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Old September 12, 2012, 09:13 PM   #1
balance
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The dilemma - FEG Hi Power Clone

I was browsing around a local gun shop today when I noticed a used FEG Hi Power clone sitting in the case. I always knew I was going to pick up a Hi Power sooner or later, and since the price was right, I went ahead and asked a few questions about it since it interested me. The guys there told me that FEG was one of the better Hi Power clone manufacturers, and that the majority of parts for a Browning/FN model would fit and function in the FEG.

Me being a lefty, I wanted assurance that the ambi-safety from a "real" Hi Power would work in the FEG model, and they said it would. So I went ahead and bought the FEG for around $300, and had them order an ambi-safety for it, which should arrive next week.

I took the pistol home, cleaned and lubed it, and went straight to the range to test it out. The pistol has extraction issues.

Every mag has a few failures where the spent casing either stays in the chamber, or is extracted partially. I took the slide off the pistol and slid a casing into the area between the breech face and extractor, and I found that the extractor is not applying any tension to the casing, so this indicates to me that I have a bad extractor. The hook end of it looks beat up, and it is either chipped, or worn out.

So I pack up and take the pistol home. When I get there I look over the pistol from top to bottom, and I notice that there is slide to barrel play on the muzzle end of the pistol. The barrel has less than a millimeter of up-down play, and about half as much side-to-side play. I spent most of my time at the range trying to figure out why the pistol was malfunctioning, so I wasn't really shooting for accuracy. Now I'm thinking that I should have, as I have never owned a pistol with a Browning locking system, that had any barrel-to-slide play, at all.

On top of all this, while I'm looking for information on this pistol on the internet, I'm seeing people reporting that not all parts are interchangeable between the Browning/FN Hi Powers, and the FEG Hi Powers, and one of these parts that is not interchangeable, is the ambi-safety.

So, what should I do?

I'm thinking of going to the shop tomorrow and swapping this for a "real" Hi Power, but considering the difference in price, this will likely cost me more than $500. I have the ability to do this, but I'm not exactly thrilled to do so.

Should I stick with the FEG model, and let the shop figure out if they do or do not have the ability to add the ambi-safety? I'll be paying for the gunsmithing and the part, and if they do manage to get it on there somehow, but it is not done exactly right, I may be stuck with a SAO pistol with a jerry-rigged safety. I don't know what's involved in adding a Browning/FN ambi-safety to an FEG clone. I'll also have to have them order an extractor too, which will more than likely, but also possibly may not, fix the extraction issues. Then that leaves the slide-to-barrel play.

Any thoughts on this are appreciated

Last edited by balance; September 13, 2012 at 08:17 AM.
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Old September 12, 2012, 09:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
I'm thinking of going to the shop tomorrow and swapping this for a "real" Hi Power, but considering the difference in price, this will likely cost me more than $500.
I see true Browning HP pistols used for sale at my LGS all the time for a little over $600.

I got a Charles Daly Hi Power for my first one, thinking I could save some dough. Past 15 yards the thing opened up like a Fourth of July Celebration. Luckily the gunsmith at the store convinced the owner to let me do an exchange. Got a Hi Power Mk III for $650. Was definitely worth the upgrade.

Quote:
I'll be paying for the gunsmithing and the part, and if they do manage to get it on there somehow, but it is not done exactly right, I may be stuck with a SAO pistol with a jerry-rigged safety. I don't know what's involved in adding a Browning/FN ambi-safety to an FEG clone. I'll also have to have them order an extractor too, which will more than likely, but also possibly may not, fix the extraction issues. Then that leaves the slide-to-barrel play.
Sounds to me you have already made up your mind.
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Old September 12, 2012, 09:43 PM   #3
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Here's an article that I (since I own 2) found to be REQUIRED READING regarding FEG Hi-Power clones and their relatives... If you haven't seen it yet, it'll probably help you at some level:

http://feghp.blogspot.com/2010/02/de...-hi-power.html
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Old September 12, 2012, 10:29 PM   #4
balance
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Sounds to me you have already made up your mind.
That's the thing, I'm sort of 50/50 on which way to go here. I'm wondering if the issues on this pistol can be fixed for cheaper than going for a Browning/FN Hi Power.

The FEG seems well made, and it is a beautiful pistol. I'm wondering if it is worth it to give it a shot.

Quote:
Here's an article that I (since I own 2) found to be REQUIRED READING regarding FEG Hi-Power clones and their relatives... If you haven't seen it yet, it'll probably help you at some level:
Thanks for the link. It was very informative.

Do any of your FEG pistols have any barrel-to-slide play on the muzzle end of the barrel?
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Old September 12, 2012, 11:44 PM   #5
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Do any of your FEG pistols have any barrel-to-slide play on the muzzle end of the barrel?
My FP9 (basically a "vent-ribbed HiPower") has virtually none.

My GKK 92C (which has more internal similarities to the S&W 5906) has more but still not much... runs fine.

Both of these are very hardy and reliable shooters.

Only snafus I've had with them are magazine-related... Neither likes to be loaded to the max. I haven't put a lot of energy into trying to solve it or buy different mags... I just load them two rounds short of max and they hum along fine at the range. I've put somewhere around 3 thousand rounds through them, favoring the FP9 'cause it's such a sweet shooter... It has a better trigger, plus the extra weight of the vent-rib slide soaks up a lot of recoil. It has a fair amount of muzzle flip but comes back down on target very smoothly.

I'm happy with them... bought them both for less than I would have paid for one BHP. The FP9 was NIB. The original owner of the GKK 92C had only run a few mags through it, then sold it to me in order to finance another project.

From what you've described, it kinda sounds like the one you bought has been shot quite a bit.

If you want to read more, if you click on this link and scroll down to post #11, I've listed 4 other FEG threads:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...&highlight=feg
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Last edited by CWKahrFan; September 13, 2012 at 12:08 AM.
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Old September 13, 2012, 12:24 AM   #6
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Balance - first, I am a lefty like you. I shot my first 1911 (a Colt Service Ace) as a kid in 1952. From day one, just like being first baseman in baseball, I learned to adapt and it didn't take long at all to adapt to shooting right-hander-oriented guns - except, ironically, the most recent semi-autos.

I'd totally drop the ambi-safety worry and, as I did with my Hi Power and since then with my 1911s, practice using my left-hand thumb to disengage/ engage the safety. It is really easy after a bit of practice, unless you have serious arthritis issues. In short, any big, sticks-out-there safety on a standard semi-auto is easy for a lefty to master. Ditto for the slide release on the Hi Power and the 1911. What I find unusable are the closely-tucked-in ones on many modern poly-frame pistols. Universal advice - rent them at the range and try all of the releases there, before buying anything.

As for slide slop, it depends on what you want. If the gun shoots a group that to you is acceptably tight, keep it and be happy. I have a non-competition 1911 that rattles enough to wake the dead but shoots great groups and is what I'd grab when it hits the fan. That slop could save your butt when you need a gun that for-sure will fire at an attacker in the dark.
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Old September 13, 2012, 12:25 PM   #7
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I just got back from the shop, and they assured me again that the ambi-safety would fit on the FEG. They said that it may require fitting, but this should not be an issue according to them. They have an extractor in stock that they will install in the pistol, which should fix the extraction issues, and they say that the play in the front end of the pistol should not effect accuracy much.

I'll get the pistol back after the safety is installed, and I'll shoot it again. If the safety works and fits like it should, if the extraction issues are gone, and if the pistol is accurate to the point that I am the limiting factor, I think I'll be satisfied with it.

They also offered a $95 action job where the guy said that they could smooth things out and bring the trigger pull down to around 4lbs. I'm going to shoot it first before I consider this.
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Old September 14, 2012, 02:20 AM   #8
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$95 doesn't sound too awful if they polish the feed ramp and take as much creep as possible out of the DA/SA pulls. Is the 4 lb. for the initial double-action pull? If yes, hopefully they'll assure you that it doesn't weaken the hammer spring, in other words that it doesn't increase the possibility of fail-to-fire due to weak hits. I don't remember enough about that part of the hi-power to hazard a guess and it might be that this isn't a concern at all.
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Old September 14, 2012, 08:58 AM   #9
balance
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Quote:
$95 doesn't sound too awful if they polish the feed ramp and take as much creep as possible out of the DA/SA pulls. Is the 4 lb. for the initial double-action pull? If yes, hopefully they'll assure you that it doesn't weaken the hammer spring, in other words that it doesn't increase the possibility of fail-to-fire due to weak hits. I don't remember enough about that part of the hi-power to hazard a guess and it might be that this isn't a concern at all.
The one I bought is the SAO model. I think they may have made a DA/SA version as well, but I wouldn't be interested in that one. It is very similar to the Browning/FN Hi Power, almost identical.
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Old September 14, 2012, 10:36 PM   #10
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The DA/SA version has little to do with the HP, other than similar looks. Instead it is based on the S&W 59--which in itself isn't a bad thing, as long as you know what you are getting.

I got a FEG NIB last year, and it has been great. Very accurate and no hiccups whatsoever. After comparing it directly to a Browning, it isn't as well finished--lots of internal tool marks and the bluing isn't very even. But it's functionally perfect, and perhaps 95% of the finish of the BHP. My father has several FEGs, and a few (Kassnar imported) are beautifully finished and every bit the equal of his BHP.

Mine had an awful trigger, but a $59 trigger job, and now the trigger is perfect. I think you will be pretty happy when you get it back.

Let us know how you make out!
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Old September 15, 2012, 10:38 PM   #11
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Stringfellow - thanks for being tactful.
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Old September 16, 2012, 12:17 AM   #12
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I have two FEGs and neither have play in the slide. The only things I don't like is I had to relieve the cutout area fir the slide stop so it would position better for removing the takedown pin. And the front sight is fixed so not readily able to replace with night sights.

It does take early model BHP hammer and sear, bbl, etc. i removed the magazine safety and trigger went from super gritty to crisp and light like a 1911. Overall a good value but not as a primary pistol for me. Good if that is all one can afford or as secondary to something with more modern sights. Or get it smithed with dovetailed sight.
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Old September 16, 2012, 01:58 PM   #13
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I like the FEG Hi Power(s) although the fit and finish may not be as good as a FN Hi Power, but they are an affordable Hi Power platform. Like most Hungarian made small arms, they won't win any prizes for spit and polish but will continue to work when others have thrown in their chips and called it a day.
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Old September 16, 2012, 07:25 PM   #14
balance
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I got a FEG NIB last year, and it has been great. Very accurate and no hiccups whatsoever. After comparing it directly to a Browning, it isn't as well finished--lots of internal tool marks and the bluing isn't very even. But it's functionally perfect, and perhaps 95% of the finish of the BHP. My father has several FEGs, and a few (Kassnar imported) are beautifully finished and every bit the equal of his BHP.

Mine had an awful trigger, but a $59 trigger job, and now the trigger is perfect. I think you will be pretty happy when you get it back.

Let us know how you make out!
The inside definitely has its share of tool marks, but the outside is very nicely done. It has a blued finish that is as nice as an older S&W revolver. It is a KBI import. From what I understand, Kassnar turned into KBI after the business was passed down from father to son.

I would consider the trigger on mine as terrible. This is something I will want to improve if the pistol comes back and proves itself to be reliable.

I'll post a reply with pictures when I get it back. Right now it is sitting at the shop waiting for the safety to come in, and the extractor to be fitted/installed.

Quote:
I have two FEGs and neither have play in the slide.
The only play that concerns me is the slide to barrel play on the muzzle end. It has slide to frame play as well, but this doesn't bother me. I wasn't shooting for accuracy the one and only time I took it out shooting, but I'll test it out when it gets back.

Quote:
It does take early model BHP hammer and sear, bbl, etc. i removed the magazine safety and trigger went from super gritty to crisp and light like a 1911. Overall a good value but not as a primary pistol for me. Good if that is all one can afford or as secondary to something with more modern sights. Or get it smithed with dovetailed sight.
Quote:
I like the FEG Hi Power(s) although the fit and finish may not be as good as a FN Hi Power, but they are an affordable Hi Power platform. Like most Hungarian made small arms, they won't win any prizes for spit and polish but will continue to work when others have thrown in their chips and called it a day.
The main reason I bought it was to see how well I would like the Hi Power design. If this one works for me, I'll probably shoot this one for a while, and decide later on if I want the real thing.
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Old September 16, 2012, 07:40 PM   #15
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I see true Browning HP pistols used for sale at my LGS all the time for a little over $600.
Lucky you. They are in my area for $800-$900 used. Needless to say I have never purchased one.
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Old September 16, 2012, 10:41 PM   #16
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See if your gunsmith can also polish the chamber. A rough chamber can add to feed/extraction problems.
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Old September 17, 2012, 09:54 PM   #17
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For the price......

........you paid, I don't know if I'd sink more money. You can get an FN on Gunbroker, or even a FEG here:

http://www.gunbroker.com/Semi-Auto-P...Sellers=979927

And I'm no snob, I have the second version of the FEG and I am completely thrilled with it! It makes me look good! I'm not worried about replacing parts because it's well made though rougher than my buddy's Browning. I get the same groupings out of both. I shoot the classic Federal 9mm 115s as per Stephen Camp, so I know I'm not beating it up.

You shouldn't have to sink so much into this firearm to the point where you can own a refurbished FN. I'm saving up for one of those refurbished models myself. The FEG just whetted the appetite. Mine won't accept some HI Power parts. Would prefer to know parts are available. And it would be so cool to own two!
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