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Newbee to BHPs -- What should I look for ?

3625 Views 13 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  GTO
Being an ardent admirer of JMB it's time to consider a high Power, and lo and behold it's like trying to figure which 1911 to buy. Are there particular maunfacturers and years I should be looking at for the best model ? :???: This will be my first 9mm pistol. Also, who do you look at for aftermarket parts ?
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Hello, BigBoy, and welcome.

Which HP to buy really depends upon what you want.......and what you can find with so few new HPs around. If you want to collect, some of the old "T" series can still be found, but at higher prices. If you like to shoot, I much prefer one of today's MkIIIs. I like the fixed sight version and have found most to have their sights well-regulated from the factory. These newer guns, have a slightly changed ejection port that's less "oval-like" than the older guns and more closely resemble the 1911's port. This allows for a bit more metal at the lower rear corner to prevent cracking.......although I've never seen a HP cracked. The fixed sights are adequate in terms of being visible and I do no better with my Novaks than the original fixed sights.

Do not let a poor trigger pull put you off if you otherwise like the gun, unless you're fortunate enough to have enough guns to take your pick. A competent 'smith can put a very decent trigger on a HP, but don't be expecting one as nice as a finely tuned 1911.
You can get a very clean, usuable trigger pull, however. Most of the MkIII HPs have cast frames, but a few of the early ones have the forged frame. To quickly tell the difference, look at the magazine well. Their will be "ripples" if it is cast. The cast frame is stronger than the forged one, or so I am told. It seems that the forged frames would not hold up to the forty cartridge, so the cast frame came into being as it would. FN just incorporated it into the entire line, probably as a cost-saving step. These frames are a tad flatter across the frontstrap, but don't significantly change the feel of the pistol. The Practical is available with fixed or adj sights and has the "matte" finished slide on a hard chromed frame with the Browning ball hammer rather than the spur hammer on the MkIII. Both guns have extended, ambidextrous safeties.

For aftermarket parts, I'd check with Cylinder & Slide.

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Thanks Steve, I will be buying a shooter. I guess the MKIII is what I'll start setting my sights on . . .

Watch out. There has been a flood of cheap foriegn copies shipped to the US recently. Once you decide on a HiPower, please send it to either Stephen or myself and we will be happy to test and certify it as original. This is a free service and seldom takes more than 30 days.

P.S. Please include 2000 rounds of JHP of your choice so that it can be tested under the same conditions you will face should it be returned. :wink:
I just shot my new (used) Practical today. The newer HP's seem tighter, HOWEVER they do cause pain! Be carefull! You will find yourself wanting to shoot one handed all day and those 17 round SA mags can get heavy! My shoulder is killing me! GTO
Hello, GTO. I assume that the SA 17 rnd jobbies worked OK in your new gun? Good. What loads did you try? Shoot any groups?
Seems like you're happy with it.

Steve, I just wrote you a long report on the Private message and it erased it!!!! My shoulder is killing me! I don't think I could write that again! Hahahaha, The SA mags need work, My thumb is killing me! hahaha, GTO
Hello, GTO. I understand about the 17rnd magazines. I never in my life used a magazine loader............until I bought them. Leaving them loaded a few days really does help quite alot.

Steve I bent two of the loaders last night. I think the lips are sharp on the inside and cut the rim of the brass a little, I'm going to try and dehorn one and try it out again. I had a couple fail to go fully into battery with the after market mags but I could just need a 18.5 spring too. GTO
I will say this, Ejection was Perfect. I let someone shoot it and if I was holding a cup I could catch them all without moving my arms much. it grouped so well on my first rested 25 yard shots that I touched all 5 in a diagnal line. I was frustrated bacause I couldn't do it again with 5 but had some 3's and could also keep 3 in an inch often. This was with factory reloads and Wht box. the stock mags were flawless. the only problems were failure to go into battery with the SA mags, and the could be recoil spring power and or the sharp lips (Grabbing brass) and strong un broken in springs. I like this pistol! don't know about white front sights , but love this pistol! The trigger job was also perfect and I like the polished trigger. GTO
Hello, GTO. Sounds great. For what it's worth, I've heard others commenting on rounds failing to be pushed all the way home from NEW SA 17 round magazines off a full or nearly full magazine. I experienced no such problems, but do use slight overpowered recoil springs in my BHPs.

Yeah, If I keep them loaded maybe they will settle down. I havent found a recoil spring and buff yet locally. I just was out to have some fun today and didn't analize problems like I should have. GTO
Stephen, I cept them loaded and polished one. I took them out today and they all worked 100% BUT my groups were terrible at 25yds! Hahaha GTO
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