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  #1  
Old 04-07-2021, 11:48 AM
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Default Hi Power Imports- Who paints guns like this?

Picked these up yesterday at a local business. They had about 40 of these as of Saturday all painted like this. $299.00 each. They may have only about 15 by now. My question is why are they painted like this?
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Old 04-07-2021, 12:03 PM
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Training pistols?

John?
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Old 04-07-2021, 12:11 PM
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Great price! Who made 'em?
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Old 04-07-2021, 12:20 PM
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Someone with little to no taste!
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Old 04-07-2021, 12:25 PM
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I don't know who made them for sure. It says Fabrique Nationale De Guerre Herstal-Belgique. Browning's Patent Depose I'm just guessing they're fakes.
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Old 04-07-2021, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zipdog View Post
Hi Power Imports- Who paints guns like this?
Jackson Pollack...?
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Old 04-07-2021, 12:53 PM
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Can't speak about those specific guns
but once long ago had a Canadian made
Hi-Power contracted for shipment to
China during WWII.

The gun worked wonderfully but it had a
coat of enamel paint on it that looked like
it was laid on with a spatula.

I surmised it was typical war time type
of finish where the polishing process
was skipped and the paint was deemed
more resistant to pitting than normal
bluing.
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Old 04-07-2021, 12:56 PM
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Paint job aside, given today's firearms pricing that's one hell of a great deal.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:02 PM
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Genuine Belgian Brownings, even if assembled in Portugal! If the barrels weren't pitted or worn out, I'd buy at least one or two. My guess would be they came from Israel.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:07 PM
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They were marked to distinguish them in inventory for a specific reason, perhaps as training guns as mentioned. Or the ones to be sent away for sale in gun stores in SW Ohio.

The slide stamping sounds correct for a factory gun. A great deal at that price if mechanically sound, and paint thinner should take care of the red stuff.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleEd View Post
Can't speak about those specific guns
but once long ago had a Canadian made
Hi-Power contracted for shipment to
China during WWII.

The gun worked wonderfully but it had a
coat of enamel paint on it that looked like
it was laid on with a spatula.

I surmised it was typical war time type
of finish where the polishing process
was skipped and the paint was deemed
more resistant to pitting than normal
bluing.
Yeah. You are referring to something called Suncorite. It was a paint product-a version of it was used on most commonwealth small arms back then.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murphydog View Post
They were marked to distinguish them in inventory for a specific reason, perhaps as training guns as mentioned. Or the ones to be sent away for sale in gun stores in SW Ohio.

The slide stamping sounds correct for a factory gun. A great deal at that price if mechanically sound, and paint thinner should take care of the red stuff.
The guns look to be functional and not worn out. I hope to be test firing tomorrow. Cleaning them up today.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ContinentalOp View Post
Jackson Pollack...?
I was gonna post that!
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Old 04-07-2021, 02:01 PM
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I would guess for training. They're painted on the side that would show for a right hand holster.
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Old 04-07-2021, 02:05 PM
mckenney99 mckenney99 is offline
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While it could be a marking to indicate "out of service" for some reason, I would think the painting would be more uniform on both sides. Almost looks like they had paint spilled on them. However, after cleaning them up real well, leaving the surface dry, I would go over the guns with a magnifying glass under good light looking for any possible cracks in the frame, slide, locking shoulder, barrel and breach face.
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Old 04-07-2021, 02:14 PM
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The UK is known for painted guns. Enfield rifles are a good example.
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Old 04-07-2021, 02:30 PM
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I have seen a lot of police trade in carbines at a local gun store that had white paint and numbers on them. Looked like the officers marked their gun to be easier to identify from others maybe.
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Old 04-07-2021, 02:51 PM
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Interesting, one group of people wouldn't give them a second glance and a second group would be attracted because of the mystery but still annoyed someone did that to a gun. I am in the second group.

At $299 apiece I would certainly pull out the wallet. If they shoot you got a steal. If they don't you aren't out a fortune and they will be great for pulling out of the safe as "spice" for when the conversation lags.

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Old 04-07-2021, 03:28 PM
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I love the first group of guys. I wish there was more of them to leave all the goodies for someone else.
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Old 04-07-2021, 03:42 PM
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Zipdog....are these at AIM surplus?
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Old 04-07-2021, 04:02 PM
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The FBI used red handled revolvers for use of force training back in the dark ages (1975). I know because an agent brought a box full to our basic academy.
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Old 04-07-2021, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nocents View Post
Zipdog....are these at AIM surplus?
Yes they are at Aim Surplus. In the showroom for walk in customers only. No need to call and try to get them to ship them because they won't ship any firearms in the showroom. They might have some left if you get there today. Some have the early extractor. All are ugly.
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Old 04-07-2021, 04:47 PM
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Long time ago the LGS had Mod. 15 Spokane police trade ins. They had boxes of them. I mean cardboard boxes with the guns just tossed in them. When you went there they just put a couple boxes on the counter and let you pick one. I went there and got one and my brother wanted to get one. We went back and looked through the boxes. Found one that was in real good shape except for the grips. They were painted red. We thought, OK, maybe a training gun. Looked great but we passed on it because they all had Spokane Police Dept. and a 3 digit # on them. That one was #666. With that and the red grips we decided not to take Satan's gun and found him another one.
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Old 04-07-2021, 04:49 PM
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Inspect thoroughly before shooting and test chamber dummy rounds and functioning with mags, then switch to live ammo for non-shooting functionality. Then hit the range.

Our agency had dedicated inventory for blank fire only training. The firearms were modified so they would not be able to fire live. That was done in a couple of ways, one of which was to install a restriction device in the chamber or barrel.

Still a deal even if you add a new barrel.

Have fun!
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Old 04-07-2021, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MG-70 View Post
Genuine Belgian Brownings, even if assembled in Portugal! If the barrels weren't pitted or worn out, I'd buy at least one or two. My guess would be they came from Israel.

Israel would be my guess if I had to make a guess. Itís a little odd that they are painted though.

I was researching my Israeli high-power a few years ago (mine came with yellow tape on it) and it seems the Israeli police would mark their handguns so that during a shootout it was a way to help tell the good guys from the bad guys. Not sure exactly how accurate my research was but I guess if nobody is in uniform and everyone is shooting then you just shoot the people that donít have the color of the week marking their firearms.

My particular example also had a Star of David stamped on the frame near the trigger guard but I understand that marking wasnít real common.
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Old 04-07-2021, 05:16 PM
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The importer of these has records on the net that they have purchased from a place in Omen. My guess is they were part of a Middle East country's inventory. Possibly Iraq.
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zipdog View Post
The importer of these has records on the net that they have purchased from a place in Omen. My guess is they were part of a Middle East country's inventory. Possibly Iraq.
If they came out of Oman then the red paint may be some kind of capture mark. I'd leave it on. Nothing worse than finding a well worn M1917 rifle where a former owner decided to use paint stripper on the red stripe the Brits use to indicate that they didn't take .303. Stripping the paint kills any collector value, IMHO.
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:13 PM
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Since I don't have proof of that the paint is coming off.
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:24 PM
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While on another forum read a thread re the current price of any new or old High Power including all the clones, $299 would be considered pocket change.
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:30 PM
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Reminds me of my friend who owns an auto repair shop. His tools were all painted fluorescent green to remind his mechanics who they belonged to. It appeared that he just laid them out and they all got a random spray to each side.
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:35 PM
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I would be highly cautious that they are unserviceable and would do a complete detail strip and examine them under bright light and magnification before introducing any live ammo.

The pricing alone makes me think that too. Why would any importer sell a genuine High Power to a retailer for a price that the retailer can make money at $299 unless they were bought for a song, and why were they priced so low ?

If they are serviceable but have worn finishes, they are still at least a $600 gun in today's market, maybe even more.
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:40 PM
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Maybe they were going to be used on Mars but they couldn't afford to sit on them anymore so they sold them.
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray1970 View Post
Israel would be my guess if I had to make a guess. Itís a little odd that they are painted though.

I was researching my Israeli high-power a few years ago (mine came with yellow tape on it) and it seems the Israeli police would mark their handguns so that during a shootout it was a way to help tell the good guys from the bad guys. Not sure exactly how accurate my research was but I guess if nobody is in uniform and everyone is shooting then you just shoot the people that donít have the color of the week marking their firearms.

My particular example also had a Star of David stamped on the frame near the trigger guard but I understand that marking wasnít real common.
I have a supposed Israeli surplus CZ75 Pre B with the yellow tape on the slide. Coincidentally, it also has a lanyard loop, stud and ring, located on the left side of the bottom of the grip frame, such as on the OP's gun.

I don't think the red paint serves the same purpose, but I read that the yellow tape was to identify friendlies during a battle. There are pics out there showing similar stickers used by LEO in the recent storming of the US Capitol building, except that the stickers were red and white.

Why Plainclothes Police Had Striped Reflective Tape On Their Glocks During The Capitol Siege
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:56 PM
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Last summer there were some S&W 5906's on Gunbroker with blue paint, and at the time they were identified as US surplus training guns that used a specific type of training ammo. I believe it was also discussed here within the last year.

I believe in the 1990's guns painted a bright color were used in at least one overseas country to make sure people being trained did not confuse a weapon loaded with training ammo and their regular carry gun. If they happened to do that, an instructor could tell immediately. Magazines were also colored.


edit: I vaguely remember that said training ammunition also required different recoil springs, so I would check that in any used gun which looked like that.

Last edited by PeteC; 04-07-2021 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 04-07-2021, 07:12 PM
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Having worked for an agency that used "modified" actual duty weapons with specially created "ammunition" for force on force training, those pistols do not appear to have been marked for the same purpose. The painting is too hap hazard and does not cover both sides in sufficient amounts to make them visible enough to prevent inadvertent use with live ammo.
Quick and dirty marking of captured/surrendered weapons of some sort is possible.

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Old 04-07-2021, 07:29 PM
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I have one of them almost cleaned up. It looks beautiful in my eyes. Before anyone gets all worked up about their value i would say they are FN fakes but very good fakes. Still worth $300 in my opinion. I don't doubt I could get $600 or more for them. I have every confidence they are safe and will run like a sewing machine.
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Rego View Post
I would be highly cautious that they are unserviceable and would do a complete detail strip and examine them under bright light and magnification before introducing any live ammo.

The pricing alone makes me think that too. Why would any importer sell a genuine High Power to a retailer for a price that the retailer can make money at $299 unless they were bought for a song, and why were they priced so low ?

If they are serviceable but have worn finishes, they are still at least a $600 gun in today's market, maybe even more.
It wouldnít matter to me one bit whether unserviceable or not. Iím handy and parts are plentiful. $300 for a hi power is an instant yes. Even if itís a FEG-made fake.
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:54 PM
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Right on. I was in the skilled trades for 47 years. Not much scares me.
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:42 PM
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Looks like the sort of paintjob you see on guns in Call of Duty online multiplayer matches. Seriously, apparently kids love guns spattered with random paint colors, so it wouldn't surprise me that much if someone bought a Browning Hi-Power then splashed some red paint on it to make it look like the 1911 they use in CoD online matches. In fact, if it were neon green, pink, purple, or yellow, then I would be certain of it.

Sometimes police departments paint training guns, or otherwise guns loaded with less lethal riot ammo but they typically just paint the grips, and they don't just randomly splatter it like that, they remove the grips, spraypaint them blue for training or orange for riot control, let them dry, then put them back on the gun.

That being said, $300 for a BHP is a steal, and paint can easily be cleaned off by a number of finish-friendly cleaning products, so don't worry about it. Congratulations.
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zipdog View Post
Since I don't have proof of that the paint is coming off.
Could just replace grips with shooting grips and hang on to the red ones ...just in case they are valuable !
Hope it shoots well . I've always wanted one but never in the right place at the right time with disposable cash !
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:54 AM
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You bought two so worse case they have issues and you’re able to get one reliable, functioning gun out of the pair. Even then you didn’t do bad at all in today’s market.
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Old 04-08-2021, 11:16 AM
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AIM sold some Israeli FN Hi-Powers a few years ago very cheaply. I bought two of them at the time. They had the black paint finish (similar to the British WWII Suncorite) but no odd splotches of other colors. If the one source is correct that they came out of Oman perhaps it was a quick and dirty way to identify government property? I think if they were dedicated training guns they would have been a little more thorough to ensure instructors could quickly identify a gun intended for training ammo only.

As to the price, there have been some really good deals on surplus firearms, especially if they have finish issues, over the last few years. I would suspect the importer sorted out the splotchy looking ones (or got a great price if the whole lot was that way) and wanted to move them quickly. Lower price equals quick sale and fast turn around on their investment. Most of the companies selling surplus have varied prices depending on condition and unless extremely rare ugly guns are always cheaper than the nice ones. If I had seen this earlier today I would have headed down the road to AIM myself for one instead of heading off to work.... oh well, maybe next time
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Old 04-08-2021, 01:18 PM
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Upon very close examination and disassembly I now agree that these were captured guns and haphazardly marked as such. On one of them the slide release pin had so much dried paint inside that I almost couldn't get it out of the frame even with a hammer. Paint was in the frame in the slide rails and that would be a no no. Some paint had run from one side of the guns to the other side of the gun. I can visualize that these guns were lined up in a table or the ground and some guy came by with a rag wrapped around a stick dipped in a bucket of red paint lobbing the paint on. Sorry to the guys who think these are reject guns full of problems but these are going to prove as totally functional guns ready for work again. That's my opinion after close examination of the 2 I bought. One of mine is now void of the paint excepting the right grip panel. I might leave all the paint on the other gun. It's raining here today so I can't shoot either one like I hoped. Might as well go look at more of them since it's raining.
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Old 04-08-2021, 01:26 PM
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I hope you'll post some "after" pics once you've gotten them cleaned up and running.
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Old 04-08-2021, 02:11 PM
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While working as a government contractor at one of the US National Laboratories, many desirable (easily pilfered) metal items (tools and instruments mostly) were daubed with special red "paint" in a similar haphazard manner. This paint had special properties such that even if it was completely removed with solvents and even sandpaper or grinding, it could still be detected with a proprietary scanner. The story is that it bonded with metal at a molecular level. Stuff to be marked would be spread out on a table as described above by Zipdog, then the items were very crudely marked with the red paint.

Some Items that I used had glops of paint in very inconvenient places, and it indeed, it was very difficult to remove.

As I recall, the color of the daubed-on paint was a perfect match to what is shown in the photos.

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Old 04-08-2021, 02:16 PM
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Radioactive paint?
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Old 04-08-2021, 03:00 PM
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I have some P229 magazines that have red paint on them, too. They function fine.
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Old 04-09-2021, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zipdog View Post
I don't know who made them for sure. It says Fabrique Nationale De Guerre Herstal-Belgique. Browning's Patent Depose I'm just guessing they're fakes.
I have this BHP which was made by the Germans when they took over FN plant during WW2. It was in sad shape when I bought it so I carefully polished it so not to remove markings then rust blued it. BTW it was made in 1942
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Old 04-09-2021, 10:12 AM
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perhaps when the ordnance dept of whatever country was going thru their handguns to select and mark those they were going to dispose of they splashed some paint on them to make sure they stayed in the same pile they were tossed into.

"...OK, into small box, bad, splash paint, toss into big box."

I like HP's, and shoot mine often. One is my home security pistol.

All the best, and stay safe... SF VET
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Old 04-09-2021, 12:02 PM
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Well since it was raining yesterday I went back to Aim just to look at the paint jobs on their remaining Hi Powers. They had 6 of them left. So much for just looking. I brought home another one and it is the one on the right. The one on the left has been cleaned up except for the right grip panel. A few miles down the road I stopped in at another place on my circuit of adventures. I walk in and on the counter was a box. I look inside and count 13 of the same guns with the red paint. He said those are not for sale . I think that was the only time I've been in there and didn't buy something. The mystery deepens.
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