Tuesday, July 07, 2015

1938 "Mexican" Browning High-Power Turned in at LA "buyback" in May, 2014

This "Mexican" Browning High-Power was one of many fine firearms turned in at the Los Angeles gun "buy back" in May of 2014.  It stands out because of the custom grips, which appear to be mother of pearl, inlaid with Mexican emblems and framed in silver.

The pistol has the slide at the full rear position, yet the barrel is only showing about 5/8ths of an inch in front.  It should show about 1 3/8ths.   Look at the other side.

The barrel is extending half way back above the magazine!  It should not be in that position. Someone disassembled the pistol, then did not put it back together properly.   Did they think it was broken?  Is that is why they turned it in for $100?  This sort of configuration can easily happen if the pistol is assembled without the recoil spring.  The grips alone are worth a $100 to a person who likes that sort of art.  Quite a bit of labor was expended in making those grips.  The serial number shows as 10109.  The serial number does not seem to fit the serial number scheme for the Inglis pistol given here.   A look at the markings on the left of the slide shows a blurry "Herstal Belgium" I wonder if anyone checked to see if it was reported stolen. 

The slot for a shoulder stock and the long range adjustable rear sight show the pistol as most likely made before WWII.   According to this site, the pistol was made about 1938.  Here is a right side view of a tangent sighted version:

And a left side view of a Candian version made by Inglis:

The tangent sighted variants made in Belgium are not as common as the fixed sight version.  While the pistol that was turned in has been abused, it would still be worth several hundred dollars.   I wonder if the pistol came to Mexico with a German fleeing from the end of WWII.

It is a shame to see these valuable bits of history melted down for scrap.  Several states have passed laws to prevent tax dollars being used to support such waste.   California is not one of them.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


Anonymous said...

Its sad when a moron does not know how to put a gun back together, but you are right the gold and silver are worth much more than 100 dollars. If I had made those grips they would be over 500 dollars.

Wireless.Phil said...

I don't think the slide will even go back on if the barrel is not installed correctly.

Anonymous said...

It won't be melted down; some commander or captain has it in his "personal collection".