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  #1  
Old 04-21-2006, 10:08 PM
TRBON8R TRBON8R is offline
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Hi Power trigger job




I've got a new FN HP that needs a trigger job. I talked to a local smith today that came recommended. I about fell over dead when he quoted his price for the trigger job. He said that the Hi Power is different than the 1911 in that the trigger assembly has "3 levers" that need to be polished and that it was a "major job". He quoted $80 "per lever" for a total of $240.

That price sounds high to me, and the fact that the words trigger job and major were used in the same sentence kind of scared me off. Since when is a trigger job such a big deal?
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  #2  
Old 04-21-2006, 10:48 PM
Showbart Showbart is offline
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It's different for sure. It has 1 main lever, the sear. But 3 seperate parts, including 2 more levers, operate hammer drop and it is a busy design. I visited with a gunsmith, who was new to me, on the very same subject. I asked him about using custom replacement parts and he said no need. He said smiths go about the work differently for Hi Powers than 1911s. Someone who does 1911 trigger jobs have made all their jigs and they can be set up just so, depending on the gun and the goal they set out to acheive. No jigs are made and set up for the Hi Power. Smiths go about it by hand: remove part(s), apply stone, install and check, repeat. 1911 triggers are very rudimentary and the Hi Power is more complicated in design. I'll see him on Monday and I'll ask him for a guesstimate on the time. I don't want to spend $240 either and I was going to get custom parts to elimninate the amount of reset travel.

Last edited by Showbart; 04-21-2006 at 10:56 PM.
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  #3  
Old 04-21-2006, 11:03 PM
TRBON8R TRBON8R is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Showbart
It's different for sure. It has 1 main lever, the sear. But 3 seperate parts, including 2 more levers, operate hammer drop and it is a busy design. I visited with a gunsmith, who was new to me, on the very same subject. I asked him about using custom replacement parts and he said no need. He said smiths go about the work differently for Hi Powers than 1911s. Someone who does 1911 trigger jobs have made all their jigs and they can be set up just so, depending on the gun and the goal they set out to acheive. No jigs are made and set up for the Hi Power. Smiths go about it by hand: remove part(s), apply stone, install and check, repeat. 1911 triggers are very rudimentary and the Hi Power is more complicated in design. I'll see him on Monday and I'll ask him for a guesstimate on the time. I don't want to spend $240 either and I was going to get custom parts to elimninate the amount of reset travel.
I agree Showbart. I just bought this pistol new in box ( .40 S&W ) for $399. I'm not about to spend $240 on a trigger job for a $400 dollar gun. If that is my only option, I'll either learn to live with the existing trigger or sell it.

I've learned my lesson, whether it's hotrods or guns not to put a ton of money into a bunch of custom stuff that will still net you a $400 gun.

Last edited by TRBON8R; 04-21-2006 at 11:06 PM.
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  #4  
Old 04-22-2006, 04:14 AM
T@Gger T@Gger is offline
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but the HP isn't actually a $400 gun (it's a $650 gun), you praise yourself lucky that you were able to buy FN's so cheap

that said, the quote you were given is quite steep, a quality trigger job should be about $150, I know a smith here in Belgium who asks $250 if an aftermarket toolsteel sear is used, $150 with factory parts
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  #5  
Old 04-22-2006, 08:28 AM
huntershooter huntershooter is offline
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250.00 is nuts. Especially reusing stock hammer/sear. Why not buy C&S "No Bite" hammer/sear, read up on install/polish/disassembly/etc. and do the job yourself? It's not difficult.
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  #6  
Old 04-22-2006, 08:52 AM
jungle jungle is offline
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Do a search. Take out the mag disconnect. Lightly polish the applicable parts and install a 26-28lb hammer spring. Should get you a nice 4.5lb trigger. Cost is $3, knowing your weapon is priceless.
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  #7  
Old 04-22-2006, 09:03 AM
magilla gorilla magilla gorilla is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRBON8R
That price sounds high to me, and the fact that the words trigger job and major were used in the same sentence kind of scared me off. Since when is a trigger job such a big deal?

It is and it isn't, it all depends. If he was quoting you $240 for the labor only then yes he is trying to rob you blind. If that $240 includes the labor, a new C&S hammer, sear, wide trigger and lever than that is a really fair price. It is certianly harder than doing a 1911 trigger job but it by no means is considered major work unless he is planning on installing a C&S sear lever and shortening the triggers travel at the same time.

Just so you know what a P-35 trigger job runs (labor only) from one of the better Hi-Power shops:

EGW $100
Novak $85
Yost $95
Action Works $95
Ten Ring Precision $115


IMHO you will never be able to get the gun to shoot any where close to its potential with that crappy stock trigger. Unless you have shot a Hi-Power with a re-worked trigger you don't know how much you are missing out on. And consider this the Hi-Power is a screaming steal at $400. New sights and a good trigger make the gun the equal of anything out there for less than $1000. YMMV but I don't think you will still have a $400 gun after having work done.
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  #8  
Old 04-22-2006, 09:09 AM
magilla gorilla magilla gorilla is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jungle
Do a search. Take out the mag disconnect. Lightly polish the applicable parts and install a 26-28lb hammer spring. Should get you a nice 4.5lb trigger. Cost is $3, knowing your weapon is priceless.
The Hi-Power is much more prone to trigger follow than the 1911. I would advise against doing your own Hi-Power tigger work unless you like having your gun go full auto when you least expect it.
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  #9  
Old 04-22-2006, 09:16 AM
jungle jungle is offline
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Done at least six this way with no problem-the key here is to not alter sear and hammer engagement surface angles. If you aren't comfortable, don't do it. Parts are readily available, it really isn't magic and really isn't hard to do.
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  #10  
Old 04-22-2006, 09:27 AM
BOP222 BOP222 is offline
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Seem high...

Check out http://www.theactionworks.com/Default.htm for HP work..Don does excellent work...
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  #11  
Old 04-22-2006, 09:42 AM
magilla gorilla magilla gorilla is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jungle
Done at least six this way with no problem-the key here is to not alter sear and hammer engagement surface angles. If you aren't comfortable, don't do it. Parts are readily available, it really isn't magic and really isn't hard to do.
I have a really hard time believing that you can get a 4.5 pound trigger without touching the sear and the hammer. Most good Hi-Power trigger jobs run in the 3.75-4.50 pound range and that does include altering the sear and hammer. Given the finicky nature of doing a Hi-Power trigger job and the increased possibility of trigger follow a DIY trigger job is not advisable. You only need to be wrong one....
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  #12  
Old 04-22-2006, 10:20 AM
45MoonClip 45MoonClip is offline
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Quote:
I've learned my lesson, whether it's hotrods or guns not to put a ton of money into a bunch of custom stuff that will still net you a $400 gun.
Maybe you will all disagree, but I wouldn't let a 'local' gunsmith work on my pistols unless he happened to be Jim Garthwaite or John Yanek - if you get my drift. Handgun tuning is a black art. A competent 'smith' can remove the mag disconnect and improve the trigger pull. If you want first class work you'l have to find a 'specialist' and cowboy up with the money. If you have your work done by a well known pistolsmith you can document the gun and cognoscenti will know what you've got.
I've had custom work done on several handguns and I don't regret spending the money, but it does not necessarily enhance the resale value. You've got to decide what you want.
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  #13  
Old 04-22-2006, 11:44 AM
jungle jungle is offline
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Here is a good link with detailed instructions, if you can follow them you will be good to go. If you can't, seek professional help. Read what T.M. Graham has to say on the first page.

http://www.pistolsmith.com/viewtopic...ht=trigger+job

Can't get the link to work: Search in the BHP section of the site for "trigger job", on the fifth page of results near the bottom look at the topic "trigger job" and look for a post by T.M. Graham. There are about ten pages of topic on this subject.

Last edited by jungle; 04-22-2006 at 11:58 AM.
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  #14  
Old 04-22-2006, 12:08 PM
TRBON8R TRBON8R is offline
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Thanks for the info.

I thought the price was pretty steep, since $240 did not include any parts. I don't mind paying for top quality gunsmithing, but I don't want to get robbed either.

I was just hoping to deal with a local smith since shipping a handgun is such a hassle.
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  #15  
Old 04-22-2006, 12:36 PM
jungle jungle is offline
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Magilla, What is trigger follow? Do you mean hammer follow? Any reference saying the BHP is more likely than the 1911 to encounter it ? Playing with hammer and sear angles without knowing what you are doing or going too light on sear spring load will get you the same results in either. Hammer follow may or may not cause the weapon to go full auto, it is my experience that full auto results from shallow/wrong angle engagement and the hammer falls as the slide slams shut jarring the hammer out of engagement. Hammer follow means the hammer never gained engagement.
Test for poor engagement by letting the slide close under full spring force on a dummy round and see if you measure a change in pull weight.
On a MKIII(with the firing pin safety), full auto is not possible because as the slide moves aft the firing pin safety engages and will not disengage until the trigger is released and pulled again. In this aspect it is similar to some other pistols incorporating a firing pin safety such as the M9. The pistols require trigger reset to disengage the firing pin safety.
So much for internet heresay.

Last edited by jungle; 04-22-2006 at 12:48 PM.
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  #16  
Old 04-22-2006, 01:25 PM
volkstrm volkstrm is offline
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hi-power

Quote:
Originally Posted by T@Gger
but the HP isn't actually a $400 gun (it's a $650 gun), you praise yourself lucky that you were able to buy FN's so cheap

that said, the quote you were given is quite steep, a quality trigger job should be about $150, I know a smith here in Belgium who asks $250 if an aftermarket toolsteel sear is used, $150 with factory parts
Hello my friend,I got my hi-power for $299.00 in 9mm.Its a fm-made in argentina.I think its a good gun,shoots good no FTF or FTE evean with wolf ammo.I am happy with it so far.
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  #17  
Old 04-22-2006, 03:46 PM
berryman berryman is offline
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Go to http://www.apextactical.com/ and check out Randy Lee's prices. He did my trigger and it turned out great! He's responsive to emails, too.
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  #18  
Old 04-22-2006, 10:41 PM
hdm25 hdm25 is offline
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Judging from what the gunsmith told you, I wouldn't let him touch any gun of mine. $240 for polishing three levers is highway robbery. Others have pointed out the prices for trigger work from the top shops and they're a lot less than $240. IF I were to pay that much for a trigger job, it would include new parts AND would include take-up and overtravel adjustment, too.

Major job? Does the guy even know how to disassemble a hi-power? Or does he just think that he's got an easy "mark"?
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  #19  
Old 04-22-2006, 10:47 PM
BBBBill BBBBill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Showbart
... No jigs are made and set up for the Hi Power. Smiths go about it by hand: remove part(s), apply stone, install and check, repeat.
I disagree! I own two sets of jigs made for Hi Power hammers & sears. One is the old (no longer made) Tom Wilson design. The other is made by Ron Power. Both work very well.
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  #20  
Old 04-22-2006, 11:04 PM
Showbart Showbart is offline
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BBBbill,

I was thinking when he told me, "Why not jigs". I was unsure about it all and didn't feel comfortable to continue to question when I wanted to know more. As stated here too, I really was looking to replace all pertinent parts to get the best results especially to shorten the long stock reset.
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  #21  
Old 04-22-2006, 11:18 PM
OnTarget1911 OnTarget1911 is offline
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I don't agree that trigger tuning is black art. I do agree that there is some knowledge and expertise that is needed, along with some good tools. I was able to get some very nice triggers on HPs by just pulling the disconnect and polishing all of the right areas on the right parts. I agree that it is hard to get them below 4-4.5 lbs without some sear and hammer work. I won't set them below 4 lbs. unless requested and the customer knows what they are getting. With a HP, or really any handgun, unless you are using it for matches, bullseye or whatever, 3.5 is about as low as I will go. The Rock River EC that I have was about 3.5 new and I reset it for 4.5 as it is my main carry gun, along with some others. I will also agree that the Powers trigger and hammer jig is the cat's meow. I was using a Marvel jig for the 1911s that I was doing and now that I have done several with the Powers jig, both 1911 and HP, it is really the way to go. It is a bit pricey for just one trigger job though.

There are several areas of the HP that need attention to get a good trigger. The disconnect has to go, IMHO, and then you have to polish trigger actuator, sear lever, sear and hammer. Also the pocket that the trigger actuator rides in. And it also helps to polish the areas of the trigger that run in the frame of the gun. I also polish the trigger pin as well. As to price, the first one that you mentioned is very high. The others that are quoted from some of the best know HP smiths are very reasonable. Anywhere in the $75.00 to $150 range is a very good deal. I would not feel right charging more than about that price myself and don't. There is some very good information on the net about how to get a good trigger without recutting the sear and hammer. I would also suggest that you don't do it without some sort of jig or way to make sure that they are cut very square. The HP is a bit different than the 1911. The secondary angle if needed is very very small. The decreased pull weight really comes from shortening the hammer hooks a bit if needed, but really from polishing and re-cutting everything very square so there is no creep.

Jess
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  #22  
Old 04-23-2006, 10:19 AM
45MoonClip 45MoonClip is offline
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I also agree with OnTarget1911's assessment of cost on a trigger job.
I used the term "Black Art" somewhat loosely in my previous post. I was referring to handgun tuning, more specifically custom pistol work. While there are alot of folks out there with the skill and know-how to work on pistols, your average corner 'gunsmith' is usually not up to the task. When you deal with someone who tunes pistols for a living, usually a limited number of types of pistols, the results are more predictable. Some of these guys build their business on their reputation and most of the ones I've delt with are nice people.
I did not mean to imply that anyone in particular is not competent to do a trigger job on a specific gun. A friend of mine has tuned the triggers on several of my S&W revolvers with good results, but he knows his limits.
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  #23  
Old 04-23-2006, 03:43 PM
T@Gger T@Gger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volkstrm
Hello my friend,I got my hi-power for $299.00 in 9mm.Its a fm-made in argentina.I think its a good gun,shoots good no FTF or FTE evean with wolf ammo.I am happy with it so far.
The FM HP's can indeed be bought for less money, my point was that the original poster should not look at an FN as a $400 gun, simply because CDNN just gave some shooters the deal of the century, it's just the same as if CDNN sold new Colt 1911's at that price

FN surely sold those guns at a loss to CDNN and others
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  #24  
Old 04-24-2006, 05:13 PM
CimarronOK CimarronOK is offline
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Quote:
jungle - Do a search. Take out the mag disconnect. Lightly polish the applicable parts and install a 26-28lb hammer spring. Should get you a nice 4.5lb trigger. Cost is $3, knowing your weapon is priceless.
Worked for me... can't really see $75 per pound to drop the trigger any lighter. Like Walter Brennan... "I don't want no dang hair trigger on my gun... I might shoot myself in the foot!" Now I can see putting a $50 C&S combat trigger on the gun... those just feel nice and your finger thinks the trigger weight is less. Besides there's bragging rights about "did it myself!"
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  #25  
Old 04-25-2006, 12:29 AM
spd522 spd522 is offline
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Never did a BHP trigger before but ordered the C&S kit and followed instructions. Had to play around with different hammer springs and stayed with the 26# for 100% ignition. Lower than that was not reliable.

Mine could be made smoother by a pro. But for what I use it for and basically a 3.75lb drop in trigger, it is just fine. Brownells sells the kit (hammer,sear, springs)for around $100.

Craig

Last edited by spd522; 04-25-2006 at 12:33 AM.
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