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Old March 02, 2018, 20:30   #1
Combloc
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Found a Nice Early P220

For years now I've wanted an early P220 but I always thought the only way to get one was to find a Swiss P75 and they are almost unobtanium because they have never been surplused. I did see a later model M75 for sale once at the hefty price of $2200. I would have paid that but it wasn't an early slide model (I call them "humpbacks") so I passed. Well, being the moron that I am, I somehow completely missed the fact that Browning was importing humpbacks all the way back in 1977. A bonus is the fact that they are identical to the Swiss military models other than the markings and they sported a better finish. Well sign me up and take my money!! Today, I brought my first one home, sold in 1977 as the Browning BDA. Let's take a quick look! I'm also using this post to try out a new photo sharing site. I hope it works out.
It came with the box and manual but they were pretty beat up so I didn't bother taking any pictures of them. Anywho, check it out, a P220 humpback!


Notice that the right grip is marked Browning but it's really made by SIG Sauer.

Dig the polish on that slide and the finely cut serrations!


And the cool humps on top! The stamping is very finely done.



Also notice that the front sight is not adjustable.
Here's what the humps look like on the inside:


The front bushing is typical:

It has proof marks and a date code on the bottom of it:


The care put into the contouring on these early ones is just so neato:

Here's that area on the inside:


The frame serial number and nitro proof is on the front strap:

Being an early 220, the magazine release is on the bottom of the grip and there is a lanyard loop as well:


And the magazine is a zipper back:





The trigger is still cast but grooved:


Internally, it's just a plain ol' stamped slide 220:





There is nothing special about the barrel either:





The barrel pictures show something important that we can learn from. As far as I can tell, this pistol has never been fired after import or, if it was, it was very, very little. Despite this, you can clearly see mottling on the rear portion of the barrel that was left in the white. That's where old funky oil had coagulated and etched the metal. That's there forever and it's very unfortunate as the rest of the pistol looks like it was made yesterday. It doesn't bother me all that much given the age but it's a perfect example of exactly why I am very particular and careful about exactly which protectants/lubricants I use and why it is critically important to occasionally wipe your firearms down and refresh the protectant.
Anywho, I liked the pistol so much, I bought another one. The condition looks to be as good but it doesn't have the box. I plan on shooting that one and keeping this one just as it is. I'll post both of them and the box for this one when I have the other in hand.
This last picture is a family portrait showing the ol' humpback with a 210 made 24 years prior and a compact version made in 1982 and sporting the later simplified slide. I think they did make P225s as humpbacks. If that's true, maybe I'll find one someday.

So that's it. It's just an obsolete version P220 to most folks but it's the culmination of a long quest for me. I really like the craftsmanship and quirky features embodied in these early models. Yes, I'm odd but it works for me! I know there are plenty of these out there so please post one up if you have it. Also post some pictures of an M75 if you have one of those. I'd love to see it.
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Last edited by Combloc; March 02, 2018 at 21:23.
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Old March 02, 2018, 20:35   #2
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Nice. Thanks for posting.
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Old March 02, 2018, 20:52   #3
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Pictures are too big. I'm still figuring out the new service. Sorry about that. I'll get it eventually.
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Old March 03, 2018, 07:18   #4
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Quote:
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Pictures are too big. I'm still figuring out the new service. Sorry about that. I'll get it eventually.
I thought the pictures were the right size. Very clear and easy to see the details. Beautiful pistol.
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Old March 03, 2018, 07:25   #5
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Had I Browning BDA in .45ACP I never should have parted with.
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Old March 03, 2018, 08:08   #6
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Very nice. Did it come in a blue cardboard box with a red felty insert? Test target, etc?
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Old March 03, 2018, 08:43   #7
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I bought a European Sig 220 a while back, great gun but mine is really rough. Shoots really straight and in 45 the kick is nothing so I bet your 9mm is like a 22lr.
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Old March 03, 2018, 09:40   #8
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Very nice. Did it come in a blue cardboard box with a red felty insert? Test target, etc?
These came in a black Browning marked box made out of cardboard with a plain ol' cardboard insert, a manual and the serial number hand written on the flap. To my knowledge, there was no test target or even a spare magazine included. But you have to remember that I was completely unaware of these Browning models before a few weeks ago so I could well be mistaken. When I get the other one, I'll post the box.
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Old March 03, 2018, 09:48   #9
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Just found one of these 9mm ones on GB:

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/749396990
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Old March 03, 2018, 11:37   #10
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Yeppers. I bid 1305 on that exact pistol the last time it was for sale but someone wanted it more than I did. I don't do the bidding war thing. I just bid the maximum I'm willing to pay and then forget about it. That was WAY more than it was worth (I'd say about 600 is the real value) but I would have paid it because I wanted one. Unfortunately for the seller, the guy who outbid me didn't pay up. I still find it hard to believe that the seller didn't leave him negative feedback; he's a far nicer guy than I would have been. An unintended consequence of that fiasco was that it flushed a couple more out of the woodwork. I paid $1200 for the one shown here and $1125 for the other one I have coming but I don't think that's what they're worth either. I think about $800 is a real world price for one in 98% condition. BUT, sometimes you pay more than something is worth because you want it and I really,really wanted a humpback 220! I though about bidding on the one still on GB but I don't really need it unless I'm trying to be a greedy hoarder. It's better to let someone else enjoy it.
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Old March 03, 2018, 12:10   #11
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That is really very nice, but it has been fired more than a little as told from the smilies on the barrel.

That is a great find!
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Old March 03, 2018, 12:35   #12
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I think the action has been cycled a fair amount but the complete lack of carbon striations in the barrel in the barrel, the nil wear on the magazine body and the zero wear on the follower indicate few to no rounds actually fired. Whatever the case, I bought a second one so that I have options.
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Old March 03, 2018, 15:26   #13
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I have a BDA in 45 . I agree that its the bet way to get an early 220!! Id like to have one in 9mm and one in 38 super. The 38 super will be super spendy!
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Old March 03, 2018, 15:40   #14
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I've seen them go for under $1500 on GB. LNIB mostly.

I'd like one too.
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Old March 03, 2018, 19:37   #15
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Very nice looking pistol and interesting to boot!
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Old March 04, 2018, 19:30   #16
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I have been looking for a set of original grips for the bottom mag release P220 for some time with no luck on this and other forums. Lots of suggestions but no grips.
I am thinking there must be a bunch of them out there in drawers given the availability of aftermarket wood grips.
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Old March 04, 2018, 20:07   #17
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Just found one of these 9mm ones on GB:

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/749396990
It will be fun watching the last minute bidding on this tomorrow. Currently at $420.

ETA: I just watched a very nice .45ACP BDA w/box go from $505 -> $700 in 25 minutes as the auction ended. Last $75 of increases smelled like a shill bidder though.
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Old March 05, 2018, 00:18   #18
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I'll be watching. It'll be interesting to see what it ends up going for.
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Old March 05, 2018, 11:46   #19
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It sold for $506. 94 bucks less than I figured it was worth. I feel bad for the seller after what happened.
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Old March 05, 2018, 18:29   #20
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It sold for $506. 94 bucks less than I figured it was worth. I feel bad for the seller after what happened.
I ended up missing watching this end because a meeting went long. Might have made a bid or two.
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Old March 31, 2018, 07:44   #21
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Great collection & that example is pristine. I didn't know about the bump back. Great pictures too. Love the 210 but it has always been to pricey to me esp since I like to shoot everything I have.
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Old March 31, 2018, 08:09   #22
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Great find. Hard to beat an early, German mfg Sig- truly some of the greatest stuff they ever mfgd.
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Old May 16, 2018, 07:12   #23
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I always find his vids interesting and informative. Thought I'd leave this here in case anyone is interested in some more history on the P220.
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Old May 16, 2018, 07:21   #24
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Excellent West German sample and collection of Swiss sidearms!!!

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