FN High-Power .270 Olympian Grade Bolt Action Rifle

1969 Browning

Made in Belgium 1960-1974
1969 Browning FN High-Power .270 Olympian Grade Bolt Action Rifle

Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre (FN) in Liege Belgium manufactured these guns from 1960 to 1974 for Browning Arms Company. The rifles were based on the FN commercial Mauser action. The model was known as the High Power, which is confusing today since everyone thinks of the 9mm Hi-Power pistol by that name.

Olympian Grade

These rifles were issued in three grades: Safari, Medallion and Olympian. The Safari or standard grade gun was made in the plant at Liege, Belgium while the two higher grades were made in the Custom Shop in Herstal, Belgium. The Olympian grade rifles required many hours to complete by master gunsmiths, master checkerers and carvers, and master engravers.

When Browning Arms contracted with FN in 1959 to produce this line for them, the Browning version would have one mechanical (cosmetic too) improvement over the Commercial FN Mauser. It was designed with a flush bolt stop, eliminating the protruding bolt stop housing.

- Greg / Gun Collector

In my efforts to learn as much as I could about this gun, I read a great deal about the 98 Mauser. The Mauser Model 98 had become so popular worldwide, that FN made refinements to adapt the gun to the civilian market after the Second World War. These guns with the FN improvements became known as the Commercial FN Mauser.

Given my market research, what does the price history of these guns look like?

  • 1970 - $500
  • 1980 - $1,000
  • 1990 - $2,000
  • 2000 - $4,000
  • 2010 - $8,000
  • 2020 - $16,000

These guns have held their own very well in the context of hunting rifles.

The FN-Browning High Power Rifle: A Legacy of Precision and Craftsmanship (1960-1974)

The collaboration between Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre (FN) and Browning Arms Company in the manufacturing of the High Power rifle is a significant chapter in the annals of firearms history. This partnership, spanning from 1960 to 1974, brought to the world a rifle that combined the robustness of the FN commercial Mauser action with the innovation and marketing prowess of Browning. Despite its name often being overshadowed by the fame of the FN Hi-Power pistol, the High Power rifle stands as a testament to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of its makers.

Browning Olympian Grade Rifle

Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre, located in Liège, Belgium, was renowned for its high-quality firearms manufacturing. The company's expertise in producing the Mauser action, which was already well-respected for its reliability and precision, made FN an ideal partner for Browning. The Mauser action, a bolt-action mechanism, is celebrated for its strength and was widely used in military rifles. However, FN's adaptation for the commercial market maintained the action's robust characteristics while enhancing its suitability for sporting purposes.

The FN High Power rifle, not to be confused with the FN Hi-Power pistol, was a distinct entity in the Browning lineup. The Hi-Power pistol, known for its 9mm caliber and widespread use, was another successful FN product. However, the High Power rifle carved its niche in the realm of high-performance sporting rifles. This model was a favorite among hunters and shooting enthusiasts for its accuracy, reliability, and the quality of its craftsmanship.

From 1960 to 1974, FN manufactured these rifles with meticulous attention to detail. Each rifle was a work of art, embodying the best of FN’s craftsmanship. The use of high-grade materials, combined with the skilled workmanship of FN’s artisans, resulted in a rifle that was not only a functional tool for hunters and sportsmen but also a collector's item for firearm enthusiasts.

The rifle’s design was based on the FN commercial Mauser action, known for its controlled-round feeding and robust locking lugs. This action provided the High Power rifle with a solid and reliable foundation, ensuring a high degree of accuracy and safety. The Mauser action's reputation, forged in the battlefields, was seamlessly transitioned into the sporting arena, giving the High Power rifle a formidable presence.

During its production years, the High Power rifle was available in various calibers, catering to a broad spectrum of shooting and hunting needs. Its versatility and adaptability to different shooting conditions made it a popular choice. The rifle's aesthetic appeal was not overlooked; it featured beautiful wood stocks, finely blued metal, and often intricate engraving, embodying the elegance that both Browning and FN were known for.

Browning Olympian Grade Rifle

The end of its production in 1974 marked the conclusion of a remarkable era in the world of sporting rifles. The FN-Browning High Power rifle remains a symbol of a bygone era of craftsmanship, representing a collaboration that brought together the best of Belgian manufacturing and American entrepreneurial spirit.

In retrospect, the FN-Browning High Power rifle is more than just a firearm. It is a legacy of a time when precision engineering and artistic craftsmanship were seamlessly blended to create something truly exceptional. For collectors and enthusiasts, each rifle is not just a tool but a piece of history, a reminder of the golden era of firearm manufacturing.

How Can You Top This? Perhaps a custom-made rifle in the price range of say $25,000 today could touch this.

Author with Browning Olympian .270 rifle

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