Browning High Power what a name
What can ya tell me about them?
Anyone Carry one?
As knowledgeable as i am on the 1911 i am the excate oppsite on the BHP i know its 9mm and can be had in 40 its single action and of course the Firearms Designer God made it..
So Edcuate me if i was to go out and but a new one today what to look for who to buy from. Also if i bought used who to buy who to stay away from etc etc
I've almost got everything on my want/wish list the BHP is there but towards the bottom and im about 3 away so time for research.
So High Power owners Afficandos Sound off on your most beloved Gun.
Also how about some weights loaded unloaded etc etc so i can get a ideal of where it stacks up for carry Weight doesnt bother me but is it as heavy as a 1911 or weigh more with a bunch of 9mm rounds
Ahhh - the BHP!!! One of my much loved guns Bud.
I did carry my BHP Practical for some while and was well content with that - tho switched to SP-101 prior to going to SIG as now.
I expect you've seen the pic but I'll repost. Weight? Lemme see and go check for ya. ............
Empty - with mag - a tad over 2 pounds
With full mag - 13 rounds - 2 pounds seven ounces.
To add - I would try if possible to find a genuine Browning - the earlier which I guess we could call Mk II. I am not so keen on Mk III offerings myself.
Some folks have gotten FN BHP's thru CDNN and reckon for $400 or so they are good.
A well preserved older BHP is well worth consideration IMO - even real early. This Practical is a dream gun for me.
Anything to look for spefically when checking one out like cracks in the frame in certain spots/etc etc i know before i buy ill get Steve Camps guide to the High power but anything ya can tell me is good
If I didn't carry my Sig, I'd carry a BHP.
Old school, internal extractor.
Indeed Bud - info and opinion from Steve would be invaluable.
From my experience frames should be no major prob - I would tho field strip and inspect barrel lugs - if folks shoot too much hot ammo then the barrel lugs and engagements will show burring - a sign I feel that shows either too much use in total thruput and/or - excessive loads.
Other than that - a tight slide and trigger that feels good should be enough. Most folks take out mag safety BTW but you should have those parts with any gun you buy, in case need to to refit later.
I had the same question Bud. Looking forward to the replys. I have Stephen Camps BHP Guide on my short wants list before looking for a BHP.
Let's see, the original wonder 9, (now available in 40) so 13+ round 9mm magazines are easy to come by & inexpensive.
The triggers are harder to work on than a 1911.
The Mark II's have small safety levers and may have trouble feeding hollowpoints, but they don't have the firing pin block, so they tend to have better triggers.
Spegel or Hogue grips are good aftermarket items, especially on the new guns. The only workable laser (If that is important to you) that I've found are the Crimson Trace grips.
There are good and bad clones, and enough variations of the original to keep the most insane collectors happy.
Get Steven Camp's books before you buy the gun, they are great.
For the record I have a BHP in 40, which I like, but it is a better gun in 9mm IMHO, and there are better 40's out there than the BHP.
Hello. The Browning 9mm Hi Power remains a favorite of mine and I've not been without at least one since 1971. I've used them for fun at the range, defended my home with one on one ocassion, and used them as a duty gun for several years as a police officer.
I still have two of my earliest Hi Powers, both being of the old "classic" design originally. Both have been customized and continue to serve well.
This '72 commerical model was customized by gunsmith, Lou Williamson, who did the work on my first Hi Power as well.
This is my oldest Hi Power. I have no idea how many thousands of rounds have been fired through it.
This is my old "duty gun." I had it reblued after retiring from police service. Like my first Hi Power, the blue was completely gone from the front strap from use. (If this gun could talk, I'd have to kill it.)
The classic, traditional Hi Powers that most of are remember had forged frames and small fixed sights as well as a very small single-sided thumb safety. In the '80's, the Mk II was introduced. It had the first factory extended thumb safeties I'd seen from FN and had an integral, narrow rib on top of the slide. The front sight was also integral as it was part of the rib. Finishes ran from very rough like mine to a nice matte blue as well as parkerizing that varied from green to black. In the late '80's, the Mk III was introduced. While the Mk II's fixed sights were better than those on the classic, the Mk III sights were a bit bigger. Gone was the rib and the front sight dovetailed into the slide. The same extended ambi thumbsafeties remained. The shape of the ejection port had been more "squared off" and more closely resembles that of the 1911 pattern pistols. It was beefed up at the bottom rear of the port to prevent slide cracks that could occur there if lots of heavy power ammunition was used.
Initial Mk III pistols had forged frames, but in the early '90's, FN began using a cast frame. Reportedly this was due to the introduction of the .40 Hi Power. It seems that the forged frame Hi Power's rails would warp or crack at around 2500 rounds. The cast frame stopped this. Eventually, all frames, 9mm and .40 were cast rather than forged as the frames are identical, major changes being in the slides.
I've had very good luck with the Hi Power in terms of both accuracy and reliability. Oddly enough, the most accurate out-of-the-box Hi Power I've ever fired didn't belong to me. It was one of the Chinese contract guns and grouped like a match gun. One can normally expect groups in the 2 1/2 to 3" range with the Hi Power at 25 yards.
Some guns do a bit better and a few worse. On average, I say a bit under 3" is the norm. Hi Powers can indeed be made to shoot well experimenting with handloads or factory ammunition.
I recall in one old issue of the "Handloader," a fellow worked up loads for an unaltered Hi Power and wound up using a 115-gr. Sierra JHP at about 1150 ft/sec to get groups at the 1" mark at 25 yards. I don't remember the load...******.
With fitted BarSto barrels, I've noted the greatest increase in accuracy to be with cast bullets. With jacketed, my guns group roughly 15 to 20% tighter than with factory barrels, but the difference seems to be less with the Mk III pistols. Most of those seem to have their barrels fitted quite nicely. I'm not speaking Camp Perry match accuracy, but it's not unusual to see the Mk III's w/factory bbls and loads the gun "likes" doing about 2" or so. That's plenty good for my requirements.
This Mk III has been lightly altered at home. Though a couple of Mk III pistols of mine have Novak sights on them, I actually find no tightening of groups in either slow or rapid fire over the factory fixed sights. Others may feel just the opposite.
If interested, observations on ammunition and other Hi Power-related material can be found here:
There are also Hi Power-related questions in the FAQ section of that site.
Great post, Steve. You've almost sold me on getting Browning's other classic pistol. (that money thing keeps getting in the way!)
By the way, your website is great. Nice work!
Hello and thank you very much.
I really like the Hi Power, but I feel the same way about 1911's, S&W revolvers, some Rugers, and...and...
The danged problem is that I seem to like almost all handguns!
I like my BHP (9mm), but it has about the same weight and size as a full size 1911, so for a 9mm it's one of the bigger and heavier ones. The stock trigger is pretty bad and the magazine safety contributes to the heaviness.
Mine is as accurate as any gun I have shot (well, I've done a bunch of trigger work on mine, so it's smooth and lightened) and I have never had a malfunction of any kind with it. I'm not crazy about the thumb safety, it's kinda small and could be more easily missed than a 1911 thumb safety.
One interesting thing is, it being a SA and a cousin to the 1911, it has a fairly long trigger reset if that's significant.
I haven't had the hammer bite with mine but some do. I'm not quite as enamored with the BHP as many are, but I wouldn't hesitate to depend on it as a carry gun. And I do carry it from time to time.
I have a FN HP Double Action Compact that I got in a trade. Nice little gun, but I think some HP purists will not consider it a real HP since it is double action.
Steve - once more - great input and good to see those pics, thank you.
Interesting how those real early models have approx 1/4" barrel projection up front - something I had not even remembered - or was that the result of customizing?.
My first one way back was pretty early - but had barrel flush. It was tho all but std without being worked on much.
Hello. The extended bbl's on the older guns I pictured are early, one-piece BarSto bbls. I have no idea why the first ones were so long. Latter ones are not.
As you can see from my avatar, I'm a BHP fan. (That picture shows my personal carry piece with IWB holster and mag pouch).
I use Ramline 15 rd mags (they quit making them when the AWB hit) loaded with 115gr Winchester ST HP's.
No other gun fits my hand as well or is as natural to use (including the 1911's I've tried). Easy to field strip, clean and maintain. I've put thousands of rounds through mine over the past 20 years and have never had a failure not caused by magazines or ammo.
I trust my life and the life of my family to it when I CCW.
That's why _I_ carry one and would never be without one if I have a choice.
Stephen has forgotten more about BHP's than I've ever known and I have nothing to add but my own opinions (kevelar and nomex in position):
The Browning Hi-Power is the design where John Moses Browning corrected the mistakes he made with the 1911. (Caliber arguments aside)
And for JT: You're right, I certainly do not consider that a BHP. Double action automatics are a hardware solution to a training problem, and making the BHP a double action decreases it's worth as a defensive firearm, IMHO. 'Tis Blashphemy unto the name of JMB, peace be on to his name. :smile: