Belgian GP-35: Pre-War Browning High Power Complete Rig

The Browning High Power (“Grande Puissance”, aka GP-35) was developed by Fabrique National in Belgium, designed primarily by John Browning’s apprentice Dieudonné Saive. It began in the very early 1920s as a pistol designed for a new French Army requirement, but eventually split into two separate development tracks. By the early 1930s the French procurement process was still ongoing, but FN felt that the current iteration of their pistol (the Grand Rendement) was sufficiently mature to be a viable military sidearm. They began offering it for sale, and the Belgian Army quickly took an interest. One thousand were purchased for Belgian field trials in 1933, and with a few minor changes it was adopted by Belgium as the GP-35 in 1935.

The first guns are delivered in May of 1935, and the first troops to receive them were troops like machine gun crews, tank crews, messengers and other men who needed a weapon, but not a full-length rifle. By 1938 enough have been delivered that the specialty troops and NCOs have been fully equipped, and guns begin to go to officers, replacing things like the FN Model 1900. By the time of the German invasion in May 1940, some 30,000 – 35,000 High Powers have been delivered to the Belgian Army. In addition to this, several other military contracts were made by FN, selling the pistol to Estonia, Lithuania, Paraguay, China, and Finland. However, the Belgian orders account for the significant majority of all pre-war made High Powers.

Note that in the US, original pre-war High Powers with original stocks, 500-meter tangent sights, and serial numbers below 47,000 (no prefix) are exempted from the NFA, and are not legally considered short-barreled rifles.


  1. What was available in the way of stocked pistols when the NFA act came into being in 1934.There were lugers broomhandles and marble gamegetters. I always wondered why they made such a fuss about it

  2. The stocked Lugers and Broomhandles of WWI were actually quite feared in the trenches, as something just short of the not-yet-matured SMG. Something about concealabilityy gets in there too, thus the ban on sawed-off shotguns. There was some method there. What is a marble gamegetter and has Mr. M made a video on it?

    • Sorry to burst your bubble but putting a stock on a pistol doesn’t make it inherently deadlier than a regular pistol. It merely means the user of said stock is much less likely to miss his intended victim. Why can’t we agree that the PERSON is the problem more than the weapon? I mean, seriously, I’ve heard nasty tales about madmen who killed people with fragments of bricks wrapped in socks, and yet nobody has banned construction materials from being sold to private individuals…

      As for the Marble Game Getter, it’s a pistol-like combination gun with one rifled barrel and one shotgun barrel. It also has a folding stock. I think the 3rd generation models are still being produced today, only with extremely long barrels to avoid being classified as “gangster guns.” I could be wrong.

      • Dear sir: You’ll please note that I only addressed the perception of deadliness, not actual deadliness, before you make any assumptions about my bubbles. Next I ask you if “user less likely to miss” isn’t a factor in inherently deadlier? Thanks for defining Marble Gamegetter.

    • “(…)What is a marble gamegetter(…)”
      Invention of Webster Marble, who in end of 19th century worked as surveyor-trapper and found already available fire-arms to heavy or cumbersome. Lightweight over/under fire-arm with upper barrel for .22 rim-fire ammunition and lower barrel for .44 shot-shell (smooth bore) and folding stock, for illustrations see

  3. Up in Canada(Alberta) where they ban everything(including blowguns)
    a chap fought off a puma that had a small boys head in his mouth by throwing a rock at it Personally I bet a lot of northerners would like to have the right to carry pistol or a Marble Game Getter

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