Originally developed by Fabrique Nationale—and based on a design by American John Browning that was completed by his Belgian protégé, Dieudonné Saive, in 1935—the High Power pistol eventually gained wide recognition and respect around the world and enjoyed a production run at FN of more than 80 years.
Produced and sold under a variety of names, the High Power soldiers on even today in the form of commercial clones, and many experienced shooters still view it as one of the most handsome pistols ever designed and certainly one of the best feeling in the hand (See “Exploded Views” on p. 68).
The late Stephen A. Camp was one such fan who became so enamored of the gun that he distilled his thoughts and experiences—primarily on the Hi Power, but including other handguns and related topics—into a website and several books. He published the first print edition of The Shooter’s Guide To The Browning Hi Power in 2003, calling it “a treatise on my favorite all-around semi-automatic pistol.”
Always careful to qualify his statements, Camp later wrote that he believed the book could be improved. True to his word, the 188-p. Revised Edition contains nearly twice the information. Its 8½"x11" format features spiral-bound pages, 142 black-and-white photographs, and 12 tables, and draws on his lifetime of experience developing practical data and comment about the gun’s use, maintenance, performance and appeal.
The author himself described it best: “This book does not focus on production dates or material primarily of interest to Hi Power collectors. As with the original, its target audience is users and aficionados intending to actually use the pistol for protection, recreation or both.
To this end, updated ballistic information for newer 9 mm loads is presented as well as discussions on both the 40-caliber Hi Powers and those converted to .357 SIG … . Ammunition reports, accuracy, reliability, springs, spare parts, troubleshooting and just sharing what has ‘worked’ for me over the years are all included along with a Frequently Asked Questions chapter.”
Camp also compares the Hi Power to several modern designs and discusses its relevance, “with neither overenthusiastic whitewashing nor unwarranted bashing.” He added, “Many shooters consider the Hi Power to be one of the best semiautomatics to ever see the battlefield or back alley and a worthy companion if anywhere remotely near the Valley of Death. This book is an attempt to provide a high-quality ‘user’s manual’ and respectful tribute to the gun.”
In that mission, Camp succeeded splendidly, uncovering for others a host of practical reasons why the High Power can satisfy any serious handgunner’s yearning for reliability, accuracy, quality and style in a way that few other pistols can. His book is an homage for a classic to which many experienced shooters find themselves drawn—and everyone should be thankful that Camp was as well.
The Shooter’s Guide To The Browning Hi Power, Revised Edition is available for $30.95, shipping included, within the continental United States; (940) 367-1303; hipowersandhandguns.com.