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Old September 6, 2012, 04:04 PM   #1
got2hav1
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Hi Power 9mm

I am inspecting a Belgium made Hi Power tomorrow for possible purchase. I am a novice with these guns so what do I need to look out for.
I have bought many used guns so I know the basics, but just looking for some expert help on the Hi Powers. Help me buy a Browning Hi Power and I will let you look at it!
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Old September 6, 2012, 04:15 PM   #2
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It's times like this that I'm glad Stephen A. Camp wrote so much down on his website before he passed away:

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/UsedHiPower.htm
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Old September 6, 2012, 04:24 PM   #3
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MrAcheson + 1

Quote:
10. If possible, field strip the pistol and check the locking lugs. The edges should be square and sharp, not rounded off. Is the bore clean, but if dirty, is the rifling in good shape and the bore not pitted?
Well, your expert is speaking loud and clear. I'd really would encourage you to have the seller field strip in order for you to get a good look at that bore. These are very easy to do so. This is an excellent link that MrAcheson, has provided. ...

You have not told us whether it's a private seller or dealer as well as what it is and how much. ...

Good luck and;
Be Safe !!!
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Old September 6, 2012, 04:25 PM   #4
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Be aware that a number of recently-imported "Belgian" Hi-Powers are actually Hungarian-made fakes with spurious FN slide markings. See below:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...&highlight=feg

The key to identifying an FEG-made Hungarian fake is that they don't have FN-style serial numbers. A major red flag is a number over 116,000 without any alphabetical characters. Genuine FN postwar 9mm serial numbers follow one of these formats (n = number, a = letter):

Pre-1964: Number below 115,824
1964-1969: T prefix, e.g. T123456
1969-1975: nnC prefix (nn = last two digits of year), e.g. 70C1234
1976-1997: 245aa prefix (aa = alphabetical date code), e.g. 245RN1234
1998+: 510aa prefix (aa = alphabetical date code), e.g. 510NN1234

Here is a more detailed guide to legit FN postwar Hi-Power serial numbers:

http://www.browning.com/customerserv...tail.asp?id=35
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Old September 6, 2012, 05:52 PM   #5
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Mracheson, I will read thru this and thanks for posting.
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Old September 6, 2012, 05:57 PM   #6
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Pahoo, it's a pawn shop. The asking price is 599.00. The finish would be about 80-85% the best I can remember. The other downside is it has a set of Hogue grips on it.

I will describe it the best I can but remember I am a rookie. It had tiny fixed sights and a equally tiny thumb safety. The slide was marked Browning and also marked Belgian. I wish I had taken a picture or at least written the s/n down. I believe it to be an older gun based on the safety and sights.
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Old September 6, 2012, 06:31 PM   #7
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Likely too much ???

Quote:
The asking price is 599.00.
That would really be a tough call and might just be a good deal. Just not enough info to work with. The 80-85% surely scares me. ...

Be Safe !!!
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Old September 6, 2012, 08:35 PM   #8
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Its one of the most beautiful pistols ever built, in my opinion.

Its certainly my favorite 9mm.




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Old September 6, 2012, 09:07 PM   #9
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Man, seeing that photo is like looking at a photo of a favorite old girlfriend. My first carry gun in the 1970s was a Hi-Power and, while I prefer 1911s overall, no handgun has ever felt as good in my hand as that Browning. Wish I weren't too old to need one.
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Old September 6, 2012, 10:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
It had tiny fixed sights and a equally tiny thumb safety. The slide was marked Browning and also marked Belgian.
Most pre-1980s BHPs have tiny sights and safety levers compared to most newer pistols.

Here are some general spotting tips.

Pre-WWII, wartime, and early postwar pistols are usually marked with a French-language slide legend reading "FABRIQUE NATIONAL D'ARMES DE GUERRE, HERSTAL - BELGIQUE", although some "last ditch" WWII pistols are unmarked. These guns will have a "thumb print" in the RH-side slide and an internal extractor. Early commercial and many wartime pistols will have a tangent rear sight, including those built by John Inglis & Co. in Canada (these have "John Inglis" slide legends).

The most common early fixed sight versions are German-occupation pistols with either WaA140 military acceptance stamps or eagle-over-N commercial proofmarks. Early postwar pistols are similar to wartime models but have an "A" serial number prefix and Belgian commercial proofs; not many of these were imported, although some have come over as surplus.

Browning Arms Company (or BAC) importation began in 1954. These pistols have an English-language slide legend like in bac1023's picture. Some of these pistols have screw-adjustable non-tangent rear sights. FWIW remember that BAC is simply and importer; the pistols were (and still are) made by FN.

The "thumb print" was phased out in 1958. A new external extractor similar to the M1911 design was introduced in 1962, shortly before the "T" serial number prefix. The ring-shaped hammer was superseded by a spurred hammer in 1972.

Many postwar pistols will be BAC commercial models with high polish blue or nickel finish, but you may also encounter some Israeli or Middle Eastern military surplus pistols with original-style French slide legends and parkerized or painted finish. Many of these will be in rough condition.

In the early 1980s, the Mark II was introduced. This model has a ribbed slide, larger ambidextrous safety levers, 3-dot sights, a throated barrel, and black nylon grips. Most are military-style with fixed sights and parkerized finish; many examples are also Israeli or Middle Eastern military surplus. The later Mark III is similar, with some additional design refinements.
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Old September 7, 2012, 06:43 AM   #11
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bac1023,

Tell me if I'm wrong, but this one have been re-polished and re-blued, no ?
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Old September 7, 2012, 09:19 AM   #12
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No, its all original from 1960. Its never been fired.

Its not a wartime gun.


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Old September 7, 2012, 09:20 AM   #13
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Check the safety, I have one that would allow the sear to move a bit giving a lighter trigger pull. Replaced with an aftermarket safety and all was well.
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Old September 7, 2012, 09:21 AM   #14
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Love my High Power. Love it. Dearly. Get it! Make sure it's real.

SIG 1911 XO / SA 1911 custom / Colt Gold Cup / Colt Series 70 /SIG P226 e2 / Browning High-power / Walther PPQ / G34 / G19 / G21 / G22 / Kahr CW9 / S&W M-19 / Hk USP 40 / Rem 870 / Rock R. AR-15

sent from my Android
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Old September 7, 2012, 09:22 AM   #15
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I also have this one from early 1962 in the same unfired condition.




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Old September 7, 2012, 09:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
The "thumb print" was phased out in 1958.
Actually, it was a couple years after that. This one is a very early 1960(check the serial number).

http://proofhouse.com/browning/index.html


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Old September 7, 2012, 01:06 PM   #17
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bac1023,

After all these years abroad, these kids deserve to be repatriated to their homeland ... I'll pay for the journey ;-)

Did you bought them new as an investment ?

Almost impossible to find one in such shape in Belgium. Mine is a a nightstand 1978 and I was lucky to find it. It's my best shooter and outperform my P226 at 25 meter.
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Old September 7, 2012, 01:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Be aware that a number of recently-imported "Belgian" Hi-Powers are actually Hungarian-made fakes with spurious FN slide markings.
If it should turn out you're looking at an FEG (Hungarian) Hi Power, that doesn't mean you shouldn't buy it. They're actually pretty nice pistols, but they're not worth $599.
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Old September 7, 2012, 01:36 PM   #19
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If it should turn out you're looking at an FEG (Hungarian) Hi Power, that doesn't mean you shouldn't buy it. They're actually pretty nice pistols, but they're not worth $599.
True- I just didn't mention that.

There's also another issue: although some FEG's are faithful BHP clones, others have drastic internal design changes, but often aren't marked any differently than the "authentic" ones. (This is well covered in recent FEG threads.)

Also, a number of FEG's were sold in the USA badged as Mausers; these have the same market value as an equivalent FEG and are NOT some sort of rare and sought-after German variant!
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Last edited by carguychris; September 7, 2012 at 01:42 PM. Reason: Minor reword...
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Old September 7, 2012, 01:43 PM   #20
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There apparently were also FEG Hi-Powers legitimately stamped "Mauser". I've never seen one, but did see them written-up in gunrags.
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Old September 7, 2012, 01:55 PM   #21
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Off topic a bit. I am actually looking for any Hungarian made pistols. To date the only one I have found is a FEG double action HP. Condition was about 80-90% and the asking price is $249. Cheap enough. I would have bought it accept I have heard that the DA HP's had a fair amount of issues and parts are non-existant. Any opinions on the FEG DA HP's?
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Old September 7, 2012, 01:57 PM   #22
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Quote:
There's also another issue: although some FEG's are faithful BHP clones, others have drastic internal design changes, but often aren't marked any differently than the "authentic" ones. (This is well covered in recent FEG threads.)
Yep. I own one of those hybrid Hi Power S&W 59-ish pistols. It's a nice enough pistol that has the same look and feel as my Hi Power, uses the same magazines, and I'm not afraid to hand it to a novice shooter.
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Old September 7, 2012, 06:13 PM   #23
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Guys I passed on the HP. Turns out it was a Portugal gun, so I am back on the hunt. Thanks for all the tips cause I am still learning.
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Old September 7, 2012, 06:19 PM   #24
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I think all the HPs made in the last 30 years are "Portugal guns", aren't they? I have a late '90s Mk. III, and it's a great gun.
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Old September 7, 2012, 06:21 PM   #25
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There is nothing wrong with a BHP made in Portugal. If you are going to be firing a lot of +P ammo they are actually preferred.

I think the price was a bit high no matter where it was made. When I consider what I paid for these and other like them.







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