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Discussion Starter #21
Argentine FM Detective HP

Here are the pics of the FM Detective without the "Detective" engraving on the slide. It appears to be a compact DGFM Model 90 and is unfired as is my full-size. See pic with it side by side with my full-size DGFM 90. The manual shows a Detective with wraparound grips, but the pistol has the flat 1911 style grips. See pic with aluminum follower magazine that came with it. My full-size came with a plastic follower magazine. Were these compacts without Detective engraving common?
 

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Mac,

Very interesting pics, for sure. The FM M90 is the Detective, in fact it's the first version of the Detective, preceding the M95 and the M02AR, with the model numbers matching the initial years of introduction - 1990, 1995 and 2002.
As as you noted, the user manual does say Detective Model on the cover.

If I were to speculate a supposition-ated conjecture, I'd say that your pistol is a very early example of the breed that was maybe possibly built before the Detective name was chosen, or the Detective rollmarks finalized.

Keep in mind, often, as a production run continues, a pistol's markings evolve somewhat. That's often what allows a tighter build date to be identified if one knows the clues.

You can see below how the Detective's markings got a little more ornate in the later production versions. At left is my personal M95 and on the right is the later M02AR photo taken from the web.

In comparison to CXM's M90 posted above, in computer speak, I'd think that you might have a "M90 1.0".
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Argentine FM Detective HP

Thanks for the insight Burgs. A little confused though. You said the FM M90 IS the Detective, however my full size Argentine (previous comparison pic) is also named the M90 according to the box it came in and the manual with pic on the cover which matches the pistol exactly. That's why I assumed one was the full-size, the other was the compact. Your thoughts?
 

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Mac,

You're exactly right - Sorry I didn't explain that better.
The Detective is the short, Commander length version of the various full sized FM Hi Powers - so named because many plainclothes detectives were fond of carrying smaller versions of the full sized duty weapon - especially in the revolver days.

The M90, M95 and the M02AR all come in full sized and Detective models.
This is something that even the Belgians didn't do.
As a point of interest, my M95 Detective weighs almost exactly the same as my Browning 69C on a postal scale, so there's no weight savings to be had if you're switching from an FN/Browning Hi Power to a Detective.

Here's a web photo of the FM M02AR, Detective and full sized, side by side.
The M02AR is the M95 with the addition of the factory SFS (Safety Fast Shooting) system, just like FN introduced during the same time period.

Most of the M02AR photos I've seen show them with an unusual blue tint.
Like many of the M95s, the M02AR photos I've seen also show the FN style curved plastic grips. The curved plastic FM grips on my pistol are made of a different plastic than the Belgian versions - less shiny and softer. They are easy to pick out from the pile of curved plastic grips that get yanked off on day one.

On the M95, and I assume from photos, the M02AR, the FM fixed sights are also interchangeable with the FN/Browning MK III fixed sights. A lot of folks have wondered why the factory and Trijicon MK III fixed sights have a little gap under the rear face. I'm not sure if it's intentional or not, but this gap fits perfectly over the grooved slide rib on the FM Hi Powers.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Great information Burgs, I appreciate it. In reference to my Detective's flat 1911 style handgrips. Unless they are aftermarket, is that unusual as well?

Are the M02ARs parts and/or mags interchangeable with the FNs or FMs?

Anyway, I'm glad to have a pair of FM M90s.

On another note. I've noticed that you have the extended safety's on most if not all your HPs. Are those the C&S extended safeties? Are they the C&S Extended safety or the Wide Extended safety? I'm trying to determine which one is sufficient.

Sorry to keep piling on questions. I noticed in another Post that you recommended keeping some extra parts on hand and I'd like to do that. Went through Numrich's online list and wrote down the part numbers and prices so I can compare to Browning. Browning doesn't have their HP parts listed so I'll have to call. Anyway, I noticed on Numrich in reference to the Extractors for a 9mm, it offers a standard and an "early style." Are you familiar with this? Does this "early style" apply to the extractor spring as well? Is this just an option or does the year and/or model determine which one you need?
 

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Mac,

My extended safeties are all either FN MK III stype or SFS - mostly SFS.
The appearance of the SFS ambi looks almost identical to the MK III ambi because it was originally offered by FN as a factory option. It is now available from C&S as an after market kit. There is a 1911 version also.
On on both the Hi Power and 1911, it is a simple matter for an experienced gunsmith to switch back and forth between the stock and SFS configurations by fitting the appropriate parts.

Although I really like most C&S Hi Power parts, being a lefty I find that the C&S ambidextrous safety to be a torture device. I use the passenger side lever as a thumb rest. Doing this on the C&S ambi, because the passenger side lever is situated much higher and further back on the frame than the factory ambi, which requires the shooter to shoot with thumb straight up against the back of the safety and then forward at the joint onto the lever. This, especially with a HP 40, puts a lot of recoil stress on the thumb, which I find to be "uncomfortable". I had a C&S ambi on my Practical 40 and replaced it with the OEM part. If you are a righty then this isn't such an issue, since the driver's side lever is where it is supposed to be.

In the Numrich catalog, I believe that the "early style" extractor is original internal extractor used from when the Hi Power was originally introduced up until around 1964. The current, since 1964, external "standard" extractor is what you need. I generally get my HP parts direct from Bowning since Browning has better parts prices than outside vendors. I always get the extractor spring too and replace them both at the same time. They're cheap.

FN has a l o o o n g history with Argentina. Argentina purchased its first order of 1600 Hi Powers from FN in 1937. That's pre WWII for those of you who are hung over - making Argentina one of very the first Hi Power users.

FN and FM made Hi Power parts are interchangeable. FM made the FN FAL rifle and the Hi Power under license between 1969 and 1989, when FM switched to their own slightly different (mostly in the slide) versions with the M90.

FM is very VERY good at making Hi Power and FAL parts and weapons and the Argentine and Belgian companies have enjoyed a close working relationship. In fact, on a recent Outdoor Channel TV show, the NRA's Phil Schreier stated that FN had contracted FM to build FN FAL parts for their Belgian rifles.

As previously noted with the sights and grips, FM's Hi Power models have closely followed the Belgian company's design improvements.

The FM90 is roughly equivalent to the FN MKII, with a similar fixed front sight that is part of the slide and a (somewhat different) barrel rib. It does lack the MK II's ambi safety, drain hole and straight barrel ramp though.

The FM95 is equivalent to the FN MK III, while it keeps the M90's slab sided and ribbed slide, The M95 has the same dovetailed sights, ambi safety, straight barrel ramp and the same firing pin safety (FPS) used by FN on the MK III.

The M02AR is an SFS version of the M95, just as the FN SFS Hi Powers are versions of the FN MK III.

There's a gunsmith near Ft. Bragg, NC, who has done some nice work on FM Hi Powers by returning the slab slide to the traditional "Hi Power cut" profile at the front of the slide. They look really good. He's a member on this forum as "Metalmole".
 

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No doubt the FM's are strange birds mine came from an estate sale looked brand new with great parkerized finish and wood grips.It has the rib with 3 dot sights and small safety,rear sight is dovetailed but front is not.Nothing on left side but FM Hi Power industria Argentina and Detective on the right side with the FM logo.Great little gun and shoots like a big un but heavy for its size.Bottom of trigger guard says CAI VT 9mm.Ser.No. 361xxx.Not sure if its a 90 or 95.
 

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With the fixed, built as part of the slide, front sight and small safety that would be a M90.

Here's a FM M95 variant we don't see much in the United States.
On the tag, the word "Lujo" translates into Luxury or Deluxe:
 

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The serial number on your Detective..349*** is a bit earlier than mine at serial # 361***. Perhaps Mr. Burg Esq. theory on your gun not being stamped "Detective" due to being and early model, will hold water!! Perhaps folks that own Model 90 Detectives will offer their partial serial numbers so as to get and idea of production numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Thanks Burgs for the information. Thanks all, great discussion. If anybody has another unmarked Detective, please let us know.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
GT40DOC, I would love to see some other serial numbers as well to get an approximate time period like you said. Burgs said they started making them in 1990. Anyone feel like listing the first 3 of their Detective serial number, please do so. Thanks!
 

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Hello, nice to find this spot.My Detective is almost finished. Cylinder and slide extended slide release and extended safety. Spring kits. mag disconnect, trigger clean up crimson trace grip. Loe profile front night sight Picked her up for $200 year ago and see number 361xxx but no exact mgf date known.Detective in small print
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Thanks Dolboat. Love to see some pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Like to pics if you have the time.
 

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My Detective serial starts 1C-11. I bought it as a top end only slide and barrel serials match. Now have it mounted on a 245PV frame.
 

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The problem with trying to track Detective serial numbers is that we have no fixed baseline to start from, and we don't know how many were ever made.

So, somebody saying that, "I bought mine in 1994." means nothing, because we don't know how long it languished in a warehouse before it was shipped out, nor do we know how long it sat at the importer's or the gun store.

The only value of the "I bought mine in 1994." statement is that we can prove it wasn't made in 1995.

Since FM is a government owned arms factory, they're even less forthcoming than the Belgians, so I doubt that we'll get any help from that quarter.

There are some Argentinian firearms forums that I've poked around, so maybe somebody whose Spanish is better than mine might find some answers there.
 

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Totaly agree on the dating aspect - I put up my serial as it seemed very different from the others that were being quoted. I believe mine to be an M90 variation (integral Frontsight on rib and small dove tailed rear sight)
 

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I don't know, but I suspect, that since yours was a kit with a slide and no frame, FM may have used a different serial number format.
 
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