much pressure on the slide and when the +1 was fired it would slow the slide down and jam. Mine has been used and carried a lot, it had lots of things going for it other than price that made it a good choice for me. Mack Bolan was maybe a minor consideration. I like the safety, the magazine release button and the steel frame, single action, and the fact that it has always fed hollowpoints reliably. Not a big fan of the 1951 style military sights, but they still get the job done. The P38 style lock up is a good one too.

      • A warning about the FN Egyptian Model 1949 ABL. These rifles do not have the firing pin interruptor found on all other FN ABLs and FALs. Commercial ammunition will ‘slam fire’ in these rifles and this usually damages them. The corrosive Romanian 8x57mm works well in Egyptian Model 1949s and you can shoot reloads with the CCI 34 MIL-SPEC sensitivity primers without incident.

  2. I’ve read a fair bit about the Hakim and the original Ljungman AG-42 but have not had the chance to handle either. In your opinion, how does the former compare to the latter in terms of build quality, reliability and general performance?

    • Well, I don’t have nearly as much trigger time on the Ljungman as the Hakim, so take this with a grain of salt. I think the Ljungman is batter made, but not by a lot, and not necessarily in ways that matter practically. The Hakim is a very well-made piece of hardware, but doesn’t quite have the polish that the Swedes do. That’s compounded by the fact that most Hakims had a fairly rough life, while most Ljungmans were well cared for and, frankly, not put in that hands of Egyptian conscripts. As for reliability, I don’t have enough data for a scientific assessment, but I would rate them as equally good, assuming good ammo. Of course, pretty much all 6.5 Swede out there is great stuff, while there is a lot of crap 8mm around. So I think that will account for seeing more reports of problems in Hakims than in Ljungmans (Ljungmen?). For performance, really the only difference is that the Ljungman will be a bit lighter and smoother shooting because of the caliber difference. If I had to choose just one, I would probably go Hakim because I have a lot of surplus 8mm ammo already and I won’t feel bad about banging it up a bit. For a collector, the Ljungman probably has the edge is desirability.

      • Hah! Naw, the Hakim 8mm self-loader is already über-tactical what with the 8mm Mauser loading! Gotta love the puff of gas on the ol’ forehead when shooting it! [Maybe that’s what happened to your hat!

        Good work, although you might have considered pairing the Hakim with a British-made revolver left over from WWII/King Faisal days if the Beretta 1951/Helwan wasn’t available! Good work with the Ballester Molina! [Heck the Brits had some of those too, so perchance there were some floating around back in Nasserite Egypt days…]

        Of course, back in June ’67 you’d be up against a FAL or 9mm Uzi in a not-so-fair fight, no?!

  3. Hey my friend… I like the way you handle all that with yr left-hand (am lefty too)…
    Nice video and performance BUT… from the text reading I thought the 2 gun contest would be yourself and a friend with Ljungman…. may I suggest you this ?
    Thanx and congratulations as always
    Normann

    • @Normann and Ian: I always sort of freak out: “Dang but that guy can sure shoot from his opposite shoulder fast…!” Then I stop and go “Uh, wait a minute here! What’s wrong with this picture?!” More power to you south paws!

      A self-loader’s gotta be better for you left handers than any bolt gun… Although counter-intuitively the straight bolt handle on the Mosin-Nagant seems to be no obstacle…
      Cheers.

      • As part of the sinistrous one-sixth of the population, I learned to shoot with either hand early on. And you have to be careful with self-loaders, especially rifles and shotguns, when firing left-handed.

        The Ruger Mini-14, for instance, throws its empties back and right, which goes neatly over your shoulder from the right shoulder, and right into you breast pocket- or your eye- off the left one. The old Universal .30 Carbine clone had the same habit (I used to own one of each).

        Probably the most safely ambidextrous rifle out there is the lever action. Winchester and Browning lever guns throw their cases straight up except for the AE models and the 88, which throw them up and right. And Marlins throw them straight out to the right.

        Savage 99s and Sako lever guns can be weird. Generally, Savages toss the empties straight up and back, and the Winchester 88- like Sako tosses them straight out to the right. But it’s best to check; a friend of my father’s had a 99 in .257 Ackley Imp. Roberts that tossed the cases almost straight back and right. Fortunately for him, he was a “northpaw”.

        Remington pump and auto rifles (7400, etc.) generally can be fired off the left shoulder with no trouble, just like their shotguns. But still, testing it out is always a good idea.

        cheers

        eon

        • The Czech vz.58 7.62mm assault rifle generally works pretty well for left-handed users too. Ejection is typically up and to the right perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the gun. The angled cocking handle ( on the right-hand side of the upper receiver ) also works almost equally well for left-handed and right-handed firers regardless of whether one chooses to manipulate it with the strong ( firing ) hand or the weak ( supporting ) hand.

        • The weirdest gun I’ve used for ejection is the Norinco 213 Tokarev copy in 9×19. I don’t know if it’s true for other Tokarevs, but the 213 ejects them pretty much everywhere – Straight out to the right, straight up, back into my shoulder – it’s a bizarre little gun.

  4. Great video! Now you can see why the world went to a shorter barrel or bullpup in the MOUT environment. I have both the Ljungman and the Hakim. The AG42 shoots a little softer because of the 6.5 caliber, but they are both loud and the both shoot well.

  5. Pretty slick how the charger cams into the slot for loading and it got me thinking – could you save time reloading by just letting the bolt go instead of pulling the charger (it’s NOT a clip!) out first then releasing the bolt? It looks like the bolt could push the charger out of the way.

    • Clang. That’s probably what would happen. Many bolt-action rifles should be able to eject strip chargers upon the bolt being slammed forward, but I don’t know if semi-autos do the same. Anyone know what to do?

    • I don’t see why not. The charger pivots down into position for filling the magazine. It stands to reason that the action would reverse itself when the bolt closes. That is probably why the charger interface was designed that way in the first place, to avoid being mashed against the breach face by the bolt on closing.

    • I have not seen anyone in this discussion to claim that. I also looked (first time) at Ian’s previous video showing Egyptian rifles and as a result have appreciation of Rasheed. It is well designed weapon for intermediate round with similar or better qualities that say SKS or Vz.52 rifle.

      BTW, when reading on current state, it was and in a way was not a surprise to me that current standard individual arm of mighty Egyptian military is Reretta 70/90.

      • What is that ‘reretta’? Oh well, too early in the morning….. must be ‘recreational’ version of Beretta.
        They seem to also have adopted some limited amount of SIG rifles and lately ever brand new CZ805 and ARXs.

  6. Hi Ian. I would advise against you or anyone else buying a Helwan. To me they are a totally dangerous gun. I had one that had a broken locking lugs ( A very common happening.) the gun would have fired with the slide unlocked! Some shooters say I have put XX number of rounds through mine with no problem. That is no defense of the gun. It is like firing a low # bad heat treated Springfield 1903. It’s not the number fired, but if the next round will blow it up. If all Helwans were welded up the world would a safer place.

    • That design is questionable to begin with. It is inherently sensitive to proper material selection, proper machining practice and proper heat treatment. Beretta gun company for lack of inspiration of their own have copied Walther’s design and was comfortable with that. Helwan is likely not better than the original.

      Same design with changes into fire control and magazine capacity continues in follow up model – M92 which became U.S. general service M9. This weapon was fraught with problems, which were from principal point of view never solved. Instead, there was a replacement solution in form of hammer axis placement in such a way, that if slide (or locking lug) broke, the remnant od slide would be hopefully restrained by hammer. As I read recently, procurement ordered another 200k of same pistols.

      • Denny –

        The M9 slide cracking problem arose when Beretta USA was directed to change the slide steel from the Italian specified nickel – chromium alloy steel to AISI/SAE E4140H chromium – molybdenum alloy steel. This was an Ordnance Department sponsored Product Improvement Program (PIP) cost reduction; AISI/SAE E4140H is much easier to machine than nickel steels because it is not homogeneous and hence crack prone. So crack prone that the M9 slides cracked in service. I believe that M9 slides are now made from either the original Italian specified nickel – chromium alloy steel or AISI/SAE E8645H nichel – chromium – molybdenum alloy steel.

        Beretta Model 951 and Helwan Brigadier slides were made from medium carbon, unalloyed steel. The cracking encountered resulted in Beretta specifing nickel – chromium steels for the Model 92. It is worth noting that Walther encountered the same type of cracking problem in postwar P.1s fed a steady diet of hot SMG ammunition. The Beretta locking system was derived from the Walther P.38/P.1 system. Walther revised the machine tool paths used to generate the ejection port window in 1984, leaving more steel in this critical area. Solved the problem, no more cracked P.1 slides.

  7. Hi Ian , has one of your fingers ever been smashed by the bolt , i was somewhat expecting you to start swearing like drunken sailor halfway thru the video

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