Wednesday, January 8, 2014


I've been shooting different Browning Hi-Powers since I was in my teens. In my twenties, a court case my dad handled resulted in him being awarded by the court as part of his fee the ornately engraved and silver/gold gripped Hi-Power that my father's drug client had in his possession when arrested, in a Corvette, speeding through a little town, with as many pounds of marijuana as you can stuff in the back of a late 80's Corvette. 

So he kept it for a while, enjoying carrying the flashy BBQ gun that had also been heavily worked on with a trigger smooth as silk. Ultimately, his best friend since college and law school days offered him some huge amount for it and it was sold and onto another carry gun for him. He was like that.

The gun shot really well, but the big and ornate grips made it painful to shoot with even ball ammo. The grips looked great and were horrible in use. So I'm guessing the gun was for show and not go since no one in their right mind would stand the  pain that the grips caused when the gun was shot. It was the huge eagles on both sides, inlaid gold into silver, that caused the pain. But my dad's best friend, the late Big John, had been a hunting and fishing buddy of ours since I was born and wanted it for a BBQ showoff gun around his brother and their fishing and hunting buddies. 

Later, in my 20's, I'd often hit Lake Conroe in the spring and summer afternoons, leaving work around 3 or so, for 3 hours of good fishing with Big John and his brother, also now deceased, Edgar. Edgar was a retired career fireman out of HFD, as were most of the guys they ran with and had grown up with. 

They were all hilarious and had great stories and most had other businesses on the side like pawn shops and gun stores so I was occasionally given access to some super deal on some great revolver. They knew I like those Smith and Wesson and Colt revolvers and 1911's.

I sure miss Big John and Edgar. They sure taught me a lot about largemouth bass fishing all those afternoons fishing the old river channel on the upper part of Lake Conroe. A childhood chum of theirs, a man named Paul, lived on his family acreage which had lots of prime lake frontage and ran a small marina and boat/rv storage place. So we were always able to either use Edgar's boat or one of Paul's rentals for free and pay for the gas. 

As I've told in earlier stories, back in the 80's me and Billy Ray had several all night fishing camps on part of Paul's lakeside property, fishing in a hole that ran into the original deep river channel that was right next to his shoreline on one part of his place. It's times like those I really miss. I'm afraid that property is probably a golf course condo setup or something like that now. It was pretty cool to have free access to his place, based on our friendship with his friends, and he welcomed us like kinfolk every time we showed up out of the blue to do some fishing. Of course, we always brought a bottle or two of some really good scotch for him in gratitude.

But back to the Hi-Power.

All during my early twenties, as an LEO in Houston, Texas, the occasional officer would be seen with a Hi-Power. 30 years ago, revolvers were still king and if a Houston cop had a semi-auto,  there was a 90% chance it was a 1911. Back then, I always enjoyed shooting the Hi-Powers of others but never felt the need to get one, despite that and the S&W Model 59 being the only hi-cap 9mm's really available in January of 1984 that area departments would sanction. The HK P9S and P7 were also universally allowed, as were the 13 shot variants. I often carried a P7 off duty, and still often carry the P7 either in the PSP or M8 format.

Since then I've owned several Hi-Powers including a high gloss blued model and the Practical two-tone early 90's model. I ended up with a nib early 90's black matte finish that I've taken quite a cotton to. Like shooting the Glock 19, particularly after shooting some other handguns, I often laugh at the lack of recoil and how fast and how well I can shoot the G19 under a variety of plinking and target situations. Same with the Hi-Power.

I shoot well with the Hi-Power and earlier this year, after acquiring   a couple of good holsters for me personally, I've been carrying it a lot. I got an Alessi IWB holster that fits it like a glove and is very soft and comfortable to wear and a Simply Rugged Pancake that also is very nice to wear. A bit more concealable than the Simply Rugged is the Mitch Rosen 1911 Government belt holster that also fits the Browning. I'll note that some but not all of the Commander holsters I have also fit my Hi-Power perfectly.

I used to not care that much for the wider grips of the Hi-Power, but now after decades of shooting Glock 19, 20, 20sf, 21, 21sf and 36, I'm used to wide grips and the Hi-Power grip doesn't seem near as big as it seemed 30 years ago.

In the Alessi IWB holster, the Hi-Power fits my body so much better than the Government model in the same holster. As far as belt carry, there's no real difference, except the Browning grip sticks out a bit more due to it's width. 

Weight specifics aside, to me the Browning Hi-Power FEELS like it ways a lot less than handguns that actually weigh about the same

I've also found that it point shoots well, which is something that's always fun when plinking. I tend to go through times where I prefer to carry one handgun over another, or one group of handguns over others. I'm enjoying this Hi-Power immensely. 

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