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Old September 5, 2019, 03:50 AM   #1
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Join Date: August 17, 2019
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Beretta 1951 & Helwan - Locking block problem fixed

Good day Fellow gun owners,

I'm Wess and I'm a gun parts designer from The Netherlands ( You know ...Amsterdam ) and I specialize in hard to find.. basically unicorn parts.
My first successful project is the locking block for the Beretta 1951 & Helwan line of pistols.
It has taken me 2 years to complete.. This is because I took me a very lone time to source 2 blocks to acquire the measurements and as in all starting companies.. Getting the right connections.

Lucky for me I've found a collector based in Texas who really helped me out on my project, couldn't have done it without him..
My first bit of luck was on Egun which is a website much like Ebay but for guns and accessorizes.
A German seller put one up for auction and he stated that he didn't know what the block was for and that I did not fit the Beretta 92FS.
From that moment I knew I had to grab it..

And so I did..The second locking block came from my befriended collector in the USA.. Both were Egyptian locking blocks judging by the longer wings.
For all of you who don't know there are two kind of locking blocks, a first generation with shorter wings and a second with longer wings.
The Egyptians took the Beretta design and tried to make it more durable..

The Next step was metallurgy, what to use ? After some reading online I found a company near my town here in The Netherlands who could examine a metal component with the help of an optical emission spectrograph.
This machine / device burn small particles of the metal and sets out a report of the chemical composition.

The report showed my that Beretta uses a low carbon steal, which surprised me at first but it made sense for mass production.
Because low carbon steels are highly suitable for cold forging... Now I don't work at Beretta so I could be wrong but I suspect Beretta forges the locking blocks and machines them a bit afterwords.

From the report fase I knew what the minimal requirements were but I wanted something which had higher strength factors of course.
So I did the math and came to a type of steels which is used in the industry for cold forming die manufacture.

It's an extremely durable high tensile steel that is at the top of it's class when it comes to high stress factors.
The steel also came included with a chart in which manner it could be hardened and with the help of some experts I got the blocks hardened in such a way the the outer skin is 50 HRC but the inner core is a bit softer.
When a metal component is exposed to stress and it's hardened true and true it will break or shear because there is 0% flexibility.

Now it was time for improvements.. After scanning the blocks with a very high end Atos 3D scanner and draft a solid model it was time to make the design parallel. This was not the case in both blocks by a long shot..
Keep in mind that CNC did not exist in those times and the Egyptians were no real craftsmen..

After taking out all the kinks there was one final step to implement in the design.. And those were the radius cuts.
The radius cuts relieve the fracture point in the blocks on which the usually sheer off.
By dividing the stress over a curve instead of the classic corner shape it will result in a way more durable system.

And all of a sudden the design was finished! My contact in the USA has tested multiple of my locking blocks in various types of pistols..
Helwan Super, Helwan Cadet, Beretta 1951, Helwan A.R.E, Helwan U.A.E, Helwan Commercial and the Tariq.

The testing resulted in the conclusion that the fit is excellent! So far the prototype locking blocks has passed 3000+ rounds without a scratch and I presume that many thousand and thousand of round to follow will not be a problem.

However what a lot of people often forget.. And this is the case with many firearms is to replace the recoil spring every 5000-7000 rounds.
Now I know that springs for the Beretta 1951 & Helwan arren't very easy to come by.
But I heard that the recoil spring of a standard CZ75 fits great but has to be trimmed to 24 coils.
Now I haven;'t tested this yet but I sure will in the future.

I'll include a example foto of my creating in this post for you te enjoy!

Thank you all for reading

Wess from The Netherlands..
Attached Images
File Type: jpg helwan 03.jpg (29.9 KB, 55 views)
Wess13 is offline  
Old September 7, 2019, 11:10 PM   #2
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 22,963
I applaud your determination and ingenuity.

Do you plan to sell the blocks?
Do you know about the TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old September 13, 2019, 12:19 AM   #3
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Join Date: August 17, 2019
Posts: 2
Locking Blocks

Thanks, yes I have them listed on Ebay
Wess13 is offline  
Old September 13, 2019, 03:07 AM   #4
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Join Date: May 22, 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 4,901
Well done sir, and welcome to the forum. Good luck to your business - if they are importable to the US then Numrich would probably like to talk to you.
armoredman is offline  
Old September 16, 2019, 08:31 PM   #5
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Join Date: May 15, 2017
Location: Iowa
Posts: 413
Yes, he sells them. I've been following Wes's project on the Gun Boards forum. I have two Helwan Brigadiers, an Egyptian military and a newer Century import that was like new. I've been keeping a round count on the Century and examining it for signs of soft metallurgy and cracks in the locking block. Nothing so far and it's a great single stack 9mm. I plan on buying two of Wes's blocks for whenever the stock ones fail. This product should get a lot of paperweight Helwans back out of the drawer. Thanks for the tip on the recoil spring. Now if we could just get Mecgar to make magazines.
44caliberkid is offline  

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