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View Full Version : Browning Hi Powers: 'Splain why so 'Spensive?


23 Blast
04-30-2011, 7:45 PM
Just wondering what BHP folks know that I don't. Happened to drop by a gunstore today and noticed a pair of BHPs, one stainless and one blue, both close to $1000 in price. That's more than the Sigs, Berettas, CZs, and any of the polymer guns in their case. Are they worth it? Noticeably better in ergonomics, accuracy, etc? Or just inflated-price hype because it's associated with St. John?

morrcarr67
04-30-2011, 8:04 PM
That's like asking why a Mercedes is more than a Toyota.

C.W.M.V.
04-30-2011, 8:21 PM
Just wondering what BHP folks know that I don't. Happened to drop by a gunstore today and noticed a pair of BHPs, one stainless and one blue, both close to $1000 in price. That's more than the Sigs, Berettas, CZs, and any of the polymer guns in their case. Are they worth it? Noticeably better in ergonomics, accuracy, etc? Or just inflated-price hype because it's associated with St. John?
They are fine weapons, but I'm betting the bold above has more to do with it than anything.
But then you could also ask why the 1911 is so overpriced, $750+ for an entry level gun? Silliness.

LTP90
04-30-2011, 8:22 PM
That's like asking why a Mercedes is more than a Toyota.
Which is a good question, I can't stand to drive Mercedes, they drive me CRAZY, they are so uncomfortable, that being said....
I agree that its over priced. It shouldn't cost them anymore to produce than the other guys, they could at least try to be competitive.

orangeusa
04-30-2011, 8:46 PM
I've often thought that about Hi-Powers AND Sigs..... But I really have this itch for a Hi-Power - they really shoot sweet...

Think of it as a low-cost 1911! :)

.

Ranger20
04-30-2011, 8:49 PM
I can answer a guess in 8 letters: B R O W N I N G

shooterdude
04-30-2011, 8:52 PM
Just wondering what BHP folks know that I don't. Happened to drop by a gunstore today and noticed a pair of BHPs, one stainless and one blue, both close to $1000 in price. That's more than the Sigs, Berettas, CZs, and any of the polymer guns in their case. Are they worth it? Noticeably better in ergonomics, accuracy, etc? Or just inflated-price hype because it's associated with St. John?

Why is a FN 5.7 $1000? Why is a Keltec PM-30 under $500? Why is a Glock $500?

Polymer guns have lowered manufacturing costs by ALOT and should cost 1/2 of metal guns at retail but the profit margins are too sweet to let that happen.

The reason a BHP is $1000 is because people will pay. Same goes for Sigs.

orangeusa
04-30-2011, 8:53 PM
FN makes them - don't they?

Damiiaaannn
04-30-2011, 8:57 PM
Best gun I've ever had.
http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb142/damian1995/DSC05629.jpg

Mr. Beretta
04-30-2011, 9:16 PM
Best gun I've ever had.
http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb142/damian1995/DSC05629.jpg

Got the same gun in blue......

Love it! Fits my hand perfectly!

And that's coming from a Beretta Man!!!!!!:eek:

ianS
04-30-2011, 10:11 PM
Just wondering what BHP folks know that I don't. Happened to drop by a gunstore today and noticed a pair of BHPs, one stainless and one blue, both close to $1000 in price. That's more than the Sigs, Berettas, CZs, and any of the polymer guns in their case. Are they worth it? Noticeably better in ergonomics, accuracy, etc? Or just inflated-price hype because it's associated with St. John?

My guess is its simply an "older" design with parts that are simply more expensive to manufacture. And since its manufactured in Belgium (but assembled in Portugal) its gonna be about as expensive as a 1911 completely made and assembled in the U.S. Sort of like a Colt or Kimber. Unlike a CZ75 or RIA 1911 made in countries with cheaper labor and/or without the expensive exchange rates like the Euro.

But still I think the price is a bit inflated. FN/Browning know they're pretty much the only ones who produces the High Power design. Those who want one will pay to buy it. They know its a design that caters to a pretty specific group of buyers. Even when BHP's were going for $600-700 they weren't selling all that well. Its not like a Glock, SIG, H&K, or CZ that has more "mass appeal" and recognition to potential new gunowners. Most people who buy a Hi-Power know that's the pistol they want and usually weren't debating between Glock, SIG, or CZ.

Durasteel
04-30-2011, 10:17 PM
I bought mine used for $430...

CDNN has em for $700.

23 Blast
04-30-2011, 10:19 PM
Good answers, all. Yeah, I guess in today's flooded market, the BHP fills a sort of niche, rather than be a wide-offering company like Beretta, Glock, S&W, Sig Sauer, etc. Also, to my knowledge the number of clone manufacturers of the BHP is relatively limited compared to the legions of 1911 copiers.

I guess FN is content in maintaining the Hi Power as their expensive, seldom-sold, but eminently classic flagship model, while concentrating the bulk of their marketing, production, and development efforts toward the FNP.

12voltguy
04-30-2011, 10:26 PM
$796
http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/45435

$772
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=227804257

ianS
04-30-2011, 10:29 PM
$796
http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/45435

It seems like only a few years ago when a MKIII or even a Practical were priced under $700 at most local gunshops. :(

My very first handgun was a Browning HiPower MKIII back in 1991. It was less expensive than a Beretta 92FS or the SIG P226 9mm. The ones I really wanted was either the Beretta and esp. the SIG. But being a college student I went with the BHP. And being a fan of a movie back then called The Final Option (somewhat based on the British SAS successfully rescuing hostages at the Iranian Embassy) I was more than happy to get a BHP. Anyways, I dug into my old receipts and the price was $475. The Beretta 92FS was going for $100 more. The P226 about a $100 more than the Beretta. Today its possible to get a 92FS for less. And today the BHP often goes for a little bit more than the P226. My guess and its only a guess but its economy of scale. Beretta produces a lot for the US Military. And SIG still has Gov't contracts. Certainly more than FN BHP with few to none. Both Beretta and SIG no doubt outsells the BHP in the civilian market as well. When you produce a lot more its a lot cheaper to produce. When you make them in batches its more expensive to produce as well. I'm not saying its the only reason but another possible reason.

shafferds
05-01-2011, 3:27 AM
That is on the high side but BHP are dang fine guns :)

t001
05-01-2011, 8:14 AM
Probably a combination of their relative scarcity these days and LGS gouging. When FN decided not to import their version of the Hi-Powers anymore, the remaining stock was being blown out for $350~450 at many places such as CDNN.

zfields
05-01-2011, 8:30 AM
Shoot one. You will understand

Bongos
05-01-2011, 8:43 AM
People sometimes say nothing feel handguns designs are as comfortable as the Brownig HiPower and the Luger P-08. Like the 1911, there is a following for the Hi-Power. Very collectable in limited number, specially the ones from Belgium.. also, at one time in history, these were Military Issues all over the world

Viper49
05-01-2011, 9:08 AM
You can get a clone BHP from Argentine for half the price.

morrcarr67
05-01-2011, 10:51 AM
People sometimes say nothing feel handguns designs are as comfortable as the Brownig HiPower and the Luger P-08. Like the 1911, there is a following for the Hi-Power. Very collectable in limited number, specially the ones from Belgium.. also, at one time in history, these were Military Issues all over the world

They still are. In fact they are the number 1 military pistol in the world.

Q619
05-01-2011, 1:58 PM
Is it cheaper to start with two forgings, CNC them, grind/mill/lap them, and in many cases hand fit most of the parts?.....or is it cheaper to start with ONE forging/stamping etc to be machined to spec, mold some plastic and slap all parts together (because everything pretty much is made to the same tolerances and is interchangeable)?

Sunday
05-01-2011, 3:28 PM
I would rather have an XD. You can buy 2 for the same price as 1 Browning HP and they shoot nicer. In the early 70s we would dream owning a Colt Python and a Goldcup and a Browning Hi Power .

zfields
05-01-2011, 3:47 PM
I would rather have an XD. You can buy 2 for the same price as 1 Browning HP and they shoot nicer. In the early 70s we would dream owning a Colt Python and a Goldcup and a Browning Hi Power .

I owned both an XD and BHP

BHP > XD

CZ > BHP as far as ergos IMO.

l8apex
05-01-2011, 5:56 PM
The P35 during its time was a superb handgun. However by to todays combat standards, it leaves things to be desired.

Most of the BHPs pricing has to do with its heritage, not with it's effectiveness compared to modern combat handguns.

BHPFan
05-01-2011, 6:17 PM
It seems like only a few years ago when a MKIII or even a Practical were priced under $700 at most local gunshops. :(

My very first handgun was a Browning HiPower MKIII back in 1991. It was less expensive than a Beretta 92FS or the SIG P226 9mm. The ones I really wanted was either the Beretta and esp. the SIG. But being a college student I went with the BHP. And being a fan of a movie back then called The Final Option (somewhat based on the British SAS successfully rescuing hostages at the Iranian Embassy) I was more than happy to get a BHP. Anyways, I dug into my old receipts and the price was $475. The Beretta 92FS was going for $100 more. The P226 about a $100 more than the Beretta. Today its possible to get a 92FS for less. And today the BHP often goes for a little bit more than the P226. My guess and its only a guess but its economy of scale. Beretta produces a lot for the US Military. And SIG still has Gov't contracts. Certainly more than FN BHP with few to none. Both Beretta and SIG no doubt outsells the BHP in the civilian market as well. When you produce a lot more its a lot cheaper to produce. When you make them in batches its more expensive to produce as well. I'm not saying its the only reason but another possible reason.

I had the same experience as you as I was also a college student that time. My first pistol was a BHP Mark III and it only costed me $369 back in 1990. I was looking to get either a SIG P228 or a 1911, but both guns were out of my budget. Also, at the time, I wasn't interested in Glocks, S&W and Ruger semiautos, I was never interested in the Beretta 92 and the CZs were restricted from being imported. It's hard to believe that 20+ years later, the prices are reversed: BHPs are more expensive than SIGs, CZs, Berettas, S&W, Ruger and Glock.

I think it has to do with currency exchange (since Belgium and Portugal all moved to the Euro in late 90's or early 2000's) as it's not favorable for us. Another reason is brands like SIG, Beretta and possibly, Glock are now manufacturing guns in the USA, but FN is not manufacturing the BHP in the US.
The last reason I can think of is Demand from LEO and Military are more toward SIG, Beretta and Glock. So, these companies have to crank up the supply. I don't think there's a lot of orders for BHP from LEO and the military like years ago so FN cut down and reduced production of the pistol while other companies who made clones or were under licensed either went out of business (FEG) or just cannot import their HP pistols to CA (FM from Argentina and Arcus from Bulgaria).

USMC 82-86
05-01-2011, 8:01 PM
I agree with Ranger20. Browning was on the side of the weapon. I know I came from a Sig Sauer P226R .40 and while it was a very fine weapon. The Sig runs around $900-1000 with tax and DROS. I have a G19 and while it is not as pleasant to look at as my Sig was it is just as reliable and as accurate for me. I have even started to like the look of the G19. It helps that it cost half as much and I shoot it just as well. Don't get me wrong with unlimited resources I would also like a Dan wesson Bobtail a Wilson Combat etc. I have a hard time spending $1000 plus for a handgun because it is a nice looking weapon and it might be a half inch tighter group at 25 yards. If you have the resources and want one by all means don't hesitate. I want reliable and accurate and if I can get it for half the money I will. We also live in Ca and companies pay big money to sell their guns here. Quality comes at a cost sometimes. My Glock is all quality and a much lower cost.

brianm767
05-01-2011, 10:28 PM
I've always wished I could afford a Hi Power, never could, but I finally got my hands on one last month.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b116/brianm767/IMGP6571.jpg

InGrAM
05-01-2011, 10:33 PM
The P35 during its time was a superb handgun. However by to todays combat standards, it leaves things to be desired.

Most of the BHPs pricing has to do with its heritage, not with it's effectiveness compared to modern combat handguns.

+1 to this

orangeusa
05-02-2011, 9:11 PM
The P35 during its time was a superb handgun. However by to todays combat standards, it leaves things to be desired.

Most of the BHPs pricing has to do with its heritage, not with it's effectiveness compared to modern combat handguns.

Like the 1911? Umm, 100 years old? I agree to disagree.
.

l8apex
05-02-2011, 9:23 PM
Like the 1911? Umm, 100 years old? I agree to disagree.
.

We aren't talking about 1911s, we are talking about the P35, has nothing to do with age. If you are disagreeing to the point of it not being up to par with current combat handguns, I will wait for you to explain how it is.

TurboChrisB
05-02-2011, 10:35 PM
Huh? Say WHAT? What the hell are you talking about?


I can't stand to drive Mercedes, they drive me CRAZY, they are so uncomfortable.

rorschach
05-02-2011, 11:34 PM
http://retardnews.com/uploads/2008/prince-harry-interview.jpg

Hell, if it's good enough for Gurkha Harry on the line in Afghanistan, it's good enough for me...

Seriously, it's one of my favorite pistols, right alongside the 1911 and SIG P series. I think I paid 700 for my plain-jane blued MkIII when it was on sale at Turners a few years back. I added Hogue grips, they make a world of difference over the factory plastic grips.

Rhythm of Life
05-02-2011, 11:46 PM
I owned both an XD and BHP

BHP > XD

CZ > BHP as far as ergos IMO.

This. I've never had a gun feel more natural in my hand than my CZ.

brownfeathermedic
05-17-2011, 4:36 PM
If I had to equate my Browning Hi-power with a woman, I'd have to say she brings me as much Pleasure as would holding and carressing Hallie Berry. She's a pleasure to shoot and she's a looker,she's not finicky of what she eats,but then again, she's not a cheap date. Not long ago, there were many for sale on Guns America. I bought mine for $419.00. ,at Robertson Trading Post.

Can't buy anything here
05-17-2011, 6:16 PM
Best shooting 9 ever....

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e249/sipowicz/P1070484.jpg

razr
05-18-2011, 4:30 PM
You should be able to get them for 700 to 900 bucks. I have seen them in stores for as high as 1200.00. They are well made.