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1911 vs. Browning Hi Power

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by The Expert, Jul 13, 2010.

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  1. The Expert

    The Expert Member

    May 29, 2010
    If I remember correctly, the Hi Power was designed by J.M. Browning after the 1911, correct?

    Was it suppose to be a superior design? If so, then why is the 1911 the most popular auto pistol in the world and the Hi Power has such a small following?
  2. DaBull

    DaBull Member

    Oct 10, 2008
    How do you define "most popular" and "small following"? Number of people who own one? Number of countries who manufacture it?

    The 1911 is popular in the US, but I'm not sure how popular it is outside the US. In fact, Glocks are probably more prevalent in the US relative to the 1911.

    Also, the Hi Power and clones were produced in many, many countries around the world.
  3. Lvl21nerd

    Lvl21nerd Member

    May 9, 2010
    Southern Illinois
    i think the hi-power was supposed to be a more advanced design, with the double stack mags

    1911 is so popular because of its trigger design, and its part played in WWII
  4. Demitrios

    Demitrios Member

    Aug 12, 2008
    Northern NJ
    Ooooooooh, I smell a sh** storm a brewing. **GRABS 3D GLASSES AND KICKS BACK** This should be better than Avatar.
  5. Runningman

    Runningman Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    How do you figure the 1911 is the most popular auto pistol in the world? I see far more Glocks at the ranges I shoot at, than 1911s.

    Where did you get this information? Outside the US it is rare to see a 1911 these days from what I have seen.
  6. Lucky Derby

    Lucky Derby Member

    Aug 23, 2006
    Colorado Rockies
    About 15 years ago I heard a gunshop rumor that the 1911 was the most popular pistol in US. And that the Hi Power was the most popular pistol in the world.
    I do believe that the Hi Power and it's clones have been issued by more military and police agencies world wide than any other pistol, but I have nothing to back up that belief, although that info could be found if one was interested enough, which I am not.
    I know from observation that the 1911 is more popular in the US with military, police, and civilian shooters alike.
    And all of this info is worth exactly what you paid for it.
  7. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Plano, Texas

    You have this reversed.

    The 1911 is not only NOT the most popular, it never has been. Prior to the '90's the BHP was the handgun of the free world. Almost every member of NATO except the US issued a Hi Power.

    JMB began the design of the Hi Power, but the real credit goes to Dieudonne Saive for the HP we have today. JMB died in 1926, nine years before the HP design was complete.

    The 1911 has nowhere near the popularity or usage worldwide as the BHP.
    The HP was built to the specs of the French who decided at the last minute to go with a pistol made in France as it made surrender that much easier.

    The BHP was actually produced by both the Allies (in Canada) and Nazi's (at FN in Belgium) during WWII. It is still the issued handgun for Canada, Great Britian and several other Western nations.

    The popularity of the Hi Power in the USA can be attributed to JMB's licensing agrements with Colt and Fabrique Nationale. JMB licensed Colt to produce and market his designs in the US and certain other countries and FN in most of Europe. Colt chose to ignore the HP and it was not until the 1950's that the agreement expired and allowed FN to import the HP into the U.S.

    BTW...Why would someone ask a question when their username is "The Expert" ?:rolleyes:
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2010
  8. Jon Coppenbarger

    Jon Coppenbarger Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    I have a few of both and shoot the 1911's more but I love the feel of the HP as it just feels good in my hand. (I carry a glock for CCW?)
  9. Babarsac

    Babarsac Member

    Sep 12, 2006
    The easiest way to settle this question would be to buy both ;)
  10. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

    Aug 29, 2008
    Is it safe to say the 1911 is the most popular .45 and the Hi Power is the most popular 9mm? I do have both and love both.
  11. jaysouth

    jaysouth Member

    Sep 1, 2003
    Middle Tennessee
    The French army gets as much credit for "designing" the hi-power as JMB. Talented phenom of wood and steel as he was, JMB also died five years before the final design was set.

    The French army also rejected the Hi-Power design as "unsuitable".

    It's also that day again, Happy Bastille day y'all.
  12. Sapper771

    Sapper771 Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    11 up and 3 down
    Yes, the BHP was designed after the
    1911. The BHP was only partially designed by JMB, the rest by Saive after JMB died. JMB intended the BHP to be a single stack magazine design, Saive was the one behind the double stack design. Some have said that the BHP design was an improvement over the 1911s design(i.e. linkless barrel , no barrel bushing) .

    This is just my opinion, YMMV:

    The 1911 is popular in the US, but I don't know if it is the most popular. I believe that it is popular in the US partially because it represents the U.S. . It was designed by an American. It was then Selected into U.S. military service where it served through WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and other conflicts. A 1911 was carried by our boys during some very trying times.

    I have heard some members say that the 1911 is as American as apple pie.

    On top of its American heritage and history, the 1911 is very "shootable", lending itself to a wide array of applications.

    I don't really have much to say about the BHP because I am not as knowledgeable about it. I own one and I like it a lot. I believe that if you own and enjoy a 1911, you should also own a BHP. They just go together.

    I think both are excellent designs, but they are not with out their flaws.
  13. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Dieudonne Saive, please! JMB's design was striker fired due to the patents on the 1911 still being in place while he was alive. Saive did the revision to the BHP/GP35 after JMB's passing. He tweaked the .50 cal M2 a bit as well as designing the SAFN49 and FAL.

    Ok, sorry about that little petulant rant. Just want to make sure everyone knows who really and truly designed the BHP as we know it today.
    Flip that around a bit perhaps. In the US, yeah, I'd agree the 1911 is more popular than the BHP. Elsewhere, not as such.

    I do think the Hi Power is a fine design. JMB and/or DS. Both were pretty fine minds when it came to firearm design.
  14. gwnorth

    gwnorth Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    North Carolina
    Remember that just about every NATO country used the Hi Power as a service pistol, not to mention police and security forces around the globe. They've also been used regularly by many countries in Africa and the middle east. I'd bet money there are more folks who know what a BHP is but don't know what a 1911 is, then the opposite.
  15. Voland

    Voland Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    DFW, Texas
    I think the BHP has a large following... But its all relative... I have more 1911's then BHP's but that gap is closing FAST!



    Aug 28, 2009
    One thing I want to know is why parts for the Hi Power are so expensive!
  17. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

    Feb 18, 2007
    NE Ohio
    One thing I want to know is why parts for the Hi Power are so expensive!
    Because the BHP was never produced in this country, never sold here in large numbers, and surplus parts were never available like the 1911. Now, add the fact that the 1911 grew such a large post-Cooper following and blossomed into the formost defensive auto pistol. As a result, the demand for BHP acessories and parts was never that of the 1911, so manufacturer's have never put BHP parts on a front burner. For instance, a maker produced a replacement internal extractor for older BHP's (a very needed item if you ever break one), and they never sold enough to continue producing them. At present, one is lucky to fine a randam military one. There are more than a few BHP's with that type of extractor (1935-1960's).
  18. Action_Can_Do

    Action_Can_Do Member

    May 28, 2005
    The primary reason the 1911 is more popular in America than the Hi-power is the cartridge it's most associated with. The 45 (first in 45 colt, then in 45 auto) has always been a popular caliber in the US.
  19. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    I think if John Browning were to have personally carried whatever he wanted, he'd have carried a M1911...even though I am sure he would have been fond of the Browning High Power had he lived long enough to see it done.
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