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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Are these C&R? I have seen some listed as C&R and some not?
I know of no way to date them by serial #.

I am looking at a low four digit example.
 

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Don't know the answer but would LIKE to know! This model has everything I like in an "automatic" (are we still allowed to say that???) and nothing I don't like. Besides, it's a Beretta. And C&R status is a big deal if you live in CA....DON'T ask! I SUSPECT that many of them are C&R (pre-'64).

I keep wondering WHEN the Italian cops are gonna let these go! And WHERE!
 

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The real berretta 51s are somewhat scarce but the Egyptian Helwans are not. The latter run from really nice to junky. Think both are fedearlly C&R now. In CA their C&R status is now wholly ignored (as is the rest of the constitution).
 

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My experience with Helwans has been entirely frustrating. I like REAL Berettas because, unlike most automatics, they don't jam. With the Helwans I have tried you are lucky to get to the point where they WILL jam.... One I had never fired a single round after the first three. The other wouldn't go thru a full clip without at least one FTF or FTE. One was an Egyptian military contract pistol, the other a "commercial" made for the US market. The real Beretta "Brigadier" I once had and sold to make a house payment never jammed once, no matter what I fed it.

I know the advantages of C&R status have been largely eliminated by our wonderful legislators. But C&R handguns can still be "imported" to a CA dealer from an outside-the-state dealer, unlike many other handguns not on the "Safe Handgun List." Doe that make any sense? Of course not. But then none of it does.
 

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Commercial Helwans can be a PITA although early, Egyptian Military ones can be decent. Not sure when they started making the commercial ones. Navy Arms imported a number of Sinai captured 1951s and Mil Helwans and wholesaled them out before 2000. Condition ran from brand new down to battlefield pickups. In all the sorts i never saw one with the extended barrel. FWIW Importing any firearm INTO CA , C&R or not, may be a regrettable experience. It is certainly not cheap right now and future restrictions/traceability may surely make it cost/hassle ineffective
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was able to hit a bullseye in the law. The one that I picked up is a Beretta not a Helwan and is from the Israeli contract, which is listed specifically as C&R in the BATFE's 2007 update.

Now comes the long search for a correct period holster (Israeli). I can't even find a picture of one!

As to the slide/block issue. I spoke with a gunsmith who worked on many Helwan's in the day and he told me that the questionable metal could cause the slide to fail/bulge which would break the locking block. He told me that while he worked on many Helwans and had no faith in them, he only was ever asked to adjust or clean the Beretta's, never repair them. He never saw a failure on the Beretta's.

Looking at the monster slide on this thing (and mine is a replacement from the 90's), I couldn't imagine anything less than a Chevy could cause it to fail. It's literally a 1/4" thick at the side.
 

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Beretta 51s were in General service for many years with both the Italian Carabinieri and the Highway Police..back in about 2003, Beretta got a "Buyback" contract to withdraw and refurbish all the 1951s still in service...which they did...then the retreaded 51s were exported...and here is the fly in the ointment...Export was stopped...BECAUSE Beretta, whilst a Licensed MANUFACTURER, & EXPORTER, was NOT a Licensed REPAIRER. It took about 9 months to resolve this Impasse, with an enabling Regulation to allow Beretta to have a REPAIRER's Licence Back Dated. The Intricacies and Labyrintine nature of Italian Gun Laws.

AS to C&R, the 1951 definitely, the HELWAN Clones NO, and the Retreaded 1951s???? (some have made it to the USA in recent Years)

Doc AV
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would say that this one qualifies a "retread".

Very low serial number but with a replacement slide dated 1991 (8 years after production stopped).

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am assuming that IMI refurbished the gun with supplied parts as the slide is also stamped with the same stamp as behind the trigger guard (letter above the Star of David).
Doc if you have any info as to the IDF's use of the weapons, I would be very interested in when the contract was and how many were acquired. PB will only tell me that it was in the 60's.
 
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