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  #1  
Old 01-09-2012, 06:29 PM
CJS57 CJS57 is offline
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WWII Colt 1911-A1 vs. Browning Hi-Power




So why is a nice 90/95% Browning High Power, all matching and correct, made in the mid-war years, only worth about $800 while a similar Colt 1911-A1 is double that at $1600? There are more Colts in the USA than P-35's, so rarity isn't it. They are both well made guns and both continue in production to this day. They are both great companies Colt and FN (Browning). So Why?
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2012, 06:32 PM
oldcanuck oldcanuck is offline
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Because most collectors want to collect pieces from the first place team.....otherwise known as demand.
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  #3  
Old 01-09-2012, 08:52 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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In other words, if you like WW2 Browning Hi-Powers better pick one up before people start going after them like they already have M1911A1s.
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Try not to fall into the common trap of wanting to replace everything on your new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out, and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot it for at least 500 rounds, then decide what you don't like and want improved. Vintage 1911's should NEVER be refinished or modified because it ruins any value they had as a collectible firearm.
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  #4  
Old 01-10-2012, 07:44 PM
hotblue hotblue is offline
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Hi Power vs 1911

There's a great segment on the TV show "Triggers" where they compare the stopping power of a 9mm vs a .45. I won't spoil it for you if you haven't seen it. Another reason why the 1911 is the king of pistols.
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  #5  
Old 01-10-2012, 08:57 PM
lisik lisik is offline
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I think movies like "Saving Private Ryan", " Band of brothers" also affected prices on US guns including 1911s.
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  #6  
Old 01-11-2012, 02:26 AM
berghi51 berghi51 is offline
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There are 3 types of Browning GP/HP 35. Each is interesting.

First you can find belgian pre-war pistols used in belgian army or exported. Their finish is very fine and they are available with fixed or tangential sight and even with wood stock with holster.
In second there are belgium made for german army or "elite" during FN factories occupation. They are very valuable for collectors but their reliability is very variable for shooters due to "the lack of motivation of belgians workers".
In third you can find canadian made Inglis pistols. Made under Browning licence in Canada for Commonwealth army (paratroopers, SAS, Commandos) or for exportation (Nationalist Chinese army). Their finish is rough but they are very good pistols for shooters.

All are very good collectable guns, depending of the collection interest.

For shooting, I owned a FN post war GP35 during a little time. It was a ice gun but each time I fired id it bite my hand seriously more than a 1911. So I sold it and I bought a Smith & Wesson 6906 with an arased hammer.

Otherwise, GP 35 was the Eddie Murphy/Axel Foley gun in Beverly Hills's Cop movie.
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  #7  
Old 01-11-2012, 08:13 AM
oldcolts oldcolts is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berghi51 View Post
There are 3 types of Browning GP/HP 35. Each is interesting.

In third you can find canadian made Inglis pistols. Made under Browning licence in Canada for Commonwealth army (paratroopers, SAS, Commandos) or for exportation (Nationalist Chinese army). Their finish is rough but they are very good pistols for shooters.

I take issue with your description of the Inglis pistols as having a rough finish. They were not blued, but those that I have seen were well made and finished. In my opinion, their finish compares well with the better WWII era parkerized 1911A1 pistols. The metal prep on the Inglis pistols was superior to that of many of the 1911A1 pistols (such as late Remington Rands) which did not even have machine marks removed.

I would also add that many of the post war Hi Power pistols have become collectable. Those manufactured in the late 1960s and early 1970s are among the finest made.

Last edited by oldcolts; 01-11-2012 at 08:33 AM.
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  #8  
Old 01-11-2012, 09:11 AM
surplusshooter surplusshooter is offline
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I could not agree more with "oldcolts's" statement about the late 1960's and early 1970's Browning Hi-Powers being the finest made. The fit and finish on these pistols are a work of art, especially the ring hammer model that has the letter "T" in the serial number.
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  #9  
Old 01-11-2012, 10:43 AM
berghi51 berghi51 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldcolts View Post
I take issue with your description of the Inglis pistols as having a rough finish. They were not blued, but those that I have seen were well made and finished. In my opinion, their finish compares well with the better WWII era parkerized 1911A1 pistols. The metal prep on the Inglis pistols was superior to that of many of the 1911A1 pistols (such as late Remington Rands) which did not even have machine marks removed.

I would also add that many of the post war Hi Power pistols have become collectable. Those manufactured in the late 1960s and early 1970s are among the finest made.
I agree, my comparison was between pre-war FN and Inglis pistols. It is the same between a Colt Government pre-war and a late Remington Rand.

Mine was late 70's and have a very nice finish, a little upper than a Series 70 government.
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  #10  
Old 01-11-2012, 11:03 AM
tbarker13 tbarker13 is offline
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I may be wrong on this. But it seems like the Browning Hi Power is just not as noticeable/distinctive in movies - and doesn't attract as much public attention, because of it.
I'm sure most of us enjoy picking out guns in movies.
Over the weekend I was watching the Usual Suspects. Great movie. But at one point, I realized that most of the characters in one scene were using Browning Hi Powers. I had to look twice to make sure I was correct.
You never have to look twice to know if something is a 1911.

(I'm one of those who consider any gun collection to be incomplete unless you have both a 1911 and Browning HP)
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  #11  
Old 01-11-2012, 11:50 AM
surplusshooter surplusshooter is offline
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Like the 1911, wasn't the P-35 Hi-Power also designed by John Browning ? I think I recall reading that the Hi-Power was the last pistol that Mr. Browning designed while working for FN in Belgium. I think he passed away before it was finalized and a FN gun engineer finished it up and presented it to the market in 1935. Is this correct ?
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  #12  
Old 01-11-2012, 11:57 AM
berghi51 berghi51 is offline
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GP 35 was the first reliable pistol offering a big capacity (13 rds), like Walther PP was the first offering double action in a military pistol. It was a "spin off" of the 1911 and the last pistol imagined by J M Browning.

Unfortunaly, european country (inclueing France) refused to adopt the "enemy" cartridge : the 9mm parabellum/luger.
France adopted a caliber derived of .30 Pedersen (7,65mm long), Commonwealth kept their revolvers but in .38 british and lot of countries used 7,65 browning/32ACP.
European armies had to wait until post war to adopt 9mm parabellum in french MAC/MAS 50, Beretta 51 and Browning GP/Inglis HP MKII.
During all that time USA don't hesitate and used with success it's 1911/1911 A1.
HP35/GP35 saw a wide use in small conflicts during the 60 last years on all continents and it was the last golden gun of Mouammar Kadhafi.

About movies, it appears many times in "Tintin and the unicorn secret" by S. Spielberg.
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Last edited by berghi51; 01-11-2012 at 11:56 PM.
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  #13  
Old 01-11-2012, 01:47 PM
riflenut riflenut is offline
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Hi-powers are nice pistols, but I'll keep my 1911A1
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  #14  
Old 01-11-2012, 06:25 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surplusshooter View Post
Like the 1911, wasn't the P-35 Hi-Power also designed by John Browning ? I think I recall reading that the Hi-Power was the last pistol that Mr. Browning designed while working for FN in Belgium. I think he passed away before it was finalized and a FN gun engineer finished it up and presented it to the market in 1935. Is this correct ?
Correct. John Browning really had only just started on the design at the time of his death, and Dieudonné Saive of FN took the reins and finished working on it for him.
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Try not to fall into the common trap of wanting to replace everything on your new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out, and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot it for at least 500 rounds, then decide what you don't like and want improved. Vintage 1911's should NEVER be refinished or modified because it ruins any value they had as a collectible firearm.
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  #15  
Old 01-15-2012, 09:47 PM
Tufelhunden Tufelhunden is offline
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I had a Feg Hi Power I sold and to get my new/old Sistema 1911. The Hi Power was reliable as heck, but...yea the trigger was so heavy, and that was without the mag safety or spring. This 1911 Sistema has such a sweet trigger.
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  #16  
Old 01-15-2012, 11:24 PM
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I think the Hi-Power simply existed at the wrong time for American gun lovers. When folks thought of an automatic pistol they thought of the one they were familiar with from their days in the military, the Colt .45 Automatic. The Hi-Power was just another one of those foreign 9mm's. By the time the 9mm finally caught on in this country double-action pistols like the Beretta 92 and SIG P226 were all the rage instead. I'd imagine it was a different story in other countries where the Hi-Power was as commonplace in military holsters as the M1911A1 was here.
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Try not to fall into the common trap of wanting to replace everything on your new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out, and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot it for at least 500 rounds, then decide what you don't like and want improved. Vintage 1911's should NEVER be refinished or modified because it ruins any value they had as a collectible firearm.
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