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Maadi Helwan

Semi-Automatic Service Pistol

Maadi Helwan

Semi-Automatic Service Pistol


The Maadi Helwan became a local, license-produced Egyptian version of the well-liked Italian Beretta Modello 1951 semi-automatic pistol.
National Flag Graphic
YEAR: 1955
MANUFACTURER(S): Maadi - Egypt

Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible. Calibers listed may be model/chambering dependent.
ACTION: Semi-Automatic; Recoil-Operated; Short-Recoil
CALIBER(S): 9x19mm Parabellum
LENGTH (OVERALL): 203 millimeters (7.99 inches)
LENGTH (BARREL): 115 millimeters (4.53 inches)
WEIGHT (UNLOADED): 1.96 pounds (0.89 kilograms)
SIGHTS: Iron Front and Rear.
MUZZLE VELOCITY: 1,200 feet-per-second (366 meters-per-second)
RANGE (EFFECTIVE): 165 feet (50 meters; 55 yards)

Series Model Variants
• Helwan - Base Series Name


Detailing the development and operational history of the Maadi Helwan Semi-Automatic Service Pistol.  Entry last updated on 8/1/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
The Egyptian Armed Forces contracted with Beretta for a version of its Model 1951 semi-automatic pistol. This was the first locked-breech pistol design by the company and favored by many of its shooters for its power and accuracy when firing the 9x19mm Parabellum pistol cartridge. Beretta agreed and sold the Model 1951 through a "second series" production run complete with Egyptian national markings. It gave good enough service, particularly in the conditions encountered across Egypt, that a "third series" run followed with a lengthened slide for improved accuracy and revised sights. The model emerged from Beretta in 1955.

In time, Maadi of Egypt was granted local licensed production of the design and this led to the "Helwan" form. It retained much of the form and function of the Italian model including the short-recoil, recoil-operated internal system with locked breech. Eight rounds were pulled from a spring-loaded detachable box magazine inserted into the grip's base and these consisted of 9x19mm Parabellum cartridges. Sights were identified fore and aft over the slide for accurized ranged fire.

Original forms incorporated light alloys in their construction but this was superseded by steel when it was found that the alloys were not robust enough under military abuse.

The Helwan is no longer in frontline service.