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Old April 14, 2001, 03:53 PM   #1
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I've just about come full-circle.
I'm seriously looking at Springfields "Loaded" 1911's and the BHP.
I looked at Browning's prices and thought they were pretty good, if a little higher than when I first bought one almost 10 years ago.
I set my eye's on the Mark III, and than I made the mistake of typing up "Browning HP" in my ISP's search engine.
It took me straight to Wilsons site. With the Wilson version of the BHP. Problem is I loved the look of the pistol.
Only problem is price ($1775.00). Now I'm NOT going to ask if it's worth it, but to all the smiths out there, is it a fair price and are there any other manufacturers out there customizing the BHP?

Here's the link:



[Edited by CrociJA on 04-14-2001 at 06:03 PM]
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Old April 14, 2001, 09:53 PM   #2
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There are only a few shops that will do a real "top shelf" job on a Hi Power, and Wilson's isn't one of them.

Novak and Cylinder & Slide are the "big" shops.

Kurt Wickman and Jim Garthwaite are the "one-man" shops.

There are some "second tier" smiths that do fine work, but those listed above are the best in the industry IMHO.

The big shops will cost more, but have lots of name recognition. Quality from the one man shops is equal to or better than the big shops, and for a better price.
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Old April 15, 2001, 01:55 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply,

Found the sites very handy. Think it may just be wiser to buy a "stock" BHP and than turn it over to one of those two smiths to customize it how I want it, not someone else.
Looking at the thread about the SP-101, when I do have it fine-tuned I may just want to get the smith to put his "mark" somewhere on the pistol.

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Old April 15, 2001, 01:56 PM   #4
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Don Williams of the action Works and Aart Leckie in Pa. also do Top Notch work on BHP's.
"You can not invade mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass." Admiral Yamamoto
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Old April 15, 2001, 05:27 PM   #5
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To each his own I guess, but I have to say that I've had my BHP practical for six years and it has never bit the web of my hand (comes with the commander style hammer), never had a single misfeed (with at least a dozen types of ammo), and is extremely accurate. I just removed the mag safety and installed hogue grips, and other than installing night sites, I can't think of any way to make it better. You could buy three practicals for the price of the Wilson. That just doesn't add up to me but I know from experience that when a beautiful woman or pistol is involved, common sense often takes a holiday.
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Old April 15, 2001, 06:47 PM   #6
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I had a BHP doen by cylindr and slide....novack sights, extened thumb saftey, matte top of slide, 5 pound trigger. Two out of three ain't bad. Slide and trigger were perfect. Front sight popped off after 10 rounds. I called them and they wanted me to ship it my expense, so I had my local shop locktight it on. As for the safety, they welded a flange to an existing safety and because of the heat, couldn't I have a rust brown safety on a beautifully blued gun...hope your adventure is better with the "experts".
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Old April 15, 2001, 09:32 PM   #7
Joe Portale
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The BHP is one of the easiest guns to work on around. I think that paying $1700 for one because it has the Wilson name is in nuts.

My HP is an older FN P35. Picked it up for $350 at a local gun shop. Put some rounds through it to see what she can/can't do. First thing done was I popped that nasty mag safety out of it. Did some more shooting with it. Decided what it needed. Took it to a local gunsmith and told him "make this puppy sing". The old guy got a big grin on his face and said "How much you wanna spend". I told him if it looked like it was going to be over $500, call me first.
And he said, "Okay, now go away and don't bother me for three months".

At the end of three months, the gun was ready. The smith installed Miniture Machine front and rear sights. The slide felt like the action was on roller bearings, the gun has about a 4 pound triiger that feels like a glass rod breaking, absolutly sweet. He even polished the insides of the slide. He reblued the gun. The color is so deep and rich, it almost looks liquid. He tightened the lockup and did something to the internal barrel bushing to keep the lock up consistant. He handed me a test target that he used to sight the gun in, with a Ransom Rest, five rounds all in the 10 ring, three in the "X", within a two inch circle.
I don't have a Ransom Rest, but at 15 yards from a steadied position, I can put three rounds within 1/4" from each other.

My suggestion is find an experienced gunsmith and let him go. Too many of these guys do not get the chance to really apply thier art and trade. Give them a chance to shine and they will do amazing things.

Oh yes, the total for the gun was $375. And I know the sights cost about $125.

One more thing, sorry Ron at Precision Machine (the gunsmith) retired and turned the business (machine shop) over to his non-gunsmith son-in=law. I am truely mourning his retirement.
Joe Portale
Tucson, Arizona Territory

"Even now in heaven there are angles carrying savage weapons".
- St Paul
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Old April 16, 2001, 07:52 AM   #8
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hammer bite

Hammer bite on a HiPower is usually from the hammer pinching the web where the skin rolls up over the frame tang. You can relieve the back of the shaft like Novak does for $0.00 and solve that for most folks. For the few others, the C&S Commander style hammer is the answer.
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Old April 17, 2001, 01:00 PM   #9
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All your advice and experiences have been taken under consideration.
I have to admit that I never really thought of asking my local smith. The only thing I can really think of wanting to have done is putting in a new hammer and the HP Practical has everything I want.
Except for the fact that I don't like two-tone guns, and I can do without the rubber grips.
Yeah $500.00 seems like the top end for me. I'm a shooter, but no tyro. Just want to improve upon an already great design.
But maybe I should start with a date, before I decide she needs a breast job!

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Old April 17, 2001, 08:36 PM   #10
Stephen A. Camp
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Hello, CrociJa! I've been shooting BHPs for about 30 years now and the HP is my favorite all-time, all-around pistol. I used one as an LEO, and one's often accompanied me on hunting trips. I've used them varmint hunting and for informal target work.

I've also had some customized, i.e.: fixed and adjustable sights, finishes, accurizing w/match bbls and so forth.

My latest customizing projects were having Novak fixed sights added to MkIII 9mm HPs and trigger jobs.

ALL of my HPs MUST have their hammer spurs bobbed a bit or the C&S ball hammer added lest I get severe hammerbite! Also, I keep the factory thumbsafety, but remove the lever on the right side as I don't like ambis on this gun; I have inadvertently put the gun on safe when firing!

I tried out my Novak-sighted guns against a plain MkIII on which I'd only bobbed the hammer myself, removed the right-side safety lever myself, and added a set of Spegel stocks. I also routinely remove the magazine disconnect.

Guess what? No difference in group size in slow fire and no gain in speed in practical drills! I sure like the way the Novaks give the HP a "panache" and grand looks, but for me anyway, the stock fixed sights were just as good!

I do think that the BarSto bbl's 1:16 twist works better with cast bullets than Browning's 1:10, but with the MkIII guns, accuracy is usually pretty darned good right out of the box.

So, I've kind of evolved into less is better on the HP.

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