Quantcast

Karl Sokol Browning Hi Power Build

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by USBP379, Oct 24, 2019.

  1. USBP379

    USBP379 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    540
    Back about five months ago I sent a used pistol to Karl Sokol of Chestnut Mountain Sports. I asked him to complete his $750 Hi Power package with a few additions. The 1st special request was to blue the gun rather than paint it. The other option I wanted was to have an extended safety fabricated as opposed to buying something like the C&S extended safety.

    The pistol came back to me today and I wanted to share these pics. Overall, I am pleased with the gun. The work is nice and clean. No frills but rather sensible and practical mods that should yield a pistol suitable for general carry, IDPA, plinking, etc. The trigger is crisp and smooth and measures just a bit over six pounds. Not shocking since we're still running factory FN trigger springs.

    One thing I noticed with the gun, not related to Mr. Sokol's work, is the slide markings on the right. The slide shows "Made in Belgium" and nothing else. Other MKII guns I've seen have been marked with "Assembled in Portugal." But this is the first MKII style pistol I've seen that was not the matte finish plastic grip version.

    This particular pistol, prior to sending off, was polished blue with the small sights. It has the MKII firing pin safety but does not have the flat rib on top nor the hole under the muzzle in the recoil spring housing.

    Anyway, here are the pics:

    51192039bae9af8762e96b2e38e71db5.jpg

    d584258806249d40aea71bede4bf97dc.jpg

    a5d884952d450f9ba60feb3b0a06c5ad.jpg

    ac6120490e665c7ca19b11ccc0cc97d3.jpg

    8848524c476cddd433a00efdb9d9f71d.jpg

    9b6327248e85ae55f2a4330786346a0b.jpg

    e58a142c8d82ce16eddb5b4a61cf5f3b.jpg

    fff5535d9e9a5b1388b32c1091e9e883.jpg

    34404dbeaf6dbf4b9b47565f8edfef9f.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
    shoobe01, 460Shooter, Reinz and 11 others like this.
  2. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Messages:
    4,227
    Nice!!!!!
     
  3. USBP379

    USBP379 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    540
    Thanks.

    The gun was in pretty decent condition prior to sending it off. It seemed mechanically sound but had some pretty good holster wear. Biggest issue, which went unnoticed at time of purchase, was a stripped grip screw hole.

    One thing not photographed is the muzzle. It has been crowned and polished. I will try to remember to snap a pic later today.

    If all goes well I should get it to the range this weekend.
     
  4. Lucky Derby

    Lucky Derby Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,389
    Location:
    Colorado Rockies
    Beautiful
     
  5. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
    4,860
    Location:
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Looks nice. I don't care for the stippling on the front (I tend to prefer checkering if anything is done there), but still overall it looks great.
     
    <*(((>< likes this.
  6. USBP379

    USBP379 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    540
    Checkering certainly looks cleaner.

    From what I'm told, checkering is pretty hard to go on a Hi Power. Front straps are not thick enough to support the work and the backstrap is hard to work on with its curved and sloping shape. There are 'smiths that'll go it but they seem to be few and far between.
     
  7. drobs

    drobs Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2017
    Messages:
    989
    Location:
    Missouri & Africa
    Not a fan of the stippling either. Otherwise looks nice.
     
    <*(((>< likes this.
  8. USBP379

    USBP379 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    540
    Yikes! Tough crowd around here...

    I put about 300 rounds through the pistol this weekend. Stippling worked well. Provides good texture but is not so aggressive that it created hot spots, etc.
     
  9. R_P_K

    R_P_K Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Western Ky
    It looks great man. Congratulations
     
  10. WVsig

    WVsig Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,045
    Not only are BHPs hard to checker do to their thin front grip strap many smiths don’t do it because you also have to border the serial number on most guns because it is on the front of the grip strap. This takes up a fair amount of real estate on the front strap.

    T series, practicals and hard chromed frames are required by most smiths if they will even consider checkering. Also because if the thin grip strap most have to do fine LPI checkering which results in less grip texture.

    Your gun is almost certainly a surplus handgun most likely from Israel. It is a Browning rollmarked slide which was originally intended for the US market but then used for a contract gun that went outside the US. The Made in Belgium roll mark tells you that. It is what some refer to as a MKII 1/2 because it is a late year MKII with dome transitional MKIII features. This is often seen in contract guns because FN used whatever parts were readily available to fulfill orders.

    Nice looking gun enjoy it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2019
    Lucky Derby, bannockburn and drband like this.
  11. HPJeep

    HPJeep Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I actually like stippling better. I know if the HP frame is cast or forged will determine if front strap is a good candidate for checkering. Very nice job that the smith did on your gun!
     
  12. USBP379

    USBP379 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    540
    Don't the MKII 1/2 guns have that funny little rib running along the frame in front of the trigger guard?

    I assumed it was a surplus gun when I bought it but it isn't drilled underneath the grips for a lanyard ring nor can I find any import stamps on it. Those two things together or by themselves probably don't mean anything. Some of the import stamps are very lightly done and easily polished off. And there are several surplus Hi Power pistols on gunbroker currently that don't appear to be drilled for the lanyard. None of this really matters anymore now that the gun has been worked over. It likely had zero collector interest prior to being send to Karl.

    Frankly it was pretty ugly when I bought it. Some pretty good holster wear and some pitting underneath the grips. I bought it with the single intention of having work done on it. I wouldn't have bought it for more money and/or probably would have left it alone had it been in nicer condition.

    Surplus or US import, I would do it all over again in a second. I'm pleased with the gun and the way it turned out. Got a silk purse from a sow's ear!

    So far I have about 300 rounds through it. More is required as is a variety of stuff. JHP, LSWC, etc.
     
  13. USBP379

    USBP379 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    540
    The nice thing about the strippling is that it looks like it was done by hand. It isn't flawlessly executed but it shows a level of comfort and familiarity with the technique. I hope that makes sense. Something akin to a skilled painter leaving a brush stroke or two in a portrait or landscape. Evidence of small human errors that sort of add to the uniqueness.
     
    NIGHTLORD40K likes this.
  14. TikkaShooter

    TikkaShooter Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2016
    Messages:
    266
    Location:
    NE Georgia
    Very nice and thanks for sharing..

    I have a "thing" for all Browning design firearms and yours is a beautiful example.
     
  15. USBP379

    USBP379 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    540
    With leather from Privateer Leather out of Utah.

    983aba277f79bf76242b8e400d8f34e3.jpg
     
    horsemen61, Reinz, tipoc and 6 others like this.
  16. WVsig

    WVsig Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,045
    Like all things FN not always. Not all contracts required the lanyard loop ring. Either way it is an insteresting example. The "Browning rollmark" says North American gun but then other rollmark "Made in Belgium" screams European market. My guess is that the "Browning" rollmark was the initial intent and then the gun was used for a contact which needed the "Made in Belgium" mark. t. It has to be a secondary import of some kind. It doesn't matter because you have built a winner.
     
  17. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Messages:
    3,116
    Location:
    Where they tell me to go
    Very nice! Classic with a few modern improvements. The Hi-Power is one of my favorites.
     
  18. USBP379

    USBP379 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    540
    Since neither the barrel nor slide are serialized I suppose the top end could have come out of the spare parts bin. If the gun could only talk...

    I actually didn't notice that the gun didn't have the "assembled in Portugal" mark until I got it back from Mr. Sokol. I guess it was more noticeable once all the holster wear had been taken care of.
     
  19. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    19,923
    USBP379

    Just the right amount of modifications done to your Hi-Power to make it work for you. I like the extended safety, the rounded and bobbed hammer, the new sights, and the stippling too.
     
  20. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    19,923
    USBP379

    My Mk.II was an early production one and while it does have the "Made In Belgium" rollmark it does not have the "Assembled in Portugal" rollmark.

    G39jFmH.jpg
     
    Reinz and Gordon like this.
  21. USBP379

    USBP379 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    540
    Interesting. Thanks for muddying the waters...:)

    Your gun does have the slide that I think we associate with MKII guns. The raised rib and bigger sights. Also the small hole under the muzzle in the recoil spring housing.

    What's your serial number letter code? I assume the gun has the firing pin safety?
     
    Gordon likes this.
  22. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,487
    Location:
    Colorado
    ah beautiful. Nice, subtle upgrades.
    I like the stippling....how's it feel?
     
  23. USBP379

    USBP379 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    540
    Feels good. Provides a sure grip but isn't so sharp that it becomes uncomfortable while shooting.
     
  24. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    19,923
    USBP379

    I remember I read an article about the new and improved Mk.II Hi-Power in "Combat Handguns" sometime in August or September 1985. Then a couple of days later I found one at a large dealer/distributor and bought it. The serial number letter code on it is PV.
     
  25. USBP379

    USBP379 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    540
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice