The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Curios and Relics

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old January 11, 2014, 12:27 AM   #1
barnbwt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 17, 2012
Posts: 662
Yeah, It's a Forgery, but Perhaps Still a Good Deal?

I'm wanting to get a Hi Power. I have learned, through trying to figure out what version I'd like to have, that the platform is basically a nerd's paradise of endless variations. As we all know, collector nerds tend to attract con men. Being a savvy nerd, I figured I should spend an hour or two trying to look for what makes the guns valuable vs. just pretty.

So I'm looking at a mildly-pitted old beater FN Hi Power, and I notice a large "crown" style Belgian Liege proof and a busy host of other marks on the exterior exposed portion of the barrel that the others were missing. A quick zoom shows a W and PV and some other jazz that looks to be Nahtzee jazz.

I was kinda surprised, considering how the "T" serial number falls squarely on 1968 . It's also got the simple dovetail rear sight base and external extractor consistent with that year. I could care less, honestly, it's destined to be a shooter/project gun, though I'd just as soon not have worthless Nazi tagging all over it.

Looking further into it, I'm actually a bit impressed with the degree of forgery; the serial number and rear sight base are the only very noticeable tells. The barrel markings are in the right spot, they even ground a "thumbnail" cut into the right with pretty good quality. Moon front sight and ring hammer (I'm only interested in this gun because I like the ring better). Also a weird/unnecessary "0" stamped after the serial number (giving it 7 digits). Even the "T" looks fakey, though that may just be me being paranoid. The black grips suggest plastic that was, I believe, common on FNH military contract guns --of 1968. So, pretty convincing to a mark at a gun show with no internet to check on the serial number.

Whatever it really is, it's at worst an FN Hi Power (I noticed FEG's have a slightly different machining contour at the rear of the trigger guard, and FM's have a different slide nose), probably a MK II or something less valuable than a "true" T series. Which means it's likely still a good shooter if nothing's broken internally. That's all I'm really after, just checking which avocado is riper, is all

Before I spring for it (or find another HP that catches my eye better) I wanted to get opinions, or at least comments. Even snarky ones about how I'm wasting my money . Hey, it's either this, an Izzy Police HP that's almost as worn (and a Mk II series), or an FEG that's only in slightly less ugly condition!

Doesn't show in the picture, but scattered pitting on the slide and frame despite the corners still being pretty sharp (for a 40yo gun). The "nicer" guns I'm looking at look are pretty much just as worn, but without the pitting and Nazi-fication. Prices are all sub 400$ --that's me limit for HP's, at least until I'm addicted to these things

I actually kinda like the fake thumb notch, it goes well with the shape of the slide release on the opposite side. Yes, I know I've tweaked the image so Image Search doesn't chase up the auction immediately (you snakes )

TCB
Attached Images
File Type: png Hi Powah.png (118.0 KB, 142 views)
__________________
"I don't believe that the men of the distant past were any wiser than we are today. But it does seem that their science and technology were able to accomplish much grander things."
-- Alex Rosewater
barnbwt is offline  
Old January 11, 2014, 12:58 AM   #2
towboat-er
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 2, 2011
Posts: 146
Where's the rest of it? More pics. Congrats on a cool pistol.
towboat-er is offline  
Old January 11, 2014, 12:08 PM   #3
barnbwt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 17, 2012
Posts: 662
Found a prettier one, though a bit over budget;



5 digit 43xxx range appears to be pre record from the online databases I've seen, so <1950's?

TCB
__________________
"I don't believe that the men of the distant past were any wiser than we are today. But it does seem that their science and technology were able to accomplish much grander things."
-- Alex Rosewater
barnbwt is offline  
Old January 11, 2014, 12:31 PM   #4
gyvel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 30, 2009
Location: Northern AZ
Posts: 5,203
43xxx probably puts it squarely in the West German Hi Power police gun purchases and dates from the late 40s into the early 50s. A nice gun to have, but fair warning: If you get it, stock up on two or three spare extractors now.
gyvel is offline  
Old January 11, 2014, 12:58 PM   #5
barnbwt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 17, 2012
Posts: 662
Cool, that's basically in line with what I figured . I also looked into the internal/external extractor debate, and it seems "debatable" enough for me to believe there is no real benefit in one over the other (other than manufacturing cost, of course). The Old Style is weaker than the new one, but was more than sufficient in the first place. I'm more concerned the extractor claw itself will simply get worn before stuff starts mechanically breaking. At least its supposed to be much easier to remove (my CZ52 has an external extractor, and I wouldn't call it a huge pain to remove; just need a punch is all)

Also glad to hear it's not some super-fancy special ops historically significant gun, since I do intend on both keeping and shooting this one. I think I got a pretty good deal, even if it was about 50$ higher on asking price than I wanted to go (+ another 80$ in shipping/transfer fees ). I had been looking at what <400$ would get me, which was a bunch of worn and pitted mixmaster electro-penciled Izzy Mk II's, but looking at what 450$ would get me compared to this one made the decision easy (marginally less worn and pitted non-mixmaster Izzy Mk II's with ugly plastic grips ). Not a wood stocked (or blued?) Hi power under 600$ anywhere, let alone with the elderly-school look (extractor and thumb cut)

What's the thumb cut supposed to do, anyway? Was it like proto-front slide serrations, or something?

TCB
__________________
"I don't believe that the men of the distant past were any wiser than we are today. But it does seem that their science and technology were able to accomplish much grander things."
-- Alex Rosewater
barnbwt is offline  
Old January 11, 2014, 06:36 PM   #6
gyvel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 30, 2009
Location: Northern AZ
Posts: 5,203
My comment about stocking up on extractors was not so much that one is better than the other, but, rather, that one is more plentiful than the other, i.e. it's alot easier to find externals.

The semicircular cut was to facilitate pushing out the hold open; You will notice that when the slide is locked back by the thumb safety, the hold open is lined up on the left side with the cut that allows it to be removed from the frame, and on the right side the semicircular cut is directly over the protruding portion of the pin.

It was done away with on later guns for what else?: Cost cutting measures.
gyvel is offline  
Old January 11, 2014, 11:23 PM   #7
barnbwt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 17, 2012
Posts: 662
"It was done away with on later guns for what else?: Cost cutting measures."

I think it was somewhat risky to cut, too; one of the FEG unlicensed knock-offs I saw (not just a clone, but a true forgery) had a nice looking notch cut -- and a breakout in the slide in the middle of it . The FEG's are pretty close to the real deal in geometry, so that suggests the metal actually is pretty thin there (where the rails are cut, I'm guessing)

TCB
__________________
"I don't believe that the men of the distant past were any wiser than we are today. But it does seem that their science and technology were able to accomplish much grander things."
-- Alex Rosewater
barnbwt is offline  
Old January 12, 2014, 01:44 PM   #8
highpower3006
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 30, 2011
Location: Reno NV
Posts: 387
That really wasn't a bad deal that you got on that gun. I was looking for several years for an afordable Hipower after mine was stolen in 1990. Took a few years, but finally I got this one for $450 OTD. Serial number places it as having been manufactured in 1969 and I think the carry wear is kind of cool. It is one of my favorite guns to shoot.


highpower3006 is offline  
Old January 12, 2014, 06:22 PM   #9
barnbwt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 17, 2012
Posts: 662
"I think the carry wear is kind of cool."

Right? It's like a WWII fighter with the leading-edge paint on the wings/rivet dimples worn away from sandy beach-head airfields.

Has anyone ever done a meltdown on a High Power? Seems obvious, but I couldn't find a picture of it done (like they do to 1911s) anywhere. I think it'd be fun to trick out a not-so-valuable FEG or something with a full buffing and polishing job .

TCB
__________________
"I don't believe that the men of the distant past were any wiser than we are today. But it does seem that their science and technology were able to accomplish much grander things."
-- Alex Rosewater
barnbwt is offline  
Old January 22, 2014, 08:14 PM   #10
barnbwt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 17, 2012
Posts: 662
The new old Hi Power finally arrived, and it's actually in better condition than photos seem to indicate (always nice when that happens )

A small bit of pitting or scuffing on the LH side near the muzzle on the "shadow line" but other than that, very consistent bluing with only minor surface scratches/general wear otherwise. No noticeable holster wear, which is weird considering this was probably a service pistol. The trigger take up sucks (mag safety is still in place) but stages right up to the break point, and seems pretty clean and light past that point. I also immediately saw why the mag safety is so terrible for trigger feel; it's also much more complicated than that feature really needed to be (I'd have just used a plunger instead of a piece that slides with the trigger pull). The barrel is immaculate; I honestly can't say that I can imagine a new barrel being much sharper/shinier. The bore isn't a mirror, but the grooves are, and not many of my handguns had shiny/polished lands from the get-go either. The muzzle is a tad worn, may benefit from a light crown job at some point if I ever get good enough to warrant one. The barrel/bushing has a small bit of play, probably .01" diameter mismatch, so if my calculations are correct, not much to worry about at reasonable distances unless I **** off the Olympic Biathlon team

The gun feels amazing in the hand. Grip feels a bit fat, but only because it is round rather than oblong like modern designs, and is nothing a replacement can't fix. But the balance and sight axis over the hand are both perfect. I don't feel like I'm sweeping the barrel (or butt) past the target and having to use my wrist to fine tine; the amplitude of the correction is so small as to be unnoticeable by me when I do it (bear in mind that I usually shoot a CZ52, S&W N-frame, and FNH Five-Seven when appreciating that observation ). Very cool to have a gun that "works" with my wrist geometry a bit better, though. I cannot readily see how anyone (or "I" at least) can get hammer bite with a good grip on the gun; my trigger finger bones simply put my palm web in the deepest part of the beavertail, well out of harm's way. I'll have to make time to go to the range this weekend

I didn't buy this piece with the intention of carrying, and probably still won't since it's both old and purty, but I will seriously consider later versions/derivatives for that role if this one shoots half as well as it handles (and if the R51 sucks ). I still have yet to locate pictures of a HP given the full melt-down carry treatment. I think such a soapy beast with a set of thin grips would be fantastic.

TCB
Attached Images
File Type: jpg P1220092.JPG (195.5 KB, 177 views)
File Type: jpg P1220094.JPG (218.4 KB, 172 views)
__________________
"I don't believe that the men of the distant past were any wiser than we are today. But it does seem that their science and technology were able to accomplish much grander things."
-- Alex Rosewater
barnbwt is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:01 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.08435 seconds with 8 queries