The Replica Prop Forum

The Replica Prop Forum
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Day by Day Cartoon

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Picked up a new Pistol

I've wanted a Browning Hi Power for years.  Ever since I fired my neighbors WWII bringback Hi Power that had Nazi Proofmarks and Waffenamt marks.  I could never afford one.  Now I could barely afford one of the Israeli Brownings, however they are MKIII's.  Not a MKI or a MKII.  So the closest I could find to a MKII that I could find, that I could afford is a FEG P9M.  And I found one at S.O.G., so last week I ordered one.

I ordered it on Wednesday before 12:00 p.m., paid the extra $30.00 for UPS Two Day Shipping.  So it should have been here Friday.  Except my order wasn't processed until Thursday at almost the close of business and shipped at the end of the day.

According to UPS, my shipping label wasn't printed until 4:30 p.m. Thursday and was picked up at 6:34 p.m.

Well I went and picked it up at my Sooper Sekrit Gun Store, and it looked, well....  Horrible.

I have bought used and surplus firearms from AIM, J&G, and Buds, and NEVER have I received a firearm in such a bad condition.  It wasn't even packed in it's own box, it had been packed with other items for my FFL, just in a wrapped in paper and tossed in the box.  I paid for MY pistol, to be shipped BY ITSELF, NOT packed in with other stuff for my FFL.  And they probably charged my FFL for shipping in addition to charging me.

When I got the pistol and saw it I was like "Whoa", but I figured I'd just deal with it.  It looked like someone had spray painted it and there were several layers of paint on it.  I field stripped it there in the store and made sure it was ok mechanically, it passed the strip check, so I did my Form 4473, my FFL called in my NICS check, and I paid my paperwork fee.  After I got my approval, I took my new to me FEG home.

Once again I stripped the pistol to see how hard it would be to clean it up.  I removed the magazine safety which should have been a piece of cake, if there hadn't been so much gunk and carbon inside the trigger parts.  I should have started taking pictures then, but I was rather upset with the condition of this pistol and I just plain forgot to.

So after I got the trigger and magazine disconnect taken care of, I removed the grips and grabbed a new can of brake cleaner and started spraying out the frame.  The paint/lacquer that was on the frame started peeling off.  I continued spraying out the frame until I used an entire can of brake cleaner and got most of the gunk off.

THEN I remembered I need to take some pictures.  And they are below.

Here is the frame after an entire LARGE can of brake cleaner.  Look how full of crud that mainspring STILL is.  When you see the slide, you will see just how the frame looked before I started cleaning it.  The slide I DIDN'T spray, because I ran out of brake cleaner.  The pics will embiggenate when you click on them.

Here is the slide.  Up by the muzzle end, you can see that there are several layers of either paint or lacquer on the slide.  The frame was just as bad before I started spraying it.

I was out of brake cleaner, the frame was STILL disgusting, and I had a major headache from the fumes.

So I loaded up Sprog #3/Eldest Son and we went to Walmart so I could get some more brake cleaner and some carburetor cleaner.

My phone is being stupid for some reason and I can't rotate this or the next picture.  See that bright shiny area on the slide.  I didn't do that.  Someone with a Dremel tool did that, then covered it with that paint/lacquer.  This tells me that there had been a LOT of corrosion on this slide at one time, and someone put a small buffing or grinding wheel in a Dremel and cleaned it off, before covering it with something.

It looks somewhat better now.

You can see all the corrosion in the pits of the slide that I STILL can't get out after using an additional one and half cans of carburetor cleaner, TWO whole cans of brake cleaner and three pads of 00 Steel Wool.  I also destroyed my bronze cleaning brush, so now I have to order a couple new ones from Brownell's.  And this is just on the slide.  I used a full can of carburetor cleaner just getting all the crap out of the internals of the frame.  The trigger slot and parts, the mainspring, the sear and safety.  It took me FOUR hours to spray out, scrape out, brush out, scrub with steel wool, this pistol.  FOUR HOURS.  And it STILL needs more work.

Look at those corrosion pits.

Look at the area on the slide over the scroll, where someone Dremeled off corrosion and then covered it with paint or lacquer.  Look in the slide serrations, where I will have to scrape out the remainder of all the gunk.

A photo of the slide without the flash to SHOW how someone Dremeled the slide to remove "Something"  You can see where the grinding/buffing wheel went diagonally.  That ISN'T a trick of the light, that is from the wheel in a Dremel.  And SORRY, I don't OWN a Dremel anymore.  Someone stole it out of the toolbox in my truck about 4 months ago and I haven't had time to replace it.  So I KNOW I didn't do this.  I just UNCOVERED it.

And remember my complaining about how long it took to ship this to my FFL?

I ordered some extra magazines for it from Centerfire Systems, Thursday night about 11:00 p.m. on their website.  They arrived here TODAY.  My only complaint about Centerfire Systems is they almost NEVER send tracking numbers.  Other than that, I've only had one issue with them and they corrected it immediately.

So, after everything I've dealt with, will I return this to S.O.G.?  No.  However they have lost me as a customer, which is too bad as they had some Cobra Derringers I was planning on getting, for myself, my mother and my two eldest daughters.  Now I will find another supplier for them.  Probably Buds even though they cost a little bit more.

As for this FEG, I will try to find a local Gunsmith who will let me use his polishing and bluing room.  I used to work for Nu Line Guns back in the early 90's and I polished and blued a LOT of guns, so I will just give this a 280 grit buff, bead blast it then reblue it.  I'll also get a set of Wolf Springs for it and I'll probably get an extended safety for it as the factory safety is too small and it currently has too much grittiness to it.

I'll let you know how it goes, this week though, I plan on putting at least 200 rounds through it down at the range. And before you say, "Well you KNEW it was a used gun" Look at this screen grab of S.O.G.'s Listing.

See where it says "good to very good condition"  If they consider this pistol to be "Good to Very Good" someone at S.O.G. who is responsible for Grading these pistols needs to be retrained.  If you can tell me that I was sent a Good to Very Good Pistol, YOU don't know how firearms are graded.  This pistol should have been graded as "Fair to Poor" Condition.

I will keep this, and the lesson learned, and never order from S.O.G. again.  At least they sent it with a brand new Mec-Gar 15 round magazine, but that doesn't make up for all the rest.

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