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Old December 11, 2000, 10:46 AM   #1
Alfadog
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AIM Surplus is advertising Belgian-made FN Hi-Powers built for the Israelis. The price for these pistols is $279 or $299 for "special select." Has anybody bought one of these guns? Comments?
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Old December 11, 2000, 10:59 AM   #2
Dave R
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No personal experience, but there have been some very positive comments on http://www.fnhipower.com
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Old December 11, 2000, 11:31 AM   #3
RON in PA
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My local dealer in mil surp firearms had a special on these 2 weekends ago for $295. I had the oportunity to pick one from about 10 to 12 he had left in stock.

The one I bought was made in 1995 and had the new cast frame. The slide had both the front and rear sights(new style highly visible) dovetailed in, but did not have the firing pin block of the MK 111 Brownings. The safety was the old small style non- ambi. This probably because of the Israeli pistol technique of carrying all handguns in condition 3(empty chamber) and an ergonomic safety is supurfluous. The grips are black plastic. The slide,barrel and frame hads matching serial numbers. Finish is black enamel over parkerizing.

The inside of the pistol showed little use, just some breaking-in and was clean. The outside had lots of scratching of the enamel, but the underlaying finish was intact. The only exception to this was some holster wear on the slide where one would expect it, ie. bare metal was showing onsharp edges near the muzzle. I would say much carried, but little shot.

Forgot to mention that the gun came with 2, 13 round mags made in Belgum. The mags function ok, but show extensive use, the floorplates are beat to hell. Also came with a belt slide holster and a mag. holder, both much used, and made from leather by Fobus.

I have fired 170 rounds of S&B 115 ball through the gun. Not one malfunction and the gun shoots to point of aim. At 7 yards, shooting one-handed all shoots go into the black of a 50 foot pistol target with most going into one ragged hole.

Gun is a great bargain for the price and is a good example of one of the classic handguns of all time.

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Old December 11, 2000, 12:00 PM   #4
Bartholomew Roberts
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Bought the cheap version (no special select finish) from AIM. The gun I received was pretty well worn with a polymer finish and enamel over that. Big chunks of the enamel finish had worn away and the finish had worn down to bare metal on the edges. There was a small ding all the way into the metal along the edge of the slide.

The gun originally came with yellow reflective tape on each side of the slide. I removed the tape without much effort.

The gun came with a no-brand mag carrier and a Fobus IWB holster with Hebrew markings inside it. The magazines were in great condition (a rare occurence from what everyone else has reported) but the followers were all chunked up and would occasionally fail to hold the slide open on the last round.

The gun itself had Meprolight night sights on it (luck of the draw I guess), a small safety and no inertial firing pin safety. The gun is an outstanding shooter with a great trigger on it. I shot it alongside my Wickmann-custom Hi-Power with a match barrel and the AIM kept up pretty well. The custom had a noticeable edge; but it was close.

Only problem I have seen so far (and this appears to be a common problem with the AIM Hi-Powers) is that they have been modified where they are unreliable for condition one carry. If you pull the trigger with the safety engaged, the gun will lock up to where you cannot easily disengage the safety or pull the trigger.
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Old December 11, 2000, 12:17 PM   #5
Christopher II
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Bartholomew Roberts -

Any idea what causes that malfunction? I've been saving my pennies for one of these, and I had planned to do some light custom work on it, but I don't want one that will take a lot of money to make right.

Thanks,
Chris
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Old December 11, 2000, 02:02 PM   #6
Bartholomew Roberts
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I'd talk with Stephen Camp or some of the other more knowledgeable Hi-Power gurus; but from what I have heard, a botched trigger job will often create the same problem in a Hi-Power.

The reason I believe the modification is intentional and not a botched trigger job is because

A) It has been present on every AIM Hi-Power I have been able to personally handle (three to date)
B) Others have reported the same problem over the Internet
C) Israeli policy calls for condition three carry
D) The trigger is otherwise superb. Crisp and clean and only slightly heavier than my custom but with a better reset (custom has MkIII firing pin safety).

All of that makes me think that the condition may have been deliberately created to discourage people from carrying condition one - either that or the same armorer in Israel is remarkably consistent in how he botches trigger jobs and does a lot of Hi-Power work.

As for how to correct it, I'd say that refitting the contact surfaces between the sear and safety (something you'll probably want to replace for condition one carry anyway) would correct it; but I recommend you ask somebody with more experience in working on Hi-Powers.

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Old December 11, 2000, 02:12 PM   #7
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Okay. I was planning on replacing the trigger, sear, and safety with Cylinder & Slide parts in any case. I'll pick the brain of some Hi-Power guru before I break out the hacksaw.

BTW, have you done any custom work on your surplus Hi-Power, or is it straight out of the box??

Thanks,
Chris
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Old December 11, 2000, 02:16 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies so far. Sounds like the Israeli Hi-Powers work fine with ball ammo. Has anyone tried hollow point defense loads in these guns?
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Old December 11, 2000, 03:53 PM   #9
Bartholomew Roberts
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Christopher - the AIM Hi-Power is straight out of the box. About the only work I've done on it is to clean it and take the reflective tape off the sides. It's an awesome shooter though - so far reliability (excluding the safety problem) and accuracy are 100%. It seems a step above most of the commercial Brownings I have seen mechanically. Of course, I may have just got lucky; but the other two I handled had a good trigger and accuracy as well.

Alfadog - The barrel is a MkII/MkIII style barrel with a short, straight feedramp (no humps) that should feed modern hollowpoint ammo with no trouble. I have had no problems feeding mine 115gr. CORBON JHP; but I haven't shot enough rounds of it through the Hi-Power to say for sure yet.

I would also add that though these are advertised as being MkIII frames able to take submachine gun ammo; the three I have seen to date had the older forged MkIII frame. Since the serial number range on these seems to be from '89 to '96, there are probably more forged frame than cast frame Hi-Powers in the pile.

If you are going to get into Hi-Powers or do custom work, I highly recommend stopping by http://www.fnhipower.com for a wealth of information on the Hi-Power from some pretty knowledgable folks.
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Old December 11, 2000, 10:44 PM   #10
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I also purchased an AIM Hi Power. Mine was manufactured in 1989; has the MKII upper and an alleged MKIII lower. The enamel finish is well used but acceptable. The insides are not like new, show wear but I expected that. At the range the trigger is a little heavy but crisp. It is accurate and shoots right along side my Mark III. The sights are similar to meprolites but do not glow and are very close to the bore axis. The grips are black plastic and the magazines are beat up Meggars. Appearance aside, the magazines work fine. This High Power was hand select and well worth the $300. As with the other AIM High Powers mentioned in earlier posts, I took this one out of the box, took the funky yellow tape off the slide and put about 300 rounds of 124 grain WCC through without a malfunction of any kind. The holster and double magazine pouch are similar to those in earlier posts. I had planned to get this one refinished, the trigger worked over and the magazine safety removed. I have changed my mind on all three. I feel the AIM I got was an excellent purchase.
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Old December 12, 2000, 10:58 AM   #11
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Hey, where can I find info on where to get one of these?
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Old December 12, 2000, 05:09 PM   #12
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Gees, sounds like I should've waited. Sounds like the recent ones are quite nice! Maybe it's because these are relatively newer ones that were replaced by the Glocks without being used much.

My AIM High Power was quite dinged up and I had to replace the extractor as well (broke after 100 rounds). Mine was made in the last year of Mark II production according to the serial number.

BTW, mine has a strange blue-green color coating on the hand guard. It's like a greenish marble. Very shiny. Does anyone know what it might be?

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Old December 12, 2000, 05:34 PM   #13
RANash
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I just ordered one, haven't received it yet. You can find info at http://www.aimsurplus.com .
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Old December 12, 2000, 06:11 PM   #14
Bartholomew Roberts
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Skorzeny - Thanks for mentioning that because I flat-out forgot. Mine has the same blue-green paint (looks like fingernail polish or something) underneath the trigger guard.

Not sure what the purpose of it is just yet...
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Old December 12, 2000, 08:55 PM   #15
Shay
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there are two kinds of guns
1- operative carry gun: not shot very much, maybe 600 rnds a year.
2- practice guns, shot very much- up to 50,000 a year. guns went thru many repairs time and time again. some where in the service since early 70's.

*if you get a gun with yellow tape it has probably been shot less.

*normally when the safety acts funny is because the sear is gone bad.
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Old December 12, 2000, 11:07 PM   #16
markmcj
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I got mine. Like it alot. No safety problems,decent finsh,heavy trigger, nice shooter.
Had one ftf, but i think the pistol needs to be broke in.
I think I'm going to get another.
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Old December 13, 2000, 01:53 AM   #17
Skorzeny
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Bartholomew Roberts:

Whatever that green substance is, I hope it comes out when I get it re-finished.

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Old December 13, 2000, 09:41 AM   #18
Bartholomew Roberts
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Shay: It would be impossible for some of these guns to have been in use since the earlier 70s since the design of the gun wasn't introduced by FN until 1981 (MkII slides). If the guns are using MkIII frames, then the earliest these frames could have been introduced into Israeli service is 1988 or 89.

As for usage, the AIM I bought has its original barrel with matching serial number and lands and grooves on it are sharper than those on my KKM match barrel with 3,000+ rounds through it.


Skorzeny - My thoughts exactly. I can see what looks like the black enamel underneath the coating on mine - so it should come off. I am just racking my brain trying to figure out WHY they did that.
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Old December 13, 2000, 10:07 PM   #19
Sierra
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Shay, as I had posted, I think I got an excellent deal for a great firearm. In your post you made some comments about the amount of usage and the yellow tape on the slides. I had the yellow tape. Where did you get your info on identifying those High Powers which had 600 rounds through them as opposed to those which were range guns?

All in all, these high powers seem to be just fine.
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Old December 14, 2000, 12:46 AM   #20
444
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I ordered one today based on this thread. They said that there are no more hand picked ones and the $275 models are going fast. They said they would not hold one for me, nor would they take a check from the dealer. My dealer told me that if I was willing to go get a money order and take everything to the post office, he wouldn't charge me anything for the transaction. Nice guy. Hopefully they will have one left when my order arrives. Now, where do I get the high cap mags. I insist on owning at least six mags for every autoloader I own.
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Old December 14, 2000, 02:55 AM   #21
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Do an Internet search on "magazines browning" (without the quotes) and you'll turn up lots of sources for hi cap mags for the Hi Power.
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Old December 14, 2000, 09:27 PM   #22
Shay
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reply

I was in the service in Israel in the late 80's.
some of the FN's where introduced in the early 70's. that is a fact.
yellow tape was used for identifacation in some units. those guns where shot a lot less. the FN's are great guns, some of the guys didnt want to change to the Glock 19c but when there is no choice you do as told. there was a big improvement in hit percentage with the new guns though. I bought one of the "retired" FN's for $50 in Israel 2 years ago, it is in mint cond.
good luck with yours.
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Old December 15, 2000, 12:41 AM   #23
Dave R
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444, in case you missed it in the other BHP thread, you can get those 17 rnd. South African mags at:

http://www.cdnninvestments.com/browning.html

I highly recommend 'em.
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Old December 15, 2000, 12:00 PM   #24
Bartholomew Roberts
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Shay, Israel may well have used Hi-Powers since the 1970s; but the AIM Hi-Powers being sold have not been used since the 1970s.

The MkII slides on these Hi-Powers weren't introduced by FN until 1981. The MkIII series wasn't introduced until 1988/89. If the AIM Hi-Powers have MkII slides and MkIII frames (and so far every one I have seen to date does - though I have heard of one example that was all MkII) then they cannot have been used in the 70s.

Why were the guns marked with yellow tape shot less? What is it about the units that used the tape that caused them to shoot less than units that didn't?

BTW, what unit did you serve with in Israel (if you don't mind me asking)?
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Old December 15, 2000, 02:37 PM   #25
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Bartholomew
there are practice guns that stay in the training units. everyone goes there for initial training and alot of short refresher courses. in each of these each person shoots up to 1000 rnds a day.
yellow marked guns where shot less because they where personal issued and had to be kept in better shape. limit was 50 a month.
the gun that I baught in Israel has Teflon coating on the Slide. probably done at IMI. all the FN's are nice. the MK II's have a nicer trigger pull because they dont have the firing pin safety.
as per your other question: http://www.isayeret.com/intel/menu.htm
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