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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I acquired a MkIII .40S&W BHP a few years back after a long search for an FN and loved it. Very accurate in .40S&W. The plan from the day I purchased the .40S&W was a conversion from 3-Lug .40S&W to 3-Lug 9MM Bar-Sto. The idea of a 3-lug 9mm sounded like a great indestructible beast of one of my favorite guns. I acquired the Bar-Sto barrel after a many, many month wait and had a local gunsmith install it in the .40S&W slide. Tried a few recoil springs until I was happy and loved it.


I have been hunting for a decent price on a 9MM Belgium FN or Browning for several years. And lucked upon a second Hi-Power, a "C" series 1973 9mm BHP.



Differences I can spot between the two:
Ejector on the 1973 is .047" and the MkIII .40S&W is .072" This difference allows the .40S&W slide to fit on the 9MM frame, but prevents the 1973 Slide from fitting on the MkIII frame.


The slide itself is larger on the .40S&W also .882" for the 1973 and .981" for the MkIII .40S&W


Obviously the barrels are very different in OD size. Bar-Sto 9MM on the left, factory 9MM on the right. (yeah they are dirty, I shot the lead bullets last)


Continued below due to image limit . . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I shot them back to back today with several of my hand loads and was quite amazed at the similarity in the groups. All firing, 75 per gun, 150 rounds total was done in about 20 minutes as I was loosing my daylight so these are not your benchrest type groups by any means. All 15 shots in each group were fired at a steady, quick cadence as the target returned to the sights. The white sticker was point of aim for all shots. I discarded the worst shot in each group as a flyer. All shots were at 7 yards.

Lee Lead Round Nose 124g handloads - Bar-Sto on the left (sticker blew off), Standard barrel on the right.


Winchester JHP 115g handloads - Bar-Sto on the left, Standard barrel on the right.


Hornady XTP 115g handloads - Bar-Sto on the left, Standard barrel on the right.


Notice anything? Like the groups sizes are almost identical! I shot some Speer Gold Dots (2.8" both guns) and Montana Gold JHPs(2.9" both guns), same thing. It's not like I was trying to do this, didn't even notice it until I got back to house and started to measure them. Freaky.

So . . . the 1973 is a better pointer for me. Might have something to do with the empty weight of the guns, the 1973 is 26 ounces, the MkIII Bar-Sto 9MM super whammy special is . . . . 33 ounces.

I should not have done this conversion, it was a mistake. For the cost of the barrel and the gunsmith work I could have purchased another gun. Please learn from my mistake.
 

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I should not have done this conversion, it was a mistake. For the cost of the barrel and the gunsmith work I could have purchased another gun. Please learn from my mistake.
Look at it this way: You've got a BSHP (Browning Super High Power), a HP 9mm that can handle NATO, +P+, or anything else you want to stuff in a magazine.

Did the smith have to do anything to the breechface or modify the extractor so the smaller 9mm cartridge would feed realiably?
 

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Isn't the point of of converting a .40 to 9, shooting +P+ loads? That is, it seems like a conversion for someone who is head-over-heels in love with idea of having lots of really fast little bullets on tap, and not necessarily accuracy. While I would expect a "match" barrel to be more accurate than a stock barrel, the conversion is about terminal ballistics, not accuracy. The stock HP cannot tolerate a diet of really hot 9mm loads, so you should be happy that you have a gun with the capabilities it has (if that will make you feel better about it :) ).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Look at it this way: You've got a BSHP (Browning Super High Power), a HP 9mm that can handle NATO, +P+, or anything else you want to stuff in a magazine.

Did the smith have to do anything to the breechface or modify the extractor so the smaller 9mm cartridge would feed realiably?
No, just the barrel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I guess what failed to convey, is that the original Hi-Power is just a more pleasurable gun to shoot, and certainly not lacking in accuracy.

If I had to go kill zombies I would grab the Bar-Sto barreled gun first, sure. But I would feel no less able to slay zombies with the original Hi-Power. It is all about shot placement after all and even with the junk sights on the original, I can place shots with it just as well as the better sighted, match barreled MkIII. So for me, for shooting pleasure the lighter, nimbler original Hi-Power wins.

And Stephen, it functioned 100% with all 15 rounds fed from Mec-Gar magazines. ~300 rounds so far in the 1973, zero failures.

The MKIII had three feed failures in 75 rounds tonight, typical for it, though it is getting better after ~1800 rounds or so down the tube. It was much worse. Perhaps that is what XHVI was hinting at. Now I'll have to fiddle with that. :biglaugh:
 

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This is great information for others. We are in your debt. I was just looking at the ejector difference the other day but had no way to measure. How did the 40 frame run with the 40 barrel? That cost comparison is great information. I was looking at a home build that was gonna cost the price of three guns. Put the brakes on that for now. What loads do you use for dem zombies and do you need a license?
 

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spencerhut and all,

Thanks for your post and information. I've often wondered why someone would want to do this conversion.

If 9mm +P+ velocities were the goal why not just rebarrel the .40 to .357 Sig? I've got an honest 1,360 FPS from my converted Hi-Power using 125 grain Winchester Ranger SXT LE loads.

Like you, I prefer the shootability and svelteness of the 9mm Hi-Power the best. Luckily, we have both versions to "play" with...

Wes
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If 9mm +P+ velocities were the goal why not just rebarrel the .40 to .357 Sig? I've got an honest 1,360 FPS from my converted Hi-Power using 125 grain Winchester Ranger SXT LE loads.
Bah, I got 1200 to 1222FPS from 155g Speer Gold Dots and 155g Hornady XTP in my .40S&W HP before the conversion. :eek:

Like you, I prefer the shootability and svelteness of the 9mm Hi-Power the best. Luckily, we have both versions to "play" with...
Agreed. I love them both, I just feel like I threw away some money, but it's a gun, happens all the time.
 

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Thanks for sharing! Converting a .40 to a 9mm always seemed like a neat idea to me, but there's not much out there on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
How did the 40 frame run with the 40 barrel?
Fantastic, very accurate, pleasure to shoot.

What loads do you use for dem zombies and do you need a license?
Speer Gold Dots are in all my pistol cal Zombie loads.
 

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I should not have done this conversion, it was a mistake. For the cost of the barrel and the gunsmith work I could have purchased another gun. Please learn from my mistake.
Really? Just ballpark -- around how much was the conversion?
Also, sounds like reliability was good?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Really? Just ballpark -- around how much was the conversion?
Also, sounds like reliability was good?
Reliability is fine, cost was >$350, what I paid for a used 9mm Hi-Power later on.
 

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Spencerhut:

Do not suffer over your investment. Science has been advanced. I had to solve the problem of advancing age and 69C fixed sights. The best slide deal I found in a pre-S variety was nickle adjustable. Heinies, machining, refinishing and populating the slide only served to slow the march of time. However, I get to shoot the 69 with sights I can use and still have an original 69.
 

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note if your barsto barrel was a drop in or one that only needs a little fitting then you won't see much differnce that a good stock barrel.

If the barsto barrel would have to be completely fitted at the bushing area and at the lugs, hood etc. than it would should tighter than a stock barrel.
 
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