I wasn't planning on buying many guns this year. There are two I want for sure, I inherited more, now I go and buy another. At least this one is just in time for BAG day.
Recently saw this one for sale, I always wanted a Beretta 1951/951 (Brigadier) and thought I finally found one. A closer look had me thinking it was an Egyptian made Helwan, but it wasn't. Helwans flooded the US market for many years and I've handled a lot of them. Nearly bought one several times. Turns out this pistol is neither, it's a Danshway, the predecessor of the Helwan. My friend the internet tells me that the Danshway was a Beretta copy made for the United Arab Republic. It has Arabic roll marks, including the serial numbers that are matching on the slide, frame and barrel. There is also an alphanumeric import mark (Navy Arms) and serial number that was added to the receiver too. I can say that this pistol is definitely better made than those Helwans I looked at in the 1990s, both in materials and workmanship. The Danshway seems almost Beretta in quality and I wonder what their role (if any) was in its production.
I wasn't specifically looking for this but ever since reading a post by Carteach0 last year I've kept an eye out for inexpensive guns. This post by Tam now has me looking for another reason altogether. The shop wanted $225, not outrageous and probably a fair price. But I wasn't interested in fair only in cheap. The pistol didn't have any obvious problems so I thought I might take a chance. Finally I offered $175 expecting that it would be refused, or at least countered, but he immediately took it! Lesson - don't make an offer on a gun unless you're really sure you want it. As for this pistol, it's mine now. If I can get it to function reliably with ball ammo I will consider this little experiment a success and tuck it away in the corner of my safe for the future.