Sunday, May 10, 2009

FM Hi-Power and .40S&W?

Hi Ferfal,

Thanks for your blog. I don't think things will get so bad here in the
U.S., but they'll get bad enough. Your experiences are helpful in
keeping me rational about how to cope with the coming troubles. For the
moment, I have a technical question for you.

I'm a particular fan of the Argentinian FM Hi-Power. It's not as finely
finished as the FN Hi-Powers, but it seems to be quite tough, shoots
well, and is cheap enough that if I lose one it's not the end of the
world. But folks in the U.S. don't really know much about them, so I
thought maybe you'd know something about my question.

I was noticing that the FM Hi-Power frame is strengthened in exactly the
same way as the FN .40S&W version of the Hi-Power. Cast frame,
beefed-up right rear frame lug, and thicker ejector. So, if the
metallurgy of the steel FM uses is as good as (or better than) the
Belgian steel, I should be able to put an FN .40S&W slide (and stiffer
recoil spring) on an FM frame and bang away with .40.

Do you know of anyone who has tried this? I've asked around a bit here
in the U.S., but nobody seems to know.



FM "Hi-Power" Model Detective

Hi Neil,
I was a bit surprised when I read about a known gun collector in a Guns &Ammo mag, saying he “babied” his Argentine FM High Power. It’s certainly not necessary, not at all.
If you have to “baby” a FM Hi Power, you probably need to put even bigger diapers in a Glock, and Glocks are tough.
FM Hi Powers have forged steel frames, built to military specifications.
Here cops have used them and abused the for decades. Out of ammo? No problem, just use some SMG labeled 9mm ammo on it.
(Important: You shouldn’t use submachine ammunition in a handgun because it’s much hotter than +P, given the greater tolerances of the long gun)
They constantly use hot ammo that would brake some of the best guns out there, and I’ve heard of and seen Glocks and other guns brake, while I’ve never heard of a FM Hi Power cracking a frame or slide.
Knowing the kind of use and abuse Hi Powers can tolerate, I wouldn’t doubt about using a 40 S&W slide on them. Like with any gun, firing a more powerful round, the lifespan of the frame will be reduced, but that’s something your grandkids may notice.



theotherryan said...

Brownings are tough for sure. Glocks are probably more ruggged in terms of conditions and reliability but those big old steel frames can take a lot of stress. You never know what can happen with those sort of things. If going that route I would put it in a rest surrounded by sand bangs and pull the trigger via a string.

A guy I used to know who hand loaded did ammo for his Browning where he litterally filled the casing and had to cram the bullet into it and they shot just fine.

Bones said...

Kind of off topic, but I just picked up a new Bersa Ultra Compact 9mm and right out of the box it's the nicest gun I've ever fired at half the price of the "name brands". Solidly built, too! I found out about Bersas from your blog and from an offhand positive comment made by a local range owner. You Argentinians make great guns!


Neil said...

Thanks, Ferfal. I finally noticed you had answered my message.

I've not yet tried the .40 slide, but I've run some pretty hot 9mm+P rounds with no ill effect. Actually, I've come to prefer my FM over my FN--the trigger pull seems just a bit better.

The "Detective" compact slide is really nice, too. It handles quickly, is accurate, and conceals well for me. I wouldn't run many +P rounds through it, though. Some folks have had problems with the barrel lugs peening after a few thousand +P rounds.

Anonymous said...

I am in America and love my FM M-90. I think the pistol is beefier than the FN and it is my carry pistol. Argentina makes some quality pistols.