Hi-Power Discontinued

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Hand and Steel
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Hi-Power Discontinued

Postby Hand and Steel » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:14 am

It seems that FN Herstal has completed its last run of Browning Hi-Powers / P35s and the line is now discontinued. The reasoning reportedly given is that the Hi-Power apparently is not selling as well as it used to.

Personally I just can't see that rationale being correct (in North America at least) since just about every company that sells or distributes them sells out almost as soon as they get them in.

It is unfortunate indeed if this decision holds - I can think of no handgun that represents a more balanced set of attributes in simplicity, reliability, accuracy, firepower, sleekness, elegance and build quality than the classic Hi-Power pistol.

What are your thoughts on this decision? Should FN continue production or are they wise to abandon the almost 100 year old design? Should another manufacturer set themselves up to continue the tradition? (Note that FM in Argentina no longer produces Hi-Powers, FEG in Hungary no longer exists, and Arcus in Bulgaria is not currently manufacturing small arms of any type.) If another company begins work on a Hi-Power clone, what would you like to see done differently? Do you see the Hi-Power as outdated, or a symbol of bygone higher standards?
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Re: Hi-Power Discontinued

Postby Nathan » Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:50 am

Hand and Steel wrote:What are your thoughts on this decision?

I have some deeply mixed emotions on this. The Hi-Power is the only gun that I regard as highly as the 1911. I have such deep respect for the heritage and history of the Hi-Power and I and take this news with a heavy heart. That said, from a business standpoint I understand why they must discontinue the design. Truth be told, the Hi-Power is not the superior choice for a sidearm, anymore. It's a full size service sidearm with less capacity than a modern compact. It's heavy (in comparison to modern poly-wonder-guns), expensive to manufacture thus expensive to purchase, not as statistically reliable as the modern loose poly-wonder-guns, and being a single action it's just not a good choice for the masses. For the longest time I considered it to be the most perfectly ergonomically designed gun I've ever held, but even that title was lost (to the HK VP9/P30). From a business standpoint I understand completely; if it ain't selling, it ain't selling.

...but from a personal standpoint, this sucks. I can remember when I was around 12 years old or so, my biggest struggle was trying to decide if I would one day carry the Browning Hi-Power or the 1911. I was leaning toward the 1911, but only because my grandfather had one. Deep down, despite my own denial, I could feel myself being pulled toward the Hi-Power. Before ever having even held one, I fell in love with it at somewhere around 8 years old when my older brother brought one home. After shooting it, I found that I could handle the recoil much better than my grandfather's 1911 or my brother's .357 Magnum Python. It's been a love affair ever since and now with this news I feel almost guilty for not carrying mine.


If another company begins work on a Hi-Power clone, what would you like to see done differently? Do you see the Hi-Power as outdated, or a symbol of bygone higher standards?

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Nighthawk used to offer an updated Hi-Power but it was't selling. I wouldn't have hesitated to buy one were it not for the stupid ass exaggerated beaver-tail that I call the "rearward facing bayonet". They took a beautiful concept and ruined it.

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...my small collection of Hi-Powers just became even more endearing to me.
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Re: Hi-Power Discontinued

Postby Hand and Steel » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:49 am

Nathan wrote:from a personal standpoint, this sucks. I can remember when I was around 12 years old or so, my biggest struggle was trying to decide if I would one day carry the Browning Hi-Power or the 1911. I was leaning toward the 1911, but only because my grandfather had one. Deep down, despite my own denial, I could feel myself being pulled toward the Hi-Power. Before ever having even held one, I fell in love with it at somewhere around 8 years old when my older brother brought one home. After shooting it, I found that I could handle the recoil much better than my grandfather's 1911 or my brother's .357 Magnum Python. It's been a love affair ever since and now with this news I feel almost guilty for not carrying mine.

Likewise, I have some family history involving a Hi-Power that's only contributed to my appreciation of the gun.

Nathan wrote:Nighthawk used to offer an updated Hi-Power but it was't selling.

The $3500 price tag might have something to do with it. A decent surplus HP or clone with replacement springs costs about 1/10 that and is still going to be more accurate than most of the people shooting them.

Nathan wrote:I wouldn't have hesitated to buy one were it not for the stupid ass exaggerated beaver-tail that I call the "rearward facing bayonet". They took a beautiful concept and ruined it.

Have you tried holding one? If it's the idea of stabbing yourself in the side while carrying it you're worried about, I think a good sweat guard on the holster should keep it from doing too much damage. The "reverse beavertail" on the Bulgarian clones I own is almost as long and has never caused a problem either in the hand or the holster.

Nathan wrote:...my small collection of Hi-Powers just became even more endearing to me.

That's a pretty sweet collection. I'd like to find both a chrome and duo-tone Hi-Power like that someday.
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Re: Hi-Power Discontinued

Postby Stoble » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:37 pm

With all the guns offered these days, I don't know anybody that carries a Hi-Power.

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Re: Hi-Power Discontinued

Postby Hand and Steel » Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:27 pm

Stoble wrote:With all the guns offered these days, I don't know anybody that carries a Hi-Power.


I know a few guys who still carry a Hi-Power. Good general purpose guns.
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Re: Hi-Power Discontinued

Postby samuelrp » Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:05 am

I guess their popularity was pre glock. Still a nice handgun, and wish I had bought one.
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Re: Hi-Power Discontinued

Postby Nathan » Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:11 am

Hand and Steel wrote:The $3500 price tag might have something to do with it.

See, I think just the opposite. Many don't mind dropping thousands on a good gun. I didn't hesitate to drop $4,500 on my Titan because they took an old concept (1911) and gave it updated features (double stack 10mm) in a hand built quality gun. Many premium custom builders can't make guns fast enough to meet demand, Nighthawk included. But this one just didn't sell, and I genuinely believe it was due to the exaggerated beaver-tail. At one time I was going to buy one, but wanted Nighthawk to shave down the beaver-tail for me to a reasonable length and they wouldn't. Almost every person I showed the picture to asked me (paraphrase) "WTF is that thing on the back?". It was the feature that I believe killed the gun.


If it's the idea of stabbing yourself in the side while carrying it you're worried about, I think a good sweat guard on the holster should keep it from doing too much damage.

Despite the aesthetic damage, this was my primary concern. I didn't want the rearward facing bayonet to stab me in my side while I was driving. I don't carry IWB anymore, ever. Today I either carry in a Safepacker (when I'm working) or in an Alessi CQC.


I'd like to find both a chrome and duo-tone Hi-Power like that someday.

My Satin Hi-Power with the gold trigger is a .40 caliber. I would have preferred 9mm but the price was too good to resist.
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Re: Hi-Power Discontinued

Postby Nathan » Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:15 am

samuelrp wrote:I guess their popularity was pre glock.

Yes; at one time the Hi-Power was the most popular handgun in the world. Military and police all over the world issued it. Popularity took the biggest hit in the mid-80s with the creation of the Glock.
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Re: Hi-Power Discontinued

Postby Hand and Steel » Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:59 pm

Nathan wrote:
Hand and Steel wrote:The $3500 price tag might have something to do with it.

See, I think just the opposite. Many don't mind dropping thousands on a good gun. I didn't hesitate to drop $4,500 on my Titan because they took an old concept (1911) and gave it updated features (double stack 10mm) in a hand built quality gun. Many premium custom builders can't make guns fast enough to meet demand, Nighthawk included.


A lot of people simply don't have the money to be buying a $3500 gun. Even the $900-$1100 that would typically be spent on a NIB Hi-Power is too steep for some. 1911s on the other hand are practically a cultural trademark that almost everyone knows about - for instance I know intelligent and successful people who own multiple Wilson Combat 1911s but have never even heard of a Browning Hi-Power - but 1911s are also available in $400 varieties and I'm willing to bet that the best selling 1911s tend to be the ones in the $700 and lower category. I think that Hi-Powers tend to be more of a connoisseur gun in today's market (connoisseurs of things that work, that is).
"It is demonstrable that power structures tend to attract people who want power for the sake of power and that a significant proportion of such people are imbalanced — in a word, insane.” – Frank Herbert

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