This is an Inglis High Power in 9mm caliber. It accepts the standard Browning 13 round magazine --- or at least looks like it will. I do not have a modern HP magazine to try in it.
The left side of the Frame is marked "MK I*" and directly underneath reads "BROWNING FN HP INGLIS CANADA", with the cutout for the slide stop lever between the "HP" and "INGLIS" markings.
The right side of the frame only has written the serial number but it is found there three times: on slide, frame, and barrel hood. All numbers are completely visible and match. The number is 2084xxH.
I bought this gun at a gun show several years ago and two external parts came along with it. The first is a wooden holster with hinged lid that fits the pistol perfectly with no rattles. The lid is secured by a push button latch. When you want to use the gun one pushes the button and the top piece hinges open so that it may be withdrawn. The wooden holster also has a metallic stud mechanism attached at the barrel end which mates with a slot in the pistol butt backstrap to form sort of a short barrel carbine. It rattles.
The second extra piece is made of tan leather into which the wooded holster slides and is secured by leather straps.
The rear sight is adjustable for elevation only (that I have been able to find). The blade slides along a ramp which is graduated in distance markings. There are two small push buttons on either side of the blade (of which only the left one pushed in on my pistol.) and allows the blade to extend all the way forward up on the slide to indicate “500” and I assume this is meant to signify yards instead of meters because of its manufacture in Canada.
The finish appears to be green Parkerizing which has been painted over with black paint, making the pistol appear quite unattractive and unsmooth due to some slight rust spots and freckling. Inside, the green finish has been left alone and it looks quite nice.
There are some additional marks on the gun which I take to be proof or assembly marks. On the slide and frame aft of the serial number one finds a ¼ or so inch British type “X” on each. Both are very lightly struck but I can make out a crown in one of them in the top quadrant formed by the X.
Next, aft of the magazine entrance one finds “CDE” and below that is found “H.B. CA”. Treating this space on the end of butt as a clock face, one finds three additional smaller letters arranged around the periphery of the gun at the nine, six, and three o’clock positions respectively: a “K”, a “J” and an “M”. These letters are so small I would guess most people would need magnification and good light to read them as did I, especially the K, J, and M.
I wonder if anyone can tell me about this pistol. I know the general story about the FN plant being run over by conquering Nazi’s and the British funded reverse engineering project in Canada to resume production of a nearly identical pistol. But I am curious where my particular sample might have been, or seen battle.
Is this gun safe to shoot with modern standard or plus P pressure ammunition?
Should the right hand rear sight button push in, or perhaps it is a means of setting windage?
Will standard 13 round Browning magazines fit?
Will the gun have any problems chambering JHP bullets?
And finally, is there any collector interest in such a piece and if so, what range of value should I assign it for insurance purposes?
Thank you in advance. All comments are most welcome.
Well, first things first.
Sounds like you have one of the rarer and most likely complete examples of the Inglis I've heard about lately. Stop over at fnhipower.com and just watch out for the drool.
As you stated, it was made to supply allied forces during the war. The P-35 was IIRC, the only handgun made by both sides for active use during WWII. With the butt stock and carry pouch you have the complete package.
The Mk Is worked best with ball ammo. It's likely to choke on JHP and I certainly wouldn't feed it +P or +P+. But the Mk Is I've shot were remarkably accurate with ball. It will use all standard P-35 parts.
It's definitely a collector and sounds like it's in original issue conditions. Congratulations.
Inglis of Canada made MANY Browning HPs. Mainly there are two versions. One like your's and the other with a fixed rear sight.
The matching numbers is good, as that's the way they were marked (i.e. on all three pieces).
The "*" in MkI* indicates it has an improved extractor over the MkI, but most are this version, so no biggie there.
The stock may be original or a repro. Either way, it's leagal to use on your BHP as long as it's the same design as the original (which it is according to your description).
I don't know about the yards/meters on the sight. Trying to shoot someone at 500 "x", I honestly don't think it's going to matter much in accuracy if it's yards or meters. If you can hold it that tight, you can adjust for the slightly longer meter/shorter yard.
The Chinese bought a huge bunch of these exact guns. Many of these were imported into the US back in the 80's. I had one. I don't think your's is one of these though. IIRC the Chinese guns had some prfix on the S/N like "CH" or something. My current Inlis (fixed sight) has a "T" prefix and honestly I don't know the significance of that either. If your's has no prefix, it may be worth quite a bit more than a Chinese contract gun would be. Definately check it out in detail with a BHP expert before selling it.
Mine didn't shoot any better with the shoulder stock on or not. I would have thought it would have made a difference, maybe it does at longer range. Mine fitted rock solid, with no movement, but it was a repro I bought and fitted myself. The shoulder stock isn't all that useful in reality, but it's WAY COOL no matter what anyone says about utility.
As for the other questions:
It's safe as any gun to shoot with standard ammo. The Brits still use BHPs and that's with NATO ammo. I'd lay off the +p or NATO spec stuff just because the possible value of the gun makes no sense to wear on it when you don't have to. I'm no great fan of +p in anything anyway, so there you go. But normal, standard 9mm should be fine.
The button on the rear sight should push in IIRC. I could be wrong as all of this is on memory from way back, but it's just like the tangent sight on a KAR-98 or similar. The button locks the rear sight in place at the range selected. There is no windage adjustment, other than drifting the sight, same as a fixed sight model.
13 rd BHP mags will fit and function fine. As well as they would in an Argentine, Belgian, etc. They are interchangable.
It may have problems with JHPs. Most older guns do. Try it and find out. That's about the only way. It shouldn't have problems with FMJ.
As I said, there may very well be some collector value to the gun. Check with someone who really knows BHPs, like the forum cited above.
Many thanks to Ross and Sig for their answers. They are most appreciated. I will go to the hpbrowning site and repost my original message and see if anyone there can add to my understanding of this pistol.
Regarding the holster and leather holder, I don't know if they are reproductions or not but if I had to guess, I would probably say they are not original. They seem to be worn some, but not as much as one would expect for something sixty years old.
Thanks again fellows.
any markings on the stock like S.A. 1945? Just curious. Does sound like you have a nice rig. May be an import judging by some of the markings though. i.e. H.B. CA... Could be a California importer
Wow! Sorry all for the HUGE pictures. I am not a professional Web person and I specified these at 640 x 480. Thankfully I don't have plans to post any more pictures!