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Old January 1, 2017, 06:42 PM   #1
baddarryl
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On the subject of High Powers:

The earlier thread got me thinking about them, but I don't want to hijack. Here is my dilemma: I have narrowed my choice down to a surplus from someone like CDI which has great reviews. Seems like they have good ones for about $400. Or I have found another source that was recommended that strips, inspects, power blasts all parts, re coats them, re finishes them and thoroughly tests for $600. With shipping and FFL I suppose that works out to $650.00. Do you think that is the better move if all I want is a quality shooter? Thanks.
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Old January 1, 2017, 07:07 PM   #2
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Plenty of "shooter" grade Hi Powers at gun shows. Why not handle your choice prior to plopping down cash. Also, no shipping fee.

.02. David.
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Old January 1, 2017, 07:21 PM   #3
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You can try and do what I did and be patient and hunt for a while.

I scored a like-new commercial (read: not beat up and barely shot) Mk III for $450 the other day. No, I do not expect you to do as well as I did but the deals are out there. Don't rush.
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Old January 1, 2017, 07:34 PM   #4
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I have looked locally, but they seem to be somewhat rare at the local LGS's.
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Old January 1, 2017, 08:44 PM   #5
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I'd venture to say that for a shooter (only) the $400 route is fine if you don't care about the looks of it. The $650 sounds nice but that puts you into the used BHP market. I think you can find a gently used BHP for close to the $650 you are willing to spend. Just my opinion of course.
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Old January 1, 2017, 08:51 PM   #6
Jim Watson
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I guarantee that the work claimed to go into the $600 gun is a strong profit center.
I had rather get the worn gun and check it out myself. If I wanted it refinished, I know a reliable local shop that will do attractive work.
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Old January 1, 2017, 09:52 PM   #7
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Just like an 1984 Toyota Tercel with a $10,000 stereo system is still an '84 Tercel..........a $200 gun with $400 worth of polishing, refinishing, inspections and tests is rarely worth $600.
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Old January 1, 2017, 09:59 PM   #8
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Unless I want a showpiece, I agree with Jim W. I will check the gun out myself. A "cleaning" job like the one described, especially one that includes refinishing, can be a cover for a multitude of bad things.

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Old January 1, 2017, 10:11 PM   #9
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I myself to not buy "refinished" guns, unless:

A: It was done by the factory.
B: It was done at a military arsenal and is a part of it's history.

When I went Hi-Power hunting, I certainly did not want a bubba gun shop refinish job. Yes I understand completely that some outfits might well do a good job at it, but I'd rather have an original if worn gun. The Browning Hi-Power is a historic gun and deserves better.

This is why I kept my Mk 1 eyeballs peeled for a clean yet original example. With some help from friends and a little patience, I managed to buy one that is basically brand new, totally original, yet cost half of what a NIB example costs. That's called "getting ahead" my friend.
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Old January 2, 2017, 01:50 AM   #10
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You are a bit late in the HP offerings to pick really nice ones from Coles ( but maybe not too late). Most of the places like Aim and SOG are out and unless te new Prez changes things we will not get any more good stuff. As far as condition ( and i repeat myself from other posts) i stripped mine had a low luster polish done and expert bluing, i now have fully functional and new looking pistols. The good thing about the enamel finish even though ugly and scratched protects tne metal from damage. My refinishing was done by a person who has blued for a living over fifty years and not a sharp line or number lost it's clarity. I am not a computer person so photos are an impossibility except by text or email.
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Old January 2, 2017, 02:29 AM   #11
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I have a beat up FEG HP clone from cdi. It was BEAT and parked but ran Oh so Sweet! I liked it so much I bought a commercial FEG Clone NIB for $300 at a gun show.

Both shoot the same and feel the same. I Don't shoot the Nicer one much at all because I'm afraid to jack it up. It's a good looking clone.

If you decide that you like the platform then sell it for what you have it into it and put $ that towards a Real BHP.

Occasionally Free state arms on GB gets in Nice looking FEG or Mossad HP clones. They go fast though. Joshua Gonzalez is the guy to talk with there. Ask to be notified if a Nice one comes in. They have a ton of Arcus BHP *like* pistols they are moving now for cheap as well. They are ok for what they are.
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Old January 2, 2017, 06:01 AM   #12
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Bargains are out there for sure, but so much of this discussion seems penny wise and pound foolish.
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Old January 2, 2017, 07:47 AM   #13
Nathan
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If the refinished guns have cerakote and new sight cuts, it might be worth it. Otherwise, you are better refinishing last after all work is done. It is kind of a cart before the horse thing. Also, I wonder how much finish prep is really being done. If you do your own, you can prep as much or little as you want. I'm guessing these guys blast and shoot these without any effort to straighten lines, remove marks, etc.

For those of you posting about value and refinishing, etc...,.these are well used high volume surplus guns. Many/most are buying to get a basic custom HiPower under $1000! So, yes, this kind of a build up will refinish and will add value as a shoot, carry, range, use gun! Not all old guns need to be held as museum pieces.
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Old January 2, 2017, 08:59 AM   #14
baddarryl
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Quote:
Bargains are out there for sure, but so much of this discussion seems penny wise and pound foolish.
I am really not sure why you would post that. I know my way around firearms a bit, but am just now trying to learn about the Hi Power. Thanks for your input.
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Old January 2, 2017, 02:14 PM   #15
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Sold my HiPower for a 1911 some 35 years ago. Not long ago I started getting the hots for one again. Started looking around but couldn't find much in the used market at an afforable price and a new one at 1K+ wasn't happening. Then I discovered CZ, in my opinion twice the gun at half the price with the same ergos, just my personnel take. Got to admit a Belgum Hi Power is still a thing of beauty and I'd still love to have one.
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Old January 2, 2017, 04:10 PM   #16
baddarryl
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Then I discovered CZ, in my opinion twice the gun at half the price with the same ergos, just my personnel take. Got to admit a Belgum Hi Power is still a thing of beauty and I'd still love to have one.
That is kind of how I feel. I have a 75B and it is far and away my favorite pistol. Got rid of a 1911 myself too, but that was mostly due to the fact that I don't shoot .45. Would love to get one in 9mm (blasphemy I know), but probably not before a Hi Power. Something about them is magic.
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Old January 2, 2017, 06:33 PM   #17
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If you want to learn about them, buy a cheap shooter. Over time you can replace the springs and grips and so forth, thus furthering your education. I bought my cheap shooter FEG about 25 years ago, and it still shoots great. And I never have to worry about it if the finish gets some scratches or something.
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Old January 2, 2017, 07:00 PM   #18
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The secret to buying BHPs is cash in your hand, educating your self on the different versions & models and pulling the trigger when you find the right guns.

I have purchased 15+ BHPs over the last 10+ years. Not a single one was NIB. The most I paid for one was $1000 for a T series full house custom with S&W revolver sights, beavertail etc.... that APW Cogan worked on.

Most have been purchased used ranging from $400 to $700 depending on what they were. Do not pay for a NIB gun. At $900 they are too much and there are far to many in the used market.

If you are looking for a long term durable shooter get a MKIII because its cast frame will last longer. It will have more modern combat sights, and dovetails, along with a usable ambi safety. Most 1911 shooters find the original BHP safety too small. It is usable but you have to change your technique a bit by using the joint in your thumb not the tip to disengage the safety.

These days the sweet spot for a decent MKIII is $450-$550 and condition will vary but most BHPs that have not been bubba'd will shoot. Some will look better than others. Most people put a premium on the blued MKIIIs over the epoxy but epoxy is more durable.

If you are looking at surplus guns from CDI always look for the best original finish I can find. If I feel the need to refinish a gun I want to be able to pick the finish and who is going to apply it. When I look at the surplus guns you want to look at CDI or Mach I's VG to excellent guns. Bore condition is more important than finish if you are looking for a shooter. Look for guns that have matching frame, slide and barrel. It is not that mix masters will not shoot but they are not as valuable so when comparing apples to apples you want matching pieces. The sweet spot for surplus BHPs from Israel is over IMHO. Most of the higher quality guns are long gone.

I bought this years ago for $450 OTD.





These days you get this for $440. This is still a solid shooter and with a re-blue or spray and bake of your choice and you can have a nice looking gun OTD for $550-$600 and you know exactly what you have vs a refinish done prior to your ownership.



In the end do not over pay! Auction sights, classifieds and even Armslist can be your friend. It also does not hurt to have a good transfer dealer! Happy hunting!
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Old January 2, 2017, 10:56 PM   #19
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I just kept eyes open for one, and was patient, and found mind at a local store.

Found a '72 C series for $599, which was a good price around here, with very slight wear on the rails, mag safety already deleted, and 2 mags. Exterior finish was great, with one light idiot mark.

You could also watch for an FEG hi power clone. They are pretty good guns, and everything but the girp screws swap with the Browning versions, if that matters to you. I picked one up for $299, and just was every bit as accurate and reliable as my Begian hipower, just not quite as nice a blue job.
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Old January 3, 2017, 12:09 PM   #20
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Hello Bad, If you can spend around $650, I'd suggest keep looking. You might very well find a clean MKIII with original finish for that money. Hi Powers are not common around here either, but a year or so ago I came across an excellent forged frame MKIII with original finish for $650.00 in a LGS.
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Old January 4, 2017, 06:46 AM   #21
Ibmikey
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While looking don't let a cast frame pistol turn you off, FN changed from forged to cast frames when the HP was chambered for .40 and it battered the forged frame, it was found the cast frame could take more of a licking and consequently all frames were changed to cast.
I have a bunch of HP's with forged frames and one Mk III with cast, you cannot tell them apart ( mine does not have the serrations on the bottom of the frame like later pistols) i shoot the Mk III most with no signs of wear, cracks or parts lying with the pile of brass.

Last edited by Ibmikey; January 5, 2017 at 08:51 AM.
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Old January 4, 2017, 07:28 AM   #22
baddarryl
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As a Ruger fan I have no issues for with cast frames. Going to do like you guys said, hold out for a nice one. Thanks everyone great, thoughtful information!

Last edited by baddarryl; January 4, 2017 at 07:33 AM.
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Old January 4, 2017, 07:37 PM   #23
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As stated above - stalk with cash and buy when right. I have a nice MKIII I picked up in a local pawn shop. It was in 99% condition. I THOUGHT it had a decent trigger in the shop and later found it was "variable" - take up and weight varied too much. I ended up getting a trigger job from a local but well known 1911 smith. It now wears a C&S sear and hammer and has a very nice pull. I did mess up in that when I hammered out the trigger pin, I dinged up the frame a tad. Still looks nice. I now have $700+ in the gun, and will likley hang on to it - its a classic for me.

This is why I say buy in person, you MAY luck into a nice one with a good trigger. If I found one that the finish was a wash, BUT had a decent trigger, I'd buy it and have it cerakoted. Better than one with a nice finish, and bad trigger in my book. And... they can have some BAD triggers.

Right now, it seems like the time to get one. They are everywhere for low prices. Sure the finish may be south, but they are solid guns.
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Old January 4, 2017, 08:01 PM   #24
reynolds357
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If I were going to pay 650 for a welllllll used pistol, i would just pay 950 for a new one instead. I would say 400 or new, do not even consider 650.
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Old January 4, 2017, 08:30 PM   #25
larryh1108
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That's all silly.
Many here have purchased near new BHPs for $650-$700.
That's $300 in savings.
$400 or $1000?
Just plain silly.
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