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Springfield Armory Browning Hi Power SA-35

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Post by mikemyers 3/5/2022, 9:20 pm

I know it's not a Bullseye gun, but for something enjoyable to shoot 9mm, any thoughts on this gun?



It's very affordable, and Springfield has a pretty good name.  This fellow loves it.  But the targets he shot at were not very far away.....
I sort of wanted one, from long ago, but I kept talking myself out of any idea of buying one.  

You guys have any opinion on it?

(If I go to the range with my 22, 38, or 45 guns, every range visit feels "important".  With my Black Powder gun, I can just relax and shoot.  I thoroughly enjoy my revolvers, for the same reason, I'm not feeling "competitive" when I shoot them.  That's what I thought my Taurus PT92-AFS would be like, but I don't enjoy shooting it - the trigger feels all wrong to me, even after I've sort of gotten used to it.  I think I should sell it, and replace it with the SA-35, which has a more exciting history.)
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Post by TonyH 3/5/2022, 9:29 pm

Can’t find them around here and there is a waiting list at most gun shops…..pretty high premium when they do show up.
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Post by mikemyers 3/5/2022, 9:31 pm

Yeah, that's what I've been seeing, but just like with the Python, eventually the price will come down to the standard pricing, and they'll be available all over.  Waiting a while might be good, as they correct any "issues".  Again, just like with the new Python guns.
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Post by JIMPGOV 3/5/2022, 10:11 pm

I HAVE ONE. IT'S PRETTY NICE OVERALL. SHOOTS WELL, I FORGOT HOW NICE THE GRIP SIZE IS FOR MY HAND. I'VE ONLY FIRED 100 ROUNDS SO FAR.

ON THE NEGATIVE SIDE; THE TRIGGER IS HORRIBLE. UPON EXAMINATION I CAN SEE THE SEAR AND HAMMER ARE BOTH COMPLETELY PARKERIZED. INCLUDING THE  ENGAGEMENT SURFACES. I'M NOT SURE IF I'M GOING TO KEEP IT. IF I KEEP IT. I'LL CLEAN UP THE ENGAGEMENT SURFACES AND SEND IT OFF TO ACCURATE WEAPON AND PLATING TO HAVE IT HARD CHROMED. IF I DECIDE TO GET RID OF IT I WONT ALTER IT.

P.S. IT ONLY CAME WITH 1 MAGAZINE. I CAN'T REMEMBER THE LAST NEW GUN I BOUGHT THAT ONLY CAME WITH 1 MAGAZINE. SO I BOUGHT 5 MORE. JP

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Post by Wobbley 3/5/2022, 11:01 pm

Dunno about the Springfield Armory HiPower, but I’ve had a FEG clone and a Genuine Browning.  Both are good 9mm pistols.  They’re on par with a CZ75 .  I don’t know how accurate the SA 35s are, but the two that I’ve had were good for service pistols and about equal with a good pre-war Colt Govt model.  The triggers can be seriously improved by removing the magazine disconnector, but that does remove a safety feature, your call.
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Post by JIMPGOV 3/5/2022, 11:31 pm

SA-35 DOES NOT HAVE A MAGAZINE DISCONNECT SAFETY. JP

"Made in the U.S.A., the SA-35 features rugged forged steel parts for strength and durability, improved ergonomics and enhanced controls, modern sights, an improved feed ramp design, and an increased 15-round capacity. Configured without a magazine disconnect for a drop free magazine the SA-35 features a factory-tuned trigger with a smooth pull and crisp, clean break."

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Post by mikemyers 3/6/2022, 7:38 am

JIMPGOV wrote:....I'M NOT SURE IF I'M GOING TO KEEP IT.......
If you decide not to keep it, let me know.  I figure I'm going to just have to wait, like with the Pythons, until the price comes down to what Springfield wants to sell them for.

Strange, all the reviews have good things to say about the trigger.....
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Post by BE Mike 3/6/2022, 10:10 am

If I were in the market, I'd wait until the bugs were worked out.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uXqddz8qhw
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Post by shanneba 3/6/2022, 10:55 am

Seems to be alot going on in Geneseo Ill these days, hopefully production will be increased later this year.

Springfield Armory firearms to occupy new Geneseo Illinois building (geneseorepublic.com)

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Post by mikemyers 3/6/2022, 12:15 pm

Fascinating video - lots more to watch, and. yes, I guess it's best to wait until the more serious bugs are worked out.

A friend may want to sell me an old model Hi Power.  I'll see him Tuesday.  But it seems like the SA-35 will eventually be the best for me to buy.
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Post by NukeMMC 3/6/2022, 5:49 pm

I also have an FEG clone.  I removed the mag disconnect and replaced the trigger, hammer and sear with Cylinder & Slide versions.  Trigger is now a crisp 5#. As said above, it's not a match pistol, and if you have any web between thumb and forefinger, you will get hammer bite.
Stippled forestrap and Backstrap, blasted it and KG Gunkoted it.  She's a nice little car pistol or home defender.
Springfield Armory Browning Hi Power SA-35 20200511
Springfield Armory Browning Hi Power SA-35 20200510
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Post by mikemyers 3/17/2022, 2:27 pm

Update....    I wanted to avoid Gunbroker, so I contacted a lot of shops, none of whom had one in stock, and no idea when they might be receiving one from the distributors.  So, I found a list of gun distributors and started making calls,  and my third call was a 'hit'.  They had just received their gun the day before, and we worked out all the details on the phone.  Doing all the math, I think I spent $175 or so more than had I just bought one of the non-existent guns from the gunshops, but it meant getting it in days, not weeks or months, and as I found out later, from the serial number, the gun was built in February.  After calls and emails back and forth between the dealer and my local store, everything was worked out, and the gun arrived this past Monday.  I picked it up Tuesday.

I took it apart to clean and lube it, but everything was already done, so I re-assembled it and took it to the range on Wednesday.

Very first impressions were a puzzle - I loved the gun, but the holes weren't showing up where I expected.  As I shot more rounds, everything settled down, and I found myself shooting groups.  I also discovered some problems with my grip, as the gun felt like it was moving in my hands between shots, so I started shooting one round at a time.  After an hour, and 75 rounds (some with Wilson Remanufactured 135gr HBFN ammo, and others with MagTech 115gr ammo) either I was getting used to the gun, or vice versa.  

It does not have adjustable sights, but it's not made for Bullseye anyway.  The sights it does have are far better than any iron sights I've ever used, and it felt as "easy" as using a red dot sight.  I didn't think I was holding it properly, and watching some videos and then writing back and forth with Dave Salyer, I think I'll do better next time.  At home, checking it out, it feels more comfortable to grip with one hand than two, but I haven't tried this yet.

I made a mental "deal" with myself, that I don't want to own more guns, so buying one gun means I'll be trying to sell another.  I think/suspect/hope that after tomorrow my Taurus PT92 will be sold - but I've gotten to like that gun a lot.

Anyway, other thoughts, the grips (stocks) on the Springfield are wood, and look great, but I would prefer to find some eventually made from the "sharkskin" material that grip my hand(s) better.  I'm amazed at how simple Browning's replacement for the 1911, as the gun is effortless to disassemble and re-assemble.  Without any magazine interlock, the trigger felt excellent to me (not that I'm a good judge of this).  The "balance" of the gun is great - it feels light to me, while all the magazines say how heavy it is compared to all it's plastic competition.  Hi Power guns are known for "hammer bite", but Springfield seems to have corrected this.

The biggest "negative" is finding one to buy.  Someone at Springfield estimated this might improve in a year or so.  Right now, the only sure way to find one is Gunbroker (which I didn't want to do).  

Hopefully I'll have a better target to post tomorrow, but for better or worse, here's what I've already done:


Springfield Armory Browning Hi Power SA-35 Img_5720
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Post by wbnash3 3/30/2022, 7:43 pm

I picked one up and at a below MSRP figure.  Very nice shooter.  I took my SA Ronin 9mm Commander-size 1911 with me and fired it as well.  SA-35 was no better than the Ronin.  Both good shooters and trouble-free.
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Post by mikemyers 3/30/2022, 8:12 pm

Can you post a target?  

What was the group size, and at what distance?
I'd like to know what the gun is capable of.

Congrats on the price - everyone is selling them for hundreds of dollars over MSRP.
And I'm one of the foolish people who bought one anyway.

My plan is to shoot mine again tomorrow, then disassemble for a clean and lube.
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Post by wbnash3 3/30/2022, 8:20 pm

mikemyers wrote:Can you post a target?  

What was the group size, and at what distance?
I'd like to know what the gun is capable of.

Congrats on the price - everyone is selling them for hundreds of dollars over MSRP.
And I'm one of the foolish people who bought one anyway.

My plan is to shoot mine again tomorrow, then disassemble for a clean and lube.

I will photograph a target next time I hit the range.  

Gotta caution you though that my skills are not up to the pistol's potential so a target may not tell you much...LOL!
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Post by mikemyers 3/30/2022, 9:15 pm

Thanks; I guess I'm more interested in "real" results than shooting from a rest.

My friend tells me that a properly build 9 will hold the. 10 ring at 25 yards. 

The YouTube videos I've watched are nowheres close to that, but they weren't trying for accuracy, as they were shooting rapidly.

I'll post my target tomorrow.  I want to shoot with my S&W Model 17-5 and the SA-35.  If I shoot 25 rounds, that might be a better indication of how well I can shoot it.

....on the other hand, the gun wasn't built or sold as  a Bullseye gun. It's beautiful, functional, is a fantastic design as I see it, is very affordable (or soon will be), quite light, and has wonderful sights (in my opinion).

Can I ask where you bought yours for under MSRP?  Do you know when your gun was built?
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Post by mikemyers 3/30/2022, 10:00 pm

Anyone making a red dot sight mount for this gun?
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Post by mikemyers 4/7/2022, 10:21 am

Update.  I sent the gun back to Springfield to have it checked out.  Something seems to be wearing in an unusual way. The first few targets I shoot are horrible, with the holes all over.  Eventually things get better, and the holes fill the black on a B-8 target at 15 yards.  Using a rest, the group is about half that size.  

I put the gun aside for a while, then shot it last weekend.  The first 5 rounds were all outside the black, and most of the holes were not even on the target paper.  I had noticed an unusual rattle when the slide was moved back, and it was the barrel moving around.  I moved the slide forward, and I swear I could feel movement between the barrel, and the component that serves as a barrel bushing (which the gun does not have).

Other than this minor issue of not being able to hit anything, the gun is awesome.  I love the trigger, the gun is very light, and I found that it was just as easy to shoot with one hand as two.  With two hands, it feels like I'm gripping it in an imitation Ransom Rest.  :-)    I bought a pair of grips with more texture, and then found a pair of Hougue grips that I love - just like the stock grips, but prettier, and the wood "digs" into my left hand like sharkskin grips do.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001TE3HT2?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

Springfield Armory Browning Hi Power SA-35 61V1MvBMCHL._AC_SX679_

Anyway, a very nice person at Springfield, Angie, and I had a good discussion about the gun, and they will figure out what's going on.  I could guess, but I'm no gunsmith.  It must be excess clearance, somewhere, somehow, which is rapidly getting worse.

Wonderful gun - anxious to get it back!!
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Post by Slamfire 4/8/2022, 10:32 am

mikemyers wrote:
I put the gun aside for a while, then shot it last weekend.  The first 5 rounds were all outside the black, and most of the holes were not even on the target paper.  I had noticed an unusual rattle when the slide was moved back, and it was the barrel moving around.  I moved the slide forward, and I swear I could feel movement between the barrel, and the component that serves as a barrel bushing (which the gun does not have).

Anyway, a very nice person at Springfield, Angie, and I had a good discussion about the gun, and they will figure out what's going on.  I could guess, but I'm no gunsmith.  It must be excess clearance, somewhere, somehow, which is rapidly getting worse.

Wonderful gun - anxious to get it back!!

Let us know what the problem is, assuming SA tells you. You will probably have to talk to the actual gunsmith, as my experience has been, the paperwork that comes back will say something like "fixed".

I will bet service pistol accuracy was five or six inches at 25 yards with ball ammunition. It was more important that service pistols be cheap to make, easy to maintain, and function in all weather. Finicky pistols would be a failure.

There is a genius in designing something that cannot be re arranged incorrectly by the user!  I managed to mix internal springs around in my Ruger #1. I confused the ejector plunger spring with the firing pin spring, and found out at CMP Talladega, my rifle would not go bangie!  The ejector spring is more powerful than the plunger spring, and that rifle is too complicated to disassemble at the range. Besides, I had no idea what was wrong, I thought the firing pin was broke. Sure explained all the troubles I had installing it incorrectly! But, I could, and that is the crux of the problem.

I have been looking at those Highpowers, and I have noticed that other companies are introducing new versions. Must be a large enough market demand for a single stage trigger, high capacity 9mm. I had the mistaken thought the High Power was a double action, so I did not acquire them when I had my chances. An FN factory would be worth more than I paid. Such is life.

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Post by mikemyers 4/8/2022, 4:54 pm

If I was smarter, I'd have considered buying this:
     https://fnamerica.com/press-releases/the-legend-reborn-introducing-the-all-new-fn-high-power/

Springfield Armory Browning Hi Power SA-35 Laydown_All3_mixed-1024x683


Or, I would just post something about "WTB - 9mm bullseye gun" here in the forum  ......and see what people want to get rid of.
Or, I should forget the whole thing, and just spend more time with my Model 52.
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Post by Wobbley 4/8/2022, 5:06 pm

More time with a 52 can’t hurt!
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Post by mikemyers 5/2/2022, 2:02 pm

I was getting frustrated because the precision in the gun seemed to go away.  I let another shooter (who wins the club's contest for getting a hole in the x-ring as many times in a row as possible until he misses), and his group was just slightly smaller than mine.  The next day at the range the gun started shooting holes completely off the paper, hitting the frame that holds the targets.  When I checked the gun, I felt that the barrel was not being locked in place properly, but that was just a guess.  I called Springfield, and they had me send the gun back.  It just got returned, and here is their "test target".

It was 5 shots at 10 yards.

Springfield Armory Browning Hi Power SA-35 Img_5912
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Post by zanemoseley 5/2/2022, 2:37 pm

Did they indicate what was wrong with it?

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Post by mikemyers 5/2/2022, 2:44 pm

zanemoseley wrote:Did they indicate what was wrong with it?
"No Issue Found".

I know something was wrong, but no idea what.  I put my finger in the barrel, and it felt like it "wiggled" around.  I should have paid more attention to it.  I took it apart, and other than being filthy, nothing was obviously wrong with it.  I put it back together and it felt fine again.  I didn't clean it, hoping if I left it the way it was, it might identify the problem.  I don't know enough about these guns to even speculate what might have gone wrong.  

I told the tech support people that if it happened again, I would like them to replace it.  

I thought it best to let the parts wear in, and clean it after 500 or 1,000 rounds.  Maybe I was wrong.  When I asked Tech Support how often to clean it, they didn't have an answer.
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Post by mikemyers 5/7/2022, 1:37 pm

Update.

I got the gun back, and took it to the range Thursday.  The third and fourth targets were nice, after which the grouping vanished and rounds went off the target paper.

I took it back to the range Friday (yesterday) along with a rest.  Same thing, got some good groups, after which the gun shot wildly.  

So, I took it apart and did a quick clean and lube.  Reassembled, and got this target, at 15 yards.

Springfield Armory Browning Hi Power SA-35 Img_5913


Not wanting to mess up the above target, I replaced it with another, and fired 15 more rounds, five at a time.  As I expected the group kept growing larger, and by the last 5 rounds, 7 of the 15 weren't even on the target paper.  I notice the gun near the barrel was very hot (probably normal), and with the gun in battery the barrel moved around in the slide (should be impossible), and when I pulled the slide back and shook the gun, the barrel just flopped around wildly as if nothing was holding it in place.

I don't have a good enough imagination to think of any possible cause, other than a cracked slide which was getting hotter and expanding as I fired.  Maybe the slide was defective?  I dunno.  I'm out of ideas.  Here's the target, with 9 of the 15 rounds on the target - the other 7 were missing in action.  When I first got the gun, and this happened, the rounds were hitting the frame that holds the backing board in place, which made no sense to me....

Springfield Armory Browning Hi Power SA-35 Img_5914

I called Springfield, and had a very long talk with the tech support person.  The gun is now on its way back to Springfield, with the targets, and a long message explaining everything I did, in detail.  At the end I added a warning - if my wild guess about a cracked frame is valid, then it might be dangerous to even shoot the gun.  I told them to make sure their technician was aware of this, just in case.

I know others are thoroughly enjoying their SA-35, and what's wrong with my gun is probably a defective part.  It's obvious when shooting it that something is very wrong.  Earlier I tried 147 grain ammo (felt the best), Wilson remanufactured 135 grain ammo (close) and 115 grain ammo (nice, but the heavier ammo was more enjoyable to shoot).

My "rest" is an inexpensive plastic thing that I bought because it was small and light:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000VJS4AS?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details 
I have a much better rest, made from steel, but it takes up half my trunk.
If anyone here can recommend a better rest that's suitable for car with a very small trunk, I would donate mine to the club, and buy the better one.
Regardless, as I test fired my gun on the above rest, it invariably flew up out of the rest when it fired.  My revolvers behaved much better.


As far as I know, I'm the only one who has posted about this problem with my Springfield.  The problem doesn't show up until after firing 20 or more rounds, and it keeps getting worse if I continue to fire.

Maybe someone has a better guess as to what could cause this problem, but to me it comes down to either the diameter of the barrel got smaller, or the hole in the slide got bigger.  The only explanation that I can think of is a crack in the slide, allowing it to expand from the heat of firing.
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