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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, newbie question. On impulse, I just picked up an Argentine FM at the pawn shop for $210. It is in excellent condition. It seems to be an earlier version as it has a tang hammer and no M-95 markings. Is it worth it to use as a base for an extensive conversion (new sights, extended safety, two tone refinishing, etc.) or should I just stick to FN? I know about the CDNN $399 pistols, but if I had one I would still do the conversion and the FM was half the price. Thanks for any advice.
 

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The early FM Hi-Powers are excellent pistols. They will never have the value of an origional Browning/FN pistol, but if you want a good shooter you have the base platform.
The early FM Hi-Power pistols were assembled using Belgian made slide and barrel. Look at the proof marks. If you find a capitol letter IE: T with a star above it, usually located on the right side of the slide and behind the gripping serrations, that is the Belgian proof mark for a component. It is usually found on the underside of the barrel.
Get a Cylinder & Slide extractor minimum. The extractor is the only part that I have had giver me problems in my FMs. (It only developed after 7 or 8 thousand rounds, so I'm not complaining.)
I've also started having C&S hammer and sear installed. It's worth it.
After that it's up to you. There are plenty of good sight finish modifications out there.
 

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Totally worth it!

These are great guns, and the money you save on initial cost makes the smithing an even better deal. Enjoy.
 

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I personally consider it like a car...

There are people who spend $25,000 on upgrades on a $10,000 civic, and might be able to sell it later for $15,000 if they get lucky, because its a civic.

Then there are people who spend $1000 on upgrades on a $30,000 pre-owned BMW, and sell it for $30,000 after use.


I personally carry a FM with some cocobolo's from woodgrips.com, and im totally happy with it. If i was going to buy something that had to stay with the hi-power (stippling, yost custom work, etc) i'd pick up a browning or an FN, as people generally respect it more, and it would have better resale, if i ever decided to sell it.
 

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Here's my answer...............



I installed the sights and did the action work. Other than tightening the extractor and some polishing, it didn't need a thing.
Tried the rosewood grips shown here, but the stock plastic ones just feel better. :scratch:

This is a very accurate pistol. It'll group WWB into 1 to 1 1/2" at 25 yds with me doing the steering.
Nice for carry or IDPA ESP class.

Hard chrome by Accurate Plating & Weaponry.

John
Cape Canaveral
 

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If it is a FM with the straight sides, no tapering on the front, I would limit customizing to trigger job and extended safety. I have one of these that has the painted finish, ugly but works well.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the info. I had my dealer order a CDNN FN yesterday, just because I am really beginning to like the FN more and more. I am not sure what I will do with the FM.
Markings on the right side consist of a "F" on rear slide, a "P" below it on the frame. Thers is a symbol stamped on the trigger guard and the barrel that I can not identify. Matching serial numbers on slide, frame and barrel.
Left side markings are "FM HI-POWER/ INDUSTRIA ARGENTENA" and "Made by DGFM-Argentina/CAI ST. Alb VT/ Cal 9mm Para.
The slide has an "A" and a "X" stamped at the bottom, inside. Something else stamped there, not sure what it is. BTW, the slide does taper at the front.
I assume this is just a standard FM pistol. I will probably just get an extended safety and leave it at that. I plan on going to the Dallas Market hall show in a few weeks and might try to trade a HK USP .45 for a Browning Practical Hi-Power. Thanks again to everyone.
 

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I ownthe original century arms (bought new in early 90's) DGFM hi power and one of the blued Argentina police 'mil contract' FN's in (hand picked out of about 50 examples) in exc condition. Had them both long enough to compare them in detail.

The "FM" is a virtual twin of the non commercial, working grade military FN's of the 50's and 60's (except for the matte finish) and are every bit as good. A solid example of the classic FN gp35. These are great because the follow the original spec and material of the original design i.e. forged frame, internal extractor, ring hammer. Where can you get this for $210 these days!

Ditch the mag safety, polish up the feed ramp, and drop in a wolf's recoil spring and you're set.
 
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