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dbuffington
December 6, 2010, 06:44 PM
Hi Folks!

I have an early Browning High-Power with serial number 41816.

I know this places it somewhere around the World War II era, but that's about all I know. I does not have Nazi proof marks. It does have an internal extractor. It does have a stock slot, but the original rear sight has been replaced with a slightly more modern target sight. The front sight appears to be original.

Any ideas when this was made? And for what market or customer?

Thanks!
Dave

James K
December 8, 2010, 09:16 PM
About all I can tell you is what you already know, that it is pre-WWII, probably made in 1939 or 1940. (The German invasion of Belgium was in May, 1940; one source says the Germans started serial numbering the HPs at 50,001, so there was probably some gap to prevent overlap.) Barring any military markings, you can probably assume that it was a civilian pistol.

The whole BHP serial number story is confusing. If a government ordered, say, 5000 pistols, and wanted their own series, FN was happy to sell them numbers 1-5001, never mind that some or all of that range had been used before, perhaps more than once.

The sight replacement, if it can't be reversed, ruins the collector value of the gun.

Jim

dbuffington
December 9, 2010, 09:54 AM
About all I can tell you is what you already know, that it is pre-WWII, probably made in 1939 or 1940. (The German invasion of Belgium was in May, 1940; one source says the Germans started serial numbering the HPs at 50,001, so there was probably some gap to prevent overlap.) Barring any military markings, you can probably assume that it was a civilian pistol.

Actually, I didn't know that. So that's progress :)

The sight replacement, if it can't be reversed, ruins the collector value of the gun.

I bought it cheaply enough that it doesn't matter. But your suspicion is correct... It can't be easily reversed. In fact it had some odd gunsmithing done on it to make it -- intentionally or unintentionally, I don't know -- full auto.

My gunsmith fixed that, but it definitely had some trigger work to improve, somewhat, the traditional BHP grittiness.

Many thanks!
Dave

mapsjanhere
December 9, 2010, 11:01 AM
The "sight replacement" needs to be verified, there was a pre-WWII series of Hi-Power that came with adjustable sights. Pictures would help.

dbuffington
December 9, 2010, 11:06 AM
I'll try to take some shots this evening. Thanks!

mapsjanhere
December 9, 2010, 11:12 AM
Found a picture on Wikipedia (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e3/Browning_HP_%28Finnish%29_with_stock.jpg) of the adjustable sight model with stock.

dbuffington
December 9, 2010, 05:13 PM
Here are a few quickie photos...

http://www.buffingtonassociates.com/HP1.jpg

http://www.buffingtonassociates.com/HP2.jpg

http://www.buffingtonassociates.com/HP3.jpg

As you can see in the last shot, the original sight mounting area has been partially filled. Why? I don't know, but they did a pretty nice job.

mapsjanhere
December 9, 2010, 05:32 PM
That looks like the target rear sight from the 70-80 FN Hi Power replacing the original tangent sight. Time to go parts hunting I guess.

dbuffington
December 9, 2010, 09:37 PM
As someone said, this is no longer a collector piece. But it's still quite pleasant to carry and shoot. So I'll likely leave it as is. Thanks!