Helwan 9MM Pistol??


March 29, 2009, 11:55 PM
Hello fellow gun owners and those whom maybe interested,

I have been researching online and looking through many places through the internet for information about this gun.. It seems to be quite wishy washy from most of the reviews and comments about the gun..

I bought this gun a couple months ago and it hasn't been good weather out due to weather so I haven't gone to shoot the gun.. Although I did shoot it once, fired a round when I bought the gun from a friend of mine, it shot great, had quite a kick back and much louder than I expected.. This is the first gun I've bought, but not the first I've shot... Since then I have cleaned it extensively, I haven't messed with anything besides taking all of the parts, barrel, spring, and what not out and cleaned very well.. it came with one clip, I bought a cleaning kit and REMOIL and cloth wipes...

I am curious to know more about this gun, I have read some were made in the 90's or something but there are the older military version??
On this gun I have a few marks that are interesting.. One being 'Israeli' writing on one side, and the other saying "Interarms, VA" On the reviews I saw, none of them had this type of writing...

I took a couple of photographs, please let me know your opinion and knowledge!


If you want more pictures of the gun taken apart just let me know :D

If you enjoyed reading about "Helwan 9MM Pistol??" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
March 30, 2009, 12:14 AM
I doubt there's Hebrew on it, as it's Egyptian. The Helwan is a copy of a Beretta M 1951 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beretta_M_1951). Some people seem to talk bad about them but the reports I've read are positive. I hope you got a good price, happy shooting!

March 30, 2009, 12:20 AM
I paid a bit more than what everyone else paid.. I hadn't researched the gun much and it was sorta a last minute type of thing. I paid $250 :D

Thanks for some information! Look forward to hearing more....

March 30, 2009, 01:24 AM
that is an Egyptian gun imported by Interarms. at one time this was the standard issue of the Egyptian army. as luck would have it, Isreal was using the Beretta M-1951 at the same time...made extra mags easy to come by

this was the forerunner of the Beretta 92, which begat the 92S, 92F and 92 FS which is our current issue sidearm

March 30, 2009, 03:24 AM
So is this gun one of the more rare ones??

March 30, 2009, 04:55 AM
i have not seen one with israeli markings. egyptians are common

March 30, 2009, 05:54 AM
The writing is Arabic. The gun is a copy of the Beretta 1951 which is a copy of the Walther P-38, but without double action. The one I had many years ago was not the best quality and that's being charitable. Actually if I said what I think of the gun I'd be banned from the site.

March 30, 2009, 10:00 AM
Clean it, load and fire. The Iraqi army carried a version of the Helwan, it was called Tariq. I think the reason it not to popular is the location of the magazine release button on the bottom left grip.

March 30, 2009, 12:14 PM
actually the side mag release is an improvement over the butt release. it still puts the hand in the prefered location to catch the mag as it comes out, yet doesn't block ejection. if you were doing a "tactical reload" it is ideally placed

March 30, 2009, 02:01 PM
I've had one for several years, probably 9-10, bought it back when money was tight. Earlier, I'd owned an original Beretta 951 and love the design. I'm particularly fond of the crossbolt safety. It doesn't block the slide like a 1911 and can be quite fast once learned. The controls fall in place easily for my hands. The magazine release isn't as convenient as that of the 1911, but isn't terrible either. Magazines are relatively easy to find and inexpensive. Brownell's used to list parts, too. Most parts apparently interchange with Beretta's; the Helwan was built on Beretta machinery. Maybe as Tariqs are replaced by other weapons in a modernized Iraqi army, parts will become more plentiful. Pretty much any holster that holds a 1911 will hold a Helwan.

A specific reason to get the 951 or Helwan is its similarity to the smaller Beretta New Puma in .32. Neat little piece, that one. The 951 is a scaled up version.

I never intended to put a lot of rounds through Helwan, but after all these years, it's still in the stable, still functioning, and still combat accurate. Currently, the Helwan's my loaner gun. A buddy used it to qualify for his Texas CHL. He's never fired the gun before taking it to the range that morning.

It shares the prop up lock of the Walther P-38 without the thick slide mandated by the Walther's dual recoil springs. Internet reports say the locking block is weak, but I keep an eye on mine and no cracks or slop have appeared. The Beretta 92 has a similar problem, but it and the M9s have had the lock redesigned.

Two things I don't like are the tiny military sights and the grips. The grips are plastic/bakelite and mine were brittle. I bought replacements from Brownell's, but they're about ready to go, too. (My 951 had handsome homemade grips fashioned from an exotic wood, made in three pieces with the backstrap glued and pinned to a side panel. Had I the facilities, I'd like to make a similar set for the Helwan. Dress it up, a silk purse out of a pig's ear, as it were.I've also considered getting the slide bead blasted and hard chromed. That and new grips would put some spring in the old girl's step.)

It wouldn't be my first choice in a gunfight, but it' can get the job done.

April 2, 2009, 08:40 PM
This was posted on another gun forum... sounds promising.. :D

Fire away with your Helwan. You have a MilSpec gun that has probably had thousands of rounds through it. It has obviously been refinished at one time, indicating it’s age as a military/police weapon. The M-1951 Beretta design has always been, and still is a good design, but you have to know what it was designed for. Those who feed souped-up Uzi or P++ ammo in a Helwan (Military or Civilian) have no room to complain when it fails. That’s no different than shooting 3” magnum slugs in a 100 year old shotgun. The Helwan is designed for 9x19mm in its standard load. YES, there are many reports out there about Helwans failing after only a few rounds. By fail, I mean failure to function. This is nearly always caused by the sides of the slide bowing out, or the locking block peening out of shape, distorting, or breaking. The result of this is usually a jammed gun that is difficult to un-jam or disassemble. This is not a design flaw; it is poor manufacturing ‘quality control’. The poor Q.C. Helwans are nearly always reported on the commercial models (no Arabic writing). The problem is that no one has ever collected enough data to ascertain what S/N range is flawed. This flaw is probably caused by poor heat-treating of the steel, and is not a question of poor quality steel. AND it certainly does not affect every commercial Helwan made, for many people have reported no problems in their commercial Helwans.
The weak part in the design is the locking-block. The locking-block has two lugs that rarely break at the same time. Even if both lugs did break off, the result would be the slide falling off the front of the pistol. There is no way the slide could fly back and impale in your forehead. I have never heard of anyone getting injured by a failing Helwan or Beretta. I have read where Beretta recommended that the locking-block be replaced on the M1951 every 5,000 rounds, but I have never seen a verifiable source to confirm this claim.
In short, disassemble your Helwan, closely inspect the locking, block for cracks, or rounded corners (it should be too hard to peen or ‘mushroom’). Inspect the mating surfaces on the slide for the same thing. If all else looks fine, then have fun at the range. Just re-inspect every time you clean it (hopefully every few hundred rounds or so)

Just an opinion from someone who has six M-1951’s, and still has all his fingers, eyes, and doesn’t have a chunk of metal stuck in his head.


April 3, 2009, 11:26 AM
My nephew has a Helwan that had the locking block fail after only a couple boxes of standard ammo. A shame that no new locking blocks are available. It seemed to be decent enough for the price he got it for.

April 5, 2009, 01:05 AM
yours looks just like mine. mine works just fine as long as i feed it plain old full metal jackets. i can't put hollow points through it or anything due the the feed ramp not feeding properly. but mine does have the egyptian writing and everything still seems to work fine. mine too came with only one mag, but found a spare at a local gun shop. baught another pistol, newer, more reliable (ruger p95) so i don't shoot it much anymore, more of a back up home defense weapon.

April 21, 2009, 10:54 AM
Thanks everyone for the great responses..

I went to shoot the gun a few days ago.. it shot off flawlessly.. I only shot two clips but it worked great, no jams, just kept pumping them out!


July 7, 2009, 12:01 AM
HI all: Does any one know where I can get information on how to break this weapon down, clean and re-assemble it? I took it to a range and the slide stuck. They did get it loosed, one customer said that he tore his down to clean it, and put a spring back in wrong and it responded the same way. However, he did not know how to break the Helwann down to show me how to check the spring. Thanks in advance... MeBlessed

July 7, 2009, 06:36 PM
I've owned a couple. They seem to "kick" more than the Beretta 92. I had one that had an improperly hardened locking block which wore too quickly and created a jamming problem. Could NOT obtain replacement parts. I bought another surplus one that had a damaged (chipped) locking block. Had to sell that one as a non-firing gun. I would not take another chance on the Helwan, but the older commercial Beretta 1951 is better made, but very rare. Good luck.

August 17, 2009, 08:16 PM
I happen to have one laying right here. It looks like it has never been fired. Just had it apart. When I first bought it. Three or Four years ago I shot two boxes of shells through it. I loaded it and put it in the wife's car. And almost forgot about it. Took it out Yesterday, Sunday and this next weekend I am going to put a few rounds through it again. on the left side reading from the top, left to right. first line Cadet-I Cal. 9m/m second line MAADI CO. MADE IN EGYPT third line on the trigger housing PARS INTL. LOU KY. A on the right side has the serial number on the slide and the trigger housing. EP10305. and on the barrel when it was broke down was the 305. The worst looking about this auto is that the bluing is wore off from sliding around under the seat. There was no mushrooming or swollen looking parts, the feed ramp was smooth and looks new. Dont know what to say. I am going to shoot it. Also have a Glock 21 that is suppose to blow up in peoples hands.

Until it does. :)

If you enjoyed reading about "Helwan 9MM Pistol??" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!