FN Browning HP-SA Trigger Job


April 4, 2004, 03:34 PM
Have been looking for a single action handgun for shooting IPSC matches in the Production category. My SIGPRO is okay, but the transistion from DA/SA is giving me some problems.

In any event, I want to go SA, and have been looking around at various 1911s.

Then suddenly, boom, picked up one of the newly okayed FN Brownings. I have never handled a High Power before, but have heard the rants. I was amazed at how pointable it was. Wherever I pointed it, as soon as I went to sights, they were exactly lined up. Ergonomics were great also. I find that the 1911 slide release is too far forward.

BUT, and there is always a but, the trigger was not great, and thus my question.

How does the new FN respond to trigger work? Has anyone done any work on this front. Or does breakin really improve the trigger? It definitely did with my SIG.

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April 4, 2004, 08:09 PM
Paging Mr. Keenan! Paging Jim Keenan!

Paging Mr. Camp! Paging Stephen Camp!

Help's a-comin'!



April 4, 2004, 08:38 PM
As Tuner sez ... we await the keenan/Camp duo ... haven't seen Steve in a while tho, come to think on it.

Most will say tho that phase #1 is probably the simple expedient of removing mag safety .... as that appears to have an immediated improvement effect. It's worked for me.

Stephen A. Camp
April 4, 2004, 09:02 PM
Hello, pittspilot. If you are one of the folks for whom the Hi Power "does it," I think you'll truly appreciate the pistol more after shooting it.

The trigger pull on many Hi Powers is less than ideal out of the box and this seems pretty well the norm, although the last few Browning-marked Mk III pistols I handled (not mine) had pretty decent trigger pulls NIB. I HOPE that 's a trend, but don't set high expectations.

A 'smith who understands Hi Powers can almost certainly get you a trigger that breaks cleanly in the 4 to 4.5-lb. range. I'd heard this for years, but managed to get one with a 3.5-lb pull that broke like Jeff Cooper's proverbial "glass rod." It only lasted about 2500 rnds before I began getting hammer follow. Several of mine are in the 4.25 to 5-lb trigger range and the trigger pulls have remained consistent for many thousands of rounds over the years.

They do "clean up" nicely on their own with shooting. Usually, they smooth out a bit in 300 to 500 rnds and if you opt to remove the magazine "safety", expect a 10 to 15% decrease in trigger pull. Some opt not to do this for concerns about using the gun in a fight and liability. I'm told that very good trigger pulls can be put on Hi Powers retaining the magazine disconnect. Mine are long gone, but this is a decision for you to make.

Hi Powers have a bit of slack before the sear lever actually engages the sear and the reset will not match that of the 1911. It is longer. I'm used to this and it causes me no problems, but I have noticed that some of the really fast and accurate 1911 shooters sometimes fail to release the trigger quite far enough for it to reset. I've not seen this problem with Glock shooters, SIG-Sauer folks, CZ shooters, etc.

I would shoot the gun for a while to:

1. Let the trigger/sear seat and smooth...as much as it will

2. See that the sights are regulated such that POA = POI

3. Make sure the gun's reliable (usually a non-issue)

4. See if the hammer bites the hand shooting it as this, too, is not unknown amongst HP fans

It is possible that you will not feel you need a trigger job, but if you do you also have shot the gun enough to note any other possible changes that might be desired.

If interested, here's some links related to your question or perhaps of interest for your IPSC work:






April 4, 2004, 09:20 PM
If you don't want to remove the dumb magazine safety you can polish the back of the safety where it contacts the mag and polish each mag in the contact area. You could do the same careful polishing ( with a fine stone) on all the contact surfaces from trigger to hammer, just polish don't change any angles. That should make major improvement.

Zak Smith
April 4, 2004, 09:28 PM
Don't "Production" pistols have to start with a DA pull? I thought SA pistols were specifically disallowed in this USPSA division?


April 4, 2004, 09:28 PM
I'm far from a BHP expert but I know that with the right smith, you can get an outstanding trigger break. As Mr Camp notes, with factory internals, you may end up with less reliability which is certainl a concern but I've handled a couple that the actual break was as good as any 1911 or CZ I've ever handled.

Also, if your main point of reference is the SA mode of the SIG Pro, I assure you, a BHP can be made that good and then some with complete reliability.

I'd also suggest you maybe go handle a CZ75B SA. This is the single action version of the CZ75 design. The triggers are way, way better than any current BHP I've handled and can be made quite a bit better with a bit of work. Reliability is great out of the box, trigger is very decent and they cost about 60% of what a brand new BHP costs. In my general experience, folks that like the feel of the BHP also like the feel of the CZ75s.

I'm a long time 1911 fan and love the platform very much. If in combat or in a situation where I though I'd have a pressing need for a gun for serious issues, I'd want a 1911 but for general play and race work, I find the ergonomics of the BHPs and the CZ75 better than the 1911 but as Mr Camp also says, for the very best of the best, the 1911 is still probably the best. :p

Zak Smith
April 4, 2004, 09:33 PM
Ted Yost is your man for the ne ultra plus BHP trigger job. He can reduce the dreaded reset distance and overtravel, and set a glass clean 4# break.

Neither the CZ75BSA nor the BHP trigger can approach a decent 1911 trigger in terms of reset distance, however. The disconnector in the BHP and the firing pin disconnect in the 75BSA require significant reset distance. In my experience, the BHP trigger can be made more crisp than the 75BSA trigger, and still keep enough hammer/sear engagement.


April 4, 2004, 09:35 PM
My current BHP and early eighties model has a great trigger pull. It hadn't seen much use up to the time I bought it. I removed the mag safety. I would guess the trigger is maybe four pounds, but I don't have a gauge. Also the BHP fits my hand so well that maybe it just "seems" lighter, that's a possibility as well. It was a little heavier when I got it, but it broke in nicely and has zero creep. It's pretty much been my experience that after the mag safety has been removed (the first thing I do before even shooting it) the trigger will lighten up gradually over about the first 500 rounds.

Jon Coppenbarger
April 4, 2004, 11:35 PM
I have a practical model in 40 S&W and the trigger on it is very nice.


April 5, 2004, 12:35 AM
I'd like to know what other guns you have experience with... I used to own a SIG Pro and have played with several others. I guarantee you that any BHP or CZ trigger can be made to be better than the SA pull on any of the SIG Pros I've used. And that's not a mark against the SIG Pro... just that 1911s, CZs and BHPs are capable of having very smooth triggers with a little work, effort or money.

Many guns can be made to have very respectable triggers with just a bit of stoning and polishing. I had a Colt Commander that a local smith cleaned up that had a measured 5.5 lb trigger pull that most guys would swear was 3 or 3.5 lbs... Had a Colt 1991A1 that Ned Christiansen did a 5 lb trigger job to and again but with zero grit, zero creep and zero overtravel, folks would swear it was a 3 lb job. Truth is, most folks have precious little experience with truly excellent triggers and very often those truly excellent triggers scare the heck out of many people and are arguably too light for many folks to carry daily outside of race games.

Point is, current production BHPs have pretty terrible triggers as they come from the factory and if tha factory trigger pull is the only thing holding you back, buy one, get it fixed and enjoy it. If you want to go a cheaper route for a fairly similar feeling gun with a better out of the box trigger, the CZ75B SA might be worth a look.

Good luck! :)

April 5, 2004, 11:12 AM
I have two that I've used in USPSA. Unfortunatly, they're eligible only for limited division, not production. Minor caliber is a bit of a disadvantage.

That said, Ted Yost did the trigger on one and it's outstanding. The longer reset is only a problem when I go back to it after shooting a 1911. Trigger freeze is a horrible feeling in the middle of the stage.

Good luck.

Zak Smith
April 5, 2004, 11:52 AM
Single-action pistols are not allowed in the Production USPSA division. In Limited or Limited-10, you'd need to shoot .40SW to be competitive.


April 5, 2004, 12:49 PM
Thanks for all the thoughts.

"I'd like to know what other guns you have experience with"

I have shot triggers from a very nasty double action Dan Wesson .357, to an ultra light STI race gun. The race gun was way too light for anything but competition. I have shot the Kimbers, and also one Valtro. Love those triggers, but then you have to pay to play.

The NIB FN SA was worse then my SA SIGPRO, which is why I asked. It may have been that example, so I should try out a few others.

I need to check out to see if the Hi-Power is allowed in Production, otherwise the concerns about 9mm being at a disadvantage are correct.

Also thanks for the headsup about the CZ.

April 5, 2004, 01:05 PM
OK... I certainly didn't mean that as an offense which it kinda sounded when I re-read my post. Just some of the comments here centered around trigger jobs that were so light that long term reliability was compromised. I just wanted to point out that it is very easy to get a BHP trigger pull better than any factory SIG (other than the 210) with total safety and reliability.

Of course, the BHP and the CZ75B SA are both available in 40 if you want to go that route though the 40 BHP is actually larger than the 9. Of course, I've always viewed the race games as a way to get better with your carry gun and a way to spend some free time rather than actually trying to win per se, but I guess somebody's gotta win. :p

April 5, 2004, 11:14 PM
No offense was taken at all.

Determining someone's experience level, before giving advice, is completely valid. I don't consider myself an expert by any means.

I thought about going with the .40, but I would have to hande it too see if had the same ergonomics as the 9mm.

April 6, 2004, 05:35 AM
If you want to go a cheaper route for a fairly similar feeling gun with a better out of the box trigger, the CZ75B SA might be worth a look.

I actually used to want a CZ75B SA until I tried a few. The trigger on each was horrible and gritty/creepy. The last thing I would have expected. I'm pretty sure at least one of them had been outfitted from the factory with the plastic trigger though.

April 6, 2004, 07:52 AM
Id agree with the concept of the CZ SA and the BHP being close in feel.
The CZ has a better trigger for the most part and will clean up on its own after a while, the BHP mostly just needs the Mag Safety taken out.

Both guns will do you better than most.....the CZ SA I had the last time, 2 so far, was an absolute sweet heart and had to be shot to be appreciated.

My Arcus, only BHP Ive had thus far, has had a trigger job and breaks at around 4-4.5#'s and offers better split times IMO than any other gun Ive had..........very nice recoil. NONE!

Either way you can have a nice gun....................Shoot well.

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