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In the history of ridiculous names for guns, the FEG Hi-Powers stand out. For example, the gun I’ve got today is the Fegyver- és Gépgyártó Részvénytársaság PJK-9HP FP9. This is what happens when you live under communism. You’re marketing sucks, and branding is a pipe dream. I can’t tell you what that stands for, but the name is fitting for such an odd version of a fairly famous firearm. From here on out, it’s going to be called the FEG Hi-Power.

The Hi-Power is like most Browning designs, people are going to copy it. The success of the pistol across Western Europe leaked to the East, and the Hungarians can make more than goulash.

Look at this weirdo. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

FEG stands for Fegyver- és Gépgyártó Részvénytársaság, which in English means Arms and Machine Manufacturing Company, and those guys made the gun. This company dates back to 1891, and small arms have always been a big part of the company.

Although these days, if the internet is to be believed, they are mostly an HVAC company. Well, they certainly brought the heat with the Hi-Power clones. Amongst the Hi-Power community, these guns are typically described as robust but ugly. This example certainly doesn’t stray from that reputation. It’s like FEG tried to make a nice-looking gun and had all the ingredients; they just lacked the know-how.

Inside and Out Of the FEG Hi-Power

It’s got a blued finish, which is a bit spotty and uneven. The wood grips are a nice touch, but somehow, it just doesn’t have that Western grace. The gun also has a ventilated rib. Why? I have no idea and couldn’t possibly come up with a reason outside of trying to look cool. Normally, you’d find a ventilated rib on a barrel to raise the sight plain a bit and to prevent the heat mirage of the barrel from distorting your sight picture.

Spoiler alert, the safety is stiff. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

That’s fine and dandy, but I doubt the slide could get hot enough to create a heat mirage. Maybe this allowed someone to patent the gun? I will say there are a few companies that produce optics mounts for vent rib shotguns, and I can’t help but wonder if I could add a red-dot to the vent rib….

Its trying to be good looking, but like a pretty girl whose Buccal fat removal goes wrong, it just can’t make it. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

That’s a mystery for another day. It’s also a bit of a mystery on how much of a Hi-Power is your FEG? Some are direct clones and others, particularly the P9M series, deviated a bit from the Hi-Power design. These are commonly called the Hi-Power-style pistols. These Hi-Power-style pistols sometimes used a system more akin to the original S&W first-, second- and third-generation semi-autos.

I’m not sure why it has a vent rib, but its weird and I like weird. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The PJK-9HP FP9 came in both the Hi-Power system and the S&W system. According to Decoding the FEG Hi-Power by Jerry Paregein, the telltale sign is the oval above the trigger on the frame. If it has the oval, it uses a Hi-Power system. The oval is the cross-bolt footprint, which makes decoding this FEG Hi-Power a little easier. Supposedly, the vent rib versions are rare, but that doesn’t seem to increase their value.

My PJK-9HP FP9

I picked this model up for $200 with little resistance at a local auction. People must not have liked the ugly nature of the gun because the previous gun was a FEG that looked like the classic Hi-Power.

The FEG Hi-Powers come in numerous configurations; some even used the S&W system. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

I’m a fan of weird guns, so the vent rib is only a plus, as far as I’m concerned. According to the same Decoding The FEG Hi-Power, there were only 500 imported with the vent rib in the mid-1980s. It’s possible other vent rib guns were imported but it’s not well known. Plus, I always wanted a Hi-Power, and this provided a cheap way to ease myself into the world of the legendary Wonder Nine.

In my hand, the gun feels a bit thick; maybe it’s the grips, but it doesn’t have that same vibe as a real Hi-Power. Maybe my problem is that I’ve only ever handled more modern Hi-Powers, and the Hungarians liked it thick?

The grip is nice and thick compared to other Hi-Powers I’ve handled. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

You can see the OG influence in the grip and beavertail design. The beavertail is more of a nub like the original 1935 variants. Safety is a single-side design, and holy crap, is it stiff.

I gotta really force the thing up and into position. Luckily, this is more of a range gun than a carry gun for me. It has all the Hi-Power goodness to it. The magazine safety is present; the magazines don’t drop free, and the hammer bites like Jaws. It’s expected and not a big surprise.

At the Range With The FEG Hi-Power

When I hear Eastern European guns, I immediately think of terrible heavy triggers, with CZ as the exception. With the rise of Slovenian and Croatian firearms, maybe that idea could die. However, when it comes to old Eastern European pistols, the reputation will likely remain.

With all that in mind, I was pleasantly surprised by the FEG Hi-Power’s trigger. Even with the lame magazine safety in place, the trigger was fairly light and smooth. You can feel a little grit if you look for it, but it serves the Hi-Power reputation well.

Oh cool, hammer bite. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The sights on the vent rib are small, which is an odd take. They are all black, and maybe a paint pen will liven things up. In good lighting, with the sights aligned, you’ll ring steel. It’s tough to track those all-black sights, but for plinking, I’m not breaking out a timer and trying a 10-10-10 drill. I’m focusing on fun, and I’m having that with the FEG Hi-Power.

Recoil is super light and enjoyable. The all-metal frame and heavy Hungarian metal certainly keep 9mm recoil down. The impulse is smooth and straight rearward. The downside is that aforementioned hammer bite.

You still can’t beat the Hi-Power ergonomics. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The gun cycled several hundred rounds without a hiccup. We might expect terrible triggers with Eastern European firearms, but we also expect reliability, and the FEG Hi-Power lives up to that reputation.

The Cheap Hi-Power Option

As I type this, my second screen has FEG Hi-Power listings up. I guess I got a heckuva bargain, and while they have a reputation for being the cheap Hi-Power, the prices have seemed to creep up. It seems like the cheapest Hi-Power option is Girsan these days. It’s admittedly a bit of a tough sale to spend nearly $600 on what’s likely an ugly beat-up gun, but admittedly, it’s one that works. If you spot a PJK-9HP FP9 for 200 bucks, snatch it up, and you can join the vent rib brotherhood.

 

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23 COMMENTS

  1. A friend of mine had one back when they were being imported and hawked at all the gun shows. The finish on his was very good almost the equal of the original High Power. I do not know how good the metallurgy is on them which could affect service life but back then they were so cheap that they were as cheap as the junk plasticky pistols that were beginning to infest the gun market at that time so one had little to lose by buying one.

    I have never had hammer bite in all my life with any make of pistol, but then again I am not obese either that results in fatty hands.

    No, I did not buy one because I already had more of the original FN guns than I needed so I passed on the FEG. You simply cannot buy them all.

    • You’ve never had hammer bite because you’ve never shot a gun.

      All these guns you claim to own and have experience on but you’re the biggest advocate for gun control. And I’ve been to your facebook page, jerry p. of canton ohio. You are a fat person. Comes from being on the dole and living in your mothers basement.

      • to Jethro the Janitor.

        Question Genius boy: How did the Red Army beat the White Russian army in combat.? Hint: They did not throw cream puffs at them genius boy. You seem to think that Liberals and Socialists do not own guns and that you are in the majority of gun owners when this is patently false, you are in the minority of gun owners because the majority of gun owners do not hold your far right nut case mentally ill viewpoint on gun control because the majority of gun owners do support gun laws that keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and the criminal element. You are not supporting these laws and proposed laws.

        We Liberals and Socialists need guns to protect ourselves from Trumpite Stormtroopers like you who would overthrow the government and install your lord god Herr Drumpf (the Donald) as dictator for life.

        Now lets see you lie your way out of this one. Try again you failed.

        • Only lies told here are the ones you spout. First of all you are not a liberal. Or a Social-list.

          You are a nat-zee. The fact that you cannot read any of your own comments and not see that is testament to your lack of education and iq.

          I take it as a badge of honor that a nat-zee such as yourself names me a failure. I must be doing it right.

        • I smell more shite.

          Why didn’t Trump install his dictatorship before when he had every opportunity?

          You would be funny if you weren’t so tragic. You will know when your usefulness has ended. You will end up in the same pit as your victims. Bonus points if an ambitious underling denounces you.

    • I smell shite.

      Again claiming to own or use the same guns you and your Caravan of Death are willing to liquidate a third of the population for.

      A new meaning to the word hypocrite. It is dacian.

  2. I’ve owned and still have a few FEG models including a duplicate of the one featured here. I believe that the vent rib, like the “thumbrest” left grip panel on the PA-63s, was to gain ” sporting use ” importation points that were required in various countries including the US. A lot of FN P-35 Gran Puissance (a.k.a
    “Hi-Power”) parts were drop-in fit on these guns.

    • There was one of these FEG HP clones floating around the ranks of my ex employer. From unsuspecting owner to unsuspecting owner. One guy finally decided to end the cycle and sell or trade it at a gun show. The dealer he tried to trade with told him it was a POS. I dont know what ever happened to it. Thing is, the few times I went out to shoot with its owner of the day, it functioned flawlessly.

  3. I shot a couple of these in the 80s and remember a Pistolero Magazine article on them.

    my experience is that they are crap. All the old stereotypes of soft metal, sloppy fitting, and no parts support.

    i pity folks that have a Feg air conditioner.

  4. paregein’s in depth breakdown used to online, last time i looked for it it was for sale for a dollar pdf.
    there were different importers, but the pjk’s were by kbi. pjk is for the importer’s daughter, pamela jean kassner.
    i paid 250 around ’90 new. untold rounds of fmj thrown, far more than anything else i have in 9mm. very nice bluing, then they drop the ball on the slide cuts… the left side is shallow and washed out some. damn near a clone, browning safeties (if you pull the trigger twice with safety on hammer will drop on mine) are longer for leverage, but i’d have to turn it down or blow the frame hole out (not). no thanks on the weird vent rib, and there’s an odd lip extended around the barrel on the slide.
    for sure ditch the slide safety. most dramatic trigger improvement i’ve seen.
    20yrs later i finally got a belgian fn two tone,extended safety installed. but it was triple price. haven’t fired it yet.
    if you’re ?mark steel averse, the turks seem to be throwing nice ones. figures s’field brought them back too.

    • I’ve seen various quality of finishes on these, from appearing to have been done with 80 gritwrspped around a hockey puck, to nicely polished with decent blueing, like the one that I have. Steel is decently hard, and the sights and top rib are really no more silly than the FNs with the 800 meter tangent sight. The Kassner/ KBI ones that are based on S&W 39 lockwork all seem to be more uniform… uniformly bad that is, with most of the problems described above. And really not at all hard to distinguish from the FN clones if seen side by side.

  5. That particular gun was a Kassnar import; KBI’s models were the only ones that had that goofy rib. FEG also made the P9R, which was a mashup of GP35 and S&W 59. It looked like a Hi Power but was DA/SA with a slide mounted safety/decock lever that could have come straight from a 59. When I wanted extra mags I adapted Smith mags, but a BHP extractor was a perfect fit. I also had the 45 ACP version; unfortunately they used their own design for the barrel and one of the guide lugs sheared off.

  6. I’ve got a PJK 9mm, no vent rib. Good shooter, very reliable. It’s one of my favorite range toys. More dependable than my Charles Daly Hi-Power or a Bulgarian Hi-Power clone in my possession.

      • From what I’ve read, Charles Daly’s have earned the distinction of being referred to as Hi Power’s in their own right and not referred to as clones. The Bulgarian clone is built like a tank but, I still prefer my FEG over both of them. It’s just more reliable. It does have teeny sights, tho.

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