Browning Hi-Power tweaking?
I know there are some BHP enthusiasts on this board - perhaps you'd be willing to share some experience with me. I'm just beginning on my trip down the road of formal combative pistol training with my much-loved 9mm Hi-Power (it's an eight-year-old factory Mk III, looks exactly like this). After my first course, I'm considering how I might improve some things about it to make it a better fighting pistol for me. Specifically -
- The hammer. I don't and have never had issues with the "hammer bite" that seems to be a standard BHP gripe - my problem is that the long spur gets in the way of grip attainment when I'm carrying it farther back than 3:00. It seems like one of the C&S Type I ring hammers might help.
- The trigger/magazine disconnect issue. I'd like the magazine disconnect gone. It makes the trigger take-up inconsistent and gritty. I might be happy enough with the trigger weight if it weren't for this.
- The magazine well. For combat reloading, I was taught to index using the back edge of the mag against the back edge of the mag well, then rotate forward while pushing up - but the front corners of the mag always seem to hang. Mag well beveling would be helpful, I think, but I don't know if there's enough room there.
- The safety. I don't mind that it's ambidextrous, but I didn't realize how unusually stiff it was until I looked down the line and watched the guys with 1911's flicking theirs on and off with such little effort. The first half-day of range drills I wore a blister on my thumb. The second day I wrapped my thumb with two layers of athletic tape and wore a hole through both. There's got to be a way to improve that... right?
I've looked around the Web at various gunsmiths, but I keep getting the impression that they're targeting customers who want a truly custom gun, not just a few usability improvements. I don't need or want to pay for new grips, sights, refinishing, stippling, polishing, accurizing, engraving, etc. The work is beautiful, but it's just not in my budget to spend as much or more than a whole new gun would cost on this kind of thing.
Is there any hope? Can any of this work be done by a non-gunsmith? Is there someone I've overlooked who does this kind of thing to BHPs for a reasonable cost? Aren't Hi-Powers the best full-size 9's you've ever handled? :wink:
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.