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Old August 20, 2009, 12:07 AM   #1
Recoiljunkie44
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Browning HI power magazine disconnect

Hey Guys I need help on deciding if i should try to remove the magazine saftey out of my Browning Hi power its a 1989 model, not the most collectible! I however don't want to have to do a very prolific mod such as grinding or changing it where it can not be restored to factory! is it easy as removing a couple pins and just reassmbling with out? I have been pondering this question for some time! Does any companies out there make a retrofit kit to do this? Below is a picture of the highpower and, any help would be greatly appreciated!
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File Type: jpg P8180462.jpg (236.3 KB, 464 views)
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Old August 20, 2009, 12:28 AM   #2
ranburr
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http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=133740


Not a big deal at all and it makes a world of difference as far as the trigger goes.
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Old August 20, 2009, 02:35 AM   #3
BikerRN
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I have left the Magazine Disconnect safety in place on my two Hi Powers.

If you are wanting a better trigger, they can be had, by a good pistolsmith, while leaving the safety device installed at the factory in place. If you are wanting a gun without a magazine disconnect safety, buy one that doesn't have that feature.

If you can convince twelve people on a Jury that you know more about the design of the Hi Power than those that designed it and those that made it, you really don't need to carry a gun at all as you are such a smooth talker that you could charm the devil out of Hell and then get him to move back in and pay you rent. I'll wait for you here.

I know of more than one LEO that has been saved by a Magazine Disconnect BTW. I carry a Hi Power off duty and like that I can render the gun unusable by dropping the magazine if I am ever in a struggle over my gun. The odds of that are slim, as I carry concealed off duty, but it could happen.

Yes, I know the current weapon retention "moves" and even practice them, but that little extra insurance never hurt either. As far as shooting while changing magazines, practice reloading more so you can change your magazines faster and get the dang magazine in the dang gun.

Each and every platform has it's pluses and minuses. You just have to pick which one's you can live with. I myself haven't altered any safety devices on any of my off duty guns for civil liability reasons. You may not be so inclined.

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Old August 20, 2009, 03:51 AM   #4
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http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/MagazineSafety.htm
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Old August 20, 2009, 01:51 PM   #5
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I've removed the mag disconnect from 3 of my BHP models and am thinking about the doing it to my 4th one. If I can do it, anybody can.

It not only improves the trigger, but can make a difference on whether the magazine falls free. In fact, the factory mags for the .40 caliber BHP have little "mousetrap" springs to help remove them from the gun.

Since my MKIII doesn't drop the mags I might well remove the disconnector. And as for someday looking a jury in the eye and explaining that I improved the trigger so I could shoot more accurately to avoid hitting innocent people, I'll take that risk.

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Old August 20, 2009, 02:47 PM   #6
amd6547
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I have always left mine in...I like the triggers on my HiPower just the way they are, a good combat trigger. But I wouldn't let some supposed legal liability keep me from removing it if it pleased me to do so.
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Old August 20, 2009, 02:53 PM   #7
Walt Sherrill
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Quote:
If you are wanting a better trigger, they can be had, by a good pistolsmith, while leaving the safety device installed at the factory in place. If you are wanting a gun without a magazine disconnect safety, buy one that doesn't have that feature.
I don't really understand how the disconnect is really a "safety" device. Would a 1911 be more safe with a magazine disconnect? How about my SIG 220 Match?

Some police officers might like that feature -- but I have never really seen an LEO carrying a BHP (or BHP Clone). Training in retention techniques, and proper holsters seem more rational safety devices.
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Old August 20, 2009, 03:26 PM   #8
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I think, at least in this country, the magazine disconnect on a BHP is an accident waiting to happen.

No dis to biker rn, the S&W pistols designed for agency use amd come with a regimented training program are a different breed of critter than the SA only BHPs. My opinion has nothing to do with 'light' trigger stroke.

I/we have 2 DA/SA 3913 LSs and like 'em real good as designed. Wouldn't change them even if I could.

I can't really explain it, maybe its just a prejudice in favor of the assumption, that, if the 'bang' switch is pressed, something is gonna happen.

The idea that if the mag is removed, the pistol is safe, really, really sucks the East River dry.

rant off,

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Old August 20, 2009, 03:33 PM   #9
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I remove magazine disconnects in my pistols. I'm far more interested in surviving a gunfight than any BS for a lawyer. Of course keeping your weapons locked up when not under your direct control and double checking the chamber when taking it down goes without saying disconnect or not.
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Old August 20, 2009, 03:56 PM   #10
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I've never seen the need to render a magazine disconnect on a HP inoperable.

Just my .02
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Old August 20, 2009, 04:00 PM   #11
Zilmo
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All three of my HP's still have the mag disconnect feature, and it doesn't bother me at all. They function just fine.
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Old August 20, 2009, 05:52 PM   #12
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My T-series BHP, which I purchased new in 1968 and shoot weekly, still has its magazine disconnect installed. Never has been a problem.

Cordially, Jack
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Old August 20, 2009, 10:55 PM   #13
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Possable solution

I was pondering this issue myself not too long ago and I might have a partial solution. What I was thinking was that a full spring would cause a lot more pressure than a partial spring. Along with this have disconnect polished to cut down on drag. I've done this and I haven't tied it with live ammo yet but to me it feels better.
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Old August 20, 2009, 11:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
If you can convince twelve people on a Jury that you know more about the design of the Hi Power than those that designed it and those that made it
You would be hard pressed to find a case where removing the mag disconnect was ever even brought up to a jury, much less an issue.
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Old August 21, 2009, 12:54 PM   #15
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You would be hard pressed to find a case where removing the mag disconnect was ever even brought up to a jury, much less an issue.
Actually no I wouldn't.

There was a case in FL where the Hi Power with the magazine disconnect removed, not the gun used in the shooting BTW, was used to show the "reckless disregard for safety" that the defendant had.

I don't have the case in front of me, but it was an issue at the trial, and it wasn't even the gun used. It's very likely that all your guns will be seized after a shooting. I don't live in the fantasy world of "All that matters is if it's a good shoot". I live in the real world where everything matters to some degree.

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Old August 21, 2009, 01:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
There was a case in FL where the Hi Power with the magazine disconnect removed, not the gun used in the shooting BTW, was used to show the "reckless disregard for safety" that the defendant had.
Citation please. I have been looking for such an animal for quite some time. I am certain many other TFL readers would like to read the case details also. Thank you. -Goodspeed
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Old August 21, 2009, 05:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Actually no I wouldn't.

There was a case in FL where the Hi Power with the magazine disconnect removed, not the gun used in the shooting BTW, was used to show the "reckless disregard for safety" that the defendant had.

I don't have the case in front of me, but it was an issue at the trial, and it wasn't even the gun used. It's very likely that all your guns will be seized after a shooting. I don't live in the fantasy world of "All that matters is if it's a good shoot". I live in the real world where everything matters to some degree.

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Old August 21, 2009, 06:36 PM   #18
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If you ever compete in an IDPA match, you'll quickly decide to get rid of the mag disconnect. After a course of fire the range officer will direct you to (1) drop the mag, (2) open the action to show that there is no round in the chamber, and (3) pull the trigger to uncock the gun. If there is a mag disconnect, of course, pulling the trigger does nothing, so you need to reinsert an empty mag first. Just too much grief!
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Old August 21, 2009, 07:32 PM   #19
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Got no dog in this fight, I don't own a BHP. But, there was a case where this did become an issue. Check post #21 by the expert witness in the case, Massad Ayoob. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=466935
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Old August 22, 2009, 09:23 AM   #20
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Mike40-11,

It was never used in an case against anyone including the one cited by Ayoob. I have asked at least numerous judges and a number of prosecutors and private attourneys about this issue. Not a single one has ever said it would be an issue.
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Old August 22, 2009, 09:47 AM   #21
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Here we go again.

I'm a lawyer retired after over 30 years in practice. I therefore have some first hand understanding of how the legal system works. And I will not disable a safety device in a handgun I will use for self defense. (I won't use handloads for self defense either.)

[1] First, we really have to get over this "a good shoot is a good shoot" business. If you are on trial after a self defense shooting, someone doesn't think it was a "good shoot." Either the DA decided that he had something to prosecute or the grand jury concluded that there was probable cause to believe that a crime had been committed and that you did it. There is a dispute about whether the shooting was justified, and determining whether it was a "good shoot" is now going to be up to the judge and/or jury.

[2] As a lawyer, I have seen how juries can be influenced by any number of factors. We know for example, from post verdict juror interviews that at least some of the jurors in the Harold Fish case were troubled by his use of JHP ammunition. Of course the notion that there was "something wrong" with Mr,. Fish for using that sort of ammunition was planted in the minds of the jurors by the prosecutor, and not effectively dealt with by the defense. And since JHP ammunition is more effective, we still recommend its use for self defense and hope, if the need arises that our defense will be able to deal with the issue. Nonetheless, the Harold Fish case is an example of how something like the kind of ammunition used in a self defense encounter can affect the thinking of members of a jury. (Mr. Fish won a new trial on appeal, but he still has gone through an awful ordeal and is still in prison.)

[3] And of course, the use of a gun on which you've disabled a safety device has isn't going to be the only issue. No capable and ambitious prosecutor is going to pursue a possible self defense shooting case if all he has is the fact the you used such a gun. If you're on trial at all, the prosecutor believes he has enough factors, and the evidence to prove those factors, to overcome your claim of justification.

[4] I can't not believe that a skillful prosecutor, having decided to prosecute you after a shooting which you claim was in self defense would fail to make whatever use he felt he could of the fact that you used a gun from which you removed a safety device (or handloaded ammunition). Any capable prosecutor is going to, first of all, be excluding from the jury anyone who has any interest in, or knowledge of, guns. If he can get some folks on the jury who are a little afraid of guns, so much the better. A least a few of such jurors are likely to be uncomfortable with the fact that you tinkering with your gun, or the you have tinkered with your gun, or the mere fact that your hobby is guns or shooting. Some of the jurors may even have personal doubts about whether a private citizen should even be allowed to have a gun. People unfamiliar with guns tend to have an exaggerated fear of them and are likely to see it as reckless to remove a safety device fitted by the manufacturer. Do you claim to know better than the company that made your gun?

[5] Remember also that a plea of self defense is different from most other defenses to a criminal charge. In general, the common defense to a criminal charge is essentially, "I didn't do it, and you can't prove that I did." But when you plead self defense, the first thing that you have effectively done is admitted that you did it. You must essentially say, "I shot the man." And the essence of the claim of self defense is, "But I was justified in shooting him."

[6] Because of the nature of a self defense plea, how the jury sees you can be very important. You will want them to be willing to accept your claim that you were justified in performing an act that is generally, in good society, repugnant -- an act of extreme violence against another human being resulting in the injury or death of that human being. He may have been a criminal with a long history of violence, BUT in most cases any evidence to that effect will be inadmissible.

[7] Yes, we know that the jury is supposed to decide on the basis of the evidence, not how they feel about you. But we also have to accept the fact that a juror's emotional perception of a witness will affect the credibility and weight given to his testimony. I've had jurors tell me in post verdict interviews, that they didn't trust this witness or that they believe that witness because of personal characteristics of the witness that they either thought ill of or thought well of. That is the real world.

[8] At a trial, at the end of the presentation of evidence, each side gets to argue what the trier of fact should infer from the evidence. So a prosecutor might argue that a trier of fact should infer certain things about your character, your reckless disregard for safety and disposition for violence from the evidence that you modified the gun you used to remove a safety device that the manufacturer saw fit to incorporate.

[9] So Suzy Soccermom now asks herself, as she sits on your jury deciding whether to believe your story about what happened when you shot that nice gang member, why your gun wasn't lethal enough as it came from the manufacturer to satisfy your perverted blood lust. Remember, Suzi Soccermom and her friends are going to be deciding if the shoot was good.

[10] And yes we know that there don't seem to be any cases that illustrate all this. But then again, how many defensive uses of a gun result in the gun being fired? And how many defensive shootings result in a trial (many are in fact clean cut "good shoots")? And of those that go to trial, in how many has the defendant (claiming self defense) used a gun with a safety device removed (or handloaded ammunition or with a super light trigger)? I strongly suspect that the vast majority of people who keep and/or carry guns for self defense use stock guns and factory ammunition. In other words, the sorts of case we'd be looking for just doesn't happen often enough to be on radar.

[11] In the event of your having to use your gun for self defense, there will be things you can't control and those that you can. You really can't control how a violent encounter will unfold. You can control how you prepare and what your tools will be. It is, however, true that a prosecutor might try to use just about anything against you, like using JHP bullet or having had extensive training. But somethings, while they may have a downside in court, can give you an advantage on the street -- like training and JHPs. But something may have a downside in court without any countervailing advantage -- like handloaded ammunition or certain gun modifications (when guns that would be suitable without modification are available).

[12] Personally, I'd like to stack the deck as much in my favor as I can. And the less I may need to explain, the better. If I wind up on trial after a self defense shooting, my lawyer is going to have to deal with any number of factors that the DA thinks will help him put me in jail. I don't want to give my lawyer any more problems than he already has (and his problems are my problems).

[13] Everyone gets to make his own decision, but I will not use a gun which has had a safety device disabled for self defense, nor will I use handloads or a gun with a super light trigger. I feel that I can provide for my defense without burdening myself with those sorts of legal wild cards.

[14] I tend to think of the issue in terms of a paraphrase of Pascal's wager: I don't know it disabling a safety device on my gun (or using handloads, or adjusting my trigger to be very light) will adversely affect the outcome if I am on trial for using my gun in what I claim was self defense, but I really have nothing to gain by disabling the safety device (etc.) even if it won't affect the outcome (because I can get adequate performance without engaging in those behaviors -- i. e., by using a different gun, learning to better manage the one I have, using quality, commercial ammunition, etc.). However, I have a great deal to lose if disabling the safety device (etc.) would adversely affect the outcome.

Of course, one may do as he likes. It's not my problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranburr
...I have asked at least numerous judges and a number of prosecutors and private attourneys about this issue. Not a single one has ever said it would be an issue.
Perhaps one of them would like to register here and enter the discussion so we could get their views first hand.
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Old August 22, 2009, 10:45 AM   #22
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ranburr:

Dunno. I just recalled reading about a case where it supposedly did become an issue.

Would it, did it, actually make a difference? No idea. Personally, I wouldn't wouldn't alter a "safety feature" of a carry gun. Don't see any thing that would justify what I perceive as a risk.
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Old August 22, 2009, 10:55 AM   #23
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fiddletown, or is it Frank? Next party that I am at, I'll see if I can't get one of them on here.
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Old August 22, 2009, 11:03 AM   #24
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If you ever compete in an IDPA match, you'll quickly decide to get rid of the mag disconnect. After a course of fire the range officer will direct you to (1) drop the mag, (2) open the action to show that there is no round in the chamber, and (3) pull the trigger to uncock the gun. If there is a mag disconnect, of course, pulling the trigger does nothing, so you need to reinsert an empty mag first. Just too much grief!
IDPA rules prohibit removing or disabling any "safety device". While I don't consider a magazine disconnector a safety, and some will argue that since there are factory HPs without the disconnector, it's OK to remove it from others, I wouldn't attend a sanctioned match with the expectation that my gun would pass a "safety" inspection if I'd removed the disconnector. My fingers are long enough that I can reach up into the magwell and "goose" the disconnector, so I don't need an empty mag to drop the hammer. Mags that don't drop free are a MUCH bigger headache than dropping the hammer after showing clear. I've had some success in polishing the mag tubes and applying a dry lube, but 10-round mags with those mousetrap springs at the base are probably the best solution.
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Old August 22, 2009, 11:23 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranburr
fiddletown, or is it Frank? Next party that I am at, I'll see if I can't get one of them on here.
Great idea.

In the meantime, in fairness to the OP, it should be noted that he never said anything about possibly using the BHP as a self defense gun, so perhaps this discussion is moot. It really wouldn't matter in a BHP intended solely for target shooting (except it seems for IDPA, removal of the magazine disconnect would be a problem). So perhaps we should skip the legal issues unless they are clearly relevant.

In meantime, if anyone is interested in reading more about the legal issues he can check out these threads: http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=366434 (regarding the 1911 grip safety -- but the legal issues are the same) and http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=466935 (on another board, but Massad Ayoob participates).
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