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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Just joined the forum - Aussie now living in Argentina where the gun laws are not as horrendous as they are back home now. Down here I have a few Bersa Thunder Pro 9mms for home defence and for getting in a bit of range time but a long time ''wish list'' thing for me - has been for years - is to OWN my own Browning HP 9mm - like what I used to use and carry years ago...

The opportunity came up recently - I've got a deposit down on one right now - have a few pictures to post - would REALLY appreciate it if someone could help me identify it and give me a bit more info on the pistol itself...

My thinking is that its from the 1960s - the serial number does NOT seem to confirm with what is on the Browning website - 6 digit serial number but without letters etc...

Anyway - here goes - hoping someone can help shed more light on this pistol for me...

BTW - the action is perfect and the bore is like new (very happy there) - I agree with a friend of mine who said it has definitely been re-blued and probably a bit of polishing first to remove surface rust... I'm thinking this sat around in a house as a home defence weapon since the time it was purchased and probably never really got used...

John.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
PS I'm not sure why exactly but my feel for the pistol is its probably late 1960s getting close to 1970...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Gun laws are 10 times better than Australia - but that is not saying much - the only people who get guns in Oz nowadays are the criminals...:) lol The laws are good overall -any pistol you want you can get in 30 days - 60 if you don't pay for the ''fast'' option - any calibre rifle is okay - some restrictions in terms of semi auto long arms though - in the past was better - you could have a FAL or anything you wanted basically... You have the right to use your weapons for self defence though - which of course in Oz you don't have anymore - they just send you to jail if want to defend yourself... Overall much better...
 

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Johnno,

Welcome to the forum!

What you have appears to be an Argentinian FM-made Hi Power. The FM company in Argentina made Hi Powers under license From FN during the 1969-1989 period, after which FM continued unlicensed Hi Power production with the models FM90, FM95 and FM02 versions (the numbers coincide with the years they were introduced). All of the unlicensed production versions were also available in the Commander length Detective models.
License production of FN products in Argentina (such as the FN FAL rifle) were built to exacting standards, were of a very high quality and Argentine Hi Powers of this time period are highly regarded.

Yet another clue to your pistol's identity is that the tag in the photo also identifies it as an FM... :?

Given that your pistol has a spur hammer, which was introduced in the Belgian FN Hi Powers circa 1971, your Argentinean sample would have been made on or after that date, assuming that the spur hammer is original to the pistol and not a retrofit.

Thank you for taking the time to post photos of your pistol.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Many thanks for that Burgs :)

At this stage I don't have the pistol in my possession - its still sitting in the Armeria - I have to finish paying the other 5600 pesos I owe on it (lol) and then the paperwork begins...

Unlike the US the minimum time here is 30 days - not like it used to be where you could get the gun in a week or two...

I don't have other pics at this stage and although I felt like doing a basic field strip to see what else I could see I had the feeling the person behind the counter was not up for it :) lol

BTW - just reading your reply again and you made me think of something - on one side of the slide you can see there is writing - most of the Belgian made Hi Powers seem to have a bit more text from memory - the words ''FN Browning'' are all that appear on the one side of the slide and then on the other side (ejection port side) there is the matching serial number on the slide, the breech block and the subframe...

Would I be correct in assuming that Argentine made Hi Powers typically HAD (in those days) the text ''FN Browning'' on the left hand side of the slide (but no other text?)

I am now hoping this IS ''one of the good ones'' - all I can say from physically having inspected the gun is that the fit and finish and feel and tolerances seemed *excellent* - its been MANY years since I used or carried one of these pistols but lets put it this way - I saw the gun, I picked it up and I *knew* I had to have it -even if it does mean breaking the bank this month :) lol

I have one of those little plastic gadgets that gathers light and illuminates the pistol bore - that was absolutely PRISTINE - perfect - and the action - nice and tight - when I first saw the pistol (not being an ''expert'' on Brownings) I automatically assumed it would BE a Belgian made one based on the build quality...

So - bottom line - my gut feel that this pistol dates to the end of the 1960s - maybe around 1970 - may not be far off the mark ?

John.

Johnno,

Welcome to the forum!

What you have appears to be an Argentinian FM-made Hi Power. The FM company in Argentina made Hi Powers under license From FN during the 1969-1989 period, after which FM continued unlicensed Hi Power production with the models FM90, FM95 and FM02 versions (the numbers coincide with the years they were introduced). All of the unlicensed production versions were also available in the Commander length Detective models.
License production of FN products in Argentina (such as the FN FAL rifle) were built to exacting standards, were of a very high quality and Argentine Hi Powers of this time period are highly regarded.

Yet another clue to your pistol's identity is that the tag in the photo also identifies it as an FM... :?

Given that your pistol has a spur hammer, which was introduced in the Belgian FN Hi Powers circa 1972, your Argentinean sample would have been made on or after that date, assuming that the spur hammer is original to the pistol and not a retrofit.

Thank you for taking the time to post photos of your pistol.
 

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Welcome!!! :)

Nice purchase.
 
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Johnno,

For whatever reason, quite a few Argentine license built FM Hi Powers were marked "FN BROWNING", but this rollmark is a known FM marking. The Serial number sequence and format is also FM.

Unless it is a retrofit, the spur hammer on the pistol dates it to 1971 or later.
FN introduced the spur hammer circa 1971, but that is not to say that FM also adopted the spur hammer at the same time. It could have been later.
As an example, FN introduced the ambidextrous safety in 1981 on the MK II, however FM did not adopt the ambi safety until 1990 on the unlicensed FM90.

It is hard to tell from your photo, but it appears that your Hi Power may have the extended "hog nose" barrel bushing. If so, that would put it after 1973, which is when they were introduced on Belgian Hi powers.

I would think that the Argentine Hi Powers have quite a following down there. Perhaps there are some local Hi Power organizations where you can get some good info. For the most part what FM Hi Powers we see up here were sporadically imported over the years in small batches. There are several FM Hi Power variants where you are that never made it to the USA in any numbers.
For example: FM cataloged a full size and Detective M02AR version in both 9mm and 40S&W which featured the factory installed Safety Fast Shooting (SFS) system which allows the Hi Power to be carried in a form of "cocked and locked" readiness with the hammer down.
FM also in the past offered other finish treatments (such as electroless nickel) that we don't see up here.

www.fab-militares.gov.ar/armas-livianas/
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Once again - thank you so much for the excellent info there Burgs - once I get my hands on her I'll do a field strip and take a few more pics and also try to get any proof marks/other markings that I might have missed the first time - might be useful for others on the forum and yes - my Spanish is terrible considering how long I have been here (lol) but I will see if I can check out if there is a Hi Power group down this way. More than anything I am hanging out to get her to the range and see how she shoots. Its been many years since I have handled or shot a Hi Power- issue or civilian - but the thing that struck me was just how nice and tight everything was and then when I checked the bore for the first time I started wondering if anyone had actually SHOT this weapon since she left the factory - absolutely pristine bore :) So, for 6000 pesos Argentine I have to say I think I am getting a pretty good deal here :) She is definitely a quality pistol :) I mean don't get me wrong - I have two Bersa Thunder Pro 9mms as well and for the dollar they would have to be the best 9mm sidearms I have used - for accuracy and reliability absolutely impressive (you can ''feed'' them anything - they just *work*). But there is nothing else that feels or looks quite like a Hi Power...:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Burgs - this might seem like a dumb question - but we've established that my new (soon to be mine anyway) Hi Power is an Argentine FM produced (under license) job probably made in the 1970s - would that make it a ''Mk1'' or a ''Mk2'' - hope its not a dumb question :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
(PS One of the reasons I am asking this question is that I intend to use the new pistol and my regular load for self defence is Hornady XTP 147gr - I know this feeds and performs perfectly in my Bersa Thunder Pro 9mms but am hoping it will also feed and perform well in the Browning also... In terms of practice at the range I just use regular factory FMJ - whatever is cheap and available at the time - typically around the 124gr weight...) (I've heard that with JHSPs there can be an issue with the older Hi Powers... (?)
 

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The FN model name for the fixed sighted Hi Power of the period was the "Vigilante", although I don't know if FM concerned itself with the same model names.
FN's technical changes of that period that came after the T Series were the Type 71/73. Broadly speaking the 71 change was the spur hammer and the 73 change was the extended "hog nose" extended barrel bushing. Together they are referred to as Type 71/73.
Changes like this, along with other physical features and the serial number, can be used to date a Hi Power.
So, if your Hi Power does in fact have a "hog nose" barrel bushing, it could not be earlier than 1973 if it were Belgian and probably later than that since it's Argentinian. When exactly when FM adopted the FN design changes at their end on the FM licensed production Hi Powers is something that you could probably explore on your end. I suspect that the FM Hi Powers rightfully have a large fan base in Argentina.

As far as hollow point ammo goes, the problems with older Hi Powers and JHP ammo are exaggerated. I've had no problems with any of mine.
Two things you can do is take some metal polish and a soft rag (NO Dremel tool!) and put a mirror finish on the feed ramp. The other is to get some MecGar magazines. MecGar mags present the rounds at a slightly better angle to improve feeding.

By the way, as an example of how Hi Power design changes lagged between Belgium and Argentina, the straight barrel ramp for hollow points was first introduced by FN on the MKII in 1981, FM did not use it until 1995 on their unlicensed M95. Ditto the ambi safety, also introduced on the MKII in 1981, but not adopted by FM until 1990 on the unlicensed F90.

You will likely encounter many M90 and M95 Hi Powers where you are. FM's license to build Hi Powers expired in 1989. FM continued unlicensed production thereafter. The easiest way to ID an unlicensed FM Hi Power at a glance is that their slides look like 1911 slides in that they do not have the traditional narrowed front section on the slide. These are also very good pistols.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You've given me some more great info there Burgs (as usual:) Many thanks for that. Re: the ''hog nose'' barrel bushing - if you could post a pic that would be wonderful - as soon as I get the pistol into my hot little hands I will be field stripping and checking her out thoroughly and I can compare. I'm hoping to have her fully paid in a few weeks and the 30 day registration process begun - after that I'll be counting down the days till range time :) I've heard of polishing the feed ramp and in a video I've seen someone recommending the use of a dremel but to be honest that had me really *wondering* there - I'm very conservative when it comes to looking after and maintaining my weapons - that just seemed a bit too radical on something that is integral to the function of the weapon... I do have a tube of that excellent german polish I bought in Oz last time I went home for a visit (last year) - Autosol - I am thinking that or brasso (available here) would be the go ?

Re: blueing - if the pistol has already been re-blued - which it looks like it probably has - what do you think ? Leave ''as is'' or use the perma blue to touch it up? I like to keep my weapons in perfect condition always (especially in terms of avoiding rust) but I like to wear them also - I've been a collector of edged weapons but never really a ''gun collector'' as such - every gun I have ever owned has always been for *use* too... Your thoughts ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
PS You may have given me the bug - the local Argies really *don't* seem to value weapons that were made here and have the mentality of ''anything imported is better'' - that being the case I might be able get a few more really good Hi Powers too - I've talked to a friend in another local armeria and he said spare parts and magazines are no problem here - just about everybody HAD a Hi Power in the old days apparently - they were *very* popular down here and of course they were used by both the military and police - so even though I am not a ''collector'' as such it definitely looks like I could end up with a bit of a ''collection'' of Hi Powers :) Of course, no rush - I'm talking pistols in the condition this one is in or better (the action is beautiful and tight and as I said the bore pristine - definitely not the way the average service HP was 30 years ago :) lol
 

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I'm with you on keeping the pistol in good cosmetic shape. I don't mind a little bit of honest wear on the finish, but when it starts to disappear from the front strap, or there's a ding, I fix it right away. I have only had a few pistols reblued (ironically one is a M95 Detective with SFS)-I usually have them hard chromed. After that they're basically good forever. :-]
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Now THAT is a sexy look :) I have to admit it - my personal favourite will always be a good traditional blueing job but THAT looks very nice indeed :)
 
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