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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, I have an old hi power I have gotten passed down from family, and I would like to know a little more about this particular firearm. The old family story goes that my great uncle was drafted in WW 2, and after the war he spent some time in Germany, and he ended up bringing the firearm in question home. My grandpa bought it from him in the early 50's and he has had it ever since. Ill post pictures of her later, I haven't had her very long, and she's not in 100% condition, my great uncle nickel plated it unfortunately, and it needs a new extractor, but other than that she shoots well. Anyways any info would be nice, serial number is 61965 with an etched 6 at the end, thank you all for the info!
 

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From your description, the only thing I can provide is that the collectors value is pretty much trashed.

You do not have a High Power. Technically.... only USA Browning imported pistols are High Powers. That was the marketing name Browning put on the GP, or Grand Puissance - which can be translated a few ways.... Great Power, High Power, Great Capacity or High Capacity are all valid translations - Browning chose High Power.

If the pistol was war vintage, the extractor is fully enclosed in the slide, and held in place by the firing pin stop, and also locks the disconnector pin/plate in place. Those extractors can be found used....some work, some don't. I personally don't know of a source at all for any new ones. Maybe someone else can help.

Love to see pictures of what you've got too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Alrighty here are a few shots of it. ill be honest this was the first handgun iv'e ever fired, and other than the fairly common fte the gun shoots great for as old as it is. when i first came across it i had no idea it was supposed to be blued, and now i know differently it pains me to see this firearm in this condition. FYI i haven't had this firearm very long and the previous owner is a firearm's worst nightmare and graveyard, and i'm right now looking at trying to stop this firearm from depreciating more than what is already has.
 

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Jack First Gun Parts is now carrying internal extractors.
If you think you might ever need one in the future...
 
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She looks beautiful.

Since it's been refinished once, might be worth a trip to midwest gunworks for a redo. Congratulations.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, she needs a new look. I can honestly say the nickel plating is hot garbage on her, ill make sure its all blued this time, and taken care of! Does anybody have an idea on the date of this thing?
 

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With only your story, description and...WADR, very limited pic quality to go on, I'd suggest…actually to a reasonable degree of certainty, that your pistol is a very late war Pistole 640b...the German designation for the FN GP35 (FN Browning High Power) produced during WWII German occupation of the Belgian plant in Herstal. In fact, I'd suggest it was likely produced summer 1944, the SN making it one of the last such pistols.


Before anyone strokes out, here’s how I arrived at that specific suggestion…I’ll skip the obvious early slide legend and features: It was apparently picked-up in Germany immediately post WWII…such pistols were often bumper chromed by returning GIs. The pistol exhibits the common late war rough machining…evident even in the pics. The lack of a Magazine Disconnect/Safety, a wartime German production expedient. The Bakelite grips, also a late war German expedient. The…what looks like though it’s near impossible to read the actual numbers, full SN appearing on the slide with apparently only the last 3 numbers on the frame and barrel…as was the German standard throughout most of 1944 production. The SN range…61000, combined with what is described as “an etched 6 at the end”…the “6” likely being a lower case script “b”, the SN suffix introduced by the Germans in 1944. There should be…but considering the likely very late war production, might not be, Waffenamt (WaA140) stamps on the left side of both the slide and frame…above and below the slide stop/release. They might be there, but just might be difficult to see b/c of the refinishing.

As always, clear pics trump all :wink: .


BTW…WADR, you do have an FN Browning High Power, just one produced under German occupation. The first full series production pistols were designated “Grand Puissance” (GP) in 1935 and were adopted by the Belgian Military as the GP35 in…1935. FN produced the same “Le Pistolet Browning a’ Grande Puissance” pre-war for the civilian market around the world and consequently produced manuals in French of course, German, Spanish AND…yes, English. The pre-war (1935/37) English language manuals designated the same GP pistol “Browning 9m/m High Power Automatic Pistol”. These pre-war Browning High Power pistols were not meant for the North American market BTW and Browning…the subsequent North American Importer, didn’t begin importing Browning High Power pistols until 1954. Incidentally, Browning…an FN owned company since 1977, calls the pistol the “Hi-Power” while the manufacturer FN still uses the original “High Power” as its English language designation. Sooo… again WADR, Browning did not choose “High Power” as the “marketing name” for the GP, FN…the manufacturer, did and did so concurrently with the first series production pistols in 1935.

 

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That's great information, Submoa, that I had forgotten. I had read the info a few years back about the pre-war High Power designation, but I had completely forgotten it.

It's great to be reminded of the Hi Power/High Power's historical evolution from time to time. Thank You.

As for the 1940s and '50s fad for bumper chroming pistols, I'm thinking that one can make an argument to revive the practice.
Just get the plating solutions boiling as hot as you can and toss in a bunch of Glocks. No matter what, the end result would be a better looking pistol. :?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Lol burgs I can agree to that, a nickel plated 1944 grand puiassance is better than any glock could ever look! Thank yoy so much for the info btw sub-moa, I have been trying to date this old gun forever and now I have an approximate age. So if one were to restore this gun to its original luster is there any way to remove the nickel? Or is that an impossible feat to do? I don't really care about the value as much as I care about the historical significance, so I would like to have it liking like how it was from the factory if possible. Maybe that's asking too much but if I can get it looking good than it would be a big improvement over what it is now, with is still better than a glock is of course!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
hate to revive an old thread but thank you Burgs! i just had my extractor starting to act up and i was getting scared about where i was gonna find a replacement. i don't fully understand why they still don't produce that part, but what can you do i guess.
 

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Ogden5,

You're most certainly welcome. Good luck!
 

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Don't mean to threadjack a thread here, but i did not want to start a new thread for this since the subject of HP refinishing has been brought up.

Midwest Gun Works was mentioned earlier in this thread for refinishing a HP. does anyone else have any opinions on this? I have a 1990 HP with some bluing issues on the slide. I would like to have it re-blued, but would like it to be done with the same quality as the factory FN bluing job. The frame of the pistol is some type of paint? epoxy? but it does not look blued. I would want that refinished as well. I would kind of like the whole thing blued, but seeing as how the frame was not from the factory, I will probably just look for an older all blued HP to satisfy that want.

Any input on reputable refinishers, or suggestions would be appreciated!
 

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Failure to extract should not be common. It needs to be fixed and inspected by competent gun smith before you shoot it anymore. I own five Hi Powers or barients such as Englis models and none of them exhibit any issues with failure to feed, fire or extract. It is probably a minor issue but the pistol deserves a trip to the doctor for a check-up. I have seen a lot of home smith work like work on feed ramps cause a pistol to potentially be dangerous.
 

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Have to add Numrich Arms for extractor and as a professional smith myself, I would recommend Jim Stroh at Alpha Precision to rescue you finish with least loss of detail in markings while giving it a final finish that anyone would be impressed with. I only offer Cerrakote and Micro Slick which would be a step backwards rather than doing an old classic justice.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hueyville, it hasn't been acting up long, and im 99% sure I was at fault, I got this from my grandpa, and he had lost the magazine, and decided single loading was sufficient, im no Smith, yet at least, planning on going to get a degree in the field within the next few years, ill fix what I can (replace parts) but that's all, no modifications for me!
 

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Ogden5,
If I guess the Ogden is due to where live or once lived in Utah am I close to origination of your screen name. I actually more of a machinist and welder that works on guns when friends or locals ask but I dont chase the work as a full time endeavor. I do a lot of trading and bulk purchases thus end up with guns meeding minor repairs to complete restoration. It makes for some extra cash to keep my shooting hobby more viable. While I do complete builds of AR's, 1911's, M1a's and such I still send most of my long range hunting rifles and F class benchrest rifles to another local smith who specializes in tack driving turn bolts. I work on sub guns, build a few supressors, IPSC limited and race guns and do modern finish work. It justifies purchasing more specialized tools, keeps a few projects on the bench more for fun. I make my living as a rigger which has slown down post broken neck and back. Hi Powers can be intriguing pistols especially war models. I usually advise other than repairs leave them alone. The finish should be original and patena show some wear. Unfortunately there was a time I was buying lots of surplus pistols and using them to build race guns and custom carry pistols which were suited more for late model frames and slides rather than messing with a pistol that had character. Looking at your pistol in the posted pics I would be tempted to put it as close to original as possible with parts and finish then go shoot it and have fun restoring some character and patena in the process of shooting it. It being chromed at some point was poor taste, I might understand nickle plating but chrome is for $99 pawn shop 25 and 32 autos. If you have spare cash send it to a known finish shop and if not, do repair work and shoot the thing till it mostly flakes off. Post WWII a lot of war trophies got red neck restorations but what the heck. If you get it working mechanically reliable shoot it till the wheels fall off and enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hueyville,
Actually it's my last name, not from the town (there is also an Ogden Iowa tgats not too far away from my location), but I do agree with you on the part work. I want this gun to be as original as possible, but functional at the same time. Im him hawing about the finish, and personally I would prefer at the moment to get it professionally blued to as close to what it was when it rolled out of Belgium as possible, but that'll be awhile down the road, I just hate seeing such a piece of history with a finish like that, wished it was original but that was beyond my control.
 

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Have to add Numrich Arms for extractor...
Hueyville,

Thanks for the update on Numrich. The have been out of stock on the internal extractors for some time.
It's good to know that there's another source now.
 

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Chrome isn't difficult to remove by someone in the re-finishing business... sometimes it takes a little persistence, but it comes off. Once the chrome is off the rest is no different than other bluing.

I think a re-blue would do a lot for the gun.

FWIW

CHuck
 
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