Alloy Frame Questions

Discussion in 'Browning Hi Power Handgun' started by Stuber, May 29, 2020.

  1. Stuber

    Stuber Copper BB

    Stumbled into a reasonably priced High Power with a 1975 production date at my local gun shop. Didn't realize it until I got it h0me that I'd bought an alloyed frame gun.

    Initially I'd planned on sending it to Action Works for a trigger job, better sights and an ambi-safety install. I also thought that I'd replace the grips since the originals are long gone and had been replaced with a pair of smooth, ill fitting, cracked grips that look like they might have come from an FEG.

    Since this is my first run in with an alloyed frame High Power I'm not sure what I should do with it.

    Should modify it or return it to original?

    Just how rare are the alloyed frame guns? Wikipedia talks about a "rare" Mark I Lightweight model and other sites talk about an alloy police model. Are they one in the same? Does rarity translate into value or is it worth exactly what I paid for it?

    When did Browning introduce an alloy frame? Does any one have production numbers?

    What are the correct grips?

    Finally, the gun has no import marks. When did Uncle Sam start requiring them?

    I appreciate your feedback. Thanks!
  2. Soundguy

    Soundguy .22LR

    The Alloy Frame makes a wonderful platform. Mine, mated with an FM Detective slide, has become my preferred gun for carry. It weighs nearly half a pound less then a steel frame. I had night sights added to the FM slide... keeping the original slide as is for no particular reason except to save the extra cash from refinishing. It came with small three dot sights that work just fine at the range.

    If it was in pristine condition (NIB) it would have some extra value... others have said this at different forums. I think the Belgian Police Issue pistols of the '70s and '80s are not particularly rare, though they are far less common. I have a second one coming soon... to save some overnight shipping costs it's being refinished and tuned up before I even see it. It will be a great shooter. If I ran across a Rare early model... I might feel different about automatic alterations. I have never seen one.

    -Correct/typical grips were black plastic with a thumb rest... that's what came with mine and that's what I saw on 5 others I was able to pick from at the retail outlet of an importer. They said they had crates of 'em waiting to be added to the books. My new one will sport a pretty set of BHSS Checkered Master's Grips.

    -Of the six I looked at, two had tiny 3 dot sights and the rest were blade and notch.

    -Some importers are able to minimize the import marks. Mine, from RGUNS, was easily covered during refinishing. I'm guessing import marks began around 1968. If yours was previously owned here, it may have been removed. If the frame does not show holster marks, it may have been refinished. All 6 I looked at had similar wear marks and they all looked similar to photos of other recently imported for sale alloy frames.

    -There is no "Mark I" High Power, though I think Inglis designated theirs as the Mark I. I haven't bought the Inglis book yet.

    I'm sure Action Works will turn it into a fine shooter.
    Have fun with it!
    Stuber likes this.
  3. Soundguy

    Soundguy .22LR

    Stuber,

    My apologies. The grips that came with my 1981 Alloy are the checkered black plastic grips without the thumb rest, as pictured below. All 6 pistols I saw from that lot had the same grips.

    Alloy Grips.jpg

    This is the frame before refinishing... it shows the pattern of the holster wear which seems to be common to them.

    AlloyDetective.jpg
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
  4. Stuber

    Stuber Copper BB

    I'll download some pics tonight.
  5. Ibmikey

    Ibmikey .22LR

    958D70A7-35F3-428E-9A97-C77A742CDDD2.jpeg Stuber, I may be a bit late in responding but you inadvertently purchased a gem of a pistol, most light weights were finished in a thick ugly black epoxy and rumor has it most were issued to the Belgian police ostensibly for motorcycle officers. Also rumor is the total number of aluminum frame pistols is probably no more than two thousand so although not rare they are scarce and are commanding ever higher prices. My LW is Belgian Police marked, I had it stripped and graphite Cerakote applied along with Hogue checkered grips and a BHSS buffered guide rod installed. This pistol is one of my favorites in the twenty HP’s in my safes.
    Forgot....there are two types of recoil blocks in the LW pistols, the normal oval one which I understand was not completely satisfactory so the round style as in my pistol was used for the majority of production. Barrels for the round style are cut differently than for the oval.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020

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