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Old September 16, 2022, 06:25 PM   #1
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Browning Hi-Power Disassembly

There seems to be a few recent threads about browning hi-powers on the forum, and so I guess I can add one more. I'm not hopeful about an answer, and what's more, I'm not even sure about the question. However, any suggestions for alternative paths or different direction will be appreciated.

I bought a cylinder and slide, sear and rowel hammer (commander style hammer) set to replace the spur hammer on my hi-power. I'm at the stage of disassembly where the safety is removed to release the hammer and hammer spring. Normally, after removing the sear, the ejector pivots down from a slot in the safety, and the safety is removed from the left side, releasing the hammer. My hi-power has an ambidextrous safety, and so the lever on the right side (ejection port side) must be removed from the protruding safety shaft. It is held on with a roll pin. Unfortunately, I cannot get this pin to budge. The pin is just ever so slightly smaller than my smallest 1/16 inch roll pin punch. I think the pin is a metric 1.5 mm roll pin. I've tried cutting a smaller hex wrench and also grinding down a 1/16 inch drill bit for make-shift punches, but they haven't worked. At this point, I figure my options include:

1. Give up. Reassemble the gun with original spur hammer and parts. Move on in my life.

2. Buy a new safety and drill out the roll pin on the old one. The original part looks like a MIM part, and regardless, I don't think I can drill anything out without destroying the original part. I don't know if the gun has any collectors value, and if this will impact that value. It is a Portugal assembled, adjustable sight, brushed chrome hi-power, and manufactured around 1996.

3. Take it to a gunsmith.

4. Continue fussing with it, trying to fabricate a punch, and using a bigger hammer.

Last edited by hammie; September 16, 2022 at 06:36 PM.
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Old September 16, 2022, 08:26 PM   #2
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Have you tried to force the roll pin from both sides? I do NOT know but may it be a tapered roll pin that only goes one way? I have the blued model like yours, but not with the ambi-safety. I would do nothing to damage the finish.
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Old September 17, 2022, 12:04 AM   #3
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@PolarFBear: Actually I have tried to remove the pin from both sides. The pin budges a little when struck from the bottom. No movement when hit from the top. I think it may have been staked in at the top. Every schematic that I've found, shows the pin coming out from the top, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. I may try grinding a drill bit down again while spinning the bit in a drill. That might result in a more uniform diameter for a small punch.

Last edited by hammie; September 17, 2022 at 12:11 AM.
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Old September 17, 2022, 07:42 AM   #4
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Some C&S parts must be fitted.
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Old September 17, 2022, 04:57 PM   #5
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That roll pin is a 1mm pin, you can't get it out with a 1.5mm pin punch. Brownells sells a replaceable tip starting punch with .029" pin size. You can find small diameter pin punches for sale on the internet, but the Brownells replaceable tip pin punches are a good value. Not the best punch for day-to-day use, but when you need that special tool for gun work, Brownells probably has it.

Or, take it to a gunsmith and let him do the work.
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Old September 18, 2022, 05:43 PM   #6
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@Scorch: Thanks for the information. I found the replaceable tip punches at Brownells. They're about 30 $ for a set of three. I keep a sort of "grocery list" for items from brownells and midway. Usually, at the first of the month, the wife orders what's on the lists. I'll add those punches to my list. I was surprised that the pin is 1 mm. I have sets of roll pins, both SAE and metric. The smallest metric roll pin I have is 1.5 mm. Also, I think I'll order a new, non-ambidextrous safety from cylinder and slide. That way I'll be prepared for different options.

4V50 Gary: Yes, some fitting may be required. I appreciate the reminder. I did order the sear and hammer as a set, hoping to minimize fitting. As for a new safety, there's a tab, which may have to be stoned or filed a little if it doesn't clear the sear. I'm not a master armorer like you, scorch and 44 amp, but I'll give it a try. I'm old and retired, and this is part of the fun.

Thanks to everyone for their kind attention

Last edited by hammie; September 18, 2022 at 05:48 PM.
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Old October 25, 2022, 03:11 PM   #7
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Since you are willing to do some grinding, let me offer a suggestion. This tip is not original with me, but I have found it useful when I needed a small punch in an odd size. Go to Harbor freight, Ace, Lowes, or somewhere that you can buy a set of really cheap, Chinese jeweler's screwdrivers. Grind the tips off square to the body, and use that for a punch. Typically these things are hardened. I use the ones with metal handles, and you can tap those with a small hammer.

Bill Jacobs
Bolt&Barrel Gunsmithing, LLC
NRA Endowment Member, NRA Certified Instructor
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Old October 30, 2022, 11:36 AM   #8
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@Clemson: What a great idea! I will remember your tip.

What I did was to take a 1/16 drill bit, chuck the bit's twist end into a hand drill, and then spin the bit, while lightly holding the shank end against a grinding wheel. The shank stayed pretty round that way, and it did not need much reduction in diameter to fit the pin. Then got the roll pin out.

The cylinder and slide rowel hammer and sear set easily installed and appeared to be a drop-in fit. The slide cycles the hammer far enough back for the sear to catch it. The safety was another matter. There's a tab which rolls under the sear leg and locks the sear. The tab is deliberately oversized, and material must be slowly removed until the safety lever can slip into the second detent, while locking the sear with no play or movement. If you go too far, then the safety is ruined. Anyway, it took a long, long time to fit the safety. File a few strokes, assemble, disassemble, file a couple of more strokes, and repeat again and again, while nerves are on edge and brow is sweating.

The extended safety and rowel hammer look and work great. However, it was a job which I would not want to do again.

Last edited by hammie; October 30, 2022 at 11:48 AM.
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