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  #1  
Old 06-12-2006, 11:54 AM
CimarronOK CimarronOK is offline
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Pictorial Guide to Non-Gunsmith High-Power Trigger




Like most other folks, the only complaint about my High-Power was the heavy and creapy trigger. Like most others, I have researched and I have arrived at four steps that can be taken by any HP shooter to improve his trigger pull to very acceptable levels with only a $5 investment and no work on the hammer/sear which I'm convienced should be left to a professional.

I have reworked my HP with the SFS system and have a trigger pull that is very crisp and less than 5# in weight. I did my son's HP on Saturday and took a few pictures to help others repeat the process. The tips here will work with either the SFS guns or the standards HP's.

Before you start working with your HP, you should probably invest in two resources. First is Stephen Camps Hi Power Disassembly Guide and the second would be the American Gunsmith Institute ARMORER'S COURSES video on the Browning Hi-Power ttp://www.americangunsmith.com/view.php?id=12
There will be a few points that will be impossible to explain here that are made very clear in those resources.

Overview

There are four basic steps to improving your trigger pull.

1. Dealing with the magazine disconnect.

2. Lightening the hammer spring from the 32# factory to a 26# spring.

3. Tuning and Polishing the linkages

4. Lightening the Sear Lever spring


1. Dealing with the magazine disconnect.

This is usually the most identified issue with the Hi-Power since it has such a major effect on the trigger.

Before you start to deal with this, either invest in a set of pistol punches, or at least a set of "counter sink" nail punches... the type with the convex end. The biggest problem with dealing with the magazine disconnect is removing the trigger, especially the trigger pin.




The magazine disconnect pin in my Hi-Power was a roll pin, but the pin in my son's Hi-Power had been "peened" at both ends so we had to clamp it in a vice and really "work" on it. The suggestion has been made to use a drill press (bits reversed) to press the pin out.

Personally, I just cut the spring in half and put it back in. It removes the magazine disconnect from functioning and I won't have to hunt for it if (Heaven forbid) I should sell the gun and want to reinstall it.

While the trigger is out... polish the trigger lever and the lever guide in the frame.


2. Replace the 32# hammer spring with a 26# Wolf spring.



You will notice that I haven't removed the hammer. On an SFS system, it is a major asset not to have to removed the ambi-safety or the hammer with it's extra parts. Even with the standard model, not having to removed the ambi-safety is a real time saver.

I have had no problems with the 26# spring. I have not replaced the firing pin spring, but I have put a $10 Recoil Buffer in each of the guns just to off-set any wear in the lighter hammer during slide recoil.

3. Tune and Polish linkage. The trigger lever is accessed during the magazine disconnect removal. The sear lever is accessed by drifting the roll pin in the slide to allow it to drop free. Polishing both of these items reduces friction.

AFTER watching the AGI video and UNDERSTANDING the function of the sear spring, you can "tune" this by gently changing the tension of the sear against the hammer via this flat spring which has to be removed to access the hammer spring. Be careful, there must be positive tension, however like most springs in the gun, this can be lightened IF YOU UNDERSTAND the dynamics. If not... don't mess with it.

4. Adjust the sear lever spring in the slide.

This spring is quite heavy and adds directly to the weight of the trigger since it must be overcome to allow the sear lever to function the sear. You can replace the spring with a lighter spring, or remove about 1/3 of the length of the spring. Again, there must be tension to allow the firing pin block to work, but it doesn't require nearly the weight that the factory spring provides.

Lastly... These are not difficult modifications, although the hammer spring is nice to have a third hand. Don't do ANYTHING until you understand WHAT you are doing and WHY. If in doubt, either find someone who has done this before, or take it to a gunsmith. When dealing with springs, remember that this is like cutting lumber... measure it twice and cut once... you can't "add" back to the length of a spring. If you drop any of the parts in the sear, read my post Disassembling the SFS Hammer Spring for information on putting them back in place correctly.

Good luck. You will be happy with the product. I would guess that unless you are (1) a perfectionist or (2) a very intentional target shooter, that the trigger weight will be very satisfactory. It will be crisp and MUCH lighter than the factory trigger, but still safe for combat shooting or CCW.
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  #2  
Old 06-12-2006, 08:36 PM
Stephen A. Camp Stephen A. Camp is offline
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Hello and thanks. This is good enough to sticky.

Best.
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  #3  
Old 08-25-2007, 11:14 PM
gp35fn gp35fn is offline
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Hmmm...intersting-I use the mag disconnect removal-not yours, other mods are interesting.

Last edited by gp35fn; 08-26-2007 at 08:49 AM.
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  #4  
Old 09-29-2007, 07:05 PM
the.batman the.batman is offline
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Very well written, but I respectfully disagree

That is a very well written piece, nice work with the pictures and descriptions.

I do respectfullly disagree with removing the mag safety and JMB engineered 32lb hammer spring. To my knowledge, that spring was engineered at 32lbs to slow the cyclic rate for the most reliable operation and frame/upper locking lug protetion. My opinion falls in line with Wayne Novak's- a good HP trigger job can be done with the 32lb spring and the mag safety.

I am very, very confident that a good attorney will place a HP shooter in a very bad light if the shooter has had a factory safety device (albeit a questionalbe one) de-activated, prior to a shooting incident. If it were me, I would put a lot of thought and research behind that decision, before making it.
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  #5  
Old 09-29-2007, 07:55 PM
torrpd1 torrpd1 is offline
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[QUOTE=the.batman]That is a very well written piece, nice work with the pictures and descriptions.QUOTE]
Ditto
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  #6  
Old 10-01-2007, 02:43 PM
CimarronOK CimarronOK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the.batman
I do respectfullly disagree with removing the mag safety and JMB engineered 32lb hammer spring. To my knowledge, that spring was engineered at 32lbs to slow the cyclic rate for the most reliable operation and frame/upper locking lug protetion. My opinion falls in line with Wayne Novak's- a good HP trigger job can be done with the 32lb spring and the mag safety.
From Stephen Camp's excellent information, it is my understanding that JMB put a 28 lb spring in the gun originally and it was changed at a later date... perhaps Mr. Camp can document this. To be sure Wayne Novak can do an outstanding trigger job, but the whole point of this exercise was to explore a non-gunsmith alternative. You may disagree, but it is a matter of choice not absolute demand. To cushion the action, you can insert a recoil buffer (which I have done) or choose a Springco recoil spring buffer.

Quote:
I am very, very confident that a good attorney will place a HP shooter in a very bad light if the shooter has had a factory safety device (albeit a questionalbe one) de-activated, prior to a shooting incident. If it were me, I would put a lot of thought and research behind that decision, before making it.
I have heard this debated by attorney's, Law Enforcement attorneys, and judges. The best observation I have heard is that an undisputed shooting would not generate such a close inspection. HOWEVER, I have not choosen to carry my Hi-Power for CCW... the weight and the quality of finish gravitate against that. I have put target sights and will use it for such. Each person will have to make these decisions... just as a lot of Kimber owner's have removed their Swartz safeties since they tend to hand up the gun at crucial moments.

The last observation... whatever float's your boat. If you disagree, then don't do it... for others, some or all of the information has been found valuable.
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  #7  
Old 10-01-2007, 03:04 PM
CimarronOK CimarronOK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CimarronOK
From Stephen Camp's excellent information, it is my understanding that JMB put a 28 lb spring in the gun originally and it was changed at a later date... perhaps Mr. Camp can document this.
Well... here is the source...

The Hi Powers made before circa '75 had mainsprings in the 26-lb., but soon thereafter went with the heavier 32-lb. spring.

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/B...essureAmmo.htm
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  #8  
Old 10-02-2007, 09:36 PM
ORSTi ORSTi is offline
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Sorry, but what does "SFS" mean?

Thanks
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  #9  
Old 10-03-2007, 01:26 AM
CimarronOK CimarronOK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ORSTi
Sorry, but what does "SFS" mean?

Thanks
The Safety Fast Shooting sysem... here is the link... http://www.cylinder-slide.com/sfs.shtml.

It is a good system, unfortunately only the FN Hi Power are the only group to do a mass production. It is a very easy system and removes the problem of the Cocked n Locked... actually it enhances the use and would make a great addition to the 1911 but to do that is too safe.

Here's an article by Massad Ayoob http://www.cylinder-slide.com/sfssystem.shtml
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  #10  
Old 04-30-2008, 07:23 AM
gk2410 gk2410 is offline
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Quote:
I am very, very confident that a good attorney will place a HP shooter in a very bad light if the shooter has had a factory safety device (albeit a questionalbe one) de-activated, prior to a shooting incident. If it were me, I would put a lot of thought and research behind that decision, before making it.
I spent 17 years in Homicide in a large metropolitain city investigating both law enforcement and civilian shootings and related deaths. While law suits abound, especially in more recent years, I can't think of a single instance where a guns safety came into issue, unless the claim was "an accident". If your intent was to pull the trigger, the presence or not of a mag safety (which most of our officers removed) wouldn't even become an issue. If you acted properly, you'll be OK in the end. Don't sweat the small stuff.....
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  #11  
Old 04-30-2008, 03:14 PM
glocktoys glocktoys is offline
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i see allot of this info on the web. seems that if the mag is in the gun and the gun shot a intruder it will not matter if you have a mag safety or not. if the rules of engagement are followed (state by state) i see no problem. great links and info on fixing (sorry upgrading) the bhp trigger. be safe and shoot straight, sites on target
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  #12  
Old 04-30-2009, 05:53 PM
57Strat 57Strat is offline
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Great tutorial.

One quick question. I have a 1981 Belgium made commercial HP. When I removed my sear lever from the slide, I did not notice a spring under the lever. Is there supposed to be a spring there on the guns that do not have a firing pin safety?
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  #13  
Old 04-30-2009, 07:38 PM
Stephen A. Camp Stephen A. Camp is offline
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Hello. No. Only those with the firing pin block have the spring.

Best.
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  #14  
Old 05-02-2009, 02:06 AM
fncfan fncfan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gk2410 View Post
I spent 17 years in Homicide in a large metropolitain city investigating both law enforcement and civilian shootings and related deaths. While law suits abound, especially in more recent years, I can't think of a single instance where a guns safety came into issue, unless the claim was "an accident". If your intent was to pull the trigger, the presence or not of a mag safety (which most of our officers removed) wouldn't even become an issue. If you acted properly, you'll be OK in the end. Don't sweat the small stuff.....
SCREW, and I mean with a capital "S" any p.o.s. "Defense?" atty whore, who tries this phony argument. That's the equivalent of saying, "You're ammo was intended to "kill". Duh. "OH, my bad." I've heard of the B.S. rhetoric of these lame claims. D. attys are the bottom feeders and will "try" anything to get the scum off. I'd flip him the finger on stand if the sob tried that argument on me and tell him his boyfriend is cheating on him with the judge. If I want a .01 oz trigger on my gun to hit em PERFECTLY BETWEEN THE EYES, that's what it would be. I prefer 3 lbs. I think the lamest of attys have given up on this and "reloaded" ammo a while back. If I have to shoot in self-defense, I'll empty the mag with the last two in the head. To each his own. They WILL die.
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  #15  
Old 05-02-2009, 10:33 AM
Stephen A. Camp Stephen A. Camp is offline
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A comment and a request on this 3 year old topic:

John M. Browning did not set the mainspring weight. That would have been Mr. Dieudonne J. Saive, the Belgian gun designer who altered but completed the Hi Power design. Mr. Browning passed away before this pistol design was completed. The earliest Hi Powers I handled seemed to have mainsprings in the 28-lb range like those mentioned in the book from the '60's and '70's. The 32-lb mainspring change was evidently made by persons unknown at FN.

Whether or not to remove the magazine disconnect is an individual decision.
As has been expressed by others, some might try and use it against one in court and as others have mentioned, that argument will probably be shot down.

Folks, posts I've seen concerning the pros and cons of removing or not removing the magazine disconnect eventually outweighs everything else. Can we just let that part drop? It has been duly covered here and other places for those interested. If you want this modification, fine. If not, fine, but before we get into the "will not-will too" shouting matches, let's just drop that part and thanks in advance.
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  #16  
Old 06-16-2009, 10:42 PM
Stephen A. Camp Stephen A. Camp is offline
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Hello, once again:

"Folks, posts I've seen concerning the pros and cons of removing or not removing the magazine disconnect eventually outweighs everything else. Can we just let that part drop? It has been duly covered here and other places for those interested. If you want this modification, fine. If not, fine, but before we get into the "will not-will too" shouting matches, let's just drop that part and thanks in advance."

Best.
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  #17  
Old 12-02-2009, 11:54 PM
halfmoonclip halfmoonclip is offline
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Stephen, do you see any potential wear on the gun by going with the lighter mainspring?
I replaced the one in my 1911 with a lighter spring without a problem, but I don't know if that signifies or not.
Thnx,
Moon
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  #18  
Old 12-03-2009, 12:23 AM
Stephen A. Camp Stephen A. Camp is offline
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Hello. Lightening the mainspring normally results in a lighter trigger-pull but, of course, reduces the retardant forces slowing down the slide's rearward travel. I have seen some Hi Powers whose users pretty frequently use +P load and they have 28-lb mainsprings. Combined with the 18.5-lb recoil springs, no breakage or catastrophic failures have occurred over the approximate 4 year time-span that I've known them to be using these pistols.

If you plan on using primarily standard pressure ammo, I think you can go down to 28-lbs with at least the standard 17-lb recoil spring but I would not go lower on either.

My two remaining '70's vintage Hi Powers have the lower-powered mainsprings that came on the early-'70's vintage guns. As soon as they were available years ago, I went with the 18.5-lb recoil springs and these pistols have digested many hot handloads as well as +P factory rounds. They're still going strong.

Best.
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  #19  
Old 12-03-2009, 02:36 PM
halfmoonclip halfmoonclip is offline
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Stephen, my HiPower is a forged frame 'eighties vintage, and it never sees warshots of any sort; strictly a range toy with mild handloads.
I wouldn't mind trying the 18.5 recoil spring/28 mainspring if you feel that will work even with milder ammo.
I've already removed the mag safety, which was some help. The trigger is crisp, and all goes at once, but it is heavy...I need to put a scale on it.
Thnx,
Moon
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  #20  
Old 12-03-2009, 03:21 PM
Stephen A. Camp Stephen A. Camp is offline
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Hello. If it is going to be a standard pressure gun for the most part, you can certainly the factory standard 17-lb mainspring and no less than the 26-lb mainspring. I's try the 28 first.

Best.
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  #21  
Old 12-03-2009, 03:46 PM
halfmoonclip halfmoonclip is offline
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Thanks, Stephen
Moon
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  #22  
Old 03-18-2010, 08:05 PM
wembley wembley is offline
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Hopefully, anyone contemplating removing the magazine safety will read all of these stickies since they are most helpful when taken together. Mine was rather easy to do once I Completely read all the posts.

My trigger pivot pin came out smoothly with only a couple of taps on the RIGHT SIDE.

The trigger assembly MUST be rotated to get out from the bottom of the frame and pivoted to the side to clear the trigger guard. Compress, as needed, the Mag safety with your third hand. No force necessary, just finesse.

My magazine safety retaining pin came out smoothly. Go to Lowes or Home Depot and buy a 1/16" pin punch. No go with nails etc. Watch out for the pin when it drops free. It is very small and takes about 1/2 hour to find on my basement floor.

Remember how you removed the the assembly from the frame as the installation is the reverse. However, without the mag safety the trigger assembly is smaller and easier to maneuver.

Read and understand all the posts and it is not hard.

Lastly, thanks to all the posters.
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  #23  
Old 04-01-2010, 05:04 AM
steven444 steven444 is offline
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nice post thanks for sharing
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  #24  
Old 10-04-2010, 04:59 AM
greenrent greenrent is offline
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Thank you Rich for all that information.
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  #25  
Old 11-23-2010, 05:52 PM
jmstr jmstr is offline
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Thanks for an insightful post!

I had one question though: where can I purchase a lighter sear lever spring?

I've looked, but can't find one for sale.
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