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Before Maadi in Egypt licensed the Beretta M1951 to produce in-country as the Helwan they ordered a batch of M1951s from Beretta. These guns were modified from the standard pattern, with a slightly longer barrel, higher-visability sights, a straight grip, the lanyard loop relocated to the grip and a heel-magazine release rather than the grip-mounted button used on the Brigadier. Interestingly when they began domestic production they did not retain any of these special features.

My wife Linda knew I fancied an M1951, and found a rather tatty one on Gunbroker at a good price. Knowing also that I like to restore old guns she bought it, figuring it would be a nice project. When it arrived we were surprised to discover it was an early Model 1951E- one of the Egyptian contract guns! Photo shows the 1951E with a Maadi Helwan for comparison.

It has the Egyptian acceptance mark on the side of the slide and no import marks at all. Not surprising, as these guns were never officially imported. A knowledgeable collector friend of mine informs me that the cosmetic damage is blood-pitting (!) What an interesting history this gun must have... Needless to say I won't be fixing it up. I may not know the story behind them, but I'll respect the scars.

It's actually a good shooter, and the spare mags for the Helwan work fine in it with only a tiny modification to the heel. So, it's not exactly what she thought she was getting... but it's much cooler in it's own way!
 

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Nice gun! Quite a few years back I could have gotten a nice early Helwan from a local gun store for about $135. I still regret not grabbing it.
 

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What a great find!! I too, would leave it alone. Lots of history there.
 
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