Week in and week out we receive feedback from customers. Sharing that feedback, with permission of course, is not only potentially helpful to others considering Robar® for their smithing work, but it’s also flat-out fun!
Like grandparents whose grandkids just made the honor roll, these after-modification emails brighten our days immeasurably — they serve as proof that our insistence on excellence in everything we do pays off.
Last Saturday we received another such missive from one very happy Browning Hi Power owner, Paul S.
To set this up, let’s take a look at some non-trivial trivia about the Hi Power. Anthony Vanderlinden writes in his American Rifleman article, “5 Little-Known Facts About the FN Browning High Power”:
1. High Power or Hi-Power: If the gun is marked “Fabrique Nationale,” it is a High Power. If the gun is marked “Browning Arms Company,” than it is a Hi-Power. The Hi-Power nomenclature was introduced by Browning in the 1950s in order to avoid confusion with the Browning High-Power Rifle. The original pistol, as introduced in 1935, and all subsequent variants marked and sold by FN, were labeled High Power.
2. The black paint found on some High Power pistols originated from a French request in 1929-1930. This request was, ironically, not tied to the development of the High Power for the French military, which was ultimately never adopted. It was instead requested for the FN Model 1922 for use by the French Navy. FN developed a corrosion-resistant finish by applying black enamel paint over a phosphate base finish. This finish remained a standard for decades and was used on many military arms including the post-war High Power pistols, FAL, and FNC rifles and other models.
3. FN manufactured very few pre-war pistols with fixed sights. Asides from pre-war serial numbers, these can always easily be identified by the fact that the frames are always slotted for shoulder stocks.
4. Serial numbers and contract numbers: FN maintained serial numbers for commercial pistols, military and LE guns were typically made on order. If a customer requested it, guns were marked with contract numbers (example 1-500) instead of the standard serial number. Consequently, a low number does not necessarily indicate an early production pistol, it can be part of a contract run.
5. The red paint on the back of the pre-war and post-war grips is actually a moisture barrier applied to avoid absorption of humidity/water by the wooden grips. The red color was coincidental and had no specific significance. The practice was abandoned in the 1960s and modern grips are now often painted red in order to pass them as period originals.
Some background on the legendary pistol:
The Browning Hi Power is one of the most revered pistols of all time. This ground-breaking firearm was originally designed by John M. Browning and perfected in the years following his death by Fabrique Nationale’s prolific designer, Dieudonne Saive. The Hi Power has proven itself around the world in the hands of law enforcement, military, special operations forces and law abiding citizens.
Hi Power collectors search gun sites and gun shows these days for the increasingly rare pistols because, as noted at their site:
No longer in production. The Hi-Power is one of John Moses Browning’s finest designs. And although it is possible to still find Hi-Power pistols at dealers across the U.S., the Hi-Power is technically out of production. Current dealer inventories will be the last available from Browning for the foreseeable future.
Now, let’s look at Paul’s kind words to Robar®:
I received the pistol back yesterday. It looks FANTASTIC!! I took it out today and gave it some range time and determined that it shoots as good as it looks!!
I want to sincerely thank you and your team for the work. I am so very pleased.
Please be sure to convey my thanks and respects to the gunsmiths that did the work. I am beyond impressed and will happily recommend Robar to anyone I know looking for custom work!!
I have another project gun that I will be contacting you about shortly. It is a FEG Hi Power clone that I am wanting you to perform a similar treatment to.
Paul was kind enough to send along some photos of his Robar®-renewed pistol, and you have to admit, it’s a beautiful firearm!
Though not mentioned by name, I suspect our smith, Jodi, moniker the “Hi Power Princess,” had a hand in restoring this pistol.
We can’t thank you enough for your feedback and sending the photos, Paul…our reputation is built upon 35 years of treating each firearm as if it’s the most important pistol/rifle/shotgun you own.
A win for Paul equals another huge win for Robar®!