1938 “Mexican” Browning High-Power Turned in at LA “Buyback” in May, 2014

By Dean Weingarten

Mexican High power Grips CloseL
“Mexican” Browning High-Power
Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- This “Mexican” Browning High-Power was one of many fine firearms turned in at the Los Angeles gun “buy back” in May of 2014.

It stands out because of the custom grips, which appear to be mother of pearl, inlaid with Mexican emblems and framed in silver.

The pistol has the slide at the full rear position, yet the barrel is only showing about 5/8ths of an inch in front.

It should show about 1 3/8ths.   Look at the other side.

The barrel is extending half way back above the magazine! It should not be in that position. Someone disassembled the pistol, then did not put it back together properly. Did they think it was broken?

"Mexican" Browning High-Power
“Mexican” Browning High-Power

Is that is why they turned it in for $100? This sort of configuration can easily happen if the pistol is assembled without the recoil spring. The grips alone are worth a $100 to a person who likes that sort of art. Quite a bit of labor was expended in making those grips. The serial number shows as 10109. The serial number does not seem to fit the serial number scheme for the Inglis pistol given here. A look at the markings on the left of the slide shows a blurry “Herstal Belgium

I wonder if anyone checked to see if it was reported stolen.

"Mexican" Browning High-Power Grips
“Mexican” Browning High-Power Grips

The slot for a shoulder stock and the long range adjustable rear sight show the pistol as most likely made before WWII. According to this site, the pistol was made about 1938. Here is a right side view of a tangent sighted version:

Tangent Sighted  Browning High Power
Tangent Sighted Browning High Power

And a left side view of a Candian version made by Inglis:

Candian Browning High Power made by Inglis
Candian Browning High Power made by Inglis

c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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Browing guy Al

If you never owned or shot one don’t call it a pimp pistol. These are one of the finest 9mils that there is. The grips don’t make the gun. I have several. This pistol when assembled the right way is worth in the area of btwn. 6 to 8 hundred bucks. Seriously try to shoot one if you can.

Clark Kent

Big Bill: Buy back firearms don’t go to any ‘evidence locker’. Your overwhelming ignorance about the process negates any of your clueless comments. As Sgt. Saxon states it is not worth LOSING YOUR JOB over a POS Mexican pimp pistol.


I don’t care if some LAPD officer keeps it if it’s saved from the smelter.

Clark Kent

Tonys Take: No, it won’t end up in anyone’s collection other than the scrap collector. Nice try at a baseless anti-police smear.

Big Bill

Yep, because we all know that each and every police officer is a fully vetted and valuable member of the LEO community, and would never, EVER, break the trust his community has in him/her.
Well, most of the time, anyway.
Nothing EVER shows up missing from evidence lockers, either.

Sgt. Saxon

Although your point is well taken, sarcasm included, the major agencies that have the resources to do these gun buy backs are USUALLY in democratic districts or states. Unfortunately, when they get their hands on these surrendered firearms, they all of a sudden grow a conscience and are very strict in how they process and ultimately destroy them. I’m a member of a very large agency here in California, and I’ve seen beautiful weapons, that many of us gun guys would love to take home, go straight to the melting pot. I’m sure somewhere, sometime, someone has snuck something out… Read more »

Grey Beard

Um, you do realize this “buy” was in LA, right. LA the most lawful place in all of California, well, maybe except ‘Frisco.

Tonys Take

You can bet this gun won’t be melted or scrapped. It will end-up in a LAPD officers collection.


Absolutely, this gun (and any other valuable examples) will not make the trip to the forge.


This is another reason why gun collectors should set up a booth outside these “buyback” programs and pay more than the $100 being offered for something as “collectable” as this piece.


All gun serial numbers are checked to see if they are reported lost or stolen.

There is nothing that prevents a gun shop or other person from setting up a booth in front of the buy back and advertising higher prices for the guns and ammo.

A lot of people with guns have no clue as to how much they are really worth or what they are even worth in spare parts. Heck a lot of people don’t read the manual hence often why negligent discharges occur.


More recently those ornate grips are called ‘El Chapos’.

Clark Kent

The history and value of the pistol is moot. It will be melted down and sold for scrap.