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Old 10-07-2017, 05:32 PM
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Default Browning BDM

I found a like new, no box Browning BDM for sale at a local gun show this morning. It was literally the first thing I saw when I walked in and, after walking through the entire show, it was really the only thing I found that was interesting. (There were a couple of police trade in S&W 10-6s, but they were in pretty well used condition so I passed.)




It fits with my other Browning Hi Power descendants, including the Browning HP-DA (middle), and Browning SFS Hi Power (bottom).




I love the SFS Hi Power, and for concealed carry it's arguably the best Hi Power ever made. I'm not a fan of the HP DA, and had had low expectations for the BDM - until I picked it up.

The BDM has a wonderfully thin grip frame for a 15 round double stack 9mm pistol, and it has a commensurately short trigger reach, which makes it very easy to get enough finger on the trigger to give you excellent leverage for the DA pull. (A wide grip an slightly too long trigger reach is my major objection to the HP-DA.)

The BDM and HP-DA both weight the same 31.5 oz empty, but the BDM is much better balanced and feels so much better in the hand. Both pistols share the same styling changes in terms of angled slide and frame profile, squared trigger guard, have similar wrap around grips, and have provisions for lanyard loop, but the BDM is significantly thinner. Another significant difference is the much smaller slide release on the BDM. That, along with the raised ears on the rear of the slide clearly indicate it was designed exclusively for the "sling shot" method of slide release.



The "DM" refers to "Dual Mode" as a switch on the left side of the slide can be rotated to change the operation from a normal DA/SA pistol function, to a DA only revolver type operation where the pistol de-cocks after each shot to provide a consistent DA trigger pull. in the event you drop the hammer on a dud round and re-pull the trigger to try it again, it will have a slightly longer DA pull, as the default position for the de-cocked hammer is more of a quarter cock position. But for the usual DA pull from the de-cocked position, has a typical DA revolver length and reset, but slightly less smooth than most of my S&W revolvers. We'll see if it gets smoother after a couple hundred rounds.

In short, the BDM is thin, streamlined, comparatively light for a steel frame 15 round pistol, and by all reports I've read both accurate and reliable. This one was made in 1993, and is clearly superior than Browning's second attempt at the HP-DA. T

he Browning HP-DA and SFS Hi Power both had their origins in the 1983 XM-9 pistols trials. The SFS was disqualified as it was not a DA pistol, and the HP-DA was not successful in the trials but was produced for commercial sale until 1987 when sit was discontinued due to poor sales.

In 1990 FN resurrected it, marketing it as the Browning BDA9 and the BDAO (a non DAO variant) in the US and by FN as the HP-DA and HP-DAO, primarily in Europe. They had some minor changes such as the larger triangular de-cocking lever, but didn't really sell all that well in the US. Popular wisdom is that they were discontinued in 1999, but mine has the MM date code for 2000.

The Browning BDM was developed in 1991 for the FBI's service pistol trials, but it continued the Browning tradition of not being successful. Once again however Browning put it into production for civilian sales and it remained in production until 1998. The BDM was only produced by Browning and was not produced by FN for European sales. Browning also produced two variants that did not have the dual mode switch. The BRM operated in DAO revolver mode only, and the BPM-D operated in SA/DA de-cocker mode only.

As noted above, I have no great love for the HP-DA (but wanted one as a representative example), but the BDM is impressive, and it's unfortunate it never caught on with either police or civilian sales. I suspect lack of warm response was due in large part to the development of the .40 S&W, and the temporary slump in 9mm popularity for police departments looking for new pistols. I suspect part of it was also the head start Glock had for departments looking for a pistol to transition their officers from revolvers to semi-auto pistols.

Last edited by BB57; 10-07-2017 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 10-07-2017, 05:52 PM
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Very nice score

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Old 10-07-2017, 06:16 PM
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Great snag. Give us a ballparl on the price if you can.
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:38 PM
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$400 and tax.
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Old 10-08-2017, 02:20 AM
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$400 and tax.
WOW! Outstanding deal.
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Old 10-08-2017, 04:49 AM
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There has been one of those at my LGS for a month or so. I'm not sure if it's still there or not. I may have to take a look the next time I'm in.
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