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New FN Hi Power (from CDNN)

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by BHPshooter, Jul 12, 2005.

  1. BHPshooter

    BHPshooter Well-Known Member

    CDNN has offered genuine FN MkIII Hi Powers for $399 for nearly a year now... I caved in about two weeks ago and ordered one with the extensive assistance of Correia and his business partner (Thanks Larry, Thanks Jaime!).

    I picked it up yesterday. It came in an attractive black carrying case, with a 10-round Browning "moustrap" mag, a Mec-Gar 13-round mag, and FN's nifty little silencer-looking cleaning kit.

    Its serial number is 511MXxxxxx, making it a 2003 manufacture. It is pictured here with my Browning MkIII Hi Power, 245NWxxxxx (1994 manufacture). The Browning is on top, the FN on bottom.


    There aren't many markings, which gives it a really clean look. The slide on the port side only has the FN crest, the dust cover on the port side has a rollmark that says, "FNMI, Columbia, SC." The Starboard side of the slide says, "FN HERSTAL BELGIUM."

    One of the things that endears me so much not only to Hi Powers, but to the real FN/Browning Hi Powers is that FN is still developing and advancing them. I will show this later with pictures (the batteries are dead in the camera right now) but there are quite a few changes, showing that FN isn't just content to let the 70-year-old design become obsolete.

    It would be pretty pointless to try to describe the changes without having pictures to describe what I'm talking about -- maybe tonight.

    The two most obvious ones are that the slide stop that has been re-engineered to be more beefy, and the "new" barrel. The barrel is one of the ones without the "barrel hood lug", which also has the little window to see if there is a round in the chamber. Also, the barrel is throated like nothing I've ever seen. I haven't had a chance to shoot it yet, but it will feed empty cases -- something none of my other HPs will do. That doesn't prove anything of course, but I'll bet that this baby will feed pea gravel if I want it to.

    This is also the first Hi Power that I've ever handled that didn't have slide-to-frame rattle. This is the tightest one I've personally handled, yet it's not so tight to take away from its smooth action. Barrel fit is also very tight.

    The trigger needed lubing badly -- once it got lubed, it smoothed out nicely. It's still heavy, and the mag disconnect doesn't help that, but it is very crisp. I think this one will smooth out and lighten up to be very nice.

    The gun isn't as heavily sprung as my Browning was -- I would estimate that the recoil spring is about 15 pounds -- but the mainspring still feels like a 32#.

    The finish is superb. It is more "matte" than my Browning was, and the finish was also applied more evenly. It looks and feels durable and utilitarian. We'll see how it holds up to my "toxic nuclear sweat."

    Now, I have one gripe and another possible gripe: 1)The slide stop does not move freely by itself, meaning that if you thumb down the slide stop, everything is fine; but if you "slingshot" the slide, it won't work and the slide will stay locked. This might just be an issue of wearing-in, or it might need attention.
    2)The possible gripe: The rear sights are visibly left-of-center (no, not politically), which may cause the gun to shoot left pretty drastically :uhoh: :scrutiny: ... I won't get to shoot it until Saturday, so I won't know until then. We'll see.

    I am very pleased. The Hi Power of today appears to be a stronger, beefier pistol than the HP of yesterday -- it's a dyin' shame that FN has decided that they will be phasing the HP out. Get yours today, folks. They won't be around forever, and at this price, it's the deal of a lifetime.

    I'll post more pics later.


    Attached Files:

  2. NeveraVictimAgain

    NeveraVictimAgain Well-Known Member

    Lucky You!

    Congrats on your new purchase, it looks nice.

    I hope to own a HP someday.

    Dave :)
  3. Trebor

    Trebor Well-Known Member

    Nice write up.

    My understanding is that the slide stop is now cast or MIM. That would explain why it was beefed up. I'm going to hunt down a machined slide stop for mine, I think. Just because.

    I also have one of the CDNN FN's. It's interesting to compare it to my FN Mk II/III ex-Isreali hybrid that I got from AIM surplus a few years back. The big differences are the lack of firing pin safety in the older gun and the tiny unuseable safety on the older gun. The older FN also has a much better trigger, but I think the new pistol will get better as it wears in some.
  4. BHPshooter

    BHPshooter Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Trebor. :)

    I think you're right, I think the new slide stop is cast. It doesn't have the texture or sprue marks that usually give away MIM, but I could be wrong.

    Yes, it's interesting to contrast and compare... Between my FEG clone (which is like a 70s BHP), my 94 BHP, and this 03 FN, it's a very interesting cross-section of what has happened with the hi-power line over the years.

  5. DHart

    DHart Well-Known Member

    Wes... nice review. I think you'll love the gun when you get to the shooting... as I mentioned on another forum, I just picked up my FN HP 9mm fro CDNN yesterday:

    Just got my third Hi-Power yesterday (my first two are Brownings in .40 cal.).... this new one is an FN Hi Power in 9mm from CDNN for $399. The finish is the epoxy/poly smooth black finish. The gun was supplied with a factory 10 rnd. mag and a 13 rnd mag of unknown manufacture. Based on the date of the fired casing, the gun was made in early 2003, so it's been in new stock somewhere for a couple of years. I believe FN decided to shift all HiPower production for the USA to the Browning marque and shipped all FN marque HiPowers remainiing in the USA to CDNN for liquidating. For a time CDNN was selling them for $429 and recently marked them down to $399. At that price, the gun is below dealer cost... hard to resist!

    On inspection, the fit and finish was flawless. I tore it down, removed the mag disconnect device, cleaned, then lubed it and got ready for some shootin'. I didn't measure trigger pull before removing the mag disconnect (didn't think about it), but after removal of the mag disconnect, the trigger broke with a very nice feel at 7 lbs. Not bad at all. Quite servicable at that, but not as nice as the 4.5# pulls my two Browning HiPowers in forty caliber have as a result of a trip to Arizona for a visit to Don Williams.

    Last night I put 89 rounds of Winchester White Box 115 gr. JHP through it using only the aftermarket 13-round magazine that came with the gun (I don't expect I will ever use the 10-round factory magazine).

    The 13-round magazine is finished in smooth, polished blue steel, has no markings on it, three witness holes on the right side of the magazine, and the black polymer follower has two cone shaped extensions which go down into the top of the spring. The mag functioned flawlessly. Anyone know if this is a Mec-Gar magazine?

    The shooting session was as uneventful as one could hope for.... flawless functioning, even with lots of rapid fire, and accuracy was excellent. $399 VERY well spent!

    No pics as yet (I still haven't photographed my two Browning HiPowers and I've had them a couple of years!)
  6. BHPshooter

    BHPshooter Well-Known Member

    A couple of comparison pics, as promised. Let me apologize in advance for the crappy pictures, this POS camera is incapable of taking up-close shots.

    First, the slide stop (Old-style on top, New-style on bottom):
    You can see that the area near where the follower hits on an empty mag is relieved, and that the part is a tad thicker.

    (Old-style on top, New-style on bottom)
    This pic is a lot crappier (sorry), but you can kinda see that the bottom part is a little beefier in manufacture, and has more machining/relief all-around.



    Attached Files:

  7. BHPshooter

    BHPshooter Well-Known Member

    Now, the barrels:

    (Traditional style [1994] on top, new style [2003] on bottom)
    The traditional style BHP barrel (both pre-MkIII and MkIII) has always had a little lug on the barrel hood (the little nub you see on the top barrel).
    On the new barrel, that is gone, and there is a little window where the extractor holds the cartridge to see if the chamber is loaded. You'll also notice that the bottom cam-lug has been reinforced.

    (Traditional style [1994] at left, new style [2003] at right)
    The MkII and MkIII models from the past (like my 1994) came with their barrels throated from the factory, hence the flat feed ramp. BHPs before this had "humped" feed ramps*. Again, note the barrel hood lug on the barrel at left.

    The new-style barrel comes throated from the factory and has the flat feed ramp, but is throated completely around the entire radius of the barrel... we're talking about some substantial throating. Like I said earlier, I think this would feed gravel if I wanted it to.

    *My FEG has a humped feed-ramp, and the only feed-related jam I've ever had with it was with a couple of POS Triple-K mags that I promptly sent back... FWIW.

    I tried to take pics of the differences on the frames, but my camera is just too crappy to get pics of them... I'll borrow a friend's digital Rebel soon and post the rest, and I'll also post an after-action report when I shoot it.


    Attached Files:

  8. DHart

    DHart Well-Known Member

    Wes... excellent effort... thanks for the work and for sharing the info and pics! Long live the Browning & FN Hi-Power!!!
  9. Commissar Gribb

    Commissar Gribb Well-Known Member

    now I wanna get another one.

    the one I got now is a browning/FN model
  10. PCRCCW

    PCRCCW Well-Known Member

    Wes........hey, I may need your newer one for a mold. The parts you show may effect holsters enough to justify me having it for around 10-12 months. Bring LOTS of ammo also...........:D
    In all honesty, nice nice nice. Call me when you can..................Shoot well
  11. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Wes, excellent write up and thx for your effort in so doing. Nicely added to as well by Don's contribution.

    Interesting to see the changes over time, instance barrel, slide stop etc. Hope this will prove to be a good shooter for you. re rear sight - make sure you have with you at the range - a small hammer, a brass drift and a hardwood block. Plus too if pos' a second pair of hands. Then you can drift that sight over to where it probably may need to go.

    Thx again. :)
  12. Ford

    Ford Well-Known Member

    got my FN from CDNN today.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2007
  13. NeveraVictimAgain

    NeveraVictimAgain Well-Known Member

    Congratulations, Ford!

    Please let us know how you like it and how well it shoots. I'm thinking of getting one myself.

    Dave :)
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2005
  14. mbott

    mbott Well-Known Member

    Thefumegator said:

    Excellent selection ... I have the same. :)

  15. GunGoBoom

    GunGoBoom member

    Thanks for the write-up and beautiful pistols - man I can't believe how cheap the real deal is from CDNN! I may have to break down as well. Good photography, too.
  16. AirPower

    AirPower Well-Known Member

    Has FN decided to stop making HiPower? If so, who's going to make them for Browning? Or is Browning also phasing out the HiPower? I can't think of any Browning pistol that's not HP.
  17. Vitamin G

    Vitamin G Well-Known Member

    I definately want to pick up a FN or Browning soon, and send it off somewhere for all the typical "top of the line" modifications and polishings. I have an FM now, and I know that if I had them done to the FM, alot of people would subscribe to the "polishing a turd is still a turd" mentality, and I'd never get any resale out of it.
  18. BHPshooter

    BHPshooter Well-Known Member

    Yes, FN said that they plan to phase out the Hi Power -- I wish fnhipower.com was still up, it was discussed at length on there. That means that Browning (who is owned by FN) will not have Hi Powers to sell either.

    As for other other FN/Browning pistols, the Browning PRO series is getting good reviews. [​IMG]

    Vitamin G: I thought about having a little work done to my my FEG at one point, but I never could get past the fact that it was still a FEG. I might still have it refinished (you ought to see it :uhoh: ) but that'll probably be it.

  19. Navy87Guy

    Navy87Guy Well-Known Member

    Hmmmm....I've never been a fan of external safeties but that Hi Power looks sweet. I'm mostly a 9mm guy, so if I break down and get a single action pistol, this might have to be the one.

    The CDNN catalog is rumored to be out at the end of next week...maybe I'll have to see what they're listing in the latest one.
  20. Ford

    Ford Well-Known Member

    put my first 150 rounds through my Hi Power today. It functioned flawless. Didnt even have any hammer bite I was worried about. ;) I did shoot low with it. Going to get a trigger job in it next week. Maybe that will help.

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