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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just thought I'd post some of my thoughts on this particular modification. I've heard many different theories on why or why not one should have one of these put on a BHP. As a guy with apparently very meaty hands I have had to make some pretty extensive changes to my hammer to keep it from biting me. Since the hammer's so short now, this negates the possibility of thumb cocking or dropping my hammer (even though I can't see why I'd really need to). I'd like to use a C&S type 2 commander hammer but I would not be able to cut as much material from that type as I have with my spur hammer (I would still have to do this to keep it from causing the "pinch" type bite). Even though my current hammer is not a problem, the grip tang is still too short to be comfortable for me, and the sharp corner did raise a small blister after 200 rds today (at circled area).



If you're like me you've probably thought about having this done but are not sure due to some opposing arguments like:

1. it cause your grip to become too low, increasing muzzle flip

2. it ruins the "lines" or appearance of the HP

3. high cost

I guess I'm in favor of this mod if you think you need it, and my answers to the above arguments follow:

1. Too high grip? The most comfortable and ergonomically perfect firearm I have ever shot was my EAA Witness gold team. It has a built in beavertail which allows a nice high grip and keeps the hammer from contacting the hand. Weld on beavertails for the BHP would seem to allow at least as high, if not a higher grip than the beavertail on the Witness. The following pics illustrate this point.




2. It ruins the looks? This is totally a matter of taste so I won't even touch that. I personally like the look.

3. Cost? I you figure the cost of materials and having a gunsmith fit a beavertail to a 1911 I think you'll find it is not appreciably more expensive to have a beavertail added to a BHP. Also, shop around. Some well known quality smiths charge as little as $150 for this mod while others want up to $300.

For those folks on the fence maybe this will help in your decision. If anybody has any experiences with their beavertailed BHPs please post here and let me know how yours have worked out.
 

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In Jim Garthwaite website there is an article reviewing a 40 S&W high power with a beavertail. The article is very good, and from what I have seen of other browning hp beavertails, Jim's is one of the most nicely done. The article also describes in detail how he welds it onto the frame.
 

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First, beavertails DO NOT necessarily cause you to lower your grip. I had one on a Jim Garthwaite hi-power that I had done and, while it might LOOK like it forced your hand lower, it actually allowed you to get a higher and tighter grip since you could "wedge" it into your hand better if you also shot with a "high thumb" type grip. I have never had a better feel or a better grip on a gun than on that one. I would post a picture, but I've never gone to the trouble of figuring it out. If someone wants to see the picture, e-mail me and I'll get it to you.

In the intervening years, though, I've come to appreciate the "no-bite" modification to the spur hammer. I like the lines of the hi-power and, to me (now, anyway), a beavertail does ruin those lines. I used to think that it was cool-looking on a hi-power but I can do without one now.

Garthwaite's aren't that expensive. I'm not sure what I paid, but I don't think that it was much over $100 or so and, considering what the C&S commander hammer had been doing to the web of my hand (I shot heavily at the time), it was WELL worth it. I have a permanent scar from shooting hi-powers without this modification from my earlier years.
 
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