A Condensed History of the Browning Hi-Power Pistol

The Browning Hi-Power is a single-action, semi-automatic pistol available in 9mm and .40 S&W caliber. It is based on a design by American firearms inventor John M. Browning and completed by Dieudonne Saive at Fabrique Nationale(FN) of Herstal, Belgium. Browning died 1n 1926, several years before the design was finalized. The Hi-Power is one of the most widely used military pistols in history.

The Hi-Power name alludes to the 13-round magazine (originally 16-round) capacity, almost twice that of contemporary designs such as the Luger or Colt M1911. The Hi-Power is often referred to as the BAP (Browning Automatic Pistol) or the P-35,  based on the introduction of the pistol in 1935.

The Browning Hi-Power was designed in response to a French military requirement for a new service pistol. The last of the criterion for the new pistol was that it be of 9mm caliber or above.

John Browning filed for the patent on the Hi-Power in the United States on June 28, 1923. The patent was granted on February 22, 1927. The prototype utilized the new, staggered magazine design to increase capacity without unduly increasing the pistol’s grip size or magazine length.

By 1931, the Browning Hi-Power design incorporated a shortened 13-round magazine, a curved rear grip strap and a barrel bushing that was integral to the slide assembly. By 1934, the Hi-Power design was complete and ready to be produced. It was first adopted by Belgium for military service in 1935 as the Browning P-35.

Browning Hi-Power pistols were used during World War II by both Allied and  Axis forces. After occupying Belgium in 1940, German forces took over the FN plant while the pistol was produced for the Allied forces by the John Inglis Company in Toronto, Canada.

The Hi-Power has been adopted as the standard service pistol by over 50 armies in 93 countries.

In 2017, FN ended production of the Hi-Power, but it is still being produced under license by the Ishapore Rifle Factory in India.

Additional information on the Browning Hi-Power pistol can be found at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/browning-hi-power

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