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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking of buying a 9mm Hi Power for an IDPA game gun in ESP class. As a caveat, I'm not interested in finding a "BHP love affair" or collecter's gun. What I really need is a good shooter.

1) A quick search shows that the Charles Daly gun is not well regarded. Are the FEG or other "off-brands" worthwhile?

2) If FN is the only smart choice, what are some good models to look for as a game gun/range piece?

3) What are the common hazards/problems in a BHP?

4) Any ballpark figures on reasonable price would be useful. I see a lot of variance on the auctions, and I'm too ignorant on BHP to always understand the why of it.

Thanks for any help,

Ben
 

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I can only tell you what I have. I have a Browning MkIII and it would do just fine I'm sure for IDPA. As would any service pistol I guess. I don't shoot IDPA. But, if you can find one for $600 new, I would think it would be a good deal. We paid more than that, I think it was 750. You'll want to take out the mag disconnect safety, but they show you how to do it tacked above. That's all I got for you.
 

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You may NOT take the magazine disconnector out of a BHP for use in IDPA.
They call it a magazine "safety" and in today's lawyer infested world, you may not deactivate a "safety device." So pick out an unreliable magazine and keep it in your pocket empty for use at the Unload And Show Clear.

Older BHPs and many of the copies have teeny sights and safeties. Later versions like the Mk II and Mk III have pretty good sights and prominent ambi safeties.
 

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A couple of things that might help...

First, for IDPA (and for real-world carry) I'd definitely recommend a Mk III (current production) HP, due to the vastly superior sights and safety levers, as has been mentioned above.

Second, you'll need at least four, and preferably five magazines-one to "charge " the gun (chambering a round, ejecting the magazine, and then inserting a fully loaded magazine), the fully loaded magazine in the gun, and two reloads, plus an empty magazine to be inserted after a firing sequence to enable the hammer to be dropped after "showing clear" (due to the magazine safety). Theoretically, you could use an expended magazine for this, but you might not fully expend a magazine in a low round count scenario-so you're just better off having a dedicated empty magazine to use. Of course, if you're using a 9mm Hi-Power with 13 rd magazines, you'll only need 4 magazines, as you can only have 10 rds per magazine-except for the first magazine, which you can load up with 11 rounds, to achieve a chambered round, leaving you wit 10 in the magazine.

Third, while I've never personally had one, actually the reports on the Charles Daly guns have been fairly good (and, for all practical purposes, a Charles Daly IS an FEG, albeit one with a set of Uncle Mike's grips and XS sights, assembled in the US). Expect them to have a pretty heavy and gritty trigger, though, judging by the several I've handled. They will be your least expensive brand-new Hi-Power choice/clone-but they've been discontinued, as apparently FEG has gone out of business in Hungary recently; I still see that brand new ones are available in my area. Otherwise, cost wise, your best bet might be one of the FN-rollmarked Hi-Powers, which FN dumped on the market when they decided not to concurrently compete in the US with Browning and their Browning-rollmarked Hi-Powers. I believe that there are still brand new FN's still available, although most of them currently available seem to be in .40, and have the SFS hammer system. Thery're usually in the $450-$500 price range ballpark.

Fourth, you'll need a decent holster, one that meets IDPA criteria-see www.idpa.com.-and while you're there, download the current IDPA rulebook. The preponderant holster choice in IDPA seems to gravitate around the various kydex selections, due to speed and durability. My own recommendation would be for Blade-Tech- but there are plenty of excellent holsters.

Fifth, you'll also probably need a double magazine pouch. While IDPA does allow you merely to keep your loaded magazine reloads loose in a pocket, virtually all opt for a magazine pouch. An excellent, inexpensive one is The Wilderness' "Double Ugly"-see www.thewilderness.com.

Sixth, other than the need to retain the magazine safety to be in compliance with IDPA rules, the only real "hazard" in using a Hi-Power in IDPA (or real life!) is that accomplishing a fast reload requires practice, due to the square shape of the magazine and the magazine insertion point in the receiver butt. I'd recommend only using current factory (Browning or FN) magazines, due to 1)their reliability, and 2)their silvery external finish, which is some sort of a Teflon coating, providing weatherproofing AND minimizing the drag of the magazine safety plunger on your triggerpull, and 3)their "mousetrap" extrnal spring at the butt of the magazine, ensuring a forceable magazine ejection. They're made for FN/Browning by MecGar-MecGar sells them also under they're own label, but the MecGar ones, while reliable, WON"T have the "mousetrap" spring.

That's all I can think of off the cuff-hope it helped!

Best, Jon
 

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I shoot local IDPA matches with my Mk III and it really isn't any more complicated than with any other pistol.

My Mk III's mag safety went "bye, bye" early on. The local clubs do not seem to care and as there are more important issues like who will dump the garbage this week! I don't make an issue of it and neither do they.

Four mags are plenty and I run with three. Remember, the max is 10 rds per mag. I have a hi-cap loaded to 11 rds (IDPA max) to start and go from there. Believe the max rds. per stage is 18 in IPDA. There's no reason to surround you adomen with mag pouches. One double pouch is plenty. You may also employ hi capacity mags, they are simply limited to 10 rds. per mag.

Remember, the power factor is 125 so +P is not only NOT required but is not necessary. I shoot a 125 gr FMJ bullet at 1025 to 1050 fps which is more than adequate. This load yields a PF or about 130 and is deadly accurate in my pistol.

Be careful to follow IDPA rules on the holster but an expensive one is not required. Just don't buy one you can't use. Local clubs will be very helpful in this regard.

I have been shocked at the number of shooters asking "what kind of pistol is that?" Being one of the older shooters, I find it amusing. They are usually very surprised when they hear the answer!

Enjoy your HP and believe me, you will have one of the best pistols on the range.

Best
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all of the replies. I am not new to IDPA, just have not entered an ESP gun and was interested in the BHP. I decided I could buy a lot more 9mm gun for a lot less in holsters, trigger smithing etc if I picked up another Steyr from CDNN, this one as a M9A1. Which I did today. And it will also serve well as an IPSC Production gun.

Thanks to all.

Ben
 

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I did a Hi-Power for about a year - it was never as reliable as it should have been - to stay in ESP I went to a CZ-75 and it was very nice. The hi-power is a wonderful classic, but it will be a bit of a handicap at IDPA. I hate to say it but I would recommend you investigate one of the more modern designs such as the XD.
 

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Plenty of discussion on this in other IDPA, BHP specific forums. Seems to be a non-issue at national matches. The HP was made in several variants without the magazine safety. Most consider this a trigger mod only.
 

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I love my BHP but if I had to put the mag disconnect back in the gun to compete, I'd go with something else (probably a CZ 75).
 

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So a modded Hi Power (Yost) is not a legal IDPA gun?
IDPA made it pretty clear (unfortunately) that since Browning refers to it as a "magazine safety" in their owners and svc manuals, they will rule it as a safety device.

From what I've seen at local matches, I would guess most Safety Officers would rather you have no disconnect than have to use an empty magazine to drop the hammer. I haven't seen an SO yet that looked comfortable with that method because of the potential of inserting a loaded mag by mistake, and the extra fumbling around digging out that special mag each time that makes some people try to rush a safety procedure rather than hold up the line.

I haven't shot anything more than local matches since they tightened up that rule, so don't know what happens at higher levels. I've heard differing stories, so I wouldn't take only one gun that had no disconnect.
 

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Where is the rule reference by IDPA on the issue? I have been reading on this for some time now and haven't heard of any official statement. A specific reference would be helpful.
 

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The rule they take it from is in Appendix 1 (Equipment Rules), under the first heading "Non-IDPA-Legal Modifications For ALL Divisions", and is item E listed: "Disconnection or disabling of any safety device on any gun."

By the way, since some people can operate the disconnect by sticking their finger in the magwell and pressing it (I can sometimes, but not 100%), you can just stick your finger up there. I have done it if I didn't know the SO. I must have forgot my gun didn't have one anymore.
 

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I have read that rule. It would depend upon the definition of safety device used by IDPA. Most have concluded that the mag "safety" is merely a disconnect device as I understand it. IDPA to my knowledge has provided no clear explanation of the rule.

Hipowers manufactured without the safety device would then be legal or illegal? What about those using the C&S trigger which has no provision for inclusion of the safety device? I believe the rule is being interpreted too literally in this context. Just because Browning has called it a mag
"safety" does not mean it is a safety. It is by true definition a disconnect and therefore not subject to the above rule on modification.

It would in fact be more dangerous to require the mag inserted into the gun for range clearance than to allow the disconnect removal. The manual can call it whatever it wants to but I will keep the mag safety out of all my BHP's. In fact I intend to use it at my next classifier instead of my 1911 so I can get rated in ESP.
 

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I've shot my BHP in ESP a fair bit, and agree with just about every comment in the above posts. I'd suggest getting 10-round mousetrap mags, if there is such a thing, for match use. You absolutely must have drop-free mags, and I hate having to count how many rounds I'm putting in the mags. Besides, 10-rounders are pretty cheap, now that nobody has to buy them. I use my index finger to manipulate the mag disconnect, but someone with short fingers may have to use an empty mag. Reloads are a challenge, as noted, because the mag has to be straight and square to the frame to go in smoothly. On the issue of removing the mag "safety"; I doubt that you will find a local club match where it's an issue. Nobody can possibly keep track of every "safety" installed on every gun ever made, so as long as you are safe, there will be no issue of safety. At a sanctioned match, you may run into more comprehensive safety evaluations, but you are probably still OK. I wouldn't assume that nobody will care, though.
 

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I agree that a Mark III would be your best bet. Also get a 1993 or newer with the Cast frame as they beefed up the frame in 1993 when they introduced the .40 caliber and used that same frame on the 9mm's as well.

Strongest yet would be to take a .40 caliber mark III and use a 9mm conversion barrell. The .40 caliber gun has 3 barrell locking lugs in the slide instead of 2. I'd also recommend using a 18.5lb recoil spring.
 
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