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 Post subject: Sokol Browning Hi Power
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:23 pm 
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Back about five months ago I sent a used pistol to Karl Sokol of Chestnut Mountain Sports. I asked him to complete his $750 Hi Power package with a few additions. The 1st special request was to blue the gun rather than paint it. Another option I wanted was to have an extended safety fabricated as opposed to buying something like the C&S extended safety. Lastly, I had him install a gold bead front paired with a black rear.

The pistol came back to me last week and I wanted to share these pics. Overall, I am quite pleased with the gun. The work is nice and clean. No frills but rather sensible and practical mods that should yield a pistol suitable for general carry, IDPA, plinking, etc. The trigger is crisp and smooth and measures just a bit over six pounds. Not shocking since we're still running factory FN trigger springs.

One thing I noticed with the gun, not related to Mr. Sokol's work, is the slide markings on the right. The slide shows "Made in Belgium" and nothing else. Other MKII guns I've seen have been marked with "Assembled in Portugal." But this is the first MKII style pistol I've seen that was not the matte finish plastic grip version. This particular pistol, prior to sending off, was polished blue with the small sights. It has the MKII firing pin safety but does not have the flat rib on top nor the hole under the muzzle in the recoil spring housing.

I used the gun for a portion of a Gabe White pistol class this last weekend. I managed to earn a light pin using this pistol and a Privateer Raider avenger-style holster.

Anyway, here are the pics:

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:44 pm 
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Real nice, been hearing about Karl for a long time!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:56 am 
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So I have pistol #2 with Mr. Sokol now.

This gun is a 1987 vintage I bought fairly cheap from Mach 1. Being a surplus, it has seen some abuse. The trigger guard was bent in and was rubbing against the trigger. The frame had a few other bumps and bruises and someone appears to have done a "carry bevel" to the slide's front edges using a ball peen hammer.

Otherwise, the gun actually seems decent. The bore is bright and shiny and frame to slide fit is good. The sear pin still fits fairly well too. So a gun that appears to have been kicked around, abused and neglected but maybe not shot into oblivion.

Before sending to Karl, I sent the frame to Pullman Arms in MA and had the trigger guard fixed. They also cleaned up a couple of the more egregious dents.

Other issues include a broken safety lever on the right side. The gun also fails the click test.

I am asking that Mr. Sokol does his $750 package but with Heinie sights rather than Novak. I'll also have the gun blued rather than painted. Navidrex grips will again be used.

Here's the gun now as shipped. While I had it apart I removed the mag safety. I also used a Devel style bobbed hammer and a slide stop lever that's been flush cut on the right edge of the pin. These parts came from a FEG Hi Power I bought some months back.

I'll post pics of the tuned gun as soon as I can. And I swear one of these days I'll shoot the 1st Sokol gun on paper at 25 and post results....


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:42 am 
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Certainly good 'nuff as a starting point! If it were mine I would shorten the safety shaft and call it a non-ambi.

De-horn by ballpein-- I'll have to try that!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 2:58 am 
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I got "the email" last week. The second gun is done and ready to ship. Payment has been sent and will hopefully be received today.

I will post info/pics as soon as I have the pistol. I'll hopefully see it right around Christmas.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 4:56 am 
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Karl sent me a couple teaser pics. I'll see if I can get them posted here.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:30 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 9:32 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 1:15 pm
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That first one has a very Ted Yost looking thumb safety. It's a shame FN didn't keep up with the P35 in design and engineering. but I guess once the world went polymer,t here wasn't any point to it.

Still, I have my 4 or 5 and that will do for now.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2020 7:33 am 
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Quote:
That first one has a very Ted Yost looking thumb safety.
Similar although the Yost safety has a longer paddle and a more upswept angle from pics I've seen.
Quote:
It's a shame FN didn't keep up with the P35 in design and engineering.
I think the final iteration with the cast frame, dovetailed sights and ambi safety are pretty swank but probably about as much as FN could do. Maybe they could have extended the frame tang and added a light rail but even those changes probably wouldn't have kept the lid off the P35 coffin.

FN seems to be struggling with a modern design. HP-DA, BDM, FNX, FNS, 509. None seems to have gotten much traction. Nothing on par with the Hi Power that's for sure.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:09 am 
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Nice. See if before he ships it he will TIG around the place where the safety shaft joints the paddle. I have not done it that way but is seems like it ought to be an effective quick fix. If he doesn't do TIG let's talk, maybe I'll have my guy do it along with mine.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 3:59 pm 
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Quote:
Nice. See if before he ships it he will TIG around the place where the safety shaft joints the paddle. I have not done it that way but is seems like it ought to be an effective quick fix. If he doesn't do TIG let's talk, maybe I'll have my guy do it along with mine.
Uh oh! I've already got a tracking number.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:49 am 
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