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Browning Hi Power - Looking at 2 Belgians and need advice

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by t_dickinson, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. t_dickinson

    t_dickinson Well-Known Member

    Hello to all,

    This is my first post so go easy as I'm new to the game. I just want to learn and have fun. Also let me say that that I've read through hundreds of your posts and am profoundly impressed with the wealth of collective knowledge you offer.

    To the point:

    I have gotten the itch for a BHP and from what I've read, the Belgians are a good way to go if you only get one. No need to explain why I'm attracted to these pistols - they speak for themselves asthetically.

    The first BHP has a (looped?) hammer which I prefer over the spur. I'd say it's 95% with new looking wood stocks that are painted red on the inside. Good bore and crown with very little play in the slide/frame interface. 1 mag. Slide is stamped with "St Louis MO Montreal QP Belgium" SN on frame is 69C8309. Appears to be all stock. $649

    The second is about 90% though the blue is not as "deep" looking. Grips have same red paint but checkering is worn and they have discoloration (not attractive). Good bore and crown with a spur hammer. Slide reads "Morgan UT Montreal QP Belgium" SN is on the front strap 74C13044 1 mousetrap and 1 reg mag for $599

    I like the first one more but the blue book said $525. They are being sold on consignment. Any info on these would be appreciated and are they priced right or should I offer less? Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

    I promise to be more concise in the future!
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  2. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

    Hello. The prices seem decent enough for these older, classic style Hi Powers, which were made in '69 and '74, respectively. I do not think that they are outlandish considering today's pricing. Something to keep in mind might be that with each passing year, good examples of the older Hi Powers will not only cost more but be harder to find.

    The '69 with the ring hammer would be just like the vaunted "T-Series" Hi Powers, whose production run was just ending. ("T" because of the "T" in the serial number. These usually command a premium as some find them to represent the zenith of Hi Power fit and finish.) Actually, I am award of a couple of folks with "T"-marked Hi Powers actually made in 1970 and '71! Anyway, the '69 Hi Power would be very interesting as it comes from that production juncture between the "T" and "C" series guns. (FN's dates of productions are more like "suggestions" in some cases rather than exact.)

    If you plan to shoot it, the ring hammer may or may not bite you. It just depends upon your hand. They bite the fire out of me but not some other shooters.

    The spur-hammered C you describe is another example of the classic style Hi Power and the spur hammer will be less-likely to give hammer bite and can easily be bobbed slightly if it does.

    To me, the '69C is the more "interesting" Hi Power but for me, the spur hammer '74 would be the more practical between the two.

  3. t_dickinson

    t_dickinson Well-Known Member

    Mr. Camp,

    Excuse me for sounding like fan but I've been reading your website ant THR posts for days and have already decided that you are the "Higher Power" of the Hi Power universe. I was just reading your words to my wife while trying to explain the lure of a gun. When she heard what you wrote she simply said "Wow, get one"

    Thanks to you, I will soon be the proud owner of a Hi Power.

    Groupie - okay, but I give credit where credit is due and I thank you for being the first to lend a hand.


    Thaddeus Dickinson
  4. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

    Hello and thanks for the kind words but there are plenty of things about firearms and the Hi Power that I just don't know. I am particularly deficient in proof marks, Hi Power history as well as collectible oddities and such. I can usually get 'em to run reliably and a few tricks in that area.

  5. jonnyc

    jonnyc Well-Known Member

    I agree with SC. If your intention is to keep a "collectible" that gets shot rarely, go with the 69C. If you expect to shoot it regularly, get the 74C.
  6. whitefeather

    whitefeather Well-Known Member

    I resisted the HI Power for years and was content with my 1911's. And then one day I was at a gun show and saw a "245" series with the beercan sights that seemed to call to me.

    I picked it up and I was in love. My Belgian beauty was made in '77.

    It is by FAR my favorite non-1911 autoloader to shoot, to hold or to just look at. Pure beauty in terms of function and aesthetics. It fits my hand better than any of my other pistols. It is one of the few guns in my collection that I will not consider parting with.

    My 16 yr. old son is claiming dibs, but he's just going to have to be content to be able to shoot it once in awhile for now.

    351 WINCHESTER Well-Known Member

    FYI the earlier hp's were not designed for hollow points and may or may not feed them. Later on the feed ramp was changed for reliable hp feeding. Sometimes you can adjust the feed lips to get them to feed, but for the early ones ball ammo is what the gun was designed to shoot. That said the federal bp ammo feeds well as well as the remington jhp.
  8. Dienekes

    Dienekes Well-Known Member

    Stephen is too modest to say it--but his book on the BHP is what you need. It pulls a lot of useful info together in one place and will save you a lot of those limp "Educate me on..." type of posts.

    I liked the BHP from first acquaintance in 1960; it's probably the best reason for owning a 9mm pistol--if you want to rationalize it...
  9. gunny3333

    gunny3333 Member

    Go with the older gun

    I have a T series that had the ring hammer that took much of my shooting pleasure away. I just changed out the hammer for a bobbed spur and "presto", no more bite.

    I have made two other mods based on SC's various writings (a big "thank you" Steve). First, I replaced the recoil spring with a SpringCo two part spring that works great to reduce recoil with regular ammo and also let's me shoot +P. Second, I had the mag safety removed, which makes the trigger pull smoother and much lighter, but not "touchy".

    Of my half dozen handguns, this is by all odds my favorite to shoot. It fits my hand beautifully and just goes to the target seemingly by itself.

    Good luck, you can't go wrong with either one. Welcome to BHP land.
  10. jaysouth

    jaysouth Well-Known Member

    If your HP is for range fun and armchair fondling, either of the C's would be great.

    However, if you plan to use it for a carry gun, I would recommend that you get a MKIII, the newer version that has usable sights and a thumb safety that can be manipulated more easily than the tiny safety on the C's.

    For bragging rights, beauty, and appreciation of fine machinery, older is better. For shooting and carrying, newer is better.
  11. whitefeather

    whitefeather Well-Known Member

    Besides the '77 Belgian, I also picked up one of the Charles Daly HP's. I've only put 300 or so rounds through it, so I can't attest to it's long term durability at this point, but it is very accurate and has not had a single hiccup so far. That includes FMJ's as well has Hydra Shocks.

    I did not know how I'd like the AO Exress sights at first, but it only took a couple of mags to get the hang of them. It's actually a very fast sighting system, but I prefer the adjustable rear sight of my Belgian for target work.
  12. Pilot

    Pilot Well-Known Member

    Hi Powers are wonderful pistols. Its a refined, slim and elegant pistol perfectly sized for the effecient 9MM Luger cartridge and Mr. Camp knows his stuff.
  13. ROCK6

    ROCK6 Well-Known Member

    I too agree! I fell into winning an auction on my return trip of 15 months to Iraq...it's a newer Browning, but a beautiful blue. I added some G10 Mil-Tac grips (much slimmer then the stock wood), and some Trijicon sights and it's one of my favorite CCW pieces. Of all the pistols I have (Sig, XD, Kimber, Glock, Steyr, Kahr, CZ, Dan Wesson...etc.), this is probably the best fitting to my hand:



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