Browning Hi-Power FN Contract Magazine comparison


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Wags
April 5, 2007, 05:54 PM
Late last year I ordered some advertised FN Contract BHP 13rd magazines. As a general rule I only buy Browning OEM and Mec-Gar name brands. Curiosity brought myself to buy a few for comparison to my current inventory. In no way is this a endorsement, only a fair evaluation.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c288/bwagss/Mag-L.jpg
From L-R: FN Contract. FN Contract marked: BELGIUM-9MM NATO/LUGER. Browning OEM: 'ITALY CAL 9MM NATO/LUGER. Mec-Gar current production. Mec-Gar 20rd from way back. NOTE: all shown pictures will be in this sequence.
With out a doubt the 2 shown Mec-Gars are the best cosmetically looking of the bunch. Highly polished inside and out! The FN contract, Belgium and Browning OEM are slightly parked and the insides are dull like the outside finish, but no burrs.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c288/bwagss/Mag-Back.jpg

All show no weld seam on the backs, distinguished brush marks except the Belgium which is almost smooth.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c288/bwagss/Mag-Spr.jpg

Note that the FN contract, Belgium and Browning OEM magazine springs are about the same length. The magazine spring base are attached to the spring where as the Mec-Gars are not. The FN contract and Belgium mags magazine spring base pads have a round stamped indent for securing to the mag body base pad. The Browning OEM and Mec-Gars are much more defined, stamped into a "V" with slight opening.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c288/bwagss/Mag-B.jpg

Note similarity in magazine base pads. The FN Contract and Mec-Gar 20rd are almost identical!

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c288/bwagss/Mag-Follower.jpg

The followers are almost identical also except the Browning OEM which is (my preference) 4 legged. The FN contract follower is ruff ground round on the front underside! There is a 1 (1-4 stamped on other purchased magazines) stamped in between the two legs. The Belgium follower has a 4 stamped on the left longer side leg bottom. No markings on the Browning OEM and Mec-Gars.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c288/bwagss/Mag-BP.jpg

Now to the good, bad and ugly. Note the differences between the mag body base pads and the pointed tabs. The two Mec-Gars the tabs bend over are almost ground smooth.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c288/bwagss/Mag-FNContr.jpg

The Fn Contract and Belgium comparison. Ouch! But it's only cosmetic yet serviceable. Were talking military contract sales, not originally intended for commercial sales to the general public.

The 13rd FN contract magazines are granted, a little ruff compared to the others shown. Who manufactured them is up for graps and your/my opinion. I don't have clue honestly? The dealer I spoke with was very knowledgeable on HP's, and claimed he purchased them in Europe from a government who was fazing out the HP and picked them up at a reasonable price. Cost was $15ea.

At the range they performed 100% flawlessly! I've ran over 600rds through only two specified magazines so far without any problems. I have also inspected the magazines and there is no noticeable wear marks of any kind. No failures to feed, extract or eject. The slide ALWAYS locked to the rear on an empty magazine. I tried this with anywhere from 1-13rds in the magazine. I also in between shooting tapped to banged the magazine base to get a malfunction but to no avail of failure. I give them a thumbs up for reliability and a great saving!

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MrDig
April 5, 2007, 06:08 PM
Wags great read and well done. I linked to this thread in the HP Club thread.

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