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Browning BDA9 (High Power Double Action)

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I ran across one of these on Gunbroker recently and got it today.  

Quick blurb from Wikipedia:


The Browning Hi-Power BDA (Browning Double Action) is a 9mm semi-automatic pistol developed in the early 1980s at the Belgian Fabrique Nationale arms factory in Herstal. The pistol was conceived in 1983 to compete in the United States XM-9 Pistol Trials to select new sidearm chambered for the 9×19mm Parabellum cartridge that would equip all the branches of the United States armed forces. Ultimately, the winner of the bid was the Italian Beretta 92F. The Finnish Defence Forces accepted the weapon into service as their general service pistol under the designation 9.00 PIST 80 and 9.00 PIST 80-91. The pistol was marketed in Europe as the HP-DA.

The overall design layout of all versions of the pistol is based on the Browning Hi-Power, but the firearm features significant ergonomic changes designed to update the weapon to modern military requirements. The most notable is a shortening of the hammer spur.

Production: 1983–1999

• Browning BDA ("Browning Double-Action") - Base Series Designation.
• BDA-9S - Original designation
• BDA-9M / BDAM - Medium frame model
• BDA-9C / BDAC - Compact frame model
• BDAO ("Browning Double-Action Only") - Revised trigger system.

I'd never seen the BDAO model in person.  Browning gave them a confusing name, BDA, which was already applied to the Beretta-made .380s.  The included "manual", about  4 stapled and Xeroxed pages, calls it BDA9.  If I'm reading the date code correctly, this one was built in 1996.  I gave $550 for it, which is more than I would have paid in the past, but seeing as these things are only getting more scarce, I felt comfortable with the price.  I'm keeping my eyes open for a DA/SA one as well.

The case contains 1x10rd magazine, 2x14 rd magazines, a cleaning kit, nondescript gun lock, "manual", and a lanyard ring.  

In BDAO config, the safety lever is completely omitted.  The trigger is about 10-12 pounds and after about 1/2" of takeup, the real pull travels about .650" until it breaks.  Reset is a bit longer, maybe .700".   The trigger pull is the same at all stages of operation.

It'll never be my favorite trigger, but due to the bobbed hammer and lack of a safety lever, I find it notably more ergonomic and usable than the standard BHP.   Sights are the standard Browning white blocks.  

The frontstrap features serrations and the grip is a one-piece affair very similar to the one used on the BDM, secured with one screw on the backstrap.  Being Browning/FN, of course standard BHP mags don't work, nor does any other mag they ever made.  It looks like BDM mags will insert but not lock, despite having a similar semicircular cutout as the BDM mags.

The underside of the "beavertail" has an import mark from Ohio Ordnance Works.  Not sure when these were imported, but judging by the holster wear, this one may have been issued to someone at some point.

How does it shoot?  Quite accurately if the user does his part.   This is the first mag of 10 rounds at 10 yards, 115gr reloads.  I put another 14 rounds right on top of that group with the second mag but neglected to get a photo.








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I think any browning or FN hipower is a solid investment that's shootable so I think you did quite well!  Almost as weird as my SFS hipower!

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This was just one of those guns I used to see from time to time in shops and was never really all that interested in... until I realized I hadn't seen any in years and I was getting more curious about them.  It's also a difficult gun to find on Gunbroker because nobody really knows what to call it :)

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