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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Bringing an OLD WWII Hi Power back to life with a modern twist

This is a “should I” post in which I’m seeking even the most brutal opinions;

So I came across an old Browning Hi Power P35 manufactured during the German occupation of Belgium. The waffenamt stamp and serial number show it was manufactured in 1944 toward the end of the occupation, when the Germans wanted quantity and not quality. The slide is scarred and as it stands... it was appraised at $400. I always felt like it’s historical and should remain as is... But here lately, I’m tempted to bring this old piece back to life by replacing the slide, barrel, springs, etc.. Just a complete rebuild from the original frame that will be functional, maybe evening reliable and carry worthy, but it will never be competition worthy. With all The personal specs that I want, it will cost around $1000. Should I go for it or am I just completely destroying history? (I’ll keep the old parts to make in 100% historical should I change my mind.)
 

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I kept my 1943 historical.

Replaced all the springs (trigger and sear springs were the worst and in dangerous condition), recoil spring guide rod, grips, found a new extractor, and cleaned her up real nice. Shoots great and cost about $150. The new extractor was expensive at $103.
I almost refinished a 1960 model and put Meprolight sights on her but changed my mind in time. I did add SFS to this one and ditch the mag disconnect... new buffered recoil spring guide rod. Also shoots great and cost a couple hundred. Trigger pin had been installed backwards so I sent it to a pro.

All original parts for both pistols are archived and either could easily be restored to the condition I found them in.

The '81 Alloy has been completely modernized and makes a wonderful carry gun. That one cost about $600 for everything.

What fun!

*I feel like we are in the Golden Age of High Powers.
-Quality parts are readily available.
-Improvements are at hand.
-Knowledge flows readily.
 

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Your pistol, your choice. I would have no prob "restoring" a WWII pistol if done right. It's not a one of a kind museum piece.

OTOH, if you just want a carry gun/shooter, buy another one, maybe a MKIII, and have it fixed up the way you want. You could probably get a surplus MKIII for $400 or so if you look around and $600 worth of nice upgrades would make it a sweet piece. Welcome to the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your reply. I forgot to mention that I had a gunsmith replace all the springs and bring it safely functional. I replaced the barrel (kept the old one) with a new barrel because I’ve read stories of potential sabotaged by occupied FN employees. The trigger’s a little stiff, but fires smooth. The slide has some fairly significant “scars” like someone was about to cut it with a torch but stopped short. We wondered if it was battle damaged, but the history died with the GI who brought it back. He never told anyone the story.

I guess the idea I have is a mixed modern and antique hybrid. Kind of a nickel plated modern slide with mastodon grips. In my heart, it almost sounds sacrilegious which is why I’m asking opinions. I’m going for unique, but not idiotic.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi 1K,
I have been looking at Mark III’s with that in mind. Even considered one of the Tisas clones, but I keep coming back to making something unique. Kind of an itch I can’t get rid of... I think OTOH is my back up plan. And thanks for the welcome!
 
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