Austin Behlert Custom Browning Hi Power - Pistolsmith
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:09 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 10
Austin Behlert Custom Browning Hi Power

Howdy folks,

W.P. "Hoot" Gibson here. I'm a long time Hi Power fan, and recently I had the opportunity to buy a dream gun, an Austin Behlert Custom Browning Hi Power. Back when I was a kid (and later too), I never though I'd be able to have a Behlert in my modest HP collection. Long story short, I have one. Whoo hoo! Any information you all care to share will be greatly appreciated. If I'm wrong about some of the guesses I've made, please correct me. I'm not one to take offense. Well, I am, but not when I'm wrong.

I think I've read everything on this forum that has anything to do with Mr Behlert, but I might have missed something. The old brain isn't quite as fast as it used to be.

1981 Browning Hi Power custom built by Austin Behlert. I don't know when he did the work, if it was him and not someone else in the shop.

I think the engraving is done by Henry O. "Hank" Bonham. I can't find much information about Mr. Bonham. I've read reference here by Mr. Behlert, so this is where I got the name to match the initials.

The initials, S.I.H. are a mystery for now. I'm assuming it's the customer.

Thanks in advance!

Hoot












 
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Old 06-20-2008, 05:29 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Alabama
Posts: 130
Re: Austin Behlert Custom Browning Hi Power

It is a pretty gun - how does it shoot - give us a range report.

Does it leave the last fired case in the action after slide lock?

Ammo sensitive - feed all the modern hollow points?

Let us know the report.
 
Old 06-20-2008, 10:24 AM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 10
Re: Austin Behlert Custom Browning Hi Power

It is a pretty thing! The engraving is nice, but the workmanship on the mechanical modifications is phenomenal.

Function was fine with WWB, Spanish NATO ball, and Winchester Ranger 127 +P+. Those are the only rounds I used. I changed the recoil spring to a Wolff 18.5 before shooting, as I had no idea how used the old spring was. The WWB was a little weak for the first mag, as is usual for that spring. The Ranger and NATO was fine, and the WWB was after the spring took a set. No failures at all, and the Ranger shot as good a group as I can hold. Accuracy is comparable to my Competition HP. I didn't do any pure accuracy test, as my backyard range isn't compatible with paper targets. I shoot at standing dead trees in the hollow. One of these days I'll have to take a trip to the regular range and see what it'll do on paper.

Thanks!
 
 
Old 06-23-2008, 04:40 AM   #4
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 17
Re: Austin Behlert Custom Browning Hi Power

Very nice. I have never seen a Behlert with the B triangle symbol ( and I have a few). I have seen that symbol on some of the old Behlert printed material I have accumulated. I will try to post a picture.

Gary
 
Old 06-23-2008, 05:06 AM   #5
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 571
Re: Austin Behlert Custom Browning Hi Power

Sweet.....a work of art that you can actually use.

Are you the same Hoot Gibson that use to fish some of the Bass Tournaments in South Louisiana?

Buddy
 
Old 06-23-2008, 06:00 PM   #6
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 17
Re: Austin Behlert Custom Browning Hi Power

Hoot you inspired me to scan some of my Behlert literature and other items. Note the B inside triangle on the early catalog. Also the engraved mini BHP engraved by Hank Bonham. More items can be seen at the follwoing link. I am still adding so check back.

http://www.randgfirearms.com/photogalle ... temId=2638


 
Old 06-24-2008, 12:40 AM   #7
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 10
Re: Austin Behlert Custom Browning Hi Power

Hey guys,

Thanks Buddy, and nope that must have been another one of me. There are a million of us it seems. I've always been more of a salt water guy.

Wow, Gary, that is some great history! Thanks for putting it up. I went to your Behlert page too. Awesome stuff. I wonder why the triangle logo is odd. If I see the scan right, the engraved mini has the wording, so it's not the scratching that makes a difference? I'm hoping to get an email from Frank, so maybe we can find out more. I'll email you tomorrow about more info. I saw your other post, and you're on the list if I ever decide to get rid of this one. Don't hold yer breath though!

Thanks,
Hoot
 
Old 06-24-2008, 05:09 AM   #8
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 17
Re: Austin Behlert Custom Browning Hi Power

I have 17 or so Behlert guns and most have the three line marking shown in the top photos. The next most common is the single line shown below that. The 3 revolvers I have have variations of the 2 line marking below that . I had a LW Commander that had a hand stamped 2 line marking "A.F. Behlert" over "Cranford NJ". Never seen the B triangle mark on anything but his catalogs and business cards. I have also had several unmarked Behlerts. Several of his features are distinct enough to recgonize.
and thats probably more than you cared to know about Behlert markings!





 
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