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  #1  
Old 04-05-2007, 05:09 PM
wags wags is offline
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Browning Hi-Power FN Contract Magazine comparison




Late last year I ordered some advertised FN Contract BHP 13rd magazines. As a general rule I only buy Browning OEM and Mec-Gar name brands. Curiosity brought myself to buy a few for comparison to my current inventory. In no way is this a endorsement, only a fair evaluation.


From L-R: FN Contract. FN Contract marked: BELGIUM-9MM NATO/LUGER. Browning OEM: 'ITALY CAL 9MM NATO/LUGER. Mec-Gar current production. Mec-Gar 20rd from way back. NOTE: all shown pictures will be in this sequence. [/i]
With out a doubt the 2 shown Mec-Gars are the best cosmetically looking of the bunch. Highly polished inside and out! The FN contract, Belgium and Browning OEM are slightly parked and the insides are dull like the outside finish, but no burrs.


All show no weld seam on the backs, distinguished brush marks except the Belgium which is almost smooth.


Note that the FN contract, Belgium and Browning OEM magazine springs are about the same length. The magazine spring base are attached to the spring where as the Mec-Gars are not. The FN contract and Belgium mags magazine spring base pads have a round stamped indent for securing to the mag body base pad. The Browning OEM and Mec-Gars are much more defined, stamped into a "V" with slight opening.


Note similarity in magazine base pads. The FN Contract and Mec-Gar 20rd are almost identical!


The followers are almost identical also except the Browning OEM which is (my preference) 4 legged. The FN contract follower is ruff ground round on the front underside! There is a 1 (1-4 stamped on other purchased magazines) stamped in between the two legs. The Belgium follower has a 4 stamped on the left longer side leg bottom. No markings on the Browning OEM and Mec-Gars.


Now to the good, bad and ugly. Note the differences between the mag body base pads and the pointed tabs. The two Mec-Gars the tabs bend over are almost ground smooth.


The Fn Contract and Belgium comparison. Ouch! But it's only cosmetic yet serviceable. Were talking military contract sales, not originally intended for commercial sales to the general public.

The 13rd FN contract magazines are granted, a little ruff compared to the others shown. Who manufactured them is up for graps and your/my opinion. I don't have clue honestly? The dealer I spoke with was very knowledgeable on HP's, and claimed he purchased them in Europe from a government who was fazing out the HP and picked them up at a reasonable price. Cost was $15ea.

At the range they performed 100% flawlessly! I've ran over 600rds through only two specified magazines so far without any problems. I have also inspected the magazines and there is no noticeable wear marks of any kind. No failures to feed, extract or eject. The slide ALWAYS locked to the rear on an empty magazine. I tried this with anywhere from 1-13rds in the magazine. I also in between shooting tapped to banged the magazine base to get a malfunction but to no avail of failure. I give them a thumbs up for reliability and a great saving!

Last edited by wags; 04-10-2007 at 12:05 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-05-2007, 06:09 PM
chesster chesster is offline
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Great report. PM me if more are available from your vendor.
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  #3  
Old 04-05-2007, 09:18 PM
emmetf emmetf is offline
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Wags,
Let me be the second person to say "outstanding"! Thanks for taking the time to present a fantastic range report! Your observations about all the magazine examples seem to be right on the money. Fantastic pictures by the way.

My take on your "mystery" contract magazines are just as you concluded: probably Belgian FN-made examples sold for military or L.E. use overseas. As for the Mec-Gar's, we should all count ourselves lucky that for less than $20.00 per magazine, we can purchase "Factory" quality Hi-Power magazines for what a plastic Glock magazine sells for these days. I've used a pair of early 13rd Mec-Gar Hi-Power magazines for close to 15 years and in that time, they have never malfunctioned and they don't appear that they will ever wear out. Spring tension is as strong and solid as the day I bought them in 1992. Something I can't say about Factory Glock magazines, I'm sorry to say. Thanks again for the excellent post.
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  #4  
Old 04-05-2007, 09:41 PM
Stephen A. Camp Stephen A. Camp is offline
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Hello and thank you again for the excellent work. I'll sticky this one as I did at the other site. I appreciate your efforts.

Best.
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  #5  
Old 04-05-2007, 09:58 PM
gp35fn gp35fn is offline
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All in all a grand venture.

Last edited by gp35fn; 04-06-2007 at 08:47 AM.
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  #6  
Old 05-09-2007, 02:16 AM
Nomadz Nomadz is offline
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excellent and informative. Thanks !!!!
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  #7  
Old 06-10-2007, 02:29 PM
hoek hoek is offline
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Thanks. Informative for a new HP owner. I am just starting to look at purchasing magazines for my HP now that I have it working properly. It only came with one (10) round magazine. What is the general concensus on the mouse trap magazines? Are they worth the extra cost? My HP has a nice trigger even with the magazine safety still in. The magazines not droping free does not seem to be that much of a problem unless you use it in compation or on-duty.
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  #8  
Old 07-01-2007, 12:08 AM
patrol patrol is offline
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Mecgar Mags

I have two 15round and a 20 round mecgar magazines Ive used in my Hipower Practical for the last 14 years with absolutely no malfunctions. I also use Mecgar in my Sig P220 with same results versus the $40 sig mags. They are definately underated and thats fine by me, keeps them affordable. Im just wondering how well they will do in 1911's because it seems only the Hi dollar Wilson combat works flawlessly in my 1911's. Does anyone know if Mecgar makes mags for a Hicap Para NiteTac? Thats my new baby.
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  #9  
Old 10-20-2008, 09:14 PM
Jeffro135 Jeffro135 is offline
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I definitely agree that Mecgar are great magazines and a great value. To me, there is no such thing as magazines that are "good considering their cheap price", or "good value for the dollar". Magazines are the heart of the semi-auto pistol in my opinion, and as such, either they are great or they are garbage....... no middle ground for magazines for me, and I have always had tip-top performance from Mecgar products for LOTS of years (I am old and gray and have been shooting most of my life!). They are also very reasonably priced for excellent quality.
Best regards to all,
Jeffro
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  #10  
Old 08-27-2009, 12:27 AM
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Zilmo Zilmo is offline
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All the magazines I have for both of my 9mm HP's, and my .40 HP, with the exception of the factory mags that came with each, are Mec Gar. They are absolutely the best. I have never had an issues with any of them. I have eight 15 round 9mm and eight 10 round .40;s, and every one of them functions flawlessly.
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  #11  
Old 01-02-2010, 08:02 PM
UNCLE_IZZY UNCLE_IZZY is offline
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The worst I can say about Mec-gar is the batch I bought from had a tendency to rust, otherwise excellent function.
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  #12  
Old 01-23-2011, 10:06 PM
1saxman 1saxman is offline
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Could you possibly add the material of each kind of follower? Thanks.
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  #13  
Old 02-02-2011, 11:33 PM
danpass danpass is offline
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Thanks for the breakdown and comparison.

Any other places besides Browning for the OEM mags?

Best source for Mec-Gar?

Basically 1-2, OEM-MecGar?
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  #14  
Old 02-04-2011, 04:07 PM
wags wags is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1saxman View Post
Could you possibly add the material of each kind of follower? Thanks.
To the best of my knowledge all shown followers are made from a type of plastic. Earlier years followers were aluminum until the 1960's when plastic followers were introduced. They may of been introduced earlier, but I do have a mid 1950's and early 1960's FN Hi-Power and the follower is a single post aluminum. Thanks for asking.
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  #15  
Old 02-04-2011, 04:24 PM
wags wags is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danpass View Post
Thanks for the breakdown and comparison.

Any other places besides Browning for the OEM mags?

Best source for Mec-Gar?

Basically 1-2, OEM-MecGar?
Here's 3 vendors off top of my head that I've had positive dealings with in past. Don't forget to pick yourself a 20rd Mec-Gar while your at it. Mec-Gar is the manufacture of OEM Browning HI-Power magazines. When the Browning name is added, so does $20.

http://www.midwayusa.com/browse/Brow...1341***9019***
http://www.cdnninvestments.com/browning.html
http://gregcotellc.com/cart/index.ph...5ef88b4c52a62a
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  #16  
Old 04-24-2011, 06:13 PM
MGCastle MGCastle is offline
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they look an awfully lot like m9 mags. are they interchangable?
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  #17  
Old 04-28-2011, 05:42 AM
Aussie D Aussie D is offline
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No, they are 13 rd capacity and too short, however, in an emergency, if you hold a M9 mag in the right place, note HOLD, and RIGHT PLACE, it will work, but not lock back and obviously not lock in place by the mag catch.

Back to the original, folder...

Cheers,

Aussie D
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  #18  
Old 04-28-2011, 09:15 AM
BHP9 BHP9 is offline
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I can tell you that the Inglis mags (Canadian Military) work perfectly too.

The original follower is made of an alloy but the replacements are a plastic material similar to the MecGar.

I can agree with Aussie D on the use in a Beretta BUT if you recut the mag catch lock in a Beretta mag, you can use it in a BHP.
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  #19  
Old 05-11-2011, 07:50 PM
Comp42 Comp42 is offline
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When I had my HP, I was able to latch on to several Browning mags and and ten South African mil spec mags and two 20 rounders from the same source.

I also cut about .200 off the legs of the mag followers and PRESTO, I had 14 round mags. Never a problem with the mags feeding. I used the HP for two years to shoot IPSC after my stroke.

Last edited by Comp42; 05-11-2011 at 07:57 PM.
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  #20  
Old 11-16-2012, 02:30 PM
guitarsandguns guitarsandguns is offline
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Do the Mec Gar 15 rd. mags fit flush, like a 13 rd.? I've always wondered how that works. If it's just a difference internally or in overall length. Obviously the 20 rd. is crazy long. I just acquired a 1965 BHP in 100% unfired condition. It just has one original mag. I need at least three more. Any info on the 15 rd. is appreciated.
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  #21  
Old 11-16-2012, 04:10 PM
mike merkler mike merkler is offline
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I have some South African KRD mags which also fit the BHP. They hold 17 rounds but with the base pad, stick out alittle.
Mike
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  #22  
Old 11-16-2012, 05:56 PM
Burgs Burgs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarsandguns View Post
do the mec gar 15 rd. Mags fit flush, like a 13 rd.?
Yes.
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  #23  
Old 11-16-2012, 05:58 PM
Burgs Burgs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike merkler View Post
I have some South African KRD mags which also fit the BHP. They hold 17 rounds but with the base pad, stick out alittle.
Mike
Some say they work, but they have a poor overall reputation.
I have two. I have seen two others. None of them worked even a little bit.
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  #24  
Old 11-17-2012, 05:54 AM
BHP9 BHP9 is offline
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This is a good read with some BHP mag info.

http://www.sff.net/people/pff/oldstu.../bhpmagfaq.htm
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  #25  
Old 11-27-2013, 09:55 AM
BHP BHP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BHP9 View Post
This is a good read with some BHP mag info.

http://www.sff.net/people/pff/oldstu.../bhpmagfaq.htm
It used to be. Anyone know where it can be found now?
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