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UNIQUE BPH, MFG DATE?, WHY STRANGE MODS?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by M2iuser, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. M2iuser

    M2iuser Member

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    Location:
    Payson AZ
    BPH LEFT.JPG BPH LEFT.JPG BPH RIGHT.JPG BPH RIGHT.JPG Hi Gang,
    I just added a Browning Hi-Power to my collection and I have never seen one like it. It has the following attributes:
    1. very bright blue, think early Python
    2. Tangent rear sight
    3. Dovetailed tall front sight....well, taller than most BHPs
    4. Slotted for shoulder stock
    5. No lanyard ring
    6. 2.5# trigger pull with little take up and no over travel
    7. Nice Rosewood grip panels...aftermarket no doubt.
    8. Serial# 511MM50366
    9. Right side of slide "BROWNING S.A. , and under "made in Belgium"
    10.Left side of slide "FABRIQUE NATIONALE HERSTAL"
    11. Ambi thumb safety
    12.External extractor
    13. Two small holes in slide, first just below the aft end of the extractor and slightly below it; the second hole 2mm behind the first and at the same level
    14. Serial numbers match on front of the grip frame, barrel.

    The pistol is quite accurate producing 2 -3" groups at 15M freehand using 115g FMJ hand loaded ammunition. I have seen many Hi-Powers and actually issued one by a Fed Agency MANY years ago briefly.

    Any assistance in identifying this pistol would be sincerely appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Randy in AZ
     

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  2. Lucky Derby

    Lucky Derby Member

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    The tangent sights are normal on one made for a shoulder stock. So is that high dovetail front. Looks like a nicely modified military pistol. Did you the stock?
     
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  3. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    Some of the edges look slightly rounded. It could be a re-blued Euro military-issue pistol.
     
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  4. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    Someone liked this pistol pretty much as to make a custom trigger lob with not only changing and adjusting the trigger, but to relocate the sear lever pivot pin like the one seen on the somewhat rare FN competition model. Keep it, shoot it and enjoy it.
     
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  5. 1MoreFord

    1MoreFord Member

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    Cylinder & Slide adds another pivot pin hole when they do a trigger job. Others may as well.
     
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  6. M2iuser

    M2iuser Member

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    Most if not all of the MK 1 military pistols had the tangent leaf marked out to 1000M (optimistic of course) and had internal extractors, mine has the later MK II / III external extractor. There are no import markings, nor are there any military proof marks. The photos do not fully represent how good the blueing is and how sharp the roll marks and fine edges are; on that point, I am confident it is not a reblue but a very high-quality factory finish.
     
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  7. WVsig

    WVsig Member

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    To me it looks like a MKIII with the ambi safety external extractor etc.... Does it have a firing pin block safety? If is does then it is a post 1988 gun. What is the serial number? The 2 letters in the serial number will tell you the year it was produced. I would bet that it is a European Sporting model. The rollmarks tell you it was not destined for the US or Candian market originally. It would have a Browning Rollmark if it was. As other have noticed the gun had the trigger pivot pin moved to improve the trigger pull. C&S used to do this a lot IIRC. The slot in the back is for a stock but if it is a MKIII like I believe it is do not install a stock on it. If you do you have made an SBR without a form 1. Even if the stock is original to the gun.

    There are no FN/Browning MKIs. The only people who used the MK1 designation were the Canadians when they produced the Ingilis High Power. FN never called the models that proceeded the MKII a MKI. I have been seeing thie "verbiage" more these days but it is not a correct term. There were military BHP with and without tangent sights. This statement like the use of the MKI designation is not accurate. IMHO. There were lots of contracts which called for Tangent sight pistols but not all of them and I would not even go as far as to say most. There are a lot of internal extractor military BHPs with fixed sights.

    I would also bet there is a secondary import mark somewhere on the gun. It is most likely nicely done like CDI Sales aka Cole's Distributing used to do or the gun is a bring back from someone in Europe. I am not sure how that works but the rollmarks tell you the gun was not intended for the US market. Not that it really matters. It has very little "collector" value because of the modifications to make it a better shooter.

    To my eyes the gun looks refinished. It is possible it was not refinished because they did ship a lot of these tangent MKIIIs with a nice blued finish. The slide just looks a little rounded and soft to me but it could be the pics. One thing to consider is that when they moved the trigger pivot pin they had to at least touch up that area of the gun. Better pics of the rollmarks would tell us more. BHPs rollmarks are not deep and often when refinished will show it. Some very good refinishers will touch up those rollmarks. Ford's did it for me on one of my BHPs. It is possible that it was done on this one. It is a nice pistol and sounds like it shoots well. Enjoy it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
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  8. M2iuser

    M2iuser Member

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    Great information, thank you. The pistol does NOT have a firing pin block but the serial number seems to indicate it was manufactured in 2000 (MM). I am not interested in the 'collector value' as I shoot everything I own and often. I picked it up for $600 at an estate auction. I have disassembled the pistol to the last spring and pin and still have not discovered any import markings or stamps?
     
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  9. WVsig

    WVsig Member

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    Look inside the frame near the magwell. At $600 you did very well.
     
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  10. Rock185

    Rock185 Member

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    It may be one of the S/T guns imported by Vector back around that time. If so, the back strap slot won't fit an actual shoulder stock to snap into place, it's just for looks. It may have "Vector" stamped in the slot itself. IIRC, the slot in the vector guns had a rounded detent near the bottom of the slot as, opposed to the one in guns made to actually allow attachment of a stock.

    Even if I am totally wrong, and full of condensed apple pie, that is a neat gun at a great price;)
     
  11. M2iuser

    M2iuser Member

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    OK, I just checked all the inside surfaces of the grip frame and the slot that was machined for a shoulder stock. There is some slight tooling (circular) in the slot but no etchings or stampings of any kind. Yes, it was a lucky find for sure; also picked up a Steyr SSG M69 early rifle at the same sale in .308, double set triggers, factory scope rings, and a butt ugly green composite stock. Another $700 out of the gun fund....now I have to find a deal on an S&B fixed 10X scope.
     
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  12. HPJeep

    HPJeep Member

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    I remember the Shotgun News advertising from a Utah mport company selling a modern MkII or MkIII with shoulder slot cutouts back in 1990s. Maybe it was Vector? Curiously it was C&R eligible somehow which made it legal to attach the stock. I remember them having nice bluing and tangent sights. You may have one of these. Only some 500 if the base model and some 500 of the wide trigger deluxe versions were imported.
     
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