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Replacing my Velveeta-steel Browning HP

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by fnbrowning, Apr 25, 2013.

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  1. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    The CZ-85B is simply an ambidextrous version of the 75B (i.e., ambidextrous safeties and slide release -- but not mag release, which also isn't reversible.)

    The 85 Combat (I have had one for years) is the 85B without the firing pin block (what the "B" denotes in the model name), but it comes with a straight mag brake that allows the mags to drop free, an adjustable sight, a trigger adjustable for overtravel, and an extended slide release.

    Because the 85 Combat doesn't have the firing pin block, the trigger can be tuned more easily. That model, however, is DA/SA, and while it allows for cocked and locked carry, the safety levers aren't as friendly as the 75B SA models. It would be simple to convert it to SA only, however, and then you could use the two-way adjustable (for takeup and overtravel) trigger available for the CZ 75B SA, and I suspect the larger safety levers would work, too. But there's no advantage, really in the 85 Combat over a tuned 75B SA... (I've had both, and all sorts of variants of other CZs.) As I noted earlier, the CZs do come close to approximating the "FEEL" of a BHP.

    I think the OP's concern about a BHP self-destructing (particularly the barrel) is based on questionable info (although he is convinced it's good information); if he's worried about a barrel screwing up, he simply needs to buy a good aftermarket barrel (like a Bar-Sto) and quit worrying. Barrels that fail due to poor manufacture or inferior materials tend to die early, while good ones go on and on. Putting a new quality barrel in the gun would seem to be the best course of action, particularly given the work he has already had done to the gun. The CZs will come CLOSE to the BHP in most respects, but an ardent BHP lover will arguably always feel a CZ isn't quite as good. Me -- I like them both. And I have a customized AT-84s (a CZ clone, mine worked on by a big-name gunsmith) that I like better than the BHP and the CZ or even the Sphinx (and I've had several of those.)

    A 1911 in 9mm isn't a bad choice, and the only drawback there is that they hold only 9-11 rounds (in stock and after-market mags), while the CZ can hold from 16-19 rounds.

    .
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2013
  2. smalls

    smalls Member

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    You've had it for 27 years, and it only has a few thousand rounds through it. My guess is even if the metallurgy wasn't good, you'll never see a high enough round count to see any major breakages. Keep it.

    If you absolutely must replace it, replace it with a different generation.
     
  3. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    Buy another one just like it, and when the first one breaks, use the 2nd one while the other is in the shop, or in the trash bin.
     
  4. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    While I know that I don't know everything... This scary shortcoming is news to me.
    I'd attribute any issues to ammo rather than structural/build failure relative to the pistols original parameters.
     
  5. falnovice

    falnovice Member

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    Have you kept up on changing the springs? Guns are really spring-driven machines and are sensitive to spring wear.....the BHP moreso then others.

    Have you read the articles by the late (and great) Stephen Camp?
    www.hipowersandhandguns.com

    That would be a place to start.

    If you love the gun I would suggest getting it checked out by a good smith and go from there. If the gun is good to go then keep on shooting. If not, replace it.
    MkIII's are a lot tougher than people give them credit for.

    Also, I am a big fan of having dupes when it comes to carry guns. If you like to shoot a lot it helps keep the round count down on the primary carry piece.

    IF you are just looking for a reason to get a different gun then put the BHP away and pick up a used 3rd Gen Glock 19 or M&P9.....regular or compact. Give it a couple months for the prices to comeback down first.
     
  6. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    I don't think your BHP is ready to be toe-tagged yet, but if you want a pistol somewhat like it, I would recommend a CZ75B, which, although a double-action, can be carried as a SA.
     
  7. ku4hx

    ku4hx Member

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  8. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I have had a MK.II now for over 27 years (bought one when they first came out), and have sent thousands of rounds downrange in that time. My particular gun has never been all that fond of JHP's so I have pretty much stayed with factory FMJ ammo and have had zero problems with it. No parts breakage or excessive wear anywhere on my gun and everything has worked so well on my Hi-Power that I have kept it box stock all this time with the exception of swapping out the grips with a set of Pachmayrs. Some day I may get a Bar-Sto barrel for it just to see if I can improve what is already a very accurate and exceptionally reliable gun, but that's probably so far off into the future that I wouldn't give it another thought til then.
     
  9. ku4hx

    ku4hx Member

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    I bought my "T" model in 1970 and still have the receipt from Bucky's in Idaho Falls, ID. My experience mirrors yours. I too have a set of Pachmayr grips, but I did have a few mods done.

    I had a nice set of black Novak sights and an extended safety installed about twenty years ago. About four years ago, I had Novak do their BHP reliability job on it and it now chambers everything I put it. It always chambered RN and TC extremely well, but I wanted a bit of "insurance" in the JHP area. The job was well worth the price.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  10. daisho13

    daisho13 Member

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    Yeah, just going to echo the keep it recommendatons. If you really want another pistol to shoot, a CZ75 SAO is an option, or Sig is releasing a P226 SAO that should be a lot cheaper than the x-5 line. Probably still more than the CZ though.
     
  11. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    I've "worn out" two beer barrel sighted Hi-Powers with essentially all proof loads. I was young and I'd a done/do it again. 50k per.. sold them for more than I paid and I paid a lot new back then for those
    they are plenty good guns
     
  12. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    I've known Jim Garthwaite personally for coming up on 15 years. He wouldn't do the high-quality work he does and attach his name to a P.O.S. gun.


    Ignore the internet opinions. Jim worked it over for you and his specialties are 1911s and High Powers. If he would have had a concern he would have told you.
     
  13. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    I prefer the forged guns my own self. they are cooler to me
     
  14. Kiln

    Kiln Member

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    You'd probably be comfortable with the CZ75B and lots of people shoot them in competitions so they obviously hold up pretty well. They're also extremely accurate and the triggers go from good out of the box to great after a couple hundred rounds.

    I've got several thousand rounds through mine without any sort of failure. Only real downside I've seen is that the low profile slide might be difficult to rack in an emergency for some people.
     
  15. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    On the subject of "velveeta cheese" steel...

    If the steel of your gun was truely as attrocious as the critics you are concerned about are saying, then your gun would never have lasted 27 years and thousands of rounds without giving you problems.

    If the steel was truely that bad, then you would have signs of plastic deformation in areas that any competent gun smith would be able to check. Chamber dimensions would be out of tolerance, slide wear would be noticable, and more.

    The fact that you've had this pistol for nearly three decades of good usage and no apparent complaints tells me that this "velveeta cheese" steel isn't a problem for you.

    This is not to say that your pistol has no wear...however, given its apparent good performance statistics I'd have to say it's not suffering from any undue wear...no more so than any other quality pistol after a similar life.

    Keep the gun. Have it thoroughly inspected, if you wish. Buy another if you wish. But keep the gun.
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    .
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    Oooooorrrr...sell it to me dirt cheap because you couldn't bear to ask top dollar for a "defective" pistol.

    :D
     
  16. fnbrowning

    fnbrowning Member

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    UPDATE & MY CONCLUSION

    I was not looking for an excuse to buy another pistol. I'll assure you, the "velveeta steel" was an actual quote. Some may think I became overly apprehensive. But I needed to find if I was going to be able to trust my BHP now, and in the future. I see now I put too much stock in poor information. And now I have many good refutations on that Velveeta epithet.
    I've read claims of as many as 113,000 rounds thru one BHP, another has 82,000. Both were pre-Mk III's and both were religiously maintained.

    I bought my Mk II as a young man, and sometimes I feel like it's a part of me. I will keep my 1986 Browning High Power, Mark II. I think the reason it shoots so nice after years is that I've used the Wolff 18.5 spring and Buffer since '99. I will endeavor to continue to maintain it to the highest standards, and to feed it ammunition that is not too warm.

    I consider this issue answered.
    Thank you for all for your interest and participation
    .
     
  17. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Good to see you are sticking with it. I have put nearly 50,000 standard pressure rounds through my 1989 (I think) MKII.

    What is weird is that for everyone who says anything nay about the MK II there are those out there who will say the same thing about the MK III. I have read both ways and never once do they mention the pre MK IIs which my be the worst of all but still pretty darn good.
     
  18. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    Drat...I was kinda hoping to pick up a nice BHP from you over this...

    :evil:

    Seriously, I think you've made a wise decision.

    And, as I've told other people...you don't have to give up one gun to get another, if you want.

    :)
     
  19. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

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    OP had his question answered, no reason to keep beating the drum.

    sent from my Galaxy Note II.
     
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