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Maadi Helwan

Semi-Automatic Service Pistol [ 1955 ]

The Maadi Helwan became a local, license-produced Egyptian version of the well-liked Italian Beretta Modello 1951 semi-automatic pistol.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/01/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

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Original forms incorporated light alloys in their construction but this was superseded by steel when it was found that the alloys were not robust enough under military abuse.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

Egypt national flag graphic


Semi-Automatic Service Pistol

National flag of Egypt Egypt
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Pistol / Sidearm
Compact design for close-quarters work or general self-defense.

Overall Length
203 mm
7.99 in
Barrel Length
115 mm
4.53 in
Empty Wgt
1.96 lb
0.89 kg

Iron Front and Rear.


Semi-Automatic; Recoil-Operated; Short-Recoil

One shot per trigger pull; self-loading or auto-loading action aided by internal mechanism; trigger management (and initial cocking) typically required by the operator; subsequent shots are aided by the unlocked / moved bolt.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


9x19mm Parabellum

Sample Visuals**

Graphical image of a 9mm pistol cartridge
Rounds / Feed

8-round detachable box magazine
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
165 ft
(50 m | 55 yd)
Muzzle Velocity
1,200 ft/sec
(366 m/sec)

Helwan - Base Series Name

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