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  #1  
Old 04-28-2012, 09:19 PM
Swed Swed is offline
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Mk III Hi-Power w/ Forged Frame




I just picked up an excellent condition Mk III Hi-Power (1993 Mfg) that has a forged frame. When did Browning switch over to cast frames?

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  #2  
Old 04-28-2012, 10:26 PM
Burgs Burgs is offline
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1993/94.

You just scored the most modern of the forged frame Hi Powers. They were only made
Circa '89 to '93. All the great features of the MKIII with lighter weight.
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  #3  
Old 04-28-2012, 11:06 PM
Dentite Dentite is offline
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Nice. I have a 1990 MkIII with forged frame.
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  #4  
Old 04-29-2012, 05:26 AM
Pilot Pilot is offline
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Nice score. Yes, they are pretty rare due to the switch to cast. I have a 1994 Silver Chrome BHP, and it has a cast frame.
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  #5  
Old 04-29-2012, 02:30 PM
Swed Swed is offline
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My 9mm '93 BHP Practical has a cast frame.
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  #6  
Old 04-29-2012, 05:47 PM
European European is offline
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I have 1989 BHP "Vigilante", obviously with a forged frame. Great gun. It's basically a blued Mark III but with the old fixed sights (which my gunsmith, a real BHP expert, is replacing by the more modern ones with three white bands).

Swed, I love those wooden grips. Are they Hogue?
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  #7  
Old 04-29-2012, 06:09 PM
jmstr jmstr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swed View Post
I just picked up an excellent condition Mk III Hi-Power (1993 Mfg) that has a forged frame. When did Browning switch over to cast frames?
From what Stephen Camp's website/book identified, I think the switch to the cast frame was sometime around the 3rd quarter of 1993.

I have a 1990 forged frame and a 1993 cast frame 9mm hi power. My cast frame was a third or fourth quarter made gun. I forget which, as I just sold a different 1993 cast Hi Power and it was the other quarter made gun.

Congrats on a great handgun!
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  #8  
Old 04-29-2012, 06:19 PM
silverking448 silverking448 is offline
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The grips look like Craig Spegels?

I beleive that FN switched from the forged frame to the heavier cast frame for two reasons. One was problems with hot European 9mm ammo that caused some failure with the forged frames. The other was FN's decision to manufacture a S&W 40 HP. A stronger frame was needed for the hotter 40 S&W (as compared to 9mm) and FN dropped the forged frame 9mm for manufacturing efficiency. They have since dropped the S&W 40 (I think?) so the 9mm is left with the cast frame. Easy to determine whether you have a cast or forged frame. Just look for the casting marks where the mag is inserted in the handle. No marks on a forged frame.

For more accurate information suggest you visit the late Stephan's Camp's websiste - http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/. Mr Camp was the expert on BHPs and offers great insight into using hot ammo - +P and +P+ - with forged frame HPs.

The slimmer and lighter forged frames are very nice.
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  #9  
Old 04-30-2012, 07:30 AM
Swed Swed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by European View Post
I have 1989 BHP "Vigilante", obviously with a forged frame. Great gun. It's basically a blued Mark III but with the old fixed sights (which my gunsmith, a real BHP expert, is replacing by the more modern ones with three white bands).

Swed, I love those wooden grips. Are they Hogue?
They are Harrett fancy Coco Bolo from CDNN.
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  #10  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:29 AM
wags wags is offline
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I've always perfered the forgings over the cast frames in 9mm. I own a 1991 MKIII that has the the Novak Spec Ops package completed in 1993. Still carry this beauty today.

Plan on leaving it stock or adding some mod's Swed? You'll always have a winner no matter which route you take!
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  #11  
Old 05-01-2012, 02:03 AM
rowlc rowlc is offline
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Not sure when they switched, but I have a 94' with a cast frame and a 95' with a forged frame.
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  #12  
Old 05-01-2012, 04:10 AM
Burgs Burgs is offline
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rowlc.

The switch to cast frames was made in '93.
There were some early cast framed Hi Powers that were made without the serrated mag well. Is it possible that you have one of those?
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  #13  
Old 05-01-2012, 07:00 AM
TJx TJx is offline
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I'm sure this is wrong but I found these quotes interesting on the Browning's Hi Power info page:
"Whether you are a novice or a seasoned shooter, you will appreciate the fine craftsmanship and function of these classic pistols, the sure heft of the machined steel frame and slide, and their natural pointability"
"Frame and Slide
Forged from solid steel, yet still lightweight"

http://www.browning.com/products/cat...atalog_=B&bg=x
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  #14  
Old 05-01-2012, 12:56 PM
Burgs Burgs is offline
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Yes, that is interesting. However, it has been observed more than once that the Browning PR Department wouldn't know a Hi Power if somebody dropped one on their foot.
The text you quote is either incorrect on its face or plagiarized from an earlier time when the statement was true.

I'm sorry if I am repeating myself, but I have often wondered it the individual now running Browning's Hi Power Division isn't somebody's idiot nephew promoted from their Rubber Boot & Camp Stove Section. Or maybe the mail room.

Keep in mind also, that contrary to popular belief, Browning is merely a very large distributor and has never made a single Hi Power. -Probably never made anything at all

The Hi Powers carrying the Browning brand name are made by FN. The next time yo see a Hi Power discounted because the gun store buy says it's "only" an FN and not a "Browning", snap it up because it came off the same production line.
Several decades ago, FN bought Browning from the Browning family. Back about circa 2006 FN stopped importing Hi Powers into the US. One of the reasons was likely that they were competing against Browning, now their own company.

I personally prefer FN marked Hi Powers. For me the roll marks look nicer.
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  #15  
Old 05-01-2012, 01:01 PM
rowlc rowlc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burgs View Post
rowlc.

The switch to cast frames was made in '93.
There were some early cast framed Hi Powers that were made without the serrated mag well. Is it possible that you have one of those?
Burgs,

I'm not an expert, but I do believe it is forged. Besides the smooth mag well, there are no casting marks under the grip stocks, and the outer front edges of the frame around the mag well are thin like my 90' MKIII, not thick(er) like the forementioned 93' cast frame.
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  #16  
Old 05-21-2013, 11:07 PM
fnbrowning fnbrowning is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burgs View Post
1993/94.

You just scored the most modern of the forged frame Hi Powers. They were only made
Circa '89 to '93. All the great features of the MKIII with lighter weight.
Burgs, (or anyone) would you like to review those features for the curious among us?
For instance, will the '89 to '93 have the firing pin block?
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  #17  
Old 05-25-2013, 02:41 PM
chuntaro chuntaro is offline
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I have no reservations about the forged mk lll, the forged mk ll or the forged pre-mk ll in 9mm. They are all good. I especially like the forged mk lll. Nothing wrong with a cast frame mk lll but they have a distinctly different feel.
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  #18  
Old 05-25-2013, 03:55 PM
LastRites LastRites is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowlc View Post

I'm not an expert, but I do believe it is forged. Besides the smooth mag well, there are no casting marks under the grip stocks, and the outer front edges of the frame around the mag well are thin like my 90' MKIII, not thick(er) like the forementioned 93' cast frame.

Since I seem not able to view the pictures, some cast frames looked just like the forge frames with smooth bottom mag well ect... the only way to know for sure is to look under the grip panels up towards the top of the mag well and see if there is a casting mark. I was once fooled by this trickery.
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