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Discussion Starter #1
Have always wanted one, and I don't have a good reason for not looking onto this subject before now. Maybe its all the info on the web and sifting thru what's crap and what's not. So I come to y'all asking for reliable sources of info. so I can make an educated decision before buying my first hi-power. I will assume that browning is king but other than that I'm lost as last years birds nest.
 

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First thing, Pete, is to click into Hi Powers and Handguns at the top of the page and read up on the Browning Hi Power in articles by our late Pistol Master, Steve Camp. He offered a wonderful education on the subject.

Although I've had a lot to do with clones, I don't recommend anyone new to the Hi Power platform concentrate on anything but an authentic Browning Hi Power or FN Hi Power, and then I'd recommend you stay away from inexpensive ones marketed by large scale sellers - these are usually heavily used ex-police or military guns and can offer a new guy a lot of problems. You can go over to Guns for Sale - Online Gun Auction - Buy Guns at GunBroker.com and pull up all the listings for the BHP and you'll get some good ideas as to cost, etc. But get conversant with the basic BHP platform before looking at any clones.

We'll all be glad to help you with advice and information. Ask any time.

JayPee
 

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Simply put, all BHPs marked "Browning Arms Company" (BAC) or "Fabrique Nationale" (aka FN, FNH, FNH-USA) are the same creatures - made in the same factory by the same people.

That said, the basic model currently is the Mark III. Whether it has fixed or adjustable sights, different finishes - what ever, the pistol started life as an unfinished Mark III.

I just say here that the topic of clones (Inglis, FEG, etc.) is a very lengthy subject for later discussion.

That said, we then progress to earlier models. BAC didn't actually begin importing and selling BHPs in North America until the early 1950s (marketing license agreements between JMB, Colt Arms and FN).

Of the early pistols, the "T" series (produced from 1964 through 1969) are considered the pick of the litter. Almost mystically, they seem to have better triggers and fit and function.

The "T's" were followed by the "C" series. Subsequently, there was the Mark II which has a small rib on the top of the slide and somewhat better sights than the earlier models, parkerized finish and a factory ambi safety (on late model pistols).

The Mark III brought better, larger, dove-tailed sights, ambi safety, a firing pin block (on the sear lever), a durable enamel matte finish and a larger ejection port. Originally, they, as were previous models were forged, but current frames and slides are cast - and reportedly stronger.

Minor points:

Early models had strong side only safeties - small and hard to operate under stress, but easily replaced with C&S extended safeties.

Sights on the earliest models were typical mid-20th century type (think military issue 1911 and you have it).

Pistols produced before 1960 had internal extractors (again, think military issue 1911 and you have it). All later models have external extractors.


What to buy? That depends upon whether you want a "shooter" that you can shoot, carry, keep you and kin safe or generally have fun with --- or a "museum piece" that is looked at, cared for and treasured for its originality and historical significance but rarely shot. That is a decision only you can make, and rightly so. After all, it is YOUR money and it will be YOUR gun.

My self? Every pistol or rifle I own is meant to be used. While some were purchased for their history, they are all "shooters". They go to the range, get used, cleaned, repeat, repeat, repeat - and to me, that is as it should be. So for me, any used BHP would do if I was in the market for another BHP. If I was buying one for a family member just starting out, a lightly used or new Mark III with fixed sights would be my first pick.

I hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Dadgum!!! much more complex than i woulda thunk it to be. Thanks fellas i will read Mr. camps articles, and start doing research and look and finger up every Hi-Power i can find. JMB in my opinion was a gift to us in the gun world, you just cant argue with the 1911, A5, and the M19. I have always been a 1911 guy (but carry a G27) so i figured that the Hi-Power was basically the same firearm. Brother was i ever ignorant.

Thanks guys you have already been a huge help. At least now i have a starting point.
 

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Simply put, all BHPs marked "Browning Arms Company" (BAC) or "Fabrique Nationale" (aka FN, FNH, FNH-USA) are the same creatures - made in the same factory by the same people.

That said, the basic model currently is the Mark III. Whether it has fixed or adjustable sights, different finishes - what ever, the pistol started life as an unfinished Mark III.

I just say here that the topic of clones (Inglis, FEG, etc.) is a very lengthy subject for later discussion.

That said, we then progress to earlier models. BAC didn't actually begin importing and selling BHPs in North America until the early 1950s (marketing license agreements between JMB, Colt Arms and FN).

Of the early pistols, the "T" series (produced from 1964 through 1969) are considered the pick of the litter. Almost mystically, they seem to have better triggers and fit and function.

The "T's" were followed by the "C" series. Subsequently, there was the Mark II which has a small rib on the top of the slide and somewhat better sights than the earlier models, parkerized finish and a factory ambi safety (on late model pistols).

The Mark III brought better, larger, dove-tailed sights, ambi safety, a firing pin block (on the sear lever), a durable enamel matte finish and a larger ejection port. Originally, they, as were previous models were forged, but current frames and slides are cast - and reportedly stronger.

Minor points:

Early models had strong side only safeties - small and hard to operate under stress, but easily replaced with C&S extended safeties.

Sights on the earliest models were typical mid-20th century type (think military issue 1911 and you have it).

Pistols produced before 1960 had internal extractors (again, think military issue 1911 and you have it). All later models have external extractors.


What to buy? That depends upon whether you want a "shooter" that you can shoot, carry, keep you and kin safe or generally have fun with --- or a "museum piece" that is looked at, cared for and treasured for its originality and historical significance but rarely shot. That is a decision only you can make, and rightly so. After all, it is YOUR money and it will be YOUR gun.

My self? Every pistol or rifle I own is meant to be used. While some were purchased for their history, they are all "shooters". They go to the range, get used, cleaned, repeat, repeat, repeat - and to me, that is as it should be. So for me, any used BHP would do if I was in the market for another BHP. If I was buying one for a family member just starting out, a lightly used or new Mark III with fixed sights would be my first pick.

I hope that helps.
Hey Mods, this post should be stickied. IMHO. Jer
 

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OP:

I see you were somewhat taken by all the subtle nuances of differences occurring over the long history of FN Browning Hi Power pistols. I certainly would not want to postpone hi power enjoyment until you get a grasp on all of that. It could be awhile.

If you attempt to locate a certain kind of earlier production pistol, that could delay your enjoyment as well. I would not encourage buying used for a first time buyer unless you get the option to try before you buy. It is not that there are not good used hi powers out there. I have just seen too many tales of woe from folks that came by good deals that were not really. In every instance, the problems with these used pistols have been determined to be related to post production factors.

Buy new and go from there unless you trust your seller 100 percent to resolve any problems or return your money.
 

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Just to add to Jaypee's original post, while you're at the Hi Powers and Handguns website I recommend buying Mr. Camp's book " The Shooter's Guide to the Browning Hi Power" revised edition. There's a ton of good info about Hi Powers in it. I believe its still available.
 

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PistolPete,

I'll echo Chuntaro's advice. Get yourself a good clean/new MK III Hi-Power and start enjoying what is probably the finest combat nine extant. Yeh, it's "old school", but that's not bad. It's a proven design, adopted by over 60 countries, and has stood the test of time.

Don Williams, at The Action Works, told me that "if I were to pick one pistol to run 100% out of the box, it would be the Hi-Power". My experience confirms that statement.

Join the crew...

Wes
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You fellas are killin me. The wait is gonna be torture.
 

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Somebody better tell this fellow about the addiction issues associated with the Hi Power. No one told me, now they take up a bunch of room in my safe.
 
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