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Old 11-25-2014, 08:22 AM   #1
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Browning Hi Power ID Help

Good morning! I've had this FN 9mm for years and put thousands of rounds through it. I love it and keep it close every night! Can you help me ID its history and a possible value? I can't seem to match it up through any of the serial number guides provided here, on Brownings site of some of the FN guides. I'd certainly appreciate any help you could offer! Thanks!






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Old 11-25-2014, 10:26 AM   #2
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It's NOT an FN BHP, plain and simple.

It's an FEG (Hungarian) manufactured flat out counterfeit of the FN BHP.
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Old 11-25-2014, 10:36 AM   #3
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Fake BHPs

Your gun is a Hungarian made clone of the FN made Browning High Power. As noted, it isn't a FN made gun.

FEG, is considered to be one of the better High Power 'knock offs' that have been made. Some of them are very nice and very well made, if you got a good one you have a VERY good gun.

The history of these guns is not entirely clear. They seem to have been made for one or more arab countries and marked as FN High Powers in order to get around various arms embargos, perhaps in the 1970s. These guns have come into the U.S. as a part of a large number of High Powers that were sold as surplus by Israel into the U.S. market over the past 4-5 years. Because the last significant capture of arab weapons was during the 1973 war, some infer that was when Israel captured these guns which would place their manufacture prior to that date... The same batch of imported pistols that produced the "FAKE FNs" also turned up some FN HPs with Syrian (UAR) HPs, which could be a hint as to the source of the fakes. This of course is conjecture... it is also possible they were bought directly from FEG by Israel for some reason (black ops, or avoiding attention when buying more weapons?.) Israel has had good relations with FEG for quite some time.

In any case, these are interesting weapons... I bought one just so I could have one in my collection. Your gun is in much better condition than mine, and is the only one that has not been refinished I have seen.

Can you tell us when and where you acquired your pistol?

Thanks

Chuck
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Last edited by cxm; 11-25-2014 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 11-25-2014, 11:07 AM   #4
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WADR Chuck, my personal take...nomenclature wise, on FEG P series pistols true to the FN design is that the FEG, Luger, Parabellum and Mauser-Werke marked P9 copies are "clones"...nothing wrong with a well made, correctly marked "clone".

The FN marked FEG P9 pistols are deceptive copies, "Counterfeits"...denoting dishonesty.

I won't be dumping ANY of my FEG P9 pistols, even the counterfeit...in spite of that "indignation" ;-)

JMHO though :-)
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Old 11-25-2014, 11:35 AM   #5
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I don't have any problem with your description of the "fake" or "Counterfit" FEG HP pistols... While we don't know exactly why these guns were made, it is pretty certain they were made for some underhanded reason... though I did hear one guy say he had "heard" they were made by FEG for FN to meet a contract they were unable to meet (sub contracting, like the .380 FN 140 pistols.) I have heard absolutely nothing from any other source to suggest such is the case, but it is another explaination.

FWIW

Chuck


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Originally Posted by submoa View Post
WADR Chuck, my personal take...nomenclature wise, on FEG P series pistols true to the FN design is that the FEG, Luger, Parabellum and Mauser-Werke marked P9 copies are "clones"...nothing wrong with a well made, correctly marked "clone".

The FN marked FEG P9 pistols are deceptive copies, "Counterfeits"...denoting dishonesty.

I won't be dumping ANY of my FEG P9 pistols, even the counterfeit...in spite of that "indignation" ;-)

JMHO though :-)
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Old 11-25-2014, 12:55 PM   #6
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Thanks for the great info Chuck and submoa! It's a bummer that it's not an original browning or FN but that doesn't hurt my feelings one bit. Like I said I've shot several thousand rounds through this gun and it's extremely accurate, feels awesome in the hand and has never failed! In my mind this history as you guys have explained, ups the coolness factor! I certainly appreciate the feedback and if you find out more about it or the history I'd love to know.

Chuck to answer your question about when and where I got it: My father was a Houston Police officer and he bought it for me as a gift when I was In Jr High or just starting high school (A supervised gift of course) I think it was between 1990-1993 at a Houston Police Depot store in Houston.
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Old 11-25-2014, 12:55 PM   #7
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I would heavily discount the sub-contract rumor. FEG was an industrial bandit as far as the hi power was concerned. The type 73 they reverse engineered behind the iron curtain was a slap in the face to FN when the Hungarian lineage was present. A NATO member doing small arms business with a Warsaw Pact member during the Cold War?

Intelligence Service? Iraq or Syria would hardly benefit from such a charade. The first captured example would be subjected to intense scrutiny. Israel had no motive to make a fake look like the real McCoy they could buy.

Who would benefit? An arms merchant who wanted to make a huge kill would benefit. Flash a crate of the authentic. Deliver crates of fakes and off to the Monaco for some fun.

OP: You have a piece of history I can only hope to locate at the right price. Enjoy!
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Old 11-25-2014, 02:48 PM   #8
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Keep in mind, German industrial complex H&K who owns the Mauser trade mark is a major NATO contractor. They bought pistols from FEG to brand as Mauser, this during the depths of the Cold War. So the concept of buying from FEG is not impossible, though I would certainly agree it is not likely.

Hungary was not exactly a lock-step communist country, particularly when compared with say East Germany or Bulgaria. In the 1980s travel to Hungary was not much restricted at all and the Hungarians were not considered reliable by the Soviets. This of course was encouraged by the NATO Alliance.

Anyway, for what it's worth.

FWIW

Chuck


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Originally Posted by chuntaro View Post
I would heavily discount the sub-contract rumor. FEG was an industrial bandit as far as the hi power was concerned. The type 73 they reverse engineered behind the iron curtain was a slap in the face to FN when the Hungarian lineage was present. A NATO member doing small arms business with a Warsaw Pact member during the Cold War?

Intelligence Service? Iraq or Syria would hardly benefit from such a charade. The first captured example would be subjected to intense scrutiny. Israel had no motive to make a fake look like the real McCoy they could buy.

Who would benefit? An arms merchant who wanted to make a huge kill would benefit. Flash a crate of the authentic. Deliver crates of fakes and off to the Monaco for some fun.

OP: You have a piece of history I can only hope to locate at the right price. Enjoy!
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Old 11-25-2014, 02:54 PM   #9
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My experience with the FEGs is part good part bad. I think it's fair to say the FEGs are of unpredictable quality. Some of them are every bit as good as a FN built gun, and possibly sometimes better. My first FEG was every bit as good as any FN HP I own, and better than a lot of them... The second one I bought was nowhere near as good as the first and basically was retired to the safe for about 15 years, until it provided the frame for building a hybrid using a FM built "Detective" from the FEG frame and a FM "Detective" slide, where it gives very good service after I fixed a few problems.

It sounds like you have a very nice example... and I would certainly hang on to it...

Your getting it around 1993 is interesting, I have not heard of one in the U.S. at such an early date. Do you by chance still have the box it came in? If so I would very much appreciate it if you could post some close up photos of the box so we can get an idea of it's history.

Enjoy your HP... sounds like you have a good one.

V/r

Chuck

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosco-p-co11 View Post
Thanks for the great info Chuck and submoa! It's a bummer that it's not an original browning or FN but that doesn't hurt my feelings one bit. Like I said I've shot several thousand rounds through this gun and it's extremely accurate, feels awesome in the hand and has never failed! In my mind this history as you guys have explained, ups the coolness factor! I certainly appreciate the feedback and if you find out more about it or the history I'd love to know.

Chuck to answer your question about when and where I got it: My father was a Houston Police officer and he bought it for me as a gift when I was In Jr High or just starting high school (A supervised gift of course) I think it was between 1990-1993 at a Houston Police Depot store in Houston.
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Old 11-25-2014, 05:05 PM   #10
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Chuck:

WADR

A deal for purposes of resale to sportsmen is somewhat different than military procurement. FEG succumbed in 2004. The Berlin wall ceased to be an impediment to travel in 1989 even though not demolished until 1990.

The feg hi power was based on the type 73 FN. FEG never adopted any FN revisions. It is doubtful the reverse engineering, tooling up, production, delivery and capture all took place in the same year.
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