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Browning Hi Power with a Loose Slide?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by TomJ, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. TomJ
    • Contributing Member

    TomJ Contributing Member

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    Not too long go I picked up a Browning Hi Power. I like it so much I've been keeping my eye out for a second one. I came across a Mark III at a LGS today. The slide on my Hi Power is pretty tight. The slide on this Mark III was as loose as I've ever seen on a gun. It's in other wise good condition, and they're asking $700 for it. This might be a dumb question, but is the slide being that loose an issue? My gut is telling me it is, but I thought I'd ask.
     
  2. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    IIRC the HP shouldn't be feed +p ammo, so that may be its issue, simply shot loose. If you have concerns I think that price is high. Can buy a clone now for much less that won't have a questionable history.
     
  3. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    TomJ

    The slide to frame fit on my Mk.II is fairly tight, as is the barrel to slide fit, and accuracy is very good. Some years before I bought this one I had a T Series Hi-Power. It had an impeccable blued finish but also had the loosest slide to frame fit that I have ever come across in a Hi-Power. The gun rattled when I racked the slide and the barrel to slide fit wasn't much better. The trigger wasn't anything to write home about either, being extremely heavy and not at all conducive for shooting tight groups. Accuracy was at best MOB or Minute Of Barn. Definitely not one of FNs better efforts.

    If it's that loose I would probably pass on it and keep looking.

    G39jFmH.jpg
     
  4. czhen

    czhen Member

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    This is going be a little debate. I have two of them, one old Argentinean FM last series, very loose slide, even you can see a separation in the barrel (aftermarket are 1 piece) that shoot extremely well under my standard 2 inches at 15' with 124 gr.
    On the other hand, a brand new Browning Hipower adjustable sights, which it take me more than regular effort to put bullets under 3" at same distance, till today I did not find a weight she like it.
    Caveat the old FM Argentina has not mag safety, which in the brand new is present.
    Ask the shop if they allow you to disassemble it and look for shining marks inside the slide where the barrel make contact and the rails.
    BHP are not cheap in good condition.

    For further info please visit the late Stephen A. Camp's (https://hipowersandhandguns.com/).

    czhen,
    FL
     
  5. TomJ
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    TomJ Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the responses. I'm going to take a pass on this one. I'm pasting an answer from the FAQ's from Stephen Camp's web site, which confirms that excessive slide to frame play can be an issue. $700 is too much to gamble on this one.

    3. Check the barrel-to-slide fit, i.e.; does the barrel show movement when in battery? Tight is almost always better than loose in this regard. Slide to frame play should be checked as well. There will almost always be some, but it should not be excessive.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  6. WVsig

    WVsig Member

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    You did right passing. Some BHPs with sloppy frame to fit still shoot well but most don’t and will get worse. It can also be a sign of an abusive owner. It not the end all be all for a BHP but if you can avoid it I would. Glad to hear you are still enjoying the T series.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  7. Dustbowl

    Dustbowl Member

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    There is a way to tighten the slide fit. But it involves some serious Gunsmithing knowhow and proper tooling. With a loose frame fit accuracy is going to be poor.
    If only hi powers had the popularity and parts availability of 1911’s...
     
  8. WVsig

    WVsig Member

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    A general number for side to frame fit interns of its effect on accuracy in 1911s is 10-15%. The BHP is in that ballpark. In general people over emphasize the importance of slide to frame fit. The barrel lock up and fit in the bushing is more important. That said if I am paying $700 for a BHP it should not be loose IMHO but what do I know.

    PS outside the US the BHP is much more popular than the 1911. There is no issue with parts availability for quality BHP parts. C&S, Garthwaite, Yost, Harrison, Novak, Spegel, etc.....
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
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  9. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    As has been mentioned, barrel to slide fit is more important than slide to frame fit.

    I've got a Colt that rattles something awful, but it's my best shooting bottom feeder.
     
  10. TomJ
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    TomJ Contributing Member

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    The barrel was also excessively loose, both with the slide forward and back.
     
  11. barnetmill

    barnetmill Member

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    I was certainly not aware that the P35 is not supposed to shoot +P ammo. Has anyone else read such a thing. It is a large heavy military pistol and the standard military 9x19 parabellum load is similar to nato spec loads.
     
  12. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    In that case I'd pass.
     
  13. roc1

    roc1 Member

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    My old Hi Power is loose but still shoots great. You never know barrel to slide fit is what’s important.
    Roc1
     
  14. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    A bit on the Hi-Power and +P ammo: The P 35 is a proven combat weapon including with hot NATO ammo and +P pressures which is what NATO operates at. At the same time it is known as a light weight svelte weapon.

    In practice what this means for the Hi-Power is that with standard velocity 9mm, and occasional usage of +P or +P+, it will last for generations given regular maintenance. If one plans for regular use of +P and +P+ ammo some adjustments will be needed to protect the gun.

    To see what those can be go to here: https://hipowersandhandguns.com/BHPandHighPressureAmmo.htm

    This site, Stephen Camp's Hi-Powers and Handguns, is still a go to place for questions on the BHP.

    https://hipowersandhandguns.com/index.html

    Spare parts can be found here and a number of other places:
    https://bhspringsolutions.com/

    https://www.gunpartscorp.com/
     
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  15. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    I'm not too sure that +p will unduly harm a BHP. I have an old C series that has nothing but handloaded, over max ammo it's entire life, and it still shoots fine. and the frame to slide fit hasn't loosened a bit. but it's always oily, never run dry.
    My mkIII hasn't had as many rounds down the pipe, but the vast majority have been 115 gr jacketed, and later 124 gr jacketed, both with 5.8 gr of Unique (over book max), and it fits just like the day I got it.
    like said, the barrel to slide fit is more important.

    but, if it's so loose it makes ya wonder, I'd pass.
     
  16. barnetmill

    barnetmill Member

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    So it is a "svelte, petite size compared to other 9mm service automatics."? WIKI says its wt is "Mass1 kg (2.2 lb or about 36 oz.) Elsewhere I see figures of 32.0–35.0 oz for the browning hp or P35`. Polymer glock frame G19 is ~21 oz. The P35 may have a lighter slide than a glock. I am not sure. I have just never heard of one wearing out or failing, but admit it is not a gun that I own or have shot a lot. In volume it is not svelte and likely harder to conceal than my G19.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  17. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    The Glock 19 is a thoroughly modern, polymer Compact handgun.

    The HiPower is a steel 1930's Service sized handgun.

    Hardly a fair comparison. It was svelte compared to many of the handguns in the era it was from and for a good while after. It's a tank compared to a LCP too, but I don't see how that's relevant.
     
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  18. HankC

    HankC Member

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    I have an ARCUS Hi Power clone, rattles when I shake, but it shoots well. I had an old Hi Power, it was also loose but shot OK. I squeezed the slide on a vice, peened and lapped the rails to tighten the slide to frame fit, it shot maybe a bit better but about the same. To me, a bit loose slide to frame fit is not critical for accuracy but helps reliability. Taking out the mag safety to have a better trigger is the first thing helps accuracy on a BHP.
     
  19. barnetmill

    barnetmill Member

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    At one time the GI 1911s were quite loose. Did not help accuracy, but they did go bang reliably under combat conditions. The one I got from the old DCM for $17.50 was loose like that and as you described people did tighten them up with hopes of getting better accuracy.
     
  20. barnetmill

    barnetmill Member

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    What 1930's 9 mm service automatics and such were almost exclusively single stack would you give as examples of being less svelte than brownings. We have the P38, luger P08, Various Stars, Astras, Radom, lahti, red nine C96, and others. The P35 was the most widely adopted semiauto pistol of war and was used from China all the way through europe and was made by the Canadians.
    I think the red nine C-96 is the least svelte, but it is WWI and not 1930s.
    imperial-red-9-broomhandle-865x602.jpg
     
  21. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    The Radom is another fine pistol, but it's no BHP.
    Besides the fine lines and wonderful ergonomics, I think it's the revolutionary double stacked magazine that was it's claim to fame. (obviously)
    It's still svelte enough for me to carry!
     
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  22. Nuclear

    Nuclear Member

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    Ok, here's why the BHP is more svelte than a Glock, even though it is heavier. Polymer is lighter than steel for an equivalent strength, but is much less dense than steel, so it is more volume to get that strength. Also, the slide on a BHP is rounded in profile, instead of the squared off Glock slide. So again, more svelte. Until recently, the Glock had those finger groves, whereas the fronstrap on the BHP is so thin as to make checkering not to be attempted by the inexperienced.
     
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