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Old February 20, 2013, 12:18 PM   #1
Adoinmo
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Join Date: February 20, 2013
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Browning HP with stiff safety question.

I have just purchased a beautiful boxed and all original 1986 9mm Browning Hi Power from a friend in superb condition, he never shot it in the 16 years he owned it, it just sat in the original box and so it is uncertain when it was last used as he bought it from an estate sale.

Anyway, my question is about the thumb safety, it’s almost impossible to use, it’s so stiff that it takes several attempts to notch in up so I can strip it. I have managed to strip it and work lots of Rem Oil into the switch and sat there clicking it up and down for quite a while. When it was stripped it seemed to be loosening up and clicking crisply. However, when I reassembled the gun it is still almost impossible to operate.

My question is; Is this common for a safe queen gun, will it loosen up if I keep lubing and working it or is it time for a gunsmith visit?

Any help and advice would be great as this is my first handgun I have owned. (A brilliant gun salesman called Mr. Obama helped me decide on 14 round capacity hand gun owner ship)

Cheers..Pictures attached of the little beauty along with my 870 Police Magnum.

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Old February 20, 2013, 01:22 PM   #2
TDodge7
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Nice hi-power, a lot of people switch those safeties out for the mkIII ambi safety from later model BHP's or the cylinder and slide custom safeties. Both make it a lot easier to work the safety. But before you bother switching things out you should remove the safety and make sure that the plunger on the front of the safety lever isn't all gummed up and sticking, also check that the pivot point of the safety that rides in the frame or the portion that the hammer pivots on isn't grungy. You shouldn't need a gunsmith unless you decide to change the safety out for a new one as they need to be fitted to your pistol (thought I've done many myself at home and I'm no gunsmith). They're easy to take apart, just take it down like normal, hold the hammer back with one hand and push out the large pin through the ejector with a toothpick or small punch (it's not in there tight), your sear and leaf spring will fall out, and the ejector can then be pivoted downward into the frame. Let the hammer down gently and the safety pops right out.
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Old February 20, 2013, 02:42 PM   #3
Adoinmo
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TDodge7, Thats great information, I'll be on that tonight...thanks!
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Old February 20, 2013, 08:26 PM   #4
James K
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Using some suitable padding (cardboard, masking tape) to protect the safety, use a vise or pliers to squeeze the safety detent plunger in and out while spraying it with a good solvent.

I think all that is wrong is that the oil/grease in there has hardened and that is making the safety hard to move.

Jim
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Old February 26, 2013, 10:31 AM   #5
JNad
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If you find a thourough cleaning doesn't do the job, you can disassemble it, put a little (and I do mean a little) fine grit lapping compound in the frame holes the safety goes through (both sides), then re-insert only the safety. Be careful not to get any lapping compound on the outside of the frame (you don't want to mar the finish). Work the lever up and down a few times, clean thouroughly and re-assemble. That will polish the frame and safety and allow the safety to move a bit more freely. You can repeat the process, but go slow and don't over do it.

The cylinder and slide safeties are nice, but if it is a range queen only, it probably isn't necessary.

Nice Hi Power, enjoy.
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Old February 26, 2013, 11:56 AM   #6
James K
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Either you mean the safeties made by "Cylinder and Slide" (the company) or there is a lot I don't know about the BHP.

Jim
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Old February 26, 2013, 12:15 PM   #7
Pilot
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As others have said, it may just need a clean and lube due to it sitting. I would rather have a BHP safety a little too stiff, as I have experienced quite the opposite on MK III's anyway. Some seem almost too EASY to manipulate, and thus easy to swipe off inadvertently. I like a relatively secure detent on mine.

Beautiful BHP by the way. One of the best, if not THE best 9MM around.
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Old February 27, 2013, 05:07 AM   #8
ClydeFrog
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Karl Sokol; Chestnut Mountain Sports, Cylinder & Slide...

For your ?s about a Browning HP 9x19mm, Id contact pistolsmith; Karl Sokol of VT's Chestnutmountainsports.com. Sokol is widely known for custom work on the Hi-Power line. He did a lot of stuff for the FBI(Hostage Rescue Team) & is mentioned in Markus Wynn's action novel: No Other Option.
Cylinder-Slide.com is a NE based outfit that also does smithing on FNH & Browning pistols.

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Old February 27, 2013, 11:16 PM   #9
drail
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Something's not right in the safety. Crud, metal chip, burr, broken spring. Probably just concentrated old crud. I would remove it and soak it in whatever type of penetrant you have, blow it out and see if it is any easier. If not you can try to rebuild the safety or find another one. That is a very nice HP.
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Old February 27, 2013, 11:22 PM   #10
ScottRiqui
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Quote:
Anyway, my question is about the thumb safety, it’s almost impossible to use, it’s so stiff that it takes several attempts to notch in up so I can strip it.
Do you only have trouble getting the safety lever to click up into the "takedown notch", or is it also hard to get into the normal safety notch? Since it operates easily and crisply with the slide off, I'm wondering if there's not a burr or crud in one or both of the slide notches.
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