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  #1  
Old 09-17-2019, 08:50 AM
RoverGuy RoverGuy is offline
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FN Browning proofmark question.

I recently acquired FN Browning Hi Power on Gun Broker.

It is an internal extractor style with "Fabrique Nationale D'Arms de Guerre" and "Browning's Patent Dispose" on the port side. The serial number is E0221x (Slide, Frame and Barrel)

There are proof marks on the slide and frame. One is an O with a star above and the other is a lion over P.V. The barrel has the same two, but also has a "pineapple", actually a oval with a crown on it, with E and LG in it. These are standard proof marks according to http://damascus-barrels.com/Belgian_All_Proofmarks.html. The O with star indicates Watrin Charles as the proof marker maker or proof maker marker(??). So I know what those mean.

But on the port side trigger guard there is a square with a 1 in it. And on the butt end there is an X and B and a bunch of weird characters.

I think I have this dated to the early 50's. But would like to be more accurate. Do these other marks indicate mfg'd year? The website https://proofhouse.com/browning/index.html does not indicate years for E serial numbers, and I have read differing opinions on other websites - These were British military contract, these were Israeli contract (but do not have the Star of David proof), commercial contract, etc.

Thanks for any info.
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  #2  
Old 09-17-2019, 09:28 AM
Uncle Mike Uncle Mike is offline
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Hi, let me preface my remarks with the warning that; I am not an expert and I don't play one on the internet. I believe that the "B" signifies Charles Roland who worked as an inspector pre-war until 1959. The "X" could be Alfred Regnier who worked at FN until 1964. The "1' in the box means that the frame was made in the first quarter of 1951. The "E" prefix was started after the war as an inventory control method and was used in commercial and military and government contracts. What little I know I learned from Anthony Vanderlinden's great book," FN Browning Pistols, Side Arms That Shaped World History. " On the various marks don't get mad if I'm completely wrong. It is my educated (?) guess, regards, Mike
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Old 09-17-2019, 06:20 PM
RoverGuy RoverGuy is offline
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Thanks for the info.

I looked at getting the Vanderlinden book, but that is a bit expensive (could buy extra magazines, springs, and such).
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  #4  
Old 09-17-2019, 09:35 PM
Ibmikey Ibmikey is offline
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Many will report the E series pistols were for the British SAS or Austrian Police departments, don’t believe that until some kind of factual information is brought forth. I have an E example, it shoots great and is in nice condition....too nice for use by SAS or a PD.
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  #5  
Old 09-17-2019, 10:11 PM
Uncle Mike Uncle Mike is offline
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Hi, Austrian pistols were marked LGK plus an area mark such as "W" for Vienna, "T" for Tyrol, etc. The CMP had many Austrian marked M1 Carbines with the same marks. "E" marked pistols were shipped to Britain but also other places, other contracts, and commercial sales. As for the price of books if you have no interest in collecting; the history of a piece or recognizing a rare or desirable weapon; then they are indeed expensive. Sometimes you can find an undervalued object that you recognize as valuable and books help in that situation. I have Clawson's 1911 books and I see them for sale about 5 to 10 times what I paid for them, so sometimes they are a good investment. Just my 2 cents, regards, Mike
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  #6  
Old 09-18-2019, 02:13 PM
rellascout rellascout is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibmikey View Post
Many will report the E series pistols were for the British SAS or Austrian Police departments, don’t believe that until some kind of factual information is brought forth. I have an E example, it shoots great and is in nice condition....too nice for use by SAS or a PD.
E was an inventory designation for FN. A good number of them ended up being used for the SAS contract which is why the Myth that all E series BHPs are SAS guns is still with us. Like everything FN when it comes to serial numbers, dates and contracts there is some true to the rumor but there is no hard and fast rule. Like most things BHP related all dogs are poodles not all poodles are dogs.
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  #7  
Old 09-18-2019, 02:17 PM
rellascout rellascout is offline
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Originally Posted by Uncle Mike View Post
Hi, Austrian pistols were marked LGK plus an area mark such as "W" for Vienna, "T" for Tyrol, etc. The CMP had many Austrian marked M1 Carbines with the same marks. "E" marked pistols were shipped to Britain but also other places, other contracts, and commercial sales. As for the price of books if you have no interest in collecting; the history of a piece or recognizing a rare or desirable weapon; then they are indeed expensive. Sometimes you can find an undervalued object that you recognize as valuable and books help in that situation. I have Clawson's 1911 books and I see them for sale about 5 to 10 times what I paid for them, so sometimes they are a good investment. Just my 2 cents, regards, Mike
Vanderlinden's book and R. Blake Stevens book are great reference tools but both are full of errors and definitive statements which have been proven to be false. Still they are foundational reference books about the BHP and should be in the library of any serious BHP collector. IMHO

Shooters can just post here and people will tell them what they need to know.
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  #8  
Old 09-18-2019, 03:32 PM
Uncle Mike Uncle Mike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rellascout View Post
Vanderlinden's book and R. Blake Stevens book are great reference tools but both are full of errors and definitive statements which have been proven to be false. Still they are foundational reference books about the BHP and should be in the library of any serious BHP collector. IMHO

Shooters can just post here and people will tell them what they need to know.
Hi, If you have mistakes that you have found in Vanderlinden's books, he will happy to talk to you. Here is his web site https://www.fnbrowning.com/
I've talked to him several times and he's a real gentleman, regards, Mike
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  #9  
Old 09-18-2019, 04:06 PM
rellascout rellascout is offline
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Originally Posted by Uncle Mike View Post
Hi, If you have mistakes that you have found in Vanderlinden's books, he will happy to talk to you. Here is his web site https://www.fnbrowning.com/
I've talked to him several times and he's a real gentleman, regards, Mike
I have spoken to him as well. There are minor things which have come up over the years here and other places. It is not that there are "mistakes" as there are many exceptions to the rule when it comes to FN BHPs so some of the statements he makes are contradicted by reality but none of them are significant enough to really be concerned about. IMHO
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  #10  
Old 09-18-2019, 06:40 PM
Uncle Mike Uncle Mike is offline
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Originally Posted by rellascout View Post
…... some of the statements he makes are contradicted by reality but none of them are significant enough to really be concerned about. IMHO
Hi, interesting, IMHO, regards, Mike
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  #11  
Old 09-18-2019, 07:07 PM
rellascout rellascout is offline
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Originally Posted by Uncle Mike View Post
Hi, interesting, IMHO, regards, Mike
For example Vanderlinden states on page 350 of his book:

"When NATO adopted the High Power as a standard sidearm, it became the most prolific handgun in the world...There are more than 250 postwar High Power markings... He goes on to talk about the various rifles and guns FN supplied to NATO countries and else where and the changes the post war BHP went through to diminish the costs and streamline production. ".

NATO never had a standard sidearm. They had adopted a standard caliber.

Another one which he created is that FN started assembling BHPs in Portugal in 1980. The start of production of FN and Browning Hi Power pistols in Portugal is often incorrectly stated as starting in 1980. The 1980 date comes from Vanderlinden's book. FN opened the plant in Viana Portugal in 1973 and people have real world working examples of BHP made there as early as 1973 in that factory. Vanderlinden's error is often perpetuated all over the Internet and gun boards , gun magazines and reviews. People consider it gospel but it isn't. The guns were not marked as made in Portugal until the 1980s but that does not mean they were not assembled there. Just as FN guns never stated they were assembled in Portugal but have been along side of Browning rollmarked guns since FN moved final production there.

I am not trying to take away from the quality of the work in Vanderlindens book but it is not 100% accurate. I have said it before and will say it again. It is a great book but at times he seems to wax poetic about the JMB/FN and the role and importance of the BHP and adds some embellishments to his otherwise solid narrative. I also which he did more writing on the post WII guns.
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Last edited by rellascout; 09-18-2019 at 07:17 PM.
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  #12  
Old 09-24-2019, 06:39 PM
Che Che is offline
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Great stuff here. Thanks everyone for sharing.
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  #13  
Old 09-25-2019, 11:34 AM
kurusu kurusu is offline
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Originally Posted by RoverGuy View Post
Thanks for the info.

I looked at getting the Vanderlinden book, but that is a bit expensive (could buy extra magazines, springs, and such).
Buy another extractor. One never knows. And they don't make them anymore.
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  #14  
Old 09-25-2019, 11:50 AM
rellascout rellascout is offline
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Originally Posted by kurusu View Post
Buy another extractor. One never knows. And they don't make them anymore.
Jack First and Numrich are both making internal extractors now. Last time I checked both had them in stock.
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