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The Rasheed: Egypt’s Semiauto Battle Carbine From Sweden

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Egypt purchased tooling for the Swedish AG-42 Ljungman in 1952, and adapted it to their 8mm Mauser caliber as the Hakim rifle. Later, they scaled the rifle down to 7.62x39mm as the Rasheed, and manufactured about 7,300 of them between 1966 and 1968. These rifles were issued to the District Ward Reserve Army (essentially a National Guard) and saw service in the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War. Production ended in favor of AK pattern rifles, but the Rasheed is a very interesting and fairly rare Cold War rifle.

The Rasheed is one of only a few true direct gas impingement actions, with a tilting bolt to lock. It uses a 10-round detachable magazine, but was intended to be reloaded with stripper clips (interchangeable with SKS clips), and was not issued with extra magazines. The folding bayonet is very similar to that of the SKS as well. An adjustable gas regulator allows three different gas settings plus a cut-off position for firing rifle grenades.

A note on production numbers:

George Layman gives a number of 8,263 total produced, and this matches almost perfectly with the serial number database created by GunBoards forum members. However, that database shows no guns numbered under 1,000, and I suspect that numbering began at 1,000 and Layman’s source was reporting the highest serial number instead of the total production. This would mean that approximately 7,300 were produced in total. Layman also reports 3,731 of the rifles were lost in combat and Egypt retained approximately 4,000 after the Yom Kippur War. These numbers also fit pretty well with a total production of 7,300.

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