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I recently picked up a 1991 BHP and have been reading about Browning/FN's switch to cast frames.

When did they change? What are the differences? And how do I know what I've got?
 

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I think the change was made to the cast frame in 1993.
The cast frames are cast of harder steel than the forged frames.
The cast frames appeared when the .40 HiPowers did, so it's generally assumed they did it to handle the .40, but I donlt know if anyne at FN/Browning has ever said that.
Cast frames are identified by fore and aft serrations on the bottom of the frame around the mag well opening. Forged frames are smooth there.
Cast frame on bottom.
 

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If it were only that simple.
I got 2 Israeli surplus FNs that are identical, neither has the ridged base. However, one is cast and the other is forged. There must have been a transition period where the cast models were being changed and finalized.
 

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The earliest cast frames (circa mid-1993) do not have the "grooves" milled into the base of the magazine-well. I own a few and have seen many other cast-framed, commercial-marked (Browning Arms Co. Morgan Utah) Hi-Power's in both 9mm and .40 S&W that can only be identified by removing the slide and looking for the casting mark, no grooves at all. All FN-manufactured and dated (slide,barrel and frame) sometime in 1993.

Just from memory, all of these groove-less, cast 9mm frames still have the "long" rear slide rails carried over from the forged frames, deleted shortly afterward, probably in very late 1993. Just a rough estimate. Good luck.
 

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The earliest cast frames (circa mid-1993) do not have the "grooves" milled into the base of the magazine-well. I own a few and have seen many other cast-framed, commercial-marked (Browning Arms Co. Morgan Utah) Hi-Power's in both 9mm and .40 S&W that can only be identified by removing the slide and looking for the casting mark, no grooves at all. All FN-manufactured and dated (slide,barrel and frame) sometime in 1993.

Just from memory, all of these groove-less, cast 9mm frames still have the "long" rear slide rails carried over from the forged frames, deleted shortly afterward, probably in very late 1993. Just a rough estimate. Good luck.
I have a 1993 HP commercial-marked (Browning Arms Company Morgan, Utah & Montreal P.Q. s/n 245NX5077*) and trying to find out if I have the Cast or the earlier Forged Frame. Mine does not have any grooves in the bottom (which would indicate a Forged frame).

But since it is a 1993, I am guessing that it COULD have a Cast frame without the grooves, as you have stated. I have removed the slide as you suggested to look for Cast marks, but I don't know what I am looking for. I have also looked at the rear frame rails, but again I do not know if mine are the "long" rails or not since I do not have another post 1993 to compare to.

Would it be possible for you to tell me what the casting marks would look like and a description of what the "long" rails would look like? But even if it has the "long" rails and no grooves, that would suggest to me that it was indeed a Forged frame unless casting marks could be identified.

Even better would be pictures if you could supply them. Any other identifying marks on these 1993 models that would prove a Cast frame without grooves?

I know this would be VERY HELPFUL to all of us that own 1993 models.

Thank you;)

Editing was for spelling & grammar
 

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Would it be possible for you to tell me what the casting marks would look like and a description of what the "long" rails would look like? But even if it has the "long" rails and no grooves, that would suggest to me that it was indeed a Forged frame unless casting marks could be identified.
Here is an example, I don't know what the serial number is.


My .40 from 1994 has a capital delta or triangle just under the mag release inside the magazine well, but I don't have a picture of it.
 

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Thanks.....

From that picture, I have no mark like that. So, I guess then mine is the Forged.
 

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The frontstrap tells all . . .

From the photo that BarryinIn posted, note the difference in the material in the frontstrap of the pistols. The cast pistol frontstrap is very uniform and thin. The forged pistol frontstrap is thin at the corners and much thicker in the center.

I don't know how consistent these differences are, but these are very noticeable.

Hank
 

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Yep, by that information I definitely have a Forged Frame.

Thanks!
 

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I should say that the cast frame in the picture has had it's mag well opening beveled, so it will appear thinner than usual.
But yes, in general, the cast frames are thinner there. It just might not be as evident as it is in that picture.
 

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Thanks,

Mine looks EXACTLY like you top picture of the Forged frame. It is very thin at the forward corners and the front strap has the bulge.
 
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