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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. Last week, Recondoc had a MkIII slide/bbl/recoil spring/guide for sale or trade and the price looked right. Cutting to the chase, we made a deal and I received the HP "upper." Apparently, the slide came off of a Standard and was bright blue with the standard MkIII fixed sights.

As some of you likely know, earlier MkIIIs came with the bbls that have the protrusion at the top rear of the chamber while newer ones do not. In the earlier guns, there is a recess in the slide's breech face for the protrusion. Thus, a newer MkIII factory bbl would work in either the "old" or "new" MkIII slide while the older bbl would work only in an "old" slide unless you removed the protrusion; it's too slender in my opinion to call a bbl hood as on the 1911. Since all of my Browning bbls and BarStos are "old" style, I was pleased to see that this one was also an earlier MkIII slide.

One of my 9mm HPs has been lightly modified with the following changes being made to the pistol: magazine disconnect removed, right-side factory extended thumb safety lever removed, spur hammer bobbed, trigger job, and the entire gun blk parkerized.

It was originally intended as a backup to my duty MkIII should it go down.

My only complaint was that with the fixed sites centered, the gun hit approx 2" to the left at 15 yards. Others may find it easy, but I cringe at the thought of drifting MkIII sights as they're usually installed so darned tight.

Anyway, I took the "new" bbl/slide assembly and as expected it slid right onto the frame.
Bbl fit was satisfactory, but I then recalled a Barsto bbl I had. As you know, these are stainless steel and this one had been hard chromed. I'd used it very, very little before trading off the gun I had it in.

I retrieved that particular Barsto and put it into the "new slide." It fully seated! I put in the recoil spring assembly and shok buff (of course) and slid it onto the frame!
I've been hesitant to try and fit this bbl to any other HPs over the years as I didn't want to have to get through the hard chrome to do it and it has not fit a single one so far.

It fit this one! Lock up is like a bank vault and with an audible "snap" when it goes into battery! It's tight, but not too tight, as the saying goes. Fit around the muzzle of the slide seemed fine and nothing appeared off center or to one side.

Today, I took it to the range for a little workout to see where it hit in relation to the fixed sights with the Barsto bbl.

I only fired 150 rounds and ammunition tried was all factory: Winchester 115 gr "USA" ball, PMP ball in the same wt, and IMI 115 gr
"Di-cut" JHP. The factory 13 rnd magazine that came with the gun and a SA 17 rnd magazine were used.

The gun's sights were "on" at 15 yards, but one has to use a 6 O'Clock hold. Windage is fine. Ejection was unremarkable: very consistent with cases landing about 6' to my right with the PMP, a little farther with the Winchester, and about 10' to my right with the IMI JHPs. It is not unusual for some HPs not to eject the last hull fired; it remains laying on top of the magazine and drops out when the mag's removed. This one ejects all hulls, including the last one.

This HP, in this configuration, shot the WW better than the PMP and shot the IMI very, very well. At 15 yards, 2-hand groups fired standing averaged about 1.5" with either the Winchester or the IMI. At 25 yards, standing, groups were about double that...from my hands. Others would likely have shot better.

I had two failures to feed with the IMI JHP from the SA 17 rnd magazine and none from the factory magazine.

None of the ball rounds failed to feed perfectly.

My Barsto has the old style feed ramp, i.e.: the humped version. MkIII bbls do not have the hump, but more importantly do NOT have the slight flat located on the lower left of the feed ramp as do older HP bbls.

When I got home, bad as I hated to do it, I removed the flat on this bbl and then polished the ramp to a mirror finish. I suspect that the gun will feed well from the SA magazine, but will test again with various JHPs in the near future.

Examination of fired cases showed the firing pin strike to be very, very well-centered, another indication of good bbl fit.

All in all, I'm pleased with the trade and the shiney bright blue slide with the hard chromed BarSto looks pretty good on the blk parkerized frame, which for all practical purposes looks like a matte blue.

I'm usually not all that hot on changing the factory bbl out as on newer guns with jacketed ammo, I don't find that much difference, if any, with loads the gun likes.
I do note that cast/plated bullets I handload, seem to group better from the BarSto with its 1:16 twist.

Now, I'm the first to admit that this is a mere nothing compared to most of the fine work seen here, but it did what I wanted.

Didn't cost much, either!

Hope this was of some interest.


· Registered
186 Posts
Great post Stephen! I love those kinds of small projects where you can do the work yourself and put parts together, do a little fitting/polishing and come out with a good shooting gun.

Sounds like you a fun and enjoyable time doing this and seeing the results on paper. Way to go! :cool:

· Registered
2,110 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hello. Insofar as parts just fitting, most of the time they do NOT. (Dammit!) I've been lucky with another HP. My ex-duty HP was a lightly modified MkIII 9mm. I changed out the sear and hammer with replacements from C&S. Damn! Safety worked fine and the trigger pull on that particular HP is the best I've ever had and that includes my 'smith's trigger jobs.....which are grand! Crisp as an Cooper's "glass rod" and about 4lbs.

Of course, I'm like one of the few who can polish the feed ramp for a guy on a Gold Cup and have it go full auto in the house!

...but that's another story!

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