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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I would pick the brains of the BHP aficionados here a little. If you were going to go all the way with a fullhouse BHP, what would be your first choice base pistol to send a pistolsmith AND why? Next, what mods would you have done AND why? Any of you that have customized BHPs, tells us what work you wished you had done and any that you regret spending the money for.


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90 Posts
I too am interested in what should be done.

I have a BHP .40S&W Practical that I am going to send to Kurt Wickman once I get my lazy butt in gear/make up my mind on the mods to be done to it.

I was thinking a definite .357 Sig barrel, maybe a set of the bar/dot sights, replacement hammer. . . and then my mind runs out of other cool tricks, gimmicks and whizbangs to have done to the pistol! :grin:


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24 Posts
Three gun makers come to mind when thinking of HPs. Garthwaite, Ahrends and Wickmann (Novak's also does good work). I believe that Ahrends has an extensive work load, so delivery times could be long. As to the details...
My base pistol would be a MKIII browning 9mm. I would not go with 40 again since I already have one and they are bulkier than the 9mm. You are also limited to 10 (or the rare 11) round mags. Sort of defeats the purpose of shooting one of these sub calibers!! Quality of the MKIII guns is very high and they are not as expensive as the completely made in Belgium guns. Haven't seen enough FNs to make a call about them.
Sights: Novak or Heinie, I would not get the Bomar again. It is not commonly seen on the HP, so it is interesting, but I could do without it. Fixed sights look better on the HP and if you are not varying bullet weight too much are perfectly adequate. Serrate top of slide.
Barrel: BarSto, factory is fairly accurate, but we are going full house here.
Safety: Factory, I tried an extended safety for a while and it just didn't look right. Properly tuned, I don't have a problem disengaging the factory HP safety.
Trigger: Tool steel sear, factory trigger bow polished. Factory hammer, bobbed and modified for no bite. Set at 4 to 5 pounds.
Checkering/Stippling: Garthwaite does some amazing checkering (40 LPI if I recall correctly) on the HP as does Ahrends, most other texture or stipple. Funds and personal preference will dictate this one. If you are going full house, checkering is probably you only option.
Finish: hard chrome or two tone
Grips: Spegel
The nice thing about the HP is that you don't have to do much to it to have a really nice functional carry piece. It's a pretty skookum gun as is and full house HPs have a quiet, understated tone that appeals to me.

Damn. Need to get my 9mm HP sent out after this!!

fortuna favet fortibus

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: FBowers on 2001-04-12 12:37 ]</font>

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2,110 Posts
Hello. Over the years, I've come to think that "less is more" with regard to the HP! At least on what's visible!

For me, the base gun would be a new or like new MkIII. I like the ejection port change on these pistols and they group very well out of the box in most cases. They also tend to feed JHPs much better than the older guns. The cast frame, reportedly "tougher", doesn't bother me esthetically, especially if it lasts longer!

My dream HP would likely be built by Kurt Wickmann as he has nearly 10yrs doing this while with Novaks.

My HP would be in 9mm and would have the following:

Plain black Novak fixed sights, sighted in at 25 yards with Triton 125 gr +P JHP.

Crown bbl if accuracy not up to par and if it wasn't, which I'd know before sending in, I'd have a match bbl (KKM) fitted.

Reliability check

Trigger job and removal of magazine disconnector. Trigger to break at 4lbs.

Stipple the front grip strap up to the trigger guard, but not on the bottom of trigger guard.

Stipple 1/3 the way up the back strap.

Spegel Rosewood stocks.

C&S abbreviated ball hammer.

Use the factory thumbsafety, but remove the lever on the right side of the gun.

Hardchrome all internal parts as well as trigger, bbl, safety, slide stop and pins.

Stipple (lightly) top of slide.

Cut the borders on sides of slide.

Frame and slide to be blued. Matte blue the frame and slide, but polished blue on slide flats.


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77 Posts
I have a FN early 80's commercial HP in progress. It's been hard chromed and had tritium sights fitted(adjustable's, since that's what it came with). I've bashed it around in the field a couple times, and it's holding up well so far. New trigger and removal of the mag safety is next, pending funds. I can strongly endorse the hard chrome for a work gun. The thing feeds everything I've fed it so far(1500rds) and I'm happy. Too bad it's a 9mm. Semper Fidelis...Ken M

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59 Posts
Greetings DD,

If money were no object, here are a few things I would have done.

I'd start with either a MKIII or Silver/Chrome (s/n on side of frame) model chambered in 9mm of course.

Have all the usual reliability and trigger work done. Keep the factory trigger and have it polished and radiused slightly. I'd have the mag "safety" removed. Keep the factory spur hammer but have it bobbed... no-bite. I'd keep the factory thumb safety also but have the RH side removed. Since money is no object, I'd have either a BarSto or KKM barrel fitted even though most factory barrels are sufficently accurate.

Novak (opened slightly) rear sight. Front sight would have a gold bead insert (for my aging eyes).

Spegel presentation grips, nuff said :smile:

If I had the S/C model I would have the front strap checkered either 30 or 40LPI. Same with the back strap. (If I used the MKIII I'd go with stippling). Also have the top of slide flattened and serrated either 40 or 50 LPI. French border cut along the top of slide.

I believe I might have the internals NP3'd. The rest of the pistol would be blued. I'd want the flats high polished by hand and the rounds matte finished.

One little item thats pretty std on custom 1911s but not on HPs is having the front strap undercut for a slightly higher grip. I requested this from Kurt... He said this was a 1st for him. He likes the feel and I do too.

FWIW, I have a NIB MKIII thats for sale. If I were to keep this one, here is what I'd have one to suit my basic needs.

-reliabilty pkg
-trigger job / remove mag safety / polish trigger
-stipple front and back strap
- add Spegel's
- maybe change sights

Wickmann would be my 1st choice. A Gartwaite or Ahrends would be nice too :smile:

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939 Posts
DD, Kurt has done work on my pistols in the past...absolutely top drawer guy. Will answer the phone, talk to you, BS with you, and build a damned fine gun.

When I do a full house BHP, he will be cashing the check.

Are you are going to have this pistol hard chromed? If so, see if you can have it done by Virgil Tripp of STI fame. Why? Alex Hamilton rehabilitated my FM High-Power using a frame from Sarco. Alex cleaned up the frame and pulled in a favor from Virgil Tripp. This frame is nicer than the one on the BHP Practical that I have in layaway. The hard chroming is awesome.

I owe it to Alex to say his work is top shelf and he is very easy to talk to. When dealing with me he had the patience of Job. You can find him at Ten-Ring Precision,Inc., San Antonio, TX. I recommend his work.



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Richard on 2001-05-05 20:21 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Richard on 2001-05-06 07:42 ]</font>

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64 Posts
What about a Belgium HP? Doesnt have the serials on the front strap, and eventually, mines gonna go to one of the top three smiths for stippling, bar-sto barrel, new sights, safeties, slight dehorn, a quick fix of that mag safety, and a refinish as close to the old bluing as possible. (if I can control my spending).
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