Browning Hi-Power


FN Grande Puissance 35 | UK: L9A1


Overview


Browning Hi-Power

Right side view of a Hi-Power pistol as produced by FN.
Source: ATF - © Public domain

Origin
Belgium
Type
Pistol
Entered service
1935
Status
In service
Development
1914 - 1935
Developer
United States
John Browning
Belgium
Dieudonné Saive
Production
1935 - present
Producer
Belgium - Fabrique Nationale
Canada - John Inglis
Number produced
Over 1.5 million
Designations
GP35 / Grande Puissance 1935
L9A1 (UK service designation)
Pistole 640(b) (Beutewaffen index)

Description


Introduction

The Hi-Power is a pre-World War 2 era pistol of Belgian / US origin. It was developed by Belgian engineer Dieudonné Saive to meet a French military requirement. The design is based on many Browning design elements, including the M1911. The Hi-Power, also known as Grande Puissance model of 1935, was the first successful locked breech service pistol with significant magazine size.

Design

The Browning Hi-Power incorporates many design features by John Browning. It is a single action short recoil operated pistol. It uses a tilting barrel as locking mechanism. A staggered single feed magazine is used, making the Hi-Power one of the first pistols chambered for a full pressure round with a magazine of more than 10 rounds. Early models had a tangent sight, replaced by more conventional post and notch sights in updated models.

Firepower

The Hi-Power fires the 9x19mm Parabellum from a 13 round magazine. It is a semi-automatic pistol with an effective range of a few dozen meters. Most variants of the Hi-Power perform very similar. A notable exception are some recent models chambered in .40 Smith & Wesson. The larger caliber results in a lower magazine capacity of 10 rounds.

Users

The Hi-Power was used by both Allies and Axis during World War 2, with production for Commonwealth nations moved to Canada since Belgium was occupied. During the Cold War the Hi-Power was the standard service pistol of most Western nations, with the notable exceptions being France and the USA. Nowadays the Hi-Power remains in limited use in many nations around the world. Pistols such as the Glock 17 and Beretta 92 have replaced most of the Hi-Powers in military and police service.

Details


Facts Hi-Power Mk I
General
Origin
Belgium
Type
Pistol
Caliber
Caliber
9x19mm Parabellum
Feed system
13 round detachable magazine
Barrel length
118 mm
Rifling
6 grooves, right hand twist
Muzzle velocity
335 m/s
Operation
Action
Short recoil, single action
Locking
Tilting barrel
Fire selector
0 - 1
Rate of fire
Semi-automatic
Dimensions
Length
197 mm
Width
36 mm overall
Height
128 mm
Weight
0.9 kg with empty magazine
1.06 kg loaded
Sights
Mechanical
Iron sights, post front and notch rear

Related articles


Colt M1911

The Hi-Power contains many John Browning design elements and at a glance looks quite similar to the M1911.

Glock 17

In many nations the Hi-Power was replaced by newer generation pistols such as the Glock 17. These offer a higher magazine capacity at reduced weight.