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Browning HI Power

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Gary W. Strange, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. Gary W. Strange

    Gary W. Strange Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Messages:
    22
    Back in the 80's I owned a Browning HI Power. I enjoyed it very much. It was a firearm that was considered state of the art. Every gun store had them in the shelf and when the one on the shelf sold, another was ordered to replace it. In the 90's I got the notion I needed a Freedom Arms revolver in 454 Casual, having a young family, I had to part with one of the firearms I owned to make it happen. I decided to part with my Hi power. I thought I could replace it at anytime. Back in in 2012 or so, I noticed they were no longer just setting in the shelf in the gun stores. A look in line and none of the distributors had them in stock. I looked for over a year and they were just not common anymore. They had been replaced with the fantastic plastic. While looking on line one afternoon, I seen one of the distributors showed them in stock, I called the local gun shop, I always deal with and had them order one for me. The next day, the distributor did not show them in stock anymore. I received it in just a few days. It looked the same as the one I had in the 80', I had read they were made with cast frames now because it was stronger. Really no noticeable difference. The grips were dark and looked like plank wood. Not pretty at all. I had always read and heard good things about Craig Spegel and his Hi Power grips. A look on line and I seen you had to call because they could not be just ordered on line. I called and got to talk to Mr. Spegel his self. They were not just on the shelf and had to get in his weighting list. We talked for a good thirty minutes. He was just getting an idea of what I wanted. He took my information and said he would call me when he made up a batch. It dragged on for about 4-5 months. I had just about given up on Spegel grips for my Hi Power. Then one evening, I got a call from Mr. Spegel, he said he had some Hi Power grips made of king wood in exhibition grade, fancy, simi fancy and plane grades, all priced according to the grade. I settled on a set of fancy grade and off went a money order in the mail. He does not do credit cards or on line payments. In about a week i received a very beautiful Sent of grips that makes me smile every time I look at my Hi Power. They are a work of art. Looking at the Browning catalog now, the only firearms they offer now that was designed by John Browning now is the semi auto .22 rifle and the superposed over and under shotgun, through their custom shop. The auto 5 has been discontinued for years and now the Hi Power has been discontinued. A lot of the fine firearms of yester years are gone. Now the shelves are full of the plastic stuff. I don't know that, they are not good firearms, they just don't have the level of craftsmanship as the walnut and steel firearms had. Just molded and stamped parts. To me, one has to view them in the same way you would a tool in the tool box. I can see no long term collectors value in them. I guess times have changed in the world of firearms, don't know if it is for the better. I collect and own many firearms. Firearms are and always have been my hobby. Now there is not much new walnut and steel hitting the shelf. I wish I had some of the stuff I traded off years ago to get something else I thought I wanted more at the time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
    .22M.R.F., Seven High, RPZ and 5 others like this.
  2. Mizar

    Mizar Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Messages:
    1,424
    Location:
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    Blued Hi-Powers with a set of Craig Spegel's grips is a mach made in Heaven, in my humble opinion. We definitely need some pictures to accompany this thread. I do share your feelings about steel & wood firearms. And if you wander around here long enough you will find a quite impressive group of "luddites" sharing the same passion.

    P.S. But I would not post pictures of my gun - it's a beat up carry piece currently wearing a cheap set of Pachmayr G10 grips. In other words - it's ugly as Hell...
     
  3. a2x4bbl

    a2x4bbl Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Spring Hill FL
    You will find a loyal and large Hi Power following here. Hated to see it discontinued. I should have bought a second one . Hopefully others will post pictures . Some have extensive collections. 20180708_175935.jpg
     
  4. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Messages:
    3,524
    Location:
    Fl panhandle
    My first autopistol was a BHP, bought at a gun show as a gift to myself for graduating SF training in 1988. I had used the BHP in training, and decided I needed one. The other pistols of the day (outside of the 1911) were just various WW2 and cold war euro designs- P38, Makarov, HK P7, and things of this nature. The Sig 226 was considered the "state of the art" modern 9mm for a pro. We already didn't like the M9 and it was brand new. There was one of the "new plastic Glock guns" in the armory- the instructors brought it out and showed it to us. We passed it around, and made jokes about it. I don't think we even took it to the range. 30 years later, its the issue sidearm of SOCOM, pretty much a LE standard, and used by professionals world-wide. The BHP is a fine pistol, and has been since 1935. I'd gladly take one of the MK3 versions over any DA pistol. The good news is that there were so many of them made for such a long period, that they will still be obtainable through the surplus and used market for a long time.
     
    a2x4bbl likes this.
  5. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    Aug 6, 2007
    Messages:
    4,826
    Location:
    East Texas
    Gary, it's not cool to tell me about you beautiful custom grips on a classic hipower and not show me a picture. Not cool at all. ;)
     
  6. Gary W. Strange

    Gary W. Strange Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Messages:
    22
    If i knew how to post pictures, I would love to show it off. I am just not up to speed on computers.
     
    a2x4bbl likes this.
  7. JR24

    JR24 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,610
    Location:
    The center of the mitt
    Mine sure is beautiful with Esmeralda grips. Too bad I shoot it not so great and it usually makes me bleed.

    20150620_162854.jpg
     
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  8. a2x4bbl

    a2x4bbl Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Spring Hill FL
    Easy on the cell phone . Upload a file , documents , gallery , then pick a photo . Show off the kids , be proud .
    A Hi-Power used for its intended purpose is a thing of beauty.
     
    steves2 likes this.
  9. a2x4bbl

    a2x4bbl Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Spring Hill FL
    Easily fixed with a hammer from Cylinder and Slide. I changed mine.
     
  10. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    Location:
    The center of the mitt
    It's actually the slide that pinches me. I could probably fix it with a pile of time changing my grip but that would likely adversely affect my 1911 and glock (my most shot and carried guns).

    A trigger job and hammer fromC&S is on the list for "some day"
     
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  11. a2x4bbl

    a2x4bbl Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
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    Location:
    Spring Hill FL
    My mistake . I ass-umed it was hammer bite . My Hi-power trigger was 9 lbs out of the box . No creep just heavy . Got it down to just under 4 . It is a joy to shoot . Qualified for instructor with it. Everybody else brought rimfires with red dots. All Cylinder and Slide components.
     
    JR24 likes this.
  12. WVsig

    WVsig Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Messages:
    890
    What is this Browning Hi power you speak of?

    hsiQRsH.gif

    I just got this one back from Fords. They did their master blue finish on it. It is wearing a set of Spegels. I like steel and wood on my guns.

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  13. WVsig

    WVsig Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Messages:
    890
    Factory Hard Chrome MKII

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    Novak Custom

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    Pre T internal extractor

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    APW Cogan Custom T

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    Jim Garthwaite Custom MKIII

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    Don Williams Alloy Custom

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    Wild West Guns Custom

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    MKIII Practical

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    Israeli Surplus MK II.5

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  14. gsbuickman

    gsbuickman Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Messages:
    535
    Here's my Hi-Power trio :) ...
    On top : Modelo Star Super B
    Middle : FEG P9 Browning Hi-Power
    Bottom : Modelo Star M40 Firestar :) ...

    20180708_191938.jpg 20180708_192000.jpg 20180708_192014.jpg 20180708_192027.jpg
     
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  15. Tallball

    Tallball Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2014
    Messages:
    2,648
    GSBuickman, my FEG looks just like yours. Mine was my first 9mm pistol. I got it back in 1988 or so and still have it. It still shoots just fine.
     
    gsbuickman likes this.
  16. Monac

    Monac Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2014
    Messages:
    950
    Location:
    Southeast Wisconsin
    My High Power is an Inglis clone made by the Indian Ordnance Factory, one of a few hundred imported back in the 1990's. It is NOT pretty. It is parkerized and has grips made of some tough black substance. And the Inglis modifications arguably make the design less graceful.

    Yet it shoots very well, despite still having the magazine safety installed. Look are not everything; "handsome is as handsome does".
     
    NIGHTLORD40K and a2x4bbl like this.
  17. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    17,552
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder-Margaret Wolfe Hungerford

    G39jFmH.jpg

    No lustrous, deep blue finish or finely checkered wood grips and most certainly would not win any beauty contest, but brother can she shoot!
     
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  18. WVsig

    WVsig Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Messages:
    890
    Let me add some thoughts about Mr. Spegel. I have a set of his grips on this BHP. It is a carry gun and over time my sweat penetrated the finish on the grips discoloring the finish on the wood. I called him and asked what was the best way to protect the wood from this in the future. He asked how old are the grips. I said 3 years give or take. He said he uses a newer better finish now and to send the grips with a note and a $10 bill to cover shipping back to me. Today the grips arrived back to me in beautiful condition. Completely restored to their original glory. Not only is he a craftsman of the highest order he is a gentleman who stands behind hi product.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. stchman

    stchman Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    2,415
    Location:
    Saint Louis, MO
    I got one of those Regent BR9 pistols, great shooter. Even better after I removed the magazine disconnect.
     
  20. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Messages:
    5,284
    Location:
    somewhere on Puget Sound
    WVSig, beautiful, pistol and grips.

    Too bad you don't like Hi-Powers much ...
     
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  21. gsbuickman

    gsbuickman Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Messages:
    535
    Ha ha, that's cool :) . This is my 2nd Hi-Power. My first was a really nice Israeli Kareen mk1 that I picked up in a trade deal a few years ago and after I disconnected the magazine disconnect it had an absolutely beautiful trigger on it. The only thing I didn't like about it is that it had the original fixed GI style rear Notch front post sights on it and they were really small and hard to see and frankly sucked. Like an idiot I traded it off for something else that I just had to have at the time and wound up kicking myself in the proverbial azz for it and I've been looking for another one to replace it ever since.

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    Fast forward until this past Christmas season and I started calling shops around town and I just happened to find a really nice one that was on sell for the holidays. It turned out to be this FEG P9M that had been restamped PJK-9HP by the importer KBI for the importers wife Pamela Jane Kassnar. I wound up picking it up for something like $260 out the door :) ... I told myself that even if this one had the same crappy sites that my Israeli had on it I would take it into the the gunsmith shop and have Robert machine it for dovetails and put some nice sights on it for me, fortunately I got real lucky on this one because it has the extended slide release, extended safety and a nice set of 3 dot sites on it. Other than the slide release and the safety it's 100% compatible with replacement FN parts :) ...

    79519-6c04f1ed02bc0bf762f6d51ded476910 (1).jpg
    79520-9250821cba6c3f48e49cb87abd02e3dd (1).jpg

    ..
     
    bannockburn, Tallball and RPZ like this.
  22. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2017
    Messages:
    711
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    I love the BHP; for many years I proclaimed it to be the only 9mm I'd ever own. I saved my nickles, I saved my dimes, and in 1992 I bought a basic BHP target model, nothing super duper. Unfortunately, it was a 'made in Belgium, assembled in Portugal' pistol, and they must have been training some new people the day they assembled mine... it was a rattle trap almost from the word go. I didn't care, and promptly ran about 10K rounds through it in about 4 years. By that time, the finish on the grip had just about come off and was pitting, and accuracy was becoming an issue because of the loose slide. I tried selling it and had no takers, believe it or not. I wound up giving it to my bestest buddy, who went through some pre-mid-life crisis when he got married and sold everything (to be 'responsible' is what he told me...) Anyway... I gave it to him because he needed SOMETHING.

    I've wanted to replace it for a while, but other things got in the way. The prices really started to climb, which put me off, and then they discontinued them. I looked at 3 Belgian BHP's at the last gun show, all in the $1100-1400 range. I suppose some day I'll own another HiPower... I just hope it's before prices go full retard like Colt revolvers have.
     
    NIGHTLORD40K likes this.
  23. steves2

    steves2 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Cuomo Republic, NY...wish I was still in NH!
    There are some beautiful guns posted here!
    Of the photos attached, the Hi Power with black grips has gone to Don Williams to get his treatment... i’m Really looking forward to getting it back!
    One has been re-blued. The other (parkerized) is what goes in my Maxpedition bag...
     

    Attached Files:

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  24. justdino

    justdino Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    St Louis
    I just bought this 1972 model. According to the original owner, it had 2 magazines fired through it, then was put away. It truly is a new pistol. I'll be having sights and springs changed on it, and the magazine disconnect removed.

    lbSJDLXh.jpg

    And this Practical is a nice shooter, and totally unmolested. It'll be nice once I remove the magazine disconnect.

    IDHR9Hgh.jpg

    I ordered Navidrex stocks for both of them - thin is good.
     
  25. RPZ

    RPZ Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2017
    Messages:
    1,204
    Anyone have a business phone number for Spegel? I want to see if I can get a set of plastic grips from him.
     
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