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Currently I own only one 9MM handgun - a Stoeger Cougar. It's my no frills, low recoil, work all the time, cheap to buy, and cheap to shoot handgun. Love it. (Otherwise I'd probably pick up an FNP to fit that bill).

Now I want something with class and history. I want a Hi-Power. But I've only got room for one in the safe ('cause I gotta save up for a PS90 to match my Five-seveN).

So knowing that I can only have one for a few years, what should I do?

Buy a brand new Browning? If so do I get the Standard with adjustable sights or the Mark III with fixed sights?

Or do I look for a slightly used older Hi-Power with custom smithing and pachmayr grips already on it?

Do I save a ton of money and get an FM" Argentine Hi-Power? Are they just as good?

Does it matter if it was made in Belgium or Portugal?

Guide me down the path of Hi-Power righteousness!!!
 

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Hello,

Currently I own only one 9MM handgun - a Stoeger Cougar. It's my no frills, low recoil, work all the time, cheap to buy, and cheap to shoot handgun. Love it. (Otherwise I'd probably pick up an FNP to fit that bill).

Now I want something with class and history. I want a Hi-Power. But I've only got room for one in the safe ('cause I gotta save up for a PS90 to match my Five-seveN).

So knowing that I can only have one for a few years, what should I do?

Buy a brand new Browning? If so do I get the Standard with adjustable sights or the Mark III with fixed sights?This depends entirely upon what you prefer and what you intend the pistol to primarily be used for. Most of the time, it's been my experience that the fixed sight pistols are pretty darned close to being dead-bang "on" but now and again, I've found one that was not close enough to be satisfactory, something that is easily tended to with adjustable sights. The Mk III matte finish is more corrosion-resistant than the blue Standard, if that matters and usually costs a bit less. The adjustable sights on the Hi Power sit a little higher than most others...if that is a consideration for you.

Or do I look for a slightly used older Hi-Power with custom smithing and pachmayr grips already on it? Again, a subjective choice which depends on your personal tastes. A customized Hi Power that is done right will probably cost as much or more than a new one, but it will probably also already have a trigger job, one of the main alterations done to the Hi Power. Most that I've seen have been fitted with either Novak or Heine fixed sights so the adj sight vs fixed might come into question again.

Do I save a ton of money and get an FM" Argentine Hi-Power? Are they just as good?Older FM Hi Powers were made under license from FN. Finish was usually not as nice as on the commercial Hi Powers but then they didn't cost quite as much either. The latest versions are not quite the same internally as the barrel is seated in a different manner. I have not kept up with these changes but I believe that they are designated "FM95" or something similar. The older FM's I've shot have worked fine and grouped pretty nicely. Were I going to try and save some money, I'd look for an FN-marked Hi Power. These will be hard to find in 9mm but some can still be found in .40 S&W. As you likely know, FN makes the FN pistol but also the Browning-marked pistol. Quality is the same. Only the markings, grips and serial number locations are different. The FN name is not so well know here in the US and FN guns didn't sell compared to the Browning-marked guns. US shooters seemed to want "real Browning Hi Powers" rather than the FN "clone" even though FN has been and continues to be the maker of the Browning!!!

Does it matter if it was made in Belgium or Portugal? I have noticed no difference in quality or performance between the guns marked "Made in Belgium" vs those marked "Made in Belgium/Assembled in Portugal."

If you prefer the older classic looks, I'd suggest shopping around for a clean Hi Power of this design. Shoot it some and see if you want or even need to change the sights. If it is to be a range gun, the smallish, single-side thumb safety lever will not be a disadvantage. If it is to be a carry gun or gun that might be called upon for self-protection purposes, the extended thumb safety and more visible sights on the Mk III and its kin might be a better choice.

Were I looking for a 9mm "shooting Hi Power", I'd go with a Mk III.

Best.
 

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older guns, built & assembled in Belgium are usually slightly better than the ones assembled in Portugal. but in essence, they are nearly the same. i wouldnt worry about it too much.

as for which gun to pick? personally, i would go for a new one or a 'clean' oldy, without gunsmithing done to it. but i hear most americans prefer the ones with the triggerjobs, so if you go for that, at least make 100% sure it is SAFE and that it doesnt have any reliability problems. a Browning HP (FN HP/GP35) should be one of the most reliable guns you've ever had with FMJ. the hammerspring shouldnt have any problem with even the hardest surplus primers.
 

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There is currently an FM Hi-Power for sale on GunBroker. It's the oldest design, with the spur hammer, stepped slide (M90/95 have a slab-sided slide), and could be mistaken for a Mark II model. It is worth a look, and the price looks to be about right (currently bid at $255 with no reserve). This would get you a GOOD FN clone of a Hi-Power, and give you a pistol to shoot without worrying about dings and scratches.
 
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