How common is “Hammer Bite” with a Browning Hi Power?


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2ifbyC
February 17, 2012, 12:10 PM
One of the changes I plan on making to my BHP is the removal of the magazine safety and possibly some spring changes to reduce the trigger pull; the pistol is for target shooting only.

I’ve read that hammer bite on the BHP may be an issue. Having a M1911, I have experienced this problem and it isn’t pleasant. In concert with the above changes, I may purchase a new hammer/sear as well.

I would like to know if any of you with shooting experience with the BHP have had hammer bite and what solution you may have taken. Thanks.

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gathert
February 17, 2012, 12:19 PM
I have a 1911 that was made in 1918 and I get hammer bite from it. I try not to "choke up" on the pistol as high on that particular pistol to avoid the hammer since it was made before the beavertail safety was put on 1911s to protect the webbing of your hand. If you have decent sized hands the webbing of your hand will squish upward a little and thats where the hammer gets you so I try to keep it lower.

csa77
February 17, 2012, 12:26 PM
I have a MKIII with the spur hammer and have put around 6-700 rounds though it since when I bought it this past January . Iv never had hammer bite

I guess I have small hands.

Vonderek
February 17, 2012, 12:30 PM
I have an older model with the ring-style hammer which bites pretty good. Doesn't cut the skin badly but leaves a nice blood blister after a range session.

CPO15
February 17, 2012, 12:33 PM
Have a MK II and III, never happened to me. I wear a medium golf glove.

DCR1911
February 17, 2012, 12:33 PM
I have a MKIII with spur hammer as well and have never had hammer bite either. I also own and frequently shoot a 1911 and utilize a high-hand grip for both pistols.

FWIW I wear large-size gloves.

marb4
February 17, 2012, 12:48 PM
My Hi Power had the ring style hammer and bit so bad that I would put a piece of duct tape on the web of my hand when shooting it. I finally cut a portion of the ring off and made it into a traditional spur type hammer. Looked good and allowed me to enjoy the gun without taping up my hands.

The Lone Haranguer
February 17, 2012, 12:49 PM
http://hipowersandhandguns.com/HiPowerandHammerBite.htm

There is no guarantee that it would affect you, however.

rellascout
February 17, 2012, 12:56 PM
There is no way to know if it will effect you until you shoot a BHP. If the hammer is biting you can go with a C&S or Novak no bite hammer. If you go that route I suggest you also replace the sear too. They sell them in matched sets.

http://www.cylinder-slide.com/index.php?app=ccp0&ns=prodshow&ref=CS0286

http://www.cylinder-slide.com/media/ccp0/prodxl/CS285xlg.jpg

Wishoot
February 17, 2012, 01:46 PM
1982 Hi-Power un-modified. Medium hands. Never had a problem with hammer-bite.

Lothar
February 17, 2012, 02:51 PM
This would be an interesting poll. I bet the incidence of hammer bite on a BHP of any given hammer configuration is directly proportional to a person's weight (not necessarily fat weight, but muscle mass too, i.e, how beefy a person's hand is). I'm pretty slender, and my BHP's spur hammer doesn't come anywhere close to biting my hand.

Hammer bite shouldn't be any reason for anybody to be wary of buying a Hi-Power though, as it is very easily fixed.

2ifbyC
February 17, 2012, 03:36 PM
I agree with Lothar’s assessment.

I wear XXL gloves. This causes me to have a high grip for my hand to feel comfortable. I notice the skin on the web on my hand is protruding above the shortened beavertail of the BHP; this condition would likely be prone to hammer bite as it was on my old M1911.:eek:

However, as stated, this can only be proven by firing the gun to determine if it takes a bite out of me. The BHP is a keeper. I won’t let a little blood letting diminish the smile this classic puts on my face.:)

ATLDave
February 17, 2012, 03:40 PM
This would be an interesting poll. I bet the incidence of hammer bite on a BHP of any given hammer configuration is directly proportional to a person's weight (not necessarily fat weight, but muscle mass too, i.e, how beefy a person's hand is).

Hmm, I'd bet there's a significant correlation with how high one's grip is, too. My grip has gotten progressively higher over time, and some pistols that used to be comfortable to shoot are now uncomfortable, either because of hammer bite or because a short-and-low tang digs into the base of my thumb.

RevolvingGarbage
February 17, 2012, 04:16 PM
I'm surprised so many people complain of hammer bite with the 1911. I have fairly large hands and I am a decent amount overweight (6' 290 lbs), and even with the highest possible grip I cant get any amount of my hand underneath that hammer.

Maybe with an original M1911 it could happen, but not with a A1/MK.IV style grip safety.

2ifbyC
February 17, 2012, 04:33 PM
http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa214/dhajduk/Guns/BHP-2_S.jpg

nwilliams
February 17, 2012, 04:53 PM
I've only ever been bitten by the desire to own more BHP's:D

I have average size but thin hands and the web between my thumb and trigger finger seems to stay well clear of the danger zone. My friend has really beefy hands and he can't shoot the HP at all because it bits him so much.

brickeyee
February 17, 2012, 04:59 PM
Shoot it and find out.

It is not so much just hand size, but how much tissue you have on your hands and how you hold the gun.

Lothar
February 17, 2012, 05:01 PM
Looks like an Anniversary Edition, 2ifbyC. I have one too, but mine's a Mark III with the black epoxy. I'd love to have one that's blued. Very nice photo.

gyvel
February 17, 2012, 05:08 PM
How common is “Hammer Bite” with a Browning Hi Power?

If you have fat hands, very.

rcmodel
February 17, 2012, 05:13 PM
Maybe with an original M1911 it could happen, but not with a A1/MK.IV style grip safety.I'm here to tell you it is real, and it happens with 1911A1's.

I went home many times while shooting with 5th. Army AMU pistol team with a bloody hand. A band-aid can was a importent part of my shooting box equipment.

And I have fairly small hands.

I think it has more to do with how loose your skin is and how much of it can roll up over the tang at full recoil then hand size though.

rc

twice barrel
February 17, 2012, 05:36 PM
I've had two Hi-Powers. Both bit. One was spur hammer and one lanyard-type hammer. If it weren't for that I would still have them.

La Sombra
February 17, 2012, 06:04 PM
I would agree with the comment that it depends on how you hold it. I have a Mk III with a spur hammer and very large hands (5 in wide by 8 in long, size XXL golves), and through thousands of rounds I've never had a bite.

YMMV.

rellascout
February 17, 2012, 06:13 PM
Here is the ultimate cure for hammer bite ....

http://www.heirloomprecision.com/mediumfoto/photos/Ted_Yost/2008-Signature_Grade_Hi-Power/1.jpg

Pilot
February 17, 2012, 06:31 PM
Nice Al Mar SERE there Rella, and nice BHP.

I have a 1994 MK III BHP, and large hands and never experienced hammer bite.

rellascout
February 17, 2012, 06:34 PM
Nice Al Mar SERE there Rella, and nice BHP.

Not mine... I cannot bring myself to drop that much coin on a BHP. Yost does excellent work but I cannot justify it. I don't own the knife either. LOL

My poor humble BHP custom build looks like this:

http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t213/rellascout/wwg-bhp2.gif

http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t213/rellascout/wwg-bhp.gif

http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t213/rellascout/wwg-bhp-7.gif

http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t213/rellascout/wwg-bhp-8.gif

http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t213/rellascout/wwg-bhp4.gif

http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t213/rellascout/wwg-bhp3.gif

larryh1108
February 17, 2012, 06:44 PM
I have large and meaty hands, XXL. I have been biten by 1911s and BHPs. I have a permanent scar on my hand from the shooting and I have a hole in my shooting gloves from them as well from when I use the gloves. I USED to have a high grip but the pain and blood caused me to change my grip and I went to beavertails on my 1911s. I still love shooting my BHPs but I have learned to shoot with a lower grip.

Stringfellow
February 17, 2012, 06:46 PM
I like the look of ring hammers, but they are a definite no-go on Hi Powers for me; I get hammer bite just racking the slide. For perspective, I had to add a beavertail to my 1911 because a single 7 round mag's worth of shooting was enough to draw blood on the stock tang (actually I think the first round drew blood, and the next six just made the situation more clear).

I assumed that the traditional spur hammers would be worse on an HP, but they are actually no problem at all. The curve of the spur follows the curve of my grip so that the point of the spur will never contact the web of my hand.

Definitely ditch that mag safety. I got a trigger job from Bill Springfield on mine, and the trigger is absolutely perfect--perhaps better than my 1911.

Stephen Camp addresses this in a lot of detail: http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/HiPowerandHammerBite.htm

JustinL
February 17, 2012, 07:44 PM
I own two Inglis Hi Powers and have never been bitten by either. I guess it is merely a combination of grip and the shape of your hand.

wrench
February 17, 2012, 10:27 PM
Ring or spur hammers, I've never been bitten. Try it and see.

Coltdriver
February 17, 2012, 11:32 PM
I have owned two HP's.

I used sprinco plate plus, treated the trigger group including the mag safety and got the trigger to work as smooth as glass. They will always have a lot of creep unless you get a smith to fix it but it will never be a 1911 class trigger.

I got hammer bite from my first HP. Then learned how to hold it. There is no reason to cinch your hand up under the hammer. None. Its just a 9mm.

Once I learned how to hold the pistol I never got hammer bite again.

A 1911 and a HP are the only two pistols I ever detail stripped. The HP is not hard to take apart and it goes back together very easy.

If you are going to pull the mag safety anyway give the plate plus a try.

bannockburn
February 18, 2012, 07:10 AM
I have rather small hands and I have never been bit by MK.II Hi-Power. It wears Pachmayr wrap-around grips.

PabloJ
February 18, 2012, 08:25 AM
One of the changes I plan on making to my BHP is the removal of the magazine safety and possibly some spring changes to reduce the trigger pull; the pistol is for target shooting only.

I’ve read that hammer bite on the BHP may be an issue. Having a M1911, I have experienced this problem and it isn’t pleasant. In concert with the above changes, I may purchase a new hammer/sear as well.

I would like to know if any of you with shooting experience with the BHP have had hammer bite and what solution you may have taken. Thanks.

Using inexpensive jewelers file set from PRC will make the problem go away.

Certaindeaf
February 18, 2012, 08:54 AM
I think I got bit a time or two.. been a long time since that happened - both spur and ring. I still really choke up on any given gun but it's not a problem.
I had a 4" M-29 with Pachmayr's and loaded heavy for it.. that thing would bark my thumb bone with the cylinder release pretty good.

johnnydollar
February 18, 2012, 05:39 PM
No hammer bite problems here, ring or spur hammer. But I do have small hands.

GunNut
February 19, 2012, 12:22 AM
My MKIII that the wife has claimed as hers gets me from time to time. I was thinking about using it for a carry gun, but can't stand the hammer bite, so i'll just let my wife keep it for protection.

Certaindeaf
February 19, 2012, 12:29 AM
The Renaissance bites hard.

HPShooter
February 19, 2012, 02:12 PM
I've had both Inglis and Inglis clones with the round hammer. I used to get the bite.....but experimented with a high and tight grip, and haven't been bitten in quite some time. I have medium to large hands.

Since these pistols have been stone reliable with everything.....including jacketed hollow points despite the humpbacked feed ramp......I haven't made it any kind of priority to change to a spur. I'd say, if it is a problem that deters you from shooting these naturally pointing, extremely reliable, slim pistols, change to the spur.

In my experience the current production Mk III's with spur don't bit at all, non-issue.

Ky Larry
February 19, 2012, 05:51 PM
Probably about as common as "Garand Thumb." I own a CZ-83 in .380 ACP and it bites me but not my wife. As soon as I save enough pennies, I'm going to buy a BHP and see how it works.

rellascout
February 19, 2012, 05:54 PM
In my experience the current production Mk III's with spur don't bit at all, non-issue.

People report hammer bite with all vintages of BHPs.

Novak is another option for a not bite hammer.

http://www.novaksights.com/assets/images/guns/novakcustom/ncbrowning/bhpnightops.jpg

gyvel
February 20, 2012, 07:32 AM
The Renaissance bites hard.

OK. I'll bite: You ACTUALLY shoot a Renaissance???:what:

If you enjoyed reading about "How common is “Hammer Bite” with a Browning Hi Power?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!