what is the deal with Hi Powers and $$$$


January 17, 2004, 04:47 PM
Climbing on the soap box ...

ok ... I made a big mistake some time last year and sold my FN HP with SFS to a very nice gentleman (he is a member here ...) and have regretted it ever since.

So lets go find a new one .... Can someone please tell me why a good quality, FN or browning HP has to cost over $550 dollars. Its not like the design is new, or its titanium parts. Gosh, its not even that hard to build.

We see 1911s going from $300 for third world imports, $400 for US minimalist up to an over thousands ... But my word ....HPs??? $650 for a Browning? $550 for an FN SA HP. I even saw a FEG for $400 today at a show. Price it to compete with a glock and sell it will appeal to the anti tupperware crowd. I myself am a line crosser in that battle...

Maybe the new Daly HP will get a looksee from me, but damnit ... maybe this is why CZs are so popular. At least the prices a freaking realistic.

Ouch ... I just fell off the soap box.

If you enjoyed reading about "what is the deal with Hi Powers and $$$$" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
January 17, 2004, 05:01 PM
I'm feeling ya! I was shocked by the high prices of the BHP when I went looking for one. I ended up with a nice used FM Hi Power and it only cost me $199. I like the BHP and the 1911 but I think they could charge a lot less for them. The thing is, I don't think price is what sells these guns. If they lowered the price by $100, I doubt they would sell any more of them. They don't compete for the same market as Glocks and H&Ks so what would be the pont?

When a Glock costs $500, it really isn't all that bad to pay $650 for a nice deep blued, all steel BHP.:) Glocks are the real rip off! $500 for a molded hunk of black plastic? No thanks! I had one and I was not impressed. The grip angle was perfect but everything else was wrong.

January 17, 2004, 05:15 PM
I can't give you a definite answer as to why they are so expensive, but I completely understand your agitation.

It really pissed me off for a while too, but I have come to think that it's worth it. What I do know is that they are made from high quality parts (no MIM). The frame is cast on newer ones, but it's supposed to put up with more abuse. It's also very unusual for them not to run like a racehorse out of the box.

I know that doesn't do anything to make 'em cost less, but IMO they're worth every penny.


January 17, 2004, 05:22 PM
Yes, because they're made of high quality parts is the answer. With all the HP's out there, how often to you hear about major parts breakage compared to other guns? Or reliability issues? Or cosmetic issues? Not very often....

January 17, 2004, 05:27 PM
I understand that the FNs and Brownings are the best but are they really worth the $300 or even $400 more than their clones?

January 17, 2004, 05:31 PM
Yes. ;)

I want to ad though that the FEG clones are not bad at all for the money. I would buy one.

However the Argentine (HPs) I think less highly of. But the Argentines are generally priced just a few Jacksons more than an FEG.

January 17, 2004, 06:05 PM
I have a two-part theory regarding outrageous HP prices...

1. The US Dollar is DOWN. The Euro is UP (about 1.25 to the dollar I believe). This makes imports more expensive and US products cheaper for export. Of course, this assumes that the P-35/HP is still manufactured at European plants. For all I know, they build 'em in Florida; sold my last Hi-Power over 15 years ago...

2. FN/Browning is not making huge money at civilian handgun sales (nor has any interest in doing so). The HP is kept as a "flagship" the same way Colt always retained the Python. More for bragging rights than profitability.

I glanced at 2 HPs today in a local gunshop...both were priced around $700 before tax!

Beautiful and reliable firearms, but after years of CZ-75/85 ownership, I just don't care about overpriced Brownings anymore.

January 17, 2004, 07:05 PM
As much as I love a bargian, a $699 brownoing is still (for me) far better than a $399 CZ....


Zak Smith
January 17, 2004, 07:31 PM
Someone mentioned Ti?

I'd pay upwards of $2k for a Titanium-framed BHP.


January 17, 2004, 07:53 PM
Who sells SURPLUS milspec FM's?:)

January 17, 2004, 08:03 PM
Charles Daly....they are supposed to be assembled by Dan Wesson aren't they? The one I have seen looked to be like it was designed for shooting....not looks as it was a matte black with the "big dot" type of sights....I would love to hear how it shoots and would be willing to bet it is every bit the gun that an FN would be.

January 17, 2004, 09:19 PM
Dont know why they're so high out there in the market.

I got mine for $300 and its a Belgium Browning Hi-Power born in 72


January 17, 2004, 09:20 PM
Any $699 Browning/FN Hi-Power is a bargain as far as I'm concerned.

And the thing is they sell for less than that alot of the time! I just don't see buying many other pistols when there's HP's out there to be had!!!

You have to carry, own and shoot them regularily with military spec ammo and normal capacity magazines to fully understand and appreciate. :D


Can't stress that enough...

Navy joe
January 17, 2004, 10:03 PM
I'd pay upwards of $2k for a Titanium-framed BHP.

Me three!

I dunno about the price, my two used Herstal MKIIs came to me at 390 and 400, both in nice shape with an original mag. If I see one now for less that 450 I will buy for resale.

January 17, 2004, 10:22 PM
Honestly I think that if FN/Herstal came out with a true high quality titanium (but true to specs within reason) HP I would be the first one in line to buy it. It would be the end all..... ;)

We can always dream.....

Bill Hook
January 17, 2004, 11:39 PM
Who sells SURPLUS milspec FM's?

AIM Surplus, but can they ship them to kommiefornia?

January 18, 2004, 08:52 AM
but they still hold little water. Yes they have quality parts, yes they a built well, all steel, finished well .... but my god. With todays tech, you would think they would get cheaper.

I think they would sell more to civilians if price was lower ... therfore genrating more profits. Isnt that what owning a business is about ...

r u listening FN?

January 18, 2004, 11:40 AM
I never really wanted a 9mm, but bought a CZ75B Military a few years ago because the price was too good to be true considering the reputation. Great gun. No complaints once I replaced the factory grips with Hogues.

Turned around a few months later and bought a basic new BHP for $579. I like it better. It feels better, handles better, shoots better, etc. No complaints once I lost the mag disconnect, bobbed the hammer and got some Spegels.

I found myself looking at them again last week. I don't see that the $624 they're getting is too much for the same gun these days. I like the black epoxy finish, too. Actually, the other store I frequent still has them for $20 less IIRC.

But then again, I think $2300 for Cooper Custom Classic .22 rifle is entirely reasonable for what you get. ;)


January 18, 2004, 12:16 PM

Give CDNN a call. I downloaded their catalog a couple of months ago, and they had FN HP's with the SFS advertised. They typically offer very good prices. Curiously they did not advertise the price, which is odd because everything else in the catalog had a price.

You can download their catalog here:

I was lucky enough to score a like new Browning MK III with a tigger job and 1 preban for $399 at my local shop. It is a very sweet shooter.

January 18, 2004, 12:37 PM
If you find the price too high then you can get the less expensive versions. Generally, my experience has been thet many of the clones are functionally equivalent to the FN made ones. I particularly like the ARCUS models and my ARCUS 94 has the best trigger of any of my HPs.

Of the less expensive models I'd order them (from most desirable to least desirable) as:

FM M-95
FN manufactured Argentine contract.
FM licensed by FN
FM pre-model 94

The unknown is the new KBI Charles Daly import. It appears that it is FEG parts assembled by Dan Wesson. If so, then it may well be a reasonable choice.

January 18, 2004, 01:11 PM
The only shop in my area has a few of them from $650 to $750. I thought that was a bit high but I just put it down as being typically Jersey.

January 18, 2004, 02:14 PM
I'll second "jar" on this one; go to AIM Surplus's website. they have the Arcus 94, two tone, for $239.00!!! This is a Bulgarian made HP that all parts interchange with the FN's. They are extremely nice. Much nicer than the FEG's, which I consider a good clone. The Bulgarians build quality weapons; whether they be Makarovs, AK's, or Hi-Powers.

January 18, 2004, 02:51 PM
The last couple FEG's I've seen were quite nice.

The Arcus seems a little blocky to me.

Navy joe
January 18, 2004, 03:04 PM
r u listening FN?

No, they're not. As discussed in a recent thread, Browning must be ashamed of the HP. I didn't pay attention to the thread, but I did pick up a Browning full product line catalog at the range. Buckmarks everywhere, A-Bolt Hunters, pretty shotguns, safes, clothes, trinkets and trash, but no HP. I guess it doesn't fit their sporting image. I guess I won't buy any new Browning stuff.

January 18, 2004, 03:12 PM
At least they list them on their website now. They claimed they couldn't do so before because of a "minor legal issue" according to someone offer at FNHipower.com.

January 18, 2004, 03:45 PM
Everybody wants a Cadillac for the price of a Chevrolet, but to get the quality parts, fitted and finished as a HP is done, then imported into the USA you have to pay the price. You want to save a few bucks then get one of the clones. Top end products from major manufactors demand premium prices. Economy models exist, but lay them side by side to the top end models and compare the two. You see where the extra money goes.

January 18, 2004, 08:37 PM
The unknown is the new KBI Charles Daly import. It appears that it is FEG parts assembled by Dan Wesson. If so, then it may well be a reasonable choice. (emphasis mine)

Therein lies the problem. My experiences so far with my FEG can be read about here: http://www.1911forum.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=65227 .

For those lazier (like me), I'll copy it here.

I don't have the PJK-9HP, I have a PJK-FP9 which is a Hi Power clone with a vent rib running along the top of the slide.

I have had it for a while now, so I know how it compares to my Browning pretty well. First let me say that if you can afford it, you should definitely go for a Browning or FN.

Now that that's aside, I'll tell you about the FEG. It had a very pretty, deep blue finish. After a little while, it started to get a little surface rust, even though I was keeping it wiped down and well oiled. The rust wouldn't come off with anything but a stainless steel brush, so now the finish isn't as pretty as it once was in some spots.

The interior machining is not very good. When cleaning it, the jagged edges catch the cleaning cloths, and the smaller parts seem to be made out of lower quality materials. My prime example of this is the firing pin retaining plate -- when I was taking it down a couple of weeks ago, the FP retaining plate broke. The break wasn't a crack, it was a "crumble," which leads me to believe that it was a pot-metal part. Upon closer examination, the channel that the FPRP rides in was machined too big (front to back) which allows the FPRP to be battered when the hammer drops. I'm still working on this problem.

I've also had some sear creep problems with the safety engaged, and the hammer has a dimple where it smacks the firing pin (soft metal -- you can see casting lines in it). Last night I even had the hammer follow the slide when chambering a snap cap. :mad:

The mag release is very gritty, and quite hard to push in. The Browning is like butter in this area.

On the good side, the frame seems to be of decent quality -- machined well on the outside, mediocre machining inside.

When I bought my FEG, I bought it because I wanted one to tinker with (I wasn't willing to do that to my Browning). Well... I got what I wished for. :( If you want one that you're going to work with, you might want a FEG, since you would probably want to replace all of the small parts (everything but the frame, barrel, and maybe the slide) with FN parts.

If you want a gun that can truly communicate what a rewarding design the P35 is, then get a real Browning.

Just my two coppers, of course.


P.S.: the PJK-PM9 that you refer to will not interchange all parts, and is quite different in the barrel/slide lockup system.


Of course, the FEG, up to this point has been completely reliable at the range (when the parts weren't broken). I used to believe that reliability was the pillar of requirements for a pistol, but I have learned that reliability doesn't do you much good without longevity.

If I do keep this pistol, it's going to undergo a couple of transplants with Browning parts. As I said in the copied post, I think I'll keep the frame and the barrel. I might keep the trigger, maybe not.

Of course, I know that there's a major price difference, but IMO it's just not worth the headaches. I stand by my opinion: get the real deal.


January 19, 2004, 06:27 PM

Shoot well...........

January 19, 2004, 07:11 PM

LOL! I'm afraid I don't know what you're saying... :confused: :D


January 19, 2004, 09:20 PM
I have the FM-95 which is a FN licensed pistol. The finish isn't as good as the original Browning FN but I can live with that... especially since it only cost around $250 (we don't have tax or "registration" here, only NICS and the shop included that in the price).

Oh, and if you get one, I would recommend Stephen Camp's Hi-Power Disassembly guide (and his Shooters guide to the Browning Hi-Power, in the middle of it now) so you can remove the mag disconnect.


Brian D.
January 19, 2004, 09:58 PM
Axeman, the venerable C. R. Sam (where's he been??) gives some of the best gun shopping advice I've ever heard: "Have patience, carry green." Following this wisdom, my used-but-like-new BHPs, one each in 9mm and .40s&w, cost me less than $440 each just last year. With two factory mags and the boxes both times, as I recall. Gotta be willing to beat the weeds long and hard for bargains, and sometimes make your own luck.

January 19, 2004, 11:14 PM
BrianD I know what you mean ...

I have usually gotten very good deal on a gun, never thought I overpaid. I guess that is why this situation chaps my a55!

I saw one today, one mag, fixed sites, dual tone Browning, skeleton hammer, no box, 90% .... $500.

I am going to keep looking.

January 20, 2004, 01:55 AM
ok well i don't know anyting about FN Hi Powers.

you say they are so expensive but i am lookig at the CDNN catalog and it says:

Belgian FN Hi Powers $339. for SA/DA $299 for Double Action?

so what is the difference between the ones you are speaking of and the ones CDNN has? excuse my ignorance but these are guns that i am interested in learning more about.

January 20, 2004, 09:22 AM
The FN products offered there are slightly different animals. The HP Sa with SFS is a hipower with a extra feature, the Safety First System, a cocking lever mechanism. The gun can be simply decocked by pushing the hammer forward.

The DA/SA models are different from the HP, more simlar to a Browning BDM. These are built to appeal to the LEO market. They do not take standard HP mags.

Same with the compact model.

Have fun looking ... If your right handed you should have no problem finding a suitable model. Since I am looking for a HP with ambi saftey, it is a little harder. Look at the ingliss and FN versions for affordability. Plus, if you find an ingliss, it might have seen service somewhere exotic. Always fun trying to find the history.

January 20, 2004, 10:06 AM
Black92LX, think of the Hi-Power as the the original 1911. Over the years it has been modified, cloned with original specs, and cloned with variations. The most popular and sought after models are the original design. A very good alternative are the clones with the original designs such as the Inglis. A long and varied line of Hi-Powers have been put on the market in it's almost 70 years of existance.
Good luck in your search for one. There are plenty of good examples and the prices can range all over the spectrum. There are some very good deals around, you just have to keep your eyes and ears open. You will see, as you are finding out now, there is a lot of history in the pistol. Any time a good design comes along it will in time be copied by others with manufactoring differences. You just have to sort thru the pile to find one that fits your needs and wants.

January 20, 2004, 11:40 AM
I paid $420 for a nickel HP back in 1986. My favorite gun. I have seen them for $700 and it shocks me. However, based on what they cost almost 20 years ago, it probably isn't too bad.

January 20, 2004, 11:46 PM

Didn't you say you wanted a FN HP with SFS?

ok ... I made a big mistake some time last year and sold my FN HP with SFS to a very nice gentleman (he is a member here ...) and have regretted it ever since.

Isn't that what CDNN is (was?) selling?

I was a little intrigued by the SFS system. Decocked single action, thumb off the safety, and viola, instantly cocked. But after reading about it, it doesn't seem to me that the pistol is actually decocked when the hammer is forward, but just looks like it's decocked since the hammer isn't back.
If that's the situation, then I think it's probably just more delicate parts to fail.

Is this accurate?

If you enjoyed reading about "what is the deal with Hi Powers and $$$$" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!