I've been a CZ guy for some time, and have been wanting a BHP. I passed up some others in very good condition offered for $500 before, and even a VERY nice FEG for $225.
Today, I stopped by a Pawn Shop looking for something else. I saw two HPs in beautiful shape. Both Browning marked. An old one with adjustable sights (blued) for $900, and another Mk III in excellent shape for $750. I took a stab at the Mk III. I told them I could get one for $500 in another shop (back home there is one near my dad, and he can get it - so its not a lie). I asked for $500 OTD. The supervisor came out and told me $527. I said 'sold'.
Soft cheap case and one mag. BUT, I know mags are everywhere. The gun looks like it was never fired -cosmoline is still on the barrel and inside the frame and slide. The mag has no wear. There is NO smell of powder or anything in the barrel. etc. The barrel looks like it MIGHT have had a test round through it - nothing else. I checked the barrel to slide fit - tight as a drum.
So, $527 for a LNIB BHP seemed good to me - so I bit.
What mags should I get?
The trigger is a bit stiff - I suppose someone has a link to take out the mag safett. Also, the mags don't drop free - mag safety - right?
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Stephen A. Camp
February 19, 2010, 08:51 PM
Hello. I have had excellent luck with Mec-Gar magazines for the 9mm Hi Power. I have not seen a really recent Mk III so I cannot say if Mec-Gar still manufactures magazines for them, though this has been the case for the last several years.
Just my opinion, but I think you got a very good deal for a like-new Mk III.
Removing the magazine disconnect usually permits magazines to fall free when the magazine release is depressed. Now and again, the flat spring at the rear of the magazine (sear spring) bumps the rear of the magazine and can prevent it. That said, a brisk shake will usually cause the magazine to drop should it hang up from the sear spring bumping it. Some folks lighten the spring on the magazine disconnect plunger spring and polish the plunger face to get a better trigger-pull. Sometimes this can help magazines to fall freely when released.
FWIW, some gunsmiths can put very acceptable trigger-pulls (4 to 5-lb range) on Hi Powers w/o removing the disconnect.
I've read your site for some time - tons of good stuff on the Hipower, and the CZ 75.
How about dry firing this pistol - is it OK, or like a CZ, needs snap caps?
Stephen A. Camp
February 19, 2010, 09:46 PM
Hello. In my opinion, the "B" models of the CZ benefit from snap caps. This is due to their notched firing pins which are held in via the roll pin visible on the sides of the slide. On the pre-B models, the firing pin is retained by the firing pin retaining plate like the Hi Powers. I have dry-fired several CZ-75 pre-B 9mm's with zero damage to anything...at least so far.
I have not found that dry-firing the Hi Power hurts the firing pin, but as you know many Hi Powers have the strong 32-lb mainspring. I have seen a few, not many over the years, but a few Hi Power firing pin retaining plates that have cracked from the strong hammer fall due to this spring. The cracks usually appear at the 7 o'clock position. If you plan on lots of dry-firing, I'd wedge a foam rubber ear plug, small O-ring or piece of leather (or some convenient cushion material) in the rear of the slide so that it covers the retaining plate before dry-fire sessions...just do NOT forget to remove it when readying the weapon for the range or self-protection purposes.
February 20, 2010, 03:02 AM
A buddy of mine just snagged a LNIB Mk III for $550.00 from a guy who had no use for handguns. I thought that was a steal so, you done good. As Mr. Camp has said if your ok with the silly mag. safety being gone you'll find the trigger will be much improved. I also like to replace the ambi safety with a strong side only from C&S as well. It has a more positive feel to it.
Again, nice find!
February 20, 2010, 04:51 AM
I had a .40 cal Browning Hi Power Practical for about 8 years and just recently sold it. BHP's are selling in my area for about $900 new. They are great guns. I just wanted something different after shooting this same pistol for years. I also wanted to cut down on the different calibers in my collection.
I also used Mec Gar mags without any problem. About 50% of mine were factory mags and the other half were Mec Gar. They MG mags didn't have the little spring at the bottom however so they did have to be pulled out most of the time instead of dropping freely.
I will say that the .40 cal had a very heavy spring on it and my wife was unable to rack the slide without a lot of work. She's a shooter and has never had any trouble with my other handguns. The slide serrations were a little shallow in my opinion. Of course this gun was made almost a decade ago and things are refined. I always liked the looks of the Mk III. I think you'll enjoy the Browning. I always liked having something different than everyone else at the range.
February 20, 2010, 08:03 AM
Thanks gents. It only came with one mag, and it is parked, so I guess he sold the originals for profit. This one looks quite new though. Are the MecGar 15 rounders as reliable as the 13 rounders - they look flush fit on CDNN.
I read Mr. C's link to taking out the mag safety, and while I have detail stripped CZ75s quite often (and workd on them), I hate driving out pins for fear of butchering the finish - this one is flawless. I guess a brass punch won't do?
Also, how durable is this black enamel finish?
BTW: Mr. Camp's suggestion to use a foam ear plug in the hammer gap is brilliant. It makes dry firing have no impact on the gun. My trigger seems to be VERY good. The first shot sometimes has a TINY bit of take up, then a totally crisp letoff. Mostly there is no takeup, just a nice crisp letoff. Last night the pull seemed a bit hard, but this AM, it seems about right. I don't want a trigger job on this gun - for a defensive platform, I do NOT want a 3.5 LB pull. 4-5 is fine. So, I will let things run as they are for not. Cripsect trigger I have had OTB - of course, CZ triggers are notoriously creepy, if not lighter.
February 20, 2010, 08:47 AM
In my experience the 15 round MecGars are just has reliable as the 13 rounders. That said however I only ever use the 15s for range use and 13s for carry and HD. I leave the magazine safety in place as I am used to crappy triggers and the mag not sliding free from firing a host of pistols with the magazine release on the heel.
The black enamel is very durable. Kind of like DuraCoat. Mine is parkerized and is a MKII.
Original smooth mags s/drop free -- there are plenty of "parkerized" Browning military contract mags floating around new and the seem not to drop. The Mag Safety? Common to remove it. I re-installed mine.
Mecgar 15 rounders are good to go. I must have at least 20 of them and no lemons.
February 20, 2010, 11:52 AM
Where is the cheapest place to buy them including shipping?
Also, my hammer hits my web all the way - because of my high hold. I DON'T want to fit a new one - guess I can round all the edges and hope for the best?
Also: I am very surprised at the deep machining marks on the feed ramp (or a weapon in this price range) - its going to take some careful sanding to get them out.
February 20, 2010, 12:42 PM
www.midwayusa.com has mecgar 15rnders for $24.83
February 20, 2010, 04:54 PM
15 rounders ARE flush fit - right?
February 20, 2010, 04:56 PM
The Mag Safety? Common to remove it. I re-installed mine. Al
Why did you reinstall?
WHat do you fill it in with? - the link says another pin.
February 20, 2010, 05:10 PM
I would not sand at all on the feed ramp.
Just shoot it.
If you have to do something to it then just take Flitz or Mothers Mag and Wheel polish to the feed ramp. No sandpaper please.
February 20, 2010, 05:17 PM
My ramp felt rough from all the machine marks. I sanded it with 600, then 1200, then buffed. I do this with ALL my CZ's. On this BHP, I even left the larger machine marks as not to take too much off. I just did not want to leave it feel so rough as to promote drag.
Stephen A. Camp
February 20, 2010, 06:25 PM
Yes, the 15-shot Mec-Gar magazines fit just like the standard 13-shot magazines.
February 20, 2010, 11:27 PM
February 21, 2010, 03:51 PM
A couple of things:
I will have to "defang", not bob the hammer. unlike other guns, with a high hand hold on this one, more than the tip of the hammer hits the web of my hands (maybe they are fat. In any case, I try to put my right thumb OVER the safety and this puts flesh under the length of the hammer because there is no beavertail). I MAY simply bevel the hammer rear edges and hope that the smoothness will not break the skin and make me bleed. Bobbing will not get the hammer stem OFF my skin that much.
Based on some advice from the BHP King (Stephen Camp), I put an ear plug in the slide hammer gap and proceded to dry fire. My trigger now has NO crep whatsoever. It likely breaks at about 5-6 LBS. Not bad. MAYBE if I get rid of the mag safety, I can get it down to 'perfection'. However, I may not for now, because it is in NIB shape, and I don't want to chance dinging it up, and I may be able to shoot it well after all. Again, it breaks cleaner than any pistol I have. I also have NO new pin to fill in the hole.
I would say, that strictly as a carry gun, this is better than a CZ75 - it is smaller/slimmer, etc. However, as a range/comp gun, which NO beavertail, it is not as good in configuration as the 75, which has high rails for great adaptation to a high thumb hold. But, the Hi Power is likely better on bore axis - we'll have to see when I get to the range. I will also say this - hammer bite does NOT matter in a gun fight!
Also, this gun may have a little heavy pull, but that may be GOOD in a gun fight. Most people judge their trigger pull by groups on the range even for carry guns. WHen you're in a fight, your adrenaline is up off the charts, and you need to be deliberate on shooting - I think training through a 5 LB pull MAY be a benefit to a gunfight. (Unless you fire 1000 rounds a month and have been in several gunfights).
The BHP is an awesomely handsome pistol! The nylon MKIII grips do NOT enhance the beauty, but they are comfortable to me both with two hands or one. BTW - one hand shooting MIGHT be practical in some battles.
My slide to frame fit is a bit sloppier than my CZs. My barrel to slide fit (maybe more important to accuracy) is quite tight!
The Mk III safety feel is superior to the earlier model. The sights are decent. but i would prefer dots, not lines.
I need to get some MecGar mags - I may be at the range next week. I will likely get 15 rounders.
Thats all for now - I hope I can shoot it well - trigger is a little stiff.
February 21, 2010, 04:04 PM
Navidrex grips in black or white would look nice on that HP. I am hunting for a set of black ones for mine.
The trigger pull can be trained through. If you are not used to 1911 triggers then it is a non issue because even crappy 1911 triggers are pretty nice.
I carry mine in a Versa Max and it conceals better than my J Frame in my pocket.