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Thread: What ever happened to the high powers?

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
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    Patrick L quote "It is simply a magnificently machined steel handgun that reeks of quality and craftsmanship. Nowadays, who would want that?"

    Yes sir, you are correct.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Recoil View Post
    The new improved / updated version of the Browning Hi-Power is the CZ-75.
    My thoughts exactly.

    IMO, one of the reasons the Hi-Power lost its place in the market was the fact that it was a single action auto. While there's nothing wrong with SA pistols, it was overcome by DA/SA and other platforms.

    I think the Hi-power is a great design and was certainly ahead of its time in the mid 1930's but the Beretta 92 had a wider appeal by the 1980's and the when the Iron Curtain fell, the CZ-75 was a real competitor.

    I do think the grip of the Hi-power is one of the best grips for a double stack magazine in that class. There's a lot to like in the design and the world wide distribution of the Hi-Power is evidence of that excellent design. But eventually, it was overcome by newer designs.

    The "see-saw" pivoting trigger bar in the slide and the magazine safety were the weak points of the action. A good pistolsmith could take most of the slop out of the trigger but about the only way to fix the magazine safety was to remove it completely (which isn't a bad thing).

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Tecs View Post
    ............

    JMB died before he completed the design. The French finished it. .........
    Not Really.
    Browning died in November of 1926. The idea for what became the Hi-Power existed before Browning's death but it was Saive that designed the bulk of the pistol. And it was Saive that was responsible for the final form of the Hi-Power.

    Dieudonné Joseph Saive, was a Belgium national and an employee of FN. While it's true that John Browning applied for some of the patents incorporated into the Hi-power (P-35), the major patent wasn't even granted until a few months after Browning's death. The management of FN were not stupid and FN heavily promoted their association with John M. Browning, even well after Browning's death. (wouldn't you ?) It was Saive that developed the double row magazine used in the Hi-Power and it was Saive that was mostly responsible for the pistol that went into production.
    Although the French expressed interest in the pistol before it went into production (originally scheduled for 1929 but delayed until 1934 due to the Great Depression) it was the Belgian Army that first adopted the Modele 1935 pistolet automatique, Grand Puissance in 1935.
    And the French did not adopt the Hi-Power before the start of the war and certainly were not in a position after they were occupied. After the war the French adopted their own design, the model 1950 (known as the M.A.S. or M.A.C. depending on which armory produced it)
    So the French may have said they were interested in the Hi-Power but it was FN that finished it and it was Belgium that adopted it first.

  4. #24
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    Thanks I thought Saive was French. https://blog.westernpowders.com/2017...eudonne-saive/
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 03-26-2020 at 07:29 PM.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

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  5. #25
    Boolit Master Gunslinger1911's Avatar
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    I got a "FM" (Argentine ?), P35 decades ago. Love the ergonomics ! Loved it more when I learned how to remove the mag disconnect.
    Lucked into a Browning a while ago, pretty late manu. A "real" P35 !!!!! yahoo !!!!!
    The FM is a 41 AE now - poor mans .40 P35 that was made for a while (but was slightly bigger).
    Daughter in law has the Browning at the moment, until she decides what she wants to buy (NOT my P35 lol)
    I'm a dedicated 1911 .45 guy - but something about the P35 .........................
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  6. #26
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    As I recall, the HP has been cloned so many times that it don't know what it is anymore. I was looking for one and found the FN and it's a HP through and through. Made in Belgium, assembled in Columbia, SC. Has many improvements. A month later, I got a VN vintage HP and shot both extensively. After about 3 years, the FN won out and the HP left for more money than I paid for it.

    Carried a M1911A1 in the Army, used a HP in VN. Now, the M1911A1 sits in the safe and the HP rides my hip pocket here on the place. Modified M9 Beretta mags allow me to have a 14 round capacity and the FN with it's self cocking hammer works well for me and is quick to get into action. Wouldn't leave home without it./beagle
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by beagle View Post
    Modified M9 Beretta mags allow me to have a 14 round capacity
    I have heard of this but never pursued it. What has to be done?

    I do have a couple of the KRD 15's & 17's but I really haven't shot the enough to comment.

    https://www.abidearmory.com/browning...-17-round-mag/
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there’s absolutely no point."

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  8. #28
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    I've owned a few Hi-Power's over the years. The best was a Belgium made FN that was very early post war production. It had been issued to a West German Police Inspector and it was in perfect condition. Lost that one in the divorce.
    I had an Argentine Hi-Power that had the crest of the slide and that was a decent gun but not as good as the early commercial one I had. I removed that horrible magazine safety and threw the parts away. That helped the trigger pull considerably. The pivot point on the trigger bar was worn. I drilled the hole out and soldered a bushing in place. That fixed the trigger bar but the sear became the weak link, so a new sear was installed. Then the slop in the trigger pivot became the offending issue, so a new trigger was installed. When I finally got that one sorted out, it shot OK but I was done with it. I traded it for something.
    I had one of the Hungarian FEG clones and that was actually a pretty good gun for the money. I would buy another one if the opportunity arose.

    A friend had one of the "Assembled in Portugal" Hi-Powers with the external extractor and it shot very well. In fact, it was one of the better Hi-Powers I've shot.

  9. #29
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    No one has admitted the machined Browning was expensive, while the molded plastic Glock is cheap.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norske View Post
    No one has admitted the machined Browning was expensive, while the molded plastic Glock is cheap.
    There's a historical lesson floating around that this is certainly a component of. When you look at what a pistol needs to do - it has to work, not be a burden to keep working, be accurate enough, not break the bank of whatever entity is buying it, and be user-friendly in whichever ways you care to define it.

    The 1911 was the original world-beater on most of that, but it wasn't cheap, and it wasn't idiot-proof.

    The Glock IS cheap, and if you discount disassembly kabooms, IS pretty danged idiot proof. It checks ALL the boxes, or at least more of them than anyone else. Sure, one can whine about it not fitting their hand like a tailored glove, but if one puts in a little work mastering certain basics of grip, use of sights, and trigger control, that ceases to matter much.

    What we see when we look at the state of autoloading pistols over the decades is A WHOLE LOT of pilfered 1911 features, and A WHOLE LOT of pilfered Glock features - many of which are made in inferior ways simply because of attempts to dodge patent infringements. If you look at the new Mossberg pistol's parts diagram, it becomes clear that most of Glock's patents have probably expired.

    Another key component to the Glock's newfound primacy is that - on an administrative/government entity level - we aren't arguing about caliber anymore. 9mm does the job we need it to do, and there are multiple examples of Glock 17's in the world with north of 200,000 rounds through them with minimal parts replacement.

    And from an armorer standpoint, the 1911 (and by extension the somewhat contemporary High Power) gives more lessons: After the Glock, the 1911 is probably the most easily-serviced pistol in the world, but you have to be much more of a nerd with much more of an understanding of what's going on inside a pistol to really make it hum - frequently tuning the parts that you already have. Glock repair is more a matter of identifying the parts the might cause the encountered problem and quickly replacing them. Worst case, if a green armorer in a pinch just throws up his hands and entirely re-guts a Glock, he's probably fixed the gun for maybe 50-70 bucks and 20-30 minutes.

    Pretty much the way the world is going, no artistry, no highly-skilled labor, but the Harbor Freight claw hammer drives nails just as well as the Estwing - - -and for reasons we've already covered, the High Power isn't REALLY an Estwing. FN undoubtedly reached the conclusion that the HP design didn't have enough snob appeal to justify maintaining the line.
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  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by samari46 View Post
    Browning discontinued the HP as their machines were getting old, and not selling well what with other 9mm's that were new and not an older design. Having said that I have one of the Israeli surplus ones I got from either Cope's or Cole's. Was going to get another but one of the dealers suffered a fire that basically put them out of business. I removed the mag disconnect and did notice a slight improvement in the trigger pull. Only thing I don't like is the tiny safety they had. Guess I'm wedded to the 1911 style safeties. Frank
    The last Browning factory safeties were much improved. They were ambi too. My HP had one of those and I could hit it easy, just like my 1911s.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    I’ve owned many Brn HPs. I only bought one new in 1968. Have had commercial and military models. Just recently had West German Mauser made model. Fired little but worn from police carry. I lost interest in HPs as new when they started assembly in Portugal. If you complain about HP trigger, these are worse. There was not fitting only assembly. I have a HP competition model with the extended barrel. It has a trigger like no other HP including smithed ones can touch. The rear adjustable sight is a stamping that looks cheap but does the job.
    The gun has importers stamp on it as it was suppose to be made for European market. I stole it at an auction because it was in with a bunch of cheap black 9mms and nobody knew what it was. At least they didn’t act like it because they didn’t bid long. Gun shots as good as a K38. My problem is I can’t find a cast bullet it likes.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norske View Post
    No one has admitted the machined Browning was expensive, while the molded plastic Glock is cheap.
    Why would that require an "admission"?

  14. #34
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    A couple points.

    1. The high powers stamped "Mauser" were actually made in Hungary by FEG.

    2. Once reason that the HP's final design had many changes by Saive after JMB 's last iteration of the design (and then he passed on), it that:
    a lot of the great/important/useful design points that JMB came up with for the 1911 were patented and the 1911 design and patents were sold to Colt.
    Thus, even thought JMB came up with the patents, he did not own them at that point, and thus the JMB HP iterations could not have things like a slide
    (it had a bolt), etc. The patents expired after JMB died and Saive, being the head designer at FN and plant manager, revised the HP to incorporate
    many of the design points of the 1911 and the HP design became what we know it to be today.

    Note that Saive was no slouch; he was brilliant. He designed the FAL and the MAG58. The MAG58 is a belt fed 308 that is used by a large number of the
    western military's, including the US, where it is know as the M240, which thankfully replaced the problematic M60.

  15. #35
    Boolit Man 1006's Avatar
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    I had an FN Hi Power from Belgium. It came new from the distributor in a grey factory Browning labeled plastic case. The serial number matched the gun. Browning must have run out of Portuguese Assembled guns for a while and used these.

    It was a good shooter, but not easy to carry concealed. It was a wonderful range guns that belonged in an unconcealed holster when carried. The grip is bulky, the safety sticks out too far sideways, and the hammer cuts the web of my hand when I shoot one.

    I prefer the 1911’s, Glocks, Sigs, HK, and CZ’s—just about everything else. I do not think I am alone in how I see the HiPower, and I believe that is why they do not see much production. No disrespect intended.

    Positive note: the heavy factory hammer spring would ignite the toughest primers 100%.

  16. #36
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    The "admission" is that Glock dominates police department biddings, and the civilian market isn't willing to pay for machined precision just to "spray and pray" as many of the younger shooters who come to our indoor range want to do.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by beagle View Post
    ... Modified M9 Beretta mags allow me to have a 14 round capacity and the FN with it's self cocking hammer works well for me and is quick to get into action. Wouldn't leave home without it./beagle...
    Please elaborate, enquiring minds would like to know!

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  18. #38
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    John Browning was unquestionably a brilliant firearm's designer. And Dieudonne Saive was also an incredibly talented designer.

    No one is attempting to take any credit away from either of these men. However, the pistol that later became the Hi-Power wasn't a major focus of John Browning prior to his death. Browning applied for the patent that encompassed the basis for the P-35 on June 28, 1923 and that patent wasn't issued until February 22, 1927 (a few months after Browning's death). That patent, #1618510, showed the pistol with a slide (not a bolt) and included several features that appear in the final design such as, the trigger bar in the slide and the lack of a swinging link to unlock the barrel.
    It is important to note that in the early 1900's, the generic term in most of Europe for any self-loading pistol was " A Browning". This was a fact not lost on FN. They had a long and extremely lucrative relationship with John Browning, ...FN wasn't going to refer to that pistol as the Saive Hi-Power ! FN promoted the pistol as Browning's last design. That was a marketing move and a smart one.

    As for John Browning not owning his patents, that's a bit misleading. While technically accurate, it's not relevant. Browning sold most of his patents. Browning designed guns, other people made his guns.
    Browning sold his patents to multiple companies, including in part: Winchester, Colt, Fabrique Nationale [FN], Remington and even the U.S. Government. In some cases Browning arranged for (licensed) more than one company to make the same gun for different markets (the Auto-5 in Europe and the Remington Model 11 in the U.S.A. is one example).
    So while it's true that Colt may have held some patents that FN didn't, I don't think its fair to say that FN was forced "to wait" for those patents to expire. It might be a little more accurate to say that when some patents expired, FN capitalized on that.

    Even if Browning had lived a few more years, it's unlikely the pistol would have been produced much sooner that the mid 1930's due to the effects of the depression. FN planned to start production of the Hi-Power in 1929 but that wasn't going to happen due to the great depression. By 1929, Browning had been dead for over 2 years and Saive had completely re-worked the design of the pistol. The bulk of the work that went into the Hi-Power, even before Browning's death, was done by Saive. The double row magazine and the ultimate form of the pistol was the result of Saive's work.


    Getting back to: What Happened to the Hi-Power ?

    The P-35 is an outstanding pistol and was held in very high regard for decades. The world wide distribution of that design was a testament to its excellent design. When the Germans occupied FN they continued to produce the P-35 as their Pistole 640(b). John Inglis & Co. made the Hi-Power. There are licensed copies from Argentina. The Hi-Power was produced in Indonesia and India. It was adopted by a huge number of NATO counties.
    The Hi-Power was an incredible design and it was hugely successful. Time moved on.

    I don't think it's fair to compare the Hi-Power to the Glock - they are from different times.
    Last edited by Petrol & Powder; 03-28-2020 at 09:24 AM.

  19. #39
    Boolit Master scattershot's Avatar
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    You can still get a new one, if you want. It’s made in Turkey instead of Belgium, but from all accounts it’s a dead accurate clone. Google Regent BR9.
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check