Friday, October 28, 2011

Interesting Pistols

I have two 9mm pistols I know very little about. I do know they are old Browning Hi-Powers , I think made before WWII but I am not sure.
I acquired them many years ago from a man who owed me $300 and gave me these 2 pistols in lieu of money.

They did not have grips on them when I got them, They would have been wood, I installed the grips you see as a measure to be able to shoot them.  The serial #'s are 21XXX and are 3 numbers apart. When I tried to look up the numbers I could not find any that low. (The Serial #'s in the picture are partially covered.)

Here is a close up of the left side markings

This is interesting, they both have 500 meter tangent sights however being only 3 serial numbers apart notice the difference in the way the 2 sights are graduated.  The top one has the 500 mark near the pivot point of the sight while the lower is about half way.

Both are slotted for a shoulder stock. They also have an internal extractor which differs from the newer pistols. They still function and shoot well however I don't shoot them much. The serial numbers on the frame and slide match and apart from the grips appear original. I wish I knew more of the history behind them I am guessing they are more valuable together due to the serial #'s
From what I read they may qualify as a 
curio and relic.


  1. You need to ask Tam...she'll know. Of course, an internet search might help..I haven't any research books at the moment.

  2. Stephen, Maybe Tam can shed some light on them, I have done internet searches with little success. There is some like them but not that low a number.

  3. That is, at a minimum, about $2,000 worth of pistols in those pictures. Pre-war Belgian Commercial High Powers (can't see any Belgian military acceptance marks or foreign crests.)

  4. P.S.: I'll be happy to give you double what you paid for the pair! ;) :D

  5. I'll bid one dollar higher than Tam...

  6. Tam, Thanks for the info, I may in fact sell them one day because I really don't 'need' them I mainly just figured they were an investment.
    Stephen, Make that payment in face value pre-64 silver coin and you got a deal.

  7. I have the coin...thinking....

  8. Some of these also qualify for an grandfather exemption of the law about short barrel rifles if you were to put the shoulder stocks on them.

  9. Odysseus,

    I believe that to be correct.

  10. (The C&R exemption list to the SBR rules can be found online here: )

  11. Okay, here it is, straight from the BATFEIEIO:

    "Belgian, Pre-war mfd. Hi Power pistols, in cal. 9mm having tangent sights graduated to 500
    meters, slotted for shoulder stock, having S/Ns of less than 47,000 without letter prefixes
    or suffixes and accompanied by original Belgian mfd. detachable wooden flat board type
    shoulder stocks."

    So, if you have an original Belgian shoulder stock for the pistol, you can use it, but using a reproduction would require registering the gun as an SBR.

  12. Odysseus, I wish I had a stock
    Tam, I have seen new stocks but I guess they could not be used legally. Of course it would really be a novelty, I can't see trying to hit anything smaller than a bus at 500 meters with a 9mm pistol. I'm sure an original stock is more rare than the gun itself.

  13. Color me jealous. I'm a Hi-Power guy and those are beautiful. You came out way ok on that deal. Waaaaaay ok.

  14. Murphy's Law, I like the Hi-Power as well, in fact I have a newer one I shoot rather than these.
    I like the Browning design this and the 1911 is my favorite auto loader by far.

  15. mother of gawd - brownings have always been my fave 9mm...but that's because all of my weapons training was done on old WWII the Canadian Forces in the late 80's...yep, do the math. pretty sad in some sense...pretty great in another. i wouldn't trade my sad weapons training for anything. did i mention that i looove brownings?!?!?!?

    i would kill Stephen, Mudbug AND PioneerPreppy for those! and if recquired - i would find Arsenius who is currently on a top secret mission in Iqaluit...

    let me know what you want for them buddy. let me know.

    your friend,

  16. 500 meters in 9mm is beyond dreaming. I've shot 9mm out of a carbine, and 100 meters is about the furthest there is 1 foot groups. They are being lobbed in like mortars at 200 meters.