1980 nickel hi power "made in Belgium" - 1911Forum
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  #1  
Old 06-15-2017, 08:40 PM
chrisp51 chrisp51 is offline
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1980 nickel hi power "made in Belgium"

Bought a used/abused 1980 nickel hi power with a gold trigger. I looked up the potential value of the pistol in the 37th edition of the blue book of gun values. It says that if it is a circa 1980 production with "made in Belgium" on the slide that I should add %50 to the approximate worth of the pistol. This is good news but it does not tell me why this particular model is worth more. Does anyone know why? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 06-15-2017, 10:00 PM
RMTactical RMTactical is offline
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I don't think we can help unless you post a pic. ;-)
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  #3  
Old 06-15-2017, 10:12 PM
Matquig Matquig is offline
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"Used and abused" usually never adds up to 50% more of anything.
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  #4  
Old 06-15-2017, 11:30 PM
KDKSAIL KDKSAIL is offline
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If the mantra in real estate is '..location...location...location...'.....then for firearms is should be '..Condition...Condition...Condition..'.

If yours is one of the only 11,609 Polished Nickel (electroless nickel) finish Hi Powers, produced between 1980-1985, with gold-plated trigger, fixed or adjustable sights with 'B' medallion grip panels (some without 'B' medallions) then there is a certain degree of 'rarity' and '..collector value..'. Those with fixed sights have generally sold for more in the resale market than those with adjustable sights (even though there were fewer adjustable sight models produced). Those without 'B' medallion grip panels also sell for less (the 'B' medallions by themselves are ***RARE*** and EXPENSIVE if ya' can even find 'em these days)

CONDITION also matters--a whole helluva' LOT. If yours has been, "..used/abused.." you can forget any sort of added 'Blue Book' valuations....and certainly NOT anything like 50%.

Over the past year or so, the resale prices of many of the most sought after Hi Power models has dropped (in part due to the firearms market recovering some portion of it's sanity since the 'Panic').

Try using the '..Advanced Search..' feature or GunBroker.com for '..Completed Items..' using '..Browning High Power Nickel..' as your search criteria and make your own judgment of relative '..value..' from this. Bear in mind that additional items like original Browning gun rug, owners manual, original box & papers generate '..added value..'.

Last edited by KDKSAIL; 06-15-2017 at 11:42 PM.
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  #5  
Old 06-16-2017, 10:38 AM
kevfierro kevfierro is offline
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Here's a picture of mine. No "B" medallion grips, adjustable sights. No rug, manual, etc. The gold plating on the trigger is worn. I like it. It has character. 😊
Attached Thumbnails
20170416_202434.jpg   20170416_202447.jpg  
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  #6  
Old 06-16-2017, 11:03 AM
Goldcomet Goldcomet is offline
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I really like the look of this. The nickel really sets it off.

Last edited by Goldcomet; 06-16-2017 at 11:06 AM.
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  #7  
Old 06-16-2017, 12:49 PM
Matquig Matquig is offline
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The problem with the "B" medallions is that they are basically made of aluminum foil, and were not glued in very well. Shooting mine one day resulted in both medallions flying off unnoticed in the lawn behind my house. To a collector, a $100 mark down. To an owner with a demented sense of humor: priceless. I got some nice aftermarket grips that make it look even better.
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  #8  
Old 06-16-2017, 03:06 PM
KDKSAIL KDKSAIL is offline
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Until a couple of years ago, you could still buy Browning '..Buckmark..' medallions for a couple of bucks from Brownell's and other after-market suppliers, that would fit the medallion recess in the standard grips for these pistols. But alas...even the 'Buckmark' medallions are now hard to find. I bought two from Brownell's a couple of years ago for something like $6 for the pair....just because....my intention was to recess the 'Buckmark' medallions into a pair of 'standard' grip panels and use these on my polished nickel H-P and hermetically seal the original 'B' medallion grips and lock them in a vault. never quite got 'round tuit...and the original 'B' medallions are still on the pistol.

The 'B' medallions were sometimes used on other Browning models (Browning BDA .380 and Medalist .22, 1978 Hi Power 'Centennial..' limited-edition ??) so if you expand your search a bit, you may find used grips for these pistols that still have the '..B..' medallion.
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  #9  
Old 06-16-2017, 06:33 PM
chrisp51 chrisp51 is offline
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Thanks for the responses. I have attached a picture of the disassembled pistol. I said abused but more an issue with the condition of the barrel as you can see in the attachment. The grips were the B medallion type but one of the B's is missing. So the extra value comes from only 11000+ being made. I wonder why the blue book of gun value only mentioned the 1980 production with "made in Belgium" on the slide as the reason for the increase in value?
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20170410_195935.jpg  
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  #10  
Old 06-16-2017, 07:01 PM
KDKSAIL KDKSAIL is offline
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Well...you can always offer the grips for sale on GunBroker. The one grip with the 'B' medallion will be worth a tidy little sum to someone who has lost aone of their medallions on theirs. With the proceeds from that you can fix up the rest of yours.
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  #11  
Old 06-16-2017, 10:34 PM
Che Che is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KDKSAIL View Post
If yours is one of the only 11,609 Polished Nickel (electroless nickel) finish Hi Powers, produced between 1980-1985, with gold-plated trigger, fixed or adjustable sights with 'B' medallion grip panels (some without 'B' medallions) then there is a certain degree of 'rarity' and '..collector value..'. Those with fixed sights have generally sold for more in the resale market than those with adjustable sights (even though there were fewer adjustable sight models produced). Those without 'B' medallion grip panels also sell for less (the 'B' medallions by themselves are ***RARE*** and EXPENSIVE if ya' can even find 'em these days)
I have always wanted a factory nickel BHP. Thanks for sharing.
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  #12  
Old 06-17-2017, 01:16 PM
Matquig Matquig is offline
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People dis nickeled guns a lot, as worn polished ones often take on surface blems, scratches, etc, but if you consider that your pistol has been through a lot, and the most significant signs of it are the darkened barrel, then the nickel plating protected the rest of the pistol quite well.
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  #13  
Old 06-17-2017, 04:31 PM
KDKSAIL KDKSAIL is offline
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FN/Browning must have taken particular care with their electroless, polished nickel finishes. By comparison, most of the after-market nickel finishes that I've seen over the years did not 'wear' well at all. I suppose that some of this is attributable to the simple fact that the Polished Nickel H-P's had a tendency to become, '..safe queens..' (taken out only occasionally to be gazed at lovingly, fondled while wearing white cotton gloves, wiped down with a soft, lint-free cloth, then back in the safe). But I don't recall ever seeing a Browning 'factory' nickel finish in as poor condition as the OP's. '..rid' hard...put away wet..' seems the best description.
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  #14  
Old 06-18-2017, 02:19 PM
Matquig Matquig is offline
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When I speak of nickel protecting the gun, the OP's pistol reminds me of many first gen Colt SAA's that were extremely worn, but the steel was protected against rust and pitting. When the nickel is stripped, they can often be re-plated, or finished in blue, resulting a much nicer pistol than a comparably worn and aged, original blued gun, which didn't enjoy any plating taking the beating or shielding the gun from moisture.
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  #15  
Old 06-18-2017, 05:09 PM
chrisp51 chrisp51 is offline
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I thought the dark spots where the nickel was missing was rust but it appears it may be copper. I have been told that the metal is first plated with copper before the nickel is applied. Can anyone out there confirm this?
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  #16  
Old 06-18-2017, 05:38 PM
BHP BHP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisp51 View Post
I thought the dark spots where the nickel was missing was rust but it appears it may be copper. I have been told that the metal is first plated with copper before the nickel is applied. Can anyone out there confirm this?
That's the way nickel plating is done, and electroplated chrome, also. With nickel it's copper and then nickel. The chrome plating process just adds the chrome as the final layer. Copper is used as a filler, smoother. That's why Harley riders always want "triple plated" chrome. Cheaper companies omit the copper layer.
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  #17  
Old 06-19-2017, 09:55 AM
KDKSAIL KDKSAIL is offline
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Not sure that there's any preliminary copper coating involved in the '..electroless..' nickel finish process used for the '..Polished Nickel..' finished H-P's(??)....nor in the '..Hard Chrome..' finished H-P's (??)
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  #18  
Old 06-19-2017, 10:35 AM
BHP BHP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KDKSAIL View Post
Not sure that there's any preliminary copper coating involved in the '..electroless..' nickel finish process used for the '..Polished Nickel..' finished H-P's(??)....nor in the '..Hard Chrome..' finished H-P's (??)
There is no copper plating performed in your two examples, that's why I specified "electroplated". The sentence I wrote stating that could have been more clear.
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  #19  
Old 06-19-2017, 01:21 PM
1saxman 1saxman is offline
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I'm not getting why the barrel is dark - it shouldn't be plated. Have you tried polishing it? I would suggest a soft steel wire brush like the 'toothbrush' types you find at gun shows. Certain gun chemicals like copper-removing bore cleaners don't do well on Nickel plating - it looks like maybe something like that was used on the pistol. Once Nickel gets like that there's not much you can do for it. To me the pistol would be a candidate for stripping and completely refinishing, like in an epoxy or bake-on finish but you would have to get it for very little to justify the cost of de-plating and refinishing.
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  #20  
Old 06-19-2017, 01:32 PM
KDKSAIL KDKSAIL is offline
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No 'plating' finish of any sort on the barrel. The dark markings are probably just a combination of rust, old lubricant and dirt. Provided there's no rust 'pitting' (creating 'divots' in the metal) it can probably be buffed/polished up to shiny, like-new condition.

But given the general condition of the slide and frame, this is a pistol long over due for a detailed disassembly and major cleaning....and probably a new spring set to make it into a serviceable '..shooter..' and/or '..project..' platform.
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  #21  
Old 06-19-2017, 08:56 PM
chrisp51 chrisp51 is offline
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Just received a new set of springs and a BHP take down tool kit from BHspringsolutiins.com.
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