HP Range Report, Dedicated to Mr. Camp...


May 29, 2011, 01:18 AM
I went to the range on Friday with my new Hi Power and intended to write a range report, with among other things, a big thanks to Stephen Camp for his advice and inspiration to buy the pistol. It was with heavy heart that apparently I didn't get the report out before he passed away.

I have come to realize that I prefer all-steel pistols, so it is no surprise that I eventually found my way to the Hi Power. I read Mr. Camp's Hi Powers and Handguns website (http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/) initially for all the good info on other pistols. But I eventually became intrigued that so many people could be so enthusiastic about a 75+ year old pistol. Without a doubt he gets credit for first piquing my interest. Since then, I don't know how many times I have read all of his posts, but I enjoy reading them just as if for the first time.

Since I am at it, I should also thank Rellascout. He went back and forth with me on some threads, and convinced me that not only is the Hi Power an excellent pistol, but it might be a good match for me.

And I should thank JayPee for his excellent writing about the Hungarian FEG HP. From his research, I was convinced that if I ever came across one at a good deal, I shouldn't hesitate to snag it. (See his articles at http://feghp.blogspot.com/2010_02_01_archive.html).

Well I came across a NIB FEG HP at a price that would have been a bargain in the 1990s, so I snagged it. After some initial worries about hammer bite (which turned out to be a non-issue) and some horrible trigger issues, I took it to the range.

First of all, Mr. Camp, Rellascout, and some others had some great suggestions for hammer bite. I have pretty big hands and am prone to hammer bite. I feared the worst. I came to find that the round "ring" hammers that I love so much are poison to me--I get hammer bite just by racking the slide. But my pistol came with a traditional spur hammer, and it doesn't touch me whatsoever. The angle of the spur follows the angle of my fist perfectly, so it could be half an inch longer and would still never bite me.

Second, Hi Powers come standard with a magazine safety, that among other things tends to ruin the trigger pull most of the time. Mine was horrific--the pistol equivalent to fingernails on a chalkboard. But folks talked me through it, and gave me hope that mine could be fixed. Given my sketchy track record of amateur gunsmithing, I sent mine away to Bill Springfield (http://www.triggerwork.net/BHP.html). Thank you Bill!!! My trigger is now amazing--better than I could have hoped. Crisp and smooth, without a perceptible trace of grit of any kind whatsoever.

I had some trouble finding the right grips, but folks were a big help in this regard also. I tend to like the feel of rubber grips, and settled on Hogues. I still think Hogues are ugly, and I think they especially detract from the elegance of the HP. But their feel is undeniable. When you get that "lock" to your grip where the pistol feels like an extension of your hand, you know you made the right choice.

When I finally got to the range, it was pure joy. The HP somehow felt like I had been shooting it for decades. It just felt right, and it shot where I aimed. The weight, the balance, the grip...it just felt so comfortable, so familiar. It is hard to put into words--so I hope you all have had such an experience so that you know what I mean.

http://i783.photobucket.com/albums/yy117/Mr_Stringfellow_Hawke/DSC_0070.jpg Here it is.

http://i783.photobucket.com/albums/yy117/Mr_Stringfellow_Hawke/DSC_0068.jpg That's what I took to the range that day--the HP, a Browning Buck Mark (with reflex site, and 1911 grip adapters), and my new Kahr CW9. The Kahr is an engineering marvel IMHO, but that is another discussion for another day.

http://i783.photobucket.com/albums/yy117/Mr_Stringfellow_Hawke/DSC_0073.jpg This was at 7 yards, and that dot is a dime-sized price tag sticker. And I am not really even that good of a shot. But for perspective, the Buck Mark will put an entire mag into the dot at the same distance.

http://i783.photobucket.com/albums/yy117/Mr_Stringfellow_Hawke/DSC_0065.jpg The orange dots are about quarter size. The top was at 7 yards, and the bottom was 5.

I am a bit later than I would have liked, but thank you Mr. Camp. Just as you said, I didn't have any problems with hammer bite. And now I see what you saw in the HP...

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May 29, 2011, 02:06 AM
excellent review, good for you for dedicating it to a really nice guy :)

May 29, 2011, 08:58 AM
Good for you. Mr. Camp has helped me out a time or two also...over the internet.

He will be missed.

Good shooting. I never could get my HPs to shoot like that!


May 29, 2011, 10:40 AM
Nice tribute enjoy the BHP.

May 29, 2011, 12:56 PM

As I said, you deserve some credit too. I remember the exact thread and your advice, which got me to start seriously considering purchasing an HP. Thanks again!

May 29, 2011, 03:30 PM

Thank you for the high praise but I an not close to Mr. Camp in BHP knowledge or class. LOL

I too cut my teeth on the BHP listening to him, reading his site and talking to my go to smith/shop.

He was in a class all to himself. You have offered a very nice tribute which I believe he would appreciate.

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