Need Advice on Browning Hi Powers

Need Advice on Browning Hi Powers

This is a discussion on Need Advice on Browning Hi Powers within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; For no reason other than the fact that I want one, I have decided to buy a Hi Power, but I need some advice on ...

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Thread: Need Advice on Browning Hi Powers

  1. #1
    Member Array wagglebee's Avatar
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    Need Advice on Browning Hi Powers

    For no reason other than the fact that I want one, I have decided to buy a Hi Power, but I need some advice on them. I'm a little surprised that my wife said okay considering the fact that I'm also ordering a Seecamp this week, so I need to act quick before she changes her mind!

    From what I've read it sounds like they have made some modifications to the .40s, but the 9mms are pretty much the same as they've been for 80 years.

    Is there anything specific that I need to know or look at? Am I better off with a new one or an older one in "like new" condition? Should I consider a .40 or just stick with the 9mm (I don't plan to carry it that much, so I'm not too worried about the extra stopping power of the 40)?

    Any advice (preferably from folks who have them) would be appreciated.

    Thanks.


  2. #2
    JD
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    If you're buying new, you're pretty much limited to Hi Power made by Browning, IIRC FNH is no longer producing HPs. Even if you do plan on carrying it, go with the 9mm, ammo is cheaper and if you want it as a range gun, your wallet will thank you, (as will your wife considering the Seecamp).

    Loaded with good ammo, the 9mm is nothing to sneer at.

    The HP is kind of like the 1911 in more aspects than designer etc. There are tons of used guns out there some are in better shape than others, some may have been victims of home gunsmithing. If you know what to look for in a used gun, go for it.

    I have a FNH HP in 9mm and I like it, I'm still getting use to how the gun works, the reset is much longer than what I'm use to on my other SAO guns.

    Where in VA are you?

  3. #3
    Member Array wagglebee's Avatar
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    Thanks JD.

    I think I will probably buy new unless someone gives me a compelling reason not to. As far as the 9mm goes, I carry a 9mm XD a lot and it has never concerned me. I've shot Hi Powers before but it's been a while, I just decided that I "need" to get one and I'm sure I'll get a holster for it, but it will probably be a range gun.

    I'm in Virginia Beach.

  4. #4
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    If you have not yet done so, be sure to look this site over:

    Hi Powers and Handguns

    Mr. Camp has forgotten more about Hi-Powers than most of us will ever know.
    If the public are bound to yield obedience to laws to which they cannot give their approbation, they are slaves to those who make such laws and enforce them.--Samuel Adams as Candidus, Boston Gazette 20 Jan. 1772

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  5. #5
    Member Array wagglebee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by falcon1 View Post
    If you have not yet done so, be sure to look this site over:

    Hi Powers and Handguns

    Mr. Camp has forgotten more about Hi-Powers than most of us will ever know.
    Thanks, I'll check it out.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array paul45's Avatar
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    I have 3 of the belgium made Brownings. I love them. They feel and look great. I shot a new browning last week. Except for the slightly heavy trigger, I thought it was a very good gun. Felt, looked and shot great.
    "Being PARANOID is just plain smart thinking when they are really out to get you!"

  7. #7
    Member Array wagglebee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul45 View Post
    I have 3 of the belgium made Brownings. I love them. They feel and look great. I shot a new browning last week. Except for the slightly heavy trigger, I thought it was a very good gun. Felt, looked and shot great.
    Are the Belgian Brownings still available new?

    Do you recommend the 9mm or .40?

  8. #8
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    Hello. Browning has never made a single, solitary Hi Power. Neither has FNH, if that's the American FN manufacturer. (They are making the FNP line of pistols, however.) FN in Belgium has been the only maker of the FN or Browning-marked Hi Powers. FM in Argentina made a licensed copy years ago and the Hungarian firm of FEG made unlicensed copies for several years.

    For a short, an American company out of Houston, TX (I think) made a stainless Hi Power clone. The Israelis offered the Kareen version of the gun and a more "squarish" clone can be found in the Arcus.

    FN Hi Powers and thus, "Browning Hi Powers" continue to be made in Belgium. The Browning-marked ones will also say "Assembled in Portugal" in most instances though I did see a run or two of Mk III's that did not.

    Never known for a splendid trigger pull, I have seen some pretty nice ones out of the box on the newer guns or out of the zipper bag on older ones. I do think that a greater percentage of the newer guns have heavier triggers than on the older ones but then again, they have the straight feed ramp and digest about any JHP one cares to feed them. Older guns could be problematical that way.

    If you want an older "classic" style Hi Power, most will agree that a T-Series (a Hi Power with a "T" at the beginning of the serial number) probably represent the zenith in Hi Power fit and finish. This will come with the smallish single-side thumb safety and smallish fixed sights along with checkered walnut stocks.

    Newer guns since the late production Mk II's normally have the internal firing pin safety. Special runs of the Mk III didn't have it, but the vast majority, which are actually the Mk IIIs, do. The Mk III will have the extended ambidextrous thumb safety and more readily seen fixed sights. It has a corrosion-resistant matte (blk) finish on the slide and frame, though the bbl is in-the-white steel and the hammer, trigger, grip screws, slide stop and safety are matte blued and can certainly rust w/o attention.

    A bright polished blue Mk III version having checkered walnut grips like the older Hi Powers is available (usually about $100 more than a Mk III) as the "Standard" model.

    My preference is for the 9mm version; others will opt for the .40. 9mm ammunition, while no longer "cheap", can frequently be found costing less than either .40 or .45.

    If interested, more observations are here:

    hi-powers--handguns

    There is a table of contents sort of list on the right side of the page. Just click on Hi Power topics that might be of use.

    I've been using the things constantly since about 1971 and hope to do so for years to come.

    Best and good luck.

  9. #9
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    Stephen Camp is the last word on the Hi-Power. His writing is most practical and is highly recommended. He sure can shoot too.

    The Hi-Power is my hands down favorite 9mm pistol.

    The Hi-Power I have is an early post-war gun.

  10. #10
    Member Array killabeez's Avatar
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    I have 1 that has been dated back to the '70s & not a single FTF or anything else for that matter.Many people have learnt to shoot with my BHP & all agree it's the best.Carry mine daily & trust my life with it.Brownings rock baby.

  11. #11
    Member Array wagglebee's Avatar
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    Thanks Stephen, I figured there was an expert on Hi Powers out there and your website seems to answer all of my questions. Now I just need to go find a gun!

  12. #12
    Member Array Gibber's Avatar
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    I have a "Portugal" BHP in my carry rotation along with 1911s and love it.
    Just put on some white micarta grips from Brownells and boy howdy, does it look good!
    The gun grips better and points better for me than the 1911, I have come to discover. If the trigger were better, I would carry it exclusively.

  13. #13
    Member Array wagglebee's Avatar
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    From what I've been reading, I'll probably have a trigger job done as soon as I get it.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array Sky Pilot's Avatar
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    Mine was my carry gun in my last years as a lawman.
    It failed me this year at the range.
    First round went downrange, slide came back just barely far enough to eject the case but no farther.
    I had to cut the slide lock to get it out so I could dismount the slide assembly from the frame, and then of course had to buy a new slide lock.
    What happened?
    Operator error.
    The trigger mechanism is more complex than the 1911; it has a pin that sticks up through the frame and presses on a lever on the under side of the slide.
    I had failed to clean and lubricate.
    One time I failed to clean and lubricate.
    It stuck in the UP position and would not let the slide come back.
    The cure?
    A good cleaning and lubrication and purchasing a new slide lock.
    The prevention?
    Kick self briskly in the hinder several times, and clean and lube it as regularly as I used to.
    Even one omission can be a bad idea ...
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  15. #15
    VIP Member Array rodc13's Avatar
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    +100 to the comments on Stephen A. Camp's great website, Hi Powers and Handguns. I'd also put in a plug for his books (including his novel, Paid in Full - a really good read!). I found the laminated assembly/disassembly guide to be invaluable. I have a 1995 Standard model that I just love. Gunsmith Steve Cline (Cline's Trigger Shop in San Antonio) removed the mag disconnect and tuned the trigger for me, and it's now just outstanding. My daughter used this one to qualify for her CHL last month, and did an outstanding job.

    Here it is in it's original state:


    And with the Craig Spegel grips. They make a huge difference in the feel of the weapon. The contours are just perfect:


    For me, Hi-Power is one of those "got to have at least one" weapons.
    Cheers,
    Rod
    "We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters

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