FN Herstal Firearms banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,561 Posts
Discussion Starter #1


Hello there! I did some horse trading yesterday, and ended up with this Argentine Hi Power. From what I can tell, it's the M90, with the 1911 profile barrel. Marked "FM Hi-Power Industria Argentina." Imported by Century. Anybody know anything about these? Are they any good? Problems I should watch out for?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
They are a real Hi Power, manufactured on FN-licensed tooling in Argentina. It’s basically a Mark I Model. I have the ‘Detective’ variant, effectively a commander-sized Hi Power. The finish is pretty plain-Jane compared to what was coming out of Belgium but they are excellent weapons.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
You got a keeper. Probably a great shooter!

You can get springs and parts from BH Spring Solutions and a number of other places. BHSS has videos and lots of info. They are a fabulous source when you get stuck or just can't find an answer.

You probably want to replace the recoil spring, extractor spring, and maybe the firing pin spring, they don't last forever. Search for "free recoil spring" at BHSS. If you buy something, use the voucher code BHVet10 at checkout for a 10% discount.

There is no such thing as a Mark I High Power. Yours would be the Argentinian produced version of the Improved High Power of 1962, when changes to the design were introduced. Earlier Classic HPs featured an internal extractor. They were just called High Powers.

I have only an FM Detective slide which I use exclusively with an FN Alloy frame. Though the FM High Powers were licensed by FN, the resulting pistols are not 100% identical. FN may have provided slightly different set of blueprints.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,561 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the info. Not sure when I'll get the chance to shoot it, but I'm looking forward to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Though the FM High Powers were licensed by FN, the resulting pistols are not 100% identical. FN may have provided slightly different set of blueprints.
I recall reading somewhere in the background research right after I got my Detective that suggested FN came and set up the production line for FM. I don’t know if that means they only got production drawings or if they also got the tooling.

As far as compatibility I have one data point. I did find when I sourced a full size barrel to have shortened and threaded that a FEG barrel from the model supposedly closest to a real HP did not work (I guessed the cam lock area needed fitting, but I’m not a Gunsmith) but a HP replacement barrel did.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
I recall reading somewhere in the background research right after I got my Detective that suggested FN came and set up the production line for FM. I don’t know if that means they only got production drawings or if they also got the tooling.

As far as compatibility I have one data point. I did find when I sourced a full size barrel to have shortened and threaded that a FEG barrel from the model supposedly closest to a real HP did not work (I guessed the cam lock area needed fitting, but I’m not a Gunsmith) but a HP replacement barrel did.
Yes. It was a licensed copy and FN had a big (I think) part in getting it running. Apparently they provided a somewhat different blueprint, like they did with Inglis during WWll. Probably subtle "improvements". I believe FM made some further "improvements" after the licensing agreement expired.

I have heard that internally, the Arcus is most faithful to the FN design. I don't have an Arcus.
I think FEG was a reverse engineered pistol. Mine has incompatibilities and suffered from very poor finishing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Nice Licensed copy of the Hi Power made toward the end of production when they simplified the machine process by eliminating the distinctive cuts on the front of the slide. The pistol is otherwise like a Mk II variant ( never was a Mk I) but simplified where ever they could to be cheaper to produce, still a nice pistol usually with a crude finish. This was produced after mIlitary contracts had been fulfilled with standard machined Hi Power parts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
I believe Gonzogeezer made a typo and meant to type that the FM90 is basically similar to an FN MK II model, in which case he'd indeed be correct. In writing the below, I've had a heck of a time keeping my FNs and my FMs straight. I hope I caught all of my mistakes...

It needs to be repeated, however, that there was never an FN Mk I Hi Power. Never. This is a fallacy perpetuated by Wikipedia's miserable, anonymous and sloppy Hi Power entry. It is important to reiterate this point, because this is exactly how totally false information gets repeatedly foisted onto the unknowing or uncaring reader as actual fact. If one intentionally wishes to commit a gross faux pas in a Hi Power discussion, dropping the FN Mk I Bomb is the way to do it. There was a MK I Hi Power, but it was built by the Canadian John Inglis Company during WWII with the cooperation of FN officials in exile.
Everybody, please write that down. There's gonna be a quiz...

As noted above, what Alpha-17 has is an Argentine-made FM90. Argentina was one of the very earliest users of the FN Hi Power and imported many pre-WWII and post war Hi Powers into the 1960s. Many of the 1960s FN imports have excellent Argentinian crests engraved atop the slides. Very desirable, if you can find one.
Argentina later struck up a deal with FN which led to supervised, licensed, production of the Hi Power and the FN/FAL rifle and other FN arms, within Argentina. Licensed FM (The initials FM translate to Military Factories. It was part of the Argentine Army) Hi Power production lasted from 1969 to 1989. As licensed production proceeded, the Argentine Hi Powers generally adopted the product improvements introduced by FN on its Hi Powers. FN and FM were literally working off the same sheet of paper.

When Argentina's production licenses from FN expired, the FM organization set about to build their own version of the Hi Power. Argentina felt that producing the Hi Power for internal commercial use and export would be a good way to earn hard currency - US dollars in particular - for their economy. With 20 years of licensed Hi Power production experience, Argentina's unlicensed versions of the Hi Power were an excellent and desirable commodity.

The most obvious external difference with the initial unlicensed FM Hi Powers was the the distinctive 1911-style slide that did away with the iconic "Hi Power cut" - the narrower front part of the slide. Their first version, the FM-90, was introduced in, you guessed it, 1990. It is broadly similar to the FN MkII Hi Power, in that it has a longitudinal rib (but different, with several longitudinal striations instead of one solid rib) and a front sight that is machined as a part of the slide. What it does not have is the FN MkII's ambidextrous safety. There is also a shorter Detective version of the FM90.

The FM95 Hi Power was introduced in (take a guess?) 1995. It is, externally, broadly similar to the FM90, except that it features an ambidextrous safety plus the FN MkIII's dovetailed front and rear sights. These sights and their dovetail dimensions are identical to FN's MkIII fixed sights OEM FN, Mepro or Trijicon night sights built for FN/Browning MkIII-based pistol will work on the FM95. There is also a shorter, Detective variant of the FM95. The FM95 retains the serrated rib of the FM90 atop the slide. Have you ever wondered why the FN/Browning MkIII front sight has a slight gap between the bottom of the sight blade and the slide? It may be coincidence, but on the FM95 the front sight has no such gap. The front sight fits perfectly over the rib on the FM's slide, with no gap, as if they were made for each other.
137260

FM continued on with changes to their versions of the Hi Power, most of which are not seen, or are extremely rare, in the United States. There were later FM factory-built, SFS Hi Powers in full size and Detective variants - and even an SFS .40 S&W Hi Power variant, the FM03AR, pictured above. ^^^^. -Some of you, who haven't fallen asleep yet, will likely recall that FN introduced their factory SFS models in 2003 also. In addition, notice the reintroduction of the FN-ish Hi Power-style cut at the front of the slide, albeit with a rearward slanting angle.

Most FM Hi Powers seen in the US have matte or painted finishes. Because that's what the importers ordered. But FM also made their Hi Powers in other, more premium finishes, such as electroless nickel, bright blue, and a polymer finish.

Here is an FM95 Deluxe Classic in electroless nickel ...

137261


So, if you are lucky enough to own an FM Hi Power consider yourself fortunate. They descend from a very long line of Argentinian Hi Powers dating back to the 1930s.


OUIZ:
Who invented the FN Mk I Hi Power?
A). FN
B). Wikipedia
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
I have one of those original FN contract HPs. Unfortunately it had a hard life in Bueno Aires and was refinished and the grips replaced before I got it. I don’t know who refinished it, whether an arsenal in Argentina, or the importer, or the first well-meaning US private owner. But it became a great shooter after I replaced the extractor.


 
  • Like
Reactions: FN47

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
That's a very handsome Hi Power, Gonzo. The crest really makes it stand out.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top