5 Best Browning Hi Power Pistols – May 2023

The Browning Hi-Power has finally ceased production, leaving the clone wars. But what is the best Hi-Power Pistol in 2023.
Browning HI Power Clones – What’s the Best in 2023

The Browning Hi Power 9mm handgun is an icon that has evolved into a concept, as much as a patented design, much like the 1911. So there are lots of modern Hi Power clones that have taken the idea to the next level.

When FN commissioned a new pistol after the First World War, legendary designer John Moses Browning was forced to start from a clean sheet of paper, having sold the 1911 patents to Colt.

All the way back in 1917 John Browning decided a high-capacity 9mm pistol with a locked breech design was the future when FN commissioned him to create a new military sidearm. Say what you like, that man was a visionary and this went on to become one of the most revered pistols of all time.

Browning’s Unfinished Symphony

In some ways the Browning Hi Power was John Browning’s unfinished symphony. Browning died in 1926, before completing the Hi-Power. Dieudonne Saive at FN Herstal was the man responsible for the staggered magazine and he applied his own finishing touches to John Browning’s masterpiece.

One of the greatest pistol designs ever finally hit the market as the FN High Power, thanks to the 13-round magazine that was a revelation.

It also helped combat the Nazi invasion of Belgium and France, although Fabrique Nationale had to leave their occupied factories and move production to Canada. During the war, soldiers from both sides carried the FN and they were highly prized.

Meanwhile, in Canada, it acquired the Hi-Power name and went on sale to the general public in 1935.

FN has produced the Hi-Power ever since, stopping briefly in 2018 only to resume production with a new model recently thanks to the public outcry for a return to this classic design.

New High Power

Now FN has returned to the new High Power name with a 17 round pistol that looks largely the same. Under the skin, however, it is very different and lacks the locking lugs that are an integral part of the design concept.

It is still a gun that has been around for 83 years and counting, making it one of the best-selling pistols ever almost by default. But FN has lost sales to the striker-fired pistol movement and clones of its own ingenious idea.

So what are the best Browning Hi-Power clones in 2023? Here are our top picks.

CZ 75 B - A great double stack Wonder 9

1. CZ 75

  • Price: $635.99
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Barrel length: 5 inch
  • Weight: 2.2lb
  • Capacity: 17+1

Released in 1975, the CZ 75 is largely considered to be a hybrid of the Hi-Power and the Sig Sauer DA/SA design. Others think it’s straight up evolution of the FN Hi-Power.

You might argue that it doesn’t quite belong here, but we think it does. So yeah…

It is a short recoil operated, locking breech pistol. You also get the Browning linkless cam locking system that locks the barrel and slide together during the firing process using locking lugs milled into the barrel and recesses in the slide.

That and the high capacity magazine were more or less the defining characteristics of the original FN.

Now the CZ 75 comes with a slide rail design, where the slide runs inside rails on the frame, which eliminates the slide to frame play that the Hi-Power was kind of known for. The Double Action/Single Action trigger set-up is slightly different as well.

You can also switch between a manual safety and a deckocker system.

But the similarities are more profound than the differences.

Mass Adoption and Copies

It has also gone on to be adopted by military and law enforcement units around the world. Ironically, the CZ 75 is officially the most copied pistol of all time thanks to lax patents on its part in a project shrouded in short-sighted Eastern European secrecy.

The CZ 75 is a modern day Double Action/Single Action icon and one of the best selling pistols in the world right now.

It is also an evolution of John Moses Browning’s finest work and the missing link between the old service pistols and today’s modern 2011 weapons of war.

In our humble opinion it is the next generation and easily the best Hi-Power clone on the market. If you agree that it is one…

Springfield SA-35, a modern Hi-Power clone that might just be the best of them all.

2. Springfield Armory SA-35

  • Price: $775.99
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Action: Semi-Auto
  • Barrel length: 4.7 inch
  • Weight: 2lb
  • Capacity: 15+1

The Springfield Armory SA-35 is a modern tribute act to the classic Hi-Power semi-automatic pistol.

Of course that old school magazine disconnect is gone, you get modern sights, a better feed ramp, a cold hammer forged barrel, increased capacity and a few other modern treats like manufacturing engineering tolerances you can’t actually see and feel. But basically this is the Hi-Power you know and love.

A blued finish, flared ejection port in the steel slide, checkered walnut grips and that classic bobbed competition hammer complete the look. This is proving a hugely popular pistol and a potential best seller.

Springfield Armory’s clone war with the Girsan handgun is largely credited with reviving interest in the Browning Hi-Power and forcing FN to return to the market with a new gun.

Before you buy a gun online, though, check the best Springfield Armory pistols for sale.

FN High Power, the new version of the Browning Hi Power, get yours here.

3. FN High Power

  • Price: $1,269.99
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Action: Semi-Auto
  • Barrel length: 4.7 inch
  • Weight: 2.5lb
  • Capacity: 17+1

After decades of declining sales, FN finally killed the Hi-Power pistol in 2018. But the sudden demand for clones and a general public show of disgust forced the company into a private rethink.

In 2022, it came back with the rebranded FN High Power pistol design. Again the new High Power is a major redesign of that 80 year old semi-automatic handgun, comes with a number of new features and a few less. Really, it’s a new pistol.

The new FN High Power 9mm handgun gets an unashamedly heavy dust cover to balance the muzzle flip and recoil. At 40 ounces unloaded, this is a seriously heavy pistol as well. It’s full size 1911 size, but you get a lot more ammunition and a lot of the same features with the FN High Power.

Performance features on the FN High Power include the super crisp single action trigger, 1911 style checkering on the frame and interchangeable backstraps to get the perfect grip.

Traditional Features Carried Over, and New Ones

The old bobbed hammer from the semi-automatic Hi-Power is there and yet you get an extended beavertail to kill the hammer bite that really was a thing with the old gun. The contrasting magazine release button is easier to work as well.

A modern double stack magazine capacity is there, too, and of course you can get an extended magazine to put this FN High Power right up there with the likes of Glock tactical pistols and the new breed of 1911s in terms of a high capacity magazine.

There’s no magazine disconnect mechanism either and the gun will fire with no mag and a round in the chamber. It’s a fully ambidextrous slide lock/release and safety.

The new FN High Power is light enough to use as a concealed carry 9mm handgun design. And you can order a blued version if you don’t like this Flat Dark Earth frame and slide.

EAA Girsan MC-P35 Browning Hi Powert style pistol on sale for a bargain price.

4. EAA Girsan MC-P35

  • Price: $550.99
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Action: Semi-Auto
  • Barrel length: 4.87 inch
  • Weight: 1.8lb
  • Capacity: 15+1

If you’re looking for a faithful recreation of the original Browning Hi-Power 9mm pistol, well this is the new pistol you need.

Turkish manufacturer Girsan has a full range of tactical pistol and target shooting specialists based on the original Hi-Power. Evolutions, if you will. But this Girsan MC-P35 is a straightforward tribute.

It is an interesting combination of the various evolutions of the 9mm Browning Hi-Power, though. Largely it is based on the 1980s update for the Browning Hi Power Mk III. But it keeps the ring hammer from the earlier versions

You get the same staggered magazine, a thumb safety, magazine safety disconnect, blued steel finish and more from the classic design of the original Hi-Power.

Subtle Changes for the Modern Age

Now this isn’t 100 per cent John Browning’s work and there are some important tweaks. There is just enough beavertail to avoid constant hammer bite, without intrinsically changing the design.

There’s about half an inch of travel on the trigger inside that enlarged tigger guard and a solid, reasonably fast reset. Now the sights are old school wild, a long white dot on the front sight and two corresponding white dots on the rear sight.

They’re basic, is what we’re saying. But then that’s kind of the point here with this nostalgic trip down memory lane with the Girsan MC-P35. It’s a homage to one of the most revered pistols of all time

If you want something a little more advanced, read on…

EAA Girsan MC-P35 OPS. An optics ready tactical pistol with the Borwning Hi-Power action. A tribute brought bang up to date with cutting edge 1911 features.

5. EAA Girsan MC-P35 OPS

  • Price: $666.99
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Barrel length: 4.87 inch
  • Weight: 1.8lb
  • Capacity: 15+1

This is the Browning Hi-Power with the kitchen sink thrown at it in terms of tactical pistol extras. Call it a Girsan Custom Shop version of Browning’s Hi-Power, if you’re feeling generous.

From the massive beavertail to the Picatinny rail underneath and the optic ready slide that’s ready for red dot sights this is the Browning Hi-Power 2.0.

The fiber optic front sight and fully adjustable rear sight are a clear step forward, and we like the competition spec flat trigger. But the ability to mount red dot sights on this pistol means it’s immediately in another, more exclusive league.

It is still based on a forged steel frame and slide with a short recoil, breech lock action. The famous magazine disconnect safety is there, as well as the ring hammer, and there’s an extended slide stop and thumb safety that is a popular aftermarket accessory for the original Browning Hi-Power 9mm.

Those things aside, only a true expert would spot the Browning Hi-Power here, as there is just so much extra stuff designed to make this new pistol work for home defense and all round recreational shooting.

Gun Parts & Accessories

You can slot in adjustable sights, fiber optics and more. Adjustable sights, target sights or Novak style white dot sights could all be an improvement and they’re freely available for John Moses Browning’s Hi Power clones.

How’s About Some Other Old School Firearms

We have bolt action rifles, semi-auto rifles, black powder rifles and 44 Magnum revolvers for sale. Old school bolt action rifles chambered in 308 win Mag or 6.5 Creedmoor. A single shot rifle? Yes we got them.

Pistols, revolvers in 357 Magnum, gun cases, we can help with those. And if you need accessories for your pistols, revolvers, pump action shotguns etc, or a Hi-Power magazine, fixed blade knives etc, then we can help there too.

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