BHSpringSolutions LLC recently conducted a 6,000 Round Endurance Test of the Tisas/Regent BR9 Hi Power from Turkey. We decided to conduct this test after reports that owners of the Tisas HP were breaking extractors in only a few hundred rounds. Reports of parts breakage in a new pistol, actually create more questions than answers. Among those questions: if one part is breaking after a few hundred rounds, will anything else break after a few thousand rounds? So, we decided to conduct a test. We settled on the testing protocol that was utilized in 1911 when the Model 1911 won the U.S. military pistol trials.
Our 6,000 round Tisas HP test was conducted in consultation with RDIH in Liege Belgium. RDIH Founder, Leon Hubert, was the designer of two different FN Pistols that competed in the U.S. military pistol trials in the early 1980’s (when the Beretta 92 became the U.S. military sidearm). Leon Hubert consulted with us on appropriate intervals for disassembling, cleaning, inspecting, and lubricating the Tisas HP throughout our testing.
If you own a Tisas/Regent BR9, or are contemplating owning one, the testing conducted by BHSpringSolutions LLC will be of considerable interest. The BHSS 6,000 round test began on July 4, 2018, the third Birthdate of BHSpringSolutions.com – and we concluded our testing on July 7, 2018.
The entirety of the BHSpringSolutions LLC testing of the Tisas/Regent BR9 was video-recorded. The amount of video footage we must now process through is…..a lot. Throughout July BHSpringSolutions will release footage of the 6,000 round test of the Tisas/Regent BR9 along with detailed data information about the test results. This test was not only conducted as a test of the Tisas/Regent BR9. The Tisas/Regent BR9 was tested with BHSpringSolutions Optimized Hi Power Springs installed, the RDIH Fast Safety (a.k.a. “SFS” and Safety Fast Shooting System), RDIH Tactical/Ergonomic One Piece Hi Power Grips, and installed RDIH Picatinny Rail on the Tisas frame. So, throughout July, we will be reporting on the performance and integrity of the springs, SFS, etc., after our 6,000 round test.
In 1911, John M. Browning’s Model 1911 .45ACP was chosen to become the U.S. Military’s service sidearm. The testing protocol in 1911? 6,000 Rounds. The test was conducted by shooting 100 rounds, allowing the pistol to “rest” for five minutes and continuing on to the next 100 rounds. When the pistol became too hot – it was simply dropped in a bucket of water. During the 1911 U.S. pistol trials, John Browning’s Model 1911 fired 6,000 rounds, with no malfunctions. BHSpringSolutions LLC modeled our testing of the Tisas/Regent BR9 after the testing process used in 1911.
After explaining to RDIH and Leon Hubert our planned test, Mr. Hubert suggested the Tisas HP be field stripped, cleaned, inspected, and lubricated at each 1,000 round interval.
BHSpringSolutions has now analyzed every generation of Hi Power made throughout history, made by all manufacturers of Hi Powers and Hi Power Clones, and today BHSpringSolutions manufacturers Optimized Springs for every Hi Power, Clone, and Variant that has been manufactured.
This test of the Tisas was conceived not only as a test of the Tisas/Regent BR9 HP – but also as a test of BHSpringSolutions springs which were installed in our tested Tisas, and components like the RDIH SFS for Hi Power which was also installed in our tested Tisas – because these components would be subjected to the same kinds of extremes as the Tisas pistol. Never before have we known of, for example, a Recoil Spring being subjected to heat ranges that cause a pistol to begin to become non-functional because the slide starts becoming too tight on the frame or because the pistol becomes too uncomfortably hot to grip and shoot, and then rapidly cooled in water – over and over and over – while being shot 6,000 times.
So, while most of the world may be interested in our test because they want to see if the Tisas handled all this testing and abuse, we at BHSpringSolutions performed this test with one eye on the performance of our springs. RDIH awaits the results of this test because of our inclusion of RDIH’s HP modifications like the SFS, Extended Slide Stop, Tactical/Ergonomic One-Piece HP Grips, etc. Everything that was installed on our tested Tisas, also endured the same testing process. Such a test of parts and components just provides incredible feedback and information about the quality of, and the integrity of, everything.
Prior the beginning with the test, the feed ramp of the BR9 was polished to a mirror-like finish. We wanted to be sure that if they were any Fails To Feed, this won’t be because of the not polished feedramp.
HISTORY OF THE HI POWER
Because of Leon Hubert’s involvement in the BHSpringSolutions 6,000 round test of the Tisas as an advisor and consultant, we believe it is appropriate to share the key points in history of the Hi Power design, and how we’ve arrived at this point in Hi Power history, in 2018.
15 years after the 1911 pistol trials, on November 26, 1926, at age 71, John M. Browning died from heart failure in Liege Belgium – at a design shop of his son, Val Browning. He was working on a self-loading pistol design for Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (FN). The design John Browning was working on that day, would later become widely known as the “Browning Hi Power”. Nine years after Mr. Browning’s death, Dieudonne Saive finished the design that was originally released as the Fabrique Nationale GP35. FN Designer Dieudonne Saive, inventor of the FN FAL rifle and multiple other now famous firearms, is credited with finishing the Hi Power design and inventing the first 9mm “double stack” magazine in the process. The original GP35 had an internal extractor, which was a smaller version of John Browning’s 1911 .45ACP extractor.
The GP-35 would become desired for military, police, and civilian use, worldwide – gaining unprecedented use by military and police forces in at least 55 countries.
In the early 1980’s, another FN designer, Leon Hubert, designed the “Mark III” enhancements for the Hi Power (Ambi-Safety, straightened feed ramp of the barrel, mechanical drop safety requiring re-designing the slide and sear lever, dove-tailed sights, lighter trigger return spring) and Mr. Hubert designed an upgraded operating system later to become known as the “SFS”, or Safety Fast Shooting System that enables “hammer forward condition 1 single action carry” of the Hi Power that also includes an upgraded no-snag hammer, extended slide stop, superior hammer/sear relationship, Ambidextrous Magazine Release, a Picatinny Rail modification, and one-piece finger grooved grips. By 1993, FN Herstal and Browning had made the decision to move forward in development of its own line of plastic grip frame pistols to compete with a radically changing market – and the future demise of the Hi Power became a commitment at FN and Browning. In a negotiated agreement with FN, Leon Hubert left FN with his designs and inventions, as his own – and Leon Hubert founded his own company, RDIH, in Liege Belgium. It is no exaggeration, Leon Hubert is the most knowledgeable individual about the Hi Power design who has ever breathed air. After Leon Hubert departed FN, for the next 24 years (1993-2017), FN/Browning never made a single modification or upgrade to the Hi Power pistol.
The “Mark III” Hi Power that was produced by FN and for Browning from 1989 – 2017, accurately carries the name of three contributing designers: John M. Browning, Dieudonne Saive, and Leon Hubert.
In 2018, RDIH continues manufacture of the most tested and proven modifications and upgrades for the Hi Power design – in Liege Belgium. With respect to the Hi Power pistol’s history, from John Browning’s passing to present day, the most significant place on the world’s map is Liege Belgium. Mr. Browning passed away in Liege. Liege was the birthplace of the Hi Power. And Liege (RDIH) continues as the present day “heart-beat” of the Hi Power.
Critical Testers Notes – BHSS 6,000 Round Test of the Tisas/Regent BR9
Firing Pin Retaining Plate Notations
Prior to reaching 5,000 rounds fired, the Firing Pin Retaining Plate (original Tisas OEM part) fractured into two pieces (see picture bellow), horizontally across the area of the hole where the firing pin shows through. The top half of the Firing Pin Retaining Plate remained installed and did retain the Firing Pin in the pistol. Significant Safety Concern. Firing Pin Retaining Plate was replaced with an FN/Browning Firing Pin Retaining Plate. Conduct further analysis of the Tisas Firing Pin Retaining Plate and slide in the area of the Firing Pin Retaining Plate’s installation.
Test began with OEM Tisas Extractor Installed. The Tisas Extractor Claw design has been modified, apparently to accommodate dimensional deviations in the Tisas HP slide that do not conform to the Hi Power’s original blueprints. A fracture in this part, at the area where the Tisas Extractor’s Claw meets the body of the Extractor, occurred within the first 1,000 rounds of testing (see picture bellow). Extractor was replaced with an FN/Browning Extractor. No damage or degradation of the FN/Browning Extractor was noted throughout the remainder of the testing. Extraction effectiveness of the FN/Browning Extractor in the Tisas did not prove to be as reliable in the Tisas/Regent BR9 as has been the history of this same extractor’s performance in FN/Browning HPs. Conduct detailed measurements and analysis of the Tisas/Regent BR9 slide in the area of the extractor, extractor spring recess hole.
So why “SAFETY ALERT”?
A Firing Pin that gets away from the slide is pointed directly at your eye/face, the same as the barrel is pointed at the target that is visible in your sights. The firing pin is in line with the barrel and your eyes are in line with the sights. The firing pin compresses a spring when installed – that means if it is released by a firing pin retaining plate that breaks, your eye is it’s bulls-eye if you are looking down the sights correctly. Additionally, there is nothing safe about metal that fractures that is pointed at your face.
This failure of the firing pin retaining plate definitely puts an explanation point on the seriousness of wearing eye protection when shooting – unfortunately, real life defensive situations don’t always lend themselves well to all the normal safety precautions – regardless if I am wearing eye protection or not, I don’t want a missile in the form of a firing pin sailing toward my face and I’m confident you wouldn’t either.
There were no components of this test that would induce failure of a firing pin retaining plate, or an extractor. An extractor fracturing is less of a safety risk than the firing pin retaining plate, but there are no upsides in terms of safety to a critical part like an extractor that is a known breakage risk. We’ve had multiple reports of Tisas HP extractor breaking – we can now show the weak point in that part because we found it before the extractor claw completely broke off. Again, this is less of a safety risk than the firing pin retaining plate.
BHSpringSolutions has done some rather extreme things with Hi Powers in the past because we test our springs in ways that some other companies might not. This is our first experience fracturing a firing pin retaining plate in any HP. My personal HP has something north of 20,000 rounds through it, and has been involved in some of our extreme testing…..it’s still running with the original firing pin retaining plate. In total, my personal round count out of Hi Powers is probably something north of 50,000 rounds – prior to this test, parts breakage has been a non-happening for us.
We chose a testing protocol that sets the bar no higher than it was set for the 1911, 107 years ago. It didn’t seem unreasonable to us to set the bar no higher than that…..in 2018.