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Value of Pre War Browning Hi Power

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Shipbuilder, Dec 11, 2008.

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  1. Shipbuilder

    Shipbuilder TS Member

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    A family member recntly passed away and has several old guns. One is a Browning 9mm Hi Power with Nazi markings and an artillary sight, probably made in the late 1930s. I would judge gun about 90%.

    The heir wants to sell it. Any ideas of a fair price?

    Jim
     
  2. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    Shipbuilder,

    You are asking a loaded question here...

    The Hi Power was first manufactured by Fabrique Nationale in 1935 (90% list for about $1,000) - these guns command a premium, other countries of origin can command LARGE premiums ($2,000 or more), or lower premiums.

    You need to know the TRUE country of origin. Does it have a lanyard loop at the bottom of the grip? Is the hammer solid or skeletalized? Does it have any stock attachments for the grip (some could be fitted with an extended stock). Does it have an original holster?

    By Serial number you can tell the year of manufacture - then go forward from there
    (I believe the Blue Book of Gun Values lists years of production for the pistol).

    David D
     
  3. Shipbuilder

    Shipbuilder TS Member

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    Manufactured by Fabrique, no lanyard loop, solid hammer. The markings I referd to are the Nazi eagle,no swastika.

    Jim
     
  4. Shipbuilder

    Shipbuilder TS Member

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    PS no holster or shoulder stock attachment.

    jim
     
  5. shannon391

    shannon391 Active Member

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    I would not sell mine. I do not think a better side arm is available. A simple single action, fits the hand and points natuarly, high mag capacity, slim and fairly compact, they keep working, feed well and tune nicely in the right hands.

    Still a favorite with many operatives.
     
  6. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    With this warning - there are lots of fakes out there (especially of type I)... 27th Blue Book as source.

    There are three main variants you would expect to see Nazi markings on at 90%.

    Type I Consisted of Fabrique parts assembled by the Germans after occupation (this would have the tangent sight and a slotted grip) ~$2,100.00

    Type II Tangent sight, no slot in the grip ~ $750

    Type III Standard fixed sights ~ $400

    based on what you say yours is most likely the type III, with the eagle you should add 20% to the above number (may also be marked with an "N" - it should LACK "WaA140" as a proof). Again, additions and subtractions make the value go up and down on this one (e.g., synthetic grips - add 15%).

    I would suggest you hit a gun show and show it around - make it clear you do NOT want to sell it, just say it is for family member - and trying to figure value for estate planning.
    Sadly, if people think you are interested in selling it they may low-ball you on a price. Ask several people and should should get near the ball park. Remember it is the variations on this that will affect value the most.

    Personally, I have seen the price of these pistols drop of late - the original pistols from Europe (Belgian made) were exceptional - but they were contracted out all over the world (~70 different countries produced them under license). Lots of these pistols have entered the US of late, and while the design is basically the same, the quality is less - and this has served to pull down the value of the 'good' ones by association.

    David D
     
  7. Shipbuilder

    Shipbuilder TS Member

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    Dave: Thanks, this helps. By tangent sights do you mean a sight which has gradieants, I think in meters, and can be raised and lowered? That is what this gun has. I know the gun has been in the individual's possession since 1963, I shot it then, so I doubt it is a fake but I guess it could be.

    Again, Thanks
    Jim
     
  8. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    Jim,

    Yes, that is the tangent sight. - Looks like it is a type II - Cool pistol and a great piece of history.

    You might want to write out the history of the pistol (uncle Earl got it from great grand-dad who took it from a German officer in'41...). The more you can back it up, the better for the value.

    Look for proofs of WaA613, WaA103, or WaA140 - the Eagle might mean none of them are present. All parts should match (often there will be the main serial # {123456789} while parts would have just a portion of it {6789}).

    Take a hard look at the quality of the finish - I don't mean how much is left, but how well the gun was finished in the factory - early in the war the finish was just like the commercial ones - later quality suffered. This too affects value.

    I have a Belgian made one - my fist firearm, bought on my 21st birthday - still shoots like a dream, despite tens of thousands of rounds. I've had it re-built twice, and you'd never know...

    David
     
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