Deacon’s Bully Pulpit #8 The P-35 Hi Power

~May 26th, 2019

One of the finest guns ever designed around the 9mm round was John Browning’s last work, the FN/Browning Hi Power. The “Maestro” as he was called in Belgium, died while while working on this pistols design, originally for the French Army. The gun would be finished by Dieudonn√© Saive, his protege, and a superb designer in his own right. It was ground breaking, a 13 round magazine capacity with a single action trigger, that could be handled well by almost any hand size. This pistol would be the standard by which 9mm pistols would be measured for the next 80 years! It served over 50 countries armed forces, fought on both sides in World War 2 and remained in production for 82 years by FN. It is still being produced by several other builders today.
Why should Zooters be interested? First, the 9mm round it fires, is light recoiling and accurate, it is also the least expensive centerfire round to buy today. The grip is extremely comfortable for most shooters and the sights are decent on older models and very good on later ones. Magazines are plentiful and affordable, still made by MecGar, who made the ones Browning and FN shipped with their pistols. 10, 13 and 15 round magazines are flush fitting. The Hi Power originally was made with a burr type hammer, which is notorious for biting fleshier hands [like mine! ouch] but the spur type hammer came about later. This hammer is approved for Zoot Shooting. Many folks will improve the trigger weight by removing the magazine retention [a military request] that keeps the magazine from falling free when you hit the mag release. Removing this device improves trigger quality and allows the mag to fall out of the gun. Grips are easy to swap out, only one screw per side and are easy to find. Later guns with the ambidextrous safety may require a small amount of inletting to fit properly. It will fit in almost any 1911 holster as well. Even though it is almost the same weight as the 1911 when loaded up, it does seem better balanced to me, an avowed 1911 fan.
Try one out if you get the chance, it is one of our great handguns.

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