Browning Hi Power .40 or 9mm?


AZ Heat
August 19, 2004, 03:50 AM
I am considering purchasing a Browning Hi Power and was wondering if the .40 or 9mm is a better gun? This isn't a question of which caliber is more effective, but more of a reliability, mag capacity, etc question about the gun itself. Wasn't the original Hi Power in 9mm?

I've always been a 1911 guy so any knowledgeable help would be appreciated!

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August 19, 2004, 05:38 AM
The original BHP, 1935 was in 9mm. A very fine gun though the cartridge was not the best [though for defense with modern hollow points better]. When offered in 40 it was not just a 9mm with a different barrel, but it was carefully designed to handle the bigger cartridge[ such as a cast rather than machined frame]. As far a cartridges the 40 is more effective than the 9mm if you want it for defense. Make sure you get an original Browning and not a copy.I have not heard of any problems with the 40 and they've been around for about 10 years.The 9mm has been around since 1935 and has earned a reputation as being one of the finest pistols made. I had one for many years and it was great.

August 19, 2004, 08:21 AM
Methinks they had some problems with the "40's"!! I'm not sure if they ever got them sorted out!! Steven Camp needs to chime in here!!
Hello!! Steven!! Help us out here!!!

While we're waiting for the High Power expert, you may want to give these fine folks a little visit!!

August 19, 2004, 08:41 AM
For me, 9mm.

Just weigh the cost of the ammo and you'll see why.;)

August 19, 2004, 10:05 AM
Having owned a .40, I wish I'd never traded it off. One of a very few guns that I regret allowing to move on.

Stephen A. Camp
August 19, 2004, 10:24 AM
Hello. If interested, here are some observations on the .40 Hi Power:


August 19, 2004, 10:32 AM
I own both and must say that I can't tell any difference in function or reliability. I prefer the 9mm over the 40's I have though. The 9mm just seems like a fit, can't explain it really? However, I am glad I have them in both calibers.

And yes, stay with FN/Browning.

August 19, 2004, 10:38 AM
Thanks for that Stephen. The "cast frame" seems to be a very common and persistant comment ..glad you corrected that.

August 19, 2004, 12:43 PM
Capacity is an issue, too. Only 10 round magazines are available for the .40, while there are cheap hi-caps for the 9mm in 13, 15, and 17 round variations.

August 19, 2004, 01:20 PM
I was always rubbed wrong by the .40 GP35. Its got extra metal around the slide to add recoil mass, which also adds mass all the time. The gun is heavier, and thicker. It just seems a less pleasant experience. I might not mind as much if the High Power was not such a slick little gun normally. Like, a Brigadier doesn't annoy me, because the 92 is a sorta big, blocky pistol anyway.

The 9mm is delightful. And its one of the nicest guns around to customize. Tell me this doesn't speak to you:
If only the s/n wasn't on the frontstrap!

August 19, 2004, 04:18 PM
I have had both the 9mm and 40 S& W high powers. I not convinced that the 40 highpower will hold up to a lot of shooting and by that I mean above 5,000 or so and just not because whether or not the frame is cast or forged. in and of itself I think that whether or not a frame is forged or cast is immaterial. Ruger's centerfire auto's have cast frames and they are as strong as anything out there. The highpower is the best 9mm out there but I'm not so sure about the 40. I do know that if you get the 40 make sure you get the spring takedown tool from Cylinder & Slide as the recoil spring is a real sucker

Brian D.
August 19, 2004, 04:23 PM
I have both and like 'em, but the .40 gets my vote as favorite. Been totally reliable from day one with anything I feed it, where my 9mm's have choked--albeit rarely--with hollowpoints. And, I didn't realize the .40 would shoot so softly. That extra mass and spring weight tame it to about 9mm levels, in my hands anyhow. Have deliberately taken both models to the range for side by side comparisons of speed and accuracy. PACT timer shows I can go just as fast with the .40, and still get the hits.

August 19, 2004, 05:46 PM
I prefer mine in 9mm. There are a few differences, but feel is the major one.

I'm not a huge fan of the .40 round anyway, so if I had a .40 BHP, I'd probably convert it to .357 SiG... but I'm funny that way. :D


Condition One
August 19, 2004, 11:23 PM
I quit counting after 8,000 rounds (3 years ago) in my .40 HP. It's lightly customized, sights and trigger. I have the nine also. It's a Novak Special Ops. It's a thing of beauty. The nine is thinner and conseals better but I like the balance of the .40 in my hand. I'll keep both.

Shoot Safe.....CO

AZ Heat
August 20, 2004, 12:32 AM
Thanks guys!

It seems from your replies that both are good quality and it is just a matter of personal preference. I am more fond of the .40 caliber than the 9mm when it comes to self defense but was more concerned about reliability and quality. I thought I had heard in the past the the 9mm was the highest quality but maybe that was when the .40 originally came out.

I hate when this happens because then I end up having to buy both of them!!!

August 20, 2004, 01:53 AM
Being as it's a Hi-Power, it'll probably be nearly as reliable in either, but, generally speaking, I think a gun is most reliable in the chambering it was designed around.

August 20, 2004, 05:52 AM
I have shot both. The 40 is heavier and so is the recoil, but it is still quite controllable. Both are fine weapons. If ammo cost is a factor, then the 9 gets the nod.

August 20, 2004, 09:52 AM
Its one of the few full-size steel-frame service pistols that I like equally well in both 9mm and 40 S&W.

Ohen Cepel
August 20, 2004, 10:14 AM
I think the 9 in a HP is amazing.
It's my favorite auto and I have many. Haven't played with the 40 but I think any mods to the 9 would throw off the feel.

I would stick with the 9.

Barry in IN
August 20, 2004, 08:29 PM
I have a few 9MMs, and one .40.
I prefer the 9, in fact the 9mm BHP is one of my favorite carry pistols, if not my favorite.
The .40 is not my favorite round by any means. Although I'm not a .40 fan, I did give it a fair trial, and have owned several.
The Browning is the most accurate .40 I've ever owned or fired.
It has given me zero trouble. Of course, it doesn't get shot that often anymore, either.

I also think the "feel" of the BHP is thrown all out of whack by the .40 widening process.
But, the 9 was so slim and trim to begin with, that the .40 seems fine next to to other 9/.40-sized guns to me. In other words, compared to the 9 BHP, it's fat, but about normal with everything else.
Then again, that's just me.

El Hombre
August 21, 2004, 08:34 AM
As a point of clarification, only the slide was modified for the 40 Hipower. The frame is the same for both the 9mm and the 40. I own and shoot both, and I can tell a slight difference in balance if I switch immediately from one to the other, but not much. As far as the 40 being "fatter" than the 9mm, as I said the frames are the same, as are the grips, the only dimensional differences being the slide, as far as gripping and concealment there are no differences. Yes recoil is a little different, but not bad, just different. They are both fine quality pistols.

August 21, 2004, 01:29 PM
If your near the Tucson area then give me a holler and I'll let ya shoot my Belgium BHP born in 72:D

9MM of course;)

AZ Heat
August 22, 2004, 03:45 PM
If your near the Tucson area then give me a holler and I'll let ya shoot my Belgium BHP born in 72
Thanks for the offer Lennyjoe. I'm in Mesa and if I ever get down to Tucson, I'll give you a buzz.

August 22, 2004, 09:28 PM
I have both and you can not go wrong with either. The BHP .40 cal has to be the best .40 cal made. It would be even better if you sent it to Ted yost like I did. The 9mm is very is good too, so be a good THR gun whore and by both:)

August 22, 2004, 10:52 PM
I fired a .40 this weekend and compared to the 1911's, I'll stick with the 1911 personally. A few things I noticed were that the gun was just plain slick. It had the blued finish, maybe the other two models aren't as slick but I was really wishing for some front and back strap checkering or at least some grip tape ala Home Depot. It was pretty accurate, but the trigger just doesn't compare to a 1911. I believe it still had the magazine release safety installed so that probably could have been cleaned up a bit.

Overall, I'm not much of a fan of the .40. If it were my gun I'd go with the 9mm, but that's just me. Overall, I'd agree with Dutchman and others that the BHP is probably the best 9mm or .40 cal pistol made.

August 23, 2004, 10:18 AM
Thanks for the offer Lennyjoe. I'm in Mesa and if I ever get down to Tucson, I'll give you a buzz


By the way, we are planning a shoot down here on Sunday the 19th of Sept.

See our Rally Point thread.

August 23, 2004, 04:17 PM
I've yet to own a BHP or copy though I've shot many 9mms and two 40s. Actually, in the BHP, the 40 is quite tame and I would own a BHP in 40 if the right deal came along. I have about equal faith in the best loads in 9mm and in 40 so that wouldn't sway me one way or the other but it was originally a 9mm design, and I'm pretty sure most holsters for the 9mm BHP won't fit the 40... At least not a properly fitted leather holster. If I were specifically in the market for a BHP, that alone - along with ammo costs - would probably sway me towards the 9mm.

Having said that, the two 40 BHPs I've shot had so few failures that I can't remember them... Not saying they were perfect but I would at some point in the distant future, I'm sure I will own one in each caliber.

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