Browning Hi-Power 9 x 19mm pistol

This item is HIRE ONLY for use by a recognised Film, TV, Commercials or Theatre production company.

 

 

Overview

The Browning Hi-Power (HP) is a single action 9mm semi automatic pistol. Based on a design by the famous American firearms inventor John Browning and completed by Dieudonne Saive at Fabrique Nationale (FN) of Herstal, Belgium. Browning died in 1926, several years before the design was finalised.

Chambered for the 9 x 19mm cartridge, the HP name alluded to the 13-round magazine capacity… almost twice that of contemporary designs.

By 1931, the HP 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 HP design was complete and ready to be produced.

Browning HP 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 and examples produced by FN in Belgium under German occupation were used mainly by Waffen SS and Fallschirmjager personnel.

High-Power pistols were also produced in Canada for Allied use, by John Inglis and Company in Toronto. The plans were sent from the FN factory to Britain when it became clear the Belgian plant would fall into German hands, enabling the Inglis factory to be tooled up for HP production for Allied use.

Production began in the autumn of 1944 and they were on issue by the March 1945 Operation Varsity airborne crossing of the Rhine into Germany.

The pistol was popular with the British airborne forces as well as covert operations and commando groups such as the Special Operations Executive (SOE), the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment.

More recently, former Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein often carried a Browning Hi-Power. Former Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi carried a gold-plated Hi-Power with his own face on the design of the grips which was waved around in the air by Libyan rebels after his death.

While the HP remains an excellent design, since the early 1990s it has been eclipsed somewhat by more modern designs which are often double action and are manufactured using more modern methods such as the SIG P226 and P225.

Helpful Info

Regarding dates, the Hi-Power has been is use since 1934, it was adopted as the standard service pistol by over 50 armies (93 nations). At one time most NATO nations used it and it was standard issue to forces throughout the British Commonwealth. It is still very much around today.

Foxtrot has several examples of the Browning Hi-Power 9 x 19mm pistol in either blued or stainless finish.

Film Set Notes

A very historic pistol, and one that works steadily, frequently on period dramas but equally credible when used in contemporary productions.