Browning HP question...

Browning HP question...

This is a discussion on Browning HP question... within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Working on one now, and just a quick question: What is (are) the difference(s) between the Pre-MKIII series guns and the Post-MkIII guns? I haven't ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array purple88yj's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Piedmont Triad, NC

    Browning HP question...

    Working on one now, and just a quick question:

    What is (are) the difference(s) between the Pre-MKIII series guns and the Post-MkIII guns?

    I haven't had two of them together to compare.

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    primairly high vis sights and extended safetys on the mk3s
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
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  3. #3
    Member Array Mark Garrity's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    To the best of my knowledge, the differences are the MkIIIs have firing pin safeties and ambi-manual safeties; the MKIIs and prior do not. There were some MKIIs that had a narrow flat rib along the top of slide, and a flared almost bushing look (but not removable) at the muzzle.
    Also, the MKIIIs are "Made in Belgium, Assembled in Portugal", the MKIIs and prior are "Made In Belgium.". Early MKIIIs and everything prior have forged frames. Later MKIIIs to the present have cast frames. I think that's it....
    "He who makes things with his hands is a laborer, he who makes things with his hands and his head is a craftsman, he who makes things with his hands, his head, and his heart is an artist."

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array purple88yj's Avatar
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    Thank you gents, that is what I was thinking myself, but rather be safe than sorry.

    I figured that the main difference would be a firing pin safety, since it seems that when one is added to an existing line, model designations change.

  5. #5
    Member Array Barry in IN's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    BTW, the cast frames are identifiable by fore-aft grooves around the magwell opening.
    They are also harder than the forged frames (I used to have the hardness numbers somwhere, but...).

  6. #6
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    Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    Seems most answers have been given but to round out the thread - maybe our Steve Camp will add his informative 2c also.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!." - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  7. #7
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    Array srfl's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    The Mark II's "pioneered" the now standard OEM "elongated" ambi safety. I believe it was also the first BHP to function (out of the factory) with JHPs as mine did (I have a Mark II).

    I love the look of the rib and the "bushing" on these guns.

    My Mark II is 20 years old and was my first gun.....I had a nice long discussion with the nice folks at Cylinder & Slide today at the SHOT Show. My gal shall go there soon to get "purdied" up.
    USAF: Loving Our Obscene Amenities Since 1947

  8. #8
    1951 - 2011
    Array Stephen A. Camp's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Hello. The answers given have pretty much matched my own experiences and observations of the Hi Power over the years and as the previous poster mentioned, the Mk II was the first version of the Hi Power (that I've ever seen) that came with a "throated" feed ramp for reliable feeding of JHP ammunition. The classic Hi Powers usually came in a bright polished blue, smallish fixed sights or the old "beer can" adjustable rear sight, a small single-side thumb safety, the humped feed ramp, which could be finicky with regard to JHP ammo reliably feeding, and checkered wooden grips. After the T-series, came the C-series, which were essentially the same gun but with spur rather than the ring hammer.

    While I don't recall the exact year, in the mid-70's the mainspring was
    increased to the now-standard 32-lb. I was told this was due to uncertain firing with certain Middle Eastern brands of hard primered 9mm ammunition and to help retard reward slide velocity if certain SMG loads were used regularly in the pistol.

    Another difference between the Mk III pistols when compared to the Mk II and the classic, is the shape of the ejection port. Though physically of larger dimensions than the older guns, the lower rear area has been reconfigured to eliminate the very infrequent occurences of slides cracking after heavy use.

    Early Mk III pistols had the standard forged frame, but they were changed to cast frames with the introduction of the .40 Hi Power. Slide rails would crack or warp with as few as 2500 rnds of the forty on the softer forged frame pistols. Whether it was necessary, good, bad, or just a money-saving move, FN soon made all frames cast for the 9mm version as well. Since there is no difference in the 9mm vs. 40 frame, I suspect that the latter was as much a reason for the cast frame 9mm Hi Power as anything. Having shot more than a few cast frame Mk III 9mm's, I have not observed anything negative in their heavy use and personally think that for a Hi Power envisioned in the shooting of many rounds, they're the way to go.

    Generally speaking, today's Mk III Hi Powers come with rather poor trigger pulls, something I consider both a shame and something that FN could and should correct. The classic guns could certainly come with heavier pulls, but there were also more than a few that came with nice pulls right out of the zipper bag.

    The classic Hi Powers did not have internal firing pin locks and the same is true of the early runs of Mk II pistols. Toward the middle or end of their production, the Mk II was equipped with the same internal firing pin lock as the Mk III pistols we see in the US. These are actually Mk IIIs pistols, the "s" indicating the firing pin safety. The Mk III 9mm has been made w/o the internal firing pin safety and it has also been made with the small classic single-side thumb safety on special request. The last run of these (that I am aware of) was for the Israeli military several years ago.

    In my admittedly subjective opinion, the fixed sight Mk III is a very good version of the Hi Power for actual hard use, but also believe that the classic can serve very well indeed and still show off the stylish lines so long associated with this classic pistol.

    Do not miscontrue my post to be saying that the forged frame Hi Power is fragile. It is probably not the best test platform to just see how many thousands of very hot 9mm ammo can be fired, but neither will it explode with moderate use of warmer loads. That said, my classic Hi Powers, which have fired many, many shots over the decades are now pretty much fed a diet of standard pressure factory ammunition and handloads. My Mk III pistols do get a fairly steady diet of both standard and warmer loads.

    Which is best probably depends upon your intended use.

    I wouldn't turn any of them down at the right price.


  9. #9
    Senior Member Array purple88yj's Avatar
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    Wow, what can I say? You guys are great. I got much more information than I was looking for. The Hi-Power is not one that I am, or should I say was, terribly familiar with. In fact, it wasn't until just recently I even had any interest in them.

    Mr. Camp, many thanks for the fantastic information you have there (not taking anything away from the rest of the responders). I learned a great deal about Hi-Powers in just this short thread.

    To give a little background, I have a habit of tinkering with things. Somethings I probably shouldn't tinker with, others I just can't leave alone.

    In this case, it is a BHP. The story on this one is that it is a veteran, although it can not be authenticated by the owner. It has never been taken good care of, and there is considerable pitting on the gun. What wasn't pitted was terribly scarred from someone trying to remove the blueing (the best I can tell).

    The owner is not a shooter like most of us here are (or would like to be). He is more of a get it and put it up type. Quite likely the culprit of the rust damage done to the gun.

    I have, in the last couple of days, stripped the remaining blueing off and polished the metal to the best that the metal would allow. It is now sporting several coats of cold blue (longing for a hot dip set up), and is coming alone quite nicely. If i had to guess, I have already put nearly 10 hours into this thing. Luck for the owner that I don't do this so much for money as I do for the pure enjoyment.

    One other task I have in store for the gun is cleaning up the internals and re-springing it. After that, one more once over to check for any clean up that needs to be done, and then back home she goes.

    The hardest part for me is giving them back up. Of course, I can imagine that a lot of the custom guys out there have the same problem.

    I will try to post some before and afters when I get them.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Away - Health Problems
    For sure post some pics when ya get a chance


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