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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an opportunity to buy a Browning HP. I am told that they weren't introduced until 1954 and that the serial number range begins in the mid 50,000's.
What is this?
It needs a good wipedown.
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There are fingerprint smudges all over it!
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Serial # 49912
 

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The Browning Hi Power wasn't imported till 1954 it was made before then (1935 an onward) . Question on yours is it slotted in the back strap ? Either could have existed at this time. According to the BB of Gun Values and sites and others (who could be wrong) Pre World War II BHP's are Fabrique Nationale rather than Browning. You serial number would fall at the end of the line before German occupation based on serial numbers posted on page 881 of the BBoGV. What are the proof marks on the barrel ? the slide shows the Liege proof marks but for military models there should be another acceptance mark. WWII production should be Waffenampt Proofed type 1 pistols serial # 42,000-46,000+ AFTER serial number 50,001-51,200 or so they are all proofed WaA 613 . SO if that is not a counterfeit you have a unicorn of a BHP for sure. I would consult browning itself to be sure what you have it could be very rare
 

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Post war Austrian police contract gun most likely. Are the mags numbered? Any markings on the front lower grip strap? It would not be slotted. Many were imported 20-30 years ago. The prices almost doubled in the past 5 years.
 

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If it were Austrian, there should be a L.G.K. (Landesgendarmeriekommando) stamp on the front strap.

I think it is most likely an ex-German police High Power from Nordrhein-Westfalen (NRW), where these were standard issue to uniformed police from 1952 to 1966. There are no state-specific markings for NRW, but the pistols fall into the serial range between 30,000 and 56,000, which your pistol does. The holster style also matches the standard NRW issue holster. See picture below.

PS: If the price seems reasonable to you, buy it. Early 50s production Belgian High Powers are the best ever made.

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That is incorrect. There were numeric(no alpha prefix) serialed guns made post war before the T prefix was introduced. Check your references.
Guess someone should tell the Blue Book of Gun Values that pages 880-882 are wrong then. I'm going off the material I have. 3rd line down. Granted it is the 2020 version and data may have changed
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Guess someone should tell the Blue Book of Gun Values that pages 880-882 are wrong then….
The section you pictured only states “Early (1944-45) models are identifiable by an A serial number prefix … “

So this really does not conflict with anything stated here since the guns like the OP’s and the German police guns are later and fall into the time when the switch to non-prefix numbers had occurred. The T prefix came later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow! I am impressed! I take the Blue Book with a grain of salt. While it is a font of knowledge, I noticed over the years that it could be and occasionally was wrong.
I also noticed that it said that to "Add $100 for the 'T' prefix". Unless I don't understand something here, it seems that they can with or without come without a 'T' prefix.
In any event, I'm getting it for $900 with two mags and a holster. Hopefully (!), i will have it on Thursday, if not Wednesday and I can supply better pictures and more information, if there is anything there that wasn't pictured when I decided to buy it.
Thanx to all.
Tim
 

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True, I dont declare it a 100% bible of knowledge it does provide a reasonable base. It does not take into account special things especially with the BHP like the old IDF guns & the few British one that have hit market somehow etc but does account for Wafen marked ones the 2021 is out the 2022 releases in April. Its odd because lower (pre 40,000 serial numbers) largely were non tangent sights then there was the batch starting at 42,000-46,000 suppose to be one way then the other. etc. This is all adding to the confusion and mystery and no one is slinging insults I think we are all puzzled by the mystery. BUT this is what happens when someone overruns your country and continues to make weapons and record keeping is not really what they care about I suppose and you try to track it down 75 years later or better. I posted the pages. Again I am going off 2020 edition and will be ordering the 2022 edition next month.
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In any event, I'm getting it for $900 with two mags and a holster. Hopefully (!), i will have it on Thursday, if not Wednesday and I can supply better pictures and more information, if there is anything there that wasn't pictured when I decided to buy it.
That is definitely a buy-now price. These went for that six or eight years ago. The last one I saw at auction was somewhere around 1200 or 1400 IIRC.

Check back of holster for a matching serial number.
 

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For $900 thats not much of a decision for me the visa would be out. Nice find and pick up. I don't see how I missed the $900 price but yeah thats a snag for sure. If you intend to shoot it much find a spare extractor for your parts box just in case.
 

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To all,

Does the alphabet letter under the star proof have anything to do with the date of manufacture or is it an inspector identifier? With Astra pistols, the different letters denote a year of manufacture. What is the best guess as to when the OP pistol was made? Thanks.

Geo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, I got the pistol. No serial numbers to indicate it being West German nor Austrian.
There is a manufacturer for the holster.
I took pictures of every part and number/letter I could find.
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Not too pleased that the Police Officer scratched the legend. I'm going to have to get his badge number!!
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