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  #1  
Old 07-29-2008, 05:56 PM
Slabsides45 Slabsides45 is offline
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Why not a Hi Power?




I've heard about the Browning Hi Power, and that it's a design that JMB came up with after the venerable 1911 design. My question is, why is it that the 1911 took off and the Hi Power is relatively obscure (at least, by 1911 standards)? Is the Hi Power inferior in some way, or did the contract with the DOD make the real difference on the progression of these two pieces?
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  #2  
Old 07-29-2008, 06:03 PM
Gene 53 Gene 53 is offline
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1911 vs Hi Power

JMB designed the Hi Power to circumvent the patent he sold to Colt. Even he couldn't improve on a masterpiece. I read this about 50 years ago and never heard it disputed. A very good gunsmith told me you just couldn't put a good trigger pull on a Hi Power. Since I am not a good gunsmith I just took his word for it.
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  #3  
Old 07-29-2008, 06:13 PM
GaryV GaryV is offline
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I wouldn't exactly say that the BHP is in any way "obscure". It was the primary issue sidearm for the militaries of most of the countries involved in WWII, on both sides of the conflict, and stayed in that position for many of them until the end of the 20th Century. While it doesn't have as much status in the US (no surprise, since it was designed in Europe) as the 1911, the opposite is true throughout the rest of the world.

And while virtually no handgun trigger can be made as good as a well-tuned 1911 trigger, a BHP trigger can be made pretty nice - certainly far better than on most other popular guns. A well-tuned BHP is a fantastic gun. Out of the box, the trigger is much worse than any 1911, but then a nice BHP can also be had for cheap enough to pay for the gunsmithing necessary to make it into a work of art.
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Last edited by GaryV; 07-29-2008 at 06:18 PM.
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  #4  
Old 07-29-2008, 10:16 PM
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thearmedrebel thearmedrebel is offline
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Why not a Hi-Power? Because of the caliber. Had the Hi-Power been designed in a "man stopping" caliber, and made in America, it is likely that it would have taken off here. As mentioned, the Hi-Power has been the choice for many militaries, militaries that were already on the 9mm bandwagon. Now the 9mm chambering isn't as big of an issue, especially for those of us not bound by international treaties, but there are other excellent choices (cough)CZ75(cough) for those wanting an all steel, higher capacity, 9mm.

Still, it is a shame that the Hi-Power isn't as popular. It is an excellent design.

Robert
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  #5  
Old 07-29-2008, 11:13 PM
BOP222 BOP222 is offline
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A few years ago I came across an all original FN HP MK2 that had hardly been shot...first time to the range I remember thinking "what the hell sort of trigger pull does this have"? Was terrible...took it to a local sport/gun shop and had the house gunsmith check the trigger pull. 12#!!...Sent it off to Don Williams at Action Works...came back with a crisp 4# pull. Sweet gun.
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  #6  
Old 07-30-2008, 01:23 AM
Captain America Captain America is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slabsides45 View Post
... My question is, why is it that the 1911 took off and the Hi Power is relatively obscure (at least, by 1911 standards)?...

The answer is a geographical one.

The 1911 is more popular in America and the 45 ACP is considered an American cartridge.
Both were invented in America and manufactured in America.

The Browning Hi-Power is more popular outside of the United States.
The 9mm originated in Germany, and the Hi-Power was first produced
in Belguim.

Compared to the 1911, the Hi-Power is in no way "relatively obscure".
It is still today one of the most popular pistols in the world.

It all depends on where you're standing when you compare the two.
There might be people in Europe, Africa or the Middle East asking, "why
is the 1911 relatively obscure compared to our Hi-Power?" "Why didn't
it take off like our Hi-Power did?"

We tend to look at things only from our own point of view and not the
total picture.

Last edited by Captain America; 07-30-2008 at 01:28 AM.
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  #7  
Old 07-30-2008, 10:25 AM
ColtM1911A1 ColtM1911A1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slabsides45 View Post
I've heard about the Browning Hi Power, and that it's a design that JMB came up with after the venerable 1911 design. My question is, why is it that the 1911 took off and the Hi Power is relatively obscure (at least, by 1911 standards)? Is the Hi Power inferior in some way, or did the contract with the DOD make the real difference on the progression of these two pieces?

It's more a caliber issue for me, but others have no problems with the 9mm and I can respect that point-of-view...

Also, as far as the trigger goes, I have quite a few BHP and stock the triggers are a bit rough. But I also have a BHP that I use quite often that's had trigger work done to it, and to be candid, it's trigger might just be the best feeling trigger I currently own. Just be sure to hire a gunsmith who knows his way around a P35, otherwise, you might be setting yourself up for a huge disappointment...

The classic P35, IMO, is not a step down from the 1911 in an ergonomic standpoint. It's natural pointing characteristics assures a better first-shot placement than many other platforms; to me, the BHP represents the likable first cousin to the Colt Government. I carry the Government every day, but I love to play with the BHP -- and if 'push-comes-to-shove', I wouldn't feel bad taking the P35 with me into 'harm's way'.
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  #8  
Old 07-30-2008, 10:40 AM
SHAFT SHAFT is offline
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I believe at the beginning it was due to caliber and that fact that it could be considered European.

In this country when the high cap 9mm took off, in the 80s, there were already some choices that the rank and file may consider "better" for duty. Conversely, a "better" .45 caliber pistol has only recently been realized in a package close the the size of the 1911.

In this day and age, in my opinion, I think there isn't a better all around .45 cal weapon then the 1911, primarily, for me, due to size.
On the flip side, there are many 9mm platforms that I would pick before going with a P35.
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  #9  
Old 07-30-2008, 11:05 AM
supergus supergus is offline
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Some state that the issue is caliber. Let's not forget that a BHP can be had
in .40 caliber. Nothing to sneeze at IMO. However, for the price I'd still go with a 1911.
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  #10  
Old 07-30-2008, 11:38 AM
golfer1 golfer1 is offline
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I like the Hi Power. The trigger pull can be improved greatly.
I 9mm it is a good useful caliber that can be upgraded to 40 cal. It does what it is supposed to do.
The nice thing is it fits in my 1911 holsters.
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  #11  
Old 07-30-2008, 11:46 AM
FreeAmerican FreeAmerican is offline
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Why not A Hi Power, because you should get Several!

The only bad thing about the HP in my book is the trigger out of the box. Which is an easy fix.
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  #12  
Old 07-30-2008, 11:58 AM
Denis S Denis S is offline
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Before Glock came along, Browning (aka High Power) and it's clones and derivatives (CZ, Tanfoglio, Baby Eagle, etc.) was THE gun for the rest of the world. I guess someone forgot to tell them that a 9mm is a worthless cartridge.
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  #13  
Old 07-30-2008, 12:30 PM
SHAFT SHAFT is offline
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I don't think anyone ever though the 9mm was worthless.
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  #14  
Old 07-30-2008, 01:25 PM
lance22 lance22 is offline
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Well, here I go a' hate'n ...

It's too ugly and too big, and not very customizable. There are much better 9mm designs, but no better .45 designs. Those are reason enough here in the states.
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  #15  
Old 07-30-2008, 01:53 PM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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I find it too large for the cartridge, and do not like the trigger. Many rave about how good it is, but I much prefer the 1911, and almost any other handgun.

Regards,
Jerry
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  #16  
Old 07-30-2008, 02:23 PM
Randall M Randall M is offline
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A bit of history

Like others have said we like our .45s here in the USA over the
9MM Parabellum aka Luger, or 9x19 which is dominant in the
rest of the world.

The Browning Hi Power is hailed as some as John M Broning's (JMB) last
firearm design. This is not exactly true - at the time of his death JMB
had developed a prototype by 1926. The design was finished by his
successor at FN, Dieudonne Saive. JMB was also working around the
patents Colt owned thus the no bushing and the cammed ramp on the
barrel for the delayed action coming out of battery. JMB also didn't
consider the double stack "high Capacity" magazine as a needed feature.
This was added by Saive driven by a request by the French.

WIth the Hi Cap mag the BHP didn't have room for the stirrup shaped trigger in the 1911 which makes the 1911 so much easier to tune. The trigger mechanism goes up into the slide and then back to release the sear.
The BHP trigger also has a couple of added pounds on the trigger pull becasue of the Mag disconnect i.e. the BHP cannot be fired with the
magazine removed - a trigger job on a BHP usually has the Mag disconnect
disabled, then the trigger is moothed up and it has a lesser lbs pull.

ALso, some say well the BHP has an external extractor so the external
extractor must be superior - it should be noted the BHP was changed by FN in the early 1960s from an internal to an external extractor. Bill Lafferty
(sp?) of Cyllinder & Slide has put out some beautiful custom BHPs and knows as much about the BHP as a Master Pistol Smith - recommends to never sling shot the slide on a chambered round or empty chamber because the extractor WILL break sooner than later. The Brits had a standing order of
only 12 in a magazine or you'd get gigged for 13 not an unlucky issue just
for reliability.

Some think the CZ 75 and it's family of variants have a relationship with the BHP being it's basis in design. I'd say not true as well
except for the double stack mag. The trigger is DA/DA and is a
partial stirrup more like a 1911 - no mag disconnect, and the slide is based on the SIg 210 where the slide fits inside the frame for the long
rails to aid accuracy but in general profile and some ergos the CZ
75 be would apppear to be a cousin.

Having said all the above I think the BHP is a fine service pistol
whichserved the Belgian, G. Britain, Canada and AUstralia as well as other
armed services for many years, indeed it's probably 2nd longest in service
only to the 1911. It's drawback is the SA only, with the many DA/SA or
DAO designs of today. FN did do a good job in beefing up the frame and
slide for the .40 S&W which hasn't been always the case with other manufacturers of taking a 9MMx19 and changing it to .40 S&W.

The french backed out of the deal, and the Belgians adoptd it with
the Brits not far behind with the winds of war brewing prior to WWII>
Dieudonne Saive escaped to Canada after the Germans conquered Belgium
and headed up the team at Ingalls to produce BHPs for the allies in WWII.
Meanwhile the Germans had FN keep producing the BHPs gave em Nazi proof
marks - some 350,000 used against the allies in WWII.

Randall
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  #17  
Old 07-30-2008, 02:56 PM
SHAFT SHAFT is offline
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For me, this is the "end all be all" when it comes to the P35-

I talked to a guy from across the pond about a month ago and asked him if he was carrying a "Browning".

He said "A what?"

Last edited by SHAFT; 07-30-2008 at 04:20 PM.
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  #18  
Old 07-30-2008, 03:01 PM
sousana sousana is offline
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The BHP and clones have been very successful all over the world with various militarys. When I served my compulsory service with the IDF, pistols at that point were pretty much issued on a "as needed" basis, but, the individual soldier was allowed to purchase and carry a personal sidearm, as long as it met standards set down by Command, AND, passed the armorers inspection, and it had to be as well maintained as the service rifle.

For me, I went and promptly purchased 2 Kareen Hi-Powers, 1 for the belt holster, and the second for a shoulder holster.

[IMG][/IMG]
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  #19  
Old 07-30-2008, 03:25 PM
mrlk_54 mrlk_54 is offline
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Bhp

IMHO the BHP ranks only slightly below a 1911. If it was .45 and the mag safety was gone they would be equal. Once again IMHO.
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  #20  
Old 07-30-2008, 04:00 PM
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Rosco Benson Rosco Benson is offline
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The P35 is a nice pistol. However, it suffers from a longer trigger reset and--generally--a worse trigger pull than a 1911. Early P35's also had ridiculously tiny thumb safeties. The magazine "safety" is a hazard. It is easily removed, but it is there and, in a fighting pistol, should not be.

Frequently, the P35 chews up the web of the shooter's hand. There are fixes for this and hands vary, but it is still an issue.

Lastly, the number of aftermarket "go-fast" parts for the P35 are miniscule compared to the 1911.

The P35 is a fine fighting pistol. If your problem can be solved with a pistol, a P35 can probably do it.

Rosco
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  #21  
Old 07-30-2008, 04:25 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slabsides45 View Post
My question is, why is it that the 1911 took off and the Hi Power is relatively obscure (at least, by 1911 standards)?
Who said the Hi-Power is obscure???

The P.35 was the single most common semi-automatic handgun in worldwide military use in the post-WW2 era, up until the past 15 years or so when everybody started replacing them with newer plastic fantastics. The only place where the Hi-Power never really gained much of a foothold was here in the USA, where we remained too emotionally attached to our .45's. But in virtually every other NATO country (and Third-World nation that received western aid) the BHP has reigned supreme. It is still standard issue in many countries as we speak.
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  #22  
Old 07-30-2008, 04:35 PM
Chubbs103 Chubbs103 is offline
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Let's not forget, the BHP used to be THE pistol for the FBI's HRT (of course they moved over to another JMB design). Since then, DA/SA and striker fired autos have taken over the 9mm market.
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  #23  
Old 07-30-2008, 04:37 PM
45caldan 45caldan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryM View Post
I find it too large for the cartridge, and do not like the trigger. Many rave about how good it is, but I much prefer the 1911, and almost any other handgun.

Regards,
Jerry
Too large??? The Hi-Power is one of the sleekest double stack 9mm pistols ever made!!! Hold one next to a SIG or Glock and see what I mean!
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  #24  
Old 07-30-2008, 04:48 PM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 45caldan View Post
Too large??? The Hi-Power is one of the sleekest double stack 9mm pistols ever made!!! Hold one next to a SIG or Glock and see what I mean!
Hold it next to a compact 1911, LW and see how it stacks up for size and weight.

Regards,
Jerry
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  #25  
Old 07-30-2008, 04:51 PM
45caldan 45caldan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryM View Post
Hold it next to a compact 1911, LW and see how it stacks up for size and weight.

Regards,
Jerry
Its NOT an alloy compact but rather a service pistol with a DOUBLE stack mag, as such it is svelt!
Yes there are smaller 9mm COMPACTS out there for carry but the BHP is an easy to carry FULL size DUTY pistol.
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Last edited by 45caldan; 07-30-2008 at 04:57 PM.
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