I traded a Walther P-1 for a Belgium made Browning Hi-Power which is Parkerized and is in 98% (slight holster scuffs) condition with two Parkerized magazines. I can't seem to find any info on a military Parkerized Browning, all of the guns I have found are of a shiny blue finish. This gun looks exactly like my Colt .45, finish wise, does anyone have any info on this weapon and the approximate ballpark value? I paid $250.00 for the Walther by the way.
The serial number is:245PZ6****
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February 15, 2009, 04:31 PM
I have one like that...mine has a forged frame instead of the newer cast frames, you can tell by looking at the butt at the back of the magazine well, if it's smooth metal, it's forged..if it's got lines in it, it's cast. They say the cast frames are stronger than the forged ones and that forged frame Hi Powers should only be fed standard pressure ammo with limited use of +P being ok....seeing as how NATO spec 9mm is about the same as +P it doesn't worry me too much, but then again, the lower the pressure the longer it'll last and I'm quite content with using standard pressure ammo. I had to take the mag safety out to get a decent trigger pull and to insure that the mags would drop free. They are easy to field strip and clean and are very reliable. Mine shoots closest to point of aim with 115/124 grain ammo at 25 yds...15 yds and closer makes little practical difference in 115/124/147. I guess that only makes sense since, the way I understand it, 9mms were designed for 124 grain (NATO) ammo....anyway, nice gun..:cool:
Thanks. I found a lot of info here:http://www.handgunsmag.com/featured_handguns/browning_hi_power
It seems my gun was made in 1981 and it was part of a military or police order, at least this is what a guy at Browning arms told me. He asked me if the magazines were Parkerized also, and I told them that they were. He then said that every military Browning Hi-Power went out with two Parkerized mags. The blued version is civilian, the Parkerized is for military or police. I guess I have a rare bird.
February 16, 2009, 10:48 PM
Does it have a "rib" running along the top of the slide? and a "drain hole" at the muzzle end?
If so, it is a "Mark II" series Hi Power. These are not particularly rare, but are seen less often than the Mark III series.
The Browning guy is wrong. The civilian MKII's were parked as well. The parkerized finish is the only factory finish the MKII's came in. Usually a black/dark gray park, but some (like mine) came out a gray/green.
The MKII usually (not always) has the larger ambi thumb safety than the earlier classic or standard HP's. Some (like mine had the old style small thumb safety). All MKII's that I've seen had a spur hammer as opposed to the round hammer.
The MKII is second only to the Inglis in it's lack of finishing quality. Stephen Camp says his was finished with a wood rasp. I agree.
February 17, 2009, 08:49 AM
You can also learn more here...
The 245 that begins your serial number is Brownings' code for a sports version. They use a 215 code for the military versions.
Likely your piece is a Mark III but as Dogtown says if it's got that rib running along the top it's a Mark II. At any rate likely a decent piece.
February 17, 2009, 12:27 PM
Is it truly a Browning? Sounds like it could be a FN M88. I think that is the model #. I had one years ago. Park. finish and I don't recall it having a dove-tailed front sight like the new MKIIIs do.
February 18, 2009, 12:13 AM
tipoc, not to be disagreeable...but on Brownings website under "dating your firearm", they say that from 1975 to 1997 that the 245 means it's a 9mm and they used 2W5 to signify it's a 40 S&W....and then in 1998 they changed it to 510 means Hi Power ?? ....could it be FN's numbering system that used the 215 to signify the military versions ??
My Hi Power has a parked finish but it was made in '89 and even though it's a MK III, it has a forged frame....
February 18, 2009, 01:43 AM
Remember this...........Browning is only an importer of the FN Hi Power. In the past fifty years new FN Hi Powers have also been imported into the US by Howco, Cassi and FNUSA. Surplus HP's by dozens of importers. Browning would have little or no knowledge of these firearms.
Brownings website chart of HP "dates of manufacture" doesn't tell the complete story.
FN will slap any number you want on a HP for the serial number if you buy enough. The 215 prefix is a well known range of serial numbers for military/police firearms.
February 18, 2009, 05:06 AM
I'm no expert so if we just stick to the FN made high powers (which includes those sold by Browning) the serial numbering systems for the HP have changed over the years. If you drop by here...
You can see some of that change. In 1976 FN instituted the system that is still in place today with some slight changes. So for the HP we can see that the first 3 numbers will be:
215, 9mm military use. 245, 9mm sporting market. 2W5, 40 S&W caliber. There are others as well.
Browning now uses 510 for the 9mm HP but uses the same year code it seems. They don't say if they have changed the code for the .40 or not. I ain't sure about that.
The next 2 letters are the year code. In the case of this gun PZ indicates 1981.
The final string of numbers indicates that guns place in the number of guns produced that year. So if the number is 12345 it could be the 12,345 HP produced that year. Unless it is part of a special group of serial numbers set aside for a certain manufacturer which FN is known to do.
Now one book I have sets the introduction of the Mark II as 1982 and the Mk III as 89. Or close to those years anyways.
A picture of the gun we are talking about would be helpful. If you don't have one drop by here...
There is a thread of pics of HPs and you can find one that looks like yours even if the finish is different and let us know.
February 18, 2009, 12:42 PM
One problem is both proofhouse.com and Browning don't keep accurate records.
For example: my FN Hi Power (imported by FNUSA) is a 511 prefix. That doesn't show up anywhere at either of those sites- and is a very common prefix for HP's imported 4-5 years ago.
February 18, 2009, 08:15 PM
Yep the 510 and 511 prefixes have been added (likely some others as well for the rifles and shotguns, etc.) within the last few years. Browning notes this on their website. This has made the more recent guns compatible with their new computer system or vice versa. A phone call to Browning will answer questions on guns made within the last few years that have these prefixes.
Still I believe the year codes remain the same. What their code is for the 40 S&W now I don't know. A call to Browning will tell ya or if you see a .40 the first 3 digits are the code for that type gun.
Proofhouse and Browning are showing you the same information in two different ways. For the years prior to the T series guns it's a bit unclear due to the war, etc. But from the T on till the new 510, 511 codes pretty clear.
Since FN makes the guns and sells them internationally there are a number of HPs in the U.S. that never went through Browning. It's not so easy to just call FN and ask them either. But the serial numbering system is FNs and will tell ya the model and the year produced. The serial number won't tell ya that some distributor in Arizona wanted 400 parkerized Mark IIIs in 1982 and Browning may not tell ya on the pnone. But it will tell ya the model type and year of production.
February 20, 2009, 07:06 PM
OK, Now I'm lost. I read a story from a magazine that said the Parkerized versions were either Police, or Military. It is a Belgian Made, FN. Now the guy I talked to at Browning was just an parts order taker, so he may be full of crap.
Who knows? However, I think I got the better of the deal. Thanks for all of the input.
February 20, 2009, 07:08 PM
By the way, I blacked out the SN# on the barrel, it is in two places, on the front strap and on the barrel receiver.
February 20, 2009, 08:20 PM
First off looks like a decent gun and should be a good shooter. So I figure you got a good deal.
Note that the slide says "Made in Belgium" and below that "Assembled in Portugal".
The gun is a Mark III. It's a bit hard to tell from the pic but I'm not sure that it left the factory parkerized. I say that because it looks like the park was done after the dings were made in the front sight and over the dings. It also looks like the the roll marks may not be sharp enough and may have been buffed over some. But again I can't tell from the pics.
For comparison here's a pic of a gun a made in 76.
Now this all don't mean that your gun did not see police service. It coulda, somewheres. But it was not likely produced as a military version.
Good deal anyways.
February 20, 2009, 10:16 PM
I'm sorry, but it does not say assembled in Portugal. It says, as you can see in the photo, MADE IN BELGIUM aad below that it says:
BY FABRIQUE NATIONALE HERSTAL On the reverse side it says:
BROWNING ARMS MONTREAL, UTAH & MONTREAL P.Q.
Thanks again for helping me out.
February 20, 2009, 10:17 PM
by the way, both mags are Parkerized.
February 20, 2009, 10:22 PM
Nice grips on your firearm by the way.
February 20, 2009, 10:34 PM
Thanks, my bad, I couldn't make it out right. Now it could be former military but the park by itself does not make it so. Many of the Mark IIs were parked and were sold commercially that way.But keep researching. I hope the links I posted above can be of some help.