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Old June 01, 2018, 10:06   #1
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Browning Hi Power/clones

Well I have been intrested in picking up a hi power for some time now and am finally taking the plunge. What can ya'll tell me to look for or avoid in a hi power? Planning on getting one in 9mm. Magazines that are good or bad, typical parts that break, reliability with hollow points (may become a carry gun)?

Thanks in advance.
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Old June 01, 2018, 10:29   #2
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mecgar makes great mags and are reasonably priced. there are many different FEG and CZ clones. The FEG clones are significantly cheaper, but fit and finish are not as good as a true hi power. That said, my FEG FP9 shoots well and is very reliable. Watch +P ammo on older Hi Powers and clones, as you can crack the frame. Prices have gone up since browning stopped production.
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Old June 01, 2018, 10:37   #3
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The best High Powers are of course made in Belgium by FN. IMHO the Mark III with the cast steel frame is the strongest HP ever made.

I own four FN made HP's at this time. One Mark II chambered for the .30 Luger, two Mark III's in 9mm, and one Mark III in .40 S&W. Purchased them NIB over the years for a good deal less money than they would cost me today.

Clones were made by FEG in Hungary, Armscor in the P.I., FM in Argentina, Arsenal in Bulgaria, and there is a copy of the Canadian Inglis made in India.

I have handled all of them and none of them compare to the original. But they don't cost like the FN made HP's either.

The best magazines I have ever used are those made in Italy by Mec-Gar. They made the factory mags for FN. Stay away from names like Triple K and ProMag. Cheap junk IMNSHO.

This is just my opinion but carrying a single action auto pistol for self defense just doesn't cut it for me. One could do a lot worse than a good Belgium HP but I like DA/SA and striker fired designs for carry.

The FN made HP's are a thing of the past. Word is that the production machinery was worn out and with slow sales the decision was made to curtail production. A pity because I have always considered the FN HP to be one of the great classic handguns of the 20th century.

And so it goes.

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Old June 01, 2018, 11:51   #4
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My first HP was/is an Argentine M95 copy (NOT the M90 that looks more like a 1911). I had an FN, but I think the quality is better on the Che Hi Powers, not that there's anything wrong with FN, but I didn't want or need two of them.

If the trigger has a magazine disconnect/safety, be sure to remove it. That will help the trigger pull immensely.

Mec-Gar mags are the only ones you should be considering.

I carry mine about 10% of the time (the remainder being a G19). Having 15+1 in the HP and a spare 20 rd. mag (actually fits and feeds 21) is very reassuring.
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Old June 01, 2018, 16:57   #5
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If you're more a shooter than collector, then I would recommend a Hi Power made post 1980. In 1980 FN/Browning modified the feed ramp to accommodate hollow points, and it was a very good change. Post 1980 guns are VERY reliable.

The MK III's are technically the "best" pistols when it comes to versatility, longevity, customizing, for self defense. When FN decided to make a .40 cal HP they had to address the strength of the slide and locking cam so the .40 cal didn't beat the Hi Power to death. In doing that, FN made some metallurgical changes to the slide and frame, and changed the frame manufacturing from forged/milled to investment cast. Now typically cast is often associated with slightly weaker, but that's not the case here. The cast frames are tougher than the forged Hi Power frames, which is why the Mk III's are the "best" shooter/defense grade Hi Power's.

The Mk III's are not cheap, and they are a great platform for a full custom build defensive pistol. They changed the sight dovetails on the slide, which makes life easier for installing different sights (ones that don't require milling new dovetails).

Right out of the box, I recommend removing the magazine safety which will clean up the trigger, and make the trigger 100% better. Next I would drop the money for a set of Spegel grips...they're expensive, but the change is massive, and once installed, it will be the best feeling pistol you've ever put in your hands (which is why it's SO worth it for Spegel grips).

Those two changes will show you the potential a Hi Power has for a custom pistol. From there, I like to change out the safety to the Cylinder & Slide extended, which is MUCH more comfortable for someone who holds with their thumb riding the top of the safety while shooting.

You could add some night sights, or go full hog and have some Novak's low mounted (NICE!!).

With proper grips, and the trigger addressed, I guarantee you'll fall in love with the Hi Power. If you don't address the trigger at an absolute minimum, then you'll probably find the Hi Power to be just an average pistol.

Address the trigger and add some good grips...or Spegel's (which are Nirvana on a Hi Power), and you'll find the Hi Power to be not a good pistol, but an absolutely exceptional pistol!
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