Any die-hard 1911 fans shifted over to the Browning Hi-Power for defense?


January 5, 2003, 03:56 AM
The more I handle and fire my new Browning Hi-power Silver Chrome .40 cal, the more I can see how this BHP .40 could win me over from my 1911's to become my preferred defense pistol. Now, to me that's almost heretic, as I am a confirmed 1911 freak! Only another single action pistol could even begin to sway me from the 1911, and another John Moses Browning design at that!

But the transition seems to be coming in little ways here and there....

• like the solidity of the grip feel :D (no springy grip safety to be concerned about or felt),

• the seeming total reliability of function :D (1911's can sure be finnicky, but the Hi-Power seems so stable in functionality),

• the capacity - 11 rounds of .40 :D (vs. 7, 8, or -pushing it- 9 with my 1911's),

• and the power of a .40S&W CorBon is nearly comparable to .45. :D

Granted it's tough to match the trigger on a 1911, but I believe the HP trigger can come close enough for excellent defense use. And nothing beats a 1911 for looks, but the HP comes close.

I'm not trying to start any battles here or raise anyone's defenses, as I am a total lover of the 1911 (got a dozen of them and only this one new BHP so far), but does anyone else out there feel that a .40 cal Hi-Power is a fabulous alternative to the 1911? Possibly even better? Dare I say that? :rolleyes:

(Of course I still go crazy for 1911's, but I see at least three more Hi-Powers in my near future: a Practical .40, a Standard polished blue in .40 and a Mk III in 9mm)

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January 5, 2003, 04:52 AM
My name is WA...and I am a Browning Hi Poweraholic...

Yes I love the 1911....but my sleek in my hand..those 14 shots of 9mm Black Talon...the crisp trigger...natural


BTW you played with the new FN SAS yet....???

January 5, 2003, 05:08 AM
Hey WA... I'd like to join "the group" :D

I haven't seen the FN SA SFS. But reading about it on their website is intriguing. How can a pistol have a hammer always in DA mode, but the gun is fired SA.... I'm scratching my head over that one... I'd like to see one! :eek:

I'm definitely hooked on Hi-Powers... can't figure out why I waiting so long to have a look at them. Behold one and THAT's IT!!! Sucked right in!

January 5, 2003, 05:19 AM
RE the SFS...I'm gonna shoot one next week, and call Bill Lughridge donw at C&S to get some more details about ti..

We have put a few in 1911s but I never really paid much attention to them. The cool thing is how when you drop the safety the hammer cocks...

January 5, 2003, 05:53 AM
I did for a while then got a CZ-75. both the HP and the 1911 sit in the gun safe now.

Kahr carrier
January 5, 2003, 06:02 AM
Hipowers are good autos well proven design ,C&S ,and Wickman do nice modifications on them.:)

January 5, 2003, 08:51 AM
Any die-hard 1911 fans shifted over to the Browning Hi-Power for defense? No. I just plain like the 1911 too much to switch.

January 5, 2003, 09:19 AM

I carried a Colt 1911 GM as a duty weapon for years before switching over to the BHP. My GM would shoot a box of ammo fine one day and choke on every other round, from the same lot, the next day. This was the initial reason I tried a BHP. Four BHP's and many thousands of rounds later I can report that I have had one misfeed in a BHP; that was due to the use of a recoil buffer combined with an underpowered factory load, I believe. If either variable there were altered, I think the pistol would have functioned fine, as always. Mine are accurate, reliable, and ergonomic. Four of the four are my favorites, for various reasons. Probably the best thing I did was send my duty weapon to Don Williams, of The Action Works, last year for some basic stuff. Not all of it was "necessary," I guess, but I had a reason for what I had done (trigger job, frame stippling, melt job, extended strong side safety, Novak sights, Black-T finish). What a wonderful pistol. I received it back from Mr. Williams, shot 100 practice rounds through it to check reliability and function, and then did my annual agency qualification with it. The pistol functioned great and allowed me to turn in an "Expert" rating. Glad someone else has "seen the light" :D .



January 5, 2003, 09:49 AM
Why ????????.......

Stephen A. Camp
January 5, 2003, 10:39 AM
Hello. Pardon the pun, but I've been in the HP "camp" for about 30 years now with the 1911 a very, very, very close second.


Harold Mayo
January 5, 2003, 01:47 PM
I jump between the two. I've tried pretty much everything else out there and I just can't get away from the 1911 and the hi-power. I've made the decision that there is no need to do so and I don't really forsee any other types of handguns purchased in my future...

Zak Smith
January 5, 2003, 02:22 PM
Custom BHP's: don't get hooked ?!?!

Ted Yost posted that one over on Pistolsmith.


January 5, 2003, 10:51 PM
When I am not carrying a Commander-sized 1911, I carry a Browning HiPower Practical in 9mm.
My ideal gun is a fusion of the two - a HiPower with the trigger of a 1911, the safety lever from a carry 1911 (the positive click on and off safe, plus the low profile that I can actually hit with my thumb), as well as the sights.

January 5, 2003, 11:00 PM
The HI-POWER is nice and my second favorite handgun, but it will never replace my 1911.

January 5, 2003, 11:44 PM
I love and shoot both the 1911 and the HiPower quite well. However, the HiPower (9mm) has become the "home defense" gun because the wife can shoot it well also. She can actually shoot the 1911 well too, but just likes the HiPower better. So, with nice hot +p JHPs in it, well, it's the defense gun for our house.

January 7, 2003, 08:08 PM
I have seen a few HP's show cracks in the frame after extensive use in practice for IPSC competition. I was wondering, if anyone else has seen this or if it were a fluke (two in a row)? This was in the 80's.


Harold Mayo
January 7, 2003, 08:17 PM
I've never seen cracks in a hi-power. I have seen locking lugs damaged and seen the cross-piece in the frame cracked, but never seen the frame or slide actually break.

Some people with whom I am acquainted were using hi-powers as the handgun for their tactical team. According to rumor, the hi-powers wouldn't stand up to the amount of shooting that they were doing with them so they all switched to 9mm 1911s. That's what they're using now, but I can't see where the hi-powers wouldn't stand up to the shooting unless they were sprung incorrectly and/or the ammunition that was used was extremely hot. I've abused many hi-powers and have yet to have a major (or minor) failure of any sort.

January 7, 2003, 08:28 PM
My first handgun was an Israeli HP of dubious quality. Sad because the gun shop guy steered me away from a BHP to try and save me a little money :(

I have very large hands and you would think the double stack of the P-35 would fit me better, but it does not.

They are excellent weapons, but my initial experience soured me on them.

Now - I can see how if someones first 1911 had a few problems, they may feel the BHP is more reliable.

I am sure that when either gun is made and maintained properly, they are extremely reliable - it is sad that the junky copies turn some people from an excellent design.

Stephen A. Camp
January 7, 2003, 08:42 PM
Hello, sir. I will pass along some personal experience with Browning HPs that might be of help.

The BHP pictured below is the first one I ever bought brand new in '71. It was customized shortly after I got it and I've been shooting it pretty regularly ever since. I have no idea how many thousands or rounds it's fired, but it's been well over 10K. There are no cracks on the slide or the frame.

This one was bought a year later and the same gunsmith made some changes for me. It's been fired well over 10K times and again, no problems.

Loads have included standard pressure ball and JHP as well as +P and some "warm" handloaded ammunition. I once contacted Masaad Ayoob concerning his reports of certain ammunition routinely cracking Hi Powers through heavy use and he remarked that there were two types, both military ball with one being Brittish and the other some country's in S. America, but I do not recall the ammo designation or the name of the S. American nation; sorry.

The Browning pictured below is a MkIII that's been very, very lightly altered...on the outside. Look at the ejection port.

Note that while more "1911-ish" and bigger than that of the earlier guns shown above, it is a bit more beefed up at the lower rear of the opening. I think this is where the cracking of the slides might have occurred, but am not sure. (By the way, that one has about 6K through it and no problems.)

There's differences of opinion on the following, but I use Wolff's conventional 18.5lb recoil spring and the Buffer Technology shock buffer in my HPs.

While I do agree that the HP's likely not the gun to "hotrod" with the hottest possible 9mm loads, I've fired quite a bit of handloaded 124 gr JHPs @ approx. 1240 ft/sec for years with no problems, but dont' care to go any hotter. I'd think that with a good recoil spring and possibly a buffer you can shoot to your heart's delight w/o problem, particularly if using standard velocity ammunition.

Anyway, such has been my experience.


January 7, 2003, 08:53 PM
I use a 1911 style, don't have a BHP, but have shot quite a few over the years. I lean a bit more to a 1911, but never felt undergunned with a BHP, nor would I today.

Mr. Camp just does his pics to drive me nuts.:D
Again Mr. Camp , nice pics, shooting, and report.

Stephen A. Camp
January 7, 2003, 09:00 PM
Hello, re1973 and thank you very much for the kind words.


PS: I kinda like 1911s, too!

Mike Irwin
January 8, 2003, 12:11 AM
Occasionally my High Power will go into my nighstand drawer, mainly because I have a lot of Hydrashok ammo for 9mm (Kahr, Beretta), and none for the .45, since I don't carry cocked and locked.

January 8, 2003, 12:31 AM
MR. CAMP!! ...Sir!! sigh...Dang your good .
No, the thanks belong to you...'sides...I've seen your targets you've posted, and the deer taken with the 9mm and the 45ACP...Outclassed and adimit it.

Stephen A. Camp
January 8, 2003, 12:45 AM
Hello and thank you again. While I can still group pretty well, it's NOT every occassion that I go to shoot and I find that I'm not quite as quick as in years past, although I'm making utterly no claim to being "fast" like some shooters here likely are.

Something I keep in mind....because it is true: "There ain't a horse that can't be rode, but there ain't a rider that can't be throwed," i.e: no matter how good we think we might be, there is always someone who truly is better.

Best and thank you again.

January 8, 2003, 01:03 AM
My first handgun was an Israeli HP of dubious quality. Sad because the gun shop guy steered me away from a BHP to try and save me a little money

Really, thats the one I it is after fixing precious...

Hey HP fans check out my new HP threads...

Stephen A. Camp
January 8, 2003, 01:06 AM
Hello. I DO like the way you customized your HP. That looks quite business like, but still has that extra dash of class. Really nice.


January 8, 2003, 01:22 AM
Thanks Steve..btw if you know anyone thats looking for a fairly decent C Series ($499), let me know...

Stephen A. Camp
January 8, 2003, 01:27 AM
Hello. Will do.


January 8, 2003, 02:29 AM
Ok I confess I caried a Govt. Model for along time , during that time I made fun of wimpy 9mm carriers Hi - Powers and all .It was the macho thing to do. But as I matured and saw a some results of shooting I found out there was no death ray dispeners.Then I noticed The Hi- Power and sleek feel and handling attribute.

January 8, 2003, 02:44 AM
I guess since I started this thread and I'm gushing over how much I love my new Hi Power .40 I should show you some of the other "loves" in my gun life. I do remain a confirmed 1911 lover, but the Browning Hi-Power deserves equal kudos, that's for sure!

Colt Series 70 - new re-issue w/Colt Commander trigger & Kimber rubber double diamond grips - I like the classic look with a hint of "tactical"

Colt Gold Cup Trophy - stock, except I installed Kimber Eclipse grips

Kimber CDP Compact - I brush polished the slide flats to add a little lustre
(this is my primary carry gun, stocked with CorBon 180 gr JHP) ("quickie" snapshots)

Colt Special Combat Government - stock Hard-chromed version

One of these days I'll start photographing my Hi-Power(s)...

January 8, 2003, 07:30 PM
I like them both, I just seem to shoot the Hi-Power better. Doesn't jam as much, easier on the web of my thumb, stone simple to take apart.

I like the trigger of the 1911 better, though removing the disconnector made the HP MUCH better.

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