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  #1  
Old 05-08-2014, 06:17 PM
JonCombatCdr JonCombatCdr is offline
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Assessment Of The Advantages and Disadvantages In Choosing A Hi Power As Duty/Dedicat

Recently, in one of the professionally-oriented forums that I participate in, this discussion came up, and I thought members here might be interested in the assessment that I came up with that was well received.

As some of you know, my personal Hi Power experiences are exclusively with the .40 variants, of which I've owned 3 (1 currently); all were purchased brand new; one was a Hi Power Standard, the other 2 were Mk IIIs. The Standard was thoroughly gone through by Novaks by Kurt Wickmann, the first Mk III was also wrenched on by Mr. Wickmann, and my current one is pretty much box-stock, with the substitution of a set of Hogue rubber fingergroove grips.

I use my Hi Power for both carry and IDPA, and to date it's been absolutely flawless in use.

ADVANTAGES
  1. Size/compactness;
  2. Basic ergonomics, feel, and handling characteristics;
  3. Single action trigger easy to use-only one triggerpull characteristic to master;
  4. Accuracy quite good out of the box/with OEM barrel;
  5. Exceptional reliability (within forecasted lifespan);
  6. Durability (within forecasted lifespan, roughly estimated to be at 12K-15K for barrel, 35K for basic gun);
  7. Quite good carry-bevel characteristics (other than on relatively sharp-edged and protrusive spur hammer);
  8. Quite good OEM sights on Mk III guns, with good light bar ratios regarding front and rear sights;
  9. Easy to field strip

DISADVANTAGES
  1. Square, relatively un-bevelable magazine well can trip up speed magazine insertions;
  2. Spur hammer can bite the web of the hand;
  3. Epoxy finish (on Mk IIIs), while nicely applied and reasonably protective, is nowhere comparable in protectiveness provided by more modern and weather/wear impervious finishes;
  4. Out-of-the-box triggerpulls are notorious for needing a subsequent action job, as they're often reported as being both heavy and gritty; the somewhat convoluted mechanics of the hammer tripping system can make achieving a truly good triggerpull difficult/expensive to achieve;
  5. Long trigger reset (as in the trigger needs to come fully forward to achieve reset);
  6. Relatively expensive in terms of time and resources of LEO/military units to maintain;
  7. Comparatively difficult and time-consuming to detail-disassemble compared to contemporary competitors such as Glocks;
  8. More lubrication intensive (in terms of both amounts/locations needed and frequency of application);
  9. Single-action operating mode is not necessarily best suited to shooters, especially during high adrenelin threat management situations if safety is off;
  10. Potentially dangerous to de-cock with a round chambered-more attention, skill and mastery being requisite to safely de-cock;
  11. Limited overall platform lifespan, especially compared to contemporary polymer-frame competitors;
  12. While not particularly heavy intrinsically, certainly heavier than polymer frame competitors;
  13. Carrying in Condition 1/cocked-and-locked mode potentially exposes internal mechanisms to debris, potentially hindering operational effectiveness, or inducing hammer-down carry, inducing operational delays/constraints in achieving readiness to fire;
  14. Very expensive initial buy-in cost, as current discounted buy-in prices seem to consistantly hover around the $850-$1,000 price point; limited production/production allocations by FN can make accruing a new Hi Power difficult and time-consuming;
  15. Sharp magazine baseplate edges can significantly dictate spare magazine carry options to preclude them from cutting into a user's side;
  16. While effective, the slide release finger pad is not as ergonomic or effectively accessed and actuated as are those on many more modern competitor pistols;
  17. Parts replacement/substitution alternatives availability limited, and can be expensive, OEM or otherwise (i.e., $100+ for a slide stop...)
  18. Parts replacement can require fitting, requiring gunsmith/upper echelon support above the operator;
  19. Grip panels retained by screws, which require attention to preclude loosening and/or rusting;
  20. For some, the slimness of the grip's girth results in the triggerfinger excessively protruding past ideal positioning on the trigger, requiring aftermarket grips to provide a more ideal trigger finger placement on the trigger

Obviously, the list of disadvantages that I've composed exceeds the list of advantages. How applicable it is will depend upon how you or your organization accept and/or weigh them as it applies. At the end of the day, while I certainly consider a contemporary Hi Power to be a very viable defensive pistol, and one eminently capable of carry/concealed carry, and a magnificent example of the combination of John Moses Browning and Dieudonne Saive's design genius (and FN's manufacturing quality), I think that in many ways the Hi Power has been significantly displaced, and somewhat rendered obsolescent by more modern (and often polymer-framed) competitors in many areas.

But that's certainly not to say that one couldn't (or shouldn't) enjoy, appreciate, and viably carry and use a Hi Power-if cognizant of it's limitations.

I certainly welcome comments and further discussion.

Best, Jon

Last edited by JonCombatCdr; 05-09-2014 at 02:26 PM.
  #2  
Old 05-08-2014, 08:20 PM
chuntaro chuntaro is offline
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Maybe last year or early this year, Jason Burton showcased a 9mm CommAnder he did for a customer. In addition to the great pictures they post from Heirloom, there was an interesting narrative as to why he and the customer determined the Commander met the individual needs of the customer better than the hi power.
  #3  
Old 05-08-2014, 08:26 PM
Matquig Matquig is offline
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FWIW, I found it interesting that my alloy framed Hi Power came in very close to weight and general handling to my polymer framed Walther P99. Sure there are other differences, but given the slight change of weight, the Hi Power didn't give up too much to the obviously lighter poly guns.
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  #4  
Old 05-09-2014, 02:43 AM
Spook410 Spook410 is offline
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Mapping a FN High Power to LEO procurements and military trials is like assessing a Porsche against rental fleet requirements.

It makes more sense to ask what an individual needs and wants since that's the market FN supports with this pistol. Large organizations are focused on cheap and sturdy. Individuals, at least most that I've seen around here, are looking for quality and what they shoot best.
  #5  
Old 05-09-2014, 05:24 AM
HPwhit HPwhit is offline
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My critique of the disadvantages would be....

- There is no need to ever de-cock a Hi Power, unless you are unloading it.
- How is the slide release not as ergonomic as other pistols?
- I would argue the trigger of the HP is tougher to detail strip than most other handguns, but not the rest of the gun.

A lot of your criticisms are spot on though, especially the price points, what I believe is the major reason why a lot of countries are discontinuing their Hi Power arsenals.
  #6  
Old 05-09-2014, 07:32 AM
silversport silversport is offline
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Jon,

...as always well thought out and lots of information in your post-thread...

Spook410...isn't the reason for being a P-35 Military or law enforcement???...

Bill
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  #7  
Old 05-09-2014, 11:28 AM
chuntaro chuntaro is offline
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Here is post one of the thread by Jason Burton. I hope the pictures come out when linking a single post.

https://forums.1911forum.com/showpost...34&postcount=1

Organizational one size fits all requirement? A LE organization should have a flexible policy that allows an individual to maximize fit, hit potential and confidence. A military organization that wants to decock safely on a live round can buy Sig. Do not try to decock any polymer safe action pistol on a live round of which I have any knowledge. Unload the hi power or return the safety to the on position. No reason to decock a single action sidearm on a live round unless it is a revolver.

Adrenalin overdose....a seven to ten pound hi power trigger in single action is safer to handle than a stock five pound safe action pistol trigger.
  #8  
Old 05-09-2014, 01:37 PM
Spook410 Spook410 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silversport View Post
Jon,

...as always well thought out and lots of information in your post-thread...

Spook410...isn't the reason for being a P-35 Military or law enforcement???...

Bill
Absolutely Bill. It met and exceeded LEO and Military requirements like no other pistol in the 1930's.

Today, newer materials, computer aided design, and evolved manufacturing processes make other pistols cheaper for organizations to buy and own. However, that doesn't mean it isn't the best choice for a given individual. Individuals don't have to be as concerned about logistics and 5th grade reading level capabilities for care and handling (that's a current DoD requirement and a reasonable one). If I were to modify that list for what an informed individual cares about, most of the benefits would stay and many of the disadvantages would go away. Make it a custom hi power, and still more of the disadvantages are addressed.
  #9  
Old 05-09-2014, 02:16 PM
eicas eicas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuntaro View Post

Adrenalin overdose....a seven to ten pound hi power trigger in single action is safer to handle than a stock five pound safe action pistol trigger.
Absolutely. Lots of OIS reports to back this up too.

In the end, its all about training. Whether its a DA, DA/SA, SA or striker fired.

You will default to your lowest level of training. And if that level is woefully inadequate....well.
  #10  
Old 05-09-2014, 04:11 PM
JonCombatCdr JonCombatCdr is offline
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Guys, I'm not trying to dissuade anyone from the Hi Powers (myself included)-I'm merely pointing out my perceptions as to it's comparative (and/or intrinsic) advantages and disadvantages.

The point made about the minimization of the weight disparity against more modern/polymer frame pistols if one goes with an alloy-frame Hi Power is appropriate, but an alloy Hi Power is a very, very small subset of the Hi Power genre, and one pretty much categorized as "unobtanium" due to it's very limited production and availability.

Particular attention might be directed towards the recent British Army decision to move away from the Hi Power to the Glock 17. It seems that a vital part of their decision matrix was not necessarily the price tag for each individual pistol, but the assessment of resource costing (including procurement, spare parts, magazines, maintenance requirements {including likely maintenance time requirements for operator, unit, and higher echelon maintance}. Also cited was the greater cartridge capacity of the Glock 17 and it's lighter weight. And, quite simply, the existing British Army Hi Power stocks were wearing out, with the implication that it was not cost/resource effective to continue with the pistols/platform (and I'm not so sure that FN was willing to participate in any large-scale manufacturing committment of Hi Powers, as they're seemingly concentrating their manufacturing and marketing efforts on their polymer frame pistols, even if the British Army had preferred to remain with the Hi Power).

That doesn't necessarily mean that a Hi Power is a bad choice for an individual user-carefully re-read the last portions of my initial post, after the Advantages and Disadvantages enumeration.

While I concur with the training implications and requirements inherent to operation of any firearm's action system, I still think that a single-action pistol such as the Hi Power or 1911, with a relatively short triggerpull has a higher chance of inadvertant or negligant discharge in a safety off hostile threat environment-hence the movement away from single-action automatics by most non-specialized military and LEOs. Again, for a trained and experienced user, it's not such a deterrant/disqualifier.

Jason Burton's post was interesting-amplifying some of the things discussed.

Best, Jon

Last edited by JonCombatCdr; 05-10-2014 at 07:25 AM.
  #11  
Old 05-09-2014, 06:33 PM
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A good read but I can give the same argument with just about any other handgun out there.
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  #12  
Old 05-09-2014, 07:28 PM
Che Che is offline
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I agree on a good read.

In 1982 the BHP was the best choice in LE. The only other choices were the 45 automatic or the S&W 9mm model 39 or 59. In 2014, many others have came onto the market so most cops I point towards the Glock.
  #13  
Old 05-09-2014, 07:52 PM
JonCombatCdr JonCombatCdr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HPwhit View Post
My critique of the disadvantages would be....

- There is no need to ever de-cock a Hi Power, unless you are unloading it.
- How is the slide release not as ergonomic as other pistols?
- I would argue the trigger of the HP is tougher to detail strip than most other handguns, but not the rest of the gun.

A lot of your criticisms are spot on though, especially the price points, what I believe is the major reason why a lot of countries are discontinuing their Hi Power arsenals.
In my experience, while the pad of the slide stop is serrated, it's lack of an adequately protrusive shelf along with the pad's position in relation to the strong hand thumb (assuming the user is right-handed...) makes it more useful as a slide stop than a slide release. Using the weak hand thumb to release it in conjunction with the magazine insertion is a bit better ergonomically, but a more protrusive shelf would significicantly expedite it's use as in the slide release mode slide release in my opinion. As it is, it's about as effective/ergonomic as Glock's non-extended slide stop pad-again, in my opinion.

Best, Jon

Last edited by JonCombatCdr; 05-09-2014 at 07:54 PM.
  #14  
Old 05-09-2014, 07:55 PM
eicas eicas is offline
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Most cops dont train as much as they should either.

I agree that the BHP is from a different era. Also agree that purchase costs, whether its for a municipality or .gov agency of any kind, would not make much economic sense. When you can disassemble a Glock to its component parts in about 2 minutes, replace all those parts without fitting in another 3 (with minimal training effort to the armorer) it doesnt make sense.

But I havent heard many people calling the Glock "The sexiest autoloader ever made" either.

Its a niche gun now. Im happy with that though.
  #15  
Old 05-09-2014, 09:49 PM
Matquig Matquig is offline
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It would be ridiculous to say there was anything about the P35 Browning that would exclude it from law enforcement or military service., since it has done so well for many years. Much the same as a quality DA revolver of appropriate bore size. But they might not be the best in the hands of today's AVERAGE police officer. But then, a Glock may not be the right choice, either. It may be the man that limits the usefulness of his tools, not the other way around.
  #16  
Old 05-09-2014, 11:53 PM
threedogdad threedogdad is offline
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All the above reasons "may" be spot on...for various users. We each have different needs and requirements.

But the P35 has worked well for my personal needs for more than 25 years. I have no complaints at all, except that I cannot find a .40 caliber model for sale in my area.
  #17  
Old 05-10-2014, 12:46 AM
Spook410 Spook410 is offline
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I've been on both sides of DoD procurements over the last 3 decades. If we're talking about this list as a 'Duty' weapon for an organization, then let's consider the list in that light rather than some mix of personal preference, sport/competition and organizational requirements.

Square, relatively un-bevelable magazine well can trip up speed magazine insertions;

Has anyone ever seen a speed load requirement for a military trial or LEO procurement? This is a sport/competition requirement, not military/LEO.

Spur hammer can bite the web of the hand;

Then don't bid the spur hammer that's been absent from the production pistol for 40 years.

Epoxy finish (on Mk IIIs), while nicely applied and reasonably protective, is nowhere comparable in protectiveness provided by more modern and weather/wear impervious finishes;

You mean like what's that found on a Beretta M9? Actually I am a fan of black nitride finishes and while this could easily be done, FN isn't going to.

Out-of-the-box triggerpulls are notorious for needing a subsequent action job, as they're often reported as being both heavy and gritty; the somewhat convoluted mechanics of the hammer tripping system can make achieving a truly good triggerpull difficult/expensive to achieve;

LEO/Military procurements don't care about trigger pull. As long as it's not too light.

Long trigger reset (as in the trigger needs to come fully forward to achieve reset);

Again, not a criteria in procurements.

Relatively expensive in terms of time and resources of LEO/military units to maintain;

Yes. This was listed multiple times. And the lowest bidder will win which is why FN doesn't play in that market.

Comparatively difficult and time-consuming to detail-disassemble compared to contemporary competitors such as Glocks;

Trigger assembly but not other parts. Would extra armorers or more armorer hours be required in the organization to support this? Since price per pistol will win this is in the noise.

More lubrication intensive (in terms of both amounts/locations needed and frequency of application);

Military trial consideration maybe. Not a LEO requirement. Not a major consideration.

Single-action operating mode is not necessarily best suited to shooters, especially during high adrenelin threat management situations if safety is off;

Compared to striker fire? If there were a hard requirement for this, DA pistol would win. Otherwise this goes in the Hi Power column.

Potentially dangerous to de-cock with a round chambered-more attention, skill and mastery being requisite to safely de-cock;

Not a requirement

Limited overall platform lifespan, especially compared to contemporary polymer-frame competitors;

The 4 or 5 decades some organizations have had Hi Powers in play doesn't measure up?

While not particularly heavy intrinsically, certainly heavier than polymer frame competitors;

Doubt there will be a requirement for a sub 30 ounce pistol.

Carrying in Condition 1/cocked-and-locked mode potentially exposes internal mechanisms to debris, potentially hindering operational effectiveness, or inducing hammer-down carry, inducing operational delays/constraints in achieving readiness to fire;

Don't think military carries Condition 1 even though they use a shroud holster. LEO may be OK with condition 1 but they aren't concerned about debris.

Very expensive initial buy-in cost, as current discounted buy-in prices seem to consistantly hover around the $850-$1,000 price point;

Yes. Injection molding and investment casting with plenty of MIM is cheaper and will win any cost based exercise.

limited production/production allocations by FN can make accruing a new Hi Power difficult and time-consuming;

If FN said they will sell a given number with spares in a procurement, I would expect they would meet that commitment.

Sharp magazine baseplate edges can significantly dictate spare magazine carry options to preclude them from cutting into a user's side;

Doubtful this would even be a requirement. If it were, this would be down in the noise.

While effective, the slide release finger pad is not as ergonomic or effectively accessed and actuated as are those on many more modern competitor pistols;

Unlikely 'slide release as in a competitor pistol' will be a LEO/military requirement.

Parts replacement/substitution alternatives availability limited, and can be expensive, OEM or otherwise (i.e., $100+ for a slide stop...)

Duplicate - Higher logistic cost.

Parts replacement can require fitting, requiring gunsmith/upper echelon support above the operator;

Duplicate - Higher logistic cost.

Grip panels retained by screws, which require attention to preclude loosening and/or rusting;

'Grip girth for ideal trigger placement' is not going to be a LEO/Military requirement. On the other hand, grip panels allow adaptation to individual users and upgrades might be. Loctite can address concerns.

For some, the slimness of the grip's girth results in the triggerfinger excessively protruding past ideal positioning on the trigger, requiring aftermarket grips to provide a more ideal trigger finger placement on the trigger

At least after market grips are a possibility unlike plastic guns. In any case the procurement would specify something like 90 percentile ergos which the Hi Power would meet.

Other pistols that will not be winning current LEO/Military procurements:
- Sig P210, X5
- H&K P7
- S&W 66 2.5", 325, et al
- 1911 variants (with some specialty exceptions)

All of which I would rather have, including the Hi Power of course, than the guns that would win like a Glock, Polymer Springfield, or S&W M&P.

Last edited by Spook410; 05-10-2014 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 05-10-2014, 01:21 AM
eicas eicas is offline
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I would give my left nut for a P7. Come to think of it, I got 1 kid in college and two more right behind him.

Take both and we'll call it even.
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:07 AM
chuntaro chuntaro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matquig View Post
It would be ridiculous to say there was anything about the P35 Browning that would exclude it from law enforcement or military service., since it has done so well for many years. Much the same as a quality DA revolver of appropriate bore size. But they might not be the best in the hands of today's AVERAGE police officer. But then, a Glock may not be the right choice, either. It may be the man that limits the usefulness of his tools, not the other way around.
There is something that would exclude it from LE service. He is known as the ADMIN MAN. When he jumps into a nearby phone booth, watch out! He is going to come out with a new policy.
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:55 AM
JonCombatCdr JonCombatCdr is offline
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Spook410 (and Chuntaro), some well thought out, excellent points. Some further discussion of your points:

-While magazine insertion speed may not be a significant military concern, it is more of one for LEO and individual use, and could be more of a selection/use criteria accordingly;

-Hammers. I think you're confusing the current production spur hammer with the out-of-OEM-production ring/rowel hammer. Regardless, either/both can induce hammer bite; the solution if so afflicted is to slightly shorten the spur (and round the edges) of the spur hammer, or switch to Cylinder & Slides excellent rowel hammer, which modifies the positioning of the hammer ring.

-Resources and bidding costs. I personally know of one major metropolitan law enforcement organization that chose Glock over Smith & Wesson's M&P primarily because of additional armoror time needed to perform an annual detail disassembly on the M&P compared to the Glock. When you're paying/employing personnel, time requirements are a quantifiable factor of the bid consideration/criteria in the overall assessment package inherent to the selection process.

-Platform lifespan. Not to denigade the Hi Power's long and illustrious service, but a major factor in it's longevity in military arsenals probably has significantly to do with the reality that most military pistols, outside of specialized units/users, simply aren't fired much. It's pretty easy for a gun to last for decades if it's only fired less than 500 rounds a year-and often far less...

-Grip panel replacement versus polymer receivers. The current trend in polymer receivers to provide for adjustability for differing hand/finger sizes is to provide a series of alternative backstraps; that, or replacement panels, seems to do the job, regardless of the frame material (and HK's P30 provides both).

-De-cocking/DA triggers: Both were in fact requirements for the JSSAP/DoD XM9 and XM10 trials, resulting in the selection of the Beretta 92F, and I believe also in the XM11 compact pistol trials/selection that resulted in the SIG-Sauer P228's selection.

-Parts fitting can be a factor in selection criteria that specify "assembly/disassembly without requiring tools" for OEM and replacement parts/components.

Obviously, organizational contract specifications/requirements/needs differ between organizations and individuals (and between organizations, for that matter). The key thing is to think through what are truly viable and applicable criteria-and then dispassionately and objectively evaluate them, and choose accordingly, to achieve the platform that best meets the overall needs of it's user(s).

Best, Jon

Last edited by JonCombatCdr; 05-10-2014 at 09:22 AM.
  #21  
Old 05-10-2014, 08:59 AM
silversport silversport is offline
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great thread everyone...thanks.

Bill
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  #22  
Old 05-10-2014, 02:31 PM
Spook410 Spook410 is offline
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Jeez.. you want both a free requirements review *and* keeping ring/spur straight that late at night?

- Cost of ownership is (mostly) initial material plus support. There were several items in the list that loaded support cost. In any case, a FN High Power would lose on cost unless the organization has many of them already that they want to keep. This would lower the support number considerably.

- Decocking may have been a requirement before so many of the competitors were striker fire. That was then. (of course common sense says it shouldn't be a requirement as well but procurements aren't run by gun guys)

- Adjustable grips are a good thing as indicated by the industry that has grown up around them. The panels on my M&P are not the same, but adequate. Doubt this would be much of a player in a procurement where ergo requirements are usually not tested and 'fits this much of the population' is spec'd.

My overall point is this: Government procurements are not a good indicator of what an individual should choose for their own use. The needs of a large organization do not have much bearing on how an individual, especially the very well informed members of this forum, will maintain and operate their pistol(s). Government are rarely written by experts and the local ones are often run by clueless bureaucrats. Not being competitive in that market doesn't demonstrate obsolescence. In the case of an FN High Power, it indicates quality.
  #23  
Old 05-12-2014, 12:52 AM
Jäger Jäger is offline
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I'll play... I'll take the military side, having been a small arms trainer and urban ops instructor with the HP along with all the other bang sticks for 25 plus years.

[QUOTE=JonCombatCdr;5060610]
DISADVANTAGES
[LIST=1]
Quote:
[*]Square, relatively un-bevelable magazine well can trip up speed magazine insertions;
Military is not as concerned with speed magazine insertions as the gamesmen are. I don't know if any studies have been done on how many troops have lost their lives as a result of a BHP not being as magazine change speed friendly as an IPSC race gun, but I'm pretty sure the numbers, if any, would not be statistically significant.

Quote:
[*]Spur hammer can bite the web of the hand;
Ours have rowel hammers. I imagine some troops do get bit, but I can't recall any ever complaining about it. The fact they don't complain may be worth a sidebar discussion, but there doesn't seem to be much angst among the troops about the hammer.

Quote:
[*]Epoxy finish (on Mk IIIs), while nicely applied and reasonably protective, is nowhere comparable in protectiveness provided by more modern and weather/wear impervious finishes;
Quit possible. However, the parkerizing on the Inglis HPs seems to have been sufficiently protective that I have never seen an HP retired from service due to rusting/degradation due to an inadequate finish.

Given that some of those pistols built back in the 40's have since done God knows how many tours in Korea, Suez, the Golan Heights, Vietnam, Cyprus, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Congo, Afghanistan, etc and are still not rusting away, my take on it would be that the military finish on the HPs is sufficiently weather and wear impervious. It may not be as pleasing to the eye, but that's not what it's there for.

Quote:
[*]Out-of-the-box triggerpulls are notorious for needing a subsequent action job, as they're often reported as being both heavy and gritty; the somewhat convoluted mechanics of the hammer tripping system can make achieving a truly good triggerpull difficult/expensive to achieve;
We don't obsess over competition quality triggerpulls in the military for general service, probably because few soldiers in a real TIC can deliver a competition quality triggerpull themselves. Ditto for cops as far as that goes.

And as far as that goes, the same criticism about the feel of the trigger pull has often been levied against the revolvers who served us for so many years. We didn't fare so badly with revolvers either, for that matter.

Quote:
[*]Long trigger reset (as in the trigger needs to come fully forward to achieve reset);
See above. We aren't shooting IPSC or Bianci Cup in a TIC, fighting across the width of a grape hut in Afghanistan. See also the comments re revolvers.

Quote:
[*]Relatively expensive in terms of time and resources of LEO/military units to maintain;
I suspect Canada and probably England can probably show the lowest cost per unit on their HPs in comparison to the Beretta or anything else over their lifespan. The pistols and parts were made in the '40s; the pistols are still going strong, and the pistols will be sent to the smelter to be made politically correct safe long before the parts for them are used up.

I don't know anything about enforcement agencies, but we do not seem to have overworked gun plumbers who simply cannot keep up with servicing the Battalion's weapons. The gun plumber shop is just a few minutes from my office, and what they don't do there they regularly come to our weapons lock up to do right there - out of the rack, annual service, back in the rack.

Suffice it to say we have many, many other things in the Battalion world that eat up time and resources at a rate that makes weapon servicing considerations more of an afterthought than anything else.

Quote:
[*]Comparatively difficult and time-consuming to detail-disassemble compared to contemporary competitors such as Glocks;
Wouldn't know if that is true and we don't care.

The troops issued the pistols only need to know how to field strip them for cleaning. You do not need to detail disassemble a BHP to ensure it's reliability in the field and that's why we don't do it. If returns from the field from Korea onward indicated that the BHP must be detail disassembled by the soldier issued the weapon for reliable function, then we'd be doing that by now.

Quote:
[*]More lubrication intensive (in terms of both amounts/locations needed and frequency of application);
Once again, don't know if that is true and we don't care anyways.

Soldiers are taught to lubricate their BHPs, just as they're taught to lubricate the M16 variants they're also issued. I do know that lubing the BHP is less extensive than the rifles, and nothing remotely like the C6.

Quote:
[*]Single-action operating mode is not necessarily best suited to shooters, especially during high adrenelin threat management situations if safety is off;
If so, that would suggest that NATO armies should endeavor to transition the M16 and all their other weapons to something that isn't single action and doesn't have a safety?

After all, ALL our weapons have a safety, from the Inglis to the shotgun to the Browning HMG. And the Carl G, Eryx, and assorted other weapons. Off the top of my head, the only weapons we issue that don't have a safety are the 60mm and 81mm mortar.

In view of the above, the fact that a military issued pistol has a single action trigger with a safety is kind of a non-issue to me.

Quote:
[*]Potentially dangerous to de-cock with a round chambered-more attention, skill and mastery being requisite to safely de-cock;
Just like clearing an M16, you mean?

The drill is pretty much the same for make safe for both: magazine off, action to the rear to clear any chambered round, inspect chamber to ensure it is empty, action forward, ease springs. Yep, we do have negligent discharges, but then again so do the Glock users.

Quote:
[*]Limited overall platform lifespan, especially compared to contemporary polymer-frame competitors;
That could be true. I guess we will have to see if soldiers are still carrying the same Glocks that were issued about 70 years ago when that day arrives, as is being done now with the Inglis HPs.

Quote:
[*]While not particularly heavy intrinsically, certainly heavier than polymer frame competitors;
Could be. On the other hand, when I'm fully kitted out in full fighting order with helmet, rifle, ammo, plates, grenades, etc. - going about 70+ pounds - I'm not sure I'll notice the few ounces a Glock will save me.

And again, about the same weight as the revolvers whose weight never seemed to be much of an issue in all the decades cops and soldiers were carrying them.

Quote:
[*]Carrying in Condition 1/cocked-and-locked mode potentially exposes internal mechanisms to debris, potentially hindering operational effectiveness, or inducing hammer-down carry, inducing operational delays/constraints in achieving readiness to fire;
The BHP is a robust pistol. If there are any stories running through the ranks of "My pistol didn't go 'bang' when I pulled the trigger on a bad guy in a grape hut", they aren't making their way back to the small arms instructor cell.

The military carrying with an empty chamber is the same stupidity disease inflicted by higher that similarly often has troops carrying their rifles in combat areas in the exact same condition. It has nothing to do with concerns about dirt getting in the mechanism and rendering the weapon inoperable. It has to do with higher not trusting their troops.

Quote:
[*]Sharp magazine baseplate edges can significantly dictate spare magazine carry options to preclude them from cutting into a user's side;
May or may not be true. But we don't carry spare magazines next to skin.

Quote:
[*]While effective, the slide release finger pad is not as ergonomic or effectively accessed and actuated as are those on many more modern competitor pistols;
We don't care; it definitively works and we aren't getting any reports from the field of soldiers losing TICs because the slide release was too slow or not ergonomic enough for them to release a slide fast enough.

Quote:
[*]Parts replacement/substitution alternatives availability limited, and can be expensive, OEM or otherwise (i.e., $100+ for a slide stop...)
I'm not sure where that comes from. Canada has been using these pistols for nearly 70 years now, and doesn't appear to have any lack of availability of replacement parts at any time during those 70 years. I'd also bet the cost of those Inglis parts when they were manufactured compares very favorably with what the costs of a current Glock, Sig, etc part are.

Quote:
[*]Parts replacement can require fitting, requiring gunsmith/upper echelon support above the operator;
In the military, the soldier issued the weapon is NOT supposed to be replacing parts on any of their weapons anyways. Whether it's a rifle, pistol, grenade launcher, or whatever. That's why we have gun plumbers in the first place.

continued...
  #24  
Old 05-12-2014, 01:00 AM
Jäger Jäger is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: SE BC/NW Montana
Posts: 1,306
Quote:
[*]Grip panels retained by screws, which require attention to preclude loosening and/or rusting;
I can't recall getting a pistol that had loose grip panels, which doesn't mean it has never happened. Whether the gun plumbers put a little bit of RTV or something similar on the screws when replacing them, I don't know. I do know that, since soldiers were able to figure out how to tighten loose screws holding the handguards together on their C1 rifles from about 1953 to 1985, I have considerable confidence even the newest no-hook private today can figure out how to tighten a loose screw on an Inglis pistol.

Quote:
[*]For some, the slimness of the grip's girth results in the triggerfinger excessively protruding past ideal positioning on the trigger, requiring aftermarket grips to provide a more ideal trigger finger placement on the trigger[/LIST]
While "ideal" might be nice, all that's required in the real world of TICs is minute of bad guy. General service requirements are not about gamesmanship.

Given that troops consistently pass their PWT3 and onward with the Inglis pistol, along with passing Gunfighter and the Urban Operations course with that same pistol (doing it while wearing an enormous amount of gear and not infrequently at night and while wearing a gas mask as well), and those same troops come in an enormous variety of shapes and sizes, concerns about ideal positioning of the finger on the trigger seem a little magnified out of proportion to real importance.
Quote:
I think that in many ways the Hi Power has been significantly displaced, and somewhat rendered obsolescent by more modern (and often polymer-framed) competitors in many areas.
That may well be true, and there may well be better alternatives out there.

On the other hand, I wonder how much of "better" is, in reality, actually "sexier"?

Or perceived needs that with few exceptions are actually more about competitive use of pistols rather than the actual needs that determine how well a soldier does in an actual TIC. The apparently inadequate finish for example. Or the perceived issues with having a single action trigger with safety that at the same time apparently isn't an issue when found on the rifle the same soldier is also carrying.

Oddly enough, the one significant shortcoming of the military BHP that isn't even mentioned is the miniscule sights. Even the young kids just starting military service don't see them as fast and as well as they would see a set of large sights.

I don't know if I would pick the BHP for a country's military service pistol if I were made king for a day. It would depend on what the alternatives were, I suppose. But Canada for one certainly hasn't found it's troops failing in their missions and losing their lives because they are armed with an inadequate pistol that handicaps them in TICs. That record speaks for itself.

BTW, just as a point of interest, when the meatheads in Canada transitioned from the Inglis to the Sig, the assumption was that this would lead to higher mean scores on PWTs. After all, the MPs have pistols as their primary weapons. But when the smoke had cleared, the annual qualification scores showed no apparent improvement from back when the MPs were shooting qualification with High Powers. One would expect better results with all those improved magazine wells, improved sights, improved ergonomics, etc.

Things that make you go "Hmmmmmmm..."
  #25  
Old 05-12-2014, 07:22 AM
JonCombatCdr JonCombatCdr is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Auburn, Washington
Age: 63
Posts: 752
Great post. Probably the reason that sights weren't mentioned by others is that the sights were called out in the "Advantages" list-but specifically the contemporary OEM sights provided on the Mk III Hi Powers, which are large, with a decent rear sight notch and proportionate front sight, providing good acquisition. They are also dovetailed/drift adjustable in the slide, making for relatively easy adjustments or replacement.

Improved sights, enlarged and ambidextrous safety levers and feed ramp modifications were some of the highlight improvements to the Mk II and MK III Hi Powers over their predecessors-unfortunately, military purchasers of earlier version Hi Powers are both cursed and blessed by the earlier smaller-sighted Hi Powers' longevity in their arsenals...

Best, Jon

Last edited by JonCombatCdr; 05-12-2014 at 11:58 AM.
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