Tag Archives: FN

REVIEW / RETROSPECT: Farewell To the Hi-Power

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Recently put out of production, the Hi-Power is a great handgun with a fantastic history. READ ALL ABOUT IT

browning hi power

Bob Campbell

Fabrique Nationale (FN) announced that the Browning Hi-Power pistol has been discontinued from manufacture. In the perfect handgunning world, all pistols would have the mix of history, performance, and collector interest of the Hi-Power. While Hi-Power pistols may be valuable and collectible, they fire the same readily obtained 9mm cartridge as many of our other favorites.
The Hi-Power is among the most recognizable handguns worldwide. If you scan the news, you may see a Hi-Power in the hands of Indian police or being waved by a woman during a street battle in Iraq. Our Canadian allies issue the Hi-Power, and it works as well today as a battle pistol as it ever has. The Hi-Power has been issued to the armed services of more than 50 nations. A generation ago, the Hi-Power was issued to elite units in the United States including the New Jersey State Police Fugitive Squad and FBI Hostage Rescue Team.

hi power self defense
The modern Hi-Power 9mm is a great combat and personal defense handgun.

The pistol was developed by John Moses Browning as a European service pistol. Browning was a great inventor; he was also among the greatest gun salesmen of all time. While 1911 fans may decry the small caliber 9mm and derisively call it the ‘Half Power,’ a .45 caliber service pistol would have been unthinkable in Europe. Browning did not base the Hi-Power on the 1911 but upon Browning principles just as the Tokarev and French 1935, by different inventors, are based on Browning’s work.

Originally, the Hi-Power was intended for the French Army. The French did not want a grip safety, and none was supplied. I respectively submit that Browning had learned a few things since his 1911, and the Hi-Power was designed to be produced as economically as possible.

The Allies left World War I with a great respect for the 9mm Luger cartridge. The 9mm met French requirements and it offers a good level of power for its compact size. The Luger cartridge is compact enough that 13 cartridges could be stuffed into a relatively compact magazine. Browning further refined his locked breech action to eliminate the swinging link and the result was the Hi-Power or Grande Pruissance.

tangent sighted Hi-Power
This is a tangent sighted Hi-Power.

Browning died in his office in Belgium before the final work was completed. Early models illustrate that the Hi-Power was defined by Browning. Dieudonne Saive, a respected inventor in his own right, refined the pistol and gave us the final form. The Hi-Power is a well-balanced handgun and among the finest service pistols of all time.
The French did not adopt the Hi-Power, but just the same, the type saw immense commercial success. Early variants were shipped to China and South America among other nations. During World War II, the Germans took over the FN plant and turned out the Hi-Power for the Wermacht. John Inglis of Canada, a respected maker of armaments including ships boilers, took up production of the Hi-Power for the allies.

The Hi-Power has the distinction of serving on both sides of practically every conflict since 1939. The Hi-Power has been in continuous production and remains a popular handgun today. A look at the specifications of the Hi-Power shows that it is ideally proportioned for the cartridge it chambers. There is enough weight to absorb the recoil of the 9mm cartridge, but the pistol is light enough for daily carry. The grip fits most hands well. The trigger press is straight to the rear, and the pistol is flat enough for concealed carry.

Hi-Power Dimensions
Barrel length:     4.625 in.
Sight Radius:      6.50 in.
Overall length:  7.75 in.
Weight:                    34 oz.

HI-Power rapid fire
The pistol is controllable in rapid fire.

The pistol is all-steel and well-made. The Browning design has gone through several generations but each is recognizable as a Hi-Power. The changes have been minor, usually limited to differences in the sights and the manual safety. The early versions feature a slide lock safety that is smaller than many competing types. With practice, the safety isn’t as difficult to manipulate as some would have us believe.
On the plus side, the original safety is positive in operation and unlikely to be inadvertently moved to the off-safe position. The slide stop and magazine release are easily reached and manipulated. Most, but not all, Hi-Power pistols feature a magazine disconnect that prevents the pistol from firing if the magazine is not in place. The Hi-Power is smaller and lighter than the 1911 .45ACP, and handles quickly. With the greatest respect for the 1911, and its speed into action, if there is a handgun faster to an accurate first shot than the 1911, it is the Browning Hi-Power.

The intrinsic accuracy of the Hi-Power is often very good. Practical accuracy is limited by sometimes heavy trigger actions. Over the years, my RCBS trigger pull gauge has measured Hi-Power triggers at 5 to 11 pounds. There seems no rhyme or reason. The tangent action isn’t easily improved. It is a shame that the heavy trigger action limits accuracy potential in many variants, but then the piece was made for short-range combat.

Then again, there is the shooter who manages the trigger and makes good hits in spite of the trigger action. As long as the trigger is consistent, little else matters to these practiced marksmen. Another advantage of the Hi-Power is speed of loading. All one need do to replenish the ammunition supply was to quickly insert the tapered magazine into a generous magazine well. No need for a magazine chute with this pistol.

The Hi-Power features a heavy hammer spring. This makes thumb cocking more difficult, however, there is a reason for the heavy spring. 9mm Luger ammunition has been produced in many countries. Quality is sometimes indifferent and the Hi-Power had to function with every load and to handle variations in case length as well as hard primers. The hammer gives the primer a solid hit and the pistol has excellent reliability. The extractor design changed about 1962 from internal to external. Magazines interchange in all models. Mec Gar is the preferred magazine brand. I have stated my opinion on the longevity of the 9mm Hi-Power. Any handgun in use for so long will have among its number worn or broken examples.
I have found that the Hi-Power feeds modern JHP ammunition. When hollow points became common in the 1960s and 1970s many featured a wide mouth hollow nose not designed for feed reliability. As a result, these loads did not feed in military pistols without barrel polish or throating. Throating, once universally recommended in the popular press, isn’t the best course and often improperly done.
Modern loads, such as the Winchester Silvertip, perform well and feed reliably. As for Hi-Power accuracy, I feel that the average accuracy of the Hi-Power is pretty consistent. Most examples may be counted upon for a five-shot group of 2-1/2 to 3 inches at 25 yards with good ammunition and from a solid rest.

hi power apart
The pistol field strips easily.

In the end, the Hi-Power is far more than a handgun to be kept in the safe and never fired. It is among the most useful of 9mm handguns. Light enough for constant carry, reliable, effective, and with more than a little pride of ownership, this is a handgun that has stood the test of time.

Top 5 New Rifles at SHOT Show 2017

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Tale of the Tape

By Richard Mann:
Though the 6.5 Creedmoor still gets a lot of attention, there’s a
whole lot more going on this year for hunters and target shooters.

The tale of the tape with regard to rifles in 2017 has more to do with a single cartridge. The 6.5 Creedmoor seems to have taken the rifle world by storm, and more and more rifles are now available for that cartridge. However, that’s not the only news. Although new MSRs do not dominate this year, a major manufacturer has entered that
playing field. You should find plenty new to like in the rifle world for 2017, with new rimfire offerings, new youth offerings, and plenty of threaded muzzles.

Barrett

barret lightweight rifle
➤ The Barrett Lightweight Rifle
is a bolt-action rifle designed to
be carried farther on long days in
the field and perform like a
Barrett at critical moments. The
stock is crafted from carbon fiber
to provide an ultralight yet stiff
platform. The actions are scaled
for their specific caliber, and precision
barrels are contoured for
their application. There’s nothing
one-size-fits-all about this rifle.
SRP: $1,799. Booth #11371.

CMMG

The CMMG MkW ANVIL XBE
➤ The MkW ANVIL XBE, an all-new mid-sized AR-rifle platform, is
chambered in .458 SOCOM. The most defining feature of the new
MkW ANVIL is that the rifle utilizes CMMG’s unique Powerbolt
design, which allows the rifle to use a modified AR10-sized bolt for
increased durability. The rifle is also built on an AR10-sized frame,
with the upper receiver shortened by ¾ inch to minimize weight and
increase ergonomics. It comes with a 1:14 twist 16-inch barrel, a billet upper and lower receiver, and a single-stage mil-spec trigger, and weighs 7.5 pounds. SRP: $1,849.95.

MARLIN

limited-edition 1894

For Marlin collectors, the limited-edition 1894 is sure to
be a hit. Available in .357, .44 Magnum, and .45 Colt, these
American-made rifles feature a straight-grip American black walnut
stock, a polished 20-inch octagonal barrel, and Marble sights.

For 2017, Marlin has announced the return of
one of its most popular rifles, the 1894
Cowboy. Available in .357, .44 Magnum, and .45
Colt, these 100 percent American-made rifles
feature a straight grip American black walnut
stock, a receiver and bolt machined from solid
steel, a polished 20-inch octagonal barrel, and
Marble sights. SRP: $1,041. The standard 1894
with a round barrel is also available for $789.
To further celebrate the reintroduction of
the 1894, Marlin is offering a limited-edition
version in .45 Colt with B-grade American
black walnut stock, highly polished metalwork,
and an engraved gold-inlaid receiver.
Only 1,500 rifles will be offered. SRP: $1,349.
Another lever-action that has been missing
from the Marlin line for some time is the 444.
Chambered for the .444 Marlin and built on
the 1895 action, this rifle has an American
black walnut pistol grip stock, 22-inch round
barrel, and Marble sights. SRP: $789. Booth
#14229. (marlinfirearms.com)

FN

FN M249S
➤ The FN M249S is a semi-auto version of the M249 SAW light
machine gun, which was originally developed by FN Herstal as the
FN MINIMI and adopted by the U.S. military in 1988. The rifle features the signature 18.5-inch FN cold-hammer-forged, chrome-lined barrel and operates from a closed-bolt position. Chambered in 5.56 NATO, the rifle will accept a magazine
or a linked ammunition belt and offers a 4- to 6.5-pound trigger.
The rifle weighs 16 pounds, is 40.7 inches long, and has an 18.5-
inch barrel. SRP: $8,799 to $9,499. The FN 15 DMR II has been
re-engineeredfor enhanced performance and features the all-new FN proprietary rail system with M-LOK, which provides extreme
rigidity and less deflection, ensuring that all mounted accessories remain affixed without shift. Like its predecessor, the rifle offers an 18-inch match-grade cold-hammer-forged barrel with a 1:7 twist, a Surefire Pro Comp muzzle device, and an upgraded mil-spec lower with a Timney trigger and Magpul MOE grip and buttstock. SRP: $1,999. The FN 15 Tactical Carbine chambered for the popular 300
AAC Blackout is duty-ready straight out of the box. Equipped with the new FN proprietary rail system, the carbine provides exceptional strength and durability, and offers a stronger, more rigid platform for accessories and optics. In addition, the FN 15 Tactical Carbine 300 BLK II, like its rifle and carbine siblings, features a 16-inch alloy steel cold-hammer-forged and chrome-lined barrel, a carbine-length gas system, a low-profile gas block, a Surefire  ProComp muzzle brake, and Magpul MOE furniture.
SRP: $1,599. Improving upon the existing platform with the addition of FN’s proprietary rail system, enhanced mil-spec lower receiver, and legendary match-grade free-floating chrome-lined, cold-hammer-forged barrel, the second-generation FN 15 Tactical Carbine offers extreme durability and performance. Features include the three-prong flash hider, the mid-length gas system, and the H1 buffer to decrease recoil. It’s fitted with a Magpul grip and buttstock and the M-LOK accessory-mounting system. SRP: $1,599. Booth #13662. (fnamerica.com)

Mossberg

mossberg mmr

➤ Mossberg has added two new MMRs to its line. The Tactical
Optics Ready MMR is offered with or without a Vortex
StrikeFire II red/green dot sight. This is an optics-ready AR15 that
is shipped without open sights. It has a six-position stock, a forward-assist M-Lok handguard, a 1:8 twist barrel, and the new Mossberg JM Pro drop-in 4-pound trigger. SRP: $1,253 to $1,399.

The other new MMR from Mossberg is the MMR PRO.
This rifle is similar to the optics-ready MMR but comes with an
18-inch, 1:8 twist 416 stainless barrel with a Silencerco ASR
muzzle brake. SRP: $1,393. Mossberg has several additions to the Patriot line. First is the Patriot Predator, which comes in a synthetic, flat dark earth stock with a 22-inch barrel and threaded muzzle. It is available in .223, .243, .308, and 6.5 Creedmoor. SRP: $441. Two additional Patriots are available in .223: the Patriot Synthetic and Super Bantam. Both retail for $396. For those who love the value and performance of the Mossberg Patriot but would like a  higher-end, dressed-up version, Mossberg is offering a Patriot Revere with high-grade walnut stock, rosewood grip and forend caps, and an upgraded blue finish. Finally, in addition to the Patriot
Predator, four more Patriots will now be chambered for the 6.5 Creedmoor. Booth #12734.