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Browning Hi Power .40 or 9mm?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by AZ Heat, Aug 19, 2004.

  1. AZ Heat

    AZ Heat Well-Known Member

    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!
  2. mete

    mete Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. denfoote

    denfoote Well-Known Member

    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!!

  4. bmwguy

    bmwguy Well-Known Member

    For me, 9mm.

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

    Erich Well-Known Member

    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.
  6. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

  7. Marshall

    Marshall Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. mete

    mete Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that Stephen. The "cast frame" seems to be a very common and persistant comment ..glad you corrected that.
  9. natedog

    natedog Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. shoobe01

    shoobe01 Well-Known Member

    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!
  11. steveno

    steveno Well-Known Member

    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
  12. Brian D.

    Brian D. Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. BHPshooter

    BHPshooter Well-Known Member

    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

  14. Condition One

    Condition One Member

    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
  15. AZ Heat

    AZ Heat Well-Known Member

    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!!!
  16. natedog

    natedog Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. stans

    stans Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. Berg01

    Berg01 Well-Known Member

    Its one of the few full-size steel-frame service pistols that I like equally well in both 9mm and 40 S&W.
  19. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. Barry in IN

    Barry in IN Well-Known Member

    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.

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