The Browning Hi-Power is a semi-automatic pistol designed by John Browning and manufactured by Fabrique Nationale (FN) in Belgium. It is one of the most widely used military pistols in history, and has been adopted by over 50 countries. The Hi-Power has a distinctive design, featuring a single-action trigger, a 13-round magazine, and a short-recoil operation.
If you own a Browning Hi-Power pistol, you might be curious about its history and origin. One way to find out more about your firearm is to date it using its serial number. The serial number is a unique identifier that can tell you when and where your pistol was made, as well as other details such as the model and grade.
However, dating a Browning Hi-Power pistol can be tricky, as there are different serial number systems for different periods and regions. To help you date your Browning Hi-Power pistol, here are some steps you can follow:
Locate your serial number. The serial number is usually found on the frame of the pistol, either on the left side or on the front strap. You might need to remove the grips to see it clearly. You can also refer to your owner's manual for more information on how to find your serial number.
Identify your production period. Browning Hi-Power pistols have been produced since 1935, and there are four main production periods: pre-war (1935-1940), wartime (1940-1945), post-war (1946-1974), and modern (1975-present). Each production period has its own serial number system and format. You can use the first few digits or letters of your serial number to determine which production period your pistol belongs to.
Use online resources to date your pistol. There are several websites that provide information on how to date Browning Hi-Power pistols using their serial numbers. For example, you can visit Browning's official website and click on your firearm to see a list of serial number ranges and dates for each production period. You can also visit FN Herstal Firearms forum and post your serial number to get feedback from other users.
Dating your Browning Hi-Power pistol can be a fun and rewarding way to learn more about your firearm and its history. By using your serial number, you can discover when and where your pistol was made, as well as other interesting details that make it unique.
Variants of the Browning Hi-Power Pistol
The Browning Hi-Power pistol has been produced in various models and versions over the decades, reflecting different features and improvements. Some of the most notable variants of the Hi-Power pistol are:
The Mark I: This is the original model of the Hi-Power pistol, introduced in 1935. It has a fixed rear sight, a spur hammer, a short extractor, and a slot for a shoulder stock. The Mark I was used by many Allied forces during World War II, including Britain, Canada, Australia, and China.
The Mark II: This is an improved version of the Mark I, introduced in 1971. It has an adjustable rear sight, a ring hammer, a longer extractor, and a simplified takedown procedure. The Mark II also has a higher-capacity magazine of 15 rounds.
The Mark III: This is a modernized version of the Mark II, introduced in 1988. It has a firing pin safety, a reshaped trigger guard, a serrated front strap, and a black epoxy finish. The Mark III also has ambidextrous thumb safeties and rubber grips.
The Standard: This is a basic version of the Hi-Power pistol, similar to the Mark III but without the firing pin safety. It has a blued or nickel finish and wooden grips.
The Practical: This is a two-tone version of the Hi-Power pistol, with a matte black slide and a silver frame. It has Novak-style sights and Pachmayr rubber grips.
The Silver Chrome: This is a fully chrome-plated version of the Hi-Power pistol, with wooden grips and fixed sights.
The Competition: This is a target-shooting version of the Hi-Power pistol, with an extended barrel, an adjustable trigger, and adjustable sights.
The Capitan: This is another target-shooting version of the Hi-Power pistol, with a vented rib on the slide, an adjustable trigger, and adjustable sights.
The Detective: This is a compact version of the Hi-Power pistol, with a shortened barrel and slide. It has fixed sights and rubber grips.
The Inglis: This is a Canadian-made version of the Hi-Power pistol, produced by John Inglis and Company during World War II. It has some distinctive features such as a tangent rear sight, a wooden shoulder stock/holster, and Chinese markings.
These are just some of the many variants of the Browning Hi-Power pistol that have been produced over the years. Each variant has its own characteristics and appeal for different users and collectors.