View Full Version : Browning BDA/HiPower

September 13, 2011, 07:20 PM
A couple weeks ago I picked up what I thought was a standard BHP, on noticing some distinguishing features unusual to HPs I realized I had actually bought a Browning BDA(not the .380 or the, for lack of a better word, "original" sig p220) but now Im stuck looking for information that seems to be lost in a sea of other browning entries on google.

Does anyone have a link for a) manual or detailed manual like information on the BDA? and b) know where to find used magazines for it? I, fortunately before buying more mags, found that while almost the same as normal BHP mags they are not compatible with each other.

Also, I would assume they would retail for the same ranges of normal BHPs but as they were only produced for a short period, is this something I should be putting in the safe and not shooting? or rather, shooting gently as I don't think I will own any true safe queens for a long while. Unless someone tells me I snagged a multi-thousand dollar gun on the super cheap cause the LGS didn't realize exactly what it was either. lol

super brief range report; I love it, even if its not exactly what I thought I was getting.

September 13, 2011, 08:35 PM
does it have a decocking lever in place of the safety?

what you have there is a DA/SA browning. it's sort of based on the BHP but not really. iirc,none of the parts will interchange with maybe the possible exception of the recoil guide rod and i have doubts even about that.

they are not that common. if it is your favorite platform and your going to send large amounts of lead downrage for ever more,i would buy three because i seriously doubt you'll find parts for it. other than that,there's actually some nice features on it. of note: this doesn't have a "normal" hammer spring in the backstrap,it has leaf/coil(best i can describe) type springs and they work different(similar to fnp/fnx).

sometimes it's called BDA9

September 13, 2011, 08:44 PM
Have a look for Browning BDA on www.stevespages.com/page7b.htm

September 13, 2011, 08:49 PM
Indeed, fortunately not my favorite platform...yet hehe. I only have 2 pistols right now, and this is one of them, but I am more than happy to keep shooting my Sig until I get more information on this one.

One issue I'm running into is that it was marketed as the BDA(HP-DA in Europe), but so were two other Browning pistols in the US. Everything that comes up when I search is for the previously mentioned .380 cal one and the p220 one, or the more notable BDMs which are very similar to the 9mm BDAs but not the same enough! lol I can only find the most basic of info on the BDA-9s

September 13, 2011, 08:51 PM
Tekarra, thanks for that link!

MC 1911
September 13, 2011, 09:17 PM
The BDA was made by Beretta in either .32 or .380 with the Browning name from 77 to 97 I believe. They are beautiful guns & very reliable.

Parts may be a little hard to find. New grips are available at Midway but the only other ones I am aware of are the Pachmayrs. It is basically a Beretta model 84BB with a few variations.

It has nothing in common with the hi power which is a totally different gun.

Walt Sherrill
September 13, 2011, 09:26 PM
You didn't mention caliber.

If it's not the .380 or the .45, could it be that you've picked up a BDM rather than a BDA? The BDM is a double-action 9mm, meant as a follow-on to the BHP, but which never really caught on.

It's an OK gun, but not thought of as highly as the BHP (or the BDA in .45, for that matter.)

Here's a link: http://world.guns.ru/handguns/hg/be/fn-browning-bdm-e.html

September 13, 2011, 09:28 PM
MC, im referring to the "other" BDA. As stated part of the issue is that multiple pistols were marketed in the US over the years as the BDA. For clarification since I cant get a good picture with my phone http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bda9.JPG <---this is what I have.

Walt Sherrill
September 13, 2011, 09:30 PM
Check my link, above. It looks a lot like the BDM in the photos on that link.

September 13, 2011, 09:31 PM
Walt,its 9mm (should've included that) it could be BDM, but everything Ive found shows that the BDA and BDM are very similar but different, which only adds to the confusion hehe. Either way whatever its proper label is, the picture above is what I have.

*edit* my link not Walts, just for clarification

September 13, 2011, 09:33 PM
hehe posting at the same time. The difference between mine and the BDM picture is a ambi-decocker and the takedown lever/slidelock are one long piece not a little take down lever.

September 13, 2011, 09:43 PM
The BDA9 and the BDM are substantially different guns introduced almost a decade apart from each other.

September 13, 2011, 09:47 PM
Austin do you have any links to resources for the BDA9? The link Tek posted has the BDA manual, so that part is down, but now I'm more and more curious about this pistol hehe.

September 13, 2011, 09:59 PM
what you have there is a BDA9.

again,going by memory,i haven't had to think about these in a long time,i think but can not confirm,that pretty much NONE of the parts or mags will interchange with the BHP. however,iirc,mags will interchange with a BDM and possibly some other parts,i'm not sure.

BDM means browning double mode,..there's a screw type switch that goes from DAO to DA/SA. there was also a BPM(or BPM-D) which was a BDM without the switch screw and only DA/SA(pistol mode) and also a version that was a revolver mode only(DAO) that i think was called BRM.the "R" for revolver.

...and there are more versions too. a great big mess if you ask me.

...but in the end if you really want lots of parts and accessories,you have to stick with BHP.

the good news is that the pistol you have(BDA9) is actually pretty nice. i like it but i'm not sure if i would invest in one.

September 13, 2011, 10:10 PM
yeah, Im just hoping to find some mags for it. and parts I suppose if it were to break, but given its a range/target gun for me, I doubt its life will be very rough. Thanks priler!

But I'll definitely have to keep an eye out for things like springs for it at least. and I'll have to keep an eye out for an actual BHP now, as it's on my list of must haves just for its classic nature.

Shows the danger of getting too excited about something in the LGS and just assuming it was a varient I had not seen before :o I guess it didn't help that the clerk who seemed to be knowledgable also thought it was a BHP. But at least I'm still very happy with my purchase :D

September 13, 2011, 10:38 PM
if your happy with it,that's the important part.

i remember long ago checking one out at a local shop but even back then i knew it was different from a BHP and only "looked" the same. iirc,those grips are unique and i don't think any one sells an after-market ones.

on the plus side,i thought it balanced very well and the trigger was actually not too bad(if you do a trigger job,i don't think you'll find any after-market hammer springs out there). iirc,the trigger was not excessively heavy and when you decock the hammer goes to half-cocked position as i recall. the grip was comfortable but if you don't use the thumb rest when firing,it can actually get in the way. if it fits you perfect then it should be great for you.i'm sure you'll like it.

i don't think these were prone to breaking anything in particular. i do think that the BDM had one or two parts that were a little weak and possibly prone to breaking but not yours. like i said,i haven't had to think about these in a long time.

when i first started shooting as a kid so many years ago,one of them was my father's BHP. unfortunately,it was a jam-o-matic with any HP ammo but a few years later i fixed that permanently for my old man and he was impressed.i did the same thing with a ppk of his that was jam-city too.

September 13, 2011, 11:43 PM
The trigger is pretty nice, lil heavy on the DA, but nice and crisp on the SA. Part of what led to my confusion when buying it was the clerk had been handling it when I asked to dry fire it, and the hammer had been cocked when he opened the slide to safety check. I didn't even think about it not being a pure SA.

Decocking takes the hammer all the way down, its was actually a little unsettling at first, cause it lands with the same force as if the trigger were pulled, making a loud snap, but the firing pin block is only disengaged at the last moment of a trigger pull so its safe. Even double checked in the desert decocking it on a live round just to be sure cause the hammer comes down hard. No bang on decocking, the firing pin block does its job well.

September 14, 2011, 12:59 AM
i probably had the fnp/fnx on my mind about the hammer partially cocked.

September 14, 2011, 03:24 AM
The BDA was offered by CDNN on a closeout a few years back in both full size and compact versions. About a year ago I tried to get a set of replacement grips from FNH in So. Carolina. After numerous phone calls to various voice mails that never returned my callls, I finally got a line on a factory rep who told me that I would need to contact Browning Arms Co., as they were supposedly the support agency for the guns.

When I called Browning, they told me that FNH had "dumped" the guns on them for aftermarket support, but, in fact, never sent them any parts whatsoever.

Basically, he told me I was on my own as far as maintenace and support are concerned.

FWIW, I heard that the Finnish Army had adopted this particular gun.

At this point, if I could get my money back out of the two that I bought, I'd be happy. I guess I'll just have to sit on them for the next 20 years to make anything on them.:o

September 14, 2011, 07:53 PM
Im hoping to find a few more mags for it, if an army used it hopefully there are at least some of those out there on the used market. If I find any parts resources I'll send you a msg.

September 14, 2011, 08:12 PM
I had a BDA Hi-Power too for a few years. After shooting the single action Hi-Pwers, I never warmed up to it. After attempting to find grips that were nonexistant and magazines that only came in 10 rounders I went ahead and traded it off. I hope who ever has it now has better luck at finding parts than I did.

September 14, 2011, 08:50 PM
I was under the impression that there are only 2 Browning BDAs:

1. Is a 380 made by Beretta and based on the model 84 but with an enclosed slide and slide mounted safety. Nice gun with small sights that sucked unlike the Beretta 84/85 sights which were much better.

2. Is a 9mm/38 super/45acp which is basically an original European SIG P220 with a heel magazine release.

Both guns are traditional da/sa.

September 14, 2011, 09:02 PM
There are 3, silly Browning and their marketing dept. You can look at the picture(my link) and the list of manuals that Tek provided, the BDA link shows the manual for the "3rd" BDA(what I have) which is based on the HP design.

September 15, 2011, 05:31 AM
Check my link, above. It looks a lot like the BDM in the photos on that link

The BDM is a completely different gun.

Walt Sherrill
September 15, 2011, 07:41 AM
Understand the differences, now. Additional information (and links) were provided AFTER I sent that response.

This particular BDA is a different gun. And a somewhat strange one, at that.

September 15, 2011, 12:38 PM
What's strange about the gun is the Browning and FNH provide ZERO support for it.

Overall, it's not a bad design, except for the gritty trigger pull (due to the sliding firing pin block), and it's got the BDM beat nine ways to Sunday in that there are no Zamak parts, and nothing held in place with Silastic.

I think if FN had at least engneered it so that it would accept Hi-Power mags it would have been a lot better design.

September 15, 2011, 02:08 PM
Definitely true on the gritty trigger, at least in DA, SA has a little take up but otherwise is nice an' crisp. Doesn't seem like it was fired much before I got it though, so hopefully a few hundred more rounds and it will start to smooth a bit.

September 15, 2011, 07:48 PM
For a review of Browning models go to: www.weapons.ge/index.php?sel=1&id=19&l=en. Lots of other gun stuff there as well.

Had problems with this, see next post.

September 15, 2011, 07:54 PM
For a review of Browning pistols google browning dac and look for www.weapon.ge>weapon>belgium. It takes a bit of looking but the site has information on the DA, DAC, BDA, BDM and a host of other Brownings.