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Thread: Argentine HiPowers...

  1. #1
    Member arizonaguide's Avatar
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    Default Argentine HiPowers...

    A few folks here seem to be as loving of the HiPower as I am...
    http://www.jgsales.com/product_info.php/p/argentine-fm-90-high-power%2C-9mm-very-good-condition-hi-power-model/products_id/4230?osCsid=c56729197e41f71aac64cff4f2c7cd06

    I hear the Argintines are fine. Anybody have (need) one?

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    Member gunbugs's Avatar
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    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Buy a real Belgian, or Portugese/Belgian Browning and don't look back. The fit and finish on the Argentine guns is lacking in quality. "Quality. There is hardly anything in the world that some men cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." That one is from John Ruskin. I would add that there is no substitute for QUALITY. Cheap, fast, well made. Pick any two, because you can't get all three at once.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    Member arizonaguide's Avatar
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    100% agree about the finish. I understand the Argentine "fit" is fine.
    So, if you're looking for a HiPower "shooter" I understand the Argentine are fully up to HiPower spec's.
    $299 for a reliable HiPower shooter/truck gun...I can get a lot of ammo for the finish difference between that and $800.

    But if you're looking for a pretty/collector HiPower...yes, spend the $800ish.
    Get one with a nice tangent rear site in case you want to make 200yd shots.
    Also the carbine type stock adds a premium to the value.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Default My $.02 now on sale for $.01

    I've messed around with a couple of Argentine HPs as well as several Belgian Browning versions. I've got a MkIII that I think very highly of.

    The Argentines functioned fine but it reminded me of a Soviet era Makarov in terms of fit and finish. Getting a gun to go bang isn't that hard. Getting it to go bang with panache? That's another story.

    I'll stick to the real deal.

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    Member arizonaguide's Avatar
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    I agree, if you can swing the $$$.
    My beloved was a MarkIII in .40, and I miss her.
    But, for $299 I've heard good things about the Argentine's from reliable sources...IF all you want is a "shooter" truck-gun type weapon.
    http://hipowertalk.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3278
    etc.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arizonaguide View Post
    IF all you want is a "shooter" truck-gun type weapon..
    I'd be happy for one if I needed one to live in the glove box of my pickup. I think HPs are pretty overpriced these days at north of $800 as well- particularly for that kind of duty. I think the 1911 guys are pretty fortunate with everybody and their mom churning them out- keeps prices in check. Not so much with HPs. A lot of younger guys looking for a hi-cap 9mm just flat overlook them and most of the folks wanting a HP just want a HP- no exceptions. Kinda leads to premium pricing IMHO.

    I agree on the MkIII .40cal- a good friend of mine bought one years ago. It is a very nice piece. I wish Browning would adapt the springs in the mag baseplate to the 9mm magazines as well. That was something I thought was pretty neat when we shot IDPA together- the empty practically shot out of the gun and fell clear. NO shucking required.

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    Member gunbugs's Avatar
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    All it takes to buy the real thing is to save your pennies for a while longer. You won't regret it. Life is too short to buy 2nd rate knock-offs.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

  8. #8

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    I was in Northern Security yesterday and noticed they had a .45 ACP HiPower for $100.00. Just thought I would mention this in case anyone is looking for one.

    Me, I just don't know if I would trust a $100.00 .45 not to fall apart.

  9. #9

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    Apparently I have confused Hi-Point with HiPower. The pistol I referred to in the above post was actually a Hi-Point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by normK View Post
    Apparently I have confused Hi-Point with HiPower. The pistol I referred to in the above post was actually a Hi-Point.
    Haha, big difference.

  11. #11
    Member arizonaguide's Avatar
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    Browning (NICE!) Nothing feels/shoots like it!


    The FM Hipower (argentine)


    Built in Argentina for the military to Browning specifications. Never been considered a cheap knockoff, but more of a very decent alternative if you wanted was a "shooter" rather than a "collector" (same Browning HiPower "feel"/ergonomics)...for half $$$.

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    Member gunbugs's Avatar
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    I've had plenty of both apart, and I'm sure which one I would buy. It's not Argentine. By the way, the pictures you posted are both of the same pistol. That's why they look the same.(Crude fit and finish). The only time the Argentines gave the Brits a run for the money during the Falklands conflict was when they stuffed a French Exocet missile into a Brit Destroyer. They haven't come up with anything original since the beginning of time. Second rate country, second rate arms.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

  13. #13
    Member arizonaguide's Avatar
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    Default Yes, they are essentially the same pistol...that's the point.

    Well, the first pistol was taken from the J&G website as being a Browning HiPower, the second as being a Argentine FM. So what exactly makes you think J&G got it wrong? I'd be interested to know...considering they are BOTH made on belgian HiPower equipment to HiPower specifications.

    The way I understand it the Argentine guns were built on belgian equipment to belgian specs. I haven't had one in my hands, so I wouldn't know for sure, but I'd be interested to hear you describe exactly how the Argentine's shortcutted the quality of the manufacturing (other than cosmetic "finish"). I have read that the FM's are a very decent alternative. So educate me with some valid supporting info, if you can.

    I believe you are wrong.

    I guess mistake was to try to pass on what many would consider a good deal for the money here, though. I should know better by now. There's folks on this site that will bicker about whether there's six of something, or half a dozen.
    In this case that's about the difference. Six, or half a dozen.

    And $500 for a prettier "finish". Because to my understanding the "Fit" is exactly the same. Same spec's/same tollerances.
    Different "finish". Sure a Brand new $1000 Browning MkIII will have much prettier blueing...and be $700 more expensive.
    That was the point. But most of the HiPower experts I've talked to would state the FM as NOT being junk.

    Here's a picture of a WW2 Browning for photo comparison:

  14. #14
    Member arizonaguide's Avatar
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    Or is it an Inglis? Canadian, Hungarian...? (Need a REAL expert to educate me).
    I just like the feel and "point" of the gun...whether it was made in Canada, Argentina, Belgium, Portugal, whatever.

    To my understanding they are all built on the same specifications. ALL are famous for reliability.

    And, if you look at the two you say are the same gun (above)...WRONG. you will notice the different colors of the pins near the trigger. One blued (Browning), one chrome (Argentine). NOT the same gun. Different wear patterns also, if you look close.

    Whatever, to each his own. I was trying to pass along info on what I understood was a good deal. Piss on it.

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    AG, if you want one, then buy one. If you expect the same quality and you know the difference you're likely to be disappointed with an Argentine HP. Otherwise you'll be perfectly satisfied. Don't get upset with those that want the "Real McCoy."

  16. #16
    Member arizonaguide's Avatar
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    Default And what exacly IS the "Real McCoy" with HiPowers? Belgian, Canadian, German?

    Agree, 1cor. I should know better than to try to pass along what I understood was a good deal here. You could have someone GIVE away a gun on this site, and someone would find a way to complain about it. Probably say it was some kinda way to get you into a "gun cult" or some crap.

    I won't make that mistake again. Hell, I like the Browning better too. I've just read the FM was a VERY respectable alternative, not a "cheap knockoff". I don't see any specific explaination about why it's not. No facts...just smoke.
    But, you're right. Piss on it.

    Here's my choice...but it wasn't $299 (and it wasn't Made in America either!) But, yeah...it had a real pretty finish.

  17. #17
    Member arizonaguide's Avatar
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    To my understanding...

    Argentina's love affair with the Browning High Power has been long and intense. It began in 1937 when the Policia de la Capital (The "Police of the Capital City," now known as the Policia Federal) ordered 1,600 Browning High Powers from Fabrique Nationale (FN) in Belgium for issue to high ranking staff officers. The military was slower to follow suit, but by the early 1960's issue of Belgian made High Powers was standard for Argentine Army officers, and by 1967 the Policia Federal had replaced its aging .45 ACP pistols with High Powers.

    In the late 1960's, the Direccion General de Fabricaciones Militares (DGFM) (General Directorate of Military Factories) entered into negotiations with FN in order to obtain a license to domestically produce the High Power. This license was granted in 1968, and in 1969 the Fabrica Militar de Armas Portatiles Domingo Matheu (FMAP "DM") (Domingo Matheu Military Small Arms Factory), located in Rosario, Argentina started to produce High Powers in Argentina. The Argentine High Powers followed the pattern of the FN Model of 1965; the pistols had externally mounted extractors, later style slide machining, roll pins, a two piece barrel, a phosphated finish, plastic grips, and a lanyard ring.

    The licensing agreement between Argentina and FN specifically permitted the export of Argentine made High Powers. As a result, Argentine military High Powers were exported to Bolivia, El Salvador, Honduras, Uruguay as well as a few other countries. Some of these Argentine Brownings, bearing the legend "Modelo Militar" as well as the DGFM slide legend were imported into the United States in 1976.

    In the late 1970's, the Argentine Brownings were again updated, this time to match the specifications of FN's Model of 1973. These updates included a redesigned barrel bushing, spur hammer, and the deletion of the lanyard ring.
    The whole point was it's a LOT of pistol for the money (much more than a "cheap knockoff")...NOT that it's a FN Belgian original from 1935. Show me a better pistol for $299.

  18. #18
    Member arizonaguide's Avatar
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    Default I do understand...though.

    Some folks are looking for just a little more..."finish"...rather than a "shooter".


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    Member gunbugs's Avatar
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    Just trying to point out that an Argentine P-35 is not as well made as a Belgian gun. Not trying to make anyone "angry". The simple fact is the Argentines are not known throughout the world for their high quality firearms. If you talk to folks who have been to Argentina, they'll tell you the Argentines are nice folks, a dollar goes a LONG way down there, and their manufactured items are crude at best. The last bit of info I can attest to as I've had many Argentine P-35s and FAL's apart and compared to the "fit" of Belgian or other well known makes of comparable products, they are not as well made. Looser slide to frame fit. looser barrel to slide fit, triggers are creepier and heavier, and generally just a LOT rougher than most others. However, you can certainly buy what you like. I don't think of myself as a "Gun Snob", just after selling guns for over 20 years and working on them full time for that long as well, I have pretty strong knowledge about what's well made and what I get to work on because they didn't do it right the first time. Sure, a chinese SKS works, and does what it is supposed to do, but are there better SKS's? YES. No offense, I hope. Good luck!
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

  20. #20
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arizonaguide View Post
    Show me a better pistol for $299.
    AG... Not really sure why you're bristling up about this Argentine HP thing but since we are all talking about our opinions here I think looking for "facts" is subjective at best. I don't have a "fact" of why I preferred the Belgian HP other than I just do. I'm not an expert by any stretch but I've handled and shot a generous pile of pistols so I've got a decent handle on what my opinion is. My opinion is that if the outside finish looks shoddy from the factory the guts of a piece probably do too. That's totally subjective on my part but in my experience its generally true. I've shot a bunch of Eastern bloc and not a few South American weapons that functioned well but looked rough including a Romanian AK and a Chinese Tokarev that both could have been hammered out on a rock somewhere. They worked and I suppose they could have been considered a good deal...but not my taste or speed.

    If I'm looking for a budget truck gun a used or PD trade in pistol is where I start. I've owned 2 Glock 17s, 1 G19 and 1 refurbed Sig 220 that I paid about $300 each for. Not a HP but not something I had any doubts about quality either.

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