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  1. #1
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    Default Browning High Power Barrel - Problem?

    I think these pictures tell me that I have a problem. Is looks like a fracture to me. just in front of the lug and about where the cartridge case would head space.

    I purchased this for my dad about 1973. With the gun purchase I also purchase a box (50) of Browning 115 gr
    ball ammo. Dad hadn't shot half the box. Dad passed away in 2007 that is how I ended up with this. I shot 2 mags of "hand loads' through it. 6.0gr of Unique and 115 gr HP. Extremely accurate, too.

    I'm 50 yards from a machine shop. I'm going to walk it down and have them confirm, then....start looking for a replacement barrel. Odd, I think because I didn't think that the hand load was anything over +P performance.

    Belgium Browning

    Edited: Machinist confirmed....Split
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails High Power Barrel 001.jpg   High Power Barrel 003.jpg   High Power Barrel 004.jpg  
    Last edited by Muggzy; 02-21-2012 at 08:09 AM. Reason: more info

  2. #2
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    Most Browning Hipower barrels were 2 piece, and show a little seam right where your is.
    http://hipowers-handguns.blogspot.co...e-barrels.html
    Looks weird the first time you notice it.

  3. #3
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    Oh man!!! Wrench! Thanks! thanks for the education.!!! Yeeha!

    Randy

  4. #4
    Clyde's Avatar
    Clyde is offline Gold Bullet Member and Noted Curmudgeon
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    Well, your load is fairly hot, but shouldn't be at a level that would break the gun.

    My High Power (50699) shows no sign or indication of a two piece barrel, so that is a later innovation. Looks to have proper proofs. I'd suggest getting confirmation of it being a two piece construction - Magnaflux, dye penetration, radiograpghic exam - before doing more shooting. Just my paranoia, I suppose.
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

  5. #5
    cpw's Avatar
    cpw is online now Diamond with Oak Clusters Bullet Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muggzy View Post
    I think these pictures tell me that I have a problem. Is looks like a fracture to me. just in front of the lug and about where the cartridge case would head space.

    I purchased this for my dad about 1973. With the gun purchase I also purchase a box (50) of Browning 115 gr
    ball ammo. Dad hadn't shot half the box. Dad passed away in 2007 that is how I ended up with this. I shot 2 mags of "hand loads' through it. 6.0gr of Unique and 115 gr HP. Extremely accurate, too.

    I'm 50 yards from a machine shop. I'm going to walk it down and have them confirm, then....start looking for a replacement barrel. Odd, I think because I didn't think that the hand load was anything over +P performance.

    Belgium Browning

    Edited: Machinist confirmed....Split
    A cost cutting design. Easier to make the two pieces separate than to do the entire barrel. No know problems with that.
    Charlie

  6. #6
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    doggonit Clyde!! chuckle. The machinst comment was....."it looks like a split BUT it's really straight".

    I might give Browning a call with a cereal (:0)number and see what they have to say. I won't shoot it til I get
    a confirmation

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muggzy View Post
    doggonit Clyde!! chuckle. The machinst comment was....."it looks like a split BUT it's really straight".

    I might give Browning a call with a cereal (:0)number and see what they have to say. I won't shoot it til I get
    a confirmation
    Mine looks the same;maybe not quite as pronounced as yours and yes,it is really a straight seam.

  8. #8
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    It's made that way because its much easier and cheaper to machine the barrel from drawn steel tubing, machining it to size and cutting the top lugs, then brazing it into a forged breech and bottom lug. It's as least as strong as a 1 piece because there are fewer things to go wrong than in a 1 piece machined forging. Here's a post from Jim Keenan on the 1911Forum.com:

    Barrels for the 1911 type have traditionally been forged to rough shape, then machined to final shape, drilled and rifled. That, as you gather, is a very expensive process. A cheaper method is to make the barrel two piece, using a piece of high quality steel tubing as the barrel itself.

    There are two ways to make a 2-piece barrel. One is to make the rear of the barrel as a forged or machined block, with the lower lug as part of it. The block is then drilled out and the barrel tube, with the top lugs cut into it, is inserted into the block. Induction brazed together, that makes a pretty strong setup and has been used by FN in the Browning High Power for many years. I consider that type the equal to a one piece forged barrel.

    The other way is to make the barrel from a tube, then weld on the lower lug. This is a much weaker arrangement, and I have seen some with the lug peeling off. I would not own a pistol with that kind of barrel and, if I had one, would immediately replace the barrel with the one-piece type.
    I swear by Jupiter Optimus Maximus .... in the army of the consul Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus and for 10 miles around it I will not steal anything worth more than a sestertius in any one day.

  9. #9
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    My Argentine Hi-Power has the exact same seam on the barrel. It didn't "appear" until I had well over 15,000 rds through the pistol. I too was a bit concerned (not knowing any better) until I handled a few dozen Hi-Powers at gun shows and they all had the same seam.

    6.5 grains of Unique has been my standard load for 25 years. Just happens to be the same amount of Unique I use in the 45ACP too. Saves time not having to readjust the equipment. Never had any problems with the load. Not what I'd call +P either. Very accurate, though.

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