First handgun. BHP


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pxgq55a
October 26, 2011, 12:00 PM
So, I decided to make the step from rifles to handgns with this '85 vintage hi-power. after reading up a lot on them, i found this at my local shop. I was wondering if anyone on here can shed any light on it for me. I have learned a lot since deciding on a hi-pwer, from Stephen Camp's website on the sbject. But learned yesterday of his untimely passing. May he R.I.P. From his info, I thought at first glance, that it was a MKIII, since it has no hole under the barrel and no rib atop the slide. It does lack the ambidextrous safety of the MKIII and also desn't have the the firing pin safety either. But the slide is maybe a MKIII slide? Maybe its a transitional piece or a early MKIII. Either way, its lovely and I can't wait to get out and shoot it. If anyone has any input, I'd love to learn more. Thanks for looking.

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e229/pakawa/102611075239.jpg

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e229/pakawa/102611074533.jpg

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cactus02
October 26, 2011, 01:29 PM
standard grade browning hifh power from around 1983 to 1985 ,Not as pretty a the t series but fully functional, will work best with fmj but test it with jhp . Buff up the ramp with a dremel but don't grind any metal away.Have fun.

CPO15
October 26, 2011, 01:40 PM
This gun is gonna spoil you, nothing else that I've owned has shot as well or felt as good in my hand. Enjoy!

Silent Bob
October 26, 2011, 01:48 PM
Please don't take a dremel to that gun's feed ramp. More guns have been ruined by dremels and kitchen table gunsmithing then all other reasons combined (with the exception of pure neglect). If it has the old "humped" feed ramp, you are limited to ball ammunition and possibly some JHPs with a more rounded ogive such as Federal 9BP, Remington Express 115gr JHP, et al. You will just have to test them. If you must feed all manner of JHPs, a pistolsmith can reshape the feed ramp for you.

I would limit or even exclude the use of +P ammunition. If you must shoot a lot of +P ammuntion, consider replacing the spring with an 18lb Wolff spring and possibly a buffer.

Stick to Browning or MecGar mags (Brownings are in fact made by MecGar but also come with a "mousetrap" spring assembly to assist in enabling the magazines to drop free. They also cost more then MecGar-branded mags)

BHPs are my favoritest pistols.

KodiakBeer
October 26, 2011, 01:50 PM
Gorgeous! The link below is to the Celtic Armory video "Introducing the Hi Power". It will walk you through breaking down the Hi Power to its component parts and re-assembling it. You may not need this now, but later on you will most likely want to do a magdisconnectotomy or other light customization and if you bookmark this link it will save you much tearing out of hair.

It's also worth watching just to understand how the pistol works.

http://www.celticarmory.com/media.html

Pilot
October 26, 2011, 01:51 PM
The BHP is the perfect first centerfire handgun. It can do it all. Range, home defense, and carry.

Dnaltrop
October 26, 2011, 02:03 PM
Well, no-one can accuse you of taking half measures.

When you go for it, you certainly go for the gusto! Beautiful piece.

ku4hx
October 26, 2011, 02:13 PM
You're going to love it! I've got a "T" series BHP I bought in 1969 NIB at Bucky's in Idaho Falls, ID. I often wonder are they still around as I did a lot of business there.

Hands down, my BHP is the best feeling, best shooting gun I own and I have a few to compare it against.

I had Novak's do their reliability package on it and add a set of their sights. It likes OEM and Mec-Gar 13 round magazines best and with them it will now gobble everything I can load for it: RNL, TCL, as well as JHP. Fact is I haven't found a bullet profile it won't run with.

mokin
October 26, 2011, 02:27 PM
Quick! If you haven't shot it go buy something else! Anything but a BHP.

You should have bought something else as a first, or second , or third pistol. Whatever pistol you buy next will not measure up.

KodiakBeer
October 26, 2011, 02:42 PM
I bought my first BHP just a couple of years ago, after 40 years of shooting various handguns. It was a revelation. Nothing else points as naturally and is as easy to shoot well as the Hi Power.

The trigger is less-than-perfect, but you can improve it by replacing the hammer spring with a lighter one from Wolff and throwing the mag disconnect away - cost: less than $10. The new 15 round Mec-Gar mags work perfectly, so it now has a 15 +1 capacity. They feed all the new HP designs, so what's not to love?

They are (in my opinion) the best fighting pistol ever made.

Wags
October 26, 2011, 05:45 PM
A very nice and interesting Hi-Power indeed! I'd be proud of it. You are correct serial # 245PV idenify's this as a 1985 year of manufacture which falls into the MKII years of 1982-1988 i.e. dark green or black parkerized finish, ambi-safety, rib top of slide, drain hole front of slide, rear sight cut out plus wider, solid front sight, plastic grips, and barrel hump removed from feed ramp. Odd that this pistol obviously does not seem to fit into this category? And it could be a transitional caught up before the MKII with left over classic parts? Lots of mysteries when trying to figure out FN at times.

I also noticed that the slide does not have the ASSEMBLED IN PORTUGAL either, and front of slide has a longer "barrel bushing" more associated with the classic Sport models of the 70's or pre MKII. What ever you have it looks new, and well taken care of. Curious, is the hump taken out of the feed ramp? And your slide is not a MKIII. A MKIII slide would have front & rear dovetail sights and the assembled in portugal roll mark. You enjoy you new pistol and let us know how it shoots!

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/classic_hi_power%20sport%20model.htm

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/Lightly%20Personalized%20Mk%20II.htm

MKII 1988 (245PP). Original hammer was spur, I added the rowel:
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c288/bwagss/IMG_0691.jpg
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c288/bwagss/IMG_0689.jpg
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c288/bwagss/IMG_0688.jpg
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c288/bwagss/IMG_0687.jpg

TexasRifleman
October 26, 2011, 05:48 PM
Quick! If you haven't shot it go buy something else! Anything but a BHP.

You should have bought something else as a first, or second , or third pistol. Whatever pistol you buy next will not measure up.

He is right, you have set the bar very high indeed! Beautiful gun.

ByAnyMeans
October 27, 2011, 05:44 PM
I love my Hi Power and I'm sure you are going to love yours.

I did eventually do the Mag disconnect and lighter Wolf spring modifications. It has a much nicer trigger now.

pxgq55a
October 27, 2011, 06:38 PM
Thanks for all the positive comments. And thank you, Kodiakbeer for the video link. I think that's the most comprehensive one I've seen so far. After disassembling last night to do some more preliminary cleaning, It was revealed to me that this gun desn't have the humped feed ramp, and so should be able to feed any ammo efficiently, correct? I'm going to try it out this weekend and i'm sure to be like a kid in a candy store. i'm planning no upgrades, at the moment until after i get some time behind it. Then i can get more of an idea of what areas i think could use improvement. I'm always instantly tinkering with things. but i think i'm going to feel this one out properly first. after that, maybe the recommended novak sights. maybe a slightly heavier recoil spring. maybe a hammer spring swap. maybe a little trigger work. the trigger honestly doesn't feel too lousy as it sits now though. any highly recommended standard velocity ammo to break 'er in with?

Lucky Derby
October 27, 2011, 06:47 PM
About the only handgun you can buy now that won't be a disappointment is either another HP, or a 1911.


Congrats, you started at the top. :D

Oh,as far as a trigger job, just remove the Magazine Disconnect Safety. It's amazing how big a difference it makes.

huntershooter
October 27, 2011, 06:57 PM
You started with a good one.
Congrats.

Wishoot
October 27, 2011, 06:59 PM
Every other gun you pick up may now be a huge disappointment.

dwhite
October 27, 2011, 07:32 PM
The more I look at Hi-Powers, the more I want one. They're just beautiful in shape and profile. Lot nicer and more elegant than any 1911 (flame suit on). Kind of an evolution of the 1911 design.

All the Best,
D. White

rellascout
October 27, 2011, 07:44 PM
Great first choice. You have already gotten a lot of solid advice, except for the dremel comment.

Enjoy we expect a range report ASAP!

johnnydollar
October 27, 2011, 10:21 PM
Great looking pistol, but curious as well. I wonder if the serial number on the front of the grip strap corresponds with the number on the barrel? By the look of both slide and frame, it would appear to be an older, classic series H-P, but one with the later, straight feed ramp on the barrel. Perhaps someone added the later-model barrel to an earlier frame/slide to enhance feeding with hollowpoints? Because, as Wags pointed out, a H-P made in 1985 should have been parkerized, with ambi safety, the rib atop the slide, and the drain hole in the front of the slide. (I have an 1985 BHP MK II so appointed.) Anyway, as others have said, congratulations on starting at the top--you really can do no better than the Browning Hi-Power as a first gun, or a last gun!
JD

Blue68f100
October 27, 2011, 10:37 PM
You picked a great 1st gun. I have one in my collection that has had 1000's of rounds through it. It's the only gun that I have that I do not have to practice with. These just naturally point. Every one who has mine looks at me and ask does this gun shoot that well. Of course the answer in YES.

Shoot it and enjoy it for many years to come.....

Doubting Thomas
October 27, 2011, 10:50 PM
If you can get Stephen Camp's book on the BHP it will be money well spent. I think his books are still available on the website.

rellascout
October 27, 2011, 11:07 PM
Check the magwell on the pistol. Are there ribs there. The MKIII started in 1988 IIRC. I wonder if the frame is cast or forged?

Stringfellow
October 28, 2011, 01:19 AM
Damn Pxg, that is the epitome of vintage. Very nice!

chris93555
October 28, 2011, 01:43 AM
That is a great looking gun

KodiakBeer
October 28, 2011, 02:26 AM
It was revealed to me that this gun desn't have the humped feed ramp, and so should be able to feed any ammo efficiently, correct?

Correct.

any highly recommended standard velocity ammo to break 'er in with?


Just shoot whatever is cheapest.

pxgq55a
October 28, 2011, 11:37 AM
To answer some questions, here are some more photos. The throated feed ramp, the mag well revealing a forged frame, a shot of the matching serial number on the grip strap, and a grip strap serial/mag well group shot. Now I'm getting insanely curious as to how this thing even exists haha. Thanks to all.

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e229/pakawa/102611170014.jpg

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e229/pakawa/102811085724.jpg

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e229/pakawa/102811085808.jpg

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e229/pakawa/102811090153.jpg

KodiakBeer
October 28, 2011, 01:33 PM
It's possibly a cop gun from some nation other than the US or a bring-back from some other country. Only the US market guns are required to have that Portugal marking, so when it's not there it wasn't made for the US market.

It's not a hard and fast rule, but most foreign (non-US) sales are FN marked, rather than Browning marked. The British Commonwealth countries are an exception and are usually Browning stamped. So, this pistol could have come from Canada, Australia, etc, as a cop or civilian purchase, or could be something a GI bought at some foreign exchange.

The fact that it's not worn and doesn't have an importer mark leads me to speculate that it's probably a civilian purchase rather than one of the imported cop surplus guns.

pxgq55a
October 28, 2011, 01:43 PM
If i ever see the original owner again, I'll be sure to ask him about the history of this gun. I first saw him when picking up a rifle. While waiting for the OK, I started looking at the hi-powers in the case. He stepped up and told me that if i wanted one, this would be the one to buy, as he was the original owner of it and had only shot maybe 50-100 rounds through it and that it had been a wonderful shooter. That's what sold me on the deal. When going to pick this one up the other day, he was in there again and brought with him the original wood grips. It had been outfitted in wrap-around Pachmayrs by him previously. So he must be a regular. I'm sure I'll see him again at some point. And I'll pick his brain for info.

rellascout
October 28, 2011, 04:20 PM
It's possibly a cop gun from some nation other than the US or a bring-back from some other country. Only the US market guns are required to have that Portugal marking, so when it's not there it wasn't made for the US market.

Yes FN/Browning misinterpreted import rules and marked the slides with the assembled in Port rollmark. It is my understanding that it is not necssary even for the US market. The FN branded pistol which FN sold here did not have this rollmark even though they were made on the same lines.

The fact that it's not worn and doesn't have an importer mark leads me to speculate that it's probably a civilian purchase rather than one of the imported cop surplus guns.


No secondary import marks rules this out as an imported cop or other surplus type gun. A secondary import mark would have been required and although it could have been removed this pistol does not show any signs of re-finishing which would be required.

IMHO this is simply a pre MKII gun. MKIIs were introduced in between 1982 and 1986 I have seen the late Mr Camp site both dates. I personally believe there was some overlap and there was not a hard and fast date where everything changed. This is true for Pre MKIIs to MKII guns and MKII to MKIII guns. For example does the gun have a internal firing pin safety? This was another change between the pre MKIIs and the MKIIs. Some early MKIIs do not have this device. There are also MKIII guns which have forged frames where most MKIIIs have the cast frames.

This gun has all the the standard pre-MKII features. Prior to the MKII most guns were bright blue and came with checkered walnut grips. They had the single-side thumb safety. This one has the spur hammer which also seems correct for a 1984 gun. The sights are correct dovetailed in the back staked half moon in the front. The only part that does not fit is the barrel not being humped which could have been the result of gunsmithing since the serial # matches the grip frame.

This would also explain why the rollmark is the FN one not the Browning one. So really if we can explain the lack of the hump in the barrel then mystery solved IMHO. Not that it really matters you got a nice looking vintage all forged BHP that should fire JHP with no issues as your first pistol which I consider a super SCORE!!!!!!

Still waiting for a range report. LOL

pxgq55a
October 28, 2011, 04:41 PM
No, rellascout, this gun does not have the internal firing pin safety.

rellascout
October 28, 2011, 08:14 PM
So i think you have a pre MKII gun with a modified feed ramp.

pxgq55a
October 28, 2011, 08:33 PM
Thanks for the advice. I picked up 2 boxes of the cheapest stuff I could find, Magtech, to waste at the range tomorrow. Results to follow.

johnnydollar
October 28, 2011, 10:42 PM
I have a MK II made in 1985 with a 245PV032XX serial number, which would seem to pre-date yours. Mine, however, was quite apparrently made for the Israeli contract and has all the usual MK II features (ambi safety, hole in front of slide, rib atop slide, etc). You do have an interesting example of BHP diversity. Perhaps you could post a query over on the Hi Power Talk forum. A guy there with the username of gp35fn is quite knowledgeable about the various H-P models.
JD

Fishslayer
October 29, 2011, 01:52 AM
Well, no-one can accuse you of taking half measures.

When you go for it, you certainly go for the gusto! Beautiful piece.


LOL. First thing I thought, too.

That's certainly a fine way to get into handguns! Gonna be a hard one to top.

KodiakBeer
October 29, 2011, 03:24 AM
IMHO this is simply a pre MKII gun. MKIIs were introduced in between 1982 and 1986 I have seen the late Mr Camp site both dates. I personally believe there was some overlap and there was not a hard and fast date where everything changed. This is true for Pre MKIIs to MKII guns and MKII to MKIII guns. For example does the gun have a internal firing pin safety? This was another change between the pre MKIIs and the MKIIs. Some early MKIIs do not have this device. There are also MKIII guns which have forged frames where most MKIIIs have the cast frames.


Yeah, there is definitely a lot of overlap between all those changes. For example, my 1990 is without the firing pin safety. I think a lot of the confusion lies in the simple fact that we see a lot more imported US "Browning" pistols that follow a certain logical (to us) path dictated by the importer, while elsewhere around the world the pistol was being sold without those changes.

This would also explain why the rollmark is the FN one not the Browning one.

It is marked "Browning" which is why I think it may be a British commonwealth gun brought back from Canada, Australia or some such place.

danez71
October 29, 2011, 11:50 AM
The BHP is the perfect first centerfire handgun. It can do it all. Range, home defense, and carry.

I agree and it was my 1st too. (I dont CC it though )

I bought it in the early 90's. I'll always keep it.

(along with my 1st rifle bought in the mid 80's; a 10/22)

rcjohnson
October 29, 2011, 12:01 PM
Um, I don't know what you paid for that thing, but I would have needed a hanky to wipe the drool off my chin. That one looks like Ingrid Bergman to me.

I'm a bit of a tinker, too, and normally would remove the mag safety, put on Navidrex thin grips and replace the safety with a single sided larger one... but I might just leave that one the way it is. It is an interesting example. If I were a spy, I'd get a Very High End shoulder holster for it and a silk jacket. Seriously, you picked up a good one with some interesting features and gorgeous bluing, plus it appears original walnut grips.

I think this calls for a SECOND Hi Power that you can tinker and modify for daily carry, and keep this one for when you are in Monaco watching F1 and playing some high end gambling game. :cool:

rellascout
October 29, 2011, 12:36 PM
I think this calls for a SECOND Hi Power that you can tinker and modify for daily carry, and keep this one for when you are in Monaco watching F1 and playing some high end gambling game.

That is what I bought this one for. Its my beater BHP.
http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t213/rellascout/izzy-2.jpg

rellascout
October 29, 2011, 12:38 PM
It is marked "Browning" which is why I think it may be a British commonwealth gun brought back from Canada, Australia or some such place.

I was referring to the markings on this side of the slide.

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e229/pakawa/102611075239.jpg

TrafficMan
October 29, 2011, 05:02 PM
Well, I suppose I should chime in here...

Gentleman, I must take at least partial responsibility for the OP's leap off the slippery slope of firearms ownership. I've been buddy's with the OP for almost 20 years.

:neener::evil:

I have to admit that he has certainly purchased a beautiful piece, and he has outstanding taste in firearms. Not only pistols, but Rifles.

Waiting on the range report Josh... :)


(Scott)

Morgo
October 30, 2011, 01:36 AM
Congrats!

The BHP is a great handgun and a joy to shoot.
I'm sitting on three myself at present :)

http://i392.photobucket.com/albums/pp4/brycemorgan452/P1040450.jpg
http://i392.photobucket.com/albums/pp4/brycemorgan452/P1040442.jpg

pxgq55a
October 30, 2011, 12:33 PM
Oh wow. that FN competition model is a beaut! i'd love to find one of those to give a whirl. as far as the buying a second hi power to tinker with... not a bad idea at all. i may just have to start hunting for a parkerized one to fart around with. as for rcjohnson's post... hahaha. that one made me laugh. although i do know of certain career paths that mandate the use of a pistol, i'd never considered pistol ownership mandating a career move. but i have to admit, being an international man of mystery ain't sounding too bad.

Took her to the range yesterday and had a blast. My precision and accuracy aren't what they need to be yet. But all in all, i think i did fairly well. I did forget to mention, not only is this my first handgun, but yesterday was my first time firing a handgun. I'm a late bloomer, i suppose. Anyway, I think it will be a very enjoyable endeavor trying to get the most out of this gun and myself, as i continue to improve. I went through 50 rounds of Magtech, as well as 100 rounds of Winchester USA. The only issue was one FTE. At that time though, my buddy was shooting it it, so i can't say or speculate what may have caused it. There were a couple of times that i found a sweet spot in stance, grip, and trigger pull, in which i was able to group about 2"-3" at fifteen yards for at least 3/4 of the magazine. That felt really nice. Practice, practice, practice. Its so much different than a long gun. But so much fun as well. A whole other world. Thanks for all the input and advice. I appreciate it.

Coltdriver
October 30, 2011, 01:44 PM
Three things;

Everyone will tell you to take the mag safety out of it. Nonsense. Look up Sprinco and get a bottle of plate+. I had an 85 HP. I took it apart and plated all of the parts in the trigger group. You will never get rid of the creep in the trigger system, but you can make it smooth as glass. They are a little gritty in stock form but if you slick them up you can get a let off that is pretty crisp. That is what the plate+ will do for you.

Also you can get a shok buffer. This will prevent peening the frame and it softens the slide opening enough to make it easier on your hand.

If you get hammer bite, learn to hold the grip without tucking the web of your hand up so high on the grip.

They are great pistols and you will find yours to be a natural pointer and very accurate.

genstab
October 30, 2011, 03:14 PM
Another interesting thing is it has a ring hammer. According to Vanderlinden the spur hammer was standard from 1972 except for the Practical and Capitan. It must have been replaced. You're lucky- I prefer it to the spur.

Best regards,
Bill in Cleveland

KodiakBeer
October 30, 2011, 04:27 PM
I did forget to mention, not only is this my first handgun, but yesterday was my first time firing a handgun.

The Browning Buckmark is a near perfect mimic for the Hi Power. The grip angle, controls, dimensions, etc, are all copied from the Hi Power. So, if you want a training pistol to shoot cheap .22's, you might want to consider that as your next purchase.

Dr.Rob
October 30, 2011, 04:42 PM
You picked one hell of a 'first' pistol. Great looking example too. If you plan on carrying it you need to upgrade the safety lever.

If you want to use it in IDPA you might want to remove the magazine disconnector.

Beyond that, I wouldn't mess with ANYTHING until I had 500+ rounds through it.

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