Category name:HiPower

SHOT Show 2016: The Nighthawk custom HiPower

Nighthawk had a set of absolutely fabulous custom Browning HiPowers on display!
These pistols were amazing. The trigger was AMAZING, what you expect a good single action pistol to be. The shape of the trigger was almost straight, unlike most HP triggers including the C&S. Much thinner than the C&S also. Definitely for and from 1911 folks. The grips (there were wood and synthetic) were THIN. This is great considering that thin HP grips are hard to find now.

I had the chance encounter of being at their booth at the same time as some of the guys from FN actually taking a look at the pistol. I am not sure if they were too happy with the pic but they did reluctantly agree. I said that I thought it was amazing custom work and they agreed. Very cool chance meeting.



Oct is time for another handgun! (rambling) Thoughts on the Beretta 92FS and other things…

Well, it is October and that means that I should buy another handgun. I know that should please Piers Anthony and Jim Carrey immensely. Oh well!

I was recently impressed with Beretta USA’s statement that they may move from restrictive Maryland. That ended up not coming to fruition, but they did state that any future expansion would be elsewhere. That is at least a start and is more than some other big East Coast gun companies. It is noteworthy to mention that Magpul & PTR have moved, Kahr & Ruger have moved some operations, and Colt has expanded in Florida.

But I digress. Why the Beretta 92FS/M9? This is prior to blogging but back in 1985-6 I was not a fan. I couldn’t believe that the venerable M1911A1 which had served for 75 years and was being replaced by a pistol with undesirable features (my list of cons at the time):

  • big
  • fat
  • 9mm
  • looong heavy double-action
  • slide mounted safety
  • integral front sight
  • open top design
  • complicated (# of parts) design
  • I wasn’t a big fan of the 9mm, but if I had to have a 9mm it should be a High Power. I still love the HP, but 9mm ammo has come a long away and a lot of my early criticisms are not a concern to me any longer.

    Well, almost 30 years later I have come to admire the pistol. One has to admit that despite the controversy and “problems” it has served the United States well. When I say problems I mean specifically the Italian metallurgy issues (that brought about the 92F to 92FS) and broken locking blocks. Both these issues appear to be very limited in scope. Compare to other folks recalls lately (hmm…that sounds like another blog post in itself).

    Other “issues” like the effectiveness of 9mm FMJ in combat or bad contract magazines can’t really be blamed on the pistol.

    What else changed my mind about the Beretta 92FS? Actually spending some range time with one! First time out with one I was able to qualify marksman with it. I was amazed at how straight shooting they are. The craftsmanship on this particular one was exemplary (it was a 90’s Italian if that makes any difference). The pistol operated liked butter – the trigger/hammer although ridiculously long and heavy were superb and everything about it was smooth without grittiness. Pull the action back on one, cock the hammer – no break in required!

    You may have noticed that I am not a big fan of the looong and heavy double-action trigger. At the time I was coming exclusively from the world of 1911s and HiPowers. I didn’t like any DA but the Beretta in particular was stood out as excessive. Since then I have a lot more shooting experience with DA pistols and well, have become more proficient with them.

    Ironically, DA-pistols once claimed the pistol thrown and were all the rage, are now out of vogue. In fact, try and find one. There are few made in the world of single-actions and strikers. Take a look at Ruger’s offering. Ruger pistols were once dominated with double-action pistols in just about any caliber. Now there are none. The P95 (under-rated IMO) was on there the last time I looked, but must have been recently removed.

    My, how times have changed. When the U.S. Military announced M9 adoption everyone rushed out to buy one – at inflated prices. Now, I called around to find one and the youngster who answered the phone at one shop didn’t even know what one was! Forced to looked it up he said that they were discontinued and that all I could get was a compact, INOX (which he had no idea meant stainless slide with silver frame), and M9A1. The 92FS is still in the Beretta catalog, so I hope that they are made. I was bummed that I did not see the Brigadier offered any longer. I don’t think the slide beefing up is needed any longer, but I don’t see it as a detriment.

    The Beretta 92 was designed in 1972 so it is not that old of a design, at least when compared to the 1911 or the HiPower (adopted in 1911 by the U.S. and 1935 by Belgium respectively). I pick these two pistols because they are were designed by John Browning and influenced almost all small arms pistols that have come since. If it has a tilt barrel, it is based on Browning’s designs. Did you know that one of the HiPowr prototypes was a striker pistol? The Beretta 92FS however is completely different and to me that makes it stand out.

    So, what about that list of negatives? Well, they are still there but keep in mind that it is a duty pistol. For me, it will be a range and a nightstand bump in the night pistol and will be perfect. I also suspect that its smooth functioning and non-existent recoil will make it a hit for training new shooters. I still wouldn’t considered it as a primary CCW pistol.

    Sometimes, things are worth taking a second look.

    Got some Meprolight night sights for my HiPower project

    I have decided to continue building out what I consider to be my ultimate CCW HiPower. I am only a few parts away from completion.

    One of them is a set of night sights which I got from

    The last piece (C&S wide trigger) should be here later this week, and my little HP can go for install. Due to the pistol’s NP3 plating things have required more than average fitting.


    HiPower with Cylinder & Slide (C&S) Ring Hammer and Sear and a new set of Navidrex grips

    I recently got my FN HiPower in 40S&W back from my local gunsmith. I had swapped my (Robar) NP3’d spur hammer and matched sear for a new C&S chrome ring hammer and sear. For those wondering neither sear is plated, just the hammer.

    I don’t know if it was because my pistol is entirely NP3’d but the hammer needed to be seriously fit. I put the C&S hammer and sear in, which by the way is a PITA, and the hammer just sat in the cocked position. You had to force it physically to the down position. A little fitting allowed the hammer to fall if nudged forward. Well, that was more than I wanted to mess with and I brought it to my local smith. Same gunsmith that did my front strap and back strap stippling.

    He said that it was oversized and required a significant amount of fitting. He also said that the pairing made the trigger terrible. In fact, he went ahead and did a trigger job knowing that I would not be happy with it otherwise. It is really nice now!

    The only problem is that the hammer’s chrome finish doesn’t match the NP3 nickel color. Duh. This is purely cosmetic, but I am going to order a C&S chrome wide trigger. This will do a number of things:

    1. match the color to the hammer and make it look like I did it on purpose
    2. give me a wide trigger
    3. eliminate the mag safety disconnect hole


    You may have read that I had a problem with VZ Grips fitting on my pistol. I finally ended getting a set of the thin Navidrex. These fit almost perfectly on the pistol. And they are THIN! I really like the grip texture – it almost perfectly compliments my pistols stippling. It feels great.

    For those that don’t like the feel of the newer cast frames because they aren’t as narrow or rounded the Navidrex makes the differences in comparison to a classic forged frame negligible.

    Anyway, I am very pleased. Here are some pics (click on the pic for the full size version):




    What about Hogue Extreme grips for your HiPower?

    Good question! I am hesitant because I don’t know how thick they are and I am have not held a pair of aluminum grips.  I emailed them and got this back:

    Thank you for your interest in Hogue Grips! We appreciate
    you taking the time to contact us. We do make grips for your Browning Hi Power. The Hi Power has been made since 1935 and stayed very consistent through out the years in frame size. The exception would be a BDA or BDM model, these won’t fit at all. There is the occasional frame that has a
    small safety lever that can make it difficult to install the grip. But
    if you relieve that area on the grip, you will be just fine.


    Interesting, because we know that there is a difference between the forged and cast frames. However, I am encouraged that they say that the grips CAN be relieved.

    They look nice though (pic from the Hogue website –  click pic to enlarge):

    UPDATE 12/16/2011

    I got another email from Hogue which said:

    I’ve heard from past customers before that some of our competitors don’t fit quite as well as ours. However, since you have had the issue before you may want to try the rubber grips first to see if there is anything that needs to be done. It’s not a large investment financially and then you would know for sure as to whether there could be a fit issue regarding those. The G10 isn’t as customizable as other materials.

    Interesting (!) and good advice too.

    Herrett Grips on my HiPower

    Got some questions about the grips that I previously on my HiPower. They were the Herrett Grips that I got from CDNN for about $30. They actually fit pretty well. Since I had them off I put them on a stock FN HiPower and took a few pics. CDNN is out of them, but check around, I thought I saw them for sale from C&S.

    I think that they look better on the flat black pistol. Sorry for pic quality, still haven’t put my light box back together.

    (Click on pic to enlarge)


    Since I know folks are going to ask about fit on this modern cast frame pistol (mid 2000’s) I thought I would snap a pic. The grip feels like it fits, but after examining it, it does need some fitting. The current fit does not impact functionality but I will fit them if I am going to leave them on this pistol. In fact, if I hadn’t snapped the pic I would have never noticed.

    (Click on pic to enlarge)

    HiPower and VZ Grips Pro Slims

    Hello all,

    Here is a pic of my HiPower with a new set of VZ Grips’ Pro Slims on them. First, their service was great, I got the grips in 3 days after receiving a confirmation email and a tracking #.

    But, before you run out and buy a set for your HiPower you should know that they didn’t quite fit either of my mid-2000’s FN HP40. I assume that the current generation frames for the 9mm are the same. :(

    Strangely, it did fit my 1968 T-series. I say strange because according to VZ’s website it should fit late 80s+ pistols. Anyway, as for my intended target my mid-2000s MkIII–

    The left panel front (towards front strap) does not sit flush against the frame. The right side is pretty close, but the stop of the tang (rear of grip) doesn’t quite line up. You can’t really tell in the pic though.

    I am disappointed because the grips are clearly VERY high quality. The material is strong and thin. The texture is not very aggressive or sharp. They would have been perfect. Well,  Per VZ they cannot be fit,  I am to send them back for a refund. Too bad — they looked great. Sorry for the pic quality, my light box is disassembled.

    (Click pic to enlarge)


    update 12/7/11 — I had some questions about the fit, and I actually did take some pics. Here is the one that shows the gap the best.

    (click pic to enlarge)

    Stephen Camp Memorial

    The firearms community will truly miss one of its experts that was always willing to help. His knowledge of the HiPower is unmatched.


    “06:43 AM CDT on Monday, May 30, 2011
    Stephen Allen Camp, 59, of Krum passed away on Friday, May 27, 2011.Steve was born on June 18, 1951, in Fort Worth, TX to Cecil and Taloma Camp. He married Sandy Bailey on August 26, 1999.As a young man Steve became a believer in Jesus Christ at Birdville Baptist Church in Haltom City, Texas.

    Steve retired in 1998 from the Denton Police Department after 25 years of loyal and very dedicated service. He left a special legacy at the PD, and many of the people there remember him with love and respect. He left a piece of himself at the Police Department that will remain forever in the hearts of all who knew him. He definitely touched their lives in a very special way.

    He had a passion for guns that was legendary. Target practice was a part of his daily life, and he was known as the premier expert on the Browning Hi Power. Many people sought his advice and he was always willing to give of himself to explain anything asked of him, answering emails from perfect strangers on a daily basis. Steve was an accomplished writer who could always express himself very eloquently on paper. After he retired, he started writing manuals about his beloved firearms. He was a self-published author who wrote four gun-related books that were very well received in the gun community. He even wrote one novel that impresses everyone who reads it. He was a very talented man.

    Steve lived his life by a strict moral code and expected others to do the same. He could be rigid and uncompromising at times, but he was the most giving, loving, decent man who ever lived. You always knew where you stood with Steve because he would tell you. Everyone who knew him loved him and wanted to be his friend, because Steve was true-blue and always there for those he cared about.

    He is survived by his wife, Sandy Camp; mother, Taloma Camp; mother-in-law, Florence Boehnemann; sister, Jan Clifton and husband Tommy; sister-in-law Kathie Boehnemann; niece, Kim Bolton and husband J J; nephew, Clint Jarrett and wife Jinelle; nephew, Stephen Boehnemann and wife Eve; niece, Lauren Hadley and husband Josh; and many other aunts, uncles, cousins and loyal friends.

    He was preceded in death by his father, Cecil Camp; father-in-law, Delphine Boehnemann; and brother-in-law, Larry Boehnemann.

    Visitation will be in Denton at DeBerry Funeral Directors, 2025 W University, on Tuesday, May 31, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

    Services will be held at 10:30 am on Wednesday, June 1, at the First United Methodist Church of Denton located at 201 S Locust.

    Memorials: Denton Police Officers Association, PO Box 5103, Denton, TX, 76205.”

    Cylinder & Slide HiPower (C&S HP) sear lever modifications

    So, does a C&S hammer and sear lever replacement require modification of your HP?

    From Cylinder & Slide:
    “It is very wise in the BHP, that if you are going to change the hammer that you always change the sear,this way you will have a match set made of the very best materials,and will last a life time.

    What you are also talking about is the improved sear lever. This has to have a different hole drilled in the slide to make it work like it should. This new sear lever changes the geometry of the angle, and will result in a better trigger pull weight. This hole has to be made on a milling machine as it has to be in the right place.”

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