First Shots: FN’s New High Power

Today I’m taking FN’s new High Power out to the range for some first shots. I’m curious to see if it really is more comfortable to shoot than the original High Power, and if it can digest a wide variety of ammunition (something the originals were not great at)…


  1. I wouldn’t want to CC it, but cut the slide for an ESP or ACCRO, tune the trigger, put some walnut grips on it and it would probably be good for some form of competition. Anything that reliable with a single action trigger and no obvious flaws?

  2. I’ve never fired a High Power. I’ve fired a 1911 and a few others. I’m not well versed with lots of pistols. But I imagine if the High Power had the flaw of “hammer bite” or whatever you want to call it the High Power would not have been produced and adopted and revered such as it was. What am I missing about Ian’s comments?

    • Hammer bite is one of those things that varies from person to person.
      I have a Hi Power and don’t get bit by it. Original 1911s were notorious for it too, hence the 1911A1.
      However, lots of guns have issues depending on hand type.
      I can shoot Walther PPs and PPKs, but a friend of mine cannot. The slide quickly makes 2 blood grooves in the web of his hand.

  3. For what it’s worth, pistols such as the Browning High Power were not designed with modern pistol techniques in mind. Pistols were held and fired using only one hand. The pistol sat higher in the hand and out of the reach of hammer bite. Sure, lowering bore axis so that the bore line is closer to the bones of the forearm reduces muzzle flip and a lot of other nice things. Recoil control depends on many different factors including how much recoil is present. Going back to the past, the .30 Luger (one of the cartridges that the Browning High Power could be chambered for) generates less recoil for the same muzzle energy. When firing older designs, you must understand that the latest fad in pistol shooting wasn’t what that antique was designed for. Imagine that the pistol was fitted with a grip that had a place for the index finger and the bore line–like the M1900 Browning–was in line with the middle finger. The index or pointer finger would aid in target-focused shooting. There’s actually a pistol technique using the middle finger — a practice that pushes the takedown pin on the Browning High Power (for a right-handed shooter).

    One notorious person who killed someone live on television used his middle finger to fire his Colt Cobra snub nosed revolver (equipped with a hammer shroud and firing the .38 Special cartridge). One shot, one kill, instant incapacitation–Jack Ruby was immediately swarmed by Dallas police and arrested. Jack Ruby was missing most of his right index finger, bitten off in a bar fight — that’s the mundane reason Ruby used what was considered a high-speed/low-drag pistol technique that periodically crops up in gun training cycles.

    A high grip on the High Power is going to lead to pain and possibly blood. The P-35 wasn’t designed to be held that way, nor was it intended to be held with two hands.

  4. If you can find one the original HP in 40 S&W is an interesting piece to play with at the range- mag cap was something like 10+/- rounds no hammer bite and a less than stellar round/gun combo for accuracy. For single action autos/ limited capacity stay with 1911 and use the caliber you prefer. 9mm vs .45 acp argument again. The .45 was chosen for better stopping power with full metal jacket roundnose bullets based on the Thompson-LaGarde testing done after WW1 to determine the most effective caliber/bjullet weight for conclusive stops. The U S military had lots of experience with .45 caliber handgus and refused to look at lesser bullet diameters after the Spanish American War .38 long Colt fiasco in the Phillipines. Were they right or just stubborn?

    • “(…)Were they right or just stubborn?”
      Biased by experience of black-powder era, as “(…)Spanish American War .38 long Colt(…)” was created as black-powder cartridge.

  5. I have a Belgium Browning HI power bought in the mid sixties with adjustable rear sight. The rear sight decided to come loose and to go flying away, or so I was told. I like to find a replacement. where should i look…:) thanks

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