Perfecting Mr. Browning’s “Other” Pistol? Full Review of the Nighthawk Hi Power 9mm.

The Nighthawk Custom Hi Power 9mm is a new take on John Moses Browning’s classic combat pistol. Images courtesy of manufacturer.

For information on the Nighthawk Custom Hi Power, visit http://www.nighthawkcustom.com/browning-hi-power.

To purchase a Nighthawk Custom pistol on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=Nighthawk.

John Moses Browning is arguably the most well-known and influential firearms designer the world has ever known. His designs are legendary and have been a central part of every major conflict from World War I to the current day.  Purists, and I identify myself as one, insist that the 1911 Government Model is the greatest handgun ever invented!  Even those who disagree must admit that no other pistol has been in service for well over 100 years, which proves its strengths.  It seems that the popularity of the 1911 does not have a limit. The 1911 is a workhorse and has been described as the F-150 of pistols, paying homage to Ford’s tough pickup truck.  However, Browning’s “other” pistol, the P-35 (or “High Power”, and popularly known as the “Hi Power”), is also a marvel of engineering and design. If the 1911 is a workhorse, the Hi Power is a thoroughbred.

The High Power as designed by John Moses Browning revolutionized the concept of a high-capacity combat pistol. Image courtesy of NRA.

The P-35 was designed by Browning but did not enter into production until after his death in 1926.  While the 1911 is an American icon, the Hi Power was an international success and was adopted by over 50 countries. The Hi Power was originally designed for the French military with the requirements for a magazine capacity of ten or more rounds and a magazine disconnector. Being a European country, the gun was to be chambered the “powerful” 9mm cartridge. Like the 1911, the Hi Power’s design and operation has remained unchanged.

The Hi Power was an engineering marvel. In order to accommodate a fat, high-capacity magazine, Browning utilized a completely different fire control system than on the 1911. Instead of having a trigger bar that ran through the grip and interfaced with the sear/hammer, as with the 1911, Browning came up with a novel approach. On the Hi Power, the trigger bar moves upward and engages a lever mounted in the slide. The lever toggles on a pin and depresses the sear that is located in the rear of the frame.  This design allowed Browning to keep the diameter of the frame to a minimum while incorporating a 13-round magazine. A magazine disconnect prevented the pistol from being fired without a magazine.

The Browning grip design and ergonomics, when combined with the all-steel construction and 9mm cartridge, made the Hi Power the choice for military and other agencies for many years. The pistol’s international popularity and availability also made it the choice of the Central Intelligence Agency.  Lou Alessi, who founded Alessi Leather, had a standing order from the Agency for Talon IWB holsters to fit the Hi Power.  The venerable Hi Power also found favor in elite counter-terrorist units such as the British SAS.

Although no longer the first choice for frontline military and law enforcement units, the Hi Power has continued to have a loyal following. However, the basic Hi Power suffered some deficiencies that were quickly realized by pistoleros of the sixties and seventies. Custom shops stepped in to meet the needs of the discerning customer. The standard Hi Power was equipped with very small, military grade fixed sights that were not suited for rapid engagements. In addition, the standard thumb safety was small and stiff to manipulate. Other creature comforts that many users requested included texturing the front- and backstrap for a positive purchase and an improved trigger.  The demand led to gunsmiths, like the late Austin Behlert, becoming the go-to shops for High Power work. The problem is finding Hi Powers to send to these shops!

The Nighthawk Custom Hi Power takes the classic High Power design and adds in a lot of custom enhancements and features.

Browning has never made enough Hi Powers to meet the demand.  One seldom sees an abundance of Hi Powers in the local gun shops and they never collect any dust. In 2016, Nighthawk Custom Nighthawk Custom surprised the industry by announcing that the company would be offering custom Hi Powers. To quote the company’s website, “Nighthawk decided in early 2015 not to try to re-invent the perfect double stack, but to improve upon the Browning Hi Power.” Nighthawk entered into an agreement with Browning to purchase a specified number of new Hi Powers on a monthly basis.  Introduced at the 2016 NRA Show, the Nighthawk Custom Hi Power quickly became a hit with demand quickly outpacing supply.

Finely done bark-like stippling enhances the gripping characteristics of the Nighthawk Hi Power. Note the Cocobolo grips.

Specs

  • Chambering: 9mm
  • Barrel: 4.5 inches
  • OA Length: 8 inches
  • Weight: 33 ounces
  • Grips: Checkered Cocobolo
  • Sights: Heinie tritium
  • Action: Single-action
  • Finish: Cerakote
  • Capacity: 13+1
  • MSRP: $2,895

Nighthawk negotiated with Browning to have guns shipped to Nighthawk directly from the factory in Belgium. Browning also agreed to make specific modifications in the manufacturing process. The pistols that Nighthawk receives are unfinished in the white and with a bald slide with no sight cuts. This allows Nighthawk to cut the dovetails to their specifications for both the front and rear sights. A second change is the location of the serial number. Browning relocated the serial number from the frontstrap of the grip to the right side of the slide. Each Nighthawk Hi Power also has a custom serial number with an NHCB prefix indicating it is a Nighthawk Custom Browning. This was an important modification as it allowed Nighthawk to texture the frontstrap without having to work around the serial number.

The Nighthawk Hi Powers are built by one of four gunsmiths. As with the 1911 cell, all work on a Hi Power is done by one gunsmith who stamps his initials on the gun, taking ownership of the pistol. The modifications selected for the project take the pistol from stock grade to a true custom pistol. Starting with the frame, the frontstrap and backstrap are treated with a bark-like stippling. This texturing is also applied to the underside of the triggerguard. The bottom of the frame features 25 LPI checkering and the magazine well is contoured. Nighthawk retained the factory slide stop and ambidextrous safety.

The gaping maw of the contoured Nighthawk magazine well ensures that mags will insert quickly and easily.

The classic stepped-style slide contour of the High Power is present on the Nighthawk Hi Power pistol.

As part of a package, the curved factory trigger has been replaced with a semi-straight, match grade trigger.  Internally, the magazine safety has been removed and the Hi Power receives a complete trigger job. The trigger on our test pistol averaged 4 lbs., 10 oz. with a smooth take up. Perhaps the greatest complaint when shooting any Hi Power is the hammer bite.  The factory model is equipped with a long spur hammer that extends past the rear of the slide. This can result in some prize blood blisters after an extended shooting session.  Nighthawk has skillfully grafted an extended beavertail to alleviate this issue. In addition, a custom hammer, with a shortened ring, is installed and fitted. The combination of the flat trigger, custom hammer, and improved sear lever gives the Nighthawk Hi Power an outstanding trigger that is close to that of a nice 1911. The final touch is a set of custom cocobolo stocks with a distinctive checkering pattern and the Nighthawk logo.

The top of the slide receives the same stippling as the frame along with a French border. The rear sight is a Heinie Slant-Pro Straight Eight with a “U” notch. The rear sight is deeply buried in the slide and requires the machining of both a dovetail and a recess at the rear of the slide. The result is a low-profile sight without reducing the sight picture. The front sight is a dovetailed post that has a 14K gold bead insert. The factory barrel is retained but has received a recessed crown and a polished feed ramp. The slide-to-frame fit is solid with minimal play and very smooth travel. The original Browning markings are maintained on the slide and the Nighthawk logo is etched on the right side of the slide, just to the rear of the cocking serrations.

The author ran the pistol on the range with a variety of ammo selections with very good results. Image by author.

Finally, each pistol receives a soft bevel that breaks all of the sharp edges. This is especially evident on the slide stop and thumb safeties. The Hi Power is then finished in a durable Cerakote finish that has the appearance of a matt blue but is more durable.  While our pistol was solid black, Nighthawk offers a two tone, black slide, silver frame model. Each pistol comes with two standard 13-round magazines. I took notice that the magazines are equipped with an external spring on the bottom of the back face. When the magazine in seated in the gun, the spring compresses against the base of the frame. The purpose of the spring is to act as a power assist when the magazine is ejected. The spring is powerful enough to cleanly eject the magazine completely clear of the pistol, even when at a 90-degree upward angle.

All of our initial impressions were positive. The safety snapped in and out of place with a positive click, unlike the soft mush of some factory guns. The soft bevel was well executed without deviating from the classic lines of the original pistol. On the range, the pistol reminded me of just how much I like and appreciate a Hi Power. The pistol was very soft shooting due to the weight of the all steel construction and ergonomic grip.  Our testing was done on a typical summer day in South Georgia with heat in the nineties and humidity north of 70%. The gold bead was easy to find and, when combined with the Heinie rear sight, was easy to acquire for both initial and follow-up shots.

The pistol did quite well on range, as evidenced by this tight 1.35-inch group at 25 yards with the Federal HST load. Image by author.

We tested the Hi Power with Hornady Critical Defense, Federal HST, and Winchester Ranger ammunition. The accompanying chart reflects the chronograph and accuracy results. We found that the sights were zeroed for point of aim/point of impact at 25 yards. All groups were shot off-hand at 25 yards. When the called flyers were disregarded, the Hi Power proved to be a sub 2-inch gun which is outstanding. During the initial break-in, drills we experienced several premature slide locks. We found that the position of the support hand thumb was the issue. Once that was addressed, the Hi Power ran perfectly.

While I had no overall complaints with the Hi Power, I did find the factory thumb safety was less than ideal. The contoured design of the factory model does provide a solid purchase surface and requires more pressure or friction to operate. I would recommend that Nighthawk replace the factory safety with a custom unit such as the one offered by Cylinder & Slide. This would also make it easier to manipulate the safety. This would be an essential change if I were carrying the Nighthawk Hi Power on a daily basis for personal defense.

The process to bring this project to the shooting community was not easy. It is a tribute to Mark Stone, and the Nighthawk crew, that the company was able to negotiate an agreement to obtain a number of Hi Powers directly from Browning’s factory. The fact that Browning agreed to Nighthawk’s request for a relocated and custom serial number is a pretty amazing accomplishment. In some ways, I think the execution of the custom work on the Hi Power may exceed Nighthawk’s 1911s. All in all, it is a classic package with the upgrades needed to keep it relevant for today’s discriminating shooter. For those who have always wanted a custom Hi Power, Nighthawk has just made it easier and more affordable than ever.  The Nighthawk Custom Hi Power pricing starts at $2,895.

For information on the Nighthawk Custom Hi Power, visit http://www.nighthawkcustom.com/browning-hi-power.

To purchase a Nighthawk Custom pistol on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=Nighthawk.

The Nighthawk Hi Power features numerous upgrades over the original, such as better Heinie tritium sights for improved sight engagement.

The relatively heavy weight, improved beavertail extension and 9mm chambering of the pistol made it a pleasure to shoot.

{ 41 comments… add one }
  • Rick July 5, 2017, 2:29 pm

    Well, let’s see here. First of all, JMB did not design the High Power. He’d been dead nearly a decade when the HP was released. He did – in teamwork with fellow FN designer Dieudonné Saive (who invented the double stack magazine for FN) – design an earlier FN pistol to try and win the French army contract. That was the Model 27 Grande Rendement. For those who would wish to argue the High Power is merely an improved version of the Grande Rendement, that pistol is internal striker fired, has an interrupted screw breech bolt, and a removable lockwork group that is plate mounted. The HP certainly incorporated design concepts from the 1911 (as the patent by then had expired), and JMB concepts like the barrel locking lug concept, but the HP is overwhelmingly a design of Saive, not Browning.

    As far as the Nighthawk custom goes, I think a beavertail on a HP has about as much purpose as a set of gonades for Bradley Manning. For those who do get hammer bite, there is the option of either a rowel hammer, a slightly bobbed tang hammer, or any number of drop in custom hammers. The demonstrated accuracy is commendable, as is the sight installation. I have a 4.5# trigger pull on my box stock 1969 High Power; it isn’t breaking glass crisp, but then, this was never designed to be a target pistol. In fact, the trigger specifications for the government 1911 trigger are remarkably similar to the HP trigger specs; ditto the original designs of the sights on both. Oddly enough, few who criticize these on the HP say the same about the Government model 1911s of the same time period. I’m not sure the improved feel of the trigger tripping on a Nighthawk HP is worth what Nighthawk is charging for it.

    Actually, that’s kind of the whole point. For what Nighthawk is charging, Don Williams or any other HP gunsmith specialist can provide you with n HP to your exact modification specifications – and you’ll have money left in your jeans. Way overpriced for what it offers the custom High Power market, who aren’t particularly interested in engraved custom shop names and whatnot.

  • Chris McLaughlin February 16, 2017, 5:37 am

    Forgot to mention that the hammer bite deal is bogus. Never happened to me. Only injury was two high a weak hand grip and got the base of my thumb cut by the slide. People that say the spur hammer on the Hi-Power will bite you were not taught how to hold it properly.

  • Chris McLaughlin February 16, 2017, 4:26 am

    About to write AR (I am a Patron member and Life for forty years) and worked in the gun business as a gunsmith for four years. Have my second P-35, .an adjustable sight model from 1976. Have shot 10-20,000 rounds from it and its fixed-sight predecessor. This gun is way overpriced. My gun with a small amount of stoning by me has a trigger about 4#. The accuracy at 25 yards is 2-2 1/2 “. Only mod to the gun is a Swenson SS ambidextrous safety since I’m left-handed with a pistol, The only thing wrong with my gun is the adjustable sight made from tubing. You drop it, you’re screwed. Otherwise the perfect semi. Nightwawk is dreaming.

  • Jack February 7, 2017, 3:04 am

    \”This would be an essential change if I were carrying the Nighthawk Hi Power on a daily basis for personal defense.\”This is like saying, \”This would be an essential change to my Aston Martin if I were driving it to the corner liquor store to pick up a six-pack of Coors Lite.\”

  • SteveA February 6, 2017, 2:35 pm

    I have three BHP’s and an F-150. My first BHP was a 9 and it belonged to my Dad. Its old but it still has a lot of sentimental value to me. The other two BHP’s I picked up new in 40 Cal at an incredible price and they are both mint (no custom work) one is actually NIB and I like to show of the quality bluing, fit and finish. Of like all of them, but the one I use daily is my F-150.

  • Jon Shaver February 6, 2017, 12:49 pm

    I purchased one of the Nighthawk Hi-Powers a little over a year ago. When I received it, the trigger had very perceptible creep–in fact, it had three distinct phases before breaking. To it’s credit, when I contacted Nighthawk, they took the pistol back and reworked the trigger. When I got it back, it was great. I like the pistol and how it shoots–I do believe that the extended bavertail is too big–it looks unbalanced and it doesn’t need to be as long as it is to prevent hammer bite. Perhaps a nit, but it should be picked. I also wish that I had the option of tritium sights as the brass bead is not useful in low light situations.

    OK, having said all that, I also have a CZ 75 B originally equipped with the Omega trigger which is supposed to be great. It’s not. It was creepy and had long travel and about a foot of reset. As a result, I sent it off to Dave at Cajun Gunworks for full fire control replacement with his custom parts. Also had tritium sights installed. When it was returned, it was phenonmenally good. Short travel, crystal clear break, and rapid reset. All in cost pistol and customizing was under $1,000 and compared to the Nighthawk Hi-Power, not as pretty but just as accurate and a fantastic value. I cannot recommend Cajun GunWorks more highly.

    I’m glad I have both pistols. Makes life more interesting.

  • EAM February 6, 2017, 12:31 pm

    Handsome, but if uou can get over the mystique if the High Power name, you can buy a CZ variant for a lot less cash. More accurate, more reliable, none of the bugs noted in the article, and equally as good looking.

    • Rodger February 6, 2017, 8:11 am

      I totally agree with you EAM. I have had my CZ75B for about 3 months now with no problems, very accurate and dependable and fun to shoot. Concealing is no problem and I am almost petite in size, 5’7″ 160 lbs. The CZ line is also reasonably priced. I plan to purchase a compact version of the CZ next. I just love the CZ. There are so many of the elite pistols overpriced that it is crazy.

    • David D Hartman February 6, 2017, 8:53 am

      Precisely! You can get a CZ SP-01 Tactical from Guns America for $620 (or less), and it is more accurate, carries more rounds, and is as reliable of not more so. In fact, at these prices I would rather buy a variety of at least 4 CZ’s and still come out money ahead.

    • Rob Mears February 6, 2017, 11:23 am

      Not to mention the brand new CZ ‘Shadow 2’ which is still half the price of this custom Hi-Power.

    • PaulWVa February 6, 2017, 1:10 pm

      Hmmm….Kia or Toyota?…..Victory or Harley Davidson?….Taurus or S&W?…..CZ or Browning? Sorry I don’t do clones. But then I wouldn’t buy this gun either. For $2900.00 I would get the new Sig P-320 RX or 5X and 10,000 rounds of ammo.

  • Inspector Glenn February 6, 2017, 12:16 pm

    Nice Article Rob G. Ignore the gun-trolls. I’ve never walked thru a museum and heard someone say ‘my uncle Vinny could paint that Mona-chick for $20 bucks and a cup-o-coffee…’ Never heard someone say they could buy a 10 V-dubs for what that Corvette costs…while standing in a Chevy dealership showroom. It’s stimulating to read about quality merchandise that many of us will likely never own…kind of allows us to live vicariously through the experience of others when we read articles like this. As a kid, Ray Bradbury transported me to places I’ll never get to experience in this life… but I could smell and taste and feel the worlds he created with is words. Just as I can feel the bark-stippling on my palm-heel and see the gold-glint of the bead-sight as the overhead sun hits it just-right…and watch the empty mags ‘pop’ out of the mag-well with a crisp ‘snap’ upon disengagement….all without ever holding the piece in my hand…all while just ‘reading’ your words. Thanks for putting that HP in my hand…if only for a few moments in time Rob. Now…I gotta go hunt up those jumper-cables for my V-dub.

  • Bill February 6, 2017, 12:16 pm

    I can’t help but think the title of this article is a mistake. The gun world has had a pretty much perfected Hi-Power for quite a while now, already, known as the Cz-75.

  • Charlie February 6, 2017, 12:07 pm

    I have had a few HPs over the years. Nice handguns Have had the CZs and the FEGs too. FEG?? is ok the CZs seem to be better. The Browning is good. The 9mm sucks…JMO. Only one I have now is an Inglis made in 1945 complete with the Holster stock and straps to carry. It shoots good and is fairly accurate. And the best part is I got it CHEAP. Don’t like the mag disconnect and the caliber but the gun is nice. I do have a Wilson Combat(45 of course). Everyone deserves an expensive gun in their life. Being just an average guy..I still bought one. Stop bellyaching about the price. Just admire a nice gun…and if you’d like to have one..save a little money up here and there and buy an expensive one. Most buy their car or pickup with all the bells and whistles…Doesn’t stop people from paying 40-60 grand for that

  • Scott February 6, 2017, 12:05 pm

    I agree with Draino, not something us “average Joes” could every afford or place our hands on. With reloads, or concentration and practice, one could achieve the same groups with a Glock 19, or a stock Hi-Power.

  • PAUL W. February 6, 2017, 11:21 am

    Have a Hi-Power that I bought new in the early 1980’s.
    Only modification: improved safety.
    The old Gunsmith told me: “Get me a nail from the driveway.”
    He heated it, married it to the existing part, and carefully dressed the
    “new” part, cold blued it….still on the gun, still works.
    Custom done well and cheap.

  • wrangler5 February 6, 2017, 10:39 am

    The FN engineer who finalized the design was Dieudonné Saive.

  • MKM February 6, 2017, 10:12 am

    Really nicely done article. Fabulous photos. I’ve been a fan of the Hi-Power for years, have 2 of the Practical model and love the trigger. Lots of criticism from other posters…I too wish you had used the American Rifleman protocol for accuracy testing, but only so your review was “bulletproof”. I am tiring of the posts that go to great lengths to find fault. You got a gun with a great pedigree, all metal, lots of upgraded parts and handwork…all things that are worth a premium in any other product or industry. And to be critical of it what it isn’t (plastic gun for $500) just isn’t appropriate. Some will thinks it’s worth it, others won’t. They will all vote with their wallets–no need to be so critical!

  • kimberproSS February 6, 2017, 9:23 am

    I have Hi Power made in 2013. The trigger has no creep (Which is awesome), but breaks at 100 lbs. How about this one? You can have all the bells and whistles, but if you have a bad trigger, it isn’t any better than the heap. Once I get a trigger job, it will be a very nice piece.

  • stevie1dr February 6, 2017, 9:06 am

    Nothing new here. Wayne Novak has been doing Hi Powers for years now including the French borders, matted (not stippled) slide top, and better sights. Not near as expensive either.

  • Spartacus1239 February 6, 2017, 9:00 am

    I will stick to my CZ’s. IMHO they’re a best bang for your bucks.

  • angel February 6, 2017, 8:58 am

    ladies and gentleman, you all overlooked the best of the three..the FEG clone. mine will out shoot both the std. CZ and the BROWNING…..THANK YOU

  • Keith Barnes February 6, 2017, 8:47 am

    All of this “average joe” crap is just that – pure crap. Since when do you have to be able to afford something to be able to appreciate it? Sure, not everyone is in a position to afford a $2900 handgun, but the existence of a gun with this kind of a price tag shouldn’t be taken as an affront to folks that don’t have the pockets for it. And it certainly shouldn’t be taken as some kind of manhood challenge that elicits a “my $500 pawn-shop home-tuned Glock shoots better’n that” response. Bottom line, in life you end up smack dab right where you put yourself. Some folks make choices, take risks, work the work that allow them to have a few $3000 pistols lying around and some folks don’t. You’ve got to own your choices – and their outcomes. You can’t resent a beautiful firearm and a high price tag just because the “average Joe” can’t afford to buy one, and you certainly can’t compare a custom gun to an out-of-the-box service gun. Arguing the first makes you sound jealous. Arguing the second just make you sound like an idiot.

    • Spartacus1239 February 6, 2017, 9:02 am

      LOL, excuse me can you pass the Grey Pupon?

    • Mr James February 6, 2017, 12:30 pm

      Thanks Mr. Barnes, You may have said the most overlooked overbooked over-crooked observation posted on GA for quite a while. I must thank GA for bringing any Arm to Witness, regardless of price. Keep Free America.

  • Gem Gram February 6, 2017, 8:20 am

    The Hi-Power has always been a great pistol, and I do own a couple with the only modification being removing that silly mag safety (to allow for a better trigger” and better grips. I enjoy shooting them and have carried one for extended periods and been in at least two confrontations that could have escalated into shooting. That being said, other than being a “trophy gun” why in the hell would anyone pay that much for one of these. You can buy any number of better performing pistols for $500.00. S&W, F,N, Sig, etc. and of course the greatest one the Glock ALL are superior and can be had for that $500.00. In combat situations either of them simply out perform a “Browning”. You can pick up used police Glocks for under $400.00 and that means a new gun that has never really been broken in, add a 30 dollar trigger bar and have something that you can truely trust your life to.

    This pistol reminds me of that BMW convertible that I mostly see fat old women driving. That car is sheep in wolves clothing. An expensive toy for show rather than performance. While that Browning started out as about the baddest wolf on the block, ones with bigger teeth came along since the 1980’s when I forced myself to buy the ugliest excuse for a pistol I had ever contemplated shooting for only one reason, it was something I could trust my life to. One of the first Glock pistols around. I still love shooting those Brownings, still love shooting my expensive custom Gold Cup, and a few others for fun, BUT when I go in harms way I carry one of those ugly, nasty Glocks.

    Pistols are the the swords of modern life. A “Personal Weapon” you trust your life to if confronted with another armed man. You can carry a silly gilt thing like a Naval officers officers dress sword, OR you can carry a plain Japanese Katana. If I had lived in the 14th Century I would have wanted something like that Japanese sword to actually carry, but I live in the 21st, so I carry a Glock. It is not to be shown to anyone, unless it is “unsheathed” for personal combat. Then the only thing I hope another will see of it is that small rectangle with the red flash coming from around it. 🙂 That Glock “katana” of mine cost a little over $300.00, not over $2500.00; BUT I if my life depended on it I can assure you the Glock would be worth far more to me than the Nighthawk.

    • Rick July 5, 2017, 2:50 pm

      If one is to believe the idea that the HP isn’t “truly a gun you could trust your life to”, battlefield history is remarkably absent of stories along the lines of “he died because of weaknesses in the design of the HP he was fighting with”. It certainly lacks more visible sights, but you have to be a bit out of touch with reality and history to assert that the HP has ever been suggested as being unreliable in a gunfight.

      As for that “silly magazine disconnect” that is referenced, it’s worth noting that no military ever saw fit to remove it – other than the Nazis, for reasons of wartime costs and economy in their slave labour production of the FN High Power. That would include the anti-terrorist units of the British, Australian, New Zealand SAS, the Canadian CAR, etc. Now those units can have their gun plumbers do pretty much whatever they want to their weapons to make them more efficient/useable – but they never removed the magazine disconnect. I am more than willing to accept the differing opinions on whether the disconnect is silly or not – as long as they come from people with the same level of face to face gunfighting experience and anti-terrorist ops as those organizations. Internet commandos and Walter Mitty’s who wish to instruct the SAS and others on their decisions need not apply.

      As far as comparing the choice of a HP to a fat woman driving a BMW for show, I guess one could say those who choose Glocks are simply trying to emulate the tough guy gangstas in the ‘hood. I guess it’s important that a pistol can survive being frozen in ice, thrown in a cement mixer, dropped onto a runway from 1,000 AGL, etc – as long as the person wearing the pistol can also survive that test. And my guess is the gangstas and others carrying the Glock wouldn’t. Moral of the story – don’t attribute the choices others make to what your world views are.

      The HP is a perfectly suitable full size pistol for combat. Modern versions – like modern 1911s – have much more visible sights. They will never have the appeal of the tupperware pistols in cost per unit to manufacturer, and that is a very real advantage to Glockworld. However, as pistols manufactured during WWII are still on the battlefields of the Middle East today, with nothing more than annual inspections/servicing of springs and other wear parts by weapons techs, it remains to be seen how many Glocks going into service now will still be in service 70 years in the future. I suspect most won’t be.

  • ToddB February 6, 2017, 8:05 am

    So is the factory on the moon? $2800 to start for a pistol? Maybe review some guns normal people can afford. I like Browning HPs, but come on $2800. And here I thought the Belgian made ones were pricey. For that kind of cash I would get one of the hot rod CZ75….thats $1300 less.

    • Nick B February 6, 2017, 11:40 am

      It’s not just a case of whether you can afford one or not, it’s whether you want one enough to see it being value for money. I could afford to buy one, but there are too many other guns that I also like, to tie up the best part of $3k in one of these, much as I love the Hi-Power. Also for me I don’t feel I would be getting enough extra over the cheaper alternatives to warrant buying one. Also in my personal experience, expensive guns they tend to turn into Safe Queens as you become fearful of getting any wear on them. I don’t see anything wrong with these expensive guns being offered, good luck to those who buy them, if it floats your boat as it will for some, then why not? It’s just not for me and apparently others feel the same, but that’s the nature of any high end product, there will only be relatively few buyers.

  • Tom King February 6, 2017, 7:46 am

    If I could have thrown out my flyers, I would have won a few more IDPA matches.

    • Jack Genna February 6, 2017, 5:11 pm

      I would agree on the accuracy remark, plus they have crappy triggers from the factory. Having machine rest tested 20 or more Hi-Powers, I find them to be nicely made, but not that particularly accurate, I have never machine rested any that would go through a magazine load in under 2 and 3/4″ inches at 25 yards, and 5 and 3/4″ at 50 yards. I have tightened the frame rails, welded the bottom of the barrel lug, and tapped and made threaded bushings for the front end, fitted up to metal to metal fit. The group then is nearly spectacular, with one gun shooting a 3/4″ inch group at 50 yards, and all of them I tested shot under 2 inches at 50 yards. The 3/4″ group is the best I have ever tested from any pistol, including all .45 1911s, of which I probably tested 500 or more since 1979 and the best groups I ever tested were 1 and 1/4″ in 4 or 5 guns I accurized, and never had a gun test over 2 and 1/2″ with .45 match wadcutter ammo. But some peoples handloads were just plain awful with the worst being 11 and 1/2″ in an accurized gun that shot 1 and 7/8″ inch with match wadcutters.
      The guns are accurate, but their crappy trigger, even after rework, precludes it ever being a bullseye gun, because 4 and 3/4 lbs. is a world of difference from 3 and 1/2 on a.45 1911 which is also 8 oz. heavier.

  • Frank February 6, 2017, 7:28 am

    Just a note: the High-Power isn’t a pure Browning design. It IS based on Browning’s work, but FN had one of their engineers make some improvements/tweaks to the design. They had license to produce pure Browning designs that had been made for FN, and used the clout of his name on the pistol for marketing. Don’t recall the changes the engineer made or his name, but research it… Got my info from an article on the High Power in Firearms News.

    I’m not a handgun snob — there are places for even the cheap Hi-Power and Jiminez — but things like this are for those with lots of discretionary funds… not a fan of fancy guns that really aren’t mechanically better than most mid grade hand guns like Glocks… most under $500.

  • OKLA HYDRO FARMS February 6, 2017, 6:58 am

    $2,895!?!?! Wow, looks like pistol snobbery has hit the gun world.

    There are dozens of excellent pistols for lesser money and even the venerable, old (and more proletarian) M1911 — can buy one and spend the extra money to have it gunsmithed into a tack driver.

    Like a Ferrari — nice to look at, but I’ll stick with my Chevy.

    • Norm Fishler February 6, 2017, 9:45 pm

      $2895 & you just noticed? That seems to be the price-point these semi-custom pistols have been hovering at over the last many years unto this day. I’ll take my CZ75B any day of the week. I have a Hi-Power and I’ve shot Glockenspeils by the wheelbarrow load. Nothing against any of those aforementioned pistols,, but I’ll reach for a CZ75 first if given half a chance.

  • BOhio February 6, 2017, 6:22 am

    First two posers, er, posters, sour grapes are out of season. Some people buy the Hyundai Elantra. Others buy the Porsche Macan. Don’t be envious (it’s a deadly sin); put yourself in a position to have enough money to buy the good stuff, or at least be glad that such choices are available. Nighthawk makes a good product. But any review that refers to “called flyers” in so-called accuracy testing loses credibility. Either follow the American Rifleman magazine testing protocol, or don’t make any accuracy claims.

    • Ranger Rick February 6, 2017, 7:28 am

      Spot on comments, I tend to trust the American Rifleman reviews more than other publication (print or digital) and their accuracy protocals are the gold standard.

    • Tom King February 6, 2017, 7:48 am

      👍

  • scott goodman February 6, 2017, 5:04 am

    Nice but not as useful as a glock, at 6 times the price.

    • Mark Tercsak February 6, 2017, 8:52 am

      I suggest you search for the you-Tube video where these Americans tested a Glock vs. Armscor 1911.
      The Glock did not survive the 1st round.
      Both the Glock and Armscor 1911 where blown up with one pound explosive charges.
      All they found of the Glock was the slide.
      The Armscor 1911 was 100 % intact and still worked.
      They continued testing.
      They shot the Armscor 1911 with a 12 gauge shotgun, they had to remove pellets and the 1911 still functioned.
      They took the Armscor 1911 and sunk it in wet cement and let it cure and blew it up again, the Pistol still functioned.
      There is a video of a reported Glock Firearms engineer, he chambered a live round held pistol in hand, trigger finger was completely clear of trigger and trigger guard, he held the glock ghetto style, muzzle was down range and he shook the Glock, The Glock discharged a live round.
      Our Father Gold Badge Detective 34 carried a number of handguns, during his time on the job, 1957-1985.
      he was in uniform for 2 years, I know he carried a 4 inch barrel revolver, that lays somewhere beneath the Allegheny River, he had been ambushed and pistol whipped. Suspects took his revolver and dumped it, he then had another revolver, it was a Smith & Wesson, I know he gave that revolver to Our Great Uncle Joe who was also a Police Officer with Allegheny County Police.
      As a Detective he hunted Killers for Ten years, Hunted Bank Robbers, and Hunted Burglars for 11 years, He exchanged Gun fire, Pointed his gun at suspects, who pointed their guns at him.

      He was also was in Korea.

      Most of the time he was on the job he carried a Colt-Cobra .38 special, Pittsburgh Police required officers to carry a specific load as do most police departments, I believe it was 158 Grain all lead.

      I seem to recall Detectives, where having issues with this load, as stated detectives carried, belly-guns, 2 inch, maybe 3inch, but not more than that, they had issues on penetration, Dad worked under cover a time or two, he would carry a Walther PPK, 7.65 caliber.

      When they would go after the bad guy’s he would carry a Browning Hi-Power, he had but one magazine for it.
      Anyways He would take My Brother and I, our cousins to Our Uncles Farm and we would shoot the shit of that FN-High Power, never an issue, it Fed Full-Metal Jacketed Ammunition, Hollow Points, and all lead 9mm para, never a problem.
      With one exception, My dad’s friend gave dad reloads, they were junk, we used manufactured ammunition no problems.
      Dad would torture test his stuff, he was impressed with the Hi-Power, still he preferred revolvers, he would replace the Colt Cobra with the High-Power as his carry gun, The last five years he was on the job, he was issued a Smith & Wesson 4 inch barrel Model 686, 357 magnum, he felt the 686 was one of the finest revolvers he ever carried, he carried 38+P loads, still have a box, Dad had to turn it in when he retired.He Loved the High Power, I have a CZ-75-B Omega Trigger, reminds you a lot of the Browning High-Power, but why they make a standard plastic Guide Rod? you can get a steel one, cost is $18.00, buy one. I have had some medical issues, I owned a SAR-K2 in 45 Auto the Out Line resembles a Sig in my view, all Steel, it is a Cz-75 Clone, The Hammer is user friendly, the whole pistol is user friendly, you can grasp the slige far easier than the Cz., Had to sell it to pay medical bills, sucks but whatta you going to do?

      • scott goodman February 6, 2017, 1:41 pm

        Thanks for your story. It has caused me to rethink my position on steel framed revolvers and automatics.

  • DRAINO February 3, 2017, 9:16 am

    Beautiful pistol. Just as well be made out of meteorite material. Yet another gun unobtainable for us average Joes.

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