Hi-Power Mark III
I am interested in a gun I have heard very little about that was also developed by the man.
I heard the SAS use the gun and that it is a single action.
1. How does it compare to other military handguns like the M9 or Glock?
2. Can the weapon be carried cocked and locked like a 1911?
Thank you in bunches.
Reason being, there is a NIB digital camo version at a small hole in the wall store that they are selling for 800 even. I was going to get a subcompact backup gun until I saw the gun and felt how natural it felt, like it was meant to be in a human hand. Crazy I know, but true. I just want to know about the gun from people who own them and know about them.
It can be carried condition 1 (Hammer cocked, safety engaged) but there is no grip safety like the 1911. Some have a problem with this, others don't. The safety isn't as "positive" in feel as a 1911 or other gun with a manual safety.
The Hi Power, or P35 (think 92FS and M9 in terms of names) has been an issued side arm around the globe, probably the most issued sidearm ever. It's the grand daddy of all double stacks.
In terms of the following:
It does well in all three, however there are some cons to be aware of.
Pending on hand size, the Hi Power hammer is prone to "biting" the hand of the shooter and if you are a victim of this there only real way around it is to have the hammer replaced or altered with that of a "No Bite" design. The Hi Power incorporates a magazine disconnect safety that prevents the gun from being fired without the magazine in place. This mechanism is directly integrated with the trigger and makes for a poor trigger pull considering the single action nature of the gun. The trigger pull can be improved by the removal of the magazine disconnect, but the reliability of the gun will decrease as the magazine disconnect mechanism also assists in the return of the trigger. This can be compensated for with a higher poundage trigger return spring, but it's still not as forceful of a return (At least in my gun it isn't).
The HP comes with a 13rd magazine (when talking about it in 9mm), and aftermarket magazines up to 17 rounds or more.
Hi Powers for the most part are pricey when compared to similar models, for a while Charles Daly made them at a lower price point and they were said to be good guns for the money, but with the recent demise of Charles Daly and the fact they discontinued the HP even before their closure, they may be hard to find.
The Hi Power's method of ignition is quire unique, if not just a little strange, I'll leave that up to you to Google to figure out.
If you like the HP, but are looking for something a little more modern, I would highly suggest the CZ75 and other CZ models.
For more Hi Power info, Google "Stephen Camp" and read everything he has to say on the Hi Power.
Now for a picture of my Hi Power and shameless plug for On Target Custom who did this fine piece.
A very, very nice customized weapon you have there. Thank you for a complete info rundown on the weapon system. It sounds like my next gun, but the trigger pull being bad nixes me. I'll look into the trigger pull because I have gotten rid of many guns because of a bad trigger. Especially with a handgun, a good trigger isn't a requirement, but a necessity for accurate and consistent shooting, and I don't want to spend money on modifying a trigger. The gun I handled had no creep, but it was a little hard, perhaps set to about 5 pounds of pull. Not a problem for a great combat weapon, and my hand strength is improving from pathetic to better than average from shooting so much this summer. I even got a few blisters, but they are healing over.
Thank you VAMarine. As always you are informative and have an intuitive way of explaining issues better than most magazine articles.
Sincerely, your gal pal.
You're quite welcome, now regarding the trigger, it's not that it's "bad" it's just that for a single action trigger it's not the greatest, but it's not what I would call bad, just not great compared to other SAO designs. The biggest issue with the trigger IMHO is that in order to remove the magazine disconnect, you have to muck with the trigger.
Why remove the magazine disconnect?
Personally, I don't like them and my HP has been fitted with a trigger that is not made to have a magazine disconnect mated with it.
Originally Posted by VAMarine
I'm not sure if you ever plan on shooting IDPA or USPSA, but if you do, be careful of the Hi Power if it has the magazine disconnect, it will totally hose the range officers running the stages. Generally after each stage after you unload & show clear you dry fire the gun. To do this with a HP equipped with the magazine disconnect you need to place a mag in the gun. Sure it can be done safely but the Hi Power is not that common a gun these days nor is a magazine disconnect all that common. If you do decide to take the gun to a match, get a BLUE GUN MAGZINE to use in dropping the hammer and make sure the ROs know what's going on before hand.
Good to know
I am shooting my P226 in IDPA. Good point about the HP and the disconnect, I can see how problematic that would be for a shooter and a judge at the line. Too distracting of a gun for competition unless modified like yours, which is a sharp looking piece, I especially like the grips and aftermarket hammer, getting away from the traditional spur hammer. Great point. Thanks.
I'll let you know if I get the gun. Maybe a good used one will serve me, since it will be a nostalgic range gun/conversation piece for me, a gun with history.
Another point to be made regarding the Hi Power and the disconnect if used in competition is that the IDPA Rule book states the following:
While at a local match I don't think it would be an issue but at a sanctioned match they might not allow a Hi Power with the magazine disconnect removed.
The following modifications are NOT ALLOWED IN ANY
DIVISION unless otherwise specifically mentioned.
A. Compensators of any type including hybrid or ported
B. Add-on weights for a competitive advantage (this includes,
but is not limited to, weighted magazines, tungsten guide rods,
brass magazine wells, weighted grips).
C. Heavy and/or cone style barrels without a barrel bushing.
D. Sights of non-standard configuration (i.e. Ghost rings, Bo-
Mar rib, etc.).
E. Disconnection or disabling of any safety device on any gun.
F. Lights mounted on guns.
As for my grips, they are from VZ Grips.
The Hi-Power is an excellent combat pistol; single action, high capacity magazine, reliable, and accurate at handgun ranges. I used them for years and I still have two; a Mk II and MKIII. I have no trigger problems or hammer bite problems, and reliability issues with mine.
The Hi Power is a fine pistol. I suggest you visit Hi Powers and Handguns. This is Mr. Camp's site and it contains a lot of information.
The Browning Hi Power is a military combat pistol. It was designed to be charged and cocked when entering a combat situation. Carrying one cocked and locked is risky unless you have a holster with a strap that can slide between the frame and hammer. I have carried one in such a holster when policies allowed it. The safety on the pistol tends to move to the fire position all too easily, and i consider the strap a much needed level of safety.
As a combat pistol I think they are still nonpareil.
The Hi Power is a military combat weapon. It is not designed to be carried cocked and locked. The safety can move to the fire position easily. Many people who have no experience with them resist carrying one charged but not cocked. I had to do so many times and I had no problems cocking the pistol when required. You can also carry one not charged and rack the slide when necessary. That works too if you drill with it. I knew people who could draw and rack the slide in a fraction of a second with complete reliablity. It only takes drilling. A lot of people who have had no experience will parrot what they have been taught. In reality, there are several real options if you wish to carry a Hi Power, not cocked and locked, which I will not do without a holster having a strap between the hammer and the frame.
BHP; Cocked & Locked
Browning Hi-Power; Cocked & Locked. If you fear this arrangement, but would still like to carry this pistol you should seek training. If you are concerned about the safety coming off you could have the safety adjusted.
If it concerns you to carry cocked and locked you could use a design other than the BHP or 1911. Racking the slide after drawing will take more practice than learning how to properly carry and use the pistol as designed. In some instances this practice could be difficult at best and possibly dangerous, if you need to react immediately. In any event, if you finger is not on the trigger when you make your draw, you should be fine.
These are my opinions.
The gun is designed to be carried cocked and locked, otherwise you wouldn't be able to do it. While I can not attest to the P35 manual, the 1911 Military Users Manual clearly states that when immediate use is possible that the gun should be cocked and locked.
Originally Posted by Teuthis
It's not a design reason to carry condition 3, it's an administrative reason.
Condition 3 is for peacetime carry, not war time. Even then I don't think I've ever met one person that carried condition 3 once the Sgt of the guard was out of ear shot.
That really depends on multiple variables, there are different kinds of thumb safety, the original safety does not move hardly at all when carried, the Cylinder and Slide safety is even better as it has a detent associated with it. That larger MKIII plastic, ambi safety may be easier to have accidentally disengaged, I have no experience with that model so I will neither confirm nor deny.
The safety can move to the fire position easily.
The problem with that is the lowering the hammer on a live round. As I've stated time and time again, pulling the trigger with a round in the chamber and expecting something other than a bang is a recipe for disaster.
Many people who have no experience with them
resist carrying one charged but not cocked.
Unless you only have one hand to work with.
I had to do so many times and I had no problems cocking the pistol when required. You can also carry one not charged and rack the slide when necessary. That works too if you drill with it.
I knew people who could draw and rack the slide in a fraction of a second with complete reliablity. It only takes drilling. A lot of people who have had no experience will parrot what they have been taught.
Sure it can be done, that doesn't make if a sound decision.
How do you get a strap between the hamme and frame when the hammer isn't cocked?
In reality, there are several real options if you wish to carry a Hi Power, not cocked and locked, which I will not do without a holster having a strap between the hammer and the frame
The best option for not carrying a Hi Power C&L is not carrying a Hi Power.
My comments are based upon my own experience using the pistol in combat. I had one as a back up gun and always managed cock it when required. As as combat pistol I would still rather have the Hi Power over anything else I have used. But every day concealed carry is not combat.
I carried one in Europe where we were not allowed to have them cocked and locked for general carry. We could cock them when we were anticipating action; that is with the pisol in hand. I have no problem lowering the hammer after cocking it. That is just part of a drill one practices. It was never an issue. As a civilian, who cannot drill with the weapon as extensively now, if I carry it cocked and locked, I have a strap between the hammer and frame. But that is rare; for open carry, which I am not doing. I think there are now better modern concealed concealed carry options for civilians.
I am relatively new to this forum, but I feel somewhat qualified to comment on the Browning Hi-Power in service or duty use. A little background on me:
20 years as a sworn peace officer, serving on two different departments. 18 years as a department range-master and weapons instructor, certified by the FBI. Two stints on a special response team, serving as the long gunner on both teams, for a total of ten years. Served as a uniformed officer, and an investigator in mufti. When I started in LE, the wheel-gun was king, many departments did not issue weapons, and the use and carry of semi-autos was frowned upon, if not totally forbidden. At my first department, I was the second officer to obtain permission to carry a semi-auto, and the first to be allowed to carry a single-action pistol. We were limited to the use of pistols of nominal 38 caliber, which obviously limited us to 9mm or similar handguns. I owned a Browning Hi-Power, and after demonstrating its reliability and accuracy to the chief's satisfaction, I was allowed to carry it. When I retired 20 years and thousands of rounds later, that same Hi-Power was still riding on my hip. It never failed me in any manner. The only malfunction I ever had was during the development of target ammo, when there simply was not a large enough powder charge to cycle the action.
After I qualified the weapon, virtually every member of my department, at their own expense, switched to the Hi-Power. At the time. the only non-ball ammo widely available was the ground-breaking Super Vel ammo from Lee Jurras. This was the issued duty ammo until the advent of expanding ammo from the major makers. This experience carried over to my second department, where the Hi-Power was listed as an alternative (once again at the officer's expense) to the S&W 59's issued by the department. During that period of time, the weapons were carried in Condition 1, in thumb-break holsters from either Safariland or Bianchi, with the afore-mentioned strap between the hammer and firing pin. This was not used because of any mis-trust of the safety, but rather as the most efficient method of secure carry, and rapid and safe deployment of the weapon then available. The only complaint I received about the safety release was that its small size made it difficult to manipulate while wearing gloves.
I am not inferring that it did not happen to the earlier poster, but I wonder if it was more a function of a fault in that particular weapon, rather than a generic design fault? Understand that I have no experience with the later versions with the ambidextrous safeties, so I make no statement to that. I can only say that for 20 years, I had no difficulty with placing my confidence in the Hi-Power, and on numerous occasions trusted it with my life!
BTW, I also carried it Condition 1 concealed!
I also carried my MKIII condition 1 concealed along with my Taurus PT709 when conditions dictate a smaller handgun. My MKIII is by far my most favored handgun and I have had it for over 20 years. I can only estimate how many rounds have been through it and that estimate would be well into the 40K count. I have run everything through it and it will eat any round. In that time I have had only two instances where the MKIII has failed me. One was several years ago when a firing pin stuck due to insuficient cleaning. The other is a failure of the barrel lug recently which is pretty much unheard of. Both of these instances have been at the range. I have never experienced hammer bite with my MKIII. I only wish that when I bought mine 20 plus years ago that I had bought two.
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