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Browning Hi-Power

Semi-automatic pistol

Browning HP

The Browning Hi-Power is one of the best combat pistols in the world

Caliber 9x19 mm Parabellum
Weight (empty) 882 g
Length 200 mm
Barrel length 118 mm
Muzzle velocity 350 m/s
Muzzle energy 500 Joules
Magazine capacity 13 rounds
Sighting range 50 m
Range of effective fire 50 m


   The Hi-Power was designed by a legendary John Browning in 1925. It was the last pistol designed by the Browning. Originally it was aimed to meet requirement of the French military. This requirement could be met by the Browning's M1911 design, however previously he sold the rights of this successful pistol to the Colt company. So he designed an entirely new pistol, by working on the patterns of the M1911. The design was patented in the USA in 1927 after the Browning's death. The design was acquired by a Fabrique Nationale (FN) of Belgium. The Browning's design was finalized by FN designer Dieudonne Saive. In 1934 the pistol was complete and ready for production. In 1935 it was adopted by Belgian Army and its production began during the same year. Soon after it was adopted by Belgian police and many other countries, such as United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. More than 1 mln of these pistols have been made. It is known as the Hi-Power, HP, HP 35, GP 35, FN HP and has some other designations.

    The Hi-Power became one of the most successful and widely used military pistols in the world, alongside the M1911 and Walther PP. It has been used by armed forces and police of about 90 countries. At one time most NATO nations used it. This pistol is still produced by Fabrique Nationale. Since its introduction it was constantly improved. Its production was licensed to Argentina, Canada, Indonesia, and possibly some other countries. Unlicensed copies of this pistol were produced in China, Hungary, and possibly elsewhere.

   The Browning Hi-Power is one of the most influential pistols ever made. Its design inspired a number of copies and clones. Many modern pistols have some of its design features.

   The Hi-Power pistol is a short recoil operated weapon. This pistol has improved locking system, that was first developed by John Browning. During firing locking lugs on the barrel mate up with those on the slide. the barrel and slide lock and move back together for a short distance. After the barrel and the slide unlock. This locking system proved to be very successful. Over the years it has been used in a number of pistol designs. Sometimes it is used in various modified forms.

   The original military model is chambered for 9x19 mm ammunition. There was a model chambered for 7.65x21 mm ammunition. Also there is a commercial model, chambered in .40 S&W ammunition.

   Originally the Hi-Power pistol was quiet expensive, as it required precise manufacturing. Over time its production and mechanics were simplified.

   This weapon has a single-action trigger. Only in the 1980s Fabrique Nationale developed a version with a double-action trigger. It is referred as HP-DA and is still produced by FN.

   A manual safety switch was originally located on the left side of the frame. However later production models have an ambidextrous safety on both side of the frame. Also later production models have an internal firing pin safety. An original rounded hammer was replaced in 1972 by a spur hammer.

   The Hi-Power is fed from a 13-round magazine. It may not sound much today, but in the 1930s it was nearly twice the capacity any other contemporary pistol could offer. The name "Hi-Power" actually alludes to the high magazine capacity. The magazine was designed by FN designer Dieudonne Saive. It has a staggered design that increases capacity without drastic increase of magazine size or length. The commercial model chambered in.40 S&W ammunition has a magazine capacity reduced to 10 rounds.

   Originally the FN produced this pistol in two models. One model had a fixed rear sight. Another model had a larger front sight, adjustable rear sight, intended for more accurate shooting. The sight can be set at a range of 50 to 500 meters. A wooden holster could be attached to the grip and serve as a shoulder stock. Such pistols were produced before the WWII. Effective range of the Hi-Power pistol is about 50 meters.

    Even though the Hi-Power is one of the best combat pistols, it faces top challenge from the modern designs, such as a Glock 17.

Browning HP

Browning HP

Browning HP

Browning HP

Browning HP

Browning HP

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