My first gun... A Browning Hi-Power


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Gunsmoker
September 29, 2006, 01:05 AM
I just came back from the gun store after the 10 day wait. This is my first gun ever. I got the Browning Hi-Power 9mm Mark III. I've gone through the manual and I've got some questions. I don't really trust the manual because the manual recommends some practices I don't condone (like manually decocking before carry or inserting a mag only with the slide forward.)

1. The manual recommends that I clean the gun with gun oil before firing. Is this true?

2. When I routinely clean the gun, what kind of solvent or liquid do I use to clean the inside parts?

3. What about the outside to keep it looking great? Will the finish still look great if I don't maintain it?

This is mainly a range gun and home defense so it won't be seeing a holster.

4. What kind of cleaning supplies do I need?

5. Is your Hi-Power finnicky about the kind of ammo I feed it?

6. The manual recommends (It's actually in CAPITAL BOLD RED) that I insert a mag with the slide in the forward (normal) position and then rack the slide back. Did they write this because of liability issues? ... or is okay to insert a loaded mag with the slide back and then slingshot the slide forward?

7. The manual has a portion that explains how to strip the gun into 4-5 parts. It says that further disassembly is not recommended. I don't plan on taking out the mag safety (the gun is for self-defense) or making any modifications. I just want to keep the gun clean. To keep the gun running smoothly is further disassembly required?

I'll put up pictures and post a range report after the weekend.

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daysleeprx
September 29, 2006, 01:14 AM
1. Probably not, but it's good practice to clean any gun you've just received (new or used) just to make sure everything inside and out is kosher.

2. Tons of options. I use Hoppes #9, but there's a myriad of solvents out there.

3. I wipe down my guns with a silicone cloth as part of the usual cleaning routine, but that's just me.

4. Brush, patches, solvent, some sort of lubricant. Of course, people clean their guns in different ways. (Some people spray the works down with brake cleaner, etc.) There's cleaning kits out there that come with pretty much everything you'd need to clean it.

5. (Sorry don't have an HP myself!)

6. Either way should be fine.

7. Again, never owned an HP, but on my guns I've never gone (that much) past a simple field strip. Sometimes when I replace various springs but that's about it. Or to clean an extractor or something along those lines.


Enjoy your new HP! By all accounts, it should serve you very well.

Stephen A. Camp
September 29, 2006, 01:36 AM
Hello. The Mk III will feed about any JHP you wish to try. It has the "straight" ramp vs the "humped" ramp of the Pre-Mk II pistols.

It is fine to release the slide using the slide release lever or slingshotting it. Works fine either way.

You should be able to shoot thousands of rounds without having to detail strip the pistol. It actually has very few internal parts. The main problem I see with heavily-shot-but-seldom-cleaned Hi Powers is failures to extract. Normally, removing the extractor, cleaning the channel out and replacing solves the problem, but this is not to say that it's an everyday affair.

Shoot the fire out of your Hi Power and enjoy it.

Best.

10-Ring
September 29, 2006, 01:50 AM
As long as you get her dirty but shooting on a regular basis and keep her clean, you'll be good. Congrats!

Black Majik
September 29, 2006, 01:54 AM
Also quick general rule to not drop the slide on an empty chamber.

Congrats on that hi-power. It'll serve you well if you take care of it.

grimjaw
September 29, 2006, 03:03 AM
3. What about the outside to keep it looking great? Will the finish still look great if I don't maintain it?

Gunsmoker, did you get one of the blued versions or the one with the matte finish? The latter has been very resistant for me, and doesn't take as much maintenance to keep looking good.

5. Is your Hi-Power finnicky about the kind of ammo I feed it?

I haven't put alot of different types through, but so far it's been flawless. I picked up a used MKIII last year and I love it. Enjoy yours!

jm

PO2Hammer
September 29, 2006, 04:22 AM
I'm impressed that you bought a High Power as a first firearm.

Katigroszek
September 29, 2006, 04:45 AM
"Also quick general rule to not drop the slide on an empty chamber."

I've read lately in a polish gun magazine, that it does not harm any gun to do that, because the stroke is much lighter than in auto cycling after previous shot, which is trong, rapid and brutal compared to "Hollywooding" a gun. Not true?

Gunsmoker
September 29, 2006, 10:51 AM
Gunsmoker, did you get one of the blued versions or the one with the matte finish? The latter has been very resistant for me, and doesn't take as much maintenance to keep looking good.

I got the matte finish. I don't see many guns with this kind of finish. Is this made to last?

ugaarguy
September 29, 2006, 01:11 PM
"Also quick general rule to not drop the slide on an empty chamber."

I've read lately in a polish gun magazine, that it does not harm any gun to do that, because the stroke is much lighter than in auto cycling after previous shot, which is trong, rapid and brutal compared to "Hollywooding" a gun. Not true?

There was a pretty big discussion on that here recently. Doing it once or twice, probably not a big deal. Doing it with any more than that WILL put un-necessary wear on the gun. Remember the friction of the round stripping off the top of the magazine and riding the ramp into the barrel softens the impact at the end. Letting the slide slam forward on an empty chamber wears on the locking lugs, chamber and breech faces, and extractor, possibly other parts I cant remember. It's just best not to do it.

ETXhiker
September 29, 2006, 01:27 PM
Congratulations on buying a quality pistol for your first purchase. Take care of it and it will take care of you.

the naked prophet
September 29, 2006, 02:32 PM
Get a holster for your home defense gun. When something goes bump in the night, and you need both hands, you don't wanna stick it in your waistband. If nothing else, it will cover the trigger (velcro the holster to your nightstand for a quick draw or something) while on your nightstand.

Northslope Nimrod
September 29, 2006, 03:00 PM
A BHP Mark III was my first handgun (other than .22lr) as well.

As to reliability with ammo.....It is the ONLY handgun I have owned that has NEVER...I mean NEVER had a malfunction, misfeed, etc. A couple times I accidentally hit the slide lock and the slide stayed back...but that was when I was experimenting with a new style of gripping.

Great choice!

I load the mag with the slide back....as did every soldier to use the weapon in combat.

distra
September 29, 2006, 03:24 PM
Nice choice for a first pistol. Very accurate and reliable. Don't worry about inserting the mag with the slide back. I do it all the time. Mine will shoot just about any ammo. This is one pistol that will out shoot the shooter every time. Keep it cleaned, I use Hoppes 9, and lubed, I use Miltech, and it will serve you well. You might want to think about removing the mag safety since this is a range gun. It makes a world of difference on the trigger.

bubbygator
September 29, 2006, 04:04 PM
Congratulations, your HP will outlast you & be a wonderful heirloom for your descendants. Mine has Crimson Trace laser-grips & resides in a touch-vault at my bedside. Have fun trying to measure-up to your gun - it's one of the very best.

Be careful to test all purchased magazines - especially the 17-round ones. I bought 5 & 3 were super... had to throw away 2.

Guns_and_Labs
September 29, 2006, 04:05 PM
1. Yep. All sorts of stuff come out when I first clean a stock pistol.
2. To each his own. I use Breakfree CLP.
3. Like daysleeprx, I use a silicone cloth.
4. One of the little kits with extra patches and CLP ought to do it.
5. Mine aren't finicky, but they do shoot slightly better with their favorites. In terms of defense accuracy or reliability, I think they all work pretty well.
6. I normally do it the way the manual describes, more to assure that the magazine is seated correctly. But then, when I compete with it, I'll reload from slide lock and hit the release with abandon. As the old gunsmith says, "that's why they call it a 'slide release'".
7. Field disassembly is pretty much all I do for routine maintenance, though I did try the dunk-it stuff once to deep clean. I do a detail strip when I'm replacing springs, though.

tegemu
September 29, 2006, 04:06 PM
The mag safety mentioned is a Magazine Disconnect which makes the gun safer (Supposedly) because you cannot pull the trigger and drop the hammer with no magazine in the gun. I had my Magazine Disconnect removed to make the Superb BHP function exactly like my 1911's. Removing the Mag Disconnect will also lighten the trigger pull a tad. Mine will and has fed every kind of Ball and Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP) I have fed it. The other responders have told you true about your concerns. IT IS A WHALE OF A GOOD PISTOL, CONSIDERED BY MANY TO BE THE GOLD STANDARD OF 9MM's.

Marshall
September 29, 2006, 04:55 PM
Congrat's! Welcome to the world of one of the best autoloaders ever made. Enjoy!

Oh yea, I use Hoppes #9

R.Edd
September 29, 2006, 07:13 PM
A Browning High Power .40 was the first gun I got too. Its been 100% reliable every time I've needed it. Even though I have a collection of guns now, its the one I still keep by the nightstand. I even took the Texas concealed carry test with it.

Congratulations!

ugaarguy
September 29, 2006, 07:24 PM
Gunsmoker, forgot to say it earlier, but congrats on the first handgun. You made an excellent choice going with a BHP. You've set the bar high though; you're gonna have some mightly lofty expectations of any handgun you look at after this one :evil: Post some pics and a range report when time allows.

browningguy
September 29, 2006, 07:28 PM
Excellent first choice. I'm up to four of them that I shoot regularly, they are addictive.

Tsonda
September 29, 2006, 11:43 PM
Great first gun. My P35 is by my chair as I type this.

James

Coronach
September 30, 2006, 12:06 AM
The first gun I ever bought, and first handgun I owned, was a BHP. It's still in the gunsafe, and won't be going anywhere any time soon (except out to play, of course).

I tell people that I got it right the first time.

It's a wonderful gun.

Mike

Gunsmoker
September 30, 2006, 02:40 PM
Yeah... as I was researching what gun I wanted to buy, I kept wanting to buy more than 1 handgun:D . To make matters worse I also wanted to get a shotgun and a rifle. Money's tight, so I just bought the 1 gun I could get if I could only have 1 gun for the rest of my life.;)

Sistema1927
September 30, 2006, 02:44 PM
The BHP has a special place in my heart. Not once, but twice in the period between 1976 and 1980, it saved my life. Great gun, wish that I still owned one.

Gunsmoker
September 30, 2006, 04:09 PM
How much gun oil do I leave on the inside parts?

What gun parts do I oil?

Thanks.

Cliff47
September 30, 2006, 05:00 PM
First, congratulations on selecting the Hi-Power, a classic design by John Browning and one of the most prolific firearms used/issued in the world. I have a small collection of FN Hi-Powers, and FM variants, the Arcus, Inglis and more recently the L1A from Indian Arms Board.

As far as how much lubrication on the internal surfaces, what I do is after using brake cleaner to blast out the big chunks, I go over the internal surfaces with a shaving brush that has been lightly (very lightly, like one drop of Castrol gun oil, but pick your own) oiled. The rails get one drop each before the slide gets fitted back on the frame. Too much lube on the internals will actually form a 'lapping compound' made up of the oil and gunpowder residue.

You might also consider a quality holster (I like the models from Kramer in horsehide), the range I visit gets a bit antsy if someone takes a firearm to the shooting booth that is not in a holster or zipper case. Before I forget, a pack of 'dummy rounds' will allow you to practice your trigger pull in the comfort of your living room (burnishing the trigger/sear/hammer surfaces in the process). Consider it a cheap mans trigger job. Extra magazines are both plentiful and inexpensive.

I have removed the factory grips and replaced them with a set of thin cocobolo grips from Spegel. The sights are pretty rudimentary, and a set of tritium illuminated sights will help when things get dim (in addition to being able to find the pistol). The recoil spring on my personal Hi-Power has been replaced by a unit from EFKFireDragon.com. It's like a small internal shock absorber to help manage the recoil (you can't get away from recoil, but you can manage it), drops right in, and requires no machining. Something to consider.

Chupacabra
September 30, 2006, 06:23 PM
Excellent first handgun choice. :cool:

As for lubrication, I usually put a light coat on the barrel, a drop on each rail, and a tiny bit on the trigger group. You don't need to use a lot. After re-assembly, I wipe the gun down with a silicon cloth.

Jack19
September 30, 2006, 06:44 PM
Your first handgun choice could have been MUCH worse than a Hi-Power. You did very well. Learn how to use it safely, like any weapon, and it will be the best handgun you ever own.

It was the first handgun handed to me and told to go get the bad guys. By my uncle no less. He trusted my life to it at a very young age.

I trusted my life to it until I transfered to the Glock 19 in the early/mid 90s. Frankly, I'm not sure making the change was better from either a capacity or reliability standpoint. Neither has ever failed me. I've owned several 9mm and .40 HPs.

The Hi-Power sitting in front of me, as I type, and I carry for CCW, is an Inglis. It was made in August of 1944, is deadly reliable and very accurate. Your Browning will serve you well for the rest of your life...if you let it.

There is some very excellent advice in this thread, from people who know the difference. Pay attention to all of it.

BHPshooter
October 1, 2006, 03:18 PM
Congratulations! A MkIII HP was also my first pistol, and is still my favorite. There is a learning curve, but once that's finished, you'll be tainted. Nothing else will be quite as appealing as a Hi Power.

How much gun oil do I leave on the inside parts?

What gun parts do I oil?

I've got a nifty little trick for oiling -- go get your Q-tips.
Whichever oil you use (I use Breakfree LP, it's thicker than CLP), as soon as your gun is clean, saturate the end of the Q-tip with your oil. Now you can "paint" the oil on where you want it without it running everywhere.

Oil your Hi-Power in the following places:

Frame:
The frame rails
The frame lug (the lateral bar in the frame)
The trigger "paw"


Slide:

The locking lugs
The slide rails
The inside of the barrel bushing (on the wear marks)
Where the hammer rubs near the rear of the slide


Also, oil the locking lugs on the barrel, as well as the diagonal channel where the barrel meets the frame lug. You'll also want to oil the slide stop cross pin, and the wear marks that might appear after some use.

Don't worry too much about it -- oil it as well as you can, and pretty soon you'll be able to see where it needs oil. Just watch for finish wear.

turkey45
October 1, 2006, 03:27 PM
...............BROWNING.............GREAT CHOICE..:neener: :neener:

cookekdjr
October 1, 2006, 05:29 PM
I'm impressed that you bought a High Power as a first firearm.
+1

dave-o
October 1, 2006, 07:56 PM
Hi Gunsmoker,

Congrats on a first but probably not last handgun. They don't come much better that a Browning.

That said I'll respond to a tidbit in you last post: a good shotgun really grounds a home-defense and life-shooting arsenal. You can hunt birds or more with it, shoot clay sports for wads of fun (no pun intended) (ok, pun intended), and also defend your home and property with a great deal of versatility. A box-stock Remington 870 is cheap, and you can upgrade it with different barrels every Christmas and birthday!

Just a thought. Enjoy the BHP.

dave-0

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