Redditor, IvanTTroll is one of that community’s trailblazers when it comes to 3D printing things gun related. His latest project has been printing pistol frames for Browning Hi-Power parts kits. Ivan said that this has been one of his most favorite projects, so much so that he’s almost assembled enough of them to make a rainbow with all the different frame colors. Seeing some of the sad, lonely parts kits available on the market makes me glad that some people are able to breathe new life into them.
Ivan’s work has been featured a few other times on TFB (such as his unique Walther PPK frame), and this Browning Hi-Power project caught my eye, partly due to the brightly colored material he used, and partly because of the Hi-Power. I asked Ivan if he’d be willing to share about his 3D printed Browning Hi-Power process and why it was his favorite. He explains below:
It’s my favorite because I’ve always really like the BHP – dating back to old WW2 movies in my pre-teen years where I would mistake them with the 1911 and grandpa or dad would correct me. I found it cool that it looked like a 1911 but was different. I got to shoot one in my teens and liked it – they are incredibly attractive guns. Unfortunately, just about nobody makes them anymore, which was a bummer. They cost a ton of money, even for basic version. So about a year and a half ago, when I found a parts kit for 300 bucks, I jumped on it – I’d been printing Glocks for a long time at that point and knew that in one form or another a printed BHP frame would work.
I had received the 2D prints in pdf form – a copy of the prints that the Brits got from Belgium (and passed to Canada for the Inglis guns) during WW2 – so I had a fairly easy time drawing the frame in CAD. The frame is a pretty complex part, and it makes sence why machined frames are so expensive. But with 3D printing, complex orientations and close fitting pockets aren’t an issue that adds any extra complexity to manufacture – thus why I can print frames for 3 bucks, drop some milled aluminum rail inserts in, and be all set. One of the “rail vendors” (a shop that sells rails for 3D printed gun builds) ran off a couple sets of the BHP rails I designed on a CNC mill (I used a manual for mine and wanted to verify that my spec was spot-on), and those rails work great – which was really the biggest speedbump in this project – the rails can be sold from a vendor and work great with no fitting of the rails. Cost on the rails might end up being $50ish since they are more complex than Glock rails, but that beats coughing up hundreds for a new frame.
What do you think about IvanTTroll’s Browning Hi-Power 3D printed frames? Feel free to follow Ivan on Reddit for when the files are made available. Do you like the use of different colors for the frames or would you prefer black? I happen to like the blue frame coupled with the stainless slide. Which one do you like best?