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Old February 6, 2013, 03:20 PM   #1
Pond, James Pond
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What makes the Hi-Power special?

The HP seems to be design that holds similar cult status to the 1911.

But why is that. Now I'm not so much interested in its place in the grand acheme of firearms design, I mean what sets it apart when it comes to shooting.

So what makes the HP a gun people enjoy shooting?

(this thread is in no way influenced by the fact a Hi-Power is presently advertised for a song!! )
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Old February 6, 2013, 03:26 PM   #2
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I like that it's proportional to its "power"; the slide is very slim, where a lot of more recent 9mms are as thick through the slide as a 1911.
The grip is very well shaped, and is a comfortable reach to the trigger, where a lot of double-stack 9mms are a reach.
The gun was, for many, many years, the most widely used semi-auto service pistol in the world, with much more "street cred" than any 9mm pistol, before or since.
The trigger is pretty good, and can be made pretty great.
In six months or so, it might be one of the guns for which there are lots and lots of double-stack mags still available.
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Old February 6, 2013, 03:36 PM   #3
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Aside from being beautiful. They out shoot most of the peoples polymer tricked out guns. At least in my hands.

Either or, my stainless BHP or my blue BHP. Both shine on the range and for aesthetics.
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Old February 6, 2013, 03:37 PM   #4
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They're just so "hi powered" that no one can resist them.
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Old February 6, 2013, 03:46 PM   #5
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I have a C-Series Hi-Power. The slide glides on the frame as if it were gliding on thousands of micro ball bearings - none of my other guns have this same feel to it. The trigger on mine is simply perfect. To be fair, I think the trigger must have had some professional work done to it by the PO. The gun is over-all beautifully finished. It's perfectly balanced and fits well in my hand. I only wish I could find one as good as the one I have with a some cosmetic blemishes and at a decent price. There used to be some Israeli, Belgian made, Hi-Powers that had lots of wear on them available on Gunbroker. I was considering purchasing one (selling for about $350) and getting it in good mechanical shape. Would have made a nice shooter.

Last edited by Skans; February 6, 2013 at 03:55 PM.
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Old February 6, 2013, 03:51 PM   #6
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The P35 is currently available in 9mm and 40 S&W. The frame and slide were strengthened for the upgrade to 40.

Standard mags allow for 13+1. Military mags can be 15+1 without extending below the grip.

An exceptionally well balanced gun in 9mm. Slim and easy to conceal or to carry openly. Neither too heavy nor light. Excellent for many different sized hands. Accurate enough. Good looking, exceptionally reliable and durable. It has been in continuous military and law enforcement service since 1935. It has never failed to deliver the goods.

It is being phased out of service in England largely due to cost per unit. It has served in Great Britain, Canada and many other nations without significant complaint.

If a fella asks "What's the best fighting hand gun in 9mm available today?" the BHP will still be in the argument that follows.

You can read more about them at Steven Camp's excellent site...

http://hipowersandhandguns.com/

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Old February 6, 2013, 03:53 PM   #7
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It has in it's heritage a strong connection to John Moses Browning.

Last edited by qwiksdraw; February 9, 2013 at 10:08 PM.
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Old February 6, 2013, 04:01 PM   #8
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The .40 BHP is no longer made !!
The Canadian WWII pistols were aluminum framed.
The tang sighted ones were for use with a detachable shoulder stock [wishfull thinking ! ]
A very fine piece . I modified mine -- accurized ,trigger job, adjustable sights [S&W J frame ] custom wood grips. Sweet !!
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Old February 6, 2013, 04:11 PM   #9
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In addition to what has already been said, it was light years ahead of its time in 1935. It's still relevant and in my opinion in no way, shape or form obsolete.

Last edited by Que; February 6, 2013 at 04:26 PM.
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Old February 6, 2013, 04:12 PM   #10
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Pick one up and shoot it, then you will know. only gun in 9mm I own is a HP, it just fits my hand and shoots as well as my loaded 45. Also is all steel, I dont like the plastic fantastics, owned a couple, just didnt feel right for me.
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Old February 6, 2013, 04:44 PM   #11
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My 1994 made MK III BHP is my most accurate centerfire handgun. I'll echo what others have said. It is perfectly sized for the 9MM round, slim, elegant, yet strong and well made. The only other gun that feels like the slide is on ball bearings like my BHP is my Italian made Beretta 92FS.
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Old February 6, 2013, 04:46 PM   #12
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My Blue BHP melts me like ice cream out in the Miami sun.

I shoot the blue BHP often. My SS BHP is a safe queen that only comes out when it's cold. Tradition with my boys. It's NEVER cold in Miami.


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Old February 6, 2013, 04:51 PM   #13
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The High Power dates to 1928 and was well ahead of its time when the only other service type pistol chambered for the full power 9mm Parabellum was the Luger itself.* Even by the end of WWII, its 13+1 capacity made it tops in that category among service pistols. At that time, of course, double action automatic pistols were almost unknown, though Walther was working on the PP model.

Today, the "Browning" High Power is at best obsolescent, kept in production only by the Browning mystique and its many fans. The association with Browning is a bit ironic since JMB, who died in 1926, had almost nothing to do with the final design, which has to be credited to Saive.

*The Mauser C96 in 9mm P was made only during WWI and was the result of wartime expediency.

Jim
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Old February 6, 2013, 05:02 PM   #14
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Stainless Steel....????

I must have been under a rock for a long time....to my knowledge, Browning never made a stainless steel Browning Hi Power!

Blue Steel .................Yes.
Matte Blue/Parkerized..Yes.
Matte Hard Chrome......Yes.
Satin Nickel................Yes.

Stainless Steel.............No.

As to the attraction...they are the standard to which all 9mm's are judged.
Period.
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Old February 6, 2013, 05:09 PM   #15
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True; the "silver chrome" is often mistaken for stainless steel.

Jim
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Old February 6, 2013, 05:17 PM   #16
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Yes...no stainless steel...>

...not made by FN anyway.

Link to Stephen Camp's page on stainless steel Hi-Powers below.

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/s..._hi_powers.htm
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Old February 6, 2013, 05:37 PM   #17
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I'm not too good with scientific explanations. You just have to shoot one. I traded my XDm 9 for a nice Hi Power and have no regrets. There is just something about them....
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Old February 6, 2013, 05:38 PM   #18
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Right. When I think Hi-Power, I think the "real" one, not clones, although some of the latter are quite good.

Jim
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Old February 6, 2013, 05:46 PM   #19
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Slick action , fits my hand and points well , weight & size is about perfect for a 9mm steel framed pistol , very accurate even with the not so good stock trigger pull ( just my opinion compared to my other semi auto's ) , and there are other points but bottom line I'm glad I have one and will never sell it ! Thumbs up !!!!!
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Old February 6, 2013, 06:02 PM   #20
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My biggest objection to the Browning Hi-Power is that since John M. Browning/Dieudonne Saive designed it as a 9MM it can't be manufactured as a 45 without major redesign and tooling. Mine fires lead bullets very well due to its barrel design, as a military weapon it is extremely easy to field strip for maintenance and as a Member of SNM (Sons of Neanderthal Man) I appreciate the steel frame. The Browning Hi-Power is to semiautomatic pistols as the S&W M&P/Model 10 is to DA revolvers-a true classic that has stood the Test of Time because its designers got it 90% right the first time.
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Old February 6, 2013, 07:02 PM   #21
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I'm curious to know if a Hi Power owner carrys it on a daily basis, in what condition is it carried. Cocked and locked? Loaded with the hammer down? No round in the chamber? Or other.
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Old February 6, 2013, 07:16 PM   #22
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It is....

My favorite pistol for the reasons below:

1. Ergonomics - pretty much points itself.
2. Easily my most accurate pistol. Probably tied to #1 above.
3. "Just right" size for a 9mm - not blocky or clunky. Easy to carry.
4. Looks (self explanatory).
5. Parts/mags/accessories are not going away with it being in service for 75 years.
6. Mystique - yes, I like it just because it is a Browning/WWII pistol/older design that still holds up/full of history.

*However, I can not get over the ones selling for $800+ used. In my mind, it is a $600 pistol (new) with $200 worth of mystique. I am just curious - what do you consider "a song" as far as the price you mentioned?

J
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Old February 6, 2013, 08:44 PM   #23
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Whenever I carried mine it was cocked and locked .I had made a better [larger ] safety for it .The mag safety had been removed !
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Old February 6, 2013, 09:25 PM   #24
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"What makes the Hi-Power special?"

All of the above, plus great reliability. My Practical from mid 90's has somewhere between 3k-5k rounds through it. Everything from cheap FMJ to Corbon 115 JHP with it's fat/short bullet (never tried 147's). Not one malfunction of ANY kind. It's nice not to have to make up excuses!
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Old February 6, 2013, 09:47 PM   #25
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There are so many reasons IMHO...
  • It is a perfect blend of size, weight and slimness that creates a soft shooting combat 9mm.
  • Concealablity in the right holster these slim fullsized 9mms simply disappear.
  • It was JMB last major design which Dieudonne Saive improved upon creating what we call the Browning Hi Power
  • It is accurate enough out of the box and can be made even more accurate with a little work.
  • Extremely short length of pull for a double stack 9mm.
  • They are reliable real war real combat tested pistols. These pistols have seen use in military combat for over 80 years...
  • They fit a wide range of shooter hands. For those who experience hammer bite can still shoot the pistol with a no bite hammer modification or replacement.
  • An elegant example of old school design and craftsmanship that was the standard that for combat 9mms before the invention of tactical plastic.
  • They are capable of a very nice trigger although most of the time the out of the box trigger is less than stellar.
  • Aftermarket support and aftermarket parts are everywhere. Everything from mags to hammers to springs.
  • There are tons of outstanding gunsmiths who can work on and improve these pistols everything from the guy down the street to guys like Yost and Novak.
  • The history and the variety of configurations makes them appealing to collectors. You have 3 distinct generations of these pistols all with individual characteristics and appeal.

Really the list could go on and on. For me it all comes down to the fact I shoot it well. It fits me and the looks and the other factors I mentioned are just icing on the cake.....

They are a gun which every serious gun enthusiast should have in their safe... IMHO







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