Educational Zone #184 – Product Evaluation – Browning FN Hi Power Pistol

I recently saw that AIM had some used Browning FN Hi Power pistols for sale.

Here’s the ad: “Fabrique Nationale (FN) Belgium Steel frame Hi Power Semi-automatic 9mm Pistols. Mechanically, these are in Excellent working condition but expect metal finish as pictured. May not have a lanyard ring and allow for rear sight wear from holster. Grips may vary in type and condition. Includes 1-13rd Magazine.”

They were used, but looked to be solid and worth the price. The price was listed as $429.95. So, I ordered one.

It came in and here it is.



It is marked “Fabrique Nationale Herstal Belgique, Browning’s Patent”. This is an all-steel model of this pistol. That gives it some extra weight, but that’s a plus as it will dampen recoil.

It has a lanyard loop.


It has some expected holster wear, but otherwise looks very solid.

Let’s take it apart and see what we have.


The barrel has some marks on the exterior, but I can polish that up easily. I used my Extra Fine brush wheel to finish it up.


I noticed that the rifling in the barrel was “frosted”. This is probably the result of firing corrosive ammo in the pistol and not cleaning it properly. But the rifling was strong and I thought I would polish it up a little.


I used an old .45 caliber bore brush and some JB Bore Compound and scrubbed the bore out really well.


There it is, all polished up and ready to go.


I also used this opportunity to polish the feed ramp to make sure it will feed well.



I also gave the pistol a good general cleaning and lube. It was surprisingly clean internally and had no serious rust or corrosion.

I also took the opportunity to do some cold bluing where it was needed to cover the holster wear.

I use Birchwood Casey Super Blue. Just clean the part, rub on the Super Blue, and then immediately cover with some WD-40 to prevent rust.




I cleaned up the grip screws and reblued them also.


It was range time.

I shot the pistol about 100 rounds today with 100% reliability.

Here I am shooting.


Here’s my buddy doc taking his turn.


I have always found the Hi Power to be a “naturally pointing” pistol. By that I mean that as you grip the piece, it just naturally lines up with the target.



Here’s the target. It shoots to point of aim.


If you are interested in a quality used Hi Power, give these from AIM a good look. They are some great pistols.


And, it’s fun to shoot stuff.

5 Comments on Educational Zone #184 – Product Evaluation – Browning FN Hi Power Pistol

  1. I never met a Hi Power that I didn’t like. When I am training new shooters who don’t have a gun of their own, I bring out a few of mine to try. It never fails that everyone loves the HP more than anything else.

  2. “I have always found the Hi Power to be a “naturally pointing” pistol.”

    For me, the exact opposite. I had one as a duty pistol and I hated it. After FN, they gave me Sig Sauer P226 and later Glock 17.

    I liked the Sig Sauer most, but the Glock is not bad, either. I just wish for a 2.0 kg trigger instead of the standard 2.5 kg.

  3. Looks very similar to my S&W 39-2. Shape, size, weight and the decocking lever. Any thoughts? Did Smith borrow from Browning to make the Model 39?

  4. Richard Bunn // July 4, 2016 at 2:07 pm // Reply

    I have two Hi-Powers, While I also have several other 9mms the Brownings have become my favorite. Both have had the spur hammer replaced because the spur was biting the shooter! Per the previous comment, I have a S&M 39 and a 1911 in 9mm as well, the HP outshoots the 39 and is lighter then the 1911.
    Thanks for the run down on the High Power.

  5. Great write up! My first police duty pistol was a BHP. Took me forever to convince the salesman that yes, I COULD use a single action pistol at my department (one already used a BHP, several others used 1911s) so I wouldn’t be running back to him for an exchange, LOL. It served me well, eventually being replaced with various other pistols as needs, job description, and policy changed. But I always kept qualified with it on the full duty course so I could keep it as an alternative. Now retired, I tote it fairly regularly, weather permitting here on the semi-tropical gulf coast of AL. I shot it recently while at the range with a friend’s son who I was putting through his paces with a new AR15. I had no trouble at all hitting pepper poppers at 50 yards and shooting saucer sized groups from any closer. Still a great old warhorse that has never hiccuped or failed even after a pretty steady diet of Federal 115 gr and 124 gr +P+ ammo through the years. — I think I’ll dig it out and carry it today, in fact … steamy hot weather or no. 🙂

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