Building a more accurate Hi-Power

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by White Hawk, Dec 26, 2006.

  1. White Hawk

    White Hawk New Member

    Apr 14, 2006
    I've got a bone-stock Browning Hi-Power (other than the Hogue grips), and I've always considered these to be very accurate guns. Then I bought a Sig P220 SAS and suddenly the Hi-Power doesn't look so good. What's a good route to take in modifying the gun to make it more accurate and predictable?
  2. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2001
    Here at TFF
    Quality adjustable sights, properly fitted barrel and a trigger job will make the Hi-Power a tack driver.

  3. omegapd

    omegapd New Member

    May 8, 2005
    Trigger job is correct. "They" say that removing the magazine disconnect does wonders for the trigger.
  4. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    Hi Power triggers are terrible mostly because of the magazine safety. There is a little arm on the trigger that pushes against the front of the magazine and that arm's little foot has to slide verticall against the body of the magazine as the trigger is pulled. It is the reason so many Hi Powers have a gritty trigger. Remove it and reduce the sear engagement, install reduced power springs and the trigger becomes tremendously better. But now it has over travel. I installed a small allen screw (nyloc insert) into the area in front of and just above the trigger so as to limit the over travel on the internal part of the trigger mechanism. Now you have a sweet trigger!

    Barrel fitting is tough on Hi Powers because the slide has no barrel to slide bushing. What ever clearance you get is what you get unless you can find a barrel maker to either make an oversized match barrel that you can fit or make one to exactly (plus clearance for motion) fit to your slide's dimension. A Match barrel might have better fit of the barrel lugs that engage into the slide making the clearances in that area tight. The trick is the slide and barrel must fit together in lockup with no motion between them possible (must remove recoil spring to check this. There is one more spot that may need modifcation and that is the pad on the bottom of the barrel lug that rides up and onto the top of the pin in the frame that forces the barrel up into the slide. If you get the fit there tight enough it may push the slide up in its rails so as to minimise any rocking that the slide might want to do on the frame. But remember the tighter the fit of the gun parts (like the slide to frame, barrel to slide, barrel to frame) the less reliable the gun becomes as all those clearances change as the gun heats up.

    My Hi Power is a work in progress. My Charles Daly HP is not an exact clone and required some tricky machining (and welding) to get a real HP match barrel to fit. The match barrel chamber was so tight that some reloads that were a mere 0.0005 inches too big in diameter (a die adjustment error by me) jammed the gun solid. The chamber was cut to minimum dimensions and the ammo only off by that 0.0005 inches. My next project is to change the sights to regular target sights and ditch the combat sights that came on the gun.

  5. White Hawk

    White Hawk New Member

    Apr 14, 2006
    Thanks for the great advice, everyone. I'll let you know as my project progresses!
  6. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    White Hawk, an old friend and fellow shooter, Armand Swenson, (you may want to google his name, or 'Swenson's .45 shop) often thought 'outside of the box', and simply said, "it needs a bushing".
    His work on the Hi Power is easily distinguished by the presence of a 'screw in' barrel bushing; I never saw one leave the shop, without.
    The mag disconnect is an easy thing to lose, but the trigger still works up thru the frame, back, thru the slide, then down, thru the frame, serving as the disconnector, as well.
    Every piece in the chain needs to be inspected, polished, geometry checked, if you want that 3# 'Colt ' trigger.
    Bar-Sto Machine used to manufacture barrels, excellent ones, both 'drop in', and for fitting, to the pistol.
    Hope this gives you some ideas.
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