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but this question is mainly aimed at Mr. Camp.

My BHP will not reliably function with Federal 9BP, or Winchester 115gr "value pack". The slide seems to "short stroke" and fails to get the next round completely in the chamber. It will feed any +P round, and the more stout standard pressure defensive rounds, with 100% reliability.

The funny thing is, it fed Winchester value pack ammo and 9BP before I had a local 'smith work on it!

Now, when the local 'smith had it, one thing I had him do was put a 32# mainspring in it. That was because I originally intended to use +P ammo in it. I figured the 32# mainspring coupled with the 18.5# recoil spring would save it from a beating when used with +P ammo. Well, I have since decided NOT to use anything but standard pressure ammo in it. So, I replaced the recoil spring with a factory weight 17# spring; but the mainspring is still 32#. This combination seems too stiff for 9BP and "plinking" ammo.

The way I understand it is the BHP originally came with a 26# mainspring. Once the armies of the world started using high pressure SMG ammo in their examples, FN went to a 32# mainspring because the high pressure ammo was breaking the barrel cams and rounding the locking lug recesses in the slide. These conditions abated somewhat with the introduction of 32# mainsprings.

If the above statement is true, can I go back to a 26# spring safely, if I intend to use only standard pressure ammo? I think the 32# spring is just too much for the 9BP, which seems to be a demure round in comparison to the Winchester RA9T (for instance), which cycles the gun no problem. If the 26# spring was original equipment some years ago, then it wouldn't be considered a "reduction" would it? I really want my BHP to like 9BP again, since it has demonstrated exceptional accuracy out of the gun, back when it was reliably feeding it. Thanks for any toughts.
 

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Hello. The Hi Powers I bought until about '75 or '76 did have the lighter mainspring. I'm not sure if it was 26 or 28 lbs, but yes, use it. If you plan to use primarily standard pressure ammo, I'd think the standard 17-lb recoil spring coupled with the 26-lb mainspring should be fine. I don't know how much this pistol's been shot, but it might be that as it smooths up, it would work fine with the 18.5 pound recoil spring. All of mine do, but I do hear from others on occassion of the problem you speak. I think the first thing I'd do would be to just try the standard recoil spring with the 32-lb mainspring. If that wasn't satisfactory, drop the latter down to 26 or 28 pounds. The reason is that 17-lb recoil spring/32-lb mainspring was the way FN shipped them for years and still do. If in your particular pistol, this is not the case, drop back to the previous standard configuration.

The Winchester Value Pack ammunition varies quite a lot in my experience, but the Federal 115-gr. JHP is usually pretty consistent.

Current Hi Powers use a 32-lb mainspring as standard, up from the 26 or 28 pounds from years ago. A couple of my older Hi Powers use 18.5-lb springs but the older, lighter mainsprings and continue to spit rounds downrange with no problem. I primarily use standard velocity ammunition in these. No problems so I would expect the same for your pistol.
 
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Thanks for both replies. I am going to take the HP back to the 'smith and have him change the mainspring to 26#, plus I think I'll go back to the 18.5# recoil spring. That sounds like the way to go...I will post back with the results!
 
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