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Home » Firearms » Pistols & Revolvers » Browning Pistols » Reviews
Friday 30 January, 2015  
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Browning Hi-Power Mark III 051002393, 9mm, 4 5/8 in, Black Finish, 13 Rd

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by L. R. Date Added: Saturday 27 June, 2009
Five Stars for the Browning Hi-Power 9mm.
To review something, like the Browning Hi Power, or the latest car model on the market, one needs to have something to compare it with. Iíve read lots of reviews on guns and cars in car & gun magazines, but they always seem so biased. They rarely say anything bad about a product. Of course if they did, the product manufacturers would quit sending complimentary goodies (such as guns to test etc. Ö& keep).

Iíve owned a Browning Hi Power for close to twenty-three years now. I recently acquired one made in 1983. Itís brand new in the sense that it hadnít been fired when I bought it. It doesnít have a firing pin safety however (that came out some years later). As such, I cannot use it as a service pistol. While the type is approved, that particular version isnít. So I bought the highly recommended Sig Sauer P226 9mm. Iíve used it on the range enough to be able to form an opinion. Also, I could hardly help comparing it to the Browning so here goes:

The Browning Hi Power has seen a few changes over the years but in my opinion the 1935 design, after 64 years in the field, still comes out the best of the best. Every company I can think of has made radical changes in gun design but I donít really see anything that would be an improvement over the Browning.

It seems most modern pistols come in the ďextra largeĒ size, composites, alloys and a lot of pressed steel parts. They come in two tones, camouflage and numerous shades of black, gray, slate etc.

The Browning and the Sig P226 both weigh the same (within about Ĺ oz. of each other). They both have a similar type of barrel-slide lock and well, except for both being 9mm, thatís about where the comparison ends.

The Sig has an alloy frame, the Browningís is steel. The Sigís frame, to have the necessary strength is quite a bit larger than the Browning frame. As such, so is the Sig slide. Both guns are the same overall length, give or take.

The Sig grip, because of the larger frame, is also a good deal larger than the Browningís. Someone said Browning was doing the ergonomics thing before the word was even invented. The Browningís grip is small and comfortable, the Sigís is large and wellÖit feels large.

Overall, the Sig is a much larger gun than the Browning. Itís really beyond a size I would want to try to carry concealed. I do carry the Browning concealed (with bulkier winter clothing). Usually I carry a Walther PPK in summer with clothing.

Hereís what I really like about the Browning Hi Power: I has a high enough capacity, it has a light recoil which allows for quick target re-acquisition after each shot, The grip is small and comfortable, even for my wife, who has quite small hands. Finally it has the strength of steel throughout. Itís incredibly accurate and always feeds flawlessly.

Some folks donít like the magazine safety. Because of it the magazine doesnít ďpopĒ out crisply as do most other autos. Iíve personally never found that to a hindrance when it comes to switching magazines quickly. Some donít like single action weapons. Personally I do. That critical first shot might have to be made ďoff-handĒ and is likely to be less accurately placed if itís a double action shot (most modern weapons donít have any way of being put on safety while cocked). Is the Browning a safe gun? You bet, you can carry it cocked on safety and when it comes to un-cocking it, just drop the magazine, take it off safety, and eject the round in the chamber. Reinsert the magazine and lower the hammer. If it should slip, no harm has been done. The point is it canít fire accidentally with the magazine removedÖunless you have had the magazine shoe safety removed. Not advisable!

Hereís what really turned me off the Sig P226: Also, I donít like how it shoots. Itís big, and it is alloy, and it has a plastic trigger and plastic slide return spring guide. Because the frame is large so is the slide, The slide is only slightly heavier but sits above the grip (pivot point) higher than the Browning slide does so when it is fired the recoil tends apply a little more leverage feels like it rolls the gun up more than the Browning does. That means getting onto the target for that second shot might happen a little more slowly.

Anyway, no more plastic, Tupperware or Mattie-Mattel guns for me. Iím staying away from Toys R Us and sticking with Browning Hi-Power.

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
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