What do you think about the Helwan 9mm? Any Good?

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by myarmor, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. myarmor

    myarmor G&G Newbie

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    I was turned on to these about 5 months ago. Yet I know of no one that has one. I have read a little history on them, but haven't heard of what anyones opinions are as to how they shoot and so on. Anybody got one of these?
  2. Big Dog

    Big Dog Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

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    Mine is the commercial Maadi Cadet - same thing . . .

    Yep, I got one. It's an okay shooter - actually pretty danged tight shooting if you can master the very stiff trigger. I've got mine in pieces right now, pending making a softer sear spring, and trying to get the hammer and trigger out for some good polishing.
    It likes Remington?UMC 9mm 115grain FMJ best so far. It has choked on Winchester 115grain BEB (an FMJ load). The Winny had problems - two primers disintegrated on firing, and a third was sideways in the case - all in the same brand-new box! I haven't bought that junk since.
    The grip of the pistol is just a bit short for my big hands, but otherwise comfortable. No hammer bite, like I get from the Colt and Star pistols. The sights are small, but adequate for a service-type pistol. My plastic grip is showing signs of cracking just behind the receiver - I wish someone made nice walnut grips for these things!
    One big concern - the magazine latch drags on the magazine body, causing a bad scrape in the sheet steel box. I hold the latch button in when inserting the mag. Spare mags are scarce.
    All-in-all - there are better pistols for the money. I like the CZ52 and the Star a lot better. Even a good Makarov is, IMHO, the superior pistol.
    Also, the Helwan/Maadi Cadet has absolutely no parts commonality with the Beretta 92/Taurus PT92 series. I was hoping the barrels and locking blocks would interchange, but a side-by-side comparison shows the new pistols are much beefier, those parts larger.
    Of course, you know the Helwan/Maadi Cadet is a license-built Eqyptian knock-off of the early single-stack Beretta Model 1951 Brigadier, itself based largely on the German Walther P-38.

    I really need to get the thing back together - it's my only 9mm Luger caliber pistol. :cool:
  3. myarmor

    myarmor G&G Newbie

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    Thanks Big Dog. That answered a lot of my questions.
    I haven't bought a CZ or a Makarov yet. I guess mainly becouse I have to order all my ammo for it. I don't mind that so much, but it is nice to just run to Walmart and pick up some fresh when you need it. Instead of having to wait 4-5 days for it.
    I knew it is based on the old Berretas and heard that when the Egyptions bought the rights to make a copy, the Italian maker actually sent several of their employees over to Egypt to help them set up the plant and show them how to make them.
    That's what I heard anyway.
    Does it cycle pretty good?
    Did you try the cheap'o CCI Blazers yet?
  4. Big Dog

    Big Dog Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

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    Yes, it cycles good, with the good Rem/UMC ammo. I get an occasional misfire with the Winchester - have to cock and shoot again. These pistols are single-action, unlike the later double-stack Berettas.
    I haven't tried the 9mm Luger Blasers.
    I have used the 9mm Largo Blasers in my Star, and they did quite well.

    One thing I do like about the Helwan, is it is noticeably smaller and lighter than the Colt 1911. It's a much easier gun to carry for an extended period.
    And with that trigger pull, you won't "accidentally" crack off a shot!

    It's an okay gun, but definitely not up to Beretta quality standards. The Egyptians cut some corners.
    Supposedly, Iraq has their version of this pistol too. If the Century reps can ever get into Iraq and scarf up the warehouse loads of guns Saddam set aside - might be some interesting C&R stuff on the market!
    I'd get an Iraqi Helwan (or what ever they call it), just for the fact it's Iraqi.
    I like collecting guns of the nations we've defeated in battle. :)

    I was hoping that Saddam's pistol would end up on ebay, but it seems Dubya snagged it. :rolleyes:
  5. myarmor

    myarmor G&G Newbie

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    Good point.
    Big Dog, how about giving me some pointers on buying a CZ or Makarov?
    I know the design of the Mavarovs are all about the same, but which countrys version is the more solid one? I saw the Bulgarian ones at SOG for $130.
  6. Big Dog

    Big Dog Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

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    I got my CZ52 from SOG, and am well pleased. Mine is a black parked .52 model. No cosmo - it came pretty clean. I did strip and lube it before shooting. Flawless functioning! I'm a happy camper. Around $110, IIRC.
    Came with the holster, two mags, and cleaning rod. It didn't have the lanyard that it was supposed to, but I ain't quibbling. :)
    I don't yet have a Mak, but from reading and listening to people, the East German Mak seems to be The One to get. Russians are sought after too.
    I think the Bulgarians are the lower grade in these pistols, but someone who knows them better needs to chime in. Guys . . . ? :hmmm:
  7. NRAJOE

    NRAJOE YOU TALKIN' TO ME!? Forum Contributor

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    Only one CZ52 Bigdog?....:hmmm: :D
  8. Big Dog

    Big Dog Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

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    :) So far, Joe! I like variety . . . :cool:
  9. Thrawn

    Thrawn G&G Newbie

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    Late poster!

    I got two of them, both of them are extremely reliable and pretty accurate.:)
    The sights really suck.:mad:
    I dont like the location of the mag relese.:throwup:
    The trigger could be a little lighter.:nod:
    other than that I think they are great. thinking of trying to improve these problems on one of them, maybe even carve out some wood grips for one, unless someone knows where to get some.:hmmm:
  10. myarmor

    myarmor G&G Newbie

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    Thrawn- are you talking about the Helwan, Mak or CZ?
    Sorry, I guess I did get a bit off topic.
  11. Big Dog

    Big Dog Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

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    I got my Maadi Cadet (Helwan commercial model) back together, and the trigger is improved. Maybe it just needed a good cleaning and lubing after all.
    Accuracy is still good. It actually likes Wolf steel-cased 9mm ammo - it feels 'hotter' and shoots tighter than the Federal American Eagle 9mm I shot alongside it. No failures at all with the Wolf, a couple FTF's with Federal.
    I could use a new set of grips too. These are cracking just behind the receiver under the hammer, a couple small chunks of plastic are gone.
  12. Dennis

    Dennis G&G Enthusiast

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    the Helwan is rather rough compared to the Cz52 or any of the Maks
    Still with a little attention they can be fine shooters
    but ya gotta remember that they are what they are
    a rough copy of a military pistol made in a muslim country
    as far as the grip issue goes i havent a clue as to where grips would be avalible
    Maybe look in to making a new set before yours break?
    theres ways to make molds and things like that.
    I know of a guy that is a dental tech/jeweler guy
    he made a set of grips for his derringer out or gum colored (pink)denture material it kinda looked cool
    I asked him why not make it look like ivory(tooth color)
    he cursed and said he hadnt thought of it.
    theres lots of ways to solve your grip problems
    those helwans are ok they just need attention from time to time.

    the comment about the Bulgarian Makerovs I take issue with
    the bulgies are as nice as any of the others.
    the fit and finnish are on par with any other Makerovs I have seen
    (and I have seen them all)
  13. Thrawn

    Thrawn G&G Newbie

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  14. stangman

    stangman G&G Newbie

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    My buddie had one a few yaers back. Heavy trigger, but excellent reliability, decent groups. Only problem we had was sand would leak out of it after a box or so of rounds. After cleaning it a half dozen times I stirpped it to the frame and found sand packed with cosmoline in all the internals. It never did jam on us though.
  15. Dennis

    Dennis G&G Enthusiast

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  16. Popgun

    Popgun G&G Newbie

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    For Helwan grips check out WWW.vintagegrips.com Check Item # H41 on page three. They make grips on location with about a two day turn around. Not much money either.
  17. Big Dog

    Big Dog Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

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    Unfortunately, "Page cannot be displyed" on that website. Too bad, I could really use a new set of grips.
  18. Popgun

    Popgun G&G Newbie

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    Whoops, My bad, Try www.vintagegungrips.com.
    Sorry bout that

    Just tried this one, it works but for some reason I had to hit "Refresh" a couple times to bring it up.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2004
  19. Big Dog

    Big Dog Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

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    Outstanding website! Many thanks, Popgun! And a hearty welcome to G&G.

    Found just what I need:
    http://www.vintagegungrips.com/grips/b71.htm

    Guys, they have rifle butplates too. I'll need to pick up a couple for some old Marlins I have that need them.
  20. TNT.45

    TNT.45 G&G Newbie

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    Did someone fart or do I live near Detroit
    I like my Helwan. I paid $175 OTD at a gun show over the weekend. I fired off 150 rounds today and it functioned great with one stove pipe and one failure to load the last round on the very first mag of the day all the reamaing full load mags worked 100%.

    It was accurate to 15 yards after that the tiny sights and bad trigger take its toll. For the price of 1000 rounds of 9mm ammo I am very happy with this gun. In this price range I cant really think of comparable gun. CZ-52 and PA-63 come to mind I also own those but feel the Helwan is a better weapon. Maks are nice but I always see them in the $300 price range.
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